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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: “UP, Close & Personal” With YFM Radio DJ, THANDO THABETHE!!!



Filed under : Africa, Entertainment
We are lovin’ all things YFM, the uber fab & popular youth radio station in South Africa!
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So with the help of our girl, South African publicist & PR guru, Melanie Ramjee, we snagged an “up, close & personal” interview with newest girl on the block, Thando Thabethe.
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So get to know Thando because we have a feeling she’ll be in your ears for a looooooong, loooong time….
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Describe yourself in 5 words.
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Ambitious, insane, fun, intelligent, energetic and insanely gorgeous..lol
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Where does your love for media come from seeing that you are an accounting graduate?
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My first taste of media was when I was 13 yrs old, I entered a nationwide YOTV presenter search and managed to make it all the way till the top 4 that’s when I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I also participated in a lot of “cultural” activities in school including drama, public speaking, debating…which I guess resulted in me talking as much as I do. I also found that the art of acting was something I had to explore. I’ve never looked back since.
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It cannot be easy getting into this industry, can you give us a brief description of your journey , what you had to do to get where you are now?
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Its been a looong journey but its all been so worth it, I’ve gone from one terrible agent to the next till I found the one who does it for me. In terms of TV I had to get through a couple of ads including brothers for life and TV Lic, I also did a lil doccie on mindset learn about child prostitution, all while participating in various high school and varsity stage productions. In my 1st Year of varsity I decided to try radio out, initially because I thought it would help my tv career, I auditioned to be a dj but was taken as a newsreader and that was a complete bore for me, but I stuck it out for 3 years finally in my final year of varsity I got on as a presenter and COMPLETELY fell in love with radio, I was finally able to express myself, so I didn’t see it as a path way to tv anymore I learned to appreciate both mediums. I did graveyard for like 3 days moved on to 12-3am then 9-12am and within 3 months I was moved to the drive time slot at UJFM. In about another 2 months later I got a message from YFM programmes manager about a meeting, I remember being SUPER excited, 2 days later my agent called me to let me know I had landed the role of “Thando Nkosi” on sabc1 sitcom “My Perfect Family” when it did happen it happened so fast, I think that was one of the best weeks of my life.
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YFM is known to be the biggest and the favorite station for South African youths, what is it that you will bring to the station?
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YFM was in need of a fresh new young, vibrant female personality who would not only make the listener laugh but encourage them to think. When I am on radio I am MYSELF 100 percent its literally like having a conversation with a friend!
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Generation Y love change and instant gratification, how then do you think you will manage to entertain them without conforming to their demands and in the process losing yourself?
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I engage my listener, dare then to think beyond their usual spectrum of thought, I encourage the listener to take it just a step further than their usually would. Also I AM generation Y, I speak their language, I walk their walk it wouldn’t be conforming it would merely be expressing myself and in turn being their voice.
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What do you prefer being on radio or being on TV, since you have the best of both worlds?
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I am an entertainer! I love to entertain throw me a mic, ill kill it, throw me a camera ill work it, I don’t limit myself…I enjoy both so very much, they are both gratifying in their own ways.
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What advise will you give to a young person who would like to follow in your shoes?
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The recipe to life is a really simple one, I have a voice that speaks to me, no I’m not going mad, I have this insatiable NEED to entertain, just thinking about it gives me goose bumps. Find that one thing you can’t go a day without thinking about, then don’t just think about it, take steps to make your dreams come true, and when they say you can’t, THEY WRONG you need to believe that, you need to believe in it to the point of insanity.
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The entertainment industry is really competitive with so much of young talent floating around, how do you deal with the pressure? And do you feel the need to prove yourself has increased since you joined YFM?
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I have worked my behind off for everything I have, I celebrate other young peoples success especially those who are deserving. With that said I’m human, if someone else gets the job I wanted I’m like crap, why not me, but that lasts a good two days and then I’m on to the next one. I’m MY focus, not the next person, I also think young black people would get SO far if they started supporting each others dreams.
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Is radio and television your life now or are you doing it part time?
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I recently graduated with a Bcom in Accounting and was scheduled to do my honors this year, but I have decided to give them all my attention this year. I have many business ventures ready to take off though, that money has to be made hey I won’t lie. Lol.
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Accountants are known to be boring and have nothing to talk about besides argue about why the books are not balancing is that true?

Lmao hahahahahha, well you know what, I’m not an actual accountant, but I will tell you that on the path to acquiring my qualification I did everything but worry about books balancing, I had the best years during varsity, but YES I guess those who go on to be CAs are on that focused tip. I’m too much of an extrovert that could never be me.

Some people have to go to school to become DJs or TV personalities, does your talent come naturally or did you have to teach yourself or imitate others?

I believe the ability to act or speak well is something you are born with, yes some go to school to mature the art, but with me its something I have been doing since 13 its in me, its who I am.

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How would you describe your first day on air?

Well the 1st time I was on YFM was as a trainee and it was completely terrifying, I had been listening to this station for as long as I could remember and now I would have to switch on that mic and speak through it…the idea was insane!!! I remember I coudn’t sleep the night before lol. And when I finally got to studio and I said YFM 99.2 I knew that this was the beginning of something great!

What is a typical day like for you?

I don’t sleep much, my day begins at 2am I have to be in studio ready to rock by 3am. I leave at 6am nap till about 9am, and depending on the day it varies from meetings to voiceovers, to auditions to shoots, I usually get home at about 7pm and because I love TV I’m up till about 11pm, which means another 3 hour nap…#loveit…life of a rockstar

What would you say was the peak and pit of your media career?

The peak was definitely landing the YFM and “my perfect family” gig it was my first acting role and with YFM I was finally on commercial radio. The pit would definitely have to be not landing the Oaccess gig, I didn’t even make 1st round of auditions I remember being so sad, I quickly moved on though, we all have a path made out for us and that wasn’t mine..Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

OMG, I am the master of multi-tasking, I wanna be a radio/TV presenter/ actress/ DJ/business woman. I really want to own a lot of property, start my own production company and by then ill be about 25 years old, so I would be well into my 5th Million..;) *straight face*

What came first the chicken or the egg?

The chicken, it MUST have been like an Adam & Eve kinda situation LOL

Tell us something interesting that we do not know about you?

I am obsessed with hair, my mom does not deal, she just cannot understand the obsession I spend most of my money buying hair, its ridiculous lol, maybe ill get a sponsor, so she can stop moaning *wink wink* lol

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Madagascar or Lion King?

Lion King! Madagascar is hella cayooot and funny! But you can’t touch the Lion King.
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Love Thando already!
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Muah!
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Catch me on twitter @makanakam

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Peace.

farai – who has written posts on Farai Today.


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  • Billy

    Hi does anyone know where is Kwenzekile Nhlathi the former Yfm newsreader is?

  • Billy Mampe

    HI DOES ANY ONE KNOW WHERE THE FORMER Y FM NEWS READER KWENZEKILE NHLATHI IS?