Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
BULAWAYO’s first commercial radio station, Skyz Metro FM, is expected to officially launch on May 27 with a bash in the city.
The station’s chief executive officer, Qhubani Moyo, said the bash would feature most of the city’s artistes as they want it to be a big celebration incorporating all the people who have supported the station.
Since it began broadcasting in September last year, Skyz Metro FM — which is available on frequency 100.3FM (40km radius around Bulawayo) — has given most Bulawayo artistes who were complaining of marginalisation a voice. And in the five months of broadcast, it has made its mark in the city with its quality programming.
Speaking on the sidelines of the commissioning of state-of-the-art studio and transmission equipment yesterday at their studios situated at Pioneer House, 9th floor, Moyo said the official launch would be a sign that the station has finally put its house in order.
“We want to hold a big bash on May 27 to officially launch our radio station. We wanted to first build the studios and put in place the things that were needed before going to the people. We might hold the bash at White City Stadium or the City Hall car park,” said Moyo.
He said they had to move from their initial base at Amakhosi Cultural Centre as the transmission there was not clear.
“We had challenges in terms of transmission at Amakhosi because it is a low lying area from Transmedia. We thought we needed a higher ground and a clear line of sight with the transmission towers hence our decision to relocate to Pioneer House.
“We’ve been using makeshift equipment for the past four months. But despite that, our station remained loud and clear. Now, we’ve put new broadcasting desks, microphones and transmission equipment and our sound is crystal clear,” said Moyo.
Declining to state how much they had spent on the equipment, Moyo said they sourced the equipment in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Italy.
“The equipment cost was very significant. It was sourced in pieces, some in South Africa, Italy and Zimbabwe. It was intergraded locally by a team of very talented and competent engineers led by former ZBC employee Ngqabutho Ndiweni.”
Presenters who have made names on the station so far include Beekay, TKP, Khaya Drastiq, Gabbz Fire, Babongile Sikhonjwa, DJ Passee and Donna N.