Famous for 5 minutes – Thami Xuzu: Radio’s next big thing

2014-05-11 15:00

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There are so many things you could have done on radio, but you chose sports. Why?

Sport is about the people – the only thing that can unify bitter rivals. Across the world, in South Africa too, warring parties have been unified through sports.

Countries that were ravaged by wars have come together when sport is at the centre of the reconciliation process. It is also in sports that people are treated as equals. Sports is who I am, I strive for peace and unity.

Why did you leave Umhlobo Wenene FM for SAfm?

One has to grow in life one way or the other. The thing is, English radio stations are not confined to a particular group of people but reach a broader spectrum.

SAfm’s audience is mature people who are hungry for information more than entertainment. Well-informed individuals mean there’s no time for complacency.

You have to go the extra mile all the time. These factors make me strive for perfection in what I do and push for my own sports talk show on radio.

Robert Marawa is viewed as the best sports presenter in South Africa and some have said you’re the next big thing after him. What’s your take on that?

I do not want to compare myself with anyone because that is not how I do things. All I can say is that when I get my own slot, I will surely give many sports presenters a run for their money. It is impossible to compare me with Marawa because different people have different styles

and approaches – we are in a creative field. I do not know the kind of feedback he receives from his listeners, but my listeners give me positive feedback so I’m getting stronger by the day.

I do my sports bulletins in the morning when information is fresh. By the time others do their shows in the afternoon, you find the stories are already known.

Would you do anything other than sportscasting?

I studied journalism, which gives me options. Sports, politics and current affairs are intertwined and I am well informed on all three. I could have been a political reporter

for all you know because of my ability to conduct interviews and get the best out of my interviewees. I’m audible and presentable. One thing is for sure, though, I was always going to be on radio because you never know until you are told and you will never be told until you ask. That is what radio and journalism are all about – knowledge.

What’s your favourite sporting code and why?

It has got to be soccer – I’m fascinated by the art of dribbling applied in the game. The dribbling is more than just a player doing funny things with the ball, there is an element of problem-solving skill in it.

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