…because you have an interview”! Hours after arriving in the country, this news was shared with me.
The Oblates, my hosts, have been running a local radio station since 2005. While deciding how best to reach the masses, especially those in very rural and poor areas, this idea arose. Often, no viable means of transportation could reliable reach certain villages, keeping them quite isolated. Unlike other forms of mass media, radio is quite accessible for those with lower incomes.
From this, Radio Liseli was born! The radio programming employs the local population, brings in capital, and provides a forum for people to discuss local issues. Also, the physical presence of the radio station brought in new business to the area, such as expanded cell phone service. The local telcomm company rents space from the radio’s tower. Soon, they hope to expand into music recording, allowing artists in the area to utilize the station’s equipment, so that they do not have to travel the 7 hours by bus to Lusaka. And yes, the Oblates do celebrate Mass on the air, but the programming is not limited to Christian segments!
After learning about this service, it was time to be interviewed! My interviewer Pamela, was fantastic. We spoke about why I was in Zambia, what I thought of Mongu, the work that I do, and a message to the people listening.
What a simple, yet effective solution for the Oblates! It reminds me of St. Francis’ call from God, “Go and build my Church”. The radio station does just that!
And being able to say that I was on Zambian radio is just one the coolest statement I can make!