Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) has urged a newly commissioned Christian Community Radio in Mangochi called Lilanguka (meaning ‘light’), to preach and uphold co-existence in the district where the most predominant religion is Islam.
Macra Broadcasting Services Manager, Matilda Bande, made the call on Friday when she officially opened Radio Lilanguka, a community radio owned and run by Christian missionaries under the banner, Operation Mobilization (OM).
Bande hailed the missionaries for the initiative saying Macra had always supported establishment of community radios because they concentrate on a particular area and the impact is always great.
However, the Macra Broadcasting Services Manager stressed on the need for the radio tobroadcast content that would not divide the society but rather build it stronger.
“Mangochi is volatile; rolling out a Christian radio station in a predominantly Muslim society may not be an easy thing and we thank God for the co-existence that is there already,” said Bande.
She added: “We hope that the content that will be coming from thisradio will be meant to build the nation and thecommunity it will be targeting as you know radio can also be divisive.
”The Macra official hailed the Muslim community in Mangochi for their support and presence during the launch of the Christian radio describing it as a very rare gesture and worth maintaining.
Radio Lilanguka Project Manager who is also Regional Director for Liebenzel Mission International, Paul Kränzler, said the radio was a dream that had taken years to come to fruition.
He said the dream had been pursued by a number of missionariesover the years and that it was very exciting to have the radio unveiled at last.
Group Village Headman,Mgunda Phiri, who represented Traditional Authority Chomba in whose area the new radio is located, hailed the missionaries for theinitiative but he appealed to the radio personalities to live an exemplary life.
“The radio is meant to preach the gospel and win people’s hearts to God; my appeal to the radio personalities is that your behavior in the society should reflect what you present or preach on the radio – that way we will all move forward spiritually,” said Mgunda Phiri.
According to the radio Station Manager, Kondwani Franklin Chavula, Radio Lilanguka will be broadcasting 70 percent of its programs in Yao, the language widely spoken by the majority of the people in Mangochi.
English and Chichewa content will account for 30 percent and the programs covered on the radio will include health, agriculture, education, and other developmental issues.
The radio has offered employment to skilled young people from the district most of whom are conversant with, and fluent in Yao language.
Currently, the missions behind the Christian radio include OM, who own the license, Serving In Mission (SIM) who own the premises where the radio is stationed, ARB Media, who provided the studio equipment, and German’s Liebenzell Mission International.
Over 20 missionaries from Europe, USA and Canada graced the launch of the radio which is located along Mkawajika Road opposite Mangochi Prison and it is on frequency 91.0 FM.
Radio Lilanguka becomes a third community radio in Mangochi after Dzimwein Monkey Bay and Umoyo, an arm of a community based organization, Women Against Aids (WAGA) located in Saiti Kadzuwa area near the Boma.