MEDIA STATEMENT | UMHLOBO WENENE FM BIDS FAREWELL TO RADIO LEGENDS AND OPENS UP THE INDUSTRY TO NEW TALENT

Johannesburg – Thursday, 20 January 2022 – Umhlobo Wenene FM would like to announce the retirement of Nomthunzi “Mama ka Ma-Asi” Vuza, who has decided to hang up her gloves after 33 years at Umhlobo Wenene FM, having started with the station when it was still called Radio Xhosa. The legendary presenter began her career as an educator in 1969 and joined the SABC in 1989 to host the show Eyentsatshana until 1990. In 1991, she was contracted to present Ezamakhosikazi, and as the years rolled by, she became an important figure not only in the station’s success, but also in the lives of many of the station’s listeners.

 

Known for her unique phrases “imithwalo nee ntaba” and “uyazi kangakanani i-bhayibhile yakho?”, her listeners have always been intrigued by the youthful voice of “Mama ka Ma-Asi”- Ma-Asi being her eldest daughter – despite her mature age.

 

During her three-decade long tenure with Umhlobo Wenene FM, “Mama ka Ma-Asi” was instrumental in structuring the women’s programs unit. She was also at the forefront of implementing systems that have allowed the station to continuously deliver on the mandate to inform and educate the nation, as well as groom some of the station’s best female presenters. Her contribution to the station led to historic performance figures when her show LelikaYehova Ihlabathi, exceeded the two million audience mark back in 2016. Other notable shows she contributed towards were Hlala eThembeni, which aired on Mondays, and Omama nelizwi on Thursdays. Her Friday show always turned into an in-studio kitchen and was supported by many well-known sponsors.

 

Mama ka Ma-Asi exceeded all expectations and matured like fine wine over the decades. Her hard work and dedication to the ministry of religion and women’s programs, caught the attention of many, resulting in Nomthunzi becoming a recipient of multiple awards before her retirement. These include:

o          The Methodist Church of South Africa special award

o          Inyibiba Woman of Valour award

o          Intlalo ka Xhosa award presented by His Royal Highness King Xolilizwe Sigcawu

o          SABC Best Presenter- Kiddies show award

 

Apart from community recognition, Mama Ka Ma-Asi also touched the lives of many listeners through the station’s CSI projects, which changed the lives of many families both financially and emotionally. She also contributed significantly to the success of many entrepreneurs, whose businesses grew because of being profiled on her shows.

 

Another big loss for the station is the retirement of Nomathamsanqa Rweqana, a radio veteran who was appointed as a religious program’s presenter in 2008. Her passion for the ministry of religion led to additional administrative roles at the station, which included tasks such as recording of devotions, prologues, sermons and Imvuselelo. She also presented the Thursday show Mna nendlu yam siyakuMkhonza uYehova. Nomathamsanqa is known by her listeners for her midnight knocks, which she uses as an art to keep her listeners awake. The phrase “Nkqo, nkqo ndikwakho” is synonymous with her show, Ndingu Yehova iGqirha Lakho, which airs at 3am. She speaks fondly of her shows and listeners but says some of the stories they share have been traumatic. She is however content to have been a part of the healing process of many listeners. “Reverend Rweqana”, as she fondly referred to, is a recipient of a Hall of Fame award from the Liberty Radio Awards in 2017.

 

Business Manager of Eastern Cape Combo, which includes Umhlobo Wenene FM, Mr Loyiso Bala, said: “I consider myself fortunate to have worked alongside such broadcasting legends. It is unfortunate to lose such great institutional memory, but we must allow colleagues who feel their race has come to an end to gracefully hand over the baton. We thank them for all of their hard work over the years and wish them the best in their future endeavours.”

 

As the two legendary presenters call time on their illustrious careers and leave an audience of over 4,5 million listeners.  As such, the station will embark on an exciting process of searching for brand new talent, set to be launched in January 2022.

 

The talent search will be developmental in nature and help groom fresh and young talent. The station will be looking for three female presenters, one between the ages of 10 – 15 and two between the 25 – 40 age group, to join a cast of well-known household names at Umhlobo Wenene FM. demos can be sent to demos@uwfm.co.za and more details on how to enter will follow on the station’s social media platforms. Media enquiries can be sent to cwy@sabc.za.

 

 

Issued By:                           Group Communications

 

Media Enquiries:               Ms. Gugu Ntuli (Group Executive: Corporate Affairs and

                                           Marketing)

NtuliGM@sabc.co.za |T. 011 714 3311|C. 071 877 0513