DJ tuned in to ambition
Hosting a radio programme is no easy job. It requires a lot of preparation, research and sometimes repeated recordings of the same content. But blind teenager Pinky Li Hin-kwai is determined to work towards her goal of eventually becoming a professional radio host.
Li, 18, is a Form Five student at Sai Kung Sung Tsun Catholic School. She currently hosts programmes for an online radio station for the Parents Resource Centre for Visually Impaired Children run by the Hong Kong Society for the Blind.
Her love of radio started at an early age, when she became hooked on the sounds of the voices that came out of it.
'I started to love listening to the radio when I was in Primary One and I liked to mimic DJs,' says Li. 'I recorded sections of the programmes, replayed them and 'dubbed over' the hosts' voices with my own to make me feel like I was hosting the programmes.'
Two years ago, Li attended a radio training course organised by the centre. Ida Chan, a former RTHK radio host, was an instructor. Li says the opportunity gave her a lot of useful theoretical and technical skills.
The centre is funded by the Hong Kong Jockey Club and organises activities for young blind people, such as field trips and handicraft classes.
Last year, Li recorded several radio episodes for the online platform, including music programmes and interviews with students, artists and helpers who interact on a regular basis with the blind.
Now she is hosting her own music programmes. She has to come up with a specific theme for each episode, making play lists that are relevant to the theme while coming up with a compelling script.
'I need to think of what songs to play and arrange their sequence,' Li says.
'A good sequence can make my message stronger and more touching. There is a technique to it. I need to speak at the end of a song but I have to avoid talking over the music. It took a lot of practice.'
But music is still a secondary interest for Li. Her first love is doing interviews. 'I like chatting to people and learning more about the interviewees,' she says.
Before an interview, Li spends a lot of time preparing. She researches her guest and comes up with suitable questions.
'Ida sometimes tells me to express myself in a more natural and fluent way,' she says, adding the sound equipment and computers sometimes put her off.
'I don't know how to use the buttons on the control panel, but other hosts have been so kind as to help me out,' she says. 'I feel I've changed a lot since working as a radio host. I'm now more confident in expressing myself.'
Additional reporting by Lai Ying-kit