JOHANNESBURG — Zambia’s first independent terrestrial television station, Omega TV, is preparing to hit the airwaves by the end of 2002.
Omega, headed by veteran Zambian media industry personality Patricia Chilibiti, has set up transmission facilities in Lusaka and is busy finalizing funding.
Chilibiti, who is passionate about “people’s TV,” says Omega will be a nonprofit station with the emphasis on community programming covering issues like democracy, health and education. Movies, music and regular news bulletins will also be offered.
“Our aim is to give a voice to the voiceless people whose ideas and opinions have not been heard before, to enable the different peoples of Zambia to tell their stories and describe life from their perspective,” Chilibiti says.
Brit Judith Weymont, Omega technical adviser and an experienced documentary filmmaker, says the station also wants to air African films and she has been shopping for suitable material at African film festivals.
Omega will transmit in a 120-mile radius of Lusaka with plans to expand. Revenue will be from advertising with profits invested in program-making.
At present, Zambian viewers have access only to state broadcaster the Zambia National Broadcasting Corp. and South African-based satcaster Multichoice Zambia.