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Still going strong! Ujima radio 7 years on


The past seven years have been an epic roller coaster ride for Ujima Radio, with the likes of Shaggy, Africa Bambaata and Benjamin Zephaniah appearing on the airwaves. We hear how the station is aspiring to grow in order to have an even bigger and more positive impact for disadvantaged communities across the city.

Photo: Ujima

Proudly born in one of the most deprived but most dynamic parts of the city, St Pauls, Ujima 98fm first began broadcasting from the Centre for Economic Empowerment and Development (CEED) in July 2008. So in 2015, having turned 7 years old, as part of our 7th birthday, in July the 7th month of the year we will be celebrating with 7 days of separate events. Details on what these are and how you can get involved are below, but first let’s take a quick step back to look at what we’ve done, how we’ve done it and what’s been motivating us.

Over the past 7 years, we’ve had ups and downs but we’ve remained true to our original mission which is to inform, represent, educate and entertain by celebrating the culture, heritage and contributions of Bristol’s BME communities. As champions of diversity, Ujima 98fm has become a powerful and popular platform of engagement, expression and inspiration for our 150 volunteers, our 30,000 listeners and our clients.

04-Ujima-sideOur on-air adventures have been an epic roller-coaster ride which has included international icons such as Shaggy, Afrika Bambaataa and Benjamin Zephaniah gracing our airwaves. We’ve been part of some of the biggest festivals in the city such as the European Green Capital, Bristol’s Harbour Festival and See No Evil. We’ve celebrated landmark occasions such as the 50th anniversary of the Bristol Bus Boycott and the 50th anniversary of Malcolm X’s death with 50 Voices at the Bristol Old Vic. We’ve also teamed up with our cousin radio station BCfm to launch the One Love Breakfast, the UK’s only simulcasted breakfast show across different community radio stations as well as pioneered the first radio tri-cast in partnership with BCfm and BBC Radio Bristol. We’ve even made the headlines by prominently featuring in the Bristol episode of Channel Four’s Jamie Oliver’s ‘Great British’ which featured him having ‘tea’ at the home of one of our presenters as well as being interviewed on Ujima 98fm.

As part of our organic evolution, in 2011, we re-launched ourselves as a Social Enterprise to become Ujima Radio CIC, a fully independent broadcast media company. And whilst still based in and broadcasting from the heart of the city, In February 2015 we relocated to our new home, a world class facility, otherwise known as the Station (The Old Fire Station). So, as Bristol’s only city-centre based radio station that is made by Bristol for Bristol, we aspire to grow in order to have an even bigger and more positive impact for disadvantaged communities across the city. As part of this ambition and with a great deal of excitement, we can exclusively reveal that from August onwards you’ll be able to tune into Ujima 98fm via your Digital Radios. Watch this space for more news on this and the many other exciting projects and partnerships that we’re cooking up.

Otherwise, as promised at the beginning of this article, here’s the details on our 7 events over 7 days to celebrate our 7th birthday, and how you can get involved. Remember, Ujima Radio 98fm, is by you for you, so tune in, be inspired and participate.

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