Eldorado Park’s Linnay Jooste is an overachiever. She is top in her class, the presenter of a kids radio show, a former head girl and a community activist. She is also the winner of the 2018 African Children of the Year Award in the category of Community Development and Engagement.
The nomination came after Stacey Fru, the founder of the Stacey Fru Foundation which hosts the awards annually; visited Linnay on her show (Kids Zone) at the EldosFM studio in September 2018. Stacey was so inspired by Linnay’s work on the show that she nominated her for the award.
Stacey, who is also a multiple Award-Winning Author, BrandSA Ambassador, motivational speaker and Awards Custodian was also impressed by the fact that the show primarily focusses on helping young minds transition into their teenage years. The children’s program airs every Saturday from 07h00 to 09h00 in the morning and delves into topics like puberty, exams, self-esteem, and bullying.
The show is very popular and Linnay has hosted everyone from TV stars to government officials. The young radio host says her most memorable moments on the show was her interview with Titus O’Neil from the world of wrestling entertainment and with Jacques Blignaut, who plays Vince Meintjies on 7de Laan. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could be a radio presenter. My life has completely changed since joining EldosFM,” she says.
In addition to being a popular radio host, Linnay, often referred to as “nay-nay” by close friends and family, is also a top achiever in school. During her years at Heerengracht Primary school in Eldorado Park, Linnay always placed top throughout all her grades. By the time she reached Grade 7; Linnay had set such a great example to her peers that the school elected her as head girl in 2018. Eden Daniels who is the principal at the school said in an interview with Westside Eldos Newspaper, that she is proud of Linnay and admits the young one has always shown great leadership qualities.
Linnay has since then completed her primary education and is currently a student at the Concord College in Johannesburg where she also plans to obtain great results. She says that she always planned to be a General Surgeon someday, but is not entirely sure anymore. She admits that radio had something to do with this and is therefore still deciding on what to do in the future. However, something the youngster is sure of, is her plans to focus completely on her education and work harder so that she can keep up her standard of good grades.
But even with her desire to do great in school, Linnay also hopes to do more community work and says that she would like to see a drugless community one day, a community that is safe for her and her friends to play in. One thing is for sure, whatever the award winner decides to do with her life; she is definitely a must-watch.
The little star clearly has a deep passion for the youth and urges her peers and other young children to focus on school, be themselves, not give in to peer pressure, stand up for what they believe in and more importantly, to fall madly in love with themselves.
Note: A very special thanks to Linnay Jooste and her mom, Buddy Jooste for making time to speak with us.