Power Dynamite

2015-01-19 15:09

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Veteran broadcaster, Thabiso Sikwane quit radio to be with her family in 2012. After her more than two-year sabbatical, the former Kaya FM presenter was announced as the official replacement for Azania Mosaka on Power Lunch. #Trending spoke to the enterprising lady of radio about her new slot on Power FM.

Welcome back to radio! Please tell us about you have been up to.

The primary reason was to be able to spend time with the family but to also focus on the swimming school that we run. Working at night took me away from times and experiences that are precious to me as a mother and times that are treasured in any family. As hard as it was to stop the show I was doing at the time, it was the best decision I could have made. I had always valued family and wanted to be a mother who was present and fully involved in the family life without necessarily giving up my ambitions.

Does this new job not get in the way of family.

Not at all … In taking a break I was able to cook meals for my family, sit with them for dinner, and read bedtime stories and pray with them, which I couldn’t do working on shows that required me to be in studio at those times. It used to break my heart to have to leave our son midway through a rugby match or not even getting to watch him. I also missed out on spending time with their father, not being able to go out to enjoy simple things like movies because the night show would end at 8pm. In terms of the swimming school, it has been so fulfilling to see people who come being scared of water ending up being carefree and safe in water. Nothing beats that feeling of seeing their joy.

How does feel to be back on radio again?

It has been a bit overwhelming having to work at times that are set for you and it will take some adjusting to but the first week has been an amazing rush. The support from the team that I am working with is great. The support from my husband and children is also encouraging.

The interaction with listeners has been great and the anxiety of taking over an existing show has slowly disappeared with each day; they have been gracious. I am however not naïve about the challenge of people adjusting to the change and am taking it in my stride by being me and presenting as authentically as I can so that they get to know me and what I have to offer from the very beginning of our relationship.

Speaking of being authentic, Is there pressure to be like your predecessor, Azania?

If the brief had been to simply take off where Aza left off, it would have been and would have not made sense, and I would not have accepted the offer. I have been given a licence to do the show my way and with my own feel and, in doing that, I am working with what resonates with the listeners by keeping some of the features that were started with Aza and adding new elements. At the end of the day the listener is key and one needs to strike that balance.

Why did you choose to come back to radio, and particularly to Power FM?

My stopping radio in 2012 was a break. It was never meant to be permanent so the Power gig came at a time when I was ready to get back behind the mic. I have given the family my undivided time for the past three years and now I am going to divide myself between the two loves of my life – family and radio.

What attracted you to Power FM?

Power as a brand resonates with me. It is coming on to the scene with guns blazing and is unapologetic about the power of the audience that it is talking to and is about giving this audience a voice on a platform that will allow and encourage robust dialogue across a range of issues and with an approach that is holistic in its offering. Having worked with Given Mkhari and interacted with him when he was a colleague and when I used to produce his show at Kaya FM, I also have a sense of how he operates and his plans are groundbreaking and it is exciting. It is always great to work with people who you know are in it to make history.

How different is the Power FM gig from your previous radio gigs?

Power FM, being new, gives me such an adrenaline rush. There is a thrill about being part of the growth of an infant and contributing to its development and learning process.

You seem to have slotted right back into it. How did you prepare yourself?

I believe that it was God’s plan for me to be here at this time. I got to interact with Power FM when I would sit in for Azania, so coming in now is not as a stranger and that has made it easier to sit behind the mic and to be presenting it as my show.

How did the move come about?

Power FM had initially approached me to do another show but I was not available at the time. And this time around I could not say no.

What are your immediate plans for Power Lunch?

I am looking forward to growing the show. It is a business after all and numbers are important but equally important to me is to use the platform to make a difference to the listener. In being on air as a facilitator, disseminator of information and entertainer I am also looking forward to growing in those areas and also learning from listeners and the guests. I also want the show to go out there more. So outside broadcasts are also going to be happening more.

What can listeners expect from Thabiso and Power Lunch? Describe Power Lunch…

Power Lunch is a chat over coffee between friends, family members, colleagues and neighbours on anything and everything that can come up for discussion but is approached from a personal and authentic perspective. As opposed to being just about opinion, wisdom, theory and expertise, it is about how things that are happening around me affect me. It is about what I need to understand and know about them. It’s about how I can empower myself and those around me regarding these issues and how I get to own and be a part of the benefits of the fruits this democracy.

When you are not working how do you unwind?

Right now, I sleep a lot when I am unwinding and have my headphones on, listening to music. Spending time with my hubby and the kids is my ultimate joy. My other happy place is when I am on the piano during my piano lessons. I spend time on overseeing the running of the swimming school rather than teaching, which frees up my time. My other happy place is on stage at church as part of the praise and worship team. I love that space. This year I want to get back to my other happy place of being immersed in a good book. Our plan is to make it a family habit instead of it being done as part of homework by the kids and research for the next topic or guest that we will be on air with.

What keeps you going when things are not going your way?

I am a big and unashamed believer in the grace and love of my creator. I am nothing without Him and all that I am and have is because of Him.

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