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28 October 2022
The University of the Western Cape’s pioneering new TV show - UWC on Air
It’s been two years in the making, but now the University of the Western Cape (UWC) is ready to launch its first dedicated TV platform on Cape Town TV. The groundbreaking move is a first for a South African university. 

Community engagement has always been one of the cornerstones of UWC, so naturally, we wanted our broadcast home to be a community TV channel. And Cape Town TV is the perfect fit. It is free-to-air in Cape Town, and available nationally on DStv channel 263.

UWC On Air is a weekly 30-minute programme that will showcase the best stories from the University. 

UWC Media and Marketing manager Gasant Abarder had the idea two years ago to create a weekly 10-minute campus broadcast turning content into a TV show in a studio on campus. 

But then UWC on Air executive producer Robin Adams came along with other plans, said Abarder.
TV veteran Robin Adams is UWC on Air executive producer

“Robin just pushed my original idea on a whole new trajectory. We are now in a position to run a weekly magazine showcasing the best of the University to the community. But the biggest benefit is a live environment for law students to learn about media law, commerce students to get an education about advertising and marketing, and arts and humanities students to train in media skills,” said Abarder. 

Abarder explained that the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, Professor Vivienne Lawack, will connect UWC on Air and the academic programme at the university.

“I’m very pleased that UWC on Air is going to be linked to our Zone Learning at UWC project. Zone Learning converges the curriculum, and experiential learning for our students and has societal impact in this way. I am looking forward to the Zone Learning students working in partnership with UWC on Air,” said Prof Lawack.

Adams is a veteran of both local and international TV. He cut his teeth in the industry at free-to-air channel in 2005. There he rose through the ranks – from sports reporter to anchor, and eventually sports editor. Never one to rest on his laurels, and always seeking a new adventure, he got his own show on the eNCA network, Sports Fan with Robin Adams, which he later built into an award-winning programme. 

Adams spent six years at eNCA, before moving on to international broadcaster Al Jazeera, headquartered in Doha, where he presented the sports bulletins on their flagship show, the Al Jazeera News Hour. Adams spent six years in the Middle East before returning to South Africa at the end of 2016. 

He joined Weekend Argus as their Assistant Editor in 2017 for six months. Another overseas adventure followed, this time at Turkish state broadcaster TRT World - the English language international channel located in Istanbul. Adams spent three years there before returning to South Africa in December 2020.

For a few months last year, Adams was a multi-media reporter for Weekend Argus. Just this week, one of his stories, Inside the beating heart of the cash-in-transit industry, saw him clinch the regional winner award in the financial and economics category at the prestigious Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards.

Adams joined UWC in April this year. He has primarily been overseeing the UWC On Air project.

“When people ask me what I do for a living, I tell them I am a builder. I like to build new things. So, when the idea of building a TV platform for UWC was first floated, I thought: ‘Sign me up.’ I thought it would be such an exciting project, but it has exceeded even those expectations. It’s been excitement and fun non-stop,” said Adams. 

“We started on a blank canvas. We knew we could write our own incredible story on the history of this University. We started with the logo design and then eventually worked our way to a show rundown so stakeholders could get a sense of look and feel. The feedback was positive. In fact, people got very excited at the prospect of UWC becoming the first university in the country to have its own weekly TV show.

“We want to tell a wide spectrum of stories. So, the show really is a mix of that. Anything and everything from innovation in the courses we offer at UWC – some of which are preparing students for jobs that don't even exist yet – to the strides being made by our sports teams and clubs on campus. There’ll be a healthy dose of fun too!”

Abarder said it was heartening to see Adams’s influence on his colleagues, including multimedia content producer Jesi Townsend and acting brand and marketing specialist, Cardré Goliath.

“Robin has had a massive impact on our media team. Jesi and Cardré are already talented members of the team. Now they are thinking even bigger. We all are, thanks to Robin’s exuberance and energy,” said Abarder

UWC On Air’s first episode is ready for playout on Tuesday, 1 November, at 9pm. 
UWC on Air aims to tell a wide spectrum of stories - and put real people at the heart of every story in the weekly 30-minute programme
For more information on UWC on Air, contact Gasant Abarder on 083 294 6097.