Sizwe Dhlomo officially takes over Kaya 959 breakfast

Presenter one of most influential voices in pop culture

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Sizwe Dhlomo opens up about life as a TV and radio personality through two-decades.
Sizwe Dhlomo opens up about life as a TV and radio personality through two-decades.
Image: Supplied.

After nearly two decades in the entertainment industry, Sizwe Dhlomo remains on top of his game – officially taking over Kaya 959 breakfast.

Dhlomo stepped into television in 2005 as the first MTV Base VJ search winner. Soon his knowledge in youth culture fuelled his meteoric rise, rubbing shoulders with global public figures. 

He later co-hosted SABC1’s music show Live with  Bonang Matheba. Around the time he was dominating the airwaves with Siz N Scoop on Y (formerly YFM) with Scoop Makhathini, before moving to 947.

In May last year, the 40-year-old took over Kaya 959 breakfast – coming from afternoon drive – after Dineo Ranaka's abrupt departure.

After almost a year of doing that, Dhlomo today officially takes over the slot alongside Sol Phenduka. 

“It’s been quite official for some time now. I signed my contract last year already. We were trying to get the afternoon show together first ... that’s mainly the reason why we didn’t officially announce that I’d be taking over the breakfast slot,” Dhlomo said.

“Initially, we were planning on getting Azania [Mosaka] to do the afternoon drive but she ended up moving overseas and we’ve now gone back to the drawing board… and now we have Glen Lewis.” 

Until today, Dhlomo remains one of the most influential voices in pop culture. 

“My role in the entertainment industry varies in different phases of my life. When I was younger, I thought I was doing radio and television just for the fun of it. Until Dillon Khan, who used to run MTV Base UK, told me on my first day of shooting not to look at myself as a TV presenter but more as a music journalist, which always stuck with me,” he said.

“Tim Horwood, also on the same day, suggested that I look into production. So, I thought to myself, ‘Let me write scripts’ and in every show that I’ve done, I’ve always been a part of the production team. Even when I moved to the SABC, I was the creative director of the show, I also did the Samas [SA Music Awards] at some point.

“When I first went to Y,  Scoop wasn’t in the meeting with me. I just felt like doing a Thursday evening show that delves more into the hip-hop culture. Bear in mind, I had never done radio before.

"So, a guy named Tumelo had a different plan, he gave me the weekend breakfast show. They gave me everything I wanted and when they asked what else I wanted, I told them I wanted to have Scoop with me on the show and we went on to do amazing things.”

Dhlomo is fully aware of the responsibility that comes with being such an influential figure.

“I amassed credibility and somehow, people started looking at me as some sort of authority to the point where if I reviewed an album and I thought it was bad, people wouldn’t listen to it ... that’s when I realised I had to be more responsible with my opinion. If I didn’t have anything good to say, I would rather choose to keep my peace," he said.

“But I also realised I could use that influence for good use. For instance, at Y, the hip-hop programme strategy is one that I wrote and encouraged the station manager [at the time] that we should follow it. We developed a feeder programme that helped give unsigned artists the exposure that they needed on the radio and television shows that I was on. Artists like Zakwe, I helped give him his first airplay and an opportunity to perform at the Samas.“ 

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