Form three student at father Tilen opens a radio station

17-year-old Steve Biko Odhiambo a Form Three student of Father Tilen Mixed Secondary School at his radio station in Mbita town. Photo/Courtesy

After schools closed because of Coronavirus, Steve Biko Odhiambo from Homa Bay county saw an opportunity to explore the love and passion he has for science and also his juakali skills to open a radio station, becoming the talk of the entire Nyanza region after challenging odds to build a radio broadcast system.

The system comprises of electronic devices from old mobile phones, electronic devices and other used electronic machines which include cables, capacitors transistors, among others.

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After assembling what he needed from friends and villagers in March, his efforts became successful in June ensuing research he did in his Physics books and endless trials using different electronic devices.

He then modified some old gadgets including a microphone, an amplifier, a smart phone and a desktop computer which he uses to receive on-air calls from his listeners.

He then made the transmission system towards the end of July even without visiting any station. The local community permitted him to use a stuck water kiosk neighboring Onundo Stadium to install the studio with his electronic knowledge he installed the system on his own.

Odhiambo started hitting the airwaves the first week of August with radio broadcast. This was the start of Konzer FM which broadcasts in Dholuo.

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Konzer FM is heard on 106.9 or 107.0 FM. By the time it started, the radio station could only cover a radius of 100meters and could only be heard in Mbita town and later in September, Odhiambo took down the transmission system and developed its transmission strength to a radius of 26km. He later expanded it to the whole of Mbita sub county and its environs.

It airs news, musical programme and talk shows. His dream was driven by his interest to know how cables connected radio studios and radio sets to help in transmission.

“Sometimes, I could lie down facing up to see how transmission was taking place between radio sets and studios in Nairobi. But I never saw any. That is how I started to think of how to make a radio transmission system using old electronic gadgets,” Odhiambo said.

Today he can sale Ksh100-200 by generating cards and he has two presenters who volunteering.

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“My main work here is to monitor and repair the transmission system in case of any technical issues and I also run radio shows,” Odhiambo said.

Odhiambo, however has said that the radio station will not kill his ambition of becoming an electric engineer after a lot of people advised him to stop schooling and concentrate on managing his radio station.

“My presenters will run the radio station when I go back to school in case learning resumes soon. My ambition is to join a university and become an engineer,” he said.

“The government Needs to support this boy with the required resources as soon as possible to enable him proceed with more innovations,” said the principal.

Almost everyone listens  to Konzer FM in their business premises and acknowledges him for offering educational programme and entertainment. The residents in the area have formed an organization called Konzer FM fans to support Odhiambo’s work.

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