Yoliswa Dube-Moyo, Mat South Bureau Chief
THE Ntepe-Manama Community Radio Trust is inching closer to going on air as renovation work to turn a section of Manama Bible School into a broadcasting studio has taken off in earnest.
The station is set to go on air by April 2022.
Government last year issued licences in all broadcasting categories to diversify information dissemination and foster development in all spheres of society.
To demonstrate its commitment, Government has been opening up all categories of licences including free to air, commercial and community radio stations.
BAZ technical engineer Brian Mangena said they were happy with the progress made by Ntepe-Manama Community Radio Trust so far.
“When we had our first inspection sometime in August, we advised them to do some renovations so that we can convert the building they had identified to be a studio facility. They did what we told them to do. When we got there last week, we were looking at other refurbishments that they need to do. We advised them on the works they need to do before the equipment can be brought to Manama,” said Eng Mangena.
Ntepe-Manama Community Radio Trust programmes officer Ms Siphathisiwe Ncube said they will use a section of Manama Bible School until they have their own space.
“We applied for a building for rentals and were given a portion of the Manama Bible School. That’s where we’ll have the studio for the community radio. We’ll be renting that space until we build our own from the community space which we were promised by Gwanda Rural District Council.
“Currently, the renovations are at 60 percent and once we’re done with the renovations, BAZ will then equip the studio with the necessary studio requirements and then transmitters will be installed at Manama where there are Transmedia boosters,” said Ms Ncube.
She said they should be on air by April next year.
“By April we should be on air and we’re also going to push so that the station is on air before then. Currently, everything is being done under the digital media space including Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, YouTube and other social media spaces,” said Ms Ncube.
She said the station will serve marginalised rural communities which are information starved.
“We’re grateful to be one of the pioneer community radio stations. This brings hope that all voices in the community will be heard on radio once the studio has been set up. Those in rural communities will now hear their own people in their own languages on radio.
“A lot of people were relying on radios from other countries and this radio station will mark a new beginning for the people of Matabeleland,” said Ms Ncube. – @Yolisswa