Bekezela Tshuma, Sunday Life correspondent
AVID listeners of various radio stations all over Zimbabwe idolise and revere the young crop of presenters that have since emerged and have been under the spotlight since the mid-2000s.
For many, the likes of KGV, Phathisani and Delani Makhalima just to mention a few are a formidable force to reckon with but renowned radio personality, Ezra Tshisa Sibanda does not share the same sentiments.
The outspoken social media fanatic has condemned some radio presenters, arguing that their performance on radio is not up to standard.
“The problem is I am a very busy man and I don’t get time to listen to all radio stations. The few DJs I have listened to are shockingly pathetic yet some are good. The problem is they lack originality, no creativity and no real identity of who they are.
They imitate and one can tell they want to be someone else,” said Sibanda.
Further expressing himself, not bound by anything he sets focus on the radio stations themselves, highlighting that they sounded the same. With his vast experience in radio, he has this to say.
Stopping at nothing, he went on to strike a comparison between the radio presenters that rocked the stations decades ago and those of today, whose case is perhaps that of paper fire.
“You ask yourself, we left radio in 2002 but 16 years down the line people still remember us, they still remember Brenda Moyo, Peter Johns, Eric Knight, James Maridadi, Englam Nyathi etc because we were broadcasters. We took our job seriously and each one of us was clear of what was expected of them as radio personalities and we created our own identity. We were passionate and we are still embedded in most people’s hearts, look at how many presenters have been on radio since we were made redundant but listeners have forgotten them yet they still remember Ezra Tshisa Sibanda,” said Sibanda.
To buttress his views on radio and the presenters of nowadays, he had this to say: “Most of these presenters lack proper training and I wonder if some of them were really auditioned or were just thrown behind the microphone. If I am in Bulawayo I listen to Babongile Sikhonjwa and Possenti they sound different from the lot and they are themselves. There are other youngsters who have potential. All I can say is that some of these radio presenters should stop trying to sound foreign. They should not suffer from an inferiority complex,” he said.
For his word to be heard across the nation, he still has not lost hope in applying for a radio licence.
“I applied for a radio licence two times, a national commercial and Bulawayo. I was denied both times. It’s so painful because
I am a simple radio personality who loves his job and wanted to give people an example of a professionally run radio station which will connect with the people. I still need a radio station and I know I can do better for our listeners. There can be many radio stations but listeners can tell the difference between a real radio station and a wannabe. I hope the new dispensation will open up airwaves. Let’s have competition and the best will always take over the listening audience.”
Sibanda is currently based in the United Kingdom and is still on radio.
He is the brand ambassador of a fast growing company Sendittoo which deals with airtime where people from abroad can buy and top-up airtime for their relatives all over the world. He is also the brand ambassador of Cassava Remit a UK-based subsidiary company of Econet where people can now buy goods and services for their loved ones in Zimbabwe. People can also send money through EcoCash from UK to Zimbabwe.
Back home he is involved in charitable work under the Ezra Tshisa initiative which deals with education and well-being of children who come from poor backgrounds. His initiative is currently sponsoring children around Matabeleland and Midlands with school fees and uniforms. Some of the sponsored children have completed their degree programmes at local universities.