NKHATA BAY RADIO INITIATIVE
We decided to start Nkhata Bay’s first radio station after an inspiring visit to Mzimba Community Radio in 2001. Since that time we started teaching the community about recording and broadcasting for radio, using the media room at Butterfly. The long-term aim is that the community here in Nkhata Bay will be able to set up their own Tonga radio service so that information and news can be disseminated in a language the people understand. Although there was a major setback initially, we have recently taken great strides. We have received an excellent building from the District Assembly here in Nkhata Bay and with many influential community members in the Committee we are now registering as a Trust; Kandoli FM
Radio is the perfect way to reach the majority of the people in such a rural country like Malawi as it is the most accessible medium. It became clear that prior to the establishment of the radio station, we would need to get many students knowledgeable about the technologies involved. Working with an increasing number of students about the skills involved in journalism, editing and radio broadcast there is no end to the amount of skills needed that we would end up with a fully functioning, relevant, educational and enjoyable community radio station here in Nkhata Bay.
We have utilised different fundraising strategies to continue the renovations at the building; the community organised a big walk, support from local businesses and those from far away, a Crowd funder, but we are looking into more substantial support to get the full transmitter. Freddie a recent volunteer from Suma Wholefoods got stuck into the painting and now, with electricity connected, a good paint job and some basic equipment we are hoping to be set up in there pretty soon. This will be initially for interviews, editing and workshops and later broadcasting and community programmes. .
At the start of this year we had a great journalism volunteer, Judith Weymont who taught a basic radio broadcasting workshop to students. This is her third year here and she has continued to support us from back in the UK where she sourced and sent some of the equipment now being put in the radio. Again we are trying to make links with media colleges in the UK so we can increase the numbers of media volunteers here.