Nigeria: Tyowanye community radio

Tyowanye is a small rural community situated along the Gboko- Katsina Ala in Benue State Nigeria. In 2007, some people in the community decided to start their own community radio station.The “station” known as M Sugh Ne (meaning “I Greet You”) is located in a shop in the village square. The “station” is made up of a single public address system with a loudspeaker placed on the rooftop of the shop. From that shop, announcements are made when a child is born to any family in the village; when someone especially an elderly person dies; when the river is flooded, when it is time to drive destructive birds away from rice farms, and also to listen to European or Premier League match!

It also runs a musical request programme: it costs N100 (about ten cents) to make a request and have your chosen music played. If you misplaced something in the market, it is picked up and taken to M Sugh Ne and this is announced in the ‘Lost but Found’ segment of programs. Whatever is of importance to the Tyowanye community has a place at M Sugh Ne.

The “station” “broadcasts” mostly in the late evenings when the sound can be heard even beyond the village, and when farmers are back from the farms. Tyowanye represents hundreds of Nigerian communities that are hungry and thirsty for a community radio of their own.

In the West African region, Nigeria is the only country without community radio stations. That will change very soon when the government’s blueprint on community radio is released.