Well-known scholar, government communicator and former journalist, Dr Naledzani Rasila from the Limpopo Department of Education said the influential power and role of community radio stations should always be taken into consideration when drawing up communication strategies. Rasila was addressing representatives from community radio stations, government departments and municipal communicators during the community radio workshop held at Musina Nancefield library. The workshop was organized by Musina Municipality communications unit as part of their obligation to empower local community media.

Dr Naledzani Rasila from the Department of Education (right) pictured with the Communications Manager of Musina Municipality Wilson Dzebu (left) and the Station Manager of Musina FM Selinah Phiri shortly after the community radio workshop.

Rasila said the effectiveness of community radio stations lies upon their support from the stakeholders and communities they serve. “These type of radio stations serve the interests of the community and should be owned and influenced by members of the local community. Community radios serve a typical geographic community and they should be very careful when packing their programmes and news bulletins. People are more interested in the news and content that affect them than stories that happened far away from where they stay.”

He added on the advantages of using radio as a medium of communication. “Radio is fast to report and able to give more updates on the news or event on continuous basis in a short space of time. It can spread news easily and can be accessed by majority people, especially those in rural areas where there are no other means of communication. Furthermore, you don’t have to stop what you are doing to listen to the radio because you can listen while doing other tasks.”

The station manager of Musina FM, Selinah Phiri thanked Musina Municipality for organizing the workshop. She said the workshop helped to share some of the challenges that community radios experience on daily basis. “We struggle to access advertising and paid partnerships which leads to lack of enough finances. This therefore becomes a barrier to our exposure to target audience. Sometimes advertisers also undermine us although we are strategically placed to reach their target audience. We are happy that the workshop has come up with possible solutions to all these challenges.”

Phiri’s sentiments were echoed by Ngavhelo Khavhu and Stanley Mushame who represented Makhado and Nzhelele FM respectively. “I hope we can have this types of workshops because they broaden our knowledge and thereby resulting in the efficiency of our community radio stations.” Said Khavhu.