August 3, 2013
We usually begin each show by asking, “Are we on the air?” followed quickly by “Are we still on the air?” The first question reflects the technical challenges of radio broadcasting in Burundi, the second our genuine amazement no one has shut us down.
Well, dear listeners, now we know the answer to those questions – and it’s not as bad as we had feared. After almost three years on the air in Bujumbura, Imagine Burundi is ending its run. We triumph knowing no one did shut us down, so we are doing it ourselves. Starting today, we will keep adding episodes to the Archive on this site but there will be no new Imagine Burundi broadcasts in Bujumbura.
When we started this project, we envisioned a different kind of community growing out of our work. We would be sad to end the show without having achieved some part of that goal, but now we can really see that community taking shape. Students, English learners, young professionals, business owners, journalists, police officers, diplomats, aid workers, expats – we have been incredibly lucky to meet so many great folks, share a laugh or a meal with them, and hear their stories about life in Burundi. You’ve shown us that a new Burundi is rising, and we wish to thank each and every one of you.
Over the years, more and more English Clubs have sprouted up around the capital, while new people tuned in to send us messages, encouragement, questions or just simple greetings. It now has the feel of a genuine movement. More than just English-learning, that momentum captures a new attitude, especially amongst younger Burundians, to look outwardly with an optimism based not on empty words and slogans but on actual experiences. It is those stories of success and change that we have tried to bring to our listeners every week. For the most part, we are happy with the work we have done.
That is why we feel good about this transition. We are confident in the changes taking hold in Burundi. We always believed this show would have a natural lifespan, and once we had effected some change and met our objectives, it would be time to end it – so here we are.
But it doesn’t mean the show won’t live on. In fact, it is a literal transition. We are happy to report the team is staying together to bring you a new show at the same hour on the same station. It has a new name and the format will be different, but the crew is the same. BJC, Amina and Elvis will host a new show called The Burundian Way. The show will include stories about Burundian history from BJC, reflections on jobs from Amina and debates hosted by Elvis. We are all excited to hear the first episode. Today’s live show will have introduced the show to our local listeners and hopefully, new episodes will start airing next Saturday at 3 p.m. in Bujumbura on 99.4 FM CCIB. Our next post here will include descriptions from the Team about their respective segments. We hope you’ll have a listen!
We will also continue posting past episodes to the Archive for our web listeners, so check out the site often. Coming up this week, we have some very special shows in which Imagine Burundi traveled around the region to glimpse what life is like in Burundi’s neighbors, including Amina’s epic trip Rwanda and Elvis’ touristic trip around Burundi.
Once again, thank you all for tuning in and helping make this show happen. We’ve come a long way from the early days of Jeff and Seth huddled over a laptop talking to themselves to a whole crew with a home and a solid listenership. It’s been a real pleasure.
Our warmest wishes to all of you,
Jeff and the Imagine Burundi Team