Former Star FM Presenter and producer, Nonkululeko Ndlovu also known as Black Bird or Bantu Queen has launched her own radio station, Bantu FM, Gemnation reports. The broadcaster spoke to the publication and revealed the reason behind her boss move of launching her own Pan African radion station. Ndlovu said the station will be based in Livingstone in Zambia and it will be a mixture of talk shows, and music:
Having worked for various radio stations in the past (including Star FM in Zimbabwe, Zambezi FM (Livingstone, Zambia) and Pan African Radio (Lusaka, Zambia) opened me up to the fact that the majority of radio stations do not have women in the ownership structures. Most women are presenters and sometimes work in marketing or occasionally as management.
But not once have I had the opportunity to work for a radio station owned by a woman yet women are the majority in the population of this continent. I found that also there is a serious age hurdle with many young people being assigned jobs as on air talent but being denied leadership positions in the organizations. I felt that as a young woman with the relevant experience and training I have to break the cycle both for youth and for women.
Another motivator was because as a musician I found that most stations cater for artists who have a budget plus management to negotiate sufficient airplay for them. In fact without some contacts at the radio stations many independent artists struggle to get on air. Bantu FM intends to bridge that gap by a simplified admissions process and also by giving more airplay to independent artists on our playlists.
Speaking about the funding, her team, the target market and the reception of her station so far, Ndlovu said:
I myself Nonkululeko Vundla am the founder of the station and the main investor. I also have one partner in the USA who is an African American brother by the name of Michael Randle who understood the vision of the station and decided to be part of it. We are however talking to other potential investors who would like to come on board and help us expand the vision.
We have a team of 18 on air staff while behind the scenes a team of 7 people are part of Bantu FM’s technical and administrative workforce
The reception during our first two months on air has been phenomenal with a lot of our audience coming from the Pan African space. Many people have voluntureed their services and are really excited about what this means for black media globally.
The majority of our audience are in the United States and part of the African American community. Many of our listeners are eager to connect with the Motherland so Bantu FM has become that bridge for them. We also have a large following from Africans who have relocated to the diaspora but still have a deep love for African music, culture and history.
The Bantu Queen and the station manager of Bantu FM said they do not cater for a specific nationality or country when she revealed that they support all African languages and cultures
We do not cater for any specific country, tribe or nationality. Instead our content is a mixture of music and talk shows from black people across the globe. We don’t discriminate on any African even if they don’t use English we support all African languages and cultures.