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Zandile Tembe (34) was awarded Best Content Producer for Non Commercial Radio at the 2011 MTN Radio Awards for her work on Ukhozi FM’s Vuka Mzansi breakfast show presented by Linda Sibiya.

Today as the station’s programmes manager she still commands a lot of respect in the industry. When she is not brewing innovative ideas for radio, this driven career woman, is a wife, a mother to four kids and a lover of travel, food and adventure. She speaks to Radiobiz about the love for her work.


How did it all start for you?

I have always been a creative. I loved impromptu speech debates at school. I loved reading, writing and TV.  I studied Marketing Management at DUT, but I did not finish the course, so my brother could have a chance at university. By luck and determination I got to work for the MD of Ilanga newspaper as a secretary.  I did not realize it at the time but, working for him as his assistant taught me about the ins and outs of running a newspaper, which is valuable knowledge. While I was there I saw a gap through which the newspaper could garner new readers.  The newspaper went with my ideas and got me to help out in their promotions and marketing section.  I was moved to the newsroom in 2003 where I covered youth stories, fashion and lifestyle.  I joined Ukhozi Fm in 2007 as a content producer for Linda Sibiya’s drive time show.  It was nerve wrecking doing something I had never done before. And in the first year I had no one to show me the ropes.  Linda and I were given the Breakfast show in 2008, taking over from DJ Sbu and Nonkululeko Godana as producer. Those were big shoes to fill, but we set a tone that pushed the envelope and got the biggest numbers. I left the breakfast show at the end of 2011 and applied for the Programmes Manager position.


What does your job entail?

As programmes manager I have to ensure delivery of high quality programming aligned with Ukhozi FM’s strategy and target audience 24/7. This is from performance managing, developing and motivating the on air station team to delivering the business obligations required.  



What’s your take on social media breaking the news first? Is it a challenge to content producers?

It’s a tool and we couldn’t command such a listenership if we saw it as a threat.  We’re still the most trusted source of information. There’s no credibility in social media and it’s an opinionated platform. We have more listeners than twitter followers. I acknowledge the presence and power it has on improving our vision.  We need to use it right, in a way that’s in sync with where people’s minds are.


Which show has the highest listenership at Ukhozi?

The first one is the Breakfast show Vuka Mzansi, followed by the traditional music show, Sigiya Nge Ngoma on Saturdays from 9:30am to 12:30pm and then Indumiso on Sundays at 8:30am to 11:30am.


Which is the most profitable?

The Breakfast show is.  It varies. Prime time slots are also the leaders.


Do you think Chilli M is under utilized as a weekend presenter?

Chilli M comes from an English commercial radio background. It was strategic and important to give him time to get acquainted with the culture of Ukhozi, and for him to find his feet and voice. We want him to grow with the station. He’s already started standing in for other presenters, which is a good thing. We did not want to put him under any pressure.


Do you think radio presenters should be given 5 year long contracts?

A presenter should be at a station for as long as they deliver and are relevant to the listener. The numbers should show. We shouldn’t box presenters into thinking they want to be on radio for a long time. Some have other plans. A true radio person will not worry about contracts – they know where their passion is.


What advice would you give to students interested in being programmes manager?

Go to school and be learned. You need to entertain and educate your listener. Young people think anyone can be on radio. But you have to have the passion for it. It needs heart.


Do you think PBS stations should help community stations by training some of their stuff or is it competition?

I find that there’s competition when we should be sharing. If we started sharing we could fix a lot of things in the industry. I ran a campaign at the end of 2011, where during the last week of the year we took daytime presenters and put them on night time shows and vice versa. In December 2012 we invited aspirant radio presenters from campus and community to co host with our presenters. It was so refreshing and made radio heads see that it was doable.



How would you like to be remembered if ever you leave Ukhozi?

I would like to be remembered as a person with integrity. Someone who loved what she did. There has never been a day where I left my home feeling like I’m going to work.


What are you reading?

Muzi Khuzwayo’s Black Man’s Medicine and Bonnie Henna’s Eye Bags and Dimples. I’m reading with my nine year old daughter. We switch off the TV for an hour just to read. I think it’s important.


Who are your influences?

I’m a die hard fan of Ryan Seacrest’s work. He’s a pioneer and as a creative I love what he does. I’m also inspired by Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. She epitomises power without an emphasis on being a woman.    


