By Titos Makondo
Most of the Tsonga’s big and small singers are battling to make it to fame due to lack of support, as a result they blame it all on Avuxeni FM for letting them down.
In a dialogue, the local music duffer Josefa Chauke told this publication that the radio station is not to blame on this matter but the locals’ negligence to local stuff.
“I blame the Tsonga people on failing to support their own musicians because they believe that lavish music comes from outside,” he said. ” That mentality of seeing no worth in local talents is detrimental to local artists.”
“We’re hardly noticed, down and out due to lack of support. That’s our sorry state as Tsonga artists till we stand up for ourselves,” said Chauke who further urged the Tsonga people to put local artists first.
Hlatso, the first local singer to get interviewed when Avuxeni FM opened its doors to the public yesteryear said the community radio has surfaced local talents but does not pride in what they brought to life.
“Of course , we are getting the air plays; But why comparing the newbies with the big names?” He said, “As Tsonga artists we are still toddlers to compete in national music contests hence we are calling for regional music contests and plugs to national galas.”
While taking little consideration of the reality that the community radio is on business, Hlatso went on saying that Avuxeni FM does not put the locals first.
“It was said on day one: Avuxeni FM must render 75% of its services to the locals and 25% to others. But, what is arising is disparity, the bigger ratio goes to foreign and famous artists; That’s being unfair to the locals.”
In attempt to clear the hot air, Avuxeni FM Station Manager Khensani Matatise expressed that the radio station is making strides in uplifting local artists, with the local Tsonga artists being on centre of their to-dos.
“As a community radio station, we have a deliberate plan to uplift local talents through adequate air plays and facilitating on air interviews so that they engage the community and have their music known.
“We have various platforms like Avuxeni Listeners where we bring artists together, and address their challenges,” said Matatise. “Local artists are advised to contact our librarian and local singer Lance Nyumani at 077 136 2485; He will instruct on how he will receive their music including the format required.”
“Outside that, we currently do not have sufficient resources to organise galas because we are undersized and wholly community funded.”
The Avuxeni FM Board Chairperson Hebert Phikela has accepted all the ills bombarded to the radio station as shaping criticism saying the public must feel free to cite our imperfections so that we fix and grow.
Delving deeper, Phikela said, “local artists accept that they are newbies in need of our help for growth, can not be compared to the big names but quickly forget that Avuxeni FM too is still young, can not be likened to other big stations in terms of resources and programs.”
“Also, Avuxeni FM is limited, and so the market. It does not cover the masses of the Tsonga people from places like Malipati, Sengwe, Mahenye, and to mention few.
“Seems like the non Tsongas are the radio hostelers because we have dotted Tsonga speakers who access and engage with the Avuxeni FM. As a results, presenters are bound to listen to the demands of the market to build affinity and business, thereby fostering the propagation of the radio station.
“And the other naked truth: We as radio hostelers have limited resources to keep the radio station breathing without the outsiders. Therefore, we need each other, let’s engage each other, let’s learn and grow together.”
However, according to the monthly evaluations conducted by BAZ, Avuxeni FM is doing great, scores more than 75% in terms of local content coverage