One on One With Mack Rapapali

We got the chance to hang with Jacaranda FM presenter Mack Rapapali who opened up about his childhood and how he got into the industry. This is what went down:

Can you tell our readers about yourself?

Well, I’m a Welkom born soul from the Free State. Studied law but had to drop out due to lack of funds – my mother was retrenched in Cape Town. I was never an introvert and always loved entertainment in general, especially radio, acting and music.  I’m a proud Blue Bulls supporter and I always thought I would play for the Bulls, but I’m blessed to say I’m officially their MC for home games and get to spend time with the players and the team behind closed doors. I’m a radio presenter on Jacaranda FM – it was always my childhood dream to broadcast and be part of one of the largest independent commercial radio stations in South Africa. I don’t know how to explain it but, every morning when I walk into the Jacaranda FM building, I still fail to believe it that I’m now officially living the dream I had as a child! I’m also an actor on Generations ‘The Legacy’ and play the character of Doctor Dube, who is a fertility doctor. Biology was never my strong trait, so my teacher would be proud of me today! That’s me in a nutshell.


 How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Extrovert, humble, loving, passionate and Hustler

Who inspires you in the industry?

Honestly, I try to draw on self-inspiration daily, but I do look up to different mentors who empower my growth and advise me when I need an ear. The list is endless, but the Rian van Heerdens and John Robbies of the world are right up there.

 How has your journey been with Jacaranda FM?

I arrived in the city of gold with no cash and family to back me and so, I lived in a van for eight months when I started out at Jacaranda FM. I’m blessed to be here and whilst tough at times, I cannot deny that the journey has been an amazing one, fraught with life-lessons along the way. The opportunity of being moved from the 4am show to the 9am-12pm show weekdays, still resonates deeply as I gear up each day to present the Workzone. I have an emotional attachment to the show – being a dad and home-maker myself and; I can only thank the management and listeners for believing in me and showing me love on a daily basis. I’m nothing without God and can only be grateful for the connection I have to media and the magic that comes along with it.

 If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?

I’m really happy with the amount of time my mom took to shape me into who I am today and therefore; I wouldn’t change anything on the Mack!

 If someone is interested in presenting, what measures should they take?

Believe and hold on to that dream. Take advice and never think that you are bigger than the brand or listener. Be humble at all times. Start at a community radio station and find the passion in you before you approach commercial radio stations. There’s always someone listening, no matter what show you do. In the words of my talent manager, “never waste a link because that can take away an opportunity of a potential investment in your talent.”

 Any wise words you’d like to share with our readers?

  • Experiencing failure is much like crossing monkey bars: you have to let go at some point in order to move forward.
  • It is in imperfection that we discover what is perfect for us. So don’t give up on your dreams.