Cries of “Gwakke” and “Gukyusse” (“Let it shine” “and transform”) echoed around the playing fields in Kiwoko town last Saturday. About 1,000 people gathered for Musana FM’s third annual listeners’ day, an event started to build relationships between New Hope Uganda’s radio station and its audience.
Attendees gathered from several towns—north, south, east, and west—across Musana FM’s broadcast area. Some even traveled from Masaka, about 200 kilometers away (more than five hours of traveling time) to participate!
Kenneth Kikonyongo, the manager of the radio station, said that the event succeeded well. Several listeners have called into Musana FM since Saturday, appreciating the staff for holding the event. Kenneth was also pleased that the two honored guests—the Residential District Commissioner (a local representative of the president, pictured left) and the district’s Woman Member of Parliament—were present during the event!
One of the goals for the day was to increase Musana FM’s listenership, Kenneth said. He also wanted to have an opportunity to know the listeners in order to be better equipped in mobilizing the fan clubs in various areas.
The station’s vision is “Empowering the Nation with Truth” through love, integrity, and working hard. The fan clubs were started to help carry the station’s mission of bringing continued development into the listeners’ communities. Kenneth said that Musana FM wants people to live lives which bear fruit both to glorify God and to benefit others – thus the motto of “Let it shine and transform,” referring to the name “musana” which means “sun” and alludes to God’s truth.
There are also many Muslims who listen to the station, and they seemed just as excited about the messages of the radio! One of these is a lady known as the “grandmother of the radio” because she has been listening to Musana FM since the beginning, is a frequent caller, and attends every event the station holds. On Saturday, she brought gifts of appreciation for the leadership.
Three promotional competitions occurred on Saturday as well. The Musana FM staff asked for volunteer “silent listeners” (those who don’t call into the radio station) who were then asked questions about the program schedule. One boy received a radio as a prize, while two ladies received hoes. Three little girls were also selected to compete for a school scholarship that someone had donated!
The main contest was the conclusion of the third annual Wangula Ensigo (literally, “to win seedlings”). This year’s Wangula Ensigo started last August with 19 contestants. The final two phases took place at the listeners’ day, where the five finalists each had to answer multiple questions about the Bible, culture, politics, agriculture, and Musana FM.
The finalists’ nerves were under pressure as they tried to answer the questions, because the grand prize was a motor bike – a valuable asset here!
The other four finalists each received a bicycle and other prizes. All the prizes with the exception of the motor bike were donated by the station’s business partners, and even the motor bike was bought by the station at a considerable discount.
The listener’s day also helped strengthen Musana FM’s relationships with companies who advertise on the station. As noted above, various companies donated items to be used as prizes. Kenneth was also able to make contact with a handful of potential advertisers who have businesses and recognized the possibility of reaching the station’s audience!
This year’s turnout was the largest yet, and Kenneth said he heard from some people that they weren’t able to make it because of the rainy weather! The first year the event was held in connection with Wangula Ensigo, the first place winner received a wheel barrow. Last year, the top prize was a cow. So the audience found this year’s contest even more exciting!
The Musana FM staff look forward to seeing how God will continue to grow the radio station and bring more fruit from it in people’s lives! Please join them in praying for God’s wisdom and provision in their work!