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Motsweding FM Reality Radio

Posted by radio On February - 10 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

Kgomo tsa Magadi & Bridal Wars Competition

Motsweding FM will, on 14 February 2013, air its first ever reality radio shows as part of the station’s strategic intent to make Setswana fashionable. The shows are aimed at contributing towards preserving the culture and norms of Setswana. The station also intends to instil pride in the Batswana people by showcasing ways of living by using the matrimonial setting called ‘Patloya Setswana’.


The twelve episodes of the ‘Bridal wars’ and ‘Dikgomotsa Bogadi’ respectively, will feature twelve (12) blushing brides and grooms to be, who will battle each other through a series of challenges to win a wedding gown for the contesting bride and a wedding suite for her husband worth R35 000.The grooms to be in the ‘Dikgomotsabogadi’ competition stands a chance to take home cattle worth R50, 000 to go towards paying lobola for his chosen bride to be.


It has been a thrilling experience for the production team working behind the scenes to put together both shows, and a life changing experience for all finalists.

Issued by: Motsweding FM

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Posted by radio On February - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

9th March 2013 sees Rain Productions, Pangolin Productions & Mix FM 93.8 in association with Obikwa and Greenpop, host Johannesburg’s premier Eco-Friendly Acoustic Music Festival: “Rise & Shine”


The festival will provide an opportunity for music-lovers to experience the garden oasis that is Sandton Central Park, while enjoying some of South Africa’s brightest musical talents in their acoustic formats. In addition, Rise & Shine, in association with Greenpop, will plant a tree for every 50 people that attend the festival, compensating for the festival’s carbon emissions. Collectively, festival-goers will all be contributing to a small forest taking root.


Tickets are available at at R150 per person, with the option of paying an additional R100 for a ‘Green ticket’, whereby Greenpop will plant a tree on your behalf somewhere in Africa.  A certificate with the co-ordinates of your sponsored tree will be sent to you once its toes are in the soil. The line-up includes Shadowclub, Tidal Waves, Naming James, NakhaneToure, Yo Grapes, Chiba Fly, Phoenix Smith, Some Grow Young, Shotgun Tori, and Jeremy Loops – a founding member of Greenpop.


In addition to the world-class music on offer, festival-goers are encouraged to arrive at the park as early as 8.00am for a Yoga session included in the ticket price. With the Gautrain within walking distance from Sandton Central Park, guests from as far as Pretoria, Centurion, Midrand, Benoni&Rosebankare encouraged to join in the festivities. The festival concludes at 6.00pm and the Gautrain runs every 30 minutes until 8.30pm on the day.


Festival-goers driving to the event are encouraged to car-pool and to park their vehicles at Sandton City from where it is a gentle 500m stroll to the park. Saturday parking is a flat-rate fee of R10 for the day. This outdoor production aims to showcase – through entertainment, enjoyment & experience – what can be achieved through a collective awareness.


“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now” Chinese proverb


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Posted by radio On February - 9 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

CNBC AFRICA, Africa’s largest business television news channel, will be launching a new fortnightly show titled ‘Innovate Africa’ sponsored by Neotel. The show, which will premiere on 12 February at 9:30pm CAT, is hosted by CNBC Africa’s Natascha Jacobsz.

According to the Southern African Innovation Network, South African inventors have a lot to be proud of. Some of these ingenious creations have appeared in magazines, via online education platforms or on television documentaries. Innovate Africa will showcase a wide range of topics that will uncover some of the hidden innovative projects aimed at releasing untapped potential in Africa.


“These brilliant people have indirectly touched the lives of so many, both at home and across the globe,” says CNBC Africa Chief Editor, Godfrey Mutizwa. “Innovate Africa focuses on Africa specific technology innovations & inventions, highlighting Africa’s technology success stories.”

The first episode highlights Africa’s inventive spirit and looks at solutions to some of Africa’s greatest challenges.

Don’t miss ‘Innovate Africa’ on Tuesday, 12 February at 9:30pm CAT on CNBC Africa, channel 410 only on DStv! 

Issued By: CNBC Africa

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The survival of Community Radio

Posted by radio On February - 7 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By Kgomotso Moncho]

The slogan that usually describes the essence of community radio is “for the people, by the people.” This is simply because community radio stations are designed to serve the communities they are based in. What sets them apart and defines them is that they are controlled and driven by a non-profit entity and are run for non-profitable purposes. This means any money that they make from their service goes back into the station.


