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Local Radio Promoting Citizens’ Interactive Participation

Trust Mauyasva
Written by Trust Mauyasva

Radio has in Zimbabwe been largely used a platform for entertainment as DJs play music from a wide spectrum of genres. By so doing, they cater for the various sections of society defined by distinct cultures on the basis of ethnicity, background and other factors.
It however should be noted that, radio is a platform to spark conversations on issues that tend to have an effective influence on society. Popular local radio personalities have become a focal point to connect with the audience on certain issues.

The value of these discussions hosted by radio show hosts and hostesses lies in discovering some of the views that may have been considered obsolete but are still very much actively being subscribed to by certain sections of society.

These radio discussions also aid in educating the audience on some traditional and cultural norms that have apparently been overshadowed by modernity and undergone acculturation.
To those that adhere to the belief that each day should have a certain fraction dedicated to new knowledge accumulation, local radio has therefore become an important factor in that daily learning ritual. By default, local radio is pushing for an interactive society that is often buzzing with serious life issues in discussion.

Local radio listeners are in a way functioning as a support group that is ready to aid with the pro’s and cons of any given matter affecting one.
Day by day, occurrences from legislative issues, religious, cultural, traditional and matrimonial sections of life befuddlingly thrust persons in great astonishment. It would appear as if the fabric of local norms and at times morality, is slowly been unweaved and is being rendered archaic without the need to be valued. Radio then steps in to get the listeners to shares ideas and debate on these and related issues.

Such a contribution by local radio moves broadcasting from primarily information and entertainment to education and community engagement by bringing together different minds that would have at most not been availed a platform to participate in live discussions on a national space.
The increase in conversation hubs on radio is the effective opening up and widening of space to give the citizens from all walks of life opportunities to add their view on issues that affect them. Decisions no matter how small should not be left in the hands of few individuals who occupy the top echelons of societies’ branches but instead by the ordinary man going through that issue. Radio is sparking those conversations that bring the ordinary man to the forefront of discussion.

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