Celebrating Radio voices that shaped Zimbabwe : #WRD2021

Today the world celebrates the international Radio Day. World Radio Day is an international day celebrated on 13 February each year. The Day was decided by UNESCO on 3 November 2011 during its 36th conference. In Zimbabwe radio has for years played a fundamental role in informing, educating and entertaining the populace.

By Plot Mhako (with excerpts from Wikipedia)

Radio was first introduced in the then Southern Rhodesia in 1933, in Belvedere in Salisbury (now Harare) by Imperial Airways, which was used to provide radio guidance and weather reports. However, it was not until 1941 that the first professional broadcaster was established.This was known as the Southern Rhodesia Broacasting Service (SRBS), and was established to meet the needs of the colony’s white population.The same year, a second broadcaster, the Central African Broadcasting Station (CABS), was established, which had responsibility for broadcasting to African audiences in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi) as well as Southern Rhodesia.

Following the creation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953, the SRBS was renamed the Federal Broadcasting Service (FBS).The CABS, still based in Lusaka, continued to use African languages as well as English.In 1955, a Federal Commission of Enquiry into the organisation of broadcasting in the Federation proposed the creation of a new broadcasting organisation, to be called the “Rhodesia and Nyasaland Broadcasting Corporation”, which was to be established in 1956. However, it was not until 1958 that the FBS and CABS would be merged into the Federal Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).

When the Federation was dissolved in 1963, the FBC was disbanded, and each territory acquired its own broadcasting service, which in Southern Rhodesia was initially known as the Southern Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation (SRBC).This later became known as the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation (RBC) then later the Zimbabwe Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation.

Mandy Mundawarara became the country’s first black television newsreader, whose father, Silas Mundawarara. Silas was the deputy to the short-lived Rhodesia Zimbabwe under Abel Muzorewa.

At independence in 1980 the state broadcaster was renamed Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). ZBC maintained a monopoly with four stations catering for different demographics namely Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 which were later renamed Spotfm (SFm and now Classic 263) , Radio Zimbabwe, Powerfm and National FM.

In 2000 after a prolonged legal battle Capital FM became the first “unofficial” private station to go on air and began broadcasting with a transmitter set up on a hotel roof in Harare. However this was to only last for six days. Around the same time another pirate radio station FM 100 went on air and was shut down within a few days.

In June 2012 the Zimpapers owned Starfm became the first private commercial radio to officially go on air followed two months later by ABC communications run Zifm Stereo.

The break in monopoly has seen the growth of stations from 4 to 17, one online radio and several podcasts. Radio in Zimbabwe continues to evolve, ushering in generations of young talented presenters, Djs, newscasters.

earGROUND would like to pay tribute and appreciation to some of these names whose voices we greatly love and loved. Sadly some of them are now deceased (May their souls rest in peace) but their voices still resonate today.

NB: The compilation below is not exhaustive so kindly feel free to add more names in the comments.

Mandy Mundawarara, Mbuya Mlambo,  Webster Shamu, Alyce Chavhunduka, Musi Khumalo, Ephraim Chamba, Ishmael Kadungure, Haile Velapi Mlangeni, Joseph Hussein, Hosea Singende, Kennedy Masawi, Loveness Muchina, Busi Mhlanga, Malaki Nkomo, Maguire Godzongere, Grey Gambiza Moyo, Tilda Moyo, Mike Mhundwa, Ezra Sibanda, Erick Night, Josh Makawa, John Matinde, George Munetsi, Tich Mataz, Fungai Marange, Tony Friday, Bridgette Gavanga, Innocent Manase, Nomceba Mkandla, Innocent Tshuma, Joseph Panganai, Deans Patrick Mutume, Peter Johns, Simon Parkinson, Scott Matengambiri, James Maridadi, Violet Gonda, Tafadzwa Sikwila, Eunice Goto, Comfort Mbofana, Hilton Mambo, Tsitsi Mawarire, Elisabeth Chengeta, Rumbidzai Mugwira, Daves Mugadza, Themba Mkanda, Pathisani Sibanda, Biggie Zhanje, Tinashe Chikuse, Leander Kandiyero, Jadie Jam, Conrad Mwanawashe, Elvis Chimene, Kelvin Sifelani, Felix N’anjo, Otis Fraser, Sam Sibanda, Simon Pashoma Ncube, Patrick Bajila, Caleb Thondhlana, Elvis Chimene, Barney Mpariwa, Violet Gwara, Sokostina, Tendai Chakanyuka, Terence Mapurisana, Tendai Garwe, Admire Taderera, Munya Mlimo, Tilda Moyo, Brenda Moyo, Layaan Souljah, Elsie Mojapelo, Larry Kwirirayi, Napoleon Nyanhi, Tonderai Katsande, Tawanda Gudhlangah, Samantha Musa, Nkokhelo Khumalo, Patience Musa, Delani Makhalima, Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa, Godfrey Gweje, Blessing Zulu, Ola 7, Rumbi Lod, Pakhamani Tshila Ndlela, Glenda Takachicha, Sifelani Chikwape,  Benkosi Maphosa, Butterfly, Perfect Hlongwane, Nikki in the Stars, Farai Mwakutuya, Carlton Mujuru, Ishmael Ndlovu, Shingai Mokina, Soneni Sibanda, Tarisai Chiperere, Babongile Sikonjwa, Marvelous mhlanga Nyahuye, Kanyemba Bhonzo, Bhozhongora, Elroy, Shelter Kwaramba, Templeman, Martha Mamombe, Witness Matema, Mo Chanda, Posenti Ncube, Hazvinei Sakarombe, Ayati, Glenda, Dennis Wilson, Gerry Jackson, Etherton Mutemasango, Nyaradzo Makombe, Thabani Gambiza, Season Ndundu, Candice Mwakalyelye, Shugeta, Robison Umari, Ntungamili Nkomo, Lionel Mkandla, Ronald Chiwanza, Richmore Siyakurima, Sivhukile Simango, Day Walker, Skywalker, Jabulani Hove, Tinashe Okamaskhosana, Soneni Gwizi Kimble Rogers, Philip Makuzha, Oscar Pambuka, Symlie, Steve Vicker, Farai Marumai, Zandile Ndlovu, MissV Candy, Mark Pozzo, Barry Manandi, Valentine Mabhugu, Thulani Siziba, Richard Kohola, ProFound, Fiona Ncube, Patricia Jacob, Mbale, Khaya Moyo, Emity Smooth, Donna Ncube, Prometheus, PD Tha Ghost, Lady K, Sliq Kay, Tinopona Katsande, Martin Mushonga, Merciless Zim, Abisha Palmer, ESKay, Yvonne Mangunda, Itai Mutinhiri, Andrew Mupembe, Mercy Ndlovu, Nathaniel Ncube, Felistas Mdhangove, Eddie Mukubvu, Dumisani Sibanda, Zanele Chengeta, Wadzanai Mombera, Taboka Ncube, Kieth Mawoyo, Owen Kaura, Kritik Igwe, Sibongumisa Dhlodhlo, Lynette Manzini, Thulani Siziba, Susan Masinyani,  Yvonne Tendai, Thulani Munyandi, Spencer Banda, Gibbs Dube, Carole Gombakomba and many many other amazing broadcasters whose names we did not mention. 

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