This Proximity Radio station accompanied all the activities of the first edition of the Moungo Festival held from 16 to 20 April 2019. Also called “The Voice of Diversity”, this community station located in the Baré-Bakem subdivision, Moungo division in the Littoral region in Cameroon, obtained its broadcast permit in 2002 under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Cameroon Ministry of Communication, UNDP and the National Governance Programme. It has been broadcasting since June 05, 2005 on the initiative of the Association for the Development of Women and Children (ADEFE-NLATI) chaired by Mrs. NKOUE Lisette. This association which officiates as Management Committee had as objective from its inception to reinforce the bonds of solidarity between the women of Baré-Bakem in particular and the Moungo division in general, to raise the level of social, cultural, health and economic education of the populations. She did it through educational talks, seminars and awareness and training workshops. For more efficiency she opted for the creation of a community radio station.
The editorial policy of this radio station is focused on promoting local development, awareness and social mobilization of young people and women in particular through the production of programs on health, education, support to the decentralization process, agriculture and livestock breeding. The entertainment programs are adapted to the local culture and value this cultural heritage. It also promotes the rights of women and children and works continuously for the development within the community of on air debates on important topics.
“The Voice of Diversity” featured at the first edition of the Moungo Festival (FESTIM 2019) conceived as economic and cultural days. Associated to the communication commission of this event, the station aired spots announcing the festival and received guests live and on other special sloths created for the occasion. Thus, traditional leaders and other focal points of the organizing committee used this important communication tool to mobilize the entire Moungo people around the event.
In addition to the sensitization and information activities developed by the radio during this first edition of the Moungo Festival, its management committee, known locally as ‘ADEFE-NLATI’ animated a stand for 4 days in the village of the festival. With banners, posters and leaflets, the radio was presented to a thousand visitors, from all over the country and even from abroad. Among the distinguished visitors in this stand is the Prime Minister, Head of the Government, Chief Dr. Joseph DION NGUTE, who presided over the solemn opening ceremony as the personal representative of the President of the Republic of Cameroon. This ceremony was also broadcast live on “The Voice of Diversity” by a radio team mobilized for this purpose.
Another point of attraction during the Festival is this traditional parade integrating the cultural diversity of Cameroon. Particular emphasis was placed on the promotion of togetherness, peace and social cohesion by all the sons and daughters of the Moungo division that remains a mix of culture, a crossroads serving as a link between the English-speaking and French-speaking populations, the agricultural basin of Cameroon also endowed with diverse tourist attractions. Given the prominent role played by this radio station in this community, one of its journalists was associated with the team of presenters for the solemn opening ceremony of the festival and the concert of legends that was offered to the people each evening. Prince NDEDI EYANGO, famous musician, son of the land and creator of ‘Soul Botingo’, cleverly valued the local culture as Artistic Director of FESTIM 2019.
During this festival, thousands of visitors appreciated the potential of this immense agricultural production area. Local companies specialized in the transformation of agricultural products, such as coffee processing plants, opened tasting stands at the festival. Made with cowpea or beans, ‘EKOKI’, one of the great culinary specialties of the people of the Moungo, was consumed daily as cooks presented it in all its forms. Also many visitors discovered the famous waterfalls of EKOM NKAM (Great River) where the movie ‘Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan’ was produced.
Radio Baré-Bakem reaffirmed its role as a key actor in local development during the Moungo Festival. Always at the heart of events in this huge farming area, the station has emerged more radiant from this successful initiative and now looks through the horizon with optimism.
Serges EPANGUE is a journalist,
He has been Station Manager of Radio Baré-Bakem since May 2007
For more information on FESTIM 2019, visit this website: www.festim.org