The Sunday Mail
CAPITALK 100.4 FM has redefined broadcasting in the country ever since going on air.
The talk radio station announced its arrival on the scene on January 16, 2017 when they made their first live broadcast.
One year down the line, the community radio station is leading conversation in Harare with its exciting programming that has seen its listenership growing with each passing moment.
Talk radio is a fairly unexplored territory in the country but the station is holding its own and slowly establishing itself as a major player on the scene.
The station recently hosted a cocktail to jointly celebrate its first year of broadcasting and the completion of their state of the art facilities in Chisipite.
Zimpapers Group general manager for radio broadcasting services, Mr Comfort Mbofana told The Sunday Mail Society on the sidelines of the event that they are thrilled with the response received so far.
“We are very excited about the station and how it has captivated the Zimbabwean market because we don’t just view this as a Harare radio station despite our license saying so, we view it as a station for Zimbabwe and even beyond,” said Mr Mbofana.
“I think we have managed to attract such a huge listenership because this is not your ordinary talk radio station, we have expanded the form of talk, covering every subject that is affecting the community and allowing listeners to participate. We know we are only going to get bigger.”
Ms Nyaradzo Makombe, the head of content at the radio station, weighed in.
“This has been an exciting journey. When we set out we did not know the actual level of impact our talk radio was going to have.
‘‘It was something that we were going into for the first time but when we went on air and put the topics out there, we found people responding to us, which proved that we were on the right path,” noted Ms Makombe.
“We are very grateful to our audiences for having shown us the direction of the kind of conversations and sort of discussions that they expect to have at this level.”
She saluted the team that has been working at the station.
“The team that we took on board was fresh when we started.
‘‘They had not really had any radio experience but I think they have managed to hold their own, coming up with such a good product.
‘‘Our station broadcasts in Harare terrains yet we talk about things that affect people in different areas around the country.”
Station manager Mr Napoleon Nyanhi added that the penetration of the talk radio has been faster than they had anticipated.
“We thought it was going to take us at least two years to teach people about the concept since Zimbabwe has always had music radio stations,” said Mr Nyanhi.
“We had to inform people so that they get to have an understanding of a radio station that is not music oriented and then start to build from that but surprisingly it took us about eight months to have a significant listenership. After a year we were inundated.”
Capitalk 100.4 FM is an open platform where people call in all day giving their opinions and commenting on issues affecting them.
“We realised that in Harare, which is our main catchment area, people just wanted to be heard and wanted a radio station which was about them.
‘‘Right now, this radio station is about the listeners, so they set the agenda and then we lead the conversation.
“Now that people know we always come up with solutions, they call us with issues that are affecting them in their residential areas and we go and investigate so that when we then deal with the issues on air, we are well informed and ready for dialogue with callers,” revealed Mr Nyanhi.
The station has brought various innovations like podcasting and TV on radio, where people can and watch the show online, to name just a few.
During this election season, they have also introduced the radio rally platform where politicians can come through and conduct their rallies live on air.