Local singer and radio presenter Helen Desbois has always had a dynamic flair for the media industry. Her career spans decades and her passion for media continues to shine as bright as ever. So, it wasn’t a shock to see her nominated for the in the Woman In Media category for the 2018 Woman Of The Year Awards. Helen chats to us about her career and this exciting nomination.
What does this nomination mean for you as a woman?
I am honoured to be recognised as a woman who is a mover and shaker in her field and someone who has and can make a difference.
How important is it to you to inspire other women when it comes to your craft?
It is very important to use one’s voice as someone in the media and public eye. There is a real movement to uplifting women these days and a tangible feeling of respect and love for strong, outspoken women who can inspire change. It is sad that we are still fighting for equality with men in some areas and industries, not to mention speaking out about the wrongs committed against girls and women everyday. I am about to be one of the faces in a #MeToo documentary in SA that we are shooting in the next few weeks.
You recently made your musical comeback. What was that like for you – especially after dominating the airwaves with ‘Anything’ back in 2002?
I had released a few songs since then, but nothing since 2005 really. It was pretty scary actually as the music industry has changed so much and it was my first release as an indie artist. The song, ‘Like I Need You’, did pretty well though and I have done another one since that, which is on the airwaves on most stations now, ‘Wind Up Girl’.
You spread cheer every morning as one of Mix FM’s breakfast hosts. What is your favourite thing about being on radio and radio as a medium?
Radio is magic! ‘Theatre of the mind’ as they say and I am blessed to be part of a dream team with Tony Blewitt at the helm and Steve Smith on sport. You cannot fake chemistry on air and we are lucky as a team to have it in spades. Mix FM as a whole is like one big family and we aim to bring legendary music and great content to our listeners at all times of day.
You’re a jack of all trades. You’ve worked in radio, TV, the theatre and in music. What sparked your love affair with media and the entertainment industry?
It is quite a bizarre tale actually. I had just come off the world tour of ‘We Will Rock You’ when I had my son, Oliver, who is now 9 years old. I was at home in the early months scratching my head and wondering how I was going to keep one foot in the entertainment industry and be a great and present mum too. Someone (and to this day I don’t recall who) sent me a mail saying East Rand Stereo was looking for jocks and I should go. I did, and 8 years later with numerous radio award nominations and one win under my belt, here I am!