Radio is his passion. In 21 years, he can count the number of times he has missed a show.
Last year was the very first time he got into trouble at work over a post on social media.
Phiwe Nozewu (45) affectionately known by the name DJ Pastor, was suspended after joking about an incident where EFF members were assaulted outside Brackenfell High School.
“Last year was tough. I posted a silly joke about it on Sunday and fell asleep. But when I woke up in the morning my Tweets had gone viral,” he says.
“I was attacked, and I was called into work to tell my side of the story. EFF had written a letter to have me taken off the air, and I was suspended for two weeks,” Pastor says. After the incident, he learned to choose his words carefully on social media.
“I usually play it safe on radio, and I am very careful about how I communicate with my listeners and that incident made me even more aware,” he says.
With 22 years of experience, Pastor still looks up to people like David Mashabela and Just-Ice.
“I love David’s style. Every time he opens that mic, you never know what to expect. Just-Ice does that 10 times better as well. Those are people I listened to before I was even on radio,” he says.
“Right behind them is DJ Fresh. He made radio interesting. But I love people who play it safe and not [go for] the shock. People like Phat Joe take risks and I am the opposite,” he adds.
Pastor is giving himself only five more years on radio.
“I am grateful for opportunities, learning but after five years I plan to hang up my headphones and focus on family and business,” he says.
He wakes up every day eager to do his breakfast show. Even on bad days, he is thrilled to get up and go to work.
“Even if I’m in a bad mood, going to work somehow always makes me feel better,” Pastor says. Two years ago, he lost his mother and only spent one day away from work.
“People believe in mourning at home and staying away from work, but when my mom passed, radio was the only thing that helped me to cope with loss,” Pastor says.
“I skipped a day without work, after I went back, I felt good. At home I was morose, and my listeners helped me to cope,” he adds.
In the 11 years, he can count the number of days he has missed work.
During the lockdown last year, DJ Pastor explored his other talent of producing music. He released four songs, featuring Ntsiki Mazwai, MXO, Ishmael Marabe, DJ Vitoto, and Mthandazo Gatya.
“I never took music seriously until lockdown where I stopped gigging and needed to make an extra income and to keep busy,” he says.
But music is not something he wants to do full time.
“Music requires you to be a rockstar. I don’t think I’m wild like that. I want to make music for fun and not as a full-time career,” he says.
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The youngest of two boys, DJ Pastor was raised by a single mom after his parents divorced and later stayed with his grandmother for most of his life. Two years ago, the Asembeni producer married his girlfriend of seven years Phumza Nozewu (28).
“I am my granny’s child, so much so that my wife hardly does much around the house. My granny taught me to cook, clean and I became domesticated,” he says. Pastor is a father of three Lwethu (18), Phawu (12), Hluhlelunje (11) from his previous marriage.
“I’m a family man and I value being at home. One day when I retire, I would love to enjoy the small things in life.”
In June, DJ Pastor plans to make a huge announcement.
“I’m working on a very big collaboration and I can’t wait for people to hear the big surprise,” he says.
“In the future I’d also love to challenge myself to do an afternoon drive show with a female presenter, and possibly have a podcast because of what lockdown has taught me. I need to be versatile, daring and not afraid to start something new.”