‘My first love has always been presenting’

VOICE of Wits (VoW FM) programming manager, Matthew Malcolm, has stepped down from his position to be a presenter at YFM, a commercial youth radio station in Johannesburg.

The Wits graduate, formerly known as Matthew Law but now rebranding himself as DJ Flax, started at VoW FM as a presenter during his first year of study in 2014.

“Until September 2015 I did every show under the sun, and it was just to get experience,” DJ Flax said.

Thereafter he presented the breakfast show for three years, while completing a Bachelor of Arts and furthering his training at the Wits Radio Academy. “The most difficult thing is resilience,” said DJ Flax. VoW FM radio presenter, Tshepo Thaela, echoed these sentiments, saying “Anyone can have a good idea, but putting in the work to bring it to life – that’s something special.”

The 23-year-old presenter added, “I really enjoyed working with Matthew because he always had cool ideas and made things happen.”

YFM programming manager, Tumelo Diaho-Monaheng, told Wits Vuvuzela, “VoW FM is a good platform for aspiring radio journalists to gain work experience. It has structure and great people managing the station.”

“I would suggest anyone hoping to go into radio should do it through the campus space because it forces you to do everything and think creatively,” said DJ Flax.

“Matthew’ understanding of the medium and its impact on the listener was very impressive.

“He has worked very hard at earning his stripes at VoW FM and he is a keen learner. That’s what I am looking for,” said Diaho-Monaheng.

Although VoW FM has a high turnover rate, DJ Flax assured Wits Vuvuzela  that, “VoW FM has a phenomenal set of volunteers who have taken on roles where they can to ensure that this hasn’t affected the station.”

Since DJ Flax started at VoW FM, he says, “The station hasn’t really changed all that much. There’s such a culture of pride for the station that it gets passed down to every new intake.”


Cool kid on campus


Meet your cool kid on campus who believes in acting for change.
Swankie Mafoko is an actress on the newest SABC2 telenovela Keeping Score and an “artist activist”.
The 23 year-old is a Kasi Durbanite who moved to Joburg to pursue her career in drama and performing arts. “It’s different when you studied something (drama) and when you go and work in the industry,” she says.
Her supporting actress role on Keeping Score is her first television gig. However, Swankie hasn’t been shy to perform on stage. “I’ve been doing theatre for years now, since 2008 from Durban,” says Swankie.
She completed her BA in Dramatic Arts in 2016. Swankie found herself having to juggle both her studies and work. Having had the opportunity to work for VowFM as a radio presenter, news compiler and recently contributed to the Wits #FeesMustFall book by Prof Susan Booysen. “I specifically spoke about documenting the revolution in relation to an art piece.
“What makes me cool? Besides me having a great personality and being fun, I can safely say that my voice and my laugh make me cool,” laughs Swankie.
“I describe myself as an artist activist who believes in community building and using my art as an act for change.”

VoWFM bids Mike bye

VOICE OF WITS (VoWFM) campus radio station is bidding goodbye to long-time station manager Michael “Mike” Smurthwaite at the end of the month.

BIDDING FAREWELL: Mike Smurthwaite is ready to enter a new chapter Photo: Nokuthula Zwane

BIDDING FAREWELL: Mike Smurthwaite is ready to enter a new chapter
                                                                                                                                                  Photo: Nokuthula Zwane


Q & A with Shandukani Mulaudzi


Wits Journalism alumnus and former Voice of Wits (VOW) FM presenter Shandukani Mulaudzi, tells Wits Vuvuzela of her dream of changing the world and telling stories via multimedia. Mulaudzi is currently a journalist at City Press. (more…)

Mcebo side-eyes campus media

SRC President Mcebo Dlamini speaks to everyone except Campus Media

Dismissed SRC president Mcebo Dlamini was a common presence on radio and websites this week with several media appearances. Everywhere—seemingly—except for campus media outlets Wits Vuvuzela and VowFM.

Since his dismissal as SRC president on Monday, Wits Vuvuzela made several attempts to get hold of him: eight landline calls, four cell phone calls, four WhatsApp messages that were read but not responded to (blue ticks!) and countless visits to the SRC offices.

