Radio DJs have often been described as the sauce of radio – personalities who interview artistes, play music, as well as interact with listeners and, when asked, play the music requested by fans.
It’s a key role in any radio station. And any radio station worth the name has a DJ on its staff. Although South Africa’s music scene is still developing, the country boosts of several fine radio disc jockeys.
In this article, we are going to bring you the top 10 disc jockeys in South Africa. The idea of top is pretty subjective, so what we arrive at might differ from what you have in mind. In picking the top 10, we factored in social media visibility and impact on the music scene in South Africa
Anyway, here is our list of top 10 radio disc jockeys in South Africa, given in no particular order.
1. DJ Fresh
Thato Sikwane is the DJ who goes by the stage name of DJ Fresh. The 47-year-old tattoo-loving DJ was born in Botswana but now resides in South Africa where is now famous as one of the veterans on radio. He’s been a radio DJ for over two decades.
His musical odyssey had the most glamour on 5FM and Metro. The champ was grieved earlier this month when his friend and colleague Bob Mabena died of cardiac arrest.
2. Dineo Ranaka
The iron lady of radio. Oh, well, not quite. But Dineo Ranaka who was born back in December 1983 in Soweto is a strong willed woman who can’t stand wimps. She is one of the most loved radio DJs in South Africa with a strong following on social media.
3. Anele Mdoda
Any list of top 10 radio DJs in South Africa that omits Anele Mdoda is not even worth a second glance. We said it. Sue us. Born 19 May 1984, Anele Mdoda is the principal voice of Celebrity Game Night South Africa and one of the most loved and most talked about radio DJs in Mzansi
Euphonik is another fine radio DJ that merits a place on this list. The Mpumalanga native, whose birth name is Themba Mbongeni Nkosi, combines the role of a radio personality and singer easily. He has released several songs, including “Busa” and “Vuma.”
5. Gareth Cliff
Pretoria-born Garreth Cliff is another notable DJ and one of the oldest on the beat. The 42-year-old began his career at 702, moving over to 5FM, where he hosted The Hollywood Report with Jen Su.
He also had a stint on reality television show Idols SA and is a respected voice in podcasting in South Africa.
6. Pabi Moloi
Pabi Moloi is another radio DJ deserving of a spot on this list. The 36-year-old has had stints in not just radio but television as well and done remarkably well in both. She is especially known for the shows Trending SA and Eksê Zwakala.
Like Anele Mdoda, she is a winner of the Golden Horn Award for Best Talk Show Host.
7. Rian Van Heerden
Rian Van Heerden is another fine voice on Mzansi radio. The DJ made a great impression on the staff of Tuks FM, moving over to Jacaranda FM, where he also had a brilliant outing as well.
He runs an eponymous show called Rian, which is available on Dstv.
8. Ms Cosmo
Ms Cosmo is a distinguished figure on radio. She is also one of those who have a flourishing singing career. In fact, she has worked with key figures in South African rap, from AKA to Nasty C.
Days back, she released “Baningi,” a song featuring Nelisiwe Sibiya, Dee Koala and Sho Madjozi.
9. Mo Flava
DJ Mo Flava is another famous figure on South African radio. The champ has long been associated with Metro FM, where he has interviewed some of the music industry’s major figures, including gqom queen Babes Wodumo.
The Wodumo interview is probably one of the most controversial in his career. DJ Mo Flava is also a singer, with songs like “Stay” and “Dust To Dust” to his name.
10. DJ Zinhle
DJ Zinhle has had a brilliant career as a DJ and singer and is today one of South Africa’s most-loved musicians. She has released several hit songs including “Umlilo” and “Uzobuya.” She is also an author and entrepreneur.
Her most recent entrepreneurial venture is the creation of face masks for kids and adults.
What do you think of our list of top 10 South African radio DJs? Would the 10 artistes make your list? You may want to share your list in the comment section below.