This is the reason why community radio tends to work with volunteers. Those who get paid, do it for the passion of radio and their community, as well as to acquire training and the skills needed for commercial and public service broadcasting. So how do community radio stations generate revenue, you might ask? By nature community radio struggles to access advertising and other forms of financing because stations are limited in how they can use advertising or sponsorship to raise funds.


Many rely on donations (local and international), government funding, grants, sponsorships, advertising, events, or by a combination of all of the above. According to the ICT Regulation Toolkit (, “In Colombia, the Universal Access and Service Fund (UASF), Compartel, is managed by the Ministry of Communications, and has a joint programme with the Ministry of Culture and a special government fund for Development Projects known as FONADE. The fund provides partial financing for community radios under a programme called “Comunidad”.


Currently, Compartel has financed between two to six community radios in approximately 25 departments of Colombia. Compartel receives its money from a levy mainly targeting telecommunications operators, though commercial broadcasters must also pay into the fund. The UASF in Peru is only occasionally funding pilot projects that have some community radio element, but are focused on the Internet.


Ghana’s UASF, GIFTEL, is authorized to fund community media projects that combine Internet and community broadcasting “France is said to have a special fund for local community broadcasters sourced by a special tax levied on radio and TV advertising expenditures and paid by advertisers. Qualified stations can receive partial funds to assist with the initial installation, to subsidize some of their operational costs and to subsidize equipment purchases. Community radio stations must however fulfill certain criteria which determine if and how much funds they receive. These include the community stations’ capacity to secure some local funds, and the quality of their programming. Conditions include a ceiling of 20% of advertising of their total annual turnover, and broadcasting four hours of local programming daily.


In some countries like the United States, Chile, Mexico and Brazil, governments impose advertising restrictions on community radio stations which maybe absolute or up to a certain ceiling. Botswana is unique in that community radio stations are allowed to accept national and international donations only in the first years of the station’s establishment.


In South Africa there is no government funding, but there are a number of agencies set up to give financial support and startup capital for independent media initiatives. There’s the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) – set up by an Act of Parliament – Act 14 of 2002 – to enable “historically disadvantaged communities and persons not adequately served by the media” to gain access to the media. Beneficiaries are community media and small commercial media. The MDDA has helped start a few community radio stations. 


Bush Radio, the country’s oldest community radio station, is perhaps a good example of how a community radio station can operate with the help of international donations.  In his paper on Community Radio As Participatory Communication in Post-Apartheid, Anthony A. Olorunnisola reported that “Bush Radio’s audited financial statements for the years 1998 through 2000 show that consistently, more than 50% of the station’s revenue generated through grants donated by local and international funding agencies. In 1998, when the station had an income of R461k, 53% of the sum (R248k) accrued from grants. Also in 1999, R1, 075k (or 70.3%) of Bush Radio’s total income of R1, 5m accrued from grants.


In 2000, Bush Radio posted an annual income of R1, 2m. Though the amount represented a budgetary decrease for the year, R1, 027k (or 81.8%) of the sum were grants donated to Bush Radio by funding agencies.” He goes on to point out that when compared to grants, Bush Radio’s advertising revenue consistently decreased as a percentage of total income in the years covered by the audited financial records. He gives two connected reasons for the radio station’s dwindling advertising revenue: “One is Bush Radio’s unmatched success in securing large sums of grant income from local and foreign agencies. Second is Bush Radio’s reputation for socially conscious advertising revenue generation. For instance, as a demonstration of its support for a healthcare message dedicated to the eradication of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Bush Radio enforced an advertising policy that shuns alcohol promotions. Also by editorial choice, Bush Radio carried no tobacco advertising.” Other community radio stations are self sustaining getting by and growing with the help of advertising, sponsorship and events.


Tshwane FM (formerly known as TUT Top Stereo) is one such station which has grown from being a campus radio to being a recognizable community voice in Tshwane radio. According to the station manager, Jeremy Thorpe, the station which runs from the premises of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT), is not subsidized by the university. The station has become synonymous with certain music events that take place in the capital city like the Pens Down Party, just as Tuks FM has become synonymous with the Tuks Rag event as well as the annual New Year’s party. With the advent of the internet linked with radio, community radio stations are able to have companies also advertise on their radio websites.


There are success stories of how community radio stations are growing and self sustaining, but when Bush radio almost closed down due to financial problems in 2011, it caused a great deal of alarm. And this prompts the question: is the way community radio model working? What almost happened to Bush radio proves not and Sonnyboy Masingi, chairperson of the National Community Radio Forum, says this did not only happen to Bush Radio, but it is widespread in the community radio industry.

