Journal article

African Pioneer: K. E. Masinga and the Zulu “Radio Voice” in the 1940s

Research Areas

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Publication Details

Author list: Mhlambi T

Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge): SSH Titles - no Open Select

Publication year: 2019

Journal: Journal of Radio and Audio Media

Volume number: 26

Issue number: 2

Start page: 210

End page: 230

Total number of pages: 21

ISSN: 1937-6529

eISSN: 1937-6537



This paper zooms-in to the moment of the first African-aimed broadcasts to be
aired on South African radio, presented by K. E. Masinga in the Zulu language.
These took place from the Durban studios of the South African Broadcasting
Company (SABC), in 1941. Innovations in microphone technology, moving
from carbon microphones in the 1920s to ribbon microphones by the 1940s,
gave fuller timbre to the voice of the radio presenter, and considerably
reduced the distractions of unintended noise. Such technological evolutions
added to the impact of the voice that would sound first in Zulu on the radio. In
the critical cultural scholarship of the region, voice has not received as much
scholarly attention as other instruments of information, by which models of
technological administration were elaborated, in relation to the racially segregated
state and its particular vision of society. This paper is concerned not so
much with the fact that African audiences were now welcomed as listeners of
broadcasts, but rather the nature of the relationship between themselves and
the technology of broadcasting.


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Last updated on 2020-05-02 at 09:52