As part of the major expansion of its offer for African audiences, the BBC has announced the launch of its first ever TV news and current-affairs programme in Kiswahili, Dira ya Dunia (World Compass).From Monday, 27 August, BBC World Service’s partner TV stations - Star TV in Tanzania and QTV in Kenya – will broadcast BBC Swahili’s Dira ya Dunia, bringing the viewers 30 minutes of latest global news and analysis from the world’s leading international broadcaster.
Aired Monday to Friday, Dira ya Dunia will supplement Star TV’s and QTV’s programming with news coverage underpinned by the BBC’s global news services, giving audiences access to world-class news content. The programme also draws on the BBC’s strong presence across the continent, with correspondents in 48 African countries, bringing their regional insights and expertise to Kiswahili-speaking TV viewers.
BBC Swahili’s flagship radio programme, Dira ya Dunia, is a household name for millions of listeners in East and Central Africa as well as the diaspora audiences. With the launch of the new TV news programme of the same title, the BBC is further strengthening its offer, showcasing the BBC Swahili journalism talent - London-based presenters Salim Kikeke and Charles Hilary, output editor Mariam Omar, as well as reporters based in Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and the UK.
BBC Swahili Editor, Ali Saleh, says: “With the launch of Dira ya Dunia on TV, we are responding to the huge switch in news consumption across Africa we have been witnessing lately, and to the needs of our audience. As we report and analyse regional and global news stories, be it politics, economy, business or culture, Dira ya Dunia wants to be free of clichés often associated with the African news coverage and will deliver BBC journalism in a dynamic and engaging style, based on our long-standing principles of independence, accuracy and unbiased reporting.”
The main presenter of Dira ya Dunia, Salim Kikeke, adds: “I feel privileged and honoured to be part of BBC Swahili’s move to TV broadcasting. We’ve put a huge effort into this project, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I hope very much that this new TV programme will soon become essential viewing for audiences across East and Central Africa.”
The unveiling of Dira ya Dunia is part of a range of major new programming launched by the BBC this year for Africa, on TV and on radio. It follows the recent launch of the BBC’s first ever dedicated English-language TV news programme for the continent, Focus on Africa, which is also available via Star TV in Tanzania and now on NTV in Kenya. In July, days before the opening of the Olympic Games in London, BBC World Service launched Newsday - a flagship radio programme aimed largely at the breakfast audience in Africa.
BBC Africa Editor, Solomon Mugera, comments: “Over decades of multilingual broadcasting to Africa, the BBC has forged unique relations with radio audiences across the continent, telling the African story to the world and bringing the world to Africa. The BBC’s growing multimedia offer is evidence of its deep roots and knowledge of the continent. As we embark on this new journey, we are really excited to be partnering with some of the leading broadcasters in the region.”
BBC Dira ya Dunia will be broadcast Monday to Friday, at 21.00 local time on Star TV in Tanzania and at 23.00 on QTV in Kenya. It also will be available for viewing via the BBC Swahili website, bbcswahili.com.
The BBC made its first broadcast to Africa more than 80 years ago. The combined audience on radio and television makes the BBC the largest international broadcaster in Africa