UMGUNGUNDLOVU FM has been shortlisted for two national awards in the first national Community Radio Awards to be held in Bloemfontein on 17 February.The nominations are for the Best Station of the Year and Radio Personality of the Year. The first nomination put the station in the top 12 across South Africa. Umgungundlovu FM radio personality Fika “Fish” Mbatha, who hosts the Sondela Breakfast Show from 6.30am to 9am, was the one shortlisted for the Personality of the Year award.The awards recognise and honour excellence in the community radio sphere nationally and will coincide with National Community Radio Week from 13 to 18 February.Founder and station manager of Umgungundlovu FM Muzi Sibiya said the nominations were unexpected.“I’m very pleased with the nominations. They are an indication that as a station we are heading in the right direction with our content and the talent we have invested in. “The station constantly aims high in its level of work and we are proud that we are being recognised among many long-standing community radio stations.” Sibiya said they entered the awards and on assessment from a panel of adjudicators got the nomination. “We sent through clips of our programmes which the panel listened to and assessed. We are now seeking votes from the community of Pietermaritzburg at large because we feel they are the ones who made these nominations possible. From this point on we rely on their votes to bring these two awards back home.”Umgungundlovu FM was established in June 2006 after the closure of Radio Maritzburg. The station hit the airwaves in October 2010 and according to the audience measurement of the Broadcast Research Council of South Africa has on average in seven days 88 000 listeners.Mbatha, who has been a radio jock for over 13 years, said he is happy to finally receive recognition for his work.“Ever since I started my career as a broadcaster I have never received any recognition, so it’s really great. When Sibiya called to tell me we received two nominations I was shocked. I want to thank him as well for giving me the opportunity to be behind that microphone and recognising my God-given talent.”Mbatha, who hosts one of the popular shows at the station said he fell in love with radio when he was at school.“I was inspired by the likes of the late Kansas City and Velaphi ‘VVO’ Mkhize. Muzi and Linda Sibiya have also influenced how I communicate with my audience on air. I love people and radio gives me that platform to reach thousands of people. I could be having a bad day but as soon as I get to work I forget about it all.”Mbatha has worked for other community radio stations including Durban Youth Radio and Jozi FM.To vote for Umgungundlovu FM SMS BRSY – Umgungundlovu FM to 33083 and to vote for Mbatha SMS BPY – Fish to 33083. Voting closes 15 February.