The Kalanga community in Bulilima and Mangwe has welcomed the licensing of the first-ever community radio station for BaKalanga – Radio BuKalanga (Pvt) (Ltd) by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
In a statement Wednesday, BAZ announced that it had issued broadcasting licences to eight community radio stations including Radio BuKalanga.
The other seven are Matobo Community Radio Trust, Twasumbuka Community Radio Trust (Binga), Chimanimani Community Radio Trust, Vemuganga Community Radio Trust (Chipinge), Ndau Community Radio Station Trust, Patsaka Nyaminyami Community Radio Trust and Madziwa Community Radio Trust.
“After licensing, the stations should be operational within 18 months failure of which the licences will be automatically revoked as stipulated by the Broadcasting Services Act,” said BAZ in a statement.
Radio BuKalanga steering team leader, Ntando Dumani told CITE, he was excited about the licence granted to their community radio initiative.
“As someone who has walked this journey for quite a bit of time now and who was leading the application process, I feel so excited,” he said.
“I don’t know how I can express how I am feeling right now because this is a very huge milestone for BaKalanga and I believe for generations to come this project will change their lives and the outlook of Plumtree community. I feel so excited and I know a lot of BaKalanga are also very excited and very grateful for having achieved this in their lifetime.”
He said they would now unpack the project to the community.
“The next step will be the actual establishment of the station which will require procurement of equipment and setting up the station and those technical things so that it is ready for broadcasting.”
Dumani said they would also be engaging people who would work at the project soon adding he was confident they would be on air within the 18 months period provided for in the Broadcasting Services Act.
He said despite resource mobilisation challenges and others, they remained very optimistic of succeeding at the end.
Kalanga Language and Cultural Development Association chairman, Sotsha Moyo said they received with excitement the news about Radio BuKalanga getting licenced.
“This radio station is going to give us a platform where we will share our community matters pertaining to the language, our history and all things that come with our culture,” said Moyo.
“Kalanga language has been marginalised for a long time now and thanks to the Constitution and the government of the day, it has realised that languages must be revived and not die. The languages are part of the people and the people.”