L-R: Rashid Ahmed and Anika Mysha (Photo supplied)

New CFCR radio show by Edwards alumni brings a voice to immigrant communities

Cole Chretien

A new radio show on CFCR 90.5 FM, produced and hosted by two former Edwards School of Business students, hopes to bring immigrant voices and live music to the airwaves of Saskatoon.

Anika Mysha (B.Comm. 2018) and Rashid Ahmed (B.Comm. 2017) are the people behind The Voice of Saskatoon on CFCR. Both Mysha and Ahmed are human resources graduates from Edwards and the children of refugees. Mysha is from Bangladesh and Ahmed’s family is from Pakistan. Together, they hope to bring their knowledge, along with their perspective of the immigrant experience, to local radio.

“The Voice of Saskatoon is actually the voice of all the people who are living in Saskatoon. We provide opportunities, and we are also providing information to newcomers, refugees and local people,” Ahmed said.

The Voice of Saskatoon has been on the air for over a month. The show is broadcast live and includes conversations with influential community figures as well as a live musical segment. The idea for an immigrant-focused talk-radio show was originally conceived by Ahmed, but Mysha brought the musical element to the show.

“In our breaks, when we talk to our guests, instead of playing music from Spotify, we thought about promoting local talent because there is so much local talent in Saskatoon,” Mysha said. “We have been inviting local artists — local singers — to come sing instead.”

Both Mysha and Ahmed have been involved in the international students’ community and associated student groups. Mysha was the president and founder of the Bangladesh Undergraduate Student Federation while Ahmed was a founder of the Edwards International Students’ Society and the president of the University of Saskatchewan Ahmadiyya Muslim Student Association.

During his time as president of the association, he received the AMSA Excellence Award for his efforts to fight youth radicalization as well as his work towards reconciliation with Indigenous student groups. Ahmed hopes to continue his work with immigrant and Indigenous communities with The Voice of Saskatoon.

“The main purpose of this show is to build bridges among immigrants, refugees and Aboriginal communities. The other thing is that it’s really important to give thanks to the creator of the land and to the Aboriginal [communities], so that is the main soul of our show,” Ahmed said.

For Ahmed, The Voice of Saskatoon is about bringing a voice to marginalized communities. Upon moving to Canada, Ahmed never saw himself as a broadcaster, but through his background in business school, he has developed a voice of his own.

“I never thought I would be a good broadcaster because I was a shy guy, but I will say thanks to my professors at Edwards School of Business [for] how they train us, especially in business communications classes [when] we were asked to present in front of a crowd… After taking those classes, I got so much confidence,” Ahmed said.

For both hosts, the show is a long-term project that they plan on continuing for the foreseeable future.

“This is not a short-term thing. We definitely plan on this being a long-term thing. We just hope to keep helping newcomers with information to inspire them, like true stories of other successful immigrants,” Mysha said. “We’ve been getting great support from the community.”

As part of their goal to better represent the diverse communities in the city, the hosts of The Voice of Saskatoon are always looking for new guests and musicians to feature on the program.

“Everyone is welcome to our show — whether you are a musician or you have an inspiring story or you want to share your experience in Saskatoon,” Ahmed said.

The Voice of Saskatoon is broadcast live on CFCR 90.5 FM at 8:00 a.m. every Sunday. The hosts can be reached on Facebook @thevoiceofsaskatoon.

This article was originally published in the Sheaf.

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