Next month, Burundians will have a new radio station to listen to. According to theDirector of Hit Radio, the station will provide various educational programs as well as music.-By Yves Didier Irakoze
“Burundian songs will be exported to other countries where Hit Radio broadcasts. That is the most valuable aspect of Hit Radio for Burundi, especially for Burundian singers”, says Eli Kodjoakou, Africa Director of Hit Radio.
Hit Radio aims to promotecloseness between cultures, between music andbetween artists of Africa.According to the director, Hit Radio will provide training to journalists and musicians. It will help to promote musicians and assist them in organizing concerts abroad .
Kodjoakou goes on saying that while the station has an international reputation, each country has its own particular program. “We want to boost and promote Burundian music and young Burundian talent in the other countries where Hit Radio broadcasts. We will also air programs on women’s health, culture and youth”, Kodjoakouindicates.
The news about the new radio station is welcomed by Burundian singers. According to Jean BoscoNiganze, Burundian singer of the band Peace and Love is happy to hear that Hit Radio comes to promote Burundian music. He indicates that it’s now up to Burundian singers to show what they are capable of.
“Yes, we have the local Radio Frequence Menya which broadcast music but it covers only Burundi. However, Hit Radio will broadcast our music in both Europe and Africa. This is a great thing for Burundian musicians in the way that in Burundi we notice a lack of managers to support musicians. This will also help us to participate in International Music Festivals and meet other artists of the world”, indicates Bosco Niganze.
Samantha Michelle Katihabwa, a Burundian singer also appreciates the idea and welcomes the radio. “I’m happy with Hit Radio for its main objective is to boost Burundian music and Burundian singers around the world. Before, it was difficult for Burundian music to reach other areas of the world”, she says.
However, she says, it’s up to Hit Radio to set up criteria and standards of the music they broadcast, so they set themselves apart from other local radiostations. “In that way, it will encourage artists to work hard and reach the same level as other international stars.”
Hit Radio started airing in 2006. Itnow has 75 frequenciesand broadcastsin Morocco, Algeria, Spain, Belgium, Portugal and Monaco. Two and a half years ago they started their extension tootherfrancophone countries like Senegal, Togo, Gabon, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and soon Burundi. “Hit Radio plans to start its activities before the end of this month and it will broadcast 24hoursa day, on 91.4 MHz. The first target province is Bujumbura City Council and then we’ll extend to Gitega and Ngozi Provinces”, says Eli Kodjoakou.