Radio Taboo Cameroon: Using airwaves 'to fight isolation'

Issa Nyaphaga, the dynamic founder of Radio Taboo, a solar-powered community radio station based in the centre of Cameroon, where 70 percent of the equipment is recycled or donated told RFI English: “Access to information is power, education is power”.

Kids gather around Radio Taboo building, Cameroon
Kids gather around Radio Taboo building, Cameroon Radio Taboo/Facebook

Issa Nyaphaga is also the founder of Hope International for Tikar People (HITIP), a nonprofit organization that aims to provide medicine, clothes as well as emergency medical and educational supplies to the Tikar and Bedzan (Pygmy) people in Cameroon.

The Radio Taboo venture was a natural extension to Issa's community development initiative with the support of the HITIP organisation.

“We use the radio the fight isolation” he told RFI. “We are a country of oral language, and we broadcast in ten languages.”

There are many women involved in this project, Issa says, including the director of the radio Hilda Bih.

“Today is the golden age for radio to be in Africa, because the electronic market is booming… it’s an amazing transformation in the community.”

96.0 FM "The Voice of the Voiceless"

Thanks to a crowdfunding campaign back in 2012, Issa was able to raise money for an antenna, building materials and solar panels.

Radio Taboo went live in July 2017, and reached a quarter of a million people, with a goal to reach half a million by the end of the year.

“Culturally our investment is people…because if we make people better we have a better world.”

What touches Issa the most is that he can see the effect he is having on his community and others in remote areas. He is so pleased that he has been able to see these projects come to fruition in his lifetime.

“Happiness comes from the heart…if you’re not happy in a palace, you won’t be happy in the room.”

Radio Taboo has a colorful, informative facebook page, with beautiful pictures of the community in action.

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