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News 28 Jun 2010

Cultural evening for first anniversary of community radio Biso na Biso

Since January 2019, TFT has become Earthworm Foundation.

Community radio Biso na Biso, a TFT project made possible by collaboration with Congolaise Industrielle des Bois (CIB) and currently supported financially by Fondation Chirac, was inaugurated on 7 June 2009 in Pokola.

Radio BnB is managed by Privat Tiburce Massanga, a journalist by training, and is run with the assistance of ten local coordinators all of whom have been trained by Privat. The radio broadcasts its programmes in local indigenous languages and reaches thousands of people living deep in the forest within a hundred kilometre radius of its base in Pokola, Republic of Congo.

On 19 and 20 June, the radio marked its first anniversary with a great celebration in Ibamba, a Pygmy village in the Likouala area almost 100 kilometres from Pokola. During the two-day event, the Biso na Biso radio team along with several CIB employees organised a cultural evening.

The party was essentially centred on semi-nomad traditional dances and particularly those linked to the special Mbendjelé ritual called « Edjengui », an initiatory and fetishist rite for the Pygmies. The atmosphere was extraordinary with great fires, a jubilant crowd and the main dancer wrapped in an amazing outfit made fully of long strips of date palm leaves. In addition to musical entertainment, the party included health messages and films on semi-nomad life and wild fauna. To their delight, some village residents saw other Pygmies on the screen for the first time in a film entitled « Fishing with the Mbendjele » produced by Privat as well as two films on sustainable forest management produced by INCEF (The International Conservation and Education Fund).

The next day, TFT’s representative in the Congo, Norbert Gami, directed a diploma awards ceremony for the local coordinators and other volunteers at the radio, thanking them for their positive collaboration during the first year of Biso na Biso.

In addition to the cultural evening, the radio also organised a survey in several villages and in the town of Ouesso designed to evaluate listener’s interest in its programmes. With the support of Fondation Chirac, additional FM wind-up and solar powered radio receivers were distributed in target communities and a radio competition was organised to allow its listeners to take part in the celebrations and win prizes.

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