Looking Good with Radio Mango

Radio Mango, Toronto, celebrated its 6th Anniversary in style on September 22nd 2018 with a lively evening of music, food, prizes, and Konkani culture. The annual event, which includes a Outstanding Achievement Award presentation, directly supports the radio program venture of co-founders Milena Marques-Zachariah and Alan Sequeira. The hard working creative pair has now broadcast over 300 radio shows. They have featured local businesses as well as international stars.

The evening brought together Radio Mango contributors, sponsors, and fans of all ages, from across the Goan and Mangalorean community.

Radio Mango, Toronto, supporters celebrated the 6th Anniversary of the radio show in style.

The full hall of supporters was looking good dressed in stylish evening cocktail attire. A number of notable local celebs were seen looking fabulous, including: Karen Ahmed, chef, who produces the ‘Kravings Food Adventures’ blog and YouTube Channel; Caroline Roach, who is running for a position on the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board, after completing a run as a Provincial Independent in the riding of Mississauga-Malton; and Serah Barbosa, the Konkani theatre actress who recently preformed in the short play ‘Ragan Kazar Morgan’s Divorce.

The star of the evening stage show was accomplished, saxophonist, and crooner, Acacio Pereira. The Radio Mango Team had flown him in especially for the event.

Acacio Pereira has earned the title ‘Goa’s singer with the golden voice’ and is regularly booked by hotels and popular jazz events all along the Konkan Coast from Goa to Mumbai. Hailing from Betalbatim, Acacio was chosen as ‘Best Male Playback Singer’ at the 8th Goa State Biennial Film Festival Awards for this contribution to the Konkani film ‘Nirmon,’ and he was nominated as ‘Best Male Singer’ at the Konkani Song & Music Awards 2011. In 2012, the talented Acacio Pereira released a much anticipated album titled, ‘Journey.’ He wrote, composed, and produced all the songs. He is a rising to stardom.

Acacio was a hit on the Radio Mango stage and his natural charm won over many in the lobby between performances. Adoring Konkani music fans cornered him for autographs and then lined him up for a personal photo using the services of the event photo booth.

Acacio was supported by, and then played along side, versatile performer Victor Rodrigues of Victor ’n Solo. Victor Rodrigues also leads the popular Bigfoot Band. Both artists then jammed with local virtuosos, violinist Mackvin Dias and flautist Deepankar Ganguly.

Acacio Pereira was supported by, and then played along side, versatile performer Victor Rodrigues of Victor ’n Solo. The Radio Mango Team had flown Acacio in especially for the event.

The evening started and concluded with tight performances from of the hardworking Goa Amigos who currently hold the unofficial title of being Canada’s most popular Goan band. The Goa Amigos have a large repertoire of western, latin and Konkani songs and be reliably called to rock a house on any occasion. Both Bigfoot Band and the Goa Amigos regularly travel to and play in Goa. This puts Canada in a unique position of now exporting Goan talent back to India.

For the last few years Radio Mango Team has given Outstanding Achievement Awards to selected members of the Canadian Goan and Mangalorean Community to recognize service to the Konkani language, art and culture, and society at large. This year Goa’n Krazy Inc., an up and coming food manufacturing company run by Iona Gonsalves and Vincy Miranda, sponsored the crystal plaques.

We were all pleasantly surprised when Mississauga’s Mayor Bonnie Crombie arrived to facilitate the ceremony, as she was in amid her official campaign for reelection. When the Ms Crombie inquired, how many are eligible to vote within the City of Mississauga, only a about quarter of the room raised their hands. This was ample indication that Radio Mango supporters had arrived from jurisdictions and cities that cover the breath of Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe.

An Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Maxim Mendes and Zulema de Souza. The award  recognizes service to the Konkani language, art and culture, and society at large. Radio Mango co-founders Alan Sequeira and Milena Marques-Zachariah established the annual award.

An Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Maxim Mendes for being a visionary and leader. He pursued real estate as a profession and has established a number of ventures in settlement services, exports, hospitality, software, and property development. Max was one of the founding members of The Mangalorean Association of Canada (MAC), Canara World Foundation (CWF), Konkan Organization of Toronto (KOT), Konkani Catholics of Brampton (KCOB) and Canadian Canara Vision Inc. (CCVI).

