New offerings for young people on the Malian and Nigerien airwaves

July 29, 2019

In early June, Studio Tamani and Studio Kalangou launched new news and programme time slots specifically dedicated to young people.

The vast majority of Malians and Nigeriens are aged under 30. And yet young people remain largely marginalised in the public sphere and struggle to find spaces for expression to explain their experiences and aspirations.

To address this issue, the Fondation Hirondelle has set out to create new spaces for young people on the airwaves of its production studios in Mali and Niger. Studio Tamani and Studio Kalangou produce news bulletins and interactive magazines addressing topics relevant to young people and broadcast every weekend between 5pm and 7pm in Mali and 5pm and 6:15pm in Niger by around a hundred community radio stations (70 in Mali and 38 in Niger).

Displaced Malians involved in the interactive magazine Grand Mag 'Displaced people of Senou: “We didn't leave our respective areas for the fun of it"' on 15 June 2019
© Tristan Miquel / Fondation Hirondelle

Every At Tamani, the Actu'Jeunes news bulletins are broadcast in 5 languages.programme begins with “L'Actu des jeunes" (“Youth News"), a “direct and trendy" take on the week's news. The news bulletins are created and broadcast in the majority languages of Mali and Niger, with Studio Tamani broadcasting in Bambara, Songhai, Fula, Tamasheq and French and Studio Kalangou in Tamasheq, Fulfulde, Hausa, Zarma and French.
By speaking to young people in their most commonly spoken languages, Tamani and Kalangou facilitate their appropriation of information.

"Using national languages is important to ensure young people are spoken to in the language they use every day even though they might speak other languages."
Martin Faye, Representative of the Fondation Hirondelle in Mali.

Studio Tamani in action: two journalists present Actu'Jeunes every week (Mali)
© Tristan Miquel / Fondation Hirondelle

The emphasis on reflecting the concerns of young people is also apparent in the interactive format of the programme, which goes out on the road every week to engage directly with them. Each news review is followed by a debate lasting 40 minutes and held in an “extramural" setting – in other words, outside the studio, in places such as theatres, associations and museums.

Entitled “Tous au grin" in Mali and “Tous à la fada" in Niger, the sequence is a mix of music, vox pop, interviews and a range of contributions, offering listeners the chance to speak directly to guests on topics of everyday life, whether from the audience or through social networks such as WhatsApp. The sequence is also produced and broadcast in several languages, including Bambara and Fulfulde in Mali and Hausa and Zarma in Niger.

What these special moments aim to do is to reconnect young people with radio stations in order to make them aware of the importance of being informed about subjects that concern them, but also to enable them to take a more active role in public debate.

"A key aspect of the programme is that it reaches out to young people by reflecting their linguistic ghetto, their codes, their words and their style. Finally, the format of the Grand Mag is inspired from a traditional communication tool that is familiar to youth and that speaks to them: the “grin" in Mali and the “fada" in Niger, the most well-known version being the Palaver Tree."
Martin Faye, Representative of the Fondation Hirondelle in Mali.

On 24 May 2019, as part of the programme “Tous au Grin", the presenter Fatoumata Togola led a debate with experts and students on the subject of violent extremism among young people
© Tristan Miquel / Fondation Hirondelle

So far the programme has proved hugely popular with listeners, who also have the option of following it on WhatsApp or of listening to it free of charge on the Kunafoniw platform managed by the NGO Viamo in partnership with Orange in the language of their choice (the platform has been a huge success). Around ten radio stations not involved in the project have also asked Studio Tamani for permission to broadcast the programme.

Both of these new programmes aimed at young people were created as part of a cooperation between the Fondation Hirondelle and CFI through its MédiaSahelp roject funded by the AFD, the French Development Agency.

To follow the youth programmes through Studio Tamani and receive news in Bambara, Songhai, Fula, Tamasheq or French on WhatsApp, sign up on the studio's website or send a text to +223 82 99 11 62. To follow Studio Tamani on Facebook.

To follow the youth programmes through Studio Kalangou and receive news on Whatsapp, sign up on the studio's website or text “Jeune" to +227 80 06 88 54. To follow Studio Kalangou on Facebook.

Studio Tamani, a station that reflects the reality of its listeners, here as part of the interactive magazine Grand Mag “Displaced people of Senou: “We didn't leave our respective areas for the fun of it" on 15 June 2019