Shortwave From Africa – A Walk Down Memory Lane

As I mentioned before, I love African music (as well as other types)  and shortwave radio was a way to listen to some of it.  The shortwave radio was like an “Armchair to the World“.  Sitting in the comfort of your home you could travel instantly to strange and exotic lands, and on top of that you could actually write to people there and they would reply back! The feeling is captured below in a picture from the first page of an article in the June 1978 edition of a magazine called Modern Electronics.

Shortwave Armchair

Because of low budgets many of the African stations weren’t the easiest to hear and their the transmitters weren’t that strong.  Many didn’t have an overseas service so you had to try to pickup the local broadcasts which made getting QSL verification cards more difficult.  However, once you did receive a reply and saw that treasured QSL card it was a great accomplishment.

Here is a QSL card from the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.  I believe this was a local broadcast so I was very happy to get it!


Here is a card from Transworld Radio Swaziland.  I believe they used relay transmitters from other stations so were a little easier to hear.


Here is a collage of magazines I received from Radio South Africa.  I wrote to them off and on and got on their mailing list and they would send me the magazines as well as program schedules.

RSA Magazines

This is bringing back very fond memories.  It’s a shame the shortwave listening hobby is not the same as it used to be, but I guess that’s the way it is with a lot things in the world. Things change and life goes on.



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