Special feature: Dr Shakira & Bohlokwa Matlosa
When we are presented with career choices, it’s usually along the lines of becoming a “doctor, lawyer or accountant”. This, coupled with the pressure we receive from our parents/elders to be successful, can affect our overall mindset and motivation in life. There is an entire world out there to explore, and following one’s passion could range from being a neuroscientist, a fashion designer, a social media manager, an investment banker and even a political leader.
This is a profile piece on the ever-so-inspiring Bohlokwa Matlosa, a radio host at SAFM, the Number 1 Talk Radio Station in South Africa, where she is behind the scenes every single day at the SABC studios in Auckland Park, producing massive shows, and reaching millions of listeners across the South Africa.
More about Bohlokwa
Tell us more about yourself?
I am born and bred in Soweto, and I actually went to Glenvista High in Johannesburg South. I was initially an intern at ABSA Bank, also worked at a call centre for a few months then later pursued my dream to study Media studies and that’s how I became a content producer, for 7 years now at SAFM. I am so privileged to have produced some of the huge radio shows in the country, for example, Afternoon Talk with Ashraf Garda, Sound Awake with Khanyi Magubane, Lifetime Live with Criselda Dudumashe, The Talking Point with Bongi Gwala and I currently produce Living Redefined with Sechaba Gqeba. (SAFM 13:00 -15:00).
What does one need to study to become a radio producer?
I would suggest pursuing studies in media, journalism or public relations (PR) either at a university or college. In terms of my own background, I studied a one-year Public Relations Assistant Diploma and a three-year National Diploma in Media Studies at the Boston Media House. I majored in Radio, Journalism, Marketing and TV Production.
What is it like to be a radio producer?
It is tough, we work long hours and intense pressure. Even while we are busy with a current show, I am listening to current events, sourcing ideas, thinking creatively and already planning the next five shows and more. We have to find and confirm guests, draft content for the radio host and make sure everything goes smoothly in a short space of time. It is fast-paced, but I love it, especially when every single show is a success! A bonus is that I have met famous personalities, world leaders and really the most inspiring South Africans. My favourite was Dr Thandi Ndlovu who sadly passed away two years ago.
How are you creating the South Africa you want to see?
I am a proud plus size model, and advocate for women of all body sizes and shapes to practice self-acceptance and be confident. We are all different and won’t ever be the same but in our own way, we should shine through and that’s what makes us extremely unique and beautiful. I am also extremely passionate about women’s development, and I launched a non-profit organization called ‘O Bohlokwa’ which translates to “you are important, you are worthy”. All I want to do is empower other women and build a community of support. We are women warriors from all walks of life!
What is your advice to young women and men in South Africa?
Follow your passion and be what you want to be! Don’t be scared to start at the bottom. Study and work hard. Chase every single dream you have and do not be scared. Always believe you are enough and put in the work and you will see yourself shine!
About the author: Dr Shakira Choonara is an award-winning public health practitioner, 2017 Woman of the Year in Health in South Africa and is an expert serving in both the World Health Organization and UN Women. She featured as a guest on several SAFM shows where she crossed paths with Bohlokwa and was inspired by her work.
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