The recession left a huge impact and some big advertisers are after bigger audiences, so this remains a problem. Masingi’s suggestion to the Mail and Guardian is that, ““We need to start a conversation about how government can provide space through municipalities at no cost to protect these vital institutions,” he said.








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SA’s first Masterchef graces Lotus FM

Posted by radio On February - 5 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[Issued by: Lotus FM]


The drama studios of Lotus FM were a buzz of excitement recently when a special recording took place with SA’s first Masterchef, Deena Naidoo.

The cooking expert made a special appearance in the radio station’s popular soapie Sunshine Mall. Drama producer Raeesa Mohamed said: ‘I thought it was a good idea to have a cooking demonstration as part of the story, and what better chef to feature than KZN’s own Masterchef Deena Naidoo. I called him up and he was very keen on the idea and agreed immediately. So I asked the writer to put it into the script as part of the story’.


Sunshine Mall is set in a fictitious mall on the coast of KZN and is populated with zany and funny characters who provide the drama and excitement in the story. Deena Naidoo is invited as a special guest by the Marketing Manager of the Mall to do a cooking demo.


The episode was recorded in the drama studios in the SABC building in Durban with a cast of professional actors, and directed by Raeesa Mohamed. Popular Lotus FM presenter Varshan Sookhun was also part of the recording. He played himself, covering the event for Lotus FM as a live broadcast.


Deena Naidoo says ‘This was a new experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fascinating to see how the whole radio drama recording process worked. I am pleased and privileged to be asked by Raeesa to do this’.

Sunshine Mall is broadcast on Lotus FM every weekday at 09h45 and repeated at 20h30.

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[Issued by: Avusa Media LIVE]

In a case of growing one’s own timber, Times Media LIVE has promoted Razia Van Der Schuur to editor of its Sowetan LIVE and Sunday World digital platforms. Effective February 1, she will be responsible for overall content on and as well as organic audience growth.
“Razia had built up valuable experience on the Sowetan LIVE website,” says GM Derek Abdinor, ‘and was then charged with injecting some impetus into the LIVE network’s social media brands. She ran the successful Mzansi’s Sexiest Campaign and is one of the few online editors who truly understand their community. She is a great fit for the brand.”

In 2011, Van Der Schuur was invited by the US Embassy to attend the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), a US Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, to represent Sowetan LIVE in a discussion regarding media in the 21st century.

Sowetan LIVE is one of South Africa’s most popular news websites, and they focus strongly on their online community. The audience is young, street-wise and fashionable. Sowetan LIVE has an audience of 544,528 unique browsers and 12,933,236 page views (Effective Measure, South Africa, January 2013). Sowetan LIVE is the most engaged South African news website with users spending 10 minutes on site per session.

Veteran editor, Juliette Saunders, departs for The Times newsroom with much recognition from the industry for building the online brand. Sowetan LIVE received Bookmarks awards for Editorial excellence for the last three years.

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Is Radio Cut Out For Outsourcing?

Posted by radio On February - 3 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By: Kagiso Mnisi]


Outsourcing is common in the world of local television. The brief for syndication call ups spans across various genres from documentaries to children and current affairs shows, where the public is encouraged to draft and pitch ideas that falls well within the national broadcaster’s values and mandate. Can the same be done for radio? As a recent article in the The Guardian suggests, the trend could well be in the horizon globally. This is seen as means to “enable corporation to cut costs by handing over entire stations to outside producers”, says Andrew Harrison, chief executive of the commercial radio trade body in the UK.


Syndication on local radio


Domestic radio has been experimenting with syndication recently. As heard on stations such as Highveld 94.7 and Cape Town’s KFM 94.5, On Air with Ryan Seacrest aired   for the first time in 2010 during every weekday from 7pm – 10pm. Shows such as Seacrest’s are available from radio networks that distribute material to stations and individual stations decide which shows to carry from a wide variety of networks and independent radio content providers. Examples of widely syndicated commercial music programs include weekly countdowns and night time shows. A report published on Media Toolbox a few years ago (which was edited by Herman Manson who now runs widely publicized what was to be a syndication of Alec Hogg’s business radio programme. The show broadcasted on Classic FM and simultaneously syndicated to independent radio stations. That bore testimony of the possibilities of outsourcing in the South African radio arena.


