Hendrick Baird, station manager at Gay radio South Africa gave an update about the development of the station after two years of it’s existence.
Baird says the station has come a long way from gaining more coverage to growing its listenership, the station has over a thousand listeners with most of them coming from the England.
The station had to change its names many times, firstly starting as first Gay SA Fm ,then to Gay radio SA Fm, but the station was confronted by SAFM from the SABC and had to disband the name Gay SAFM, eventually settling for Gay Radio SA.
The station manager said the biggest strength of the station so far has been the support of the people who tune in everyday.
Gay Radio South Africa uses LGBTIQ+ activism to get advertisers for example , when US based self confessed homophobic pastor, Steve Anderson, came to South Africa Baird made sure to make the right noises and as a result, Anderson was barred from coming into the country.
Baird said it has been through activism that Gay radio South Africa has become known in South Africa. Baird added that they would like to think of themselves as not necessarily a radio station but a marketing tool for the voiceless.
The radio station has partnered up with the, Department of Health, in one of their shows called, stream room, which is a show that focuses on controversial issues such as man on man sex, making sure of government involvement and awareness of issues affecting the LGBTIQ.
Baard highlighted how Internet connection is a challenge for the station but says, fortunately there is a growing move in the globe to move into the digitized era.
Baird also voiced concern that there are some people who still do not know how to listen to internet radio as web designers don’t make it user friendly and said they are looking into innovative ways of addressing the issue.
What’s next for the station, Baard, disclosed is to get more diverse involvement from the different stakeholders in the community.
Baird also hinted at expanding their team by adding 40 members to their 12 already existing members and in the process increase their market share.
(Edited by Simbarashe Honde)