Lula Odiba wishes her dad Eddie Zondi could see her rise

The late radio legend's daughter takes over lunchtime slot on 5FM

Masego Seemela Online journalist
The daughter of late broadcast icon Eddie Zondi, Lula Odiba to take over the radio industry.
The daughter of late broadcast icon Eddie Zondi, Lula Odiba to take over the radio industry.
Image: Supplied.

Lula Odiba has secured a time slot on national radio with her move to 5FM,  a milestone she wishes her late father and veteran broadcaster Eddie Zondi could have witnessed. 

With seven years of on-air experience, the 26-year-old radio personality joins the station from her popular show on Y, formerly known as YFM. 

In two weeks, she will take over the lunchtime show on the national broadcasting station. “I often think about what my dad would’ve said had he still been around. I always ask myself whether he would’ve felt like helping me out to get ahead in the radio industry,” she said. 

“I remember this one day we were driving in the car and my dad asked me what I wanted to do when I was older, being shy in that moment I couldn’t even tell him that I wanted to be like him. I wanted to be revered in the radio space. 

“One thing I know though is he would’ve been very proud of me and how far I’ve come. One of the moments I wished he could’ve also lived long enough to see was when I won my first radio award before I joined Y, over five years ago. I remember getting a hug from uncle Wilson B Nkosi [Eddie Zondi’s former colleague and Metro FM radio host], who told me how proud he was of me.”

Image: Supplied.

Born Keletso Modiba, Lula developed a keen interest in radio and the technicalities behind the medium from a young age. She then grew a strong affiliation with the craft in grade 9 and would often study and mirror the likes of her on-air heroes Bonang Matheba and Thando Thabethe.

“Bonang and Thando are the blueprints, they were my closest reference. Many might think it was my dad but he was more Sunday radio and these ladies were young and fresh and easy to relate to, something I too wanted to be as a radio personality,” she said.

“My journey so far has been phenomenal. Before radio, I started doing television, I can safely say radio had my heart first. Through this medium, I got to meet incredible people, locally and abroad. I also managed to do amazing things such as advocating for Special Olympics and helping people’s voices to be heard.

“I spent five years at Y and I believe it’s time to spread my wings and fly. I’m actually over the moon about my new show – I’ve already met my team and everyone has been super excited for me since the news broke out on Tuesday. And now that I’m moving to national radio, I guess people will get to see and hear a bit of who I am as a broadcaster.”

Image: Supplied.

Lula also recalls how she got to shadow DJ Fresh for two days at 5FM when she was in high school. “Just recently, I found a picture of myself with Fresh that we took a decade ago. We had an assignment from school, I was in grade 9, and I chose to shadow him for two days,” she said. 

“I was a scrawny, nervous 15-year-old from Boksburg who went to Auckland Park to learn how radio was done. I remember seeing Black Coffee and AKA walk in and out of the building and I knew then despite being star-struck that radio was what I wanted to do.

“In the two days of shadowing Fresh, he told me to read in front of the mirror every day and as soon as I get to university, I must join campus radio… which is what I did, and look at me today.” 

Other notable new changes on 5FM: Nick Hamman is moving from afternoon drive to breakfast, where he will be joined by Thabo Baloyi, Xoli Zondo and Marli van Eeden. Zanele Potelwa will take over the afