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Phalaphala FM, previously known as Radio Venda, turned 51 this year. To celebrate the springinto the next half-century the SABC radio station is reveling in change.It has been 18 years since the station rebranded and there is no better way to celebrate than to get a facelift.To mark this milestone the radio station will be launching their brand new logo and a multiplatform brand campaign at an exclusive gala dinner.

Phalaphala FM,is a contemporary radio station targeting 16-to 34-year-old aspirational Tshivenda-speaking people,underpinned by their tagline: ‘Always There With You.’This speaks to the stations long-lasting endurance. From its early days in 1965, where the station shared a three-hour broadcast a day with then Radio Tsonga, to a full 24-hour broadcast in 1978, the station has morphed to reflect the ever-changing landscape of the country and its listeners.“The rebranding is not just about leaving the past, it is about reflecting on our own changes from analogue to digital,” says Station Manager Freddy Sadiki.

“We can now be heard in so many other ways, from digital radio and TV to online.Radio is no longer just in the home or in the car. Listeners are far more engaged now, listening on phones, computers, TV’s, and the list goes on.”

“The tagline – Phalaphala –Always There With You –connects the past with the present and future andtells listeners exactly where we are and what we do; the only radiostation entirely dedicated to TshiVenda culture and language,” says Sadiki.

Under theleadership of the current Station Manager, Freddy Sadiki, Phalaphala FM is broadcasting shows that are aimed at not only informing, educating and entertaining listeners but also covering every aspect of Tshivenda life ina contemporary world. The radio station is rebranding but remaining firm in being an endearing and friendly radio station that is always readily accessible, relevant, and a custodian of the Tshivenda language and culture.

The celebration of 51 years also highlights Phalaphala FM’s integral role in community development by creating activities such as;Traditional Dance Competitions that have been running for over 12 years. These cater to Xitsonga, Sepedi and Tshivenda dance groups in Limpopo and Gauteng. The annual overseas tour, which has been going on for over twenty years, has visited countries such as; Greece, France, India, China, Argentina, Thailand, Brazil and Turkey. The tours have been the flagship of the station, ensuring that Phalaphala appeals to non-Tshivenda speaking audiences as well. This year listeners will be visiting Singapore and Thailand.

In a need to respond to and support local music, the station introduced the Tshivenda Music Awards. Through this project, there has been an increase in the production of Tshivenda Music and we hope it will continue to grow.

Phalaphala FM’s approach in all it does, is to continue connecting with the listener for the next half a century, under their tagline – Always There With You.

‘’ Phalaphala FM launches its new CI at a time when the SABC proudly plays 90% local music. Phalaphala FM is well positioned to do so. For the past few years the station has embarked on a journey of developing tshiVenda music. This was done through the annual tshiVenda Music Awards. Since the inception of the awards, Vha Venda musicians have been prolific in recording music and supplying the station.’’ says Zolisilie Mapipa, General Manager PBS Radio

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