Radio Mang’elete is the oldest community radio station in Kenya, and is also the best known community radio station in Kenya. The idea of the station germinated in 1993 with the formation of the East Africa Community Media Project (EACMP) which was coordinated by Econews Africa (ENA). EACMP was a network of three development-oriented community radio stations in three countries, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. EACMP pioneered the first set of truly community owned and managed radio stations in the sub-region – Radio Mang’elete in Kenya, Orkonerei Radio Station (ORS) in Tanzania and Kagadi Kibale Community Radio (KKCR) in Uganda.
- Frequency: 89.1 FM
- Geographical reach: 50 Kilometres
- Language/s of broadcast: Kamba, the local language with intersperses of Kiswahili, the national language.
- Broadcast duration: 6 a.m – 10 p.m (16 hours)
- Location: Nthongoni Shopping Centre, Kibwezi sub – county, Makueni County
- Estimated audience: 250,000 listeners
- Contact Person: M/s Redempter Nzali – Executive Director
Since Kenya had no legal framework for community radio in the 1990s, a lot of lobbying was done to bring Radio Mang’elete to life. Largely through the efforts of EcoNews Africa (ENA) and Kenya Community Media Network (KCOMNET), Radio Mang’elete was finally allocated a broadcasting frequency and went on air on February 26, 2004 with the slogan “wasya wa maendeeo” (Voice of development). Mang’elete community radio targets the larger Kibwezi sub – county.
The station is located at Nthongoni Shopping Centre, about 14 kilometres west of Mtito Andei town in Makueni County. The radio station is a project of Mang’elete Community Integrated Development Programme (MCIDP), a community based organisation. MCIDP brings together 33 rural women groups from the locations of Nthongoni, Ivingoni, and Masongaleni – all located in the same district.
The vision of the station is that of an empowered and developed community. Its mission is to facilitate community participation in development and the empowerment of women through information and educational programs.