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LETTERS FROM ROBIN TYSON
|Welcome to the
“LETTERS FROM ROBIN TYSON”
webpage of The Pumamouse Website.
The following essay/letter is actually a compilation of excerpts taken from emails to The Pumamouse from Mr. Robin Tyson. As you will read, the emails provided several interesting revisions to the essay entitled "Southwest Africa (Namibia)", written by Colin Miller. Mr. Tyson's emails were received during October 2004, and this compilation is included here with Mr. Tyson's knowledge and consent. Thank you, Robin!
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|Greetings from Windhoek!
Thank you again for including some historical information on broadcasting in Namibia on your website.
I've read through the article on your website on the SWABC and now NBC - there are some inaccuracies/changes. I've copied the article here and have added the notes. To give background, I was with the SWABC/NBC from 1983 until 2000, and was Manager of the National Radio Service from 1996-2000.
On March 1, 1990 the SWABC was renamed Namibian Broadcasting Corporation, which aims to provide information, education and entertainment to its listeners. The NBC now operates radio services in nine languages, with regional programming at various times. These are as follows:
· National Service in English (the official language of the country) - with studios in Windhoek
. Afrikaans Radio Service- with studios in Windhoek
. German Radio Service - with studios in Windhoek
· Otjiherero Radio Service in Herero- with studios in Windhoek
. Tirelo Ya Setswana Radio Service in Setswana- with studios in Windhoek
· Damara/Nama Service in Damara and Nama- with studios in Windhoek
. Oshiwambo Radio Service in Ovambo and Kwanyama - with studios in Oshakati and Windhoek
· Rukavango Service in Kwangali with studios in Rundu
. SiLozi Radio Service in Silozi, with studios in Katima Mulilo
Note that the new policy of the NBC is that these stations are now being heard throughout Namibia and are not regional stations as was the case previously. Before independence, Silozi service, for example, could only be heard in the Caprivi. It is now heard in Windhoek and is relayed through other transmitters across the nation.
Most of these services originate from the studios in Pettenkoffer Street, central Windhoek (note: the NBC's head office, administration, television and news sections are based in another complex in Cullinan Street, Northern Industrial Area).
The NBC's radio service reaches about 97% of the country over a network of FM stations, as well as short wave, broadcasting from regional centers at Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi region, Rundu in the Kavango region and Oshakati in the Oshana region. In addition to the three regional centers NBC has contribution centers at Otjiwarongo in central-northern Namibia and Keetmanshoop in southern Namibia.
News and educational programs form a large part of daily output, and there is also audience participation through call-in shows. In Chat Show and Open Line, listeners air their views and opinions about many issues, as long as these do not infringe on the rights and freedoms of other citizens. These talk shows also provide a channel of communication between the public and political decision-makers. Responses to listeners' questions about government policies are aired on the daily Feedback program.
These programmes are broadcast on the NBC National Radio Service, but other language services also feature similar programmes at different times of the day.
The Education Section was established in 1985, and provides formal and informal education programs covering all ages from pre-school to adult. Some programs are imported from other countries, but it has developed its own programs to meet the local curriculum.
The NBC has taken a step towards digital broadcasting. A computerized studio has been installed in Windhoek, and plans are to extend this to the entire network.
Following the liberalization of the airwaves through the Namibian Communication Commission Act, a number of independent stations have opened in recent years, broadcasting on FM. These include commercial, religious and community stations.
Stations currently broadcasting in Windhoek, apart from the 1 national service and 8 language services of the NBC, include the following:
* Radio 99
* Radio Energy
* Omalunga Radio
* Katutura Community Radio
* UNAM Radio
* Radio Ecclesia (Catholic Radio Station)
* Radio France International (relay)
* Kudu FM
* Radio Wave
* Kosmos Radio
That's a total of 19 FM radio stations broadcasting in a city whose population is only 250,000!
Your visitors might also be interested to know that the SWABC in the 1980's was also something of a 'resting place' for many of the older Springbok Radio / English Service announcers and actors. Among them - Clark McKay (Principal Announcer with the SWABC English Service in 1983 until his death), Peter Merrill (Station Manager - SWABC English Service), Nigel Kane (Principal Announcer: SWABC English Service) and Derek Taylor (Station Manager - SWABC English Service). All have since either died (Clark McKay) or left the country. It would be interesting to find out what they are doing and where they are now. I saw Peter Merrill some time ago in Cape Town but the others I have not heard of since they left.
Chairperson: MISA Namibia
Lecturer: Media Studies, University of Namibia
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