Mon 10 May 2021

In this announcer spotlight, we revisit an article written by Sarah Occhino and first published in our biannual member magazine, Easey Mag, December 2016 edition. Since the first publication of this article, Stani has been the focus of a documentary called Africa On Air. This documentary is about to be screened at the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on Sunday May 23 at Cinema Nova.

We hope you enjoy reading this fascinating glimpse into veteran PBS announcer, the much loved and widely applauded Stani Goma of Flight 1067 to Africa. And encourage you to get along to the screening of Africa On Air!

Stani Goma’s Flight 1067 to Africa has been around for some twenty-five years but the self-described ‘Peebs dinosaur’ is all but prehistoric in his curatorship. 

In each show, Stani focuses on a different African country and structures a careful retrospective of its musical evolution, landing in present day. With artists constantly emerging and different scenes progressing in 54 flourishing nations, being confined to 52 two-hour shows per year, dead air will never be a worry. 

 Stani selects first and foremost as a music lover, and describes his experience as a listener as instantly meditative, though he is constantly searching for connections to show ideas and how the music reflects the people. “It’s almost like you’re preparing a dinner party and enjoying the actual preparation more,” he says. 

Unfortunately, there are few committed to providing a space solely for African music. “People who do more specialist shows are very few: a) Yes, the music is underrepresented but b) It is often played by people who have a much wider interest.” Africa’s stagnant representation in Western media is rarely indicative of progress being made, including that across the continent’s vast musical landscapes. As far as Stani is concerned, African artists have the right to be represented on his show regardless of influence, and their story has a place on PBS. 

August is a special month on Flight 1067 with the anniversary of the death of the iconic Fela Kuti, father of Afrobeat and social liberator being commemorated in every show. Together, Stani and PBS put on the sold-out event Beasts of No Nation with The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra and guest appearances from Remi, Cazeaux OSLO and more. The vibrant energy at this gig was indescribable and only time will tell if PBS will recreate this monumental evening. 

“Fela is an iconic figure for a range of reasons, one is because his music is so powerful and the power of his music comes from him undergoing a series events, particularly in the 70s, which transformed his own life and had an impact on his music that made him more connected with the history of what was going on in Africa, not just the music but the politics and social aspect, and so he made a very important decision to use his music as a platform to achieve change.” – Stani Goma.  

Stani Goma hosts ‘Flight 1067 to Africa’ on Sundays from 3-5pm on PBS.