- Barza Wire - https://wire.farmradio.fm -

Veteran broadcaster still serving farmers after 28 years

Christian Maduka is a veteran broadcaster with more than 28 years of communication and media experience in Nigeria and abroad. He began his broadcast career in southeast Nigeria with programs that promoted non-violent elections and including marginalized people in political debate, including young people and women. His credits over the years include award-winning human rights programs, work as a BBC Media Action trainer, co-production and direction of programs for BBC World Service Trust, and various roles in broadcast and television, including managing director, production manager, and program manager at stations across Nigeria. Today, Mr. Maduka is head of marketing and sales, and training manager at Choice 97.1 FM Radio in Nnewi, in southeastern Nigeria.

Mr. Maduka says his greatest strengths as a broadcaster are content design, creation, production, and training, as well as a knack for combining radio with new technologies. As for his listeners’ needs, Mr. Maduka says: “The biggest problems facing farmers in southeastern Nigeria include a lack of accurate and trusted information on good agricultural practices, lack of access to capital, and gender inequality.” 

To address these problems, Mr. Maduka produces and presents a program called Aka Aja Aja (“Soiled hands bring oily mouth”) in the local language, Igbo. The 30-minute program is broadcast every Saturday and repeats every Monday to help farmers learn about agriculture from experts.

The program includes four segments. First, the background report provides contextual information on the topic of the day, then the testimonial presents the story of a farmer who has real experience with the topic. The vox pop segment enables farmers to share their opinions or knowledge on the subject. Finally, the guest interview segment features an expert who provides technical input.

In order to get feedback from listeners, Mr. Maduka makes field visits and telephone calls, which he plays on air in later episodes. Overall, he says listeners like the design of the program and like to hear the voices of other farmers.

The program has helped farmers in the region learn about good agricultural practices by addressing common local farming activities. To keep the program interesting, Mr. Maduka uses quizzes, musical interludes, and quotes from local celebrities. Sometimes he even gets support from Nollywood stars for the program.

Mr. Maduka has been associated with FRI for a number of years, and briefly served as a networking officer for Nigeria. He has also participated in several trainings and e-discussions with FRI since 2010 and regularly uses FRI resources to create his programs.

In the past, Mr. Maduka used his media knowledge as a communications officer for  organizations such as USAID.