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Dialogue: taking radio to the people!
Taurai Maduna, Kubatana.net
April 13, 2006
View audio file details
from the Pumula community in Bulawayo, take part in the Radio
Dialogue community recordings
weeks ago, people of Old Pumula, a township in Bulawayo Zimbabwe's
second largest city, had a rare opportunity to express themselves
on radio. One by one they went up to the microphone and candidly
talked about their concerns regarding the shortage of mealie-meal
in the city.
Dialogue has embarked on an outreach programme that enables
communities to share their views. The recordings are then mixed
with music and distributed free of charge on cassette tapes and
CD's within communities through a programme called "Topical
It would be
much easier for Radio Dialogue to reach people by broadcasting live
but until the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) grants them
a licence it would be illegal for them to do so. According to the
Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), companies and organisations cannot
apply for a licence whenever they want. They have to wait for BAZ
to issue invitations to all prospective broadcasters.
Marketing Manager for Radio Dialogue said the community recordings
are a part of the Radio Dialogue advocacy campaign. Ms Nyoni said
the township meetings are being conducted in all of Bulawayo's 29
to audio file
Dialogue's Kholiwe Nyoni is interviewed in the Radio Dialogue
studios in Bulawayo
Ndebele, Production Manager for Radio Dialogue said the issues discussed
in "Topical Tunes" come directly from the community. Some
of these issues include elections, water and electricity cuts. listen
to audio file
Tunes" was first known as "Taxi Tunes" which were
a series of cassettes aimed at educating the people of Bulawayo.
They were distributed to taxi drivers who played the cassettes during
their journeys. Ndebele adds that "Topical Tunes" has
been effective. He said, "We know that it is an effective programme
because people give us feedback, they listen to the tapes and suggest
topics that we should discuss. The demand is so high that we need
to increase our production levels." listen
to audio file
has embarked on a number of income generating projects including
establishing a recording studio called Ingwe Studios. Ingwe Studios
gives aspiring musicians in Bulawayo the opportunity to record their
music. Mr Ndebele said that most of the established recording companies
shun hopeful young musicians opting rather to work with established
artists who are guaranteed to bring in the money.
has also launched the annual Umthwakazi Arts Festival. The festival
is held over three days in April and promotes the diverse arts and
culture of Bulawayo. The 2006 Umthwakazi Arts Festival is scheduled
to take place 27-30th April 2006.
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