Namibia: community radio station created to preserve Kwedam

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KWEDAM-speaking San community members in the western Zambezi launched an online radio station in an effort to preserve their language and cultural values.

The Namibian visited the Namibian community radio station Kwedam in the village of Chetto, located about 190 kilometers from Katima Mulilo.

The young team are proud to be part of the initiative, which they believe will ultimately change their livelihoods for the better.

“Our language is dying of natural causes because since independence it is no longer taught in schools,” said Sophia Samboko (35), presenter at the station.

“We want our children to be proud of the Kwedam language. Right now, they are growing up mixing Kwedam with the languages ​​they are taught in school, and that takes away the authenticity of our language,” he said. she declared.

Samboko urged the youth and children of the Kwedam tribe to take education seriously.

“It is only through education that we will emancipate ourselves from poverty. Also, do not let yourself be consumed by alcohol and drugs because it destroys us,” she pleaded.

Another station volunteer, Collins Anderson (23), said his involvement with the radio station had changed his life, keeping him away from other social ills. He said many young people in the area have dropped out of school due to poverty.

“This radio station, if it grows, has the potential to employ a lot of young people in our community,” he said. He called on the government to electrify the village, especially for schoolchildren who study at night.

The radio station was launched in 2019, with equipment sponsored by Cultural Survival and Deutsche Gesellschaft Fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). Sonner station manager Geria said it broadcasts from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Geria added that they cannot broadcast past 5:00 p.m. as they rely on solar power.

“We buy our supplies from newspapers and tell our own stories locally. Many local artists also bring us their music. “

Geria appealed to the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies to bring transmission to their region because since independence they have been left out in terms of access to information, a right enjoyed by other Namibians.

“Our local people are excluded because most of them do not have internet access,” he said, adding that they were in the process of acquiring a broadcasting license, after which they would like to incorporate d ‘other San languages.


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