Saturday, December 9, 2006

Finally, we got our frequency!

KochFM has finally recieved the transmitting-frequency.
We are now able to transmit at FM 99.9.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

KochFM on Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) home page

Kenya, Somalia & Uganda

[30.06.2006 13:07]

FM radio rocks in Kenyan slums
The first radio station to serve Kenya’s informal settlements has been started in Nairobi’s Korogocho slums. KochFM seeks to entertain and educate - and teach - the people in the slums.

The radio station, dubbed KochFM, was conceptualised by a group of young people from Korogocho, which with 500,000 inhabitants is the third largest slum in Nairobi. The concept of KochFM was inspired by similar projects abroad, like Radio Favela, in the slums of Belo Horizonte, Brazil which has been honoured by the United Nations for fighting crime and drugs as well as educating the community.

“With KochFM, we are making a megaphone for the people. Young people are considered to be the most important listeners, and are the station's main target group. These are the ones who are in a position to change things for the better, and to build a better future for the people of Korogocho,” says Richard Sveen, a sound engineer who has been supporting the youth initiative.

Together with Inger-Lill Persett, a participant in the Norwegian Fredskorpset exchange programme in Kenya since October 2005, Sveen presented the idea of KochFM to Norwegian Church Aid. The Kenya programme of Norwegian Church Aid responded with an offer to support KochFM with equipment and containers to be used as office and studio space.

Adding value to a job well done
“Such an initiative is very positive and we at Norwegian Church Aid are happy to work together with KochFM, not only in providing material things but also in building relationships and giving moral support that can add value to the good work the young people are doing,” says Yussuf Aweis, Norwegian Church Aid’s Chief Logistics Officer in Nairobi.

The radio station, using a transmitter that was built by supporters of the Norwegian initiative, has the capacity to transmit within a radius of five kilometres. This means that the station can reach other neighbouring areas with its positive messages.

KochFM’s editorial focus includes hygiene, HIV and Aids, environment, governance, gender equality, culture and the fight against crime and drugs.

“Our programmes will raise awareness on issues we perceive to be pertinent in our country, but specific to us in Korogocho and other slums. We have received words of goodwill from the government and the Communications Commission of Kenya,” says Njeru Munyi, one of the leaders of the youth initiative.

Njeru and his colleagues Abdi Hussein and Geoffrey Mureithi had visited Norwegian Church Aid’s office in Eastern Africa to share their experiences.

For more information, contact:
  • Isaiah Kipyegon T., Regional Communications and Advocacy Officer, tel.: (+254) 723 938133, e-mail:

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Geoffrey Mureithi, a youth leader from Nairobi's Korogocho slums, addresses Norwegian Church Aid's staff during a courtesy call. (Photo: Isaiah Kipyegon/NCAEA)

Abdi Hussein, KochFM computer technician and head of promotion, shares his thoughts as his colleague Njeru Munyi takes notes. (Photo: Isaiah Kipyegon/NCAEA)

DJ Toto and DJ Shiko doing a test-broadcasting at the newly launched KochFM. (Photo: Richard Sveen/NCAEA)

KochFM studios in the middle of Nairobi's Korogocho slums. The containers were provided by Norwegian Church Aid. (Photo: Richard Sveen/NCAEA)

koch FM on Elfubobs blog

Koch FM - Community radio station

Koch FM is a project that started in the beginning of 2006 by a group from Korogocho (Nairobi’s third largest slum). The main goal for this group is to find ways of informing people about what is going on in their neighbourhood. The concept of Koch FM was inspired by similar projects abroad like Radio Favela in a slum of Belo Horizonte, a large city in Brazil. This radio station has won UN honours for fighting the drug trade and its advertising has helped education programs for the illiterate listeners. Elfu Bob has supported Koch FM with equipment like a sound mixer and a couple of microphones with stands and cables. Koch FM is still waiting to get the license to broadcast from the Kenyan government, but is surly on its way to success: they have recently been interviewed by NTV!


KochFM in Standard July 3rd 2006

Radio station targets slum residents

By Allan Kisia

From outside, it looks like any other transit goods container, or storage for the popular mitumba (second-hand) clothes.

