By Edward Tsumele, CITYLIFE/ARTS Editor
The appointment of influential podcaster Sol Phenduka and experienced radio powerhouse Dineo Ranaka to the line up of Kaya959 FM is significant in many ways.
The fact that both of them started their commercial radio careers at youth radio station YFM before progressing to SABC flagship stations Metro FM in the case of Ranaka, and 5FM in the case of Phenduka, is a normal route that young radio talent in South Africa has often followed in post Apartheid South Africa broadcasting. That is those who do not fall by the way side on the way to the top, and many of them have fallen before completing that well beaten and travelled radio path in local broadcasting.
But again after making a mark on the different platforms of the public broadcaster, the trend has always been that one way or another as the presenters grow personally, for example acquiring new skills to entertain or provoke the listener and therefore attracting more audiences, a fallout at dithering heights happens with the presenters. Then after the fallout, they go back to private commercial radio, and for the good ones to better paying jobs for a different market served by these commercial radio stations such as 702 Talk Radio, 97.9 FM, Kaya FM and PowerFM, to name but a few. This certainly has been the case with DJ Euphonic and DJ Fresh, for example. After their fallout with the public broadcaster, they left for 97.9 FM (The two however in 2021,left the station unceremoniously after allegations of sexual assault were leveled against them by an anonymous woman, but the National Prosecution Authority after investigations, declined to prosecute for lack of evidence).
This is ironically the same route that Phednuka and Ranaka have followed, with Ranaka getting into trouble with MetroFM last year for a dancing incident in the studio that went viral, and Phenduka losing his job at 5fm, only to emerge spectacularly as an extremely witty and influential podcaster with MacG Podcast and Chill. Taking advantage of the non existent regulations in the podcaster space, the two touched on subjects that their radio counterparts would not dare touch without the risk of being hauled to the Broadcast Commission of South Africa. Though some people complain about for example the language the podcaster use and alleged lack of sensibilities when it comes to vulnerable groups in society, nothing can be done, except losing sponsorship as some brands were previously forced to discontinue their association with brands several times in the past.
However the duo of Phenduka and Mac became so influential to the extent that radio stations for some time have been knocking at their doors to bring them back into the radio fold. They reportedly turned them down several times as the two focused on building the podcaster into the most successful podcast in the country with millions of followers and it is a matter of time before the podcaster enlists a million subscribers.
It is not known what size of pay cheque was dangled in front of Phenduka by Kaya FM Managing director Sibongile Mtyali. for him to leave the podcaster that he helped to make a success together with the podcaster owner, his friend MacG Mukhwevo. Whatever the amount is it is something he could not resist.
CITYLIFE/ARTS was however unable to establish whether Phenduka is completely lost to the podcast or he will still be able to do it while plying his trade at Kaya FM since podcasts have actually become fierce competitors to traditional broadcasting, thank to the new digital technology that allows start –ups, such as Mac G&Podcast to thrive without not so much as capital to talk about, but just talent and innovation.
However Kaya FM is understandably happy to have the duo as part of their line up, singing praises for these two broadcasters for making the jump to join the Gauteng based radio station.
“Kaya959 is proud to welcome Dineo Ranaka and Sol Phenduka to the station’s growing family. The move is in line with the continuous repositioning the station has embarked on since 2021.
Dineo is widely acknowledged for her mastery of the craft of radio. “Her radio savvy, dynamic personality and life experience coupled with Sol’s sharp wit and broad knowledge are just the combination Kaya959 needs to make a mark with the Code-Switcher who is on a journey to advance themselves” says Kaya959 Mtyali.
In line with business and listener needs we will be announcing further Kaya 959 line-up additions on the 1st of July 2022.