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Shona exclusion a deliberate move, Khulumani FM says

by Staff reporter
27 Mar 2018 at 06:40hrs | Views
NATIONAL broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), has justified the exclusion of the Shona language from it's commercial radio station Khulumani FM, saying it was a deliberate move as it wanted to broadcast in languages that were unique to the radio station's 40KM radius.

This response comes after Chipinge West legislator Adam Chimwamurombe last week questioned why the newly established radio station is not broadcasting in Shona. His sentiments drew 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.

ZBC acting head Radio Services, Albert Chekayi, said Khulumani FM excluded Shona because it was a language that is spoken in most parts of the country.

He said there will be an opportunity for Shona to be used in other radio stations they are planning to establish.

"ZBC has provisions to set up four more local radio stations in four other provinces.

"When such an opportunity arises, such stations if they are set up will have content different from Khulumani FM and will broadcast in languages unique to such areas.

"One language that is spoken in most parts of the country is Shona. However, ZBC made a deliberate move to exclude Shona from the languages spoken on Khulumani FM as Shona will be on such stations as Central Radio (Gweru) which will broadcast in Shona, Ndebele and English," said Chekayi.

He said to cement their policy, they recruited people from the region who best understand the diverse cultures in Matabeleland.

"Khulumani FM's coming to Bulawayo also took the angle of empowerment especially among the youth. It should be noted that ZBC's policy is to recruit people with professional qualifications but as a way of empowering disadvantaged youths, the ZBC CEO waived the issue of qualifications so that talented youths in Bulawayo and Matabeleland could qualify.

"The recruited 13 personnel had to come from the three provinces, Bulawayo Metropolitan, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South. This was a deliberate move to recruit people who clearly understand the culture of the languages they speak that are unique to the province," said Chekayi.

He said there were artistes from the region who were not getting airplay nationally and Khulumani FM was an answer to that as 60 percent of the music that will be played was from them.

"Sixty percent of the music being played on Khulumani FM is from the Matabeleland Region, that is Matabeleland South and North as well as Bulawayo Metropolitan.

"This is a deliberate attempt by the national broadcaster to uplift artistes coming from that region financially through royalties from Zimura (Zimbabwe Music Rights Association) as well as being marketed to the public who in turn buy the music. Fifteen percent of the music comes from around the country to satisfy Statutory requirements of 75 percent local content and 25 percent of the music is regional (Sadc, Africa) and international," said Chekayi.

Source - chronicle