Outsourcing of Ideas


5fm’s former morning drive jock, Mark Gillman, had a stint as a correspondent in the United Kingdom for the Elana Afrika show when she still hosted the weekend breakfast on the same station. Gillman’s involvement was a trend barometer of goings on in the media space, which later became a precept to his current TMGS Creative venture: a company that offers technological expertise and brand architecture for the radio industry. International trends suggest that this model is commercially viable


 Environments where radio syndication thrive


Programme outsourcing is common place in developed countries where communication infrastructure is robust. The Gordian knot that is South Africa’s inadequate bandwidth keeps the radio industry on the back foot when pitted with its overseas counterparts. This is with the logic that the premise for syndication is largely by way of the internet. However mobile technology is the country’s pillar of hope with data showing that local consumers are among the forerunners, according to Nielsen Wire, the number of South Africans using mobile phones continues to spike from the 29 million recorded in 2011. This position proceeds to bypass radio, TV or personal computers in usage. If these indicators are anything to go by, the mobile phone environment could well be fertile ground for radio syndication to plug into.


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SABC accelerates repayment of loan

Posted by radio On February - 2 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

South African Broadcasting Corporation Board Chairperson, Ben Ngubane has announced that the public broadcaster has made a once-off payment of R416 million to Nedbank as part of its endeavour to repay its R1billion government guaranteed loan as quickly as possible. 


Ngubane says the payment has accelerated return-payments by 14 months. The public broadcaster still owes the bank R230 million. Ngubane says: “We are very pleased with the performance of the organisation over the last two years. It is through the turnaround strategy and different initiatives instituted internally, that we were able to start turning the organisation around and be able to pay back Nedbank in the speedily fashion that we have done.”      

Ngubane was addressing the media in Auckland Park in Johannesburg yesterday.

Source: SABC

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Radio 2000 and Good Music

Posted by radio On February - 1 - 2013 ADD COMMENTS

[By Kgomotso Moncho]


Radio personality and veteran, Kgomotso KG Moeketsi tweeted recently about how her ingenuity lies in having an ear for good music. There was no sense of arrogance in her tweet, but a profound sense of music appreciation and it’s true, she knows good music.  Perhaps that’s the reason she aligns herself with Radio 2000. She now presents the Urban Cruise on weekends.


Radio 2000 may well be one of the few radio stations that go all out to play real good music. This of course is an opinion, based on certain fact. Radio 2000 is a PBS station that positions itself as an Urban Adult Contemporary radio station targeting 35 – 49 year olds, although it also attracts young professionals in their mid 20s to early 30s. Its target audience are highly educated and successful people who enjoy a healthy modern lifestyle, it says in their station profile.


Because of this, the station may be dismissed for playing mature music, but it does keep up with what’s hip and topping the charts, while gravitating to what is soulful. It was on KG Moeketsi’s show that I got to hear a song I never though I’d hear on radio. It was Ayanda Nhlangothi’s Ngilambe Lazelashona, found in her debut album, Music2Me (Umngoma).

While other radio stations playlisted the first single from the album, I Wonder, Radio 2000 took things further and playlisted the other song. Ayanda is a niece to the legendary Tu Nokwe (the Nokwes are known as the Jacksons of Africa) and famous for being a top finalist in the first Idols SA competition 2002, so her pedigree speaks for itself. So imagine my shock and delight upon hearing this on radio. Radio 2000 did this again with a Lizz Wright tune I never thought I’d hear on radio. The song was My Heart, found on The Orchard album. Lizz Wright is a known jazz and soul singer, but this song is up beat and funky and it was playlisted on a weekday, yet again on KG’s show.


Radio 2000 specializes in genres from rock, pop, smooth jazz, reggae, R&B and Afro Pop. So you can hear anything from John Mayer, 340ml to Zap Mama. In addition to going for what’s good to the ear and sometimes alternative, the station is one of the very few that pushes for local music. This is why you’d hear live bands such as Kwani Experience or UJu playlisted on Radio 2000.


In this way, the station is not a follower, but leads its own way. A way that could go very far in teaching and opening up a listener’s ears to a melting pot of good music out there. The station has been guilty of playing songs that seemed too old school for their listeners’ taste. But when the listeners complained, the station listened. And it was delightful to hear a groovy Blue Six track playlisted on 2000 recently.

If it’s not a song you did not expect to hear on radio, it’s a new song that could quip your musical curiosity. And Radio 2000 does that very well. 


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