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Bulawayo radio station quizzed for not broadcasting in Shona

by Staff reporter
23 Mar 2018 at 06:06hrs | Views
CHIPINGE West legislator Adam Chimwamurombe has questioned why newly established ZBC radio station - Khulumani FM - is not broadcasting in Shona, drawing the ire of fellow members of the House of Assembly and the generality of Zimbabweans.

The radio station, which was established two weeks ago, broadcasts from Montrose Studios in Bulawayo in seven languages - Ndebele, Xhosa, Venda, Sotho, Tonga, Kalanga and English. It broadcasts to audiences in the Bulawayo Metropolitan Province and surrounding areas within a 40km radius.

Its programming is a mixture of talk (40 percent) and music (60 percent).

During a question and answer session in the House of Assembly on Wednesday, Chimwamurombe asked the Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, Ambassador Simon Khaya Moyo, what Government's policy was with regards to the languages that are used in broadcasting.

". . . This is in regard to the new Khulumani FM in Bulawayo where seven languages are used. I understand we have 16 national languages in our Constitution and the major ones are Shona and Ndebele. At Khulumani FM, they are using seven and leaving out Shona which is also one of the major languages.

"Is that not dividing people by having other languages being spoken and leaving out the major languages," asked Chimwamurombe?"

Glen Norah legislator Webster Maondera interjected saying his counterpart was misleading the House. Before he could explain further, the acting Speaker shut him up and asked Minister Moyo to respond.

Responded Ambassador Moyo: "We've no provision as regards to policy for any language discrimination. All the languages reflected in our Constitution are equal. Therefore, if there's any such situation which I'm not aware of and wasn't aware of, it's a matter which obviously I'll need to investigate and find out why.

"As for now, the policy is very clear and I hope that gives the Hon Member some comfort in the sense that I'll indeed investigate this development."

Thereafter, seasoned comedian Ntando Van Moyo responded to the parliamentarian via his Facebook page saying Khulumani FM's targeted audience were Bulawayo residents, most of whom are Ndebele speaking.

"Questioning why Khulumani FM doesn't use Shona language in their broadcast is s*****. First, it's called Khulumani not Taurai. We have stations that don't use IsiNdebele and no one gives a rats a**, embrace diversity lekele ubumbulu," he wrote on his Facebook page.

When contacted, Ntando added: "On Wednesday, there's a minister (sic) who asked why Khulumani FM uses Ndebele only and he didn't get a clear answer from his counterparts so I took to Facebook as a public sphere to share my opinion and give him a straight forward answer.

"Khulumani FM's target audience are Bulawayo residents and that's why the station is situated in the city."

Ntando, who is the founder of Umahlekisa Comedy Club, was praised by some who supported with his sentiments while others felt there was a need for the station to broadcast in Shona.

Backing with the comedian, Blessing Mukonomuwi wrote: ". . . I agree with you, the station is Khulumani not Taurai."

Another Facebook user, Evans Fundira, gave reasons why Khulumani FM should also broadcast in Shona.

"Interesting Ntandoyenkosi, so Al Jazeera is stupid to broadcast in other languages other than Arabic, BBC is stupid too to do it in other languages other than English, but as an entrepreneur, ignoring numbers is also a stupid thing.

"Hate it or like it, Shonas are many in Zimbabwe, even in Bulawayo. I hope this station (Khulumani FM) is about making money by advertising. If they want to be rich like ZiFM and Star FM they should consider broadcasting in Shona too."

Questions sent to ZBC on the matter had not been responded to at the time of print.

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Source - chronicle

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