On the 04th of July 2015, Umhlobo Wenene FM‘s two month long talent search came to an end on a festive note as they announced Monwabisi “Gudl’abatshakazi” Bangi as the winner of the talent search project. The radio station was searching for a suitable presenter to replace the late Saba Mbixane who passed on earlier this year.
The talent search project came to a befitting end with a well-attended function that was co-hosted by Umhlobo Wenene FM and Umzimvubu Local Municipality in Mt Frere which is the birthplace of Saba Mbixane. The much anticipated announcement was made by Umhlobo Wenene FM Station Manager, Mr. Phumzile Mnci, after a series of scintillating performances by cultural groups who wowed the crowd with energetic dance movements.
After Gudl’abatshakazi was named the winner the crowd went euphoric and accompanied him to the stage with a song.
Gudl’abatshakazi had 134 294 votes and the second runner up had 59 096 with a vast difference of about 75 000 votes between the top two contenders.
Monwabisi, who is popularly known as Gudl’abatshakazi Bangi, is not new to the radio industry. He joins Umhlobo Wenene FM with 10 years of radio experience having joined Unitra Community Radio in March 2005. Gudl’abatshakazi has various achievements under his belt. His achievements include the following
- Unitra Community Radio Presenter of the year in 2007
- SATMA nominee for the best community radio traditional music presenter in 2008
- SATMA winner for the best community radio dj in 2008
- SATMA nominee for the bet community radio dj in traditional music in 2011
- SATMA nominee for the community radio in traditional music 2014.
As from the beginning of August 2015 Gudl’abatshakazi will be hosting the popular traditional music shows known as Lavuth’ibhayi and Siwel’ithukela .This is what the station manager had to say about Gudla’s appointment. “I wish to congratulate Gudla for joining one of South Africa’s biggest radio stations. He is aware that he is replacing a Giant of the airwaves and I am optimistic that he will be up to this mammoth task. What makes me even more excited is the fact that he is our listener’s choice. It means that we have successfully completed a listener participation process that will translate into a further audience growth for the two shows and the audience for the station at large.I can confirm that the station is heading for exciting times.”