The new isiZulu 24-hour commercial radio station, Vuma 103 FM, went live late last week, reaching greater Durban, beyond Pietermaritzburg, Greytown, Ballito on the North Coast and Scottburgh on the South Coast.
"Its mandate is unique in KwaZulu-Natal," says station manager, Phindi Gule. "We will be broadcasting in 90% authentic isiZulu and 10% English (never Zunglish), as for a long time there has been a strong indication that an isiZulu renaissance is underway in our province and so we have chosen to use authentic language geared to engender a sense of pride and identity within our communities."
While the station's content will consist of 70% music, aimed at keeping listeners entertained and close to their radios throughout the day, they can expect to be kept updated and informed on hot topics and current talking points. "It is a sophisticated, positive, inspired, adult, contemporary music radio station," says chief operating officer, Nolan Vernon.
The station's main shareholders are KNI and One Gospel TV Channel, which came together nearly three years ago with a vision for a new, inspired radio brand for KwaZulu-Natal. The music lists will be drawn from popular inspirational and gospel music, both local and international. Weekdays and Saturdays will be committed to a variety of shows packed with music, interesting information, news, sports, current affairs and interactive talk shows and Sundays will be devoted to inspirational song and praise.
The station has attracted some top presenters who are reportedly already well established on the airwaves. "Senzo Myeni and Siya Malinga are both on board," says Gule. "We also want to appeal to the ladies and make sure that women's issues are addressed and debated and we also welcome Sister Kay, Leleti Khumalo and Phindile Kweyama. One of our sports presenters is Nomfundo Khaba, who has a fervent taste for boxing and soccer as well as a passionate array of other sports interests too. She certainly breaks the mould."
Others in the lineup include personal trainer and sports fanatic Mike Nzimande, Thabani Mbatha, Felix Hlope and actor Sthembiso Sibisi who loves both arts and sports. One can also enjoy Dumisane Buthelezi, news and views from Phumlani Nkwanyana, late night chats with Protus Mkhize and open-hearted conversations with Ndoni Radebe. Completing the line-up is Nhlanhla Makhanya and Thabo Mzimela.
Locality, software, new concepts
Located in the easily accessible precinct of Umhlanga New Town Centre, just opposite Gateway, the station has state of the art studios and equipment and the first and latest broadcasting software of its kind in the country. The professional setup will assist the on-air teams and presenters in delivering across the KwaZulu-Natal region.
The creative team has a whole range of concepts in store for listeners. "We are keen to break new ground and offer an unusual mix of programmes that caters to the diverse taste of our listeners," explains Gule. "For instance, we will introduce a short morning session with a well-known imbongi to get the day started in a positive and uplifting way. We also plan to be out and visible at key events, whether they are sports or cultural events, family occasions, or celebrations, so that people can meet us and get to know us."
For more, go to www.vumafm.co.za