Sansan Bertin Sib is the head of production at Radio Rurale du Burkina. His zeal for journalism dates back to his childhood. His passion was so strong that, in high school, he tried his hand at journalism as a commentator during events, especially football matches.
Mr. Sib obtained a degree in literature at university, which enabled him to teach French in high schools and colleges. But his passion for journalism was too strong and he eventually returned to studies in communications. He has now worked in radio for nine years.
Mr. Sib is highly motivated and rigorous in his work, particularly in listening to his audience, understanding their concerns, and addressing them on air. From the choice of program topics and guests to the preparation, recording, and editing process, he always takes the time to do it right. He says it is his responsibility to the radio station and explains that, because the purpose of his program is to raise awareness, they must be done well so that listeners get the information they need.
Mr. Sib produces a farmer program in a local language called Lobiri, his mother tongue. The program is called Kokola i khee boo (Farming space) and is a platform for farmers to talk about their activities and highlight good agricultural practices.
The major challenges he hears about from listeners is their struggle to adopt new agricultural techniques and improve their yields. For those engaged in post-harvest processing, the major challenges include training and finances.
With this in mind, Mr. Sib decided to do an episode on the business of a woman who processes cassava into atiéké, a dish made of fermented cassava pulp that has been grated or granulated. The woman expanded her small business to employ six people and a dozen contract workers who help peel and process the cassava.
To give space for listeners’ voices on air, Mr. Sib interviews his listeners. This is a process that involves contacting listeners to learn about their concerns, and then arranging interviews in their workplace. After editing the program and scheduling it for broadcast, Mr. Sib sends a message to the interviewees to let them know when it will air so they can tune in. This expands his listener base, as the interviewees tell their friends to tune in as well.
As part of his current work at RTB2, Mr. Sib also produces a program called Cultural Heritage, which is a return to his roots to discover the customs and values of local communities.
To entertain his listeners and keep them coming back, Mr. Sib airs local music recorded in villages with messages aligned with program themes.
Mr. Sib worked with FRI on the AdoSanté project as part of his former job at RTB Gaoua. During this project, he supervised the broadcast of radio dramas on youth and sexual health. He also listened to programs produced by FRI radio partners to improve the quality of their episodes. He says the VOICES standards have been integral to improving the quality of his radio programming.
Mr. Sib is a winner of the prestigious GALIAN Prize for excellence in Burkinabè media. He was also a runner-up for the George Atkins Communication Award in 2023.