All things radio from the award-winning Lwazi Mpofu

Posted on June 21, 2024

“Tuks FM, where young talent in the industry is identified and nurtured,” said Lwazi Mpofu, Tuks FM station manager and award-winner.

Lwazi Mpofu has lived and breathed radio for as long as he can remember. His first hands-on experience at a radio station was working as a producer for a weekend show at Tru FM at the tender age of 16.

Mpofu is currently the station manager of the award-winning Tuks FM, an important niche of the radio market he says, where young talent in the industry is identified and nurtured.

“I’ve always been curious about broadcasting. My mother used to listen to the radio a lot and my brother controlled the TV remote and he would watch sports, which I hated. So, my only option was to listen to the radio. It grew on me and I wanted to be a part of that world. I used to imitate the presenters thinking ‘This is what I want to be one day’.”

While he was still in high school Tru FM ran a competition to find people for on-air poetry readings.

“I went to the auditions and there were lots of people. When it was my turn, I went in… and knew the entire panel. I greeted them by name and chatted with them about the station and the different shows. They were taken aback by how intimately I knew the station. After all of that though I didn't get the gig. But about two weeks later, I got a call. They needed someone to present a three-minute entertainment feature on the weekend teen show.”

The rest is history.

Unlike his peers who headed to the playground at break time and passed time at the mall on weekends, Mpofu spent recess at the library, reading the daily newspapers to stay abreast of current affairs and to also keep an eye out for interesting guests that may be worth featuring on the show.

“I lived in East London at the time and the station was in a town called Bisho, which is about 60km from away. So, every Saturday I would travel 60km from East London to go and do a three-minute feature.”

Soon thereafter, one of the station’s producers resigned and Mpofu was offered the opportunity to produce more weekend shows, meaning he had to be at the station from morning to early evening on Saturdays and Sundays.

“I was dedicated to producing and I feel that to some extent, I never really got to experience the late years of high school.” 

He maintained this until he was 19 and left the station to pursue a BA in Media Communication and Culture at Nelson Mandela University. “After I completed my studies, I returned to Tru FM as a producer. I was there for close to three years, then I was honoured with the Bright Star Award at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards.”

“The Liberty Radio Awards are the Grammy’s of SA radio and to be awarded the Bright Star Award at 26 years old was affirming.” 

Mpofu has since worked at Good Hope FM as a Senior Producer, lectured on radio production at the National Electronic Media Institute of South Africa (NEMISA) and was the Programme Manager for the Stellenbosch University campus radio station, MFM.

He says it’s his passion for nourishing new talent that led him to leave a permanent position at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and return to campus radio.

“Part of my duties as a station manager is to find the right talent for the station. As a campus radio station, we must train the next generation of broadcasters and ensure they are well-capacitated and ready for the industry.”



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