YA FM a regional commercial radio station broadcasting from Zvishavane is celebrating its fourth year of existence since its formation on 25 September 2015.
The station made history by becoming the first regional commercial station to go on air, among the eight regional commercials stations which were licensed by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe in March 2015.
YAFM 91.8 went on air on the 28th of September 2015 and in the first three months experienced both successes and setbacks.
In the first few weeks of operation, the station faced many challenges especially on the technical side. The most documented challenge was when a troop of baboons took them off air, when they tampered with their transmission cables.
However, they have since recorded many successes since the launch and going on air while others stations are yet to, is a sure sign of the commitment they have in serving the communities along the Great Dyke.
Speaking to Great Dyke News 24, the station Chairman Munyaradzi Hwengwere explained their journey so far.
” It has been an exciting, challenging, rewarding journey, we are so happy we have created a new language, we have built a new awareness that we operate in the richest region called the Great Dyke and its 550 kilometers long.
” Very interesting things, the baboon story which went on BBC news and CNN about the challenging of the start of the journey but also now what we have done, we procured additional transmitters and now we get as far as Gokwe.
“We are still to finalise about other transmitters, we are expanding and we now have new services like Great Dyke News 24, next week at Mining Media Awards we are launching Great Dyke Television with yours truly as the host,” he said.
He added that they are set to expand digitally by introducing new products that will also benefit the Great Dykers.
“We want to expand because we always understood that it can not be about a single stream of radio, we are now operating in a multimedia world and therefore for miners to have a true voice, that voice must be found on audio, visuals and video.
“That voice must be a voice that is purposeful and its not just talking on-air , its getting people to be aware that l am a Zimbabwean, I am within the Great Dyke, l deserve to be empowered, l deserve to be developed l want to go elsewhere around the world and say look at me, l come from a rich country that has given me an opportunity.
“We have a lot of talented people (on Ya FM) like Admire Nago who is one of the arguably the top Gospel musicians.
We have the top talent like Gogo Beau, Doctor T, and many others,” added Hwengwere.