As South Africans we know how to turn car washes into Sunday institutions, ciders into a national drink and December into a way of life.
I saw a social media post that shared the following from a user called Laura Dlamini-Pooe: “I think more people need to be educated on the difference between December and Dezemba. December: The twelfth and final month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian Calendars. It is the seventh and last month to have a length of 31 days.
“Dezemba: A lifestyle. A feeling. A season of festivities. It begins around the 3rd quarter of the 10th month of the year and ends on or before the seventh day of the first month of the following year. Dezemba sometimes ends with your life savings, but that’s a topic for another day.
“Children are conceived in Dezemba, relationships start and end in Dezemba. You can hear Dezemba in the music, you can taste it in your food, your drinks taste better in Dezemba. The sun shines that much brighter, Dezemba is tangible. People are expected, nay, encouraged to walk around shouting “Ke Dezemba!” at random during this season.”
2021 feels like it is in its 16th month already as we edge closer to the year end shutdown. It remains a complicated time. Socially, physically, and mentally we’ve been waiting for Dezemba and as an industry we have the perfect opportunity to become the soundtrack to Dezemba.
As a music compiler have you scheduled till the first week of January, if so, why? This is a good opportunity to feel the nuance of our audiences and read the crowd. Music and trends are in flux and can virtually change daily with the influence of platforms like Tik Tok.
Let’s be open to sculpting formidable music offerings daily, adding the spice to playlists that are be more tightly controlled for the rest of the year and potentially breaking one or two rules in the scheduling software. Dezemba isn’t predictable, I don’t think our playlists should be.
We’ve been unable to gather at events that radio stations have become famous for hosting. The cancellation of recent entertainment events has come as no shock as we are now well firmly into the fourth wave. Why are some stations still insisting on hosting crowds of people in densely populated venues? We can’t be playing vaccination adverts on-air and ama-piano in venues. Marketing Managers need to be thinking smaller to be bigger.
Programme managers are you sending your A team on holiday? Traditionally the A Team takes a holiday in December, it’s something we’ve always encouraged. Might we change our thinking in the future to better serve Dezemba audiences? They’re the A Team for a reason, let’s not deliver a B team content when the audience is in A Team mood.
On-air teams, how’s the best of the year packaging going? Stop that. Why don’t we replay the best of Dezemba in January when people need a mood lift, no need to remind me of the depressing year we’ve already had, I heard it the first time.
Audio and content producers have a golden opportunity to mirror the mood of Dezemba. Make it come alive on-air and amplify the vibe. Make your content and imaging as contagious as Covid, we can self-quarantine next to the speaker.
We may be in the twelfth month of the year, but we’re living a feeling. Be less December and more Dezemba!, boss.
Tim Zunckel (@TimZunckel ) is a creative programmer, problem solver and lover of audio who is always keen to engage and share thoughts and ideas.
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