eNitiate Visual Radio: An Internet radio slot that has lead to #BIGThinking

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This post is part of the eNitiate brand revitalisation journey, and it is a sequel to the eNitiate Content.ly post.


How did the Internet radio slot come about

I was approached in November 2014 by Rethabile Mohlala (aka The McDaddy of Radio) – a young and passionate radio man who I met in the early years of eNitiate – with an opportunity for a Closeup of Young Woman Tying Sports Shoe - concept imagedigital content slot on www.radiojunto.co.za, an Internet radio station based in Honeydew, Gauteng, South Africa. As Rethabile explained, he saw one of my ANN7 interview videos, and this gave him the idea to offer me the radio slot.

While I had been interviewed on Radio Junto by Roche Mamabolo a long time ago, I was not sure about hosting a regular slot, as I did not have radio broadcasting experience and I kept wondering if I would be able to have time and enthusiasm, and be able to deliver distinct content consistently. But it did not take long to decide that this is indeed a good idea to achieve 2 objectives – (a) extend eNitiate‘s digital footprint and (b) add a voice to #digitalAfrica’s megaphone. More about both objectives below.


“Cast your bucket where you are”

As part of the starting point, I knew that Vincent Lehata – the Operations eNitiater – had radio background, so I roped him in as co-host of the show. The name of the show had to have “eNitiate” in it in line with the first objective above, and I had a vision to incorporate visual elements in the broadcast of our #digitalAfrica content for amplification, such as live streaming and Google Hangouts. Logically, the name became eNitiate Visual Radio.


eNitiate Visual Radio mission

The mission of the show was the next milestone. With the broadcasting platform being  the Internet, I wanted the show to cover digital content that represents the whole of the African continent. I have always held a view that Africa does not speak loud enough (not least coherently in the field of digital technology) about herself, with the result that her voice often gets drowned out by the negative or perverted news from outside quarters with vested interests – think pictures of famine in South Sudan, the war in eastern DRC and corruption in South Africa. So, the decision was that the show’s mission will be to tell positive #DigitalAfrica stories, be they about the continent developing its own digital technology products (Kenya’s Ushahidi), or leveraging existing technology (Nigeria’s iROKOtv).


eNitiate Visual Radio frequency and duration

With both the name and the mission of eNitiate‘s Internet radio show out of the way, the next step was frequency and duration of slot. I wanted this to be a weekly, compact, fast-paced show with rich content, so I decided that it was going to be only 1 hour. I also wanted it to be mid-week so it fits in with my crazy working schedule – hence broadcasts are on Wednesdays. I then picked 8-9pm GMT+2 as the most preferable time slot. Despite the fact that in South Africa this is peak TV time, but it is 9-10pm in Nairobi (Kenya), 7-8pm in Lagos (Nigeria) and London (UK), 3pm in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and 2pm in New York (US). Unfortunately Hong Kong, Beijing (China, 2am next morning) and Melbourne (Australia, 4am next morning) could not be catered for in the chosen slot, but this region can catch the show on podcast.


eNitiate Visual Radio content structure

Next was the show’s content structure. Vince and I decided that we will cover what happened in the digital technology and marketing world in the last 7 days, and look forward to what is coming in the next 7 days. We then broke the show into 4 parts – (1) talk about what we were busy with at eNitiate at the beginning, (2) followed by what happened in South Africa, (3) then Africa, (4) the globe and close with coming events or thoughts to ponder on. We also invite African netizens for Hangouts on various topics – e.g. past Nigerian elections, Kenya’s Summer Bunnies and the magazine business and Zambia’s Bongo Hive Innovation Hub.

We went live with our first eNitiate Visual Radio in late November 2014. We review the show’s content on an ongoing basis, and make adjustments as we learn more about what works and what does not. Most recently 2 features were added  to our content – #DigitalItch and #DigitalYawn. You will have to listen to the show to know what these features are about.


Branding of eNitiate Visual Radio

It was clear to me that eNitiate Visual Radio has to be branded as a stand-alone property of the company. We introduced this logo in January.


As part of revitalisation of eNitiate business – the journey that was introduced on the 1st of April 2015,  the intention is to grow this Internet radio property into a digital media business. Thus, this brand has evolved to eNitiate Visual.ly.


While I cannot give away too much about this business at the moment, suffice to say that I anticipate the need for rich digital content is going to increase in line with growing convergence of media trend in Africa. We are therefore positioning ourselves for this boon.

The next post in the eNitiate revitalisation journey is going to focus on eNiversity.


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