But inside the nondescript structure is the studio of the country’s first slum radio station. The container houses equipment and machines of newly launched 101.5 Koch FM, a private radio station owned by youth from the Korogocho slum in Nairobi.

Francis Ngira, aka Big Toto, a presenter at Koch FM station.

With a range of only 5 kilometres, the station has been successfully tested and is expected to go on air in two weeks’ time once the Communications Commissions of Kenya (CCK) gives the go- ahead. The station, launched on June 24, will broadcast in Kiswahili and English in Korogocho and the surrounding areas.

Currently, it has nine male and female presenters who all grew up in the slum. The youth will run the station on voluntary basis.

Raphael Obonyo, a manager with Koch Youth Club, came up with the radio station idea to caution young people against crime and to provide entertainment.

"Crime is rampant in Korogocho and we felt that a community radio station would enhance security," he said.

The slum dwellers have received the idea with a lot of excitement. They can hardly wait for the station to go on air, after sampling its contents during the recent testing session. The station is a product of Miss Koch Initiative, a project started in 2001 to respond to rising cases of sexual abuse in the slum.

Entertaining and educative

Those behind the initiative are 25 men and 35 women aged between 18 and 28. Richard Sveen, a Norwegian tourist, was the first to donate studio equipment when the youth told him about the idea.

Others donors are the Institute of Policy Analysis, Norwegian Church Aid (which donated the container), Pamoja Trust and the residents.

A Korogocho resident, Joyce Kiarie, could not hide her enthusiasm when she listened to the radio station during its testing.

"I was excited to hear issues affecting our slum being discussed live on radio. This will be my number one radio station because the programmes are also entertaining and educative," says Kiarie.

The station will be air programmes from 6 am to 10 pm daily. It will play reggae and local music. It will also air local news. CCK officials visited the studio — located at the chief’s camp — one week ago and promised to support the initiative. But they warned it against interfering with frequencies of other radio stations.

Obonyo says rape and defilement cases are on the increase in slums and there is urgent need to find a solution to the vice.

"Those committing these crimes are in our midst but we dare not report them because they would hit back viciously," he says.

Relevant to slum dwellers

The transit goods container that houses the radio station in Korogocho slum, Nairobi. Pic by Martin Mukangu

For example, says Obonyo, 16 rapes were reported in the slum on the eve of New Year in 2000. It was for this reason that Obonyo’s team started the Miss Koch Initiative to make men see women as fellow human beings.

He said they received a lot of support from the Kenya Human Rights Commission and the community, including the youth. The initiative initially intended to do filming as a way of creating employment but the venture proved expensive and complicated.

The station has one technician, a graduate of Kenya Polytechnic, who grew up in the slum. Koch FM managing editor, Otieno Wandei, says they hope to attract commercials to be able to run the station. He says most radio stations broadcast issues that are not relevant to slum dwellers.

"Our news will specifically be packaged for people living in the ghetto. What is news to us may not necessarily be news in the mainstream media," says Wandei.

Criminal activities

He says the local community has been supporting them by donating seats, tables, utensils and books. The presenters include Francis Ngira, 20, also known as Big Toto, who will host the reggae programme and Hellen Wanjiku, 23, aka Shiko Babe. She will be a reporter, a sub-editor and a presenter of women’s programmes.

Ngira says he joined the initiative after seeing several of his friends shot dead by police over crime.

"I was also involved in criminal activities but changed to become a role model for the Korogocho youth," he says

The Miss Koch Initiative vision is to create a society that respects and promotes wholesome development of its male and female members. It seeks to provide a platform for Korogocho youth, particularly girls, to participate in the socio-economic and political matters.

