DJ Mo, popular YFM radio presenter, says his rapid rise to fame is because of his education
Moeti Tsiki, popularly known as DJ Mo, who presents YFM's evening six-to-nine show, is unlike most celebrities. Despite his impressive advancement in broadcasting in a relatively short time, he maintains a level head and speaks like someone who has been in radio for many years.
"It's because of my training," Tsiki says. "Unlike many who go into this field, I have been through all the basics and my rate of growth is so much faster than if I didn't do the kind of groundwork that exposed me to every single aspect of radio and media."
Tsiki completed his three-year Diploma in Media Studies in 2005 specialising in journalism, radio broadcasting and production. With courses in finance, marketing, sound engineering, subediting and advertising, the course covered almost every aspect of media.
"At the end of the final exams I sent out my demo to YFM, and a week later they called me in for an interview with Bondo [Ntuli]," he says.
"I went in and the first thing they said was 'you are starting tonight'. I was stunned. I didn't even have a chance to take it all in; my dream was already coming to reality."
After only a year and a half in the weekday slot between midnight and 3am, Tsiki says that he has honed his skills behind the mic and mixing desk to such a degree that it has become second nature.
Last week Tsiki started hosting his own show called The Urban Expression in the prime slot between 6pm and 9pm.
"It's an amazing feeling," he says. "I am now competing with guys I used to listen and look up to when I was growing up. Sometimes it gets a little overwhelming, but I put aside those feelings, because I know that I'm young and have something fresh to offer."
According to Tsiki, he hasn't received any negative responses - either from listeners or from his peers in broadcasting.
"The only thing that might qualify as negative was when someone on the YFM website posted a message saying: 'Who is this Mo anyway, does he know what he's doing?'. It doesn't get to me though because I've come to a point where I trust myself and my decisions. I've got fresh ideas, and the best thing about it is that I'm just being me."
But Tsiki warns people who think that radio is an easy ride about joining the profession.
"Too many people think it's just about having a good time, and very often they fall off the rails. The excitement and recognition are all fun, but people need to realise that it is also a profession that requires a lot of planning and hard work.
"I can see that people are now expecting more out of each other, and I'm truly humbled to be where I am now," Tsiki says.
These institutions provide training in radio broadcasting and production:
l Boston Media House - 011-883-0933 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
l ABC Ulwazi - 011-339-2277 or email@example.com.
l Allenby Campus - 086-222-2345.