First take

The Guardian - Weekend - - Second Life - Bim Adewunmi @bi­madew

My ear­li­est ca­reer am­bi­tion was to be a but­ter­fly. Thank­fully, dreams change, and I was still quite young when I fell in love with ra­dio. My sis­ter and I started a “sta­tion” that we recorded on to cas­settes and made our par­ents lis­ten to. We had news (made up), mu­sic (ripped from le­git ra­dio) and horse rac­ing with horses that gave in­ter­views (don’t ask). Our sta­tion was called Funky Funky Funky Ra­dio, be­cause, well, we were chil­dren, and good things of­ten come in threes.

Less than a decade later, my first real me­dia job was on the ra­dio. I love lis­ten­ing to it, I love mak­ing it. It’s so in­ti­mate. I just bloody love ra­dio. Al­ways will.

Which is why I have had the same tran­sis­tor ra­dio for the past decade or so. It’s noth­ing fancy – Sony, slate grey, less than 30 quid from Ar­gos, and a bit bat­tered at this point – but it still ful­fils its job ad­mirably. I’m all for dig­i­tal ra­dios, but there is some­thing sat­is­fy­ing in tun­ing a ra­dio – the au­ral re­ward that lives on the other side of static.

My ra­dio has trav­elled with me all over the world: Ba­menda, Cameroon; Ber­lin, Ger­many; and now, New York, US. It is my com­pan­ion in the bath­room every morn­ing and in the kitchen most evenings. But it comes into its own at week­ends, es­pe­cially on Sun­days. My great­est ra­dio joy since I moved here has been Jonathan Schwartz’s four-hour show on lo­cal sta­tion WNYC: wall-to-wall Amer­i­can mu­sic, with an un­hur­ried, anec­dote­and knowl­edge-heavy host. It has be­come, for me, a sort of suc­cour, p paving g the way into the week ahead.

Ra­dio as com­fort is noth­ing new. But new comforts wrapped in fa­mil­iar pack­ages are still wel­come.

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