UB goes on air with launch of online radio
The University of Botswana has added a feather on its creative hub with the launch on the 6th of May of an online radio channel. According to Professor Nkomazana, who presided at the launch, the idea of a radio station was long in the making. As way back as 2005. “When we brought up the idea it wasn’t possible because BOCRA had few frequencies that were on offer and the university couldn’t think of an FM radio and also then, the internet was not as good.’
He said they kept on knocking on the BOCRA door until they were told to explore an online opportunity which they fell for in 2019. “In 2019, we were given the permission to do the online station. Nkomazana said after the go ahead, they thought of the many platforms where the channel would be available and they settled for mobile devices and an app. “The radio can also be directly available from the website and other platforms would be made available later, he added.
It’s a youth friendly radio which has shows and programmes that appeal to all section of society. “As an online radio, much of the content will be transmitted in English with a provision for other languages, especially Setswana in the near future.
The radio has been the brainchild of media studies students who coincidentally provide the bulk of the radio’s producers and presenters but according to Nkomazana, they will allow students from other faculties to chip in with content.
“The radio is important for UB in that it’s a vital platform for those students doing broadcasting and other related courses. So in future we will make another request for another terrestrial radio,’ said the confident Nkomazana.
The UB’s vice chancellor, Professor David Norris, who was upbeat on the radio said the infrastructure at the university was comparable to any in the modern world. “The audio visual equipment is such an example of the resources that we have here. We also have the capacity to launch a TV station.
A fully functional radio will create deeper connections with the local communities,” he added. Botswana is one of a handful of countries worldwide without community radio stations and the advent of such stations and the coming from UB will definitely meet such a need for community channels half way.