|No subject is off limits in the first ever global talk show hosted from Africa in which Redi Tlhabi talks frankly to inspiring and intriguing personalities from across the world.
Al Jazeera: What is the format of the show and is it just about South Africa?
Redi Tlhabi: South2North is a global conversation with people from all walks of life - newsmakers, celebrities and ordinary human beings who have achieved the extraordinary. This platform will give a voice to the voiceless. It is a global show that is based in the southern hemisphere.
What issues will the show be focusing on?
We will not confine ourselves to one theme or topic. We have an eclectic mix of issues, from politics to music, art, health, science, technology. There is not a human being who is one-dimensional and South2North will respond to that diversity. Our aim is simply to talk to interesting and intriguing personalities from across the world.
Why does a southern perspective benefit a northern viewer?
Through this platform we can successfully create a bridge for the two worlds to travel towards each other. There is a whole new world that is not dominating media platforms. The people from this world are just as creative, just as smart and as concerned about the future of our world. There is a lot that the northern viewer can learn beyond the stories of poverty, famine and war. Who are the movers and shakers from the south and how do they, despite many obstacles, manage to change lives and make their voices heard? Instead of speaking to the usual recognisable western names we want to find their counterparts in the south, that is Africa, Asia and South America who are just as knowledgeable albeit not always so well known. We want to hear their stories and their perspectives.
How is South2North different from other talk shows?
I cannot speak for other shows but I can only account for what I bring to the show. I am an author, a journalist, a wife, a runner, a daughter, a community worker. I come from the world's most famous township, Soweto - home to Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. I have interviewed powerful newsmakers but remain rooted in the community and the experiences of ordinary people. This gives me a fresh perspective on the world. I love sharing perspectives and having conversations that transform lives. That is how I plan to deliver this show.
How is this different from what you have done before?
South2North is a new experience for me as far as the global platform is concerned. I have been a guest presenter on some international channels but this is the first time that I am entrusted with this massive platform on a weekly basis. But the search for amazing stories, conversations with movers and shakers, sharing a meal with ordinary people - this is what my entire career has been about. Whether on radio, print or television, I have always liked to probe, to question, celebrate, learn and understand the many layers that shape our lives. I will continue to do so.
Al Jazeera English is primarily a news channel. How will South2North change the dynamic?
South2North does not intend to change this dynamic but merely to fit in comfortably with the amazing coverage for which the channel is known. When the news bulletin is over, who are the people behind the story, who are the amazing human beings who raise the children orphaned by war? Who are the trailblazers who use their ingenuity and ambition to build enterprises, who are the protesters who take to the streets at great risk to themselves and yet manage to change the course of history? South2North will find those people.
South2North can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1930; Saturday: 1430; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0830.