“When the Radio Speaks”

As a kid, I was amazed by the way that small box made such noises and music!  The box had lots of voices being beamed from it, as if it comprised lots and lots of people therein. We could call that one of the wonders of the world or maybe one of the 19th Century wonder.  This radio phenomenon owes its development to two other inventions, the telegraph and the telephone; all three technologies are closely related.

As a kid, I was amazed by the way that small box made such noises and music!  The box had lots of voices being beamed from it, as if it comprised lots and lots of people therein. 

We could call that one of the wonders of the world or maybe one of the 19th Century wonder.  This radio phenomenon owes its development to two other inventions, the telegraph and the telephone; all three technologies are closely related.

Radio technology began as “wireless telegraphy”.  In this context, I will only refer to the Radio as the electronic appliance that we listen with or the content listened to.

However, it all started with the discovery of “radio waves” that have the capacity to transmit music, speech, pictures and other data invisibly through the air.

One of the radio pioneers, a one Italian (if I’m not mistaken) by the name of “Guglielmo Marconi”, may have never anticipated the impact his brain child would have to this planet earth.

Now a days, we have the mobile phone, the FM Stations, etc, all, thanks to the man!

I am not a Scientist, nor am I a lecturer on the workings of this amazing device, all I am is a mere” Villager.  I suppose, I should not have any business talking so scientifically.

I know many of you are there busy bullshitting me and my articles but just a second, put it in the back(s) of your mind(s), as the English adage goes “There is no Smoke without a Fire”.

Every word I say or write has a basis. Way back in the olden days, more probably, in the seventies, there was nothing like today’s FM stations that blare music day in day out.

Radio sets were a preserve for news lovers period!  In the environs of Mfashumwana village, there was a not so old man that was a proud owner of a radio set.

As a matter of principle or was ignorance or both, his radio happened to be tuned to one station and that was Radio Rwanda.

Most times, it would remind the listeners that, “iyi ni radiyo Rwanda, ivugira iKigari, muri metero mirongo itandatu blah, blah, blah (this is Radio Rwanda transmitting on 60Mhz in the short wave band etc).

This poor chap never even knew how to tune to another station.  Word has it that, he visited a nearby town and while there, he left his radio unattended to.

An onlooker who wanted to listen to other programmes in other languages changed the station.  The radio owner came back and “disowned” the radio as not being his, “radio yanjye ntakindi kirimiizi, uretse Ikinyarwanda, iyo ntago ari yanjye” (that’s not mine, my
radio only knows Kinyarwanda).

Now, many years later, people listen to radios with love while others hate them, all these for their own personal reasons.  I have a friend who hates the radio so much that he has sworn never to own one.

I could not figure it out until I got the full story.  Zigira, to friends, he is known simply as “Zig”, to loosen his mouth, we took him to Carwash and as his “throat” was being washed, he loosened up and told us of his long hatred for the radio, “I was successful, working as a DG in Kigali until that stupid radio announced my name that I had been replaced for being incompetent, since then, I have not got another job,” he confessed.

Now I understand why.  By the way, I used to hear some workers in some companies asking each other as to when the “radiyo, izavuga ryari?”

(When will the radio speak?).  I have come to learn that, this term is used to mean “when will our boss be fired?” or “when shall we get a new boss?”

Keep listening to the radio, maybe one Wednesday or Friday night, the radio “could speak” you into a big office eh!

Mfashumwana@fastmail.fm

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