UNESCO supports community media to develop and share local content in Kenya
Collaboration between performers, artists and community radio stations to generate radio content received a boost from a UNESCO-supported project over the six months before April 2013.
The project was implemented by the Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET) with the financial support of International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC).
It targeted the following five community radio stations: Radio Mang’elete, Mug’ambo FM, Sauti – Hundhwe FM, Mwanedu FM and Koch FM. The stations worked with theatre groups and artists to identify priority issues affecting their communities and from which a series of drama shows were produced.
The project commenced with a five days training and content development workshop in Nairobi on October 22 – 26, 2012. The workshop aimed at equipping community media groups with professional skills for the production and sharing of locally relevant content, so as to inform and engage community members in debates on issues of importance to the community and nationally.
The workshop was followed up by on-site visits to the five locations served by the community radio stations to mentor, monitor and evaluate content sharing. Some of collaborations established by community radio stations in the project included:
- Mang’elete community radio and Talents Afrika artists. Tackling the ravages of HIV/AIDS, they produced a drama series known as Nthanga ya Thayu (A stitch in life) for a 10 minute weekly radio show that goes on air on Wednesday and Saturday at 8.20 p.m;
- Mwanedu FM with Wafuasi Theatre. Dealing with the abuse of drugs, they produced radio drama known as Fumbo la Mwana (Puzzle of the child), in a 7 minutes weekly radio show that goes on air on Monday to Friday at 8.30 p.m;
- Mugambo FM with theatre artists from the local community highlighted alcoholism through a radio drama series known as Gutii Mbichi tiiri (There is no end to learning). A 10 minutes drama aired on Fridays at 9.20 pm and repeated on Tuesdays at 7.20 am;
- Sauti – Hundhwe FM with theatre artists from Community Youth Self-Empowerment Group (CYSEG) concentrated on community health. Their output was a drama series known as Sinyore, which means a reckless person, and the drama series is broadcast on Thursday at 8.00 pm at the radio station; and,
- Koch FM with local theatre artists from the community confronted corruption through episodes of a radio drama show known as Mlaleo. The drama series is broadcasted weekly on Thursdays at 7.45 a.m and on Fridays at 8.30 p.m at the radio station.