Popular Muslim station gets permanent licence

2012-11-12 00:00

KWAZULU-NATAL’S only Islamic community radio station, Radio Al-Ansaar, has been granted a permanent license by broadcasting regulator Icasa. Listeners can tune in to the station on 90.4fm throughout the week.

Since being founded in 1998, Radio Al-Ansaar’s primary aim has been to educate, inform and unite the Ummah (Muslim community) and the larger community.

In 2011, listenership rose to almost 95% of the total Muslim population living within the Durban area, thanks to programmes like Social Issues in Islam (an Islamic lifestyle programme), Body Talk, Baby Watch and IMA Medical Files (health and wellness), Legal Eagle and Law Review, The Big Picture, Media Watch (current affairs particularly focused on the Arab world), and Dil Badal De, which encourages individuals to increase their self-worth.

With the new licence giving them the chance to broadcast 24-7, the Al-Ansaar Foundation has decided to appoint popular Morning Drive presenter Faradh Patel as the manager of the Overport-based community radio station.

The Pietermaritzburg-born and -raised presenter, said: “I am thrilled with the new challenges and responsibilities which this title affords me.

“I look forward to being part of the wonderful team which is working so hard at growing and developing this important radio station which aims to enlighten and uplift the community.

“We live in such a multicultural society that it is helpful to be aware of what is happening in our extended community and beyond and in so doing contributing positively towards social cohesion in our multicultural society.”

Among the first to congratulate him on his new appointment was eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo, who was among the guests at a special launch dinner at Al-Ansaar in West Avenue, Durban, on Tuesday night.

Patel, who matriculated from Woodlands School in the mid-1990s, will continue to be the Morning Drive show anchor, sharing the mic with fellow presenter Nichal Sarawan, and the team of Sakina Essop, Faraaz Buz and Yaseerah Amod.

Other popular inserts on the station include the S-Factor Afternoon Drive, Tazkiyya, Nasheed Jam (featuring top Islamic soundtracks) and Niteline. This is a popular late-night talk show that encourages debate between listeners and a panel of experts, local and international, on topical issues concerning Muslims.

Listeners outside Durban can listen to the station, which will use revenue from the license for its community projects, via the Al-Ansaar website www.alansaar.co.za

The Al-Ansaar Foundation also previewed the Al-Ansaar International Family Souk 2012 at Tuesday night’s launch.

Hosted by the Al-Ansaar Foundation and now in its 15th year, the event, which takes place at the Durban Exhibition Centre from December 21 to January 1, is expected to attract around 120 000 people from across South Africa.

Visitors will be able to shop at stalls staffed by both local and international businesses, and enjoy a range of entertainment, including a fun fair and Islamic art and music from midday to midnight.

Azeem Bux, vice-chairman of Al-Ansaar, said the primary object of the event was to offer Muslim youth an alternative to traditional Western forms of entertainment over the festive season. “It’s an event the whole family can enjoy … with Islamic values and cultural performers at the forefront,” he added.

• Listeners can contact Faradh Patel via e-mail at Morningdriveshow@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @FaradhPatel.

For more information on the Souk log on to www.souk.org.za.

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