On Air Personalities


On Air Personalities

Sizwe Saliso

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Host of Iqonga Labatsha




As we are celebrating 60 years of Umhlobo Wenene FM get to know me Sizwe “Slyso” Saliso better


  1. Define Slyso to us.


I am a Global Citizen that’s rooted in culture and invested in Family, Arts, Radio and Business and passionate about people and their growth.


  1. Who inspired you to love radio and why?


Given Ntlebi, whom I had the pleasure of being mentored by and worked with, in my early professional radio career has to be my greatest inspiration. The was always love, compassion, dedication, knowledge and a great sense of enthusiasm in his voice.


  1. What does radio mean to you and what drives you to do what you do?


Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions”. With radio being the theatre of the mind, as a radio host, I have an opportunity (with topics, research/ preparation and execution) to allow listeners to feel like they are just as boundless in their pursuit of these coming attractions Einstein talks about. I’m driven by the possibility that someone might change their lives and pursue their dreams, from the positive pictures I paint with words and voice on radio.








  1. If you were not on radio, what would you be doing?


To be perfectly honest with you, I have no idea. I believe though I would be involved in creative arts and because of my values (rooted in Ubuntu), I would be as involved as I am with community uplifting programmes.



  1. What would you like people to remember about you?


When you hear the name Slyso I would not mind if you don’t remember where you know me from, but may you never forget my humility in approaching life as I believe it’s the basis of a connection that we all need to live a fulfilling life. It’s not the size of your dream but the heart and humility with-which you pursue it, which determines it’s realization and impact. It takes a team to build a dream, apart from a vision and knowledge of how to pursue that dream, you will need humility to help yourself and your team achieve it.  


  1. State 5 facts that we don’t know about you


  1. I am a “street cyclist. I cycle to the store, meetings and sometimes to work, as means to stay fit and reduce my carbon footprint. This year I will pursue my first professional race, which I’m training for, with a teenage friend from Port Elizabeth.


  1. I own and run a Radio Advert Production company that has done work for some of the leading companies in South Africa, as well as an array of government departments.


  1. I am a closet tech- nerd and habitual self-teacher.


  1. I write and produce my own music.


  1. I have recently moved to Johannesburg to give IQL a front row seat into entertainment and music while being unapologetically biased towards affording platform to Xhosa content.


  1. What’s your favourite ’90s song that you still listen to?


I grew up on music from different decades (my father even had gramophone records, which were way heavier than the ones we were born into). I listen to Stevie Wonder & Tupac religiously. Stevie encourages my emotional side while Pac fuels the balance between formal and street knowledge in pursuit of personal and spiritual success.


  1. What is the best gift you've ever received?


= I never made as much as my late father of birthdays, I have either done a radio show, gone to play a gig, or simply stay at home, even eat a pie and create on my birthdays. For the first time in my adult life, my partner had a series of activity which had a lot of firsts, leading up to my birthday. It is so far the best present to date, besides the life of my son.


  1. What are your social media handles?


Twitter: Dj Slyso        Instagram: Dj_Slyso            Facebook: Slyso/ Sizwe Saliso YouTube: Dj Slyso


  1. What role has Umhlobo Wenene FM played in your life?



The station re-introduced me to amaXhasa nobuXhosa bam, through events, travel and taking part in prestigious government, corporate events but predominantly through the various station activations that introduced me to the people I would talk to, everyday- the listeners. These also gave me the front row seat to the suffering and lack of education as well as under-development that our people still suffer. It was after learning this that I used my brand for charitable and developmental events, campaigns and partnerships. I believe, had I not been fortunate to be on Umhlobo, I would still have the music but not found my purpose. So Umhlobo Wenene FM, helped me find mine.






  1. Umhlobo Wenene FM turns 60 years this year: what does being part of this massive and successful brand mean to you?


60 years is a long time for a business to remain at the helm in its field, especially in this space of entrepreneurship and running our own businesses. So from a business point of view, I got to learn a lot about how a business is ran, by creating relationships with each department and asking as many questions as possible (which no one should fear doing, if they are want to grow).


When you are given freedom and trusted with being the face of an organization, it calls for responsibility. I was a one dimensional broadcaster (focused on Music and Entertainment) until I joined Umhlobo Wenene FM and this changed my outlook on my job, the impact of my voice and proper use of being given such a powerful tool.

I run a sound hiring business, an entrepreneurship development programme, a radio advert production company and finally launching my music production and career, from learning how this big great and legendary machine operates.     


  1. Give us 5 of your clan name?


Lawu, Dibashe, Sukwini, Sandlalangca, Lubisi.


  1. What is your favourite traditional meal?


I don’t think there is anything that beats “Smiley” aka “Ncumisa” which is basically a cooked sheep’s head. It’s light, lean and healthy (you just need water and slight salt). I’m also passionate about umqombothi, which my village born, retired professional nurse mom, still makes on a regular. 


  1. Last but not least : give us a message for your listeners


Mazi, mhloniphe, umncede umntu. Don’t ever ever give up on your dreams.




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