New talent for Ubuntu Radio

09 February 2014

Since the Department of International Relations and Cooperation launched Ubuntu Radio four months ago, the station has been steadily positioning itself as an authority when it comes to "telling the African story by Africans from an African perspective".

One of its winning formula has been the ability to attract the best and well known credible and "independent thinking" South Africans as On-Air Personalities/anchors. These individuals most of whom have a huge following in their own right have attracted big audiences for the radio station and have also helped to build the Ubuntu Radio platform as a credible debate/conversation platform which can’t be associated with the tag of "government propaganda tool".

We can reveal today that the station has secured the services of former 702, Metro FM and Radio 2000 broadcaster Lupi Ncayisa. This comes hot on the heels of signing the much loved Princess of Africa Ms. Yvonne Chaka Chaka. Former Miss SA and Miss World Africa Bokang Montjane is also set to tell the African story as she's come to know it on Ubuntu Radio. Their shows will start on March 1.

They join a galaxy of stars in JP Louw (Communications Specialist), Florence Masebe (well-known actress), Onkgopotse JJ Tabane (Communications Expert), Thebe Ikalafeng (Brand SA Board Member & Marketing Guru), Richard Mwamba (SA FM), Kwena Moabelo (Currently with SA Sports, former Kaya FM & SA FM), Dr Siphamandla Zondi (Political Analyst), Pinky Khoabane (Author & Newspaper Columnist), Chief Ntshingila (Entrepreneur), Thuli Zulu (former Classic FM), Bobby Morwe (Diplomat) and the DIRCO's Ambassadors & many other diplomats spread across 126 countries.

The launch of Ubuntu Radio, South Africa’s first government-run, 24-hour, online radio station, is consistent with the active and prominent role that South Africa plays in global affairs.

The idea behind its conception was a need to create a platform for exchange of views and opinions by key players who contribute to shaping South Africa’s Foreign Policy and broadly take the country's brand out there. These include government institutions, the diplomatic corps, civil society, academia, media, students and other role-players in the field of international relations.

South Africa’s Foreign Policy has been consistently in the spotlight since the country became  a member of various global and strategic formations such as the UN Security Council; the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) grouping; the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) initiative; and the G20.

In addition, South Africa’s continuous role and engagement in the activities of the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) have positioned our country firmly as a formidable contributor in the regional and global political scene.

Due to South Africa’s increased role and mandate in the international arena, it is important that immediate and accessible platforms are used to communicate South Africa’s Foreign Policy and to promote Brand South Africa domestically and abroad.

Ubuntu Radio creates a fair and balanced representation of SA's global role and looks at the rationale behind decisions of the South African Government on major global issues.

In essence, the station is a reaffirmation of the South African Government’s continuous commitment to ensuring that its work and contributions in global politics are widely understood and most fundamentally, located within the context of the country’s national interest.

In choosing an internet-based radio station over a mainstream radio station, DIRCO was inspired by the affordability imperative as well as the results of extensive research conducted on the effectiveness, influence and listenership of internet-based radio stations throughout the world.

Research indicates that internet-based radio has gained momentum over the past 10 years, and continues to grow.

South Africans are no different from the rest of the world and are also embracing digital technology to communicate in ways that could never have been imagined just a few years ago.

By design, the targeted listenership of South Africa and Africa’s first government online radio station is not limited to South African citizens, but includes the international community.

This station reaches many parts of the world, especially those people with access to the internet. For those without access, South African Missions abroad complement this through their regular outreach programmes.

The station recently tested an "Ubuntu Radio Application for Blackberry & Android phones" on its website. It was downloaded from countries like China, USA, UK, France, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Canada, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zimbabwe etc. This according to the station's Chairman Mr Clayson Monyela "Completely exceeded our expectations so soon since the launch of the station. We thought awareness and growth will be slow and take several years. But clearly the world is hungry for a fresh perspective on the African story...the old narrative is not sustainable". He continued saying "This for us is a confirmation of the level of interest in SA's global activities which says something about SA stature in the world".

Ubuntu Radio carried the funeral of former President Mandela live. It's website records all visits/hits and people who listen to the audio streaming. The numbers suggest over 90 000 (worldwide) listened during the Mandela 10 days of mourning. Not bad for a talk station hardly on air for 3 months and online.

Acknowledging that internet connectivity in South Africa and the rest of the African continent requires greater penetration. To overcome this, Ubuntu Radio exchanges content for broadcast with identified media partners, including SABC’s Channel Africa and community radio stations, for greater reach and influence.

Mr Monyela also says their future plans include getting a frequency on FM to give South Africans more options. The station is complemented by a glossy magazine called Ubuntu Magazine distributed locally and internationally. You can listen to the station on

For more information: Nelson Kgwete on 076 431 3078

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road



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