ukhozi gets a facelift

HARD AT WORK: A glimpse of the inside of one of the studios at Ukhozi FM.
HARD AT WORK: A glimpse of the inside of one of the studios at Ukhozi FM.

Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

Ukhozi FM, the revered favourite vernacular radio station, is going through a rebirth.

Ukhozi FM is celebrating the astounding success of the brand for three days, in three dimensions, this weekend.

The station will unveil its new logo at a red carpet event at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from today

At the beginning of the week former presenters were given the freedom of the airwaves to jog listeners' memory about years gone by.

The sound of yesteryear still lives with the station as it constantly revives memories of the men and women who paved the way for today's free airwaves.

Some of yesteryears' station personalities featured were Winnie Mahlangu, VVO (Victor Mkhize), Mandla Malakoane, Eric Ngcobo, Welcome "Bhodloza" Nzimande and Zanele Mbokazi.

Mlamuli Nxele, marketing manager, said it was important for them to celebrate the station's past 59 years.

"We have seen many changes and positive growth at the station," Nxele said.

"As a traditional isiZulu radio station, it has taken a leap of faith and opened its doors to a new kind of broadcasting and a new kind of listener."

Nxele said the station was taking on a new front.

"The listener is changing perspective and the station is changing with the listener."

Nxele said the new image would play a pivotal role in taking the station to the next level as it moves with the times.

Tonight will be celebrated with live and nostalgic performances by the Soul Brothers, Chicco, Vusi Ximba, Sxaxambiji, Senyaka, Trompies, Alaska, Zola, Thandiswa Mazwai, Professor and Tizozo.

Tomorrow businesspeople will rub shoulders at Madlula's Place, in the heart of Pietermaritzburg, at a Warm Elegance party.

The station has come a long way since 1949 when it was formed and derogatorily referred to as Radio Bantu, subsequently Radio Zulu and now Ukhozi FM.

The station has never stopped growing in numbers and stature. It has produced legends of different kinds, which have been the inspiration for other radio stations.

The weekend will close with a huge concert at the Royal Grounds Pietermaritzburg, where Afro-pop, gospel, kwaito and maskandi musicians will share the stage.

Everyone will be kept on their toes by Ntando, Malini, Mafikizolo and Malaika, HHP, Jub-Jub, Slikour, Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Ntokozo Mbambo and Rebecca Malope, Thokozani Langa, Mgqumeni and Bhekumuzi Luthuli, and Beezory, Big NUZ, T'zozo and Professor and L'vovo.