Members of radio stations and stakeholders pose for a group picture
For many Basotho, radio is still the most important medium to access information and to interact with one another. Thus, on 13th February, 2018, the Lesotho National Commission for UNESCO (LNCU) joined the rest of the world to celebrate World Radio Day and to appreciate the value that radio adds to peoples’ lives.
Considering this years’ theme “Radio and Sports”, LNCU in partnership with the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation organised an event that brought athletes and radio broadcasters together to demonstrate the strong bonds through which radio and sports are connected. The day commenced with a 5 kilometre “Fun Run” starting at the Institute of Extra Mural Studies (IEMS) in Maseru early in the morning. Participants to the run included members of the public and renowned national athletes who are also scheduled to take part in the upcoming Commonwealth games. That was followed by a “boxing demonstration” of Lesotho’s National Boxing Team, who showed off their skills to the guests and passers-by who ended up turning Maseru traffic in to a stand still as morning commuters were keen to witness the boxing demo. During the sports activities, the radio stations represented utilised the opportunity to make a live broadcast of what was happening.
Representing the LNCU, the Communication and Information Programme Coordinator, Mr. Tieho Rankhone read the UNESCO Director General message for the day. Subsequent to that, all speakers hailed UNESCO’s message and called on all radio stations to ensure that traditional sports are covered and that gender equality is taken in to consideration whenever sports are reported.
Although the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology could not make it on time to the celebrations, he utilised the slot he received on the national television to read his message for the day.
In his key note address to the nation and media, Honourable Thesele ‘Maseribane called on radio stations to celebrate the traditional sports that connect Basotho to their cultural heritage and the inspiring stories that challenge gender stereotypes and urged radio reporters to cover equally both men’s and woman’s sports events. The Minister also took time to warn radio stations to adhere to broadcasting rules and regulations and to refrain from broadcasting information that is likely to incite violence especially now that the government is working hard to restore peace and stability after years of tumultuous period.
Also in attendance to the celebration were representatives of the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation, the Media Institute of Southern Africa Lesotho (MISA Lesotho), Mass communications, lecturers and students from IEMS as well reporters form almost all the radio stations in the country.
Appreciating local sports; The National Boxing Team of Lesotho showcases their skills to the audience