By Michael Sekhu
WE had an opportunity to chat to Smash Afrika, one of the voices behind YFM’s popular breakfast show Smash & Grab. Like most successful radio DJs he started out on campus radio and worked his way up. Smash had to dedicate many hours to his craft and is a testament to the saying ‘Hard work pays off’. He chats to us about where it all started, his interest in TV, future goals and what he gets up to when he’s off air.
When did your love for radio begin?
My first gig was at a campus radio show. Back in 2008, I got invited by some guy to a campus radio show that he hosted – I had done a voice-over project for him before. He didn’t invite me again and I kept asking myself why; I later found out that it was because I’d kicked his ass and I was really dope. The following year I auditioned for a campus show and I got the gig. A lot of students showed me love and I got better through the years.
A lot of radio DJs are now transitioning from radio to television; is that a route you might take up in the near future?
I love television, especially working behind the scenes. I don’t mind being on camera too; I mean, I’m not a bad looking guy for a radio DJ – LOL! But I’ve been a content creator for a lot of television shows and I’ve presented a reality TV show.
Share with us one thing you’re listeners will find hard to believe about you?
I grew up in the Free-State and I speak Sotho but I’m actually Xhosa. Most people think I’m 21 but I’m 27 years old; and yes, Afrika is my real name.
What did you do before you turned to radio?
I got my first job as a waiter; it was fun because I used to engage with people. The tips were also amazing and I always had money. I got to vibe with people and my personality grew from that.
What do you get up to when you’re not on air?
When I’m off air I work for an advertising agency; apart from that there’re obviously gigs – depending on when I’m booked. Sometimes I get so tired that I get home and just sleep.
You’ve achieved so much in such a short space of time; what else would you like to achieve in the world of radio?
I have aspirations of working overseas. Hopefully I’ll get to leave the country and do radio elsewhere or get a platform where I can broadcast to the whole of Africa and also take it to the world. I’ve always had aspirations of working in the UK and America. However, if I do work that side I’d also love to speak directly to my people here at home.
What words do you live by?
Words I live by: “Make people feel something and don’t be whack because when people feel something it’s beautiful and the feeling never goes away.”
Connect with Smash Afrika on social media.