The story of a Hot 91.1 community radio station is an inspiring one full of hope and comfort. Hot 91.1, plays old school & RnB music and is on the pulse of its listenership.

When founder and managing director of Hot 91.1, Lloyd Mudari quit his 9-5 at Jacaranda FM to embark on a journey of establishing his own community radio station, he lost his home, his car was repossessed and was left cash strapped.

He says he sold Hot 91.1 only on a vision “you cannot be everything for everybody. The only key to making great radio is consistency.” Mundari had many people laugh in his face when he went around knocking on doors to acquire research funding for his radio station, but he did not let that deter him from achieving his dreams, pushed forward and applied for a broadcasting license with ICASA. After many attempts and dithering from ICASA, he found a struggling commercial radio station, Rock FM. He subsequently applied and got ownership of the radio station under the license of a community radio station.

He and two other passionate team members ran the station broadcasting with very minimal equipment, and now his radio station has an employee base of 46 people. According to Mundari the model and key to their success is:

  • Their research is macro and not micro based
  • Content is targeted for their listener
  • They broadcast for a world class population

He advised radio broadcasters to never heavily depend on macro external audience measurement statistics for their radio stations as in his case, was told that their listenership stood at 22 000, whist he had 25 000 active listeners as according to his research. Mundari has managed to overtake the big commercial stations in the industry and has been intimidated by some to close shop because he had become a direct competition. Over the recent three years he has managed to build a formidable platform that is able to compete in a highly competitive field.

“If you want to start radio, start with first the heart, then the money will follow”, says Mundari.

Lebogang Bridget Lepere

(Edited by Simbarashe Honde)