Newcomer Lerai Rakoditsoe is making history as the first face on the continent to front a show on kids channel Nickelodeon Africa.

Sowetan has learnt that in an effort to open the industry, ViacomCBS Networks Africa will today unveil the 18-year-old born in Bassonia, south of Johannesburg, as the channel’s first African presenter.

Rakoditsoe will host new music show NickMusic, aimed at both kids and parents to enjoy after school. Set to premiere on May 17, the 30-minute show will put the spotlight on music from African artists and from all over the world. It will broadcast Monday to Friday on NickToons at 16.25pm.

“I am excited to be part of the Nickelodeon Africa family and to be the first young African host for the channel,” Rakoditsoe. “Having grown up watching the channel myself, I know how important it is for young minds to see someone like themselves on screen.

“Authentic representation is really important and to see myself on the channel is mind-blowing. I’m extremely grateful and looking forward to interacting with viewers across Africa and to show off some of my NickMusic moves.”

Rakoditsoe is a social change-maker serving as the executive of Girl Up Johannesburg that works towards female empowerment and addresses issues faced by the youth. The group falls under the global Girl Up leadership development organisation hosted by the United Nations Foundation.

“Nickelodeon promises to always stay true to kids across the continent. In our commitment to grow local relevance and content, we are solidifying this by now tapping into music as a passion point for our local viewers with the introduction of a family-friendly local music show,” said Dillon Khan, VP for Nickelodeon at ViacomCBS Networks Africa.

“In our commitment to always celebrate and recognise the power of youth culture across Africa, we welcome Lerai to the Nickelodeon Africa family and we encourage kids and parents to put on their dancing shoes and get ready for NickMusic.”