It’s World Radio Day today and we catch up with South African radio personality, DJ Sabby, aka The Radio Mayor! He’s the 4-hour radio host of The Best Drive on YFM.
1. Name the first 3 things that comes to mind when you think of radio
2. What’s your first memory of being intrigued by radio?
– Linda Sibiya on freaken drive time on Ukhozi FM and the story (radio drama) at 3 pm. That man made me love radio, his energy, the motivation, how he knew me but has never met me. He captivated my attention always including the fact that his voice was more interesting than the music.
3. How old were you when you knew you wanted to be on radio?
– As cliche as it might sound, radio choose me. I never imagined myself as a radio presenter. In 2004 at the age of 14, the opportunity to be on the radio was presented to me and after some motivation from a friend, I ran with the opportunity.
4. Where did your radio career begin?
– My radio career began at the Mandeni Love Life Y center in 2004. Fast forward to 2009 when I got my commercial break on Kfm 94.5 and then joined Highveld Stereo at the time to then join Yfm 99.2 in 2010. As they say, the rest is history.
5. What’s it like being the host of a 4-hour afternoon drive show?
– It’s a big task and an opportunity that I never take for granted. Every day I have an opportunity to influence or share information that might change a life or make someone’s day better if they had a bad day. The ability to create a conversation with someone who you have never met but have a solid relationship with them every day with no fail is special. I am blessed to be living my radio dream every day.
6. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned on your radio journey?
– Radio has reminded me several times on the importance of patience. It took me a long time to get a radio show and I get to interact with several people who have made it in life but their story is a constant reminder of God’s time is the best time. Work hard and stay consistent, eventually, things will come together.
7. How did you get the name “The Mayor” of radio?
– The name “radio mayor” came when I was offered the drive time show on Yfm. It made sense to aim for the highest seat in the Gauteng province on a provincial station. I knew it would be cocky and forward but the Yires embraced it because the name and the show made sense considering that I was already known as #TheBestThingEver. The mayor was a great tagline which has worked for me and considering that I have been doing the show for close to 5 years is evidence that I am still delivering as the radio mayor. Probably the longest-running drive time show of our decade.
8. If you could give a message to yourself 10 years ago, knowing what you know today, what would the message be?
– Wow, what a question…… “Don’t be hard on yourself and never question the process. Keep being true to your dream it will come together eventually and don’t forget you AMAZING.
9. Where do you think the future of radio is going?
Radio is evolving, we moving more into the digital space and every station and radio show needs to now think more 360 as there are various avenues to engage with your audience. Podcasts are so important; be it visual or audio. Listeners want to catch up on their favorite features. Video content is also just as important as we can now entice the visual element that we couldn’t for years as a radio medium. The FM platform is still as important but playing on the commercial scene in an urban market, you have to be aware that your competition is not just in Gauteng but the internet has made countries and stations/jocks you have never met to play in your territory. The future will see radio become more diverse than now and challenging TV in its own playground and still being able to use the FM channel to access an audience TV can’t.
10. What 5 tips can you give to aspiring radio personalities?
Very simple actually:
– Respect your listener. They are your boss – you don’t have the remote, they do.
– Be yourself
– Never turn on the microphone without knowing what you going to say. Just play a song if you planning on wasting a link.
– Seek feedback as much as you can, ALWAYS! Yes, you are talented and amazing but there is always something that can be fixed or improved.
– HAVE FUN.