Station Manager’s corner
As we steadily approach 2019 with anticipation, and look back at 2018 with either nostalgia or compunction, Phalaphala FM considers the current year with mixed emotions, in that although there has been numerous insurmountable challenges, there were moments where the Station consolidated the emotional bond it has built with its loyal audiences over the years.
Recently, although it is an open secret that the corporation is facing financial challenges, Phalaphala FM did not sit back, as we racked and scraped in order to host an artist workshop in Thohoyandou on 29 November, as a way of empowering our local artists. Our objective has always been to ensure that our local artists produce quality, entertaining and relevant music so that when we speak of local content, the biggest chunk should be Tshivenda music in the long term. It is quite exciting that of late, our artists are coming up with projects that can compete nationally and indeed internationally; however, there is still a gap when it comes to up and coming artists who believe in cutting corners and expecting that their music must be scheduled on the basis that they are in the language which the Station broadcasts in; moreover, artist who are finding ground and those who are already established still lack the marketing and public relations aspects to make them truly competitive. That is why we invited people like Lwei Netshivhale, an established Jazz artist and music lecturer, Music Producer Hani Mutele, SAMRO and the Department of Arts and Culture to share some wisdom that will lift our artists to a higher level.
We are pleased to announce that Lwei was touched by the plight of artists and has committed future collaborations with the Station to ensure that our artists are truly empowered and can look forward to the future with glee; Moreover, our artists suggested that each show should open with a Tshivenda hit, not just a Tshivenda song, but something which appeals to the ear and the mind. We are very happy to oblige to this request, mainly because our long term objective is that when you tune to Phalaphala FM, you should be able to identify the Station without imaging, through the music played, which should be mainly Tshivenda Music; hence our plea to our artists to come up with powerful projects to ensure that this dream becomes a reality.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes to our traditional leaders and local business who ably and willingly ensured that the “Ri a Luvha” project became the success it was. Apart from re-connecting our people with Tradition, the project also promoted local tourism and provided an opportunity for listeners to rub shoulders with their favorite presenters and DJs, moreover, Presenters got a glimpse of audiences’ life styles and concerns, which assisted them to be relevant when packaging their content, for, knowing what your audience is talking about always assists to shape content to remain relevant, as they say, content is King. So everyone benefited from “Ri a Luvha” project as the project was a symbiotic one and was a reminder to all of us that, “ U luvha a hu na mapone”.
In response to the quest for healthy living, Phalaphala FM will continue with aerobics marathon project, similar to the one we hosted at Thavhani Mall on Youth day. We, however, envisage moving around our footprint areas as not everyone can access the malls and we would like most of our listeners to adapt to the paradigm of “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. The Station will continue to touch the lives of our people as we have done through features such as “Vhutanzi Hanga”, which assisted, Nqobile Nkomo from Chiawelo, Soweto, a victim of domestic violence who was severely burnt and our listeners responded accordingly; she was eventually assisted through her recovery process and our good Samaritans assisted her by offering transport to and from Hospital, food donations and money to augment her medical bill. Nqobile was discharged from the Hospital in September and says she is eternally grateful for Phalaphala FM listeners he helped her pull through this nerve – racking ordeal. We hope she will have a better festive season this year. To all the people who have contributed to Vhutanzi Hanga, either through their own testimonies or by offering counseling, we take off our hats to you and encourage you to continue extending a hand of help.
Our programming will continue to respond to societal challenges, be it the plight of domestic workers, service delivery, spending money responsibly and the ever increasing pyramid schemes masquerading as best investment options whose main disposition is to fleece our people of their hard earned money. We shall continue to be the voice of the voiceless and expose those who dare trample our people’s constitutional rights.
We shall explore new ways of hosting our annual Royal Heritage Festival by coming up with innovations that talk directly to empowering local communities and improving local tourism. This year we added comedy to the menu, which saw local comedians displaying their talent, and we plan to eventually fill the whole by adding more events over and above the existing Health Walk, Musangwe and Comedy. There is no doubt that the Royal Heritage Festival is growing in leaps and bounds. We are confident that the next offering will also be bigger.
Our Annual Overseas tour will venture Vietnam next year, and yes, we have noted that our audiences have emphasized the importance of setting aside a day or two for shopping. We have identified areas where our people will have an opportunity to do shopping even after a day’s tour, over and above days set aside for shopping.
Finally, lets us not buy the things we do not need as January is just around the corner. Let us have a restful period with friends and family, avoid excessive use of the road, do not drink and drive, be patient with one another and just enjoy the festive period. See you next year and have a good one! RI NA ‘NWI MISI YOTHE!