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RADIO SHOW UNITES LOVED ONES (article first published : 2000-01-4)

On Christmas Eve, 11-year old Kharma Gerstneir from Cape Town phoned in to SAfm’s The Tim Modise Show and told stand-in presenter Tony Lankester that what she would like most for Christmas was her granny who lived in Durban. Unfortunately, the two couldn’t be together because of the cost of the air ticket.

Fortunately, South African Airways vice president of communications Victor Nosi happened to be listening to the show. He was so moved by the young girl’s message that he phoned SAfm and offered Kharma’s granny a free flight from Durban to Cape Town. But by then, Kharma had hung up and there was no way of contacting her. An urgent appeal over the air saw the station flooded with calls from listeners who thought they knew who she was and eventually Tony Lankester was able to talk to Kharma early on Christmas morning to tell her that her granny was on her way.

”She was speechless and all she could do was burst into tears,” says Tony Lankester. “It’s touching moments like this that make all of us at SAfm realise what a powerful medium radio is – no matter how old or young you are, it can make a difference in your life.”

Nice one, SAfm and SAA!




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