Veteran singer, humanitarian, and businesswoman Yvonne Chaka Chaka (55) recently established an all-women-led online radio station, WOMan Radio.
The award-winning singer identified yet another approach to empowering women in the media space. “Women have been disenfranchised for so long, we are being killed daily and made doormats. So we need to speak positivity into each other and also allow men to hear our views,” she tells Drum.
“This initiative is not to bash men, but to understand each other and be free to say and do as we please. To speak up and not be shamed by other women, to encourage and promote each other as women,” she adds.
Since the launch of the station in mid-October 2020, women have been able to share their views on life globally. “We chose to be online so we could reach people from across the world. We have listeners who engage with us in California, Kenya, New York, London, Minneapolis, Nigeria, Tanzania all in conversation and it’s a matter of downloading an App and tuning in,” she says.
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The shows candidly discuss issues of health, beauty, love, spirituality, and politics from their distinctive perspectives. The shows include Nomsa Mazwai’s The Spear, Luyanda Duma’s Young People’s Corner, Yvonne Chaka Chaka Mhinga’s Couch Chat, Break-free with Dr. Siyajabula Mjwara, and Gabaza Tiba’s Woman’s Worldview.
“The intention is to also engage more un-explored content that only the uniqueness of womanhood could reveal in the digital age,” she says.
The station is self-funded and aims to grow even further in 2021. “We put money from our own pockets. Anne Shongwe from UN Women donated money from her pocket to help us start. Anyone who believes women need a voice [can] come to the party and even contribute their ideas and opinions,” she says.