‘Talk radio, a limitless portal’

Andrew Moyo
“TALK radio is a limitless portal for thought leadership, for igniting inspiration, for sharing ideas, for resolving daily issues and for expressing oneself.” Popular radio personality Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa expressed these sentiments during an interview with The Sunday Mail Society last week. With the majority of radio listeners used to programming that is biased towards music, talk radio is something that sounds foreign to many despite the impact it can make in society.

While many local radio stations prioritise music, there are many talk shows that have proven to be popular, which shows that such programming is a necessity. Parirenyatwa said that talk radio was still an unexplored culture that was under-appreciated in the country despite being a key avenue of communication. “Some can’t imagine 90 percent talk when they are used to listening to 90 percent music but the reality is that Zimbabweans have so much to say about everything but they have not yet found the platform or a ‘safe space’ in which to do so. “This is why we take to social media to rant, re-tweet and create memes but to what end? What if we actually engage one another, the powers that be, the leaders that are learned, the no one who is actually someone and everyone who makes up everything we stand for or fall against. How about we talk?”

She pointed out that there was need for engagement with the country’s elections just around the corner.  “Going into an election season we need to talk now more than anything because music is great as it keeps us sane, but we need to face our demons as a nation and build a little. So if marketed aggressively and explained clearly, talk radio can really change the narrative of Zimbabwean broadcast media.”

She added that radio in general was invaluable, pointing out that it was every person’s best friend. “We have a routine and if it’s in any type of vehicle, be it public or private transport, you are used to your DJs and presenters at that very time, you are used to the sound, you are used the vibe.  “This is the fun side of radio and since we were little radio has been an integral part of our commuting life, then it slumped for a while and finally when the airwaves opened up in 2012 we are finally getting back into that culture.  “For business, radio has offered new alternatives for products and services to clients and partners. This is more so because radio is not just audio these days as radio can be seen and touched in the world of outdoor broadcasts and with social media the radio game has completely changed.”

From next month the talented radio host will be joining the team “leading the conversation” on the new and vibrant talk radio station, Capitalk 100.4 FM. “I am coming on board as a freelance talk show host for a weekly show for one hour. Nothing more than that and certainly nothing less.”

Parirenyatwa has not been on radio for more than seven months and as it turns out, she has not been coping well with the hiatus. “This one year off radio has not been easy, I miss it. Radio is one of the many chords that my heart beats to.”

Capitalk 100.4FM is Harare’s premier talk radio station telling and reflecting Zimbabwe’s story from the viewpoint of the Hararian and with a catchment of over three million people, it has a vision to be the most credible source of news, sports, business analysis and current affairs in the country.

Parirenyatwa started radio on UCT Radio when she was a student at the University of Cape Town, joining in her second year as a talk show host for a two-hour show that covered current affairs but very biased towards campus issues.

When she moved back to Zimbabwe, ZiFM Stereo was her next port of call and this is where she grew to become one of the finest radio hosts on the land before her departure late last year. She now has her own talk show “Ruvheneko Online”, which is aired weekly via the Facebook Live platform.

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