Tribute to radio veteran Jerry Sukumani

Munghana Lonene FM began on February 1 1965 in Johannesburg, according to our company archives. In 1976 it moved to Polokwane.
Munghana Lonene FM began on February 1 1965 in Johannesburg, according to our company archives. In 1976 it moved to Polokwane.
Image: 123RF/TZIDO

Jerry Sukumani, veteran broadcaster on a Tsonga language radio station, was on Tuesday hailed as a trailblazer.

The SABC extended its condolences to Sukumani's family on learning of his death, saying the renowned retired Munghana Lonene FM announcer had served the SABC for 18 years from 1968 to 1986.

“He was one of the trailblazers of radio broadcasting in SA during the apartheid era. He started his radio journey at the erstwhile Radio Bantu and was one of the creative pioneers of radio broadcasting in XiTsonga language under Radio Bantu’s XiTsonga service.”

As part of celebrating Munghana Lonene’s 55 years on air in February 2020, the station featured historical broadcasts including Sukumani’s programmes, “which still proved appealing to listeners”.

During his tenure at Munghana Lonene FM, the SABC said listeners grew very fond of him when he presented a programme called ‘Ta vutomi’ with the late Makamu, “a programme that has survived and thrived for more than five decades.” The programme is now called ‘Gongomela’ with some of the elements of the show having been split to be called ‘Xipapilwana’.

“Mr Sukumani will be remembered for the remarkable legacy that he left in the broadcasting industry. His immense contribution to radio which has stood the test of time, serves as a well of inspiration which broadcasters will continue to draw from,” said the broadcaster.

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