#MyRadioPeople : East Coast Radio’s Benedict Ngwenya

Benedict ‘Eggs” Ngwenya is the 1st Sports Personality to be featured in this series and his story is like most; inspiring, different and of course worth sharing with you. Read how he juggles doing Sports on Tuesday mornings, being a Soccer analyst and managing a sports betting blog. This is his story :-

Why radio? I love expressing my views and chatting to people from different walks of life. I’m a very curious person who likes to investigate and learn new things all the time and radio gives me the opportunity to do exactly that. I first fell in love with radio presenting on 31 December 1997, listening to Ukhozi FM’s Mandla Malakoane doing the crossover to 1998 – counting down the biggest songs of the year and I knew then that’s what I wanted to do when I grow up. As I grew up and obviously started understanding English I got more inspiration from people like Ian F and Peter G who had great radio voices (not big but sweet and very well projected) as Inkosi Gareth Cliff who likes to vocalise his thoughts, whenever he speaks he makes you think.

Which other radio stations have you worked at? In 2009 I worked for Gagasi FM part time as a voice over artist then joined Inanda 88.4 FM a year later as a graveyard show presenter. I worked my way up the ranks until I became the breakfast show host. An opportunity arose to present sports in the middle of 2014 and I accepted the offer because I had reached the ceiling in terms of presenting personality shows at community radio level. I think I excelled at presenting sports as well because I was offered by Gagasi FM a chance to make a return as their sports presenter but I had applied to East Coast Radio at the same time and they were keen on giving me a job and I opted for the latter because it’s the station I grew up listening to.

Did you study radio? I didn’t really study radio but I got on the job training at Inanda 88.4 FM then East Coast Radio put me in their internship programme for the entire duration of 2015 where I learnt the ins and outs of radio.

Besides Radio, which other side projects are you currently busy with or are involved in? I’m busy with a lot of things. As a sports presenter and now soccer analyst for East Coast Radio, I also work for Hollywoodbets as their social media Co-Ordinator. My job entails previewing and analysing upcoming games for the company blog and social media platforms where we post our predictions and betting advice. It’s a great job for me because I love social media and sports. I get to do what I’d be doing at home during my spare time anyway. I also do a lot of things around the beautiful game, for example, this weekend I’ll be doing commentary for the Copa Coca Cola Cup which will be streamed live on their global Facebook page alongside Soccer-Laduma’s Joe Crann who will be my co-analyst. I also MC events.

Who is your South African Radio Icon? This country is so richly blessed with talent. In terms of people I’ve worked with I’d say East Coast Breakfast’s Darren Maule. He has the ability to think fast, can relate with people from all walks of life and is funny. In terms of someone I’ve only heard on radio it has to be Gareth Cliff the most thought-provoking person ever. Let’s also not forget Robert Marawa, pure talent coupled with unparalleled interviewing skills.  If I had to choose one I’d go with Gareth.

What can we expect from you in the next 5 years? Radio-wise, expect my own show in one of the biggest stations in the country and a hot TV show as well. Those are my goals.
How often do you listen to other radio stations and which radio stations do you usually listen to? Whenever I get a chance. I listen to ECR and Inanda 88.4 FM.

What has working on radio taught you? Your opinion is welcome as long as your research is spot on. Secondly, don’t use the power of the airwaves to fight your personal battles, that I’ve observed from other people in the industry.

What advice can you give to aspiring radio broadcasters? Be yourself, have fun and remember that radio gives you many a lot of opportunities to prosper. It can open many doors so be wide awake.

Thanks so much for reading, hope to see you again :)

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