AMAKHOSI Cultural Centre is leading a partnership of like-minded people who have set up a company that will apply for a commercial Bulawayo metro radio station, director Cont Mhlanga said yesterday.
The station, to be known as Esabantu, has roped in former MDC director of policy and research Qhubani Moyo as chief executive officer.
Veteran broadcaster Englam Nyathi would be the new station manager.
In a statement, Mhlanga said they were responding to an advert by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) calling for applications for metro radio stations across the country from those interested in broadcasting.
“The opportunity has arrived at the right time when the country has gone past its political crossroads and is now ready to rise as the continent’s economic giant,” Mhlanga said.
He said they had covered a lot of groundwork and should they be granted a licence, they would be ready to build a high tech state-of-the-art digital radio broadcasting centre at Northend shopping centre. Mhlanga said the structure of the broadcasting venture and its programming would be made public soon after the application is launched with BAZ.
“We have appointed Moyo chief executive officer of Bulawayo’s own metro station. Moyo was a very familiar face in the country’s political landscape until recently when he quit politics to join the private sector,” Mhlanga said.
“Like many young people in the country, Moyo came through the Amakhosi family ranks since his high school days and understands Amakhosi’s vision to his bones.
“The station manager is a talented former ZBC broadcaster Englam Nyathi who will make sure that your FM stereo station will serve your interests and be the best radio voice — though just a metro station for Bulawayo only.
“Nyathi’s relationship with Amakhosi dates back to his early years at (ZBC) Montrose Studios.”
Mhlanga said should BAZ grant them a licence, they would recruit young talented radio announcers and train them under the guidance of veteran broadcasting teachers, Edward Moyo and Amon Nyamambi.
Mhlanga said their engineering report informed them that all the Amakhosi fans in rural Inyathi, Shangani, Esigodini, Mbalabala, Maphisa, Figtree, Solusi, Nyamandlovu, Insuza and Mbembesi would be able to tune in to the new station and become part of the fun.
“We are not stopping with radio as we will also be applying for a TV channel when the time comes for us to be able to bring you our valued fans a total Amakhosi entertainment experience,” he said.
“It is now just a matter of getting the licence in our hands and come June 1 2014, your station Esabantu will be with you wherever you are and wherever you go promoting your business, talent and interests.”
Bulawayo has one community radio station, Radio Dialogue, which has been denied a commercial licence over the years. The government has only licenced two commercial radio stations, ZiFM Stereo and Star FM, which is part of the Zimbabwe Newspapers group, ending years of the ZBC radio monopoly.