A warm family home

Whose House? Ugonna Chigbo’s House!

For Ugonna Chigbo, the volunteer co-ordinator at CKUW, the best part of the job is meeting volunteers and bringing their ideas to life.

Ugonna Chigbo in his home. 

“Many people, when they come to the radio station, are like ‘oh, I want to make a radio show,’ and I’m like ‘yeah, you’re in the right place!’”

Chigbo first started out at CKUW as a volunteer during his first year at the University of Winnipeg. 

“It all started in my first year and just trying to find out what groups to be part of,” he says. “This was something my dad did. He did college radio back in the day, mostly French, and it was just amazing. I like to kind of follow in his footsteps.”

On top of producing various radio shows, Chigbo spends a great deal of time recruiting volunteers. At times, encouraging people to participate can be a challenging aspect of the job.

“Some people are thinking ‘the radio’s dead, the radio’s dying, it’s a dying medium,’ and so we’re keeping that alive.

“Not everyone wants to stay in that radio tradition.”

This doesn’t stop Chigbo from reaching out to both high school and university students all over Winnipeg to keep the radio tradition alive. “I find those ways really helpful to spread the knowledge and let people know the radio exists, and (they) should definitely be a part of it.”

For anyone who might be apprehensive about volunteering, Chigbo encourages people to “just try it out (and) come have fun.”

He says “people listen to the radio, but people don’t always see themselves making the radio. People assume that there’s this ‘radio voice,’ and you need to have this radio mentality. Honestly, there’s no such thing as a ‘radio voice.’ Everyone is unique in their own sense, and so I always emphasize that message especially.”

1) A dense textbook

“I had to do the whole training for this course, and so it was like a whole weekend of practice and
then exams as well.”

2) Now that’s creative

“My brother, he made this for our parents. It’s duct tape.”

3) The ideal study space

“A friend of mine says a clean desk is a sign of a sick mind.”

4) It’s always worth it for the uniform

“This is one of the cool things I wear with pride.”

5) A beautiful family

“As you can see, my eyes are closed. I think I was tired that day.”

6) A momentous souvenir

“This was from my time in New Orleans, and believe it or not, it was once filled up to here with margarita, and man, it was a fun night. In New Orleans, they know how to party.”

7) A couple of awards

“These awards are from CKUW.”

Published in Volume 74, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 27, 2020)

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