Wake up

Thursday 15 January 2009

-- The people of Mugogo, a village situated some 2,000 km from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, will long remember January 4, 2008. On that day they heard their common wake-up call, babusa, from a radio station. Radio Babusa had hit the air.

An initiative of the women's group Sauti ya Mwanamke Kijijini, Radio Babusa broadcasts in the local language Mashi, Swahili and French. The first broadcast included traditional and contemporary songs. It has also broadcast programmes on women and child welfare, agriculture. Babusa in the local Shi dialect describes a cry used exclusively by women and young girls to wake each other up when it is time to leave for work in a field in a distant village. The cry is also used when they need to go and fetch firewood or the fresh grass used on the floors of huts.

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