Four of South Africa’s biggest radio stations continue with celebrations as they all turned 60 years old. South African Broadcasting Corporation’s Ukhozi FM, Umhlobo Wenene FM, Thobela FM and Lesedi FM are commemorating 60 years of excellence in broadcasting since their inception today. All four radio stations have successfully served the different African language groups and each has secured a spot in the top 10 of South Africa’s most popular radio stations.
In View of the effects of COVID-19 and the national lockdown regulations in place, all the radio stations are confining their celebrations to on-air activities this in 2020 by reminiscing on each station’s yesteryears and giving away massive prizes to their respective listeners.
Ukhozi FM, South Africa’s biggest radio station celebrates 60 years since K.E. Masinga hosted his first broadcast on 1 June 1960. In celebrating its 60th year of broadcasting, the station embarked on a campaign called ‘Six Eras of Ukhozi FM” on Monday the first of June 2020. Each show focused on a different era in the station’s existence from music, historic moments/movements and fashion, through to popular television programmes. The line-up kickstarted with Isidlo Sasekuseni (06h30 – 09h00), which took listeners back to the 1960s. Jabulújule (09h00 – 12h00) looked at the 70s; 1223 Café (12h00 – 15h00) explored the best of the 80s; Sisonke Drive (15h00 – 18h00) the 90s. The popular evening show, Sithakela Isizwe (20h00 – 23h00) had a look at the 2000s and Akulalwa (23h00 – 02h00) the 2010s to present day. The day also featured past radio moments that make up part of Ukhozi FM’s history with many surprise giveaways throughout the day.
The station is also running an SMS campaign where listeners need to SMS “Ukhozi FM 60”to 33665 (SMS’s charged at R1.50) to stand a chance of winning R60 000. The winner will be announced after 60 days on 30 July 2020.
Umhlobo Wenene FM, the second biggest radio station in South African with 5. 8 million listeners, celebrates 60 years of broadcasting by giving away lucrative prizes on air every month throughout the year including R60 000 prize. This is the station’s gesture of gratitude for its listeners for supporting the station throughout the journey of success in the world of broadcasting.
Lesedi FM, the number four in the top ten national favourite radio stations and number one in the Free State Province, is also celebrating 60 years of broadcasting. As part of its 60th celebration, Lesedi FM is embarking on various activities to celebrate this major milestone by pairing old talent with the current talent for various programmes. These activities include taking the station’s listeners down memory lane. The station will be giving away R60 000 cash and R6 000 worth of data to listeners throughout the month of June.
Thobela FM is celebrating its station’s 60th year of broadcasting by taking listeners on a time travel journey from 1960 to 2020 through music, informative content. Listeners can look forward to exciting campaigns such as online talk show hosted by well-known comedians to spice-up the celebration. Listeners who tune into Thobela FM also stand a chance to walk away with R6 000.00.
SABC Group Executive for Radio, Ms. Nada Wotshela stated that “Most of our radio stations were established during a difficult period in our country’s history, to service and meet the language and cultural needs of our people at the time. But these stations went beyond that and inspired black people to see beyond their bleak circumstances. Today, our stations operate in highly competitive environment and offer programming that is authentic and audience centric, with quality content at the fore front”. Ms. Wotshela concluded that “Looking back, we also pride ourselves as South Africa’s talent hub and the home of today and yesterday’s best radio personalities. Many top radio personalities started their careers and were groomed at the SABC. Some of these personalities have contributed tremendously to the industry and have taken on various leadership roles”.