By Providence Maraneli
The establishment of Ntepe-Manama Community Radio Station in Gwanda has set the ball rolling for the economic development of the area.
The excitement and the vibe among the Sotho presenters at the new radio station is testimony that their dream has finally come true.
This is a community radio station that is set to broadcast widely in Sotho language, testimony of the Second Republic’s inclusive development drive.
The radio presenters say the development has given them power to become ambassadors of government’s development agenda as the country surges towards Vision 2030.
“It’s a miracle that we the people from Manama are going to broadcast in our language. It was confusing listening to foreign radio whilst we are in our country,” said a presenter.
Another said, “The government is embarking on different development projects and we are going to be the ambassadors.”
“We have a lot of talent among our youths and we are going to promote our own artists. We are so excited,” added another.
With government seized with massive infrastructure development in Gwanda, including construction of Thuli-Manyange Dam, Guyu-Manama road and resuscitation of Guyu-Chelesa Irrigation Scheme, the coming in of Ntepe-Manama Community Radio Station may be a cog in the wheel for economic development in the area.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Mr Nick Mangwana said, “Remember our mantra, ‘leaving no one and no place behind’ and if this place was getting a signal from South Africa and Botswana, it meant that it was left behind and now with this community radio, this place is no longer behind because that is the driving force which the President is implementing, to bring development to each and every corner of this country leaving not even a square-inch undeveloped.”
“We have Thuli-Manyange here and other projects here. It shows that no place will be left unattended and more so, the President’s flagship policy of devolution will bring development to the people and this radio station is an initiative from the local authority and government was there to make sure that the initiative was supported and making sure that it was capacitated and this is the reason we are here, leaving no place and no-one behind.”
Meanwhile, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) is training Ntepe-Manana Community Radio presenters to develop their broadcasting skills.
Government has so far licenced 14 community radio stations, with Avuxeni in Chiredzi, Inyangani and Chimanimani in Manicaland already on air.