On Air Personalities


On Air Personalities

Phumzile Zonke

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Show(s): Jaiva Mzantsi

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Who are you?  ……..

I was born in Port Elizabeth, but grew up in King William’s Town eMxhalanga where I spent few years of my high school. I love art and I am crazy about film, television and theatre productions. I consider myself a global citizen that is very liberal in mind and yet firmly rooted in culture. I come from a traditional working class family that believes in education and hard work as a tool to a better life.

What show do you host?

I host a youthful dance music show call “Jaiva Mzantsi” every Friday and Saturday at 22:00 till 01:00am. The show is about taking the party vibe to the listener’s door step. This is a very informal show with less talk but more music. The objective of the show is to have fun with the listeners and let them forget about their daily struggles and frustration for the entire 3 hours period. I am very close with my listeners sometimes I feels like I know them personally and this through sincerity and originality when trying to communicate with them.

When and how did your career start?

My career started as a professional actor in 1997 travelling across the globe specialising in musical theatre, ploughing my trade in mostly Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. After six years of exporting my artistic talents to the European market I came back to South Africa to complete my degree in BA Media Communications and Culture with the then University of Port Elizabeth now popularly known as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. This was a move that saw me infiltrate the media entertainment space in a form of a television continuity presenter for SABC 1 in 2003. As a television presenter I fell in love with the business of broadcasting and I told myself that I will use this opportunity to learn everything there is to know about broadcasting including platforms such as radio, television and digital media and this was move that was also propelled by the idea of instability and insecurity of the On Air presenting profession in both radio and television. So, in an attempt to widen my net and expand my knowledge capacity, after receiving a lot of emails from my television fans/supporters at the time, urging me to try my luck as a radio presenter especially on Umhlobo wenene fm due to the level of my Xhosa language proficiency and the charisma that I possess when presenting On Air I would be a perfect match for the brand. So, in 2007 I produced a demo with the help of my friend Amaza Ntshanga who is also an On Air presenter of SJL at Umhlobo wenene, and I submitted it to the program manager of the time who was Mr Phumzile Mnci and to my surprise I received a call three weeks later inviting me to come sign a three months testing contract and since then the rest is history as I am now seven years with the radio station.

Throughout the years of being a presenter I cannot point anyone whom I think was instrumental in moulding me to be the type of presenter that I am. My strategy has been about creating value to my customer which is my listener. Build a transparent and honest relationship with them, allow them to be open with me and create the element of trust and try not to be the person that I am not On Air. My Radio debut was in the Port Elizabeth studio co-hosting will Luckeez umfowethu introducing me to the technicalities of radio broadcasting easing me into the process.  It was the most daunting yet exciting experience of my life which I am forever grateful for the opportunities presented to me.


 What have you achieved thus far within your career? What are your career highlights?


Besides radio, what do you do?

I am currently working for SABC1 Mzansi Fo Sho as a Creative Director and Acting On Air Manager, managing a talented group of On Air promo director/producers, graphic artists and animators, sound mixers and designers, camera crew, coordinators and administrator, video editors and many more. My job is to develop creative On Air strategies for the department, facilitate creative brainstorm sessions, inspire the creative team and create an environment that allows their conceptual abilities to flourish, manage the delivery process from briefing, researching, and execution for approval. This also includes managing the imaging of the channel in terms of look and feel, and safe guard the corporate identity of the brand SABC1 ie logos, sound, colour palette etc.

I am also an owner of a creative company that empowers young people who want to get into the media, entertainment and broadcast industry and the ones that are already making their mark with in the industry. We pretty much develop the artist’s skills and in branding themselves and helping them create value to their brand and learn how to commoditise themselves and create a profitable business out of their talents. This includes topics such as strategy development, packaging, marketing and creation of competitive advantage and so on and so forth. Introducing artists to the hardships of this industry what to expect along the journey, we are conducting consultancy workshops, we are publishing and book about these issues and producing a 4 part documentary that addresses these issues. I am also producing a number of cutting edge television shows which the public must expect to see on television screen mid 2015. What most people don’t know about me is that I love children so much and I am creating numerous lucrative business opportunities targeting children which I am also planning to reveal early 2015. I am a very positive person and I choose my friends very carefully to avoid negativity. I am quite an emotional person I do not like seeing other people hurt. I sometimes cry when watching movies or touching stories.

If you plan hard the rest becomes easy, but when you plan easy the rest becomes hard”.





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