Farly Kalombo, runner-up for the 2022 George Atkins Communication Award

| August 8, 2022

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Farly Kalombo has been a broadcaster at Radio Congo Reveil FM, located in the Tskikapa / Kasai region of DRC, for 10 years. He is also a freelance journalist who reports on gender issues such as gender-based violence. Mr. Kalombo was inspired to become a broadcaster after noticing that many local radio stations did not have agricultural programming, despite the fact that local farmers feed their communities.

Mr. Kalombo is a runner-up for the 2022 George Atkins Communication Award.

Mr. Kalombo says his strengths are his know-how and his use of Farm Radio resources. With these tools, Mr. Kalombo fights against poverty in the Tskikapa / Kasai region through agricultural development. In addition to his work as station director, Mr. Kalombo broadcasts three programs in local languages such as Tshiluba, Lingala, Kitshioko, and Kimpende.

The first program, Budimi ke Ditunga (The field is the nation), shows that communities survive and thrive thanks to food produced by local farmers, and values farmers’ contributions as equal to diamond mining. In this program, Mr. Kalombo hosts panels of politicians and diamond companies to discuss how they can help combat local poverty and hunger.

The second, Tshidime Mubanji (Farmers are a treasure), addresses the ways that farmers contribute to society, including all the parties involved in diamond mining and trade. 

The third, Diyi dia Tshidime (Word of the Farmers), allows farmers to speak for themselves about the issues that impact them most, including land conflicts, lack of seed varieties, and lack of means of transportation. To create the program, Mr. Kalombo uses vox pops, call-ins, and interviews. In one episode, he featured the Provincial Minister of the Interior, who spoke about land rights for farmers.

Mr. Kalombo’s listeners enjoy his interactive programs, and especially the listening groups which the station organizes to accompany the broadcasts. Feedback from listeners is positive, and highlights their enjoyment of the debates and interactivity. To make his programs entertaining, Mr. Kalombo uses music, humour, and intriguing topics.

As a Farm Radio broadcasting partner, Mr. Kalombo has completed e-courses on gender, generating revenue, and preparing an agricultural program. He also led his station’s efforts to apply for the COVID-19 emergency fund. Mr. Kalombo has also received training in human rights and how to coach community radio stations from organizations such as the Hirondelle Foundation, Internews, and FAO.

Photo: Farly Kalombo in studio. Photo courtesy of Farly Kalombo.