You may or may not have heard of GaySA Radio, a small Internet R@dio station. Started two years ago by two friends, the station has grown slowly but surely, culminating in its official launch at Pretoria Pride in October 2017.
It is an Internet R@dio station, as ICASA is not handing out licenses and the radio frequency is full. It is also much more affordable doing radio through the internet. When digital migration eventually takes place this might all change, but for the moment it is Internet R@dio with a global reach from a South African perspective.
GaySA Radio operates with volunteers and since it started a number of people have stepped forward to bring LGBTQ+ content to a small, but ever growing audience. The nature of volunteers is that they do leave every so often, and until such a time as the station can get enough advertisers and generate a steady income, it will depend on people who are willing to make some sacrifices to keep the station going. The medium term plan is to appoint a small team of journalists, producers and on-air talent to take the station to the next level.
In anticipation of eventual registration as a national community of interest radio station, a non-profit was started, which also allows the station to apply for donor funding. A small grant by the US Embassy in Pretoria contributed to the launch. The chairperson of the NPO, Ditshego Ditshego, recently returned from New York after receiving a Fellowship from the US Embassy, completing his Masters degree and making valuable contacts that may bear fundraising fruit in the near future.
GaySA Radio is always looking for volunteers who can work from the home-based studio in Pretoria, or who can contribute from the various regions in the country, or even internationally. With 75,000+ listeners in 200 countries and territories, the station is clearly making its mark and fulfilling a need.
GaySA Radio plays some great music consisting of current hits, as well as urban and queer songs and artists. There are smatterings of Africa jazz and house music in various shows, while Saturday evenings are party nights with the legendary DJ Paul.
It also focuses mainly on LGBTQ+ content, which includes news from around the world and interviews with a variety of LGBTQ+ people and allies. Streaming 24 hours a day, there literally is something for everyone within the diversity that makes up the LGBTQ+ community. Shows like The Gay Agenda (news and actuality), Rainbow Talk (interviews), The Eggs and Sausage Show (queer news and events), Back to the 80’s (gay nostalgia) and many more are included in the program line-up.
You too can listen to GaySA Radio, perhaps streaming through the free Wi-Fi hotspots in major cities, and most certainly at work, in the gym, at home, everywhere that there is an Internet signal. Streaming at only 10 MB per listening session, it is a great alternative to so-called mainstream media who on the whole do not cover LGBTQ+ issues.
It’s as easy as typing www.gaysaradio.co.za into the browser window, and clicking Listen Live or get the links for the phone app from the site. The app is available for Android, iPhone and Blackberry. On the app you can see which is playing, send messages to the studio and link to the GaySA Radio social media sites.
Apart from broadcasting LGBTQ+ content via the Internet, it also champions causes for the LGBTQ+ community. In 2016 GaySA Radio successfully lobbied the Minister of Home Affairs to block gay-hating pastor Steven Anderson from entering the country. It is vocal at protests and events, including Pride. It is currently implementing health messaging for men who have sex with men, and is investigating an issue to investigate and lobby for change within the near future – listen to GaySA Radio to hear all the details!
GaySA Radio also gets out and about and will travel more locally and internationally in the near future.
As the only LGBTQ+ radio platform on the African continent, and with a global reach, GaySA Radio is starting to play a leading role in global LGBTQ+ media, keeping a diverse community informed, entertained and connected. Join our family today by liking the GaySA Radio social media pages and listening live.
Let us know your thoughts on GaySA radio in the comments below.