Making a girl’s dreams come true

2014-05-03 00:00

ONE young girl’s dreams of being the belle of her matric ball could come true thanks to vibrant East Coast Radio presenter Zaba Simbine.

Host of the station’s The Zaba Show (weekdays from 4 am to 6 am), she will be launching a matric farewell competition where the winner will get her dress, make-up and hair taken care of.

Simbine said not every young woman gets the chance to have her party dreams come true.

“I was very lucky to have parents who were able to give me the matric farewell experience I wanted.

“Now I want to give a deserving girl the same experience,” she said.

“I want to find a girl who is doing well, despite the challenges she faces in life,” Simbine said.

“I’m a very strong believer in women empowerment. I really believe in girl power and that girls simply don’t have enough good role models to look up to. People shun girls who want to study medicine or become accountants, but praise those who want to marry rich guys.”

Modelling from the age of three, Simbine, of Glenwood, learnt to read music while at Durban Girls’ College and is an accomplished clarinet player.

She has acted and, when she’s not on radio, emcees events and presents SABC2’s youth show Hectic Nine-9.

However, a career behind the radio mic might not have happened for Simbine.

“I enrolled at Wits [University] to do a bachelor of dental science,” Simbine said. “I belong to a very close family and my parents were keen for me to study at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, but I wanted to spread my wings. Doing this degree was the easiest way for me to get as far away from home as I could.”

But the Zambian-born 24-year-old — who moved to Durban in 1992 when her parents and brother returned from exile — was destined to only spend a year at the Johannesburg university.

She returned to Durban and enrolled to study microbiology and biochemistry at UKZN, but the lure of radio proved too strong, and she was soon behind a mic at Durban Youth Radio and the campus radio station Voice of Wits.

In 2011, Simbine — who recently co-presented the MTN Radio Awards alongside the legendary Alex Jay — was offered the chance to be a trainee DJ and to host ECR’s midnight to 3 am slot on weekends.

She’s since become a fixture at the station, hosting the weekend 3 am to 6 am slot and then co-hosting the afternoon drive show.

With her new weekday show, she’s keen to tackle issues that young people are faced with in a light-hearted manner.

“I also want it to be your morning espresso, and put a smile on your face and start off the day with happiness,” said Simbine, whose bubbly personality has made her a favourite with listeners.

• Keep in touch with Zaba Simbine @MyNameisZaba on Twitter or e-mail her at

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