Old and new school presenters talk about the evolution of native language radio

Radio in Retrospect: Linda Sibiya, Thuso Motaung and Nelly Moruri discuss the evolution of vernacular radio in South Africa

Old-school radio veterans Linda Sibiya and Thuso Motaung, joined by current Motsweding FM radio host Nelly Moruri, talk about how radio has evolved over the past 20-30 years.

Former Ukhozi Fm host Sibiya broke the strict rule at the time that those suing the radio had to be trained as a teacher.

He started out as a security guard but knew he wanted to dominate the airwaves. He submitted an hour-long demo to Radio Maritzburg and landed his first gig in 1995.

I’m the one who broke the curse of if you wanna be a radio DJ you gotta be a teacher

Linda Sibiya, radio host and former host of Ukhozi Fm

Motaung, a Lesedi FM presenter who taught Afrikaans and Sesotho, says radio presenters at the time underwent rigorous physical checks to see if they would last in the profession.

When we joined the SABC in the 1980s they didn’t just take you, you were first taken to a doctor to check your teeth…

Thuso Motaung, Lesedi FM broadcaster

Motsweding FM’s Moruri, who started her career in 2000, quite recently compared to the other two guests, added how she now manages her role at Setswana radio station.

Despite the fact that she hasn’t jumped through the same hoops of past presenters, she shares how switching from English to being fluent in Setswana is a deliberate task that she sometimes finds difficult.

You really have to position yourself and get home in those three hours.

Nelly Moruri, radio host at Motsweding FM

You think in English but you say it in Setswana.

Nelly Moruri, audio host at Motsweding FM

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