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Ogogo are People Too

One of the many wonderful things about my work is how much I get to experience with different people.

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, way before we go into studio to actually broadcast the show.

Besides the research aspect of the preparation, some segments and inserts are pre recorded or sourced, edited and prepared for the show. Some of the content requires that we actually have to go out to various places to capture the content and at times participate in whatever story we are covering on the show.

I came across an article on Mam’Myeni’s project on her son’s Facebook page and immediately thought that this was something that we needed to share with our listeners. (Click here to read the article)
We will be chatting to Mam’Cwengi Myeni on the show soon; about her story and about her project that encourages grannies to get active.

So in preparation for that we spent two hours with oGogo from KwaNyuswa chatting to them and participating in their activities.
These are oGogo that are part a project driven and supported by Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust. The project coordinates Gogo support groups for these senior citizens to share their challenges, generate income through sewing and craft projects as well as keep themselves active by participating in team sporting activities.


One of the ladies reminded us of something so important; being 87 (yes there was an 87-year-old granny there and she plays soccer) doesn’t mean a Gogo should fade into nothingness or just be seen as the home caretaker or someone who looks after the grandchildren or great grandchildren.
It’s important to remember that rural grannies are also people with interests and hobbies. We need to treat them with respect and kindness but also uphold their humanity as well as their individuality.


Unfinished Story


My uncle uMalum’Thabani introduced me to Stimela music. He would bring out his Technics Hi-Fi and he and Malum’Musa would play chess or have lengthy facial shaving sessions from the ‘basin-on-a-chair’ outside, with Stimela playing in the background. Malum’Musa would be under the bonnet of his Ford XR3, sending me for spanners, with Stimela playing in the background.

Four years ago, someone who knew I love Stimela so much, took a pic with Oom Ray for me.

When I started working on Sithakela Isizwe in 2012 the second interview of that show, was with Oom’Ray – it wasn’t a work interview for me, it was my childhood. It was my memories with my uncles. It was my memories of KwaMadlala. I was shaking with excitement and sheer happiness.

At the end of May, he was set to perform in Durban and I was so disappointed that I couldn’t go to the performance because of a family commitment.

We interviewed Oom’Ray that week and I commented to the show producer that he wasn’t as bubbly as he usually is. Last week one of the producers told me that he was very ill but we had just just spoken to him.

The drums on the live version of Phinda Mzala. The memories of my uncle Thabani and I singing ‘sondela nganeno, come to me, zwakala…’ Malum’Thabani saying ‘uyabona Mshanam, iStimela, weeee, weeee, weeeee!’ One of my uncles singing along and looking at me saying ‘Awu shani shani kaMalume!’ as I joined in the singing / dancing to one of the steam tracks.

I never write about people passing. But Oom’Ray is my uncles, three men that I love and who taught me so much and who love me so much.

Oom’Ray is my memories of my rural roots KwaMadlala, of us blasting that music with no fear of neighbours complaining because the nearest neighbour was a kilometer away.

Oom’Ray is my memories of MaSangweni who would more often than not, be playing solitaire while his music played.

Oom’Ray interviews were interviews that were for me. Not the station, not the listeners but for me.

Music is magic. Music transports, music transcends, music births, music heals. Stimela’s music transported me, always and without fail to my childhood, to people who mean the galaxy to me.

Lala ngoxolo Oom’Ray. You gave me more than just music.

Stimela: Unfinished Story 

Inspired By My Constitution

I’m lucky enough to work for Ukhozi FM; the biggest radio station in South Africa. Also the second largest station in the world, Ukhozi FM is a national isiZulu radio station that is part of the SABC Public Broadcast Services portfolio of radio stations.

I love working for the Ukhozi FM brand because as a public broadcast services station, we get to create nutritious and tasty content that empowers and educates our listeners. More than that though, I love broadcasting in isiZulu – it’s just so colourful for me. My job is to share information with 7.5 million listeners in a language that they love and enjoy; isiZulu. A truly beautiful language that is so rich with it’s many shades.

That’s the beauty of our African languages; whether it be Tshivenda (which I really would love to learn one day) or Afrikaans (which I find so rhythmic) or the way SeSotho speakers roll the ‘r’ from the back of their throats, I find our African languages fascinating. I enjoy listening to our SABC sister station Umhlobo Wenene and I particularly enjoy their live sport commentation because I love the isiXhosa analogies
I’m glad that I live in a country with a constitution that guarantees the right to speak all our 11 official languages and makes them all equal. The South African Constitution provides for 11 official languages in our beautiful country: Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, sePedi, seSotho, seTswana, siSwati, tshiVenda and xiTsonga.
Section 6 of the Constitution states that everyone has the right to use the language and participate in the cultural life of his or her choice – though no one may do so in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.
Ngiyaziqhenya ngokuba ngowaseNingizimu Afrika. Ngiyaziqhenya ngoMthethosisekelo wezwe lethu. I am inspired by my constitution.

BWA Executive Committee

As Vice Chair of the Business Women’s Association in Durban, I am blessed and proud to work with this group of absolutely phenomenal women.


Can you sing the national anthem?

This young man is a proud South African :) :)

Connor sings the national anthem.


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