Zulema de Souza was given an Outstanding Achievement Award for being a high-spirited high-achiever. She was the first female president of the Goa Overseas Association, Toronto (GOA) and served two non-consecutive terms in the office of president. During her tenure Zulema managed the Toronto International Goan Convention in 1988. She helped in the formation of the Goan Charitable Organization (GCO) and the International Goan Organization (IGO). She was a founder member of the Goan Theatrical Group, and was a president of the West End Seniors, who meet at the Fairfield Centre in Etobicoke. Zulema has established her own professional practice as an accredited family mediator and therapist. She has been a volunteer in the community, in one capacity or another, for close to 50-years.

This last year has been one of transition for the Radio Mango Team. For five years their radio show was produced, edited, and broadcast under a tight live-to-air deadline. Production was undertaken with incredible pressure on the crew, guests and contributors. The show created live each Saturday afternoon in the studio of Canada Multicultural Radio (CMR), CJSA FM 101.3 and then simultaneously broadcast over the airwaves using the transmitter of located in Rexdale.

As there has been a tremendous advance in broadcast technology over the last few years, the Team made a forward-looking business decision. They decided to transition to use Web and Internet Radio-Broadcast Technology. While this means they now benefit from, the reduced pressure by eliminating the live-to-air window, the reduced risk of using shared equipment, and a drastic reduction in costs, there is a new set of responsibilities. The Team now needed to, set up and maintain their own studio, keep their own equipment and skills current, and must also personally administer to a steady stream of interviewees, advertisers and contributors without the help and facilities of the Community Station. It’s a different kind of chaos. Melina says, ‘It is far more manageable.’

One other advantage of working and broadcasting this way is that both production and radio streams can now be queued, paused, and repeated, by both the show producers and by the listeners. Radio streams can also can be linked to, shared, and forwarded amongst friends. Add to this the impact of intimacy of a direct-connection to the listener, and consumer. This is very unlike the relatively uncontrollable delivery of traditional radio broadcast.

By far the largest benefit is the new Radio Mango, Konkani Online, can now incorporate still images and video just like what is seen on television cable channels. This provides a distinct advantage to PR Agencies who send their clients to be featured on the show. Business and entertainment stories, when compellingly packaged, spreads as fast as wildfire on the Internet.

Radio Mango Toronto’s radio show is now available worldwide via personal computers, tablets, and importantly, smart phones. Indians and Konkani speaking people have fallen in love with their powerful new handsets. Internet based delivery is becoming the new normal when listening to music and news. There are literally hundreds-of-millions of points of reception.

The new levels of impact and potential market reach means the transition to the Internet provides new opportunities for the local and global businesses that choose advertise on the Radio Mango radio show. The Radio Mango Team now can now potently reach and engage a soon to be flourishing group of consumers.

Over the last six years the Radio Mango Team, lead by Milena Marques-Zachariah and Alan Sequeira have brought Konkani voices and Konkani music to the local airwaves. And although their fledgling effort remains just a pinprick on the Canadian South Asian culture scene when compared to what other Indo-Canadian immigrant communities have achieved, they have accomplished many, many, things that no other Canadian venture has; they have bridged a gap between Goan and Mangalorean Communities and brought them together, from across Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe, to have fun, share, and celebrate a common heritage; they have helped us reminisce and as well have broadcast the voices of a new generation; they have developed a communication channel, a stepping stone, for businesses and professionals to reach their market; and they have proven that the Konkani language can be a source of pride, for growth, and a fountain for creativity.

To the Radio Mango, Konkani Online, Toronto, Team and their supporters we say, ‘Congratulation on your 6th Anniversary. You bring us much joy. Wishing all of you many more years of good work, good health, good production values, creative ideas, love, and happiness.’  With this transition year, you are now better prepared for the future, well in advance of the convergence of traditional radio and television. •

Includes part of Mayor Bonnie Crombie’s speech, where she flubs the pronunciation of ‘Mangalorean’. She looked for her notes, but due glare of the stage lights had to rely on memory. We have more work to do so the community name is memorable.  Concludes with a short interview Radio Mango, Konkani Online, Toronto, co-founder Milena Marques-Zachariah.

Article, Photos, Interview, Albert Peres (c) Goa Culture List

Click here to listen to Radio Mango’s 325th show. The radio show can be accessed via computer, tablet, or smart phone. Sadly the episode, broadcast on December 15 2018, was the last show published. We hope to catch up with the Radio Mango team soon. Congratulations on a great run.