Lungile Masondo who hails from Soweto, leads the breakfast show on Jozi FM and says she strives to have topics which are relatable and on the pulse with her community.
Jozi Fm started in 1995 as a Soweto Community Radio and it was broadcast by Mpho Mhlongo who is now the station manager. According to Masondo, Jozi FM is largely female driven organization that does not use or employ women as tokens for fluff pieces such as news-reading, traffic and weather announcement. The station boasts a listenership of 629 000.
One of the characteristics of a community radio station is to serve the community, which involves the community by using most its content; hence they try to be relevant to the community. The station considers itself as the watchdog of the community, a responsibility it takes seriously
The station has also been ahead its times, for instance, it had South Africa’s first reality show called, “Cheaters”, whereby they invited couples who were suspicious of their partners cheating on them. The station also prides itself with various campaigns such as the Pink Princess and Father’s Day campaign, an annual event where male presenters give young children who grew up in fatherless homes the opportunity to spend a day with a father figure for a day.
Jozi FM also teaches community based businesses on how to be tech savvy, smart advertising on radio among other things. Siya, the owner of Siya Memorials, a burial service company based in Soweto has reportedly made more than 2 million in the year since he started advertising on the station which indicates that community radio is alive and also good for business.
Some of the events that Jozi FM has added to their plethora of activities, is the Walk 4 Life annual event which is in its second year in the running now. It encourages healthy living and there has been a good support from the community. The station also hosts a Gospel festival and the much talked about Soweto All White Party, which they say started with 800 participants, but has grown to 6 500 last year
“The future of radio is not in community stations becoming more commercial, but with commercial stations becoming more community.”- Jozi FM
Lebogang Bridget Lepere
(Edited by Simbarashe Honde)