Lesedi FM's Ba2cada on his 17 years on radio – 'We are doing something right'

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Lesedi FM radio host Ba2cada.
Lesedi FM radio host Ba2cada.

He's known for his energy and was once the guy with the loudest laugh on radio. 

Lesedi FM radio host, Ba2cada, real name Nyakallo Leine, has had 17 years behind the mic and he wouldn't have it any other way. 

He's had really good years, and recently, some hiccups here and there. We catch up with the radio host, and get the elephant out of the room first.

There's the SARS issue he's still dealing with, where he was accused of submitting false VAT returns. 

But he's sorting it out, he says. 

"The matter has been referred back to SARS for agreement between the 2 parties to check if there must be agreement for settlement or not. We served them our accountants calculations and will hear from them," he tells Drum.

Then we get on to the real business. He's not as loud as he used to be and it’s all because of his maturity, he tells us. 

"When I started, there was excitement for entertainment. But as you grow older, you realise that content is important, then it’s how do you empower people, what do you leave your listener with. 

“We are a bit mature, we can’t make noise like we used to. 

“We are new in the morning but not new in the industry,” he says. 

He now hosts the Monate Breakfast Show with Twasa (Seipati Seoke). The two radio enthusiasts have worked together before, when Ba2cada hosted the afternoon drive.

“Between us, there is 38 years of radio experience with Twasa boasting 21 years in radio.” 

Ba2cada says all these stages and elements in his journey and growth make him feel like he's  starting out.

Read more| Pastor The DJ looks back at two decades on radio

When radio legend Chomane Chomane hung up his microphone after over 30 years with the station, the two had big shoes to fill. 

“Some people thought it would die down but we pushed. It is one of the biggest shows in the country. We are always trending and that says a lot about the impact we have, it simply says there is something right you are doing.” 

The switch to the breakfast show only happened in 2020 and it was seamless, even if he says so himself. 

“I did the afternoon show for 14 years. I have shocked myself,” he tells us. 

But when it was time to leave, he knew it was time because he has done everything he was supposed to do for that show. 

He never saw radio as a job, Ba2cada says. And that's why he's managed to be consistent. It was something he was so passionate about when he was growing up in Free State.

Read more | DJ Sabby on leaving YFM after 10 years, joining Metro FM and being a dad

He used to listen to the likes of the late Khabzela on YFM and he wanted to be that authentic when on radio.  

"He made me believe that I could do it just by listening to him. He had no posh English, he was real and knew how to engage listeners," he says. 

His big break into the industry happened when Soweto community radio station Jozi FM gave him an opportunity. 

"You can be talented but if there is no one who is able to see you and give you an opportunity, it’s all the same. There are so many people who are talented more than me but they never got the opportunity to do their thing.

"Jozi FM did that for me. I will always be grateful to the then station manager, Tshepo Mahanye and programmes manager, Mpho Mhlongo," he explains. 

It has been a fulfilling journey that has required a lot of discipline.

"If you are not strong enough you become so big-headed. It is so easy to lose focus in our industry.

"It is always important to remember why you are there. You constantly have to remind yourself to protect the platform you have because once that platform  is gone, what are you going to do?"

Read more | Eddie Zondi's legacy lives on in his radio loving daughter Lula Odiba

Ba2cada has always known where his path would lead him. 

"It was going to be football or radio. This I have always known," he says. 

But because he could not pursue football professionally, he now owns his soccer team in the Free State.

Ba2cada is the co-owner of D'General Football Club in the Free State.

The name of the team is D'General FC and it's owned by Ba2cada and Bafana Bafana player Kamohelo Mokotjo.

The team now plays at ABC Motsepe League and has greater aspirations of moving to the next league. 

"It gives boys in the province hope. Some of us had to leave home to go pursue football in Johannesburg so our passion has brought this opportunity closer for them," Ba2cada says. 

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