making waves at Jacaranda

She's a popular DJ on Jacaranda 94.2, as well as a continuity presenter on SABC3.

She's a popular DJ on Jacaranda 94.2, as well as a continuity presenter on SABC3.

Liezel van der Westhuisen started her career in radio at Tuks FM while studying at the University of Pretoria.

She worked as a music manager for several years and then moved to work at EMI Records.

Her work at a record company and a radio station, helped her gain a deeper understanding of how things work in radio in terms of play listing, programming and being on air.

Westhuisen said: "I eventually got the courage to ask the Jacaranda 94.2 programming manager for an audition.

"I went through the audition process but was so nervous I kept making mistakes.

"I didn't believe I would ever get the job after that horrible audition but I did and have been working for Jacaranda 94.2 since November 2005."

Westhuisen added: "As a child, I had always wanted to be in radio or TV either as an actress or a presenter, but I decided to complete my studies first."

She has a degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Pretoria, and an Honours and a Masters degree in Communications Management.

For this job, it is essential to have a good command of English and Afrikaans because Jacaranda 94.2 broadcasts in both languages.

One must also be able to interact with people, have general knowledge and be well versed in the entertainment business.

"As a jock, you need to be up-to-date with what goes on around the world so that you can inform your listeners," Westhuisen explained.

Talking on radio sounds easy but it also has its challenges.

"Every moment on air is a challenge because you have to be consistent, ensuring that everything you say is relevant, entertaining, captivating and draws listeners to your show," she added.

This is an industry where women have a potential for growth.

"Women have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the media.

"A fine example is the recent winner of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, Hazel Friedman.

"Quite a few women journalists scooped awards and received mentions at this year's award ceremony," she said

"Based on what women have gone through to become recognised in the media, they bring an inner strength and resolve to the industry.

"Women also have a nurturing side that gives them the edge," Westhuisen added.

To keep herself updated on the industry she listens to local and international air media.

The media is very important because its keeps one informed about what's happening in the world, as well as what's happening in other radio stations (locally and internationally).