Rosemonde Bakieno is a journalist and director of Radio Munyu, a community radio station for women in Banfora, in the Cascades region of Burkina Faso. Mrs. Bakieno’s passion for radio led her from being a human resources manager to the producer of an interactive radio show for rural audiences. She took her first steps with Radio Munyu in 2017 as a volunteer manager, eventually becoming assistant to the executive secretary, and then station director.
As director, she revamped Radio Munyu’s operations to produce better quality programs. She also produces her own program as an example to her staff.
Rosemonde is inspired by Burkina Faso’s many agricultural activities, including crop farming, animal husbandry, and fishing. Her interactive radio program Tchikèlaw ka wagati (“Tribune of farmers and breeders”) is broadcast in Dioula, a local language. The program informs and empowers farmers and livestock keepers to improve their economic status. To determine which topics to address in her show, Rosemonde surveys her listeners, adding that this strengthens farmers’ connection with the station.
Rosemonde includes the voices of farmers on her show through interviews in which farmers discuss practical issues and share their experiences. She also uses vox pops to showcase listeners’ opinions and concerns. The program features a call-in where listeners ask questions and suggest themes for future episodes.
To make her program entertaining, Rosemonde adds a touch of humour with jokes, proverbs, local music, and funny stories.
She says that Radio Munyu’s listeners face major challenges accessing inputs such as fertilizers. State fertilizer subsidies often do not reach Banifora; also, fertilizers may be out of stock or otherwise unavailable. Tchikèlaw ka wagati raises awareness of this issue in the community, and Rosemonde uses the program to find solutions. One outcome of the program is that an organic compost and pesticide manufacturing business is now operating in the region and supplying local farmers.
Rosemonde’s history with Farm Radio dates back to the implementation of the ADOSANTÉ project, a project on adolescent sexual and reproductive health in which Radio Munya was a partner. The project was an opportunity for her and her staff to receive training on using Uliza, a Farm Radio interactivity tool. Rosemonde is also an active member of Farm Radio’s Burkina Faso WhatsApp group.
This story was originally published in Barza Wire, Farm Radio International’s newswire for African farm broadcasters. The George Atkins Communications Award recognizes a radio broadcaster who serves their rural audience and is a committed partner of Farm Radio International.