13 July 2018

Zimbabwe: Star FM Turns Six

Six years ago on June 25 at exactly 12 noon; the song "Indestructible" by Pastor G went booming across the airwaves.

A group of men and women were gathered in the main lobby as this momentous occurrence happened. Many of us were in tears while others had their eyes shut.

The station we had been planning for, dreaming of, preparing for; training for; was born. It was real. What a powerful moment that was.

As the minutes wore into an hour- we faced up to this fact - for the first time ever in Zimbabwean history - an alternative to the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings' radio stations had been born. It was out there.

What followed can only be described as sheer hard work and determination by the Star FM management team and staff as well as the Zimpapers management team; who had first mooted the idea to go into broadcasting in the first place.

Now, if there is something that is difficult to do or accept, it is change. Change is hard. After all, Zimpapers had been known for more than a century as a newspaper company. Hence the naysayers would always be there who would scoff at the decision by Zimpapers to venture into a green field; radio. But Zimpapers had done its homework. It had been following trends in the region and globally and had realised that broadcasting was big and there was money in it.

Audiences were also following broadcasting and the numbers were big.

So radio broadcasting arrived on the doorsteps of Zimpapers. And what a ride it has been. Today the radio broadcasting division contributes significantly to the Zimpapers revenues. A whole new set of personalities; have been created who have become household names and brand ambassadors. Careers were formed and today things are no longer the same. There is real competition in radio broadcasting and no one can afford complacence.

It is truly beautiful to see the success that Star FM has been. Watching the Star FM team broadcasting from Borrowdale Road on June 25 as they marked their sixth anniversary one could be forgiven for shedding a tear or two and finding themselves going down memory lane remembering how the journey truly started.

What a way to mark their sixth birthday; through doing acts of kindness; for others.

Star FM celebrated it's sixth birthday by doing what they called 'pop up broadcasts.'

They were in different parts of the city of Harare and the morning shows were all dedicated to charitable causes. In the morning Nikki and ET went all out pushing for better awareness and appreciation around albinism and what people with albinism face on a daily basis.

Through the breakfast show they solicited for donations of hats, sunscreens and other things that people with albinism use.

It was gratifying to see Zimbabweans responding. Motorists took the time to stop and give towards the cause. On The Breeze Tariro/Mai Judah together with Ollah upped the antenna on raising Cancer Awareness. In line with the Zimpapers CSR push to raise awareness and appreciation of Cancer amongst Zimbabweans; the show was all about information dissemination around Cancer.

The TXO, with DJ Mox was in the Belgravia Shops vicinity and the focus was to raise school fees for underprivileged children.

KVG and Phathisani pushed HIV and AIDS information with a call for HIV testing and counselling.

What a way to celebrate six years of excellence in radio broadcasting? In business today; while the emphasis is on profits; there is also a growing call for social responsibility and greater investments in the society of operation. In celebrating its sixth birthday on a charity tip; Star FM ticked all the right boxes.

As the Radio Division General Manager Comfort Mbofana put it, "we are because of them".

"The people around us who love Star FM have brought us this far. It only makes sense that we celebrate our being; with them."

We wish them many more.

Zimbabwe

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