After all this effort, Wits Vuvuzela only managed to get hold Dlamini only once and his comment was very simple: he was still “gathering his thoughts”. He had been booked to go on VowFm but was reportedly a no-show.

But while he has not appeared on campus media, Dlamini has appeared frequently on commercial outlets.

He spoke to the Mail and Guardian and said Vice Chancellor Adam Habib’s decision to remove him from office was because he “succumbed to pressure from the White community”.

He went on to explain to Eye Witness News that his dismissal was “proof to everyone that white supremacy is putting its boots on the neck of the black child.”

The most comprehensive of interviews that Dlamini gave was one where both Dlamini and Habib were interviewed on Power FM. Dlamini said his dismissal was a “joke” and that the vice chancellor knew he had no case against him.

Dlamini said the charges on which he was dismissed are related to a fight he had in a dining hall happened one year and four months ago before he became SRC president. He said that he had been found guilty by a “kangaroo court in an effort to protect the evil that is practiced by the university, chaired by Adam Habib”.

“The university just wanted to get rid of me,” Dlamini said.

He also told PowerFM that Habib was “twerking in my name all over social media

He continued to defend his remarks around Adolf Hitler: “Hitler is a freak of nature, I am failing to separate him from the White people.  In all of them there is a small element of Hitler.  In as much as they can do good things, there’s an element of Hitler. It is time for the Black masses to speak against White supremacy because we are going nowhere.”

When asked how he was planning on responding to his dismissal, Dlamini told PowerFM that “the students will decide”.

“I was put in office by the students, and if the students are happy that the vice chancellor will twerk in my name and at their expense on all social media, behaving like a pop star, then they will allow him, but if the students believe in the power of blackness, then they will challenge this thing because I didn’t put myself in office.”



Campus radio station’s twitter account hacked

A number of controversial tweets about the Wits SRC (Student Representatives Council) elections were sent from the Voice of Wits (VoW FM) twitter account earlier today. Mike Smurthwaite, VoW station manager, confirmed that the twitter account of the station had been hacked and the tweets were not official VoW FM tweets.

Speaking to Wits Vuvuzela, Smurthwaite said his team noticed something strange when the morning crew tried to log on to the station’s Twitter account, only to find the password was not working.

The crew then tried to recover the password by using the ‘lost password’ feature on Twitter which would send an email to the registered account.

According to Smurthwaite, VoW then discovered they could not access their email as the account has been in maintenance mode since this morning.

“I didn’t see any notification that it was going to happen. It just happened to have coincided at the point these guys took control of our account. They said they’ll send us a notification when it’s back up and that notification hasn’t been sent,”, said Smurthwaite.

The alleged hacker tweeted SRC elections related tweets and retweeted other student organisations.


HACKED: The VoW FM twitter account was hacked and used to send tweets in support of the EFF. Graphic: Wits Vuvuzela.

VoW had not tweeted or retweeted anything since the morning, Smurthwaite said.

“All of those retweets and tweets are done by someone or a group of people acting with their own agenda,” he said.

VoW FM has lodged a complaint with the Student Development and Leadership Unit (SDLU) to pass on to the election officer to investigate the matter and assure the campus community that the tweets and retweets from the station’s account do not represent the views of VoW.

“It looks like we are supporting a particular entity and as an organisation we are politically neutral, we provide a platform for people to debate and we leave it up to people to decide which stories they believe or who they want to support or what the facts are,” said Smurthwaite.

Smurthwaite believes there is a possibility the hacker knows someone who works at the station, that an employee was bribed or that a former employee who was “pissed off” with the organisation saw it as an “opportunity because now they have political ambitions.

“We can however say for a fact that no one was doing it here at the station because you can see exactly what people are doing at what machines and we track user activity. So we can see that it wasn’t happening here, which means that this person was using it from another location,” Smurthwaite said.

Around 6pm this evening, VoW managed to recover access to the Twitter profile but declined to delete the earlier tweets until an investigation is completed.