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Zandile Nzalo talks radio

Posted by radio On April - 2 - 2013

[By Kgomotso Moncho]


The name Zandile Nzalo may conjure up different descriptions from different people.  Although, the common thread may be the respect she commands in her stride. Those who’ve been in her presence will recognise the grace and poise with which she conducts herself.


This grace and poise seems to flow over into her fierce business acumen in the communications sector. But many will know and remember Zandile Nzalo for being part of the Radio Bop (Bophuthatswana) generation of broadcasters who may well have laid the foundation for the young black talent we now see across the English broadcasting landscape.


She is in there with the likes of Nothemba Madumo and Kgomotso Moeketsi and she is also included in the judging panel of the MTN Radio Awards.   With over 20 years experience in the media, Nzalo has worked as a producer and presenter for numerous broadcasters including SABC Radio and TV, Radio Bop, Bop TV, 702 Talk Radio and MNet.


She is currently the founder and managing director of Zanenza Communications, a business she established in August 2002. The company specializes in strategy development, public relations, event management and radio and television production.


Her business portfolio includes her having been General Manager of the MNet’s Channel O; Media director for LoveLife; CEO for the Association for Communications and Advertising and Acting CEO at the Indalo Yethu Trust.


She serves on a number of boards including the Council of the University of Johannesburg; the Gauteng Film Commission and Bokamoso Investment Trust. This is the third year she is judging in the MTN Radio Awards. And she sees this as an opportunity to gauge how radio is growing in this country.


“The MTN Radio Awards play an important role as they encourage new talent and help in the development of new talent. You can only get better when you’re recognised for what you do. Similarly this leads to the growth of the industry as advertisers see and recognise the power of radio and its wider reach,” says Nzalo.

In her observations of radio broadcasting, she feels a lot is not being done to give broadcasters extensive training. She speaks in her capacity as a product of Radio Bop, which was the training ground for many of the veteran black broadcasters in English led stations now.

“I remember I was given six to eight weeks of technical training alone, this before we got to on air training. That is how serious Radio Bop was about skilling their presenters. It’s a travesty these days that young people are not given the same kind of training. It is up to radio station managers to cultivate talent and an all rounded broadcaster, one who can conduct an interview intelligently and apply their mind,” she says.


Her experience allows her to practice her freedom of choice. She is able to decide in two minutes whether she’s taken in by a presenter or not, and she can switch to another station if she feels. The fact that she has these choices is what she loves about radio in South Africa. It is broad and diverse. She appreciates new talent and rates Siki Mgabadeli as one of the broadcasters she enjoys.


Although the MTN Radio Awards adjudicating process works with specialized criteria, Nzalo also gets to use her personal discretion. “Content is very important, as well as how a show is prepared. I have judged on current affairs and talk radio and here research is key. A broadcaster should be able to represent society’s views. A good music show should also have an interesting interaction with the listener. It needs preparation, relevance and societal content,” she says.

These below are the categories that Zandile Nzalo is responsible for in the MTN Radio Awards:

Breakfast Show – Commercial

Breakfast Show – PBS

Breakfast Show Presenter – Commercial

Breakfast Show Presenter – PBS

Business and Finance Show – None

Community Presenter – Community

Community Project – Community

Community Project – Commercial

Community Project – PBS

Community Project – Campus

Promotions Event – Community

Promotions Event – Commercial

Promotions Event – PBS

Promotions Event – Campus





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