World Radio Day 2024

Surviving the drought

World Radio Day is an annual celebration and a homage to the impact of radio in our world. As a Nigerian, this celebration is special because the radio transcends culture and geographical boundaries. 

From the cities to the rural areas, its accessibility and simplicity makes it an important part of the daily lives of millions. Whether it’s the soothing voice of an OAP or the rhythmic Afrobeat music, the radio provides a reliable source of news and entertainment.

Tomiwa’s parents were farmers and had the largest vegetable farm in town. It was a closely knitted town and because agriculture was prevalent, there were hardly any hungry people.

However, a series of events altered everything, and Tomiwa’s life took another turn. There was a terrible drought in the town and the once lush fields became parched. This led to tensions and Tomiwa’s parents could not handle the situation, making them fall ill, leaving her with the responsibility of caring for her younger siblings.

With her parents on permanent bed rest, her uncle was her guardian and though he had a family to cater to, there was no day he did not visit. Each time he came, he brought foodstuff, and other presents.

Tomiwa had to be an adult and made sure everything was in order. It took a toll on her teenage mind. As the hardship worsened, she found solace in the radio on her Nokia 3310. It distracted her from all the gloom around as she went about her chores, especially after school. 

Her favourite OAP was Lanre Agbaya who anchored various shows. There was a particular station that was always providing updates on relief efforts, drought survival tips, and stories of resilience from neighboring communities.

One day, after a long and tiring afternoon of chores, she turned on her radio and there was a program that caught her attention. It featured a group of young people from different towns coming together to create a community garden. They shared seeds and knowledge to ensure everyone had enough to eat.

Inspired by this, Tomiwa decided to reach out to her friends, proposing a similar initiative. Some of her friends thought it was a lost cause. While some thought that she was only a girl and could not achieve the feat. 

Undeterred by skeptics, Tomiwa continued to sell the idea to other neighboring families. It was not easy convincing them but her persistence paid off. She got 9 volunteers, and they met two times a week to brainstorm on location, scope, and irrigation. 

Soon it became news round the whole town and families came to lend their support. Regular tasks such as watering, weeding, and pest control were shared. Tomiwa’s dream had become everyone’s dream.

The crops began maturing and the harvest was distributed fairly, ensuring that everyone received a share. It was an emotional moment for Tomiwa during the King’s speech. “We have a rare gem to thank for this bountiful harvest. Because of her initiative, the people of our town will no longer starve.”

Tomiwa’s parents, still recovering, swelled with pride at the praises that were showered on their daughter. After the end of the harvest celebration, everyone started to retire to their homes. Tomiwa was on her way to get her parents so they could all go home when a lady nudged her.

“Hello,” She waved. “My name is Sisi Rachel.”

Tomiwa’s eyes widened, “as in, Sisi Rachel of Insight FM?”

“In the flesh.” She replied. “I won’t take your time, but I want to invite you for an interview at our station concerning your pet project.”

Tomiwa shook her head, “it’s not mine, it’s for all of us. I can’t take the sole recognition.”

“I heard the king’s speech, and I was inspired, it started with your Nokia 3310.” Sisi Rachel replied. “I would like you to tell your story to inspire everyone, especially girls that no one is at a disadvantage.” Sisi Rachel clasped her hands.

A wave of nostalgia washed through Tomiwa, “I would love to, but you need to seek my parents’ permission.”

In the end, the crazy period in Tomiwa’s life became a testament to the power of connection and the role the radio played in helping a young girl find her way through the drought. Here’s to a century of informing, entertaining, and educating.

World Radio Day 2024

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