Capitalk targets national licence

“WE intend in two years to lobby for a national licence as the content of the station is pertinent to every Zimbabwean. Many of our listeners have pointed out that it is unfair that Capitalk be restricted to Harare only yet there is a nationwide gap for the content we produce.”

This is the vision of one of Zimbabwe’s brightest media minds, Napoleon Nyanhi, the station manager of Harare Metropolitan Province radio station, Capitalk 100.4FM.

Appointed Capitalk station manager in November 2016, after a one-and-a-half spell as programming manager at Star FM, Nyanhi had the unenviable task of penetrating the most contested space when it comes to media products, Harare.

The Kingstons-owned but Zimpapers-managed Capitalk went on air for a full broadcast on January 16 2017 and ever since, the project has grown from a tiny mass of cells to a fully developed baby.

It may have taken more than a human mother’s nine months pregnancy or that of a giraffe, which is 13 or so months, but this special baby is certainly about to be born. As inevitable as the birth of any creature once the time is right – a glamorous, five-star launch to celebrate Capitalk 100.4FM’s arrival is on the cards.

The 33-year-old that has overseen the development of Capitalk, Nyanhi, says it has been a challenging 12 months.

“It has been a difficult but fulfilling year as I was given the difficult task of establishing a radio station in Harare. We had to come up with strong penetration strategies to influence listeners to switch from their then favourite stations and start listening to us.

“We also endeavoured to create listeners out of people who were not keen on listening to the radio at all. We have soldiered through the construction phase of our studios and for a good six months we virtually had no interaction with our listeners either through social media or phone lines, but we kept going,” said Nyanhi.

Having auditioned potential presenters in December 2016, Nyanhi says most of those he recruited wrongly believed that “we’re about to become superstars”, only to be met with the harsh reality of how much work was required of them.

“In December (2016) we auditioned and signed new voices who had never been heard on Zimbabwean radio. We started rigorous training with the new personalities and had our first full broadcast on January 16 2017. Since then it has been a roller coaster of training and equipping the presenters to become a force to reckon with in the industry.”

Nyanhi says his team has come a long way and they have excelled beyond expectations.

“I am very proud of my team and look forward to more growth in 2018. Our mandate as the first commercial talk radio station in Zimbabwe is a unique and difficult one, that is why it may take longer for us to say we have achieved, say, 80 percent of our targets.

“We are having to learn a lot of things from South Africa and Europe as there is no local template for a station such as ours. We continue to invest in training and development to ensure maximum efficiency within our teams. In five years we should be courting regional relevance. We would like to be competing in other markets outside Zimbabwe,” he said.

From a part time staffer at Star FM in 2012, Nyanhi rose to become a full time presenter in 2013 and was elevated to programming manager after two years to replace Comfort Mbofana who had been promoted to general manager.

“After serving in that capacity for a year-and-a-half, I was presented with the challenging assignment of creating a concept for a new Harare radio station. After presenting the concept, I was appointed the founding station manager for the project, which is now a formidable radio station, Capitalk 100.4FM,” said Nyanhi.

Nyanhi was recently named one of the most influential leaders under the age of 40. In 2017, he also received an award as first runner up Young Manager of the Year at the Megafest Business Awards.

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