VOC’s programme line-up in Ramadan has given a fresh facelift and will feature some innovative, dynamic and stimulating programmes. That was the word from programme manager Rashieda Davids, who has been working around the clock for the past weeks in putting the final touches on VOC’s exciting shows.
VOC’s theme this year is “Ramadan and the Light of the Quran: Unlocking the Hidden Treasures Within.” While the fasting month is one of heightened devotion, it is a great opportunity to get closer to the blessed guidance of the Quran which was revealed in this month. Ramadan is therefore called ‘the month of the Quran’.
“The inspiration for this theme came from a line in one of the duas that is regularly recited before we start to read from the Holy Quran. It has been in circulation for many years and my mom had a copy pasted on the inside cover of her Quran. Ramadan is the month in which the Noble Quran was revealed, thus there exists an unbreakable and everlasting connection,” explained Davids.
“One of the lines read, “Oh Allah, Give me joy through its letters and illuminate through it my heart, my hearing and my sight….” and another line says, “Oh Allah, Open up the locks of our hearts by remembering Thee…”
“The idea was to come up with a theme that would encapsulate both lines concisely and the same time reaffirm the absolute power of Allah SWT’s book and how it can open up and bring light into our hearts, SubhanAllah. So, through a team brainstorming session and further consultation with those more knowledgeable, Alhamdulillah, the theme was born.”
A fresh facelift
For years VOC followed an established formula when it came to the programming line-up and this year, producers thought to change things up just a little bit. Davids says the content is more varied and listeners will hear a different sound.
“We decided to change the overall sound imaging so the listener can look forward to the same consistently good Ramadan content, packaged with new jingles and beds. We’ve changed the names of most of the shows in line with the theme and created special features around the theme that would act as a common thread through all the shows so the programming is more cohesive.”
Among the key changes are:
– Live programs start at 4am daily and for the first time we will incorporate the live Tahajjud broadcast from the Muir Street Masjid into the morning show.
-The daily Juz of the Day overview in the pre-Iftar show will only focus on some of the Aayah that pertains to Light, Illumination and radiance
-This year, for the first time we are also collaborating with Salaamedia by airing The Ashraf Garda show in a joint-broadcast Mondays to Thursdays between 2pm and 4pm.
-Sheikh Samih Jad, who hosts the popular Madrassa On Air weekdays, will move to the evenings after Taraweeh Thursdays to Sundays
-We will also have Tafseer on Surah Yaseen on Sunday mornings presented by Shaykh Riyaal Rinquest.
“It has always been an experience during our Ramadan preparation. Whilst sorting through the audio and one hears the Iftar show jingle for example, it’s like slipping into that favourite comfortable jersey that cocoons you in its warmth on a cold day. It evokes a myriad of feelings and emotions within and over the years it has never failed to pull at the heartstrings, often resulting in the shedding of tears. InshaAllah, with the new sound we hope to make an even greater impact that manifests and grow in the hearts of everyone invested in our Ramadan programs, Ameen,” Davids relates.
The spirit of generosity and community building
Community outreach and social welfare is the cornerstone of VOC’s focus in Ramadan. Annually, the station partners with corporate companies and other NGO’s to provide humanitarian relief and assistance to impoverished communities during this month.
- VOC Pick ‘n Pay Make a Difference – VOC listeners can nominate a needy family for food hampers and shopping vouchers by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or dropping off a letter at any Pick ‘n Pay store
- Makro/Muslim Hands Feed The Hungry – Makro shoppers can purchase non-perishable items in store and drop it in the collection box. The items will be made into fitrah parcels to be distributed to needy individuals
- Shoprite grocery drive – Join us at our weekly Shoprite outside broadcast and donate your extra grocery items in the box provided in store. These will be donated to the local masjied in the area as part of their Ramadaan Outreach programme.
- Pick ‘n Pay and The Voice of the Cape Bread Campaign – Pick ‘n Pay will be distributing bread to all our Taraweeg Masajieds during Ramadaan
- Ahlan Wa Sahlan Iftaar feeding scheme – VOC has identified four destitute communities and will visit the local masjid to conduct a khatam and break fast with the residents. Gift of the Givers and other sponsors supplies the iftaar. The public can support by dropping off clothing in good condition and non-perishable food items at the station.
The essence of Ramadaan
Asked how these programmes would capture the spirit of Ramadan, Davids says there will be a more pronounced focus on the spiritual and religious aspects that this great month embodies.
“That is, after all why people tune into us and why our listenership almost doubles over this month. Ramadan is about having a heightened awareness of Allah SWT, His Mercy, Forgiveness, His Countless Blessings and drawing closer to Him. It is also the month of giving. Our programming will reflect these and highlight so many other aspects of this month,” she says.
“Furthermore, our producers and presenters are personally invested into the content they produce and present, content primarily to cater to the spiritual needs of our listener during this month but equally which they themselves draw great inspiration from and find benefit in. So, we capture the spirit of Ramadhan by getting caught up in the spirit ourselves and through the platform of radio and by the Grace of Allah SWT we are able to immerse ourselves in the beauty of this blessed month, inspire others and be inspired!”
For the technical and outside broadcast time, there is simply no time breath. The OB team is constantly on the move from one taraweeh broadcast to the next commercial OB. This month, the team will deliver a stellar 190 broadcasts.
“Its an exciting and busy time for us. We sacrifice a lot of family time, but we love what we do,” says OB manager Nazeem Petersen.
VOC management and staff wishes all its listeners, clients and associates a Ramadan Kareem!