Friday, September 17, 2021

Shanganis fear Shona dominance of local community radio

Community activists in Chikombedzi have said they fear that the infiltration
of Shona dominance in the local economy will extend to the envisaged community
radio station, much to the disadvantage of the minority group, TellZim News can
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services; Ndavaningi Mangwana was in
the area for a sensitization workshop ahead of the launch of the radio station.
Government has revealed that it will
soon licence 10 language-based community radio stations with a bias to
previously marginalised communities especially those of minority groups.
One community leader, Levy Chauke said
Shangani language-proficient Shona people were wont to hijack programming and
turn the radio station into their own.
“Is this radio for Shangani people
in particular or anyone who is proficient in Shangani? We once had a situation
whereby non-Shanganis tried to take advantage of us by lobbying for a Shangani
community radio station. As you can see, we are at the heart of Shangani-speaking
community, but when you look around this room, there no any single Shangani
“Shona-speaking people are
dominating Shangani developmental projects with the assistance of the
government itself,” charged Chauke.
Centre for Cultural Development
Initiatives – Gaza Trust director Hebert Phikela also expressed concern over
language imbalances at Radio Zimbabwe and National FM where Shona and Ndebele
languages are considered the generic mother tongues for all Zimbabweans.
“As government, what are you doing
to correct the language imbalance on national radio stations like Radio
Zimbabwe and National FM where Shona and Ndebele dominate? I will have to wake
up at 06:00hrs to listen to a Shangani news bulletin, and if I miss that, it’s
over,” said Phikela.
Mangwana said the initiative to licence
community radio stations was to correct the wrongs of the country’s former
colonial masters who bundled minority languages into generic languages like
Shona, Ndebele and Manyika.
He said Shangani people will have their
own radio station to promote their cultural values and it will be owned by the
community itself.
“We have 16 official languages but
during the colonial era, the Smith regime bundled minority languages under
three common languages depending on their geographical positions.
“The radio station belongs to the
Shangani community so you will determine the leadership structure of that
community radio station, not government. We are only involved in policy
issues,” said Mangwana.
The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe
(BAZ) legal adviser, Joice Kupukai and chairperson Charles Sibanda also graced
the occasion.

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