I remember in the late 80’s early 90’s, after dinner and before bedtime, my then nanny and I would sit together in the kitchen listening to the evening stories on our wireless. It was theatre of the mind, the narrator was a comforting voice taking us to another place and winding down the day. We would later talk at length about that night’s drama and laugh or cry at the characters. Those are part of my happiest memories. I think it was then I decided I wanted to be the one to tell those stories, write those evening stories and craft from imagination to create something beautiful. How I ended up in advertising, I’m not too sure, but I guess in part it falls into the desire to create.
In any case, the point is that there is a power to radio that we sometimes don’t realise or admit. The medium is deeply personal, subjective and in all that entertaining and educational. Radio allows you to keep walking while sound swims through the airwaves and mesmerises you. Unlike television or internet that requires so much more deliberate attention, radio captures something in you and doesn’t let go. Yes, with the creation of mobile devices to deliver communication and entertainment, TV and all things Internet can move with you, but they don’t quite do what radio does.
Radio envelopes you, without holding you hostage. Radio. Radio isn’t dying and never will. For so many reasons. For as many reasons as people engage with it; be it the music, discussions, news, general talk, interviews, anything. The immediacy of it too will also be something difficult to ever negate. It’s right now, with you, and you can engage, right now.
So last night, while doing my twitter trolling (another immediate medium), I saw the announcement that my friends Anele and Grant were leaving 5FM! I know that radio in SA changes every April and the landscape has a shift here and there, big moves, forgettable nuances, but April is that frenzy. A lot of processing had to be done in my head. Started with asking myself if I’d completely missed March. On realising I hadn’t, and what I was reading was true, and announced in Feb, the thoughts swam in head. The station is a place G&A called home for 4 years. I was expecting that they’d be going into Breakfast slot or Drive Time together. If not, then Anele would definitely be doing Drive Time, after the stellar performance over the week she’d done Fresh’s show with the Fresh Drive team. I had suspected Grant had a new path to follow, just didn’t think this was the year. This was the end of their duo / partnership that had spanned almost a decade, if not more. She was leaving a national station! Then it hit me; instead of thinking of the nays, there’s a moerse big Yay to shout from the rooftop! FIRST WOMAN to take the helm on a DRIVE TIME slot. Hallelujah, hooray, Fuck Yeah!
This post then came about while I was looking at all of the @mentions and the love and congratulations that Grant and Anele were receiving. Seeing, in electronic ink, the impact they’ve had on their listeners, fans and friends. I guess, it made me wish that back in the 80’s I could have told the ‘Msasazeli’ (Presenter) how they were a part of my life and a part of me. It must be so incredible for radio presenters to engage with people immediately, not just on radio, but also in social media. Yes, not every single person who listens to their shows gets through on the telephone lines, or has their email read on air or even tweets or facebooks (Is that a word?), but there are those who they touch and get to engage with. What a high. What a superpower!
I must add, because of the deeply personal level that radio touches people also answers why people are so passionate about jocks / presenters and station changes.
Anyway. I love radio. I think it’s an amazing medium and adds so much to life.
I am proud of my girl (and boy) and cannot wait to see what the future holds
They’ve shaken things up, they’ve raised the bar and they’ve opened doors and inspired.
This is going to be a great story to tell.
You can read their statement here: CIAO