The National broadcaster KBC has today officially launched Iftiin FM, a station that broadcasts in Somali language to cater for its growing audience at a colorful ceremony held at the Laico regency in Nairobi.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Mr. Joseph Tiampati who was the chief guest said the station will go a long way in fostering national cohesion and integration through its wide range of programs broadcasted in the local language of its targeted audience.
“It will help us to change the narrative. We are one nation, we need to counter negativity and we can do this though mediums such as this” he said
Tiampti said plans were underway to launch a language policy that will regulate the media.
KBC Managing Director Waithaka Waihenya who graced the function said the launch was in line with the National broadcaster’s diversification and business consolidation efforts.
The MD added that KBC will continue producing quality broadcast content to Kenyans in their first language.
Local leaders led by Majority leader Aden Duale also attended the event.
Duale Challenged KBC management to expand the station’s reach to the Diaspora saying he will take up with the Parent Ministry in order to see the National broadcaster get more funding to give it an edge over its competitors and catapult it into a World class broadcaster.
Kamukunji Member of Parliament Yussuf Hassan, a veteran journalist, was full of praise for the State broadcaster thanking KBC for the station which he said will contribute immensely efforts to develop regions that were hitherto neglected.
“I am happy with Iftiin FM which gives voice to the Somali community. The station should spearhead efforts to shape lives of the youth. It should discourage them against evil acts such as radicalization and drug abuse” said Yussuf.
He urged the station to be part of the solution and not the problem adding that it should create social cohesion among members of the Somalia community which was its target audience.
Similar sentiments were shared by Wajir County women representative Fatuma Ibrahim who said that with Iftiin FM will help in the social development of the Somali community.
“The station will act as a link between local residents and their leaders” she said.
Fatuma asked the station to tailor its programs on the needs of the nomadic Somali community which she said had challenges in taking advantage of other forms of media as TVs, newspapers and social media.
Balambala MP Abdikadir Aden said the station opens new platform through which Kenyans can articulate issues at the grassroots level.
Abdi K asked members of the Somali community to utilize the station.
Iftiin FM started its programming on 8th February 2015 and is ably Manned and a Managed by a crop of young professionals from Northern Kenya led by Station Manager, Mohammed Elmi.
Breakfast show/Teen time host Abdinoor Ali (Elhadji Abdinoor Governor Mkuu) was the co-MC of the event.
Former Speaker Farah Maalim, Deputy Governor of Isiolo County Mohamed Guleid, MPs Abass Sheikh Mohamed, Wajir East, Abdikadir Mohamed, Balambala, and Wajir Senator Abdirahman Hassan among other leaders also attended the event.