The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Radio Comes of Age

opinion

Whether one is having a good time or not the fact remains time waits for no man. For me 2012 has not been one of those years I can look back and say wow! Most importantly, I can safely say praise be to God I am still alive. As with every person, organisation or industry we take into account the progress made in order to justify our productivity and to project the next year. This week I want to begin to look at some of the things that have happened in the music industry in 2012.

The major highlight for the industry this year has been the launching of two new radio stations Star FM and Zi-FM. This definitely came as a God sent solution for all Zimbabweans as they felt that for too long they had feasted on the same meal and it was about time other players came on board.

The pleasure of listening to quality radio has been restored and you can hear it at work on the streets as listeners share and comment on some of the programs that they are enjoying. One thing I noticed up as I went around in search for opinions was that in order to grow healthy one needs to eat a balanced diet. This signified how the masses have welcomed this development

Broadcasting is a crucial instrument of modern society and a major booster of development for any nation. The artistic community celebrates this as a God-sent vehicle to assist them to further gain exposure and publicity of their works.

If music is the image and a window into a society then radio is the platform to hear and tell our stories to the world. If you remember when the broadcasting act was amended in favour of local productions to receive a larger amount of airplay we witnessed phenomenal growth in the industry.

More artistes, more home studios and everything that goes with the business.

This year saw tremendous rise in home studios, producers, artistes, etc. One of the major benefit for artistes in this development comes in the form of royalties. So I sought to find out the position from the organisation that takes care of that side of the story

Polisile Ncube, the executive director of Zimbabwe Music Rights Association, said the industry celebrates the achievement but they were negotiating with radio stations in terms of compliance with the requirements.

While this development expands the revenue streams for artistes in terms of royalties the fact on the ground currently is that they will only begin to enjoy this benefit come next year.

This year has given the radio stations an opportunity to test their equipment and signals and so as we speak they are broadcasting signifying better days ahead.

In terms of music programming Stanley Ruziva, an A&R manager, at one of the major record labels said urban pop and urban grooves was getting airplay as much as sungura music.

Richard Kohola is a music critic, development expert and radio presenter.

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