The Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Protais Mitali, has called upon media practitioners, particularly radio presenters, to promote the Rwandan culture and values through their shows.
Mitali made the call yesterday while opening a one-day workshop aimed at providing a platform for dialogue and discussions on the connection between media and culture, organised by Media High Council (MHC).
The call comes after concerns that some relationship-based programmes aired on various radio stations across the country do not comply with the Rwandan values and culture.
“I encourage every media organisation especially radio stations to be very careful while airing their radio shows concerning relationships because it has been noticed that they may distort our culture and national values as Rwandans” Mitali said.
He said that the Rwandan culture and values should be conserved and protected saying that this would enable the youth to be well brought-up citizens.
The Minister noted that some talk shows on radio stations if not well scrutinised may encourage the youth to indulge into prostitution and pornography saying that radio presenters and other journalists should desist from activities that may cause harm to the Rwandan population.
In an interview with The New Times, Straton Nsanzabaganwa, the coordinator of Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture said that some radio presenters use indecent words when airing programmes related to relationships saying, the practice should be halted as it may promote premarital sex among the youth.
“I want to emphasise that there are other terms which people should use during programmes on relationships instead of using obscene words which can not only promote indiscipline among the youth but also make them sexually active while they are still young” Nsanzabaganwa said.
He noted that Rwandan culture and values are central to the development of the nation adding that there is still a need to learn how to use the media in promoting the country without negatively affecting the Rwandan culture.
“I think no country has ever developed in the whole world without banking on its own language and culture and we as Rwandan are proud of our language and culture and it’s this that distinguishes us from other societies.
I advise all Rwandans including the media practitioners to promote our culture and to avoid involvement in activities that can distort it,” Nsanzabaganwa advised.
Jean de Chantal Mugabushaka, commonly known as Eminente, a radio presenter at Isango star radio station who hosts a talk show known as Mumabanga y’Umutima, based on relationships, asked all radio presenters to employ laid-down procedures while airing their programmes, saying that this would help them to avoid use of obscene words.
“According to my analysis and observation, there is a need for all radio presenters and other media practitioners who air talk shows concerning love affairs to first obtain vast experience, skills and knowledge about this issue” Mugabushaka said.
She observed that the youth nowadays engage in premarital sex as a result of the content in some of the talk shows.
Patrice Mulama, the Executive Secretary of MHC encouraged media practitioners to learn how to use the media to promote the country without negatively affecting the Rwandan culture.
He noted that there are presently no specific guidelines on how media can report sexual issues, adding that several media practitioners in the country do not have the same background on what constitutes the ‘dos’ and don’ts’ of the Rwandan language and culture.
He revealed that MHC had received numerous concerns especially from women associations, parliamentarians and the general public about the nature of content of some of the programmes run on some of the radio stations.
“We should strive to promote our traditional values and culture because it’s one of the factors that distinguishes Rwandan from other countries” Mulama said.