Some of the initiative’s achievements are establishing an education fund for girls and a community resource centre. The initiative won the Mayor’s 2004 Award, while the winner of the Miss Koch 2003 was declared the Eve Young Woman of Year in 2004.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

People in picture

the people you see in this picture are from the left:

Richard - DJ Mzungo Baridi (me), Paul - the soldering man, Oti - the Aussie, the Big Toto, Njeru - the voice of Korogocho, Shiko - the educated filmwoman and Jeff - our man in Dubai. Missing was Abdi - the Somali host of Koch Late night, Martin -the smile, Carol , Fatima - the T-shirt designer, The mighty Pamoja and Roba of Ukoo Flani Mau Mau (hope I didn´t forget anyone)

The first computer

Our first Computer was bought with private funds from Solveig Persett in Norway in May 2006:

Korogocho by dawn

KochFM on

Koch FM - The Voice of Korogocho
Koch FM: a community radio with a the community for the community! - “With Koch FM, we are making a megaphone for the people!”
KochFM is a project started in the beginning of 2006 by a group of 6 young people from Korogocho - Nairobi’s third largest slum, with almost half a million inhabitants. The main goal for this group is to find ways of informing people about what is going on in their neighbourhood, and what political decisions are made, which concern people in the slums of Eastern Africa and affect their lives. The concept of Koch FM has been inspired by similar projects abroad, like Radio Favela, in a slum of Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third largest city.

KochFM - commin´at´cha

my friends

Now, my friends, it´s up to you to keep the world posted!

Editorial goals - EDUTAINMENT

Our editorial goals and hopes for KochFM, is that we can help the people living in the slums of Korogocho to keep updated on what´s happening locally, nationwide, as well as globally. Our North-star is the combiantion of Education and Entertainment, it´s called Edutainment, Education throug Entertainment. We want to show the whole world that everything is possible, and everythig is possible now if you only take action, and tha action is wisdom and education to the people.

It´s eazy to see that something is not right when the government is ignoring the fact that 1/2 million people are staying in an area which on the map still is marked as forest. It hasen´t been a forest there since the 60s or 70s...

5 months later

Now 5 months later we are still waiting for all the papers to be filled out. We have to register as an Community based organisation, and 5 different peolpe have to sign these papers and so on. So far we are depending on the burocracy, but the spirit is there still.

The CCK (Communications Commision of Kenya) has been on the spot to take a closer look on the equipment, and as far as i know, they won´t allow us to send with our home-made transmitter.

Anyway, we know that we are capable of broadcasting our signal all over the area, which was our goal. Within the range of this 1Watt-sender, 3 km, we can reach out to around 300 000 - 400 000 people!

The start of something big?

The 25th of June, me, Richard and my fiance Inger-Lill, left Nairobi proudly wearing the KochFM-T-shirt. And I understood that people actually had seen us when I got recognized at the airport by one of the airport personel! That was cool.

A couple of days later, we heard rumors that KochFM would get an Licence for transmitting.

We already had put up the home made antenna, which is connected to the home made transmitter and with this we did a very short test just to see that it worked, and we were actually transmitting. And we were actually transmitting far enough som that Jeffs (one of the crew-members) aunt 3 km away could recieve our signal on her FM-reciever.

From there we had built a sound-proof studio inside one of the containers by using plasterboard and matresses. We put up one of the computers in this studio and the other in the other container, which is serving as a reception and editing-suit.

Before KochFM was a reality

It all started as a filmworkshop in february 2006, where 6 young people from the korogocho slum in Nairobi, Kenya wanted to learn about moviemaking.

The Norwegian freelance filmworker, Richard A. Sveen, was through different incidential happenings put into contact with the freelance researcher Mariana Cifuentes, who works together with an organisation called "miss koch":

After some weeks with occational training-sessions and lessons without any equipment, we decided that we needed a place to stay and some equipment to train on. Film equipment is expencive, so we started playing around with the idea of a community radio.

We had brainstormings on how to do this and we started proposing for funds.

After some weeks we got answers from different Norwegian organisations and private people. And first things on the budget was 2 containers, power-line and 2 computers.

We got the funding and started the hard work to build the small media house of our dreams.

The 24th of june this feature was aired prime time on "NTV":

The official KochFM-blog is hereby opened!

Hello all supporters of KochFM

I decided to open a blog for KochFM, since we now are so many people around the world that wants to know what´s going on. I will try to post some pix of the crew and also give a short intro of these fantastic people that I want you all to support. Also I will encourage everyone that is connected to KochFM to contribute to this blog, if you haven´t got entry, please pass info to, and we will post it for you.

First of all we need an introduction of the project as such.