Defined by the producers as “An Educative radio program” (Kalisa Narcisse The managing Director) and “A channel of information especially for women and youth” (Dukulizimana Jean Fichery, Radio producer), Umuhoza magazine, through interviews, with relevant experts and the target audience, discusses in depth issues raised in urunana soap opera. It also contains debates, drama extracts from Urunana soap and vox pops. Umuhoza is a 15 minutes magazine broadcast on Radio Rwanda every Monday from 8:15 PM to 8:30. PM
The program was launched in 1999 together with Urunana radio soap opera on BBC. At the beginning it was a short magazine programme of up to three minutes combined with Urunana radio soap Opera, all together making fifteen minutes. By then the program carried a name Masenge Umuhoza which is a translation of Agony Aunt.
Three years later, the two programs were separated. Umuhoza became a standalone radio magazine to dig deep into the issues raised in the radio drama.
This was due to the fact that a lot of feedback received from the listeners during that time was mainly of complaints that the drama was very short (10minutes) and the magazine (3 -- 5 minutes). Since then, the drama was extended to 15 minutes and the radio magazine separated from the drama, extending it from 5 minutes to 15 minutes as well. The name of the magazine was modified by removing Masenge because the Organization realised that they were not only responding to the questions of listeners but also exploring other tropical issues. The program is now broadcasted exclusively on radio Rwanda.
Umuhoza is an interactive program which gives a voice to the most vulnerable, bringing together the producers, the target audience and experts in sexual and reproductive health and other health issues. The audience is provoked into discussion and asking further questions about their health after listening to Urunana soap opera and most of them are responded to in Umuhoza magazine. The literate sometimes write in to the program, others call in where as some are physically met in their localities and their queries are used as a basis for the programs. Experts are brought on board to respond to the raised health problems sometimes to suggest solutions to the problem or preventive measures in terms of diseases.
Topics and issues so far addressed in Umuhoza program include:
ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE PROGRAM
Umuhoza magazine raises awareness on sexual and reproductive health issues. Uwineza Jean Bosco a listener from Byumba said that he personally likes Umuhoza magazine and he enjoys listening to it because of advices given about life and HIV through the magazine. Bigirabagabo Ange Felix said “I like listening to your magazine because it helps me sometimes and I get answers of some questions I have.” Mukayiranga Joseph from Gitarama said “I appreciate your magazine and I know that the clarifications you give help a lot of people.”
“I have taken ten years in marriage without a baby, people started coming to me trying to seduce me into sex that if I have sex with them I will have a baby, that my husband is the one with a problem. But following Bushombe and Kankwanzi’s story, I knew that any side can have problems ( Both man and woman). Now I am waiting to get money to go for medical check up” “What can I say about Urunana program?”
“Muhire and Mugeni story provoked me to go for VCT. After Mugeni went and found she was positive and she had stayed for a period of time not knowing her status, I decided also to go for a test to know HIV status and I was happy to find I was HIV negative”