Trace vows to make the future of African music more female

In a calculated move to address the continent’s ongoing lack of gender parity in music, and inevitably make the future of African music more female, Trace has effectively set in motion a 50/50 video airplay for female artists in the month of September alone.

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A first of its kind on the continent, the pledge follows the decision taken by the Trace team during Women’s Month celebrations in August in South Africa (see more of our Women’s Month coverage here), thus introducing what it calls a ‘womxn balanced airplay’.

Since then, Trace has begun slotting in more female produced content across their channels, resulting in a substantial increase in September alone – from the previous 40/60 ratio to a fully-fledged 50/50 quota system – on all their thematic shows.

In the coming months, the music channel will continue to focus more on women generated shows and music content, further pushing their equal play agenda.

Trace’s new ‘womxn balanced airplay’ here to stay

The new ‘womxn balanced airplay’ includes programming across Trace Africa (DStv channel 326), Trace Urban (DStv channel 325), and Trace Gospel (DStv channel 332).

Commenting on this bold move, Trace’s managing director – Southern Africa & Regional Director Anglophone Africa – Valentine Gaudin-Muteba had this say: “Trace remains committed to celebrating and advancing Womxn in the music industry to ensure inclusion and equality for all.

“We are extremely excited about this movement, especially in light of Trace’s ongoing commitment to create gender equality, Trace 50/50 just made perfect sense in balancing out airplay for womxn in the industry.” 

And while this may seem like an audacious move, given that female musicians in Africa continue to get the short end of the stick, with less than 20% of Samro members in South Africa reportedly made up of women, the powers that be at Trace say they’re here for it, and have no plans to renege on their promise.

“We are here to lead the change that is so desperately needed! At Trace we focus more on walking the talk, with the hope of paving the way until all genders have the same opportunities for airplay,” added  Gaudin-Muteba.

The ‘womxn balanced airplay’ is currently executed on the following shows:

TRACE URBAN (DStv 325) shows

Femme Hour: Allowing women in all facets of music to own their throne, the station has added an exciting new flavour to its Monday programming – at 6pm – with a brand new show, ‘Femme Hour‘.

R&B Vibez: Want to soak your heart in music that speaks to the soul, well stay glued to your screen for the not-to-be-missed ‘R&B Vibez‘. The show airs every Monday at 9pm & Sunday at 11am on Trace Urban.

REWIND: Featuring all of today’s favorite jams, you can catch ‘Trace Rewind‘ on Trace Urban every day at 9am.

TRACE GOSPEL(DStv 332) shows

Sounds of South Africa: The show brings you the best of South African gospel music every day at 4pm, and again at 9pm.

Praise Vibez: 100% praise, 100% vibes, here you’ll get to see your favourite old and new praise songs, every day at 8am and 7pm CAT.

Star Up: To start your day on a positive note, catch ‘Star Up‘ every day at 6am with your get up and go songs. The only exclusion for Trace 50/50 will be the ‘Chart Shows’ and ‘Playlists’ which are governed by public popularity and ranked by the number of gross audience impressions – with official viewer data.


*For brand focused South African news and breaking TV & film updates, make sure to visit the  NOWinSA Entertainment page daily!

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Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.