Cool Kid on campus

GHETTO SNOB OF THE AIRWAVES: Swaggered up in DMD, Sista Ntswembu is a colourful and quirky character who has her listeners in stitches from laughter. Photo: Michelle Gumede

GHETTO SNOB OF THE AIRWAVES: Swaggered up in DMD, Sista Ntswembu is a colourful and quirky character who has her listeners in stitches from laughter. Photo: Michelle Gumede

Nolwazi “Sista Ntswembu” Zondo is a radio dj on VoWfm and upcoming comedian. Currently completing her higher certificate in radio studies at the Wits Radio academy, Sista Ntswembu is the host of #ThatLunchShow on VoWfm every Monday to Wednesday at Midday.
Our Cool Kid of the week is a refreshing combination of lokshin culture meets urban street style, without trying too hard.
She dreams of following in the footsteps of radio giants like Yfm’s Khabzela and Dj Fresh and hopes her journey will lead to her being South Africa’s next great radio personality. “I want to bring back the radio personality to South African airwaves, while I’m also trying to find my license to be funny!” She says.
Twitter: @Lwazi_Zond0

Masechaba Lekalake tackles the role of women in radio

This years’ Radio Days Africa conference held at Wits was not short of power players in the industry who gave their insights and accounts of the radio arena. The event was aimed at highlighting the ever-growing and fast changing industry of radio, and Africa’s particular role in the business.

Zambian born South African actress and radio host Masechaba Lekalake answered the question: Is prime-time radio a male preserve? And she was not short of answers.

Lekalake is well known for her radio show Power Life on Gauteng’s Power FM 98.7, and she expressed that in South Africa,we are doing very well in getting women onto radio and “We should give ourselves a pat on the back.”

She also emphasized that we need to do away with the idea that when a woman comes into the industry it will be difficult, Lekalake says we need to start changing that agenda.

She co-anchored her presentation with Leo Manne of Trace TV. Manne touched on the evolution of radio from an audio platform into a visual one, where webcams are placed in radio studios and now audiences can see what a presenter may look like.

Lekalake stressed that if a woman is strong and has a story to tell, it should be told.

Related article: African language radio content now available online on social media

Related article: Five things you need to know about radio in South Africa

African language radio content now available online on social media

African language radio stations are now putting their content on new and social media.

The South African Broadcasting Cooperation (SABC) has an obligation to broadcast in all South African languages but their online information and news has traditionally mainly  if not always been in English.

In April, Umhlobo Wenene FM, SABC Xhosa radio station, began making their hourly news bulletins and current affairs content available on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and SABC news website in Xhosa.

SABC’s Lungisa Nogcazi and Izak Minnaar gave a presentation on this new project at Radio Days Africa conference, presently been hosted by the Wits Radio Academy. Nogcazi said that the aim is to make African language content available on social media. “

We put content in standard Xhosa but (contributors) can use their social media language to comment,” Nogcazi said.


Thus far Umhlobo Wenene is the only non-english SABC radio station doing presently making their content available on social media.

A correction has been made to the original article which had Lungisa Nogcazi’s name spelt incorrectly as Lungisa Nongcasa.

Five things that you need to know about radio in South Africa

radio academy cover


Lauren Shapiro presented “10 things you need to know about South African radio” during the 2015 Edition of the Radio Days Africa conference at the Wits Club hosted on the university’s West Campus. We chose five to share with you.  

1. Radio still has huge penetration in South Africa.

87% of the population listens to radio. That means that for every one person who uses facebook in South Africa, there are three radio listeners. And for every person who reads a newspaper, there are two times as many listening to radio.

2. People like to listen to radio in their mother tongue.

Eight out ten people prefer to listen to radio in their mother tongue. However  many people often still listen to radio in both their mother tongue and in English. This is because english is seen as the language driving economy and business in the country as well as education. Many parents who listen to radio at home are conflicted between preserving their home language while wanting their children to be educated in English.

3. We are listening to radio less now than we did 10 years ago.

People spend 33% less time listening to radio than ten years ago. Young people spend five hours a day on social media and 41% less time on radio than ten years ago.

4. Few people listen to radio on digital devices.

With the intense digitization of the media, streaming radio is relatively low based in South Africa. Barriers to internet access seems to be the driving this, with only 1% of people accessing radio using their computers or laptops. 78% still use the normal radio set, 19% listen to radio on their cell phones and 35% in their cars.

5. With such a large reach, radio is an effective public watchdog.

 81% of South Africans agree that it is the duty of the media to expose corruption among politicians and business people, but 44% say journalists report negative stories about South Africa and do not show the good things that are happening in the country. 45%of the people surveyed in this study also that say journalists harm people’s reputations because they don’t check information sufficiently.

Investigative journalism on radio

This article first appeared on Jocoza.

Peter Horung stressed the importance of investigative research for radio stations, at the opening day of the Radio Days Conference at Wits University yesterday. 

Andy Carvin 2

Andy Carvin describes how NPR makes use of twitter. Photo: Prelene Singh

Radio can and should be creating news agendas and engaging in investigative research.

This is what NDRs Peter Hornung emphasised in a session about radio news at the fourth Joburg Radio Conference in Johannesburg. NDR is a German broadcaster and their team has won national awards for their investigative work.

Hornung said radio stations should invest in investigative research, especially because competition is getting harder, and there is a need for quality radio.

[pullquote]Investigative research on radio can be better than TV[/pullquote]
“Radio needs to be creating its own news agenda. Strengthening journalistic profiles, credibility and social relevance,” said Hornung.

“Investigative research on radio can be better than TV and better than newspapers and magazines,” said Hornung

In another room at the same time, former KayaFM station manger Charlene Deacon, shared her experiences about how she turned the ailing station around a few years ago.

Deacon became part of the station when it was only three years old but she was the ninth manager and it was already R25 million in debt. Now the station is one of the biggest talk radio stations in Johannesburg:”I knew my strategy was working when everyone said that KayaFM was a friendly station.”

Deacon also shared some leadership tips: “In running a station, say what you mean and mean what you say. Understand that the people are your power. While you’re being thick-skinned you need to be kind.”  Deacon said that one of the challenges she faced was with the staff: Removing incompetent staff- recruiting the right quality … easier said than done.


Sam Cavanagh, producer of the Andy&Hamish show talks about social media and radio. Photo: Dinesh Balliah

Skills development in radio

Skills development and challenges around training is what Lanni Smith and Charlton Philiso addressed in yet another breakaway session. Smith is a Director of Development in the Asia-Pasific Audiovisuel Exterieur de la France while Philiso is a Senior Manager at MICT SETA (Media, Information and Communications Technology Sector Education and Training Authority.

Peter Malebye

MTN’S General Manager Peter Malebye of Ecosystem Development and Innovation talks social media devices. Photo: Prelene Singh

“Skills development is a key success factor in any business. The same applies for community radios,” said Philiso. He said that one of the challenges they face is retaining skilled people once they have been trained.

Smith spoke about some of the work Planet Radio does in terms of providing training to community radios and other parts of the world.

The conference continues today. Visit the conference site for regular updates or follow @jhbradiodays on Twitter.