!ah Radio was established in 2003 in Tsumkwe, Otjozondjupa region, about 708 km from the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek. The radio station covers a radius of 80-170km. It is a local public radio which is still operating through analogue system and does not use any ICTs as it lacks even a single computer in the studio. The radio targets the three San’s community dialects, namely Ju/hoansi, Khoedam and !khun with news, health, educational programs and traditional stories. The target community is derogatively known as the Bushmen whose traditional social organization is nomadic with the construction of temporary shelters, usually from tree bark, palisades or grass. The Bushmen are considered the poorest and most marginalized community in Namibia with dire need of affirmative action among other things in enabling free flow of communication and information that addresses serious issues of local concern such as high prevalence of teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and lack of education and basic development in the region. !ah Radio will benefit from participating in this project given the several challenges it faces such as dire lack of human and technical capacities at the radio station.
- High prevalence of teenage pregnancies
- Alcohol abuse
- HIV/AIDS and TB
- Over grazing of livestock
- Most of the land is not fertile, farming becomes difficult
- Problems with food and water supplies (has to come all the way from Grootfontein)
- High level of school drop outs
- Passion killing and women abuses
- Lack of education
Katrina Cwi and Dorothea Jonas, both working as producers on !aH radio, describe what radio means for them and why working on the radio was not that easy from the beginning. To discover how !aH Radio works to transform people's mentalities through its women role models listen the audio below.