With the role of the media being crucial in the promotion of development the Tonga also sought to curtail the media blackout by establishing a community radio station. In 2007 they established the Tonga on air. It was meant to cater for the Tonga who had not been receiving coverage from the state media. The establishment of the radio station was a move aimed at providing the Tonga with access to information and giving Tonga arts and culture exposure. Mudimba points out to the significance of the radio station basing on the fact that the Tonga did not have any radio or television signal for years and that the establishment of Tonga on air would give the BaTonga community the chance to be informed as well as the chance to reach out to the general populace.
The establishment of the radio at Sinazongwe was aided by a team of Austrian radio activists was primarily aimed at improving communication and access to information in the marginalised remote area. The station was at Sinanzongwe Basic School and had the capacity to cover a radius of 20 kilometres reaching out to approximately 10000 people and was meant to serve the Tonga on both sides of the Zambezi
For a marginalised community like the Tonga a community radio station can be used as a means for articulation and self-representation which not only helps in strengthening self-consciousness , identity , and culture but it is also an apparatus of communication which contributes to the emancipation and autonomy of a people in a region dominated by political crisis and gives impulse to a vivid public discourse on culture , society and politics. In that way a community radio station will is broad promoter of public discourse.. it facilitates for equal medial participation as it is open to more democratic and self-organised as it is open to the community. The Tonga on air project has also facilitated for the re-joining of families which were once separated by the construction of the Kariba dam. A community radio station also influences change in media policy as it forwards. The radio station also helped in bridging the information gap. It also offers educational programmes in Tonga thus it is very audible to the targeted community
Establishment of a Community Museum
Also as a way of promoting and developing Tonga language and culture the BaTonga also established a community museum at Binga centre. The museum has played a significant role in revitalising Tonga language and culture. BaTonga Museum (2012) the museum known as BaTonga Museum was established in 2000 with the help as a concerted effort between the Tonga community and MS Zimbabwe a Danish non-governmental organisatiion.as highlighted above in community ladened with stereotypes and misconceptions which have led to the near extinction of Tonga language and culture the museum serves as a platform to rewrite the history of the Tonga through the various programmes it carries out. BaTonga Museum (2002) the main objective of the museum is to demystify Tonga culture and create awareness about the Tonga locally, nationally and internationally.it also seeks to rebuild self-esteem and dignity amongst the Tonga. Furthermore besides promoting and preserving Tonga language and cultural material the museum also works in support of the livelihoods of Tonga artists by buying artefacts for display in the gallery. Since ones culture is also conveyed through arts the museum has played a very significant role in this respect. The museum also hosts a number of cultural events which are e With the above objectives in mind the establishment of BaTonga Museum by the Tonga community can be deemed a good developmental initiative as it helps to promote the recognition of the Tonga people. According to Chikozho the curator of the museum the museum has made a major contribution towards the restoration of the Tonga social fabric. He attributes his assertion to the role the museum has played in Binga district and in Zimbabwe at large. The museum has acted as a source of information to both the Tonga and the general populace. By taking responsibility of buying Tonga cultural material the museum has both supported Tonga livelihoods and the promotion and preservation of Tonga culture. Previously Tonga artefacts were being sold on the informal market and exported out of the country at low costs and were sold at very huge prices and in some instances they would be given alien names which meant that the Tonga were being exploited. Such a scenario did not do the Tonga good thus the museum’s role in protecting Tonga cultural material is a way of promoting development amongst the Tonga through promoting their culture. The museum is also a resource centre as everyone whom wishes to learn about Tonga culture is referred to it in as far as Tonga history and culture is concerned.
The Introduction ICT amongst The Tonga
The Tonga through the help of donors has also made efforts to promote access to modern technology by introducing ICT to the Tonga community. They launched the Tonga Online project in 2001. The establishment of the project was facilitated by the Kunzwana Trust which worked with the Austrian Zimbabwean friendship association. Since its launch the Tonga online project has primarily focused on promoting a Tonga voice over the internet. The projects objectives are to provide the Tonga access to the worlds most advanced communication tools which will enable them to represent themselves to the outside world and reflect upon the social, political and economic environment of both the global village in which the Tonga live.
The project derives its name mulonga from the Zambezi River. The name reflects the history and aspirations of the Tonga people. The name constantly revokes memories of how the Tonga were displaced to make way for the construction of the Kariba dam which has seen them becoming a marginalised group in Zimbabwe. Even well after their relocation the Tonga are being passed by huge commercial benefits from tourism and electricity that are being extracted from their former habitat which was transformed into a vast expanse of water known as the Kariba dam . The Tonga Online project seeks to establish and expand communication technology with and amongst the Tonga on both sides of the Zambezi by joining them in with information communication technology. A number of school based information technology centres have been established in Binga district have been established in Binga district namely at Binga High School and at Manjolo and these have catered for the larger Tonga community with more schools being earmarked for the project
Access to information has become a great question of political rights hence the importance of the Tonga Online project as a tool to spearhead awareness continuity empowerment and local development amongst the Tonga people. The educational significance of the Tonga online project is very significant especially for those in a remote part of the country like Binga where there are no institutions of higher learning
The project also reflects the digital divide and other uneven developments; in the global village. These gaps and imbalances are not only a question of access to resources but also to have the capacity to use these modern day communication tools. In a world where access to information has become a universal human right the Tonga online project tends to support higher levels of human development
The use of the global village has created a platform of for the Tonga to promote their culture through the internet. Currently the internet is one of the most convenient modes of communication and the Tonga Online project is a platform that can be used to give the Tonga a voice on the internet. It has been used as a platform by the Tonga to interact with other cultures hence it has been a medium of cultural exchange thus promoting the recognition of the Tonga