Pamoja FM 99.9…

Pmoja fmElectronic communications across Kibera are remarkably good. Third generation cellular networks and patchy wifi hotspots are available. Smartphone ownership using cost effective Chinese handsets, is highly valued and necessary to obtain work, information, maintaining rural contact and as important business tool. Swapping airtime credit for goods and services creates a virtual banking system in a bank bereft society and the M-Pesa application does this one better.

Local Radio is also popular and Pamoja FM (The Voice of Kibera) is prized. With rumoured listening audiences of around 400k it was an honour to be invited to take part in an hours broadcasting mid Sunday evening. Arriving at the dark and remarkably adept single studio based at the back of a dwelling was a relaxed to the horizontal affair. The host arrived a good three minutes before airtime, equipped with a pencil and paper enquired as to how we wanted to do this. Going live after a brief introduction and complete handover in Swahili tipped us over the precipice.

Adrenalin and years of standing at the front of teenage classrooms birthed a zoo-radio of rudimentary proportions whilst Facebook, twitter feeds, text and calls gave feedback. Aware of the predominantly Christian content the Muslim station owner called post show to say that he had never heard anything like it and would we come back to do more…

 

 

 

 

These writings are penned whilst in the field working with our friends who live and work in Kibera and it is hoped that they bring insight, understanding and a provocation that the status-quo is unacceptable. Please feel free to unsubscribe or share as appropriate. Any opinions implied or expressed are my own and names may have been changed for the sake of privacy.        

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