The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) received a whopping 140 submissions for its radio drama programmes.
Last November, NBC called on storytellers, writers and producers to submit culturally-relevant and captivating radio drama proposals for its new venture – the Molelo Radio Drama Project.
The genres include crime, comedy, action/adventure and romance.
The idea is for the corporation to produce 26-minute drama episodes for each of the 11 radio stations.
Nico Mwiya, NBC acting chief commercial officer, told VIBEZ! That Molelo aims to preserve and promote local culture and traditions by telling stories that reflect the experiences and values of local cultures. Furthermore, the project will help to reinforce the importance of cultural identity and heritage.
“Five stories for each radio station were selected. Based on the selection criteria, 36 producers were shortlisted for nine language groups,” he explained.
Mwiya said these submissions represent all NBC radio stations, except the !AH radio service for three San language dialects, and Funkhaus FM for the German language.
“We did not have submissions for Funkhaus FM and !AH FM. This was very disappointing, since we did not expect any language group to be excluded. They will be treated differently through the in-house procedures,” he noted.
Producers of the selected dramas will thus from today until 15 March pitch their stories to the judges on why their stories should be selected and be further developed into a drama piece.
Only one story for each language group will be selected.
Explaining how the initial selection was done, he said 14 judges read through all 140 submissions, and were guided by language experts from the NBC on the accuracy and cultural
“Score-cards were used to determine the value of the story and its authenticity, based on the specific culture or language…The selected stories were placed according to the highest and the lowest-scoring from all the 14 judges.”
Mwiya acknowledged the importance of training during the drama production phase, saying NBC staff and the producers will be equipped to capacitate them with the skills to execute the project with the smoothness it deserves for the sake of quality output.
He further said radio dramas are an important form of entertainment and storytelling that has been around for nearly a century.
“Radio dramas make radio exciting to listen to,” noted Mwiya, adding that the NBC anticipates attracting more young people to tune in.
The successful producers will be announced by the beginning of April 2023.
The NBC envisages the airing of the radio dramas to start by the first week of November 2023, and run for 26 weeks.