Community Radios To Boost Grassroots Arts, Music Sector

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

Zimbabwe has not licenced community radio stations as yet.The public broadcaster ZBC’s four radio stations broadcast from the capital Harare and Bulawayo while the new national commercial radio stations also broadcasting from Harare.

It is this scenario that has seen Kadoma-based music producer Fanuel Kanyongaise and others get little recognition in the arts sector despite possessing talents that can equal or surpass those in the two big cities.

In an interview, the 33-year-old said if government encourages the opening of community radio stations they could carve a niche in the music industry.

“We struggle to get airplay on all these established radio stations coming from small towns, but if the government avails licences to community radio stations we can definitely make our mark in the arts sector,” argued Fan Kan as Kanyonganise is affectionately known.

The music producer, who has worked with an array of Kadoma artistes, is, however, pleased with the National Arts Council for reaching out to small towns.

“The arts governing body, National Arts Council, should be given the thumbs-up as it regularly conducts workshops here which have been very useful for us,” quipped the affable music producer.

The producer has worked with many artistes that include Mzimba the Chairman, Trice and Nastro among many others who, however, have managed to receive airplay on the local stations.

The music producer has also lamented the piracy scourge and said they had since teamed up as artistes in Kadoma on a song to voice their dissatisfaction on the “cancer”.

“As artistes we are deeply disturbed by piracy and it is through our song Anti-Piracy that is on a compilation album called Vigo Volume 1 that we have lashed out at those involved in piracy to spare a thought on the impact of their actions on artistes’ livelihoods.”

Last month, the Parliamentary Portfolio committee member on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, Mazowe North legislator Edgar Chidavaenzi, expressed the need to establish community radios expeditiously saying they were a tool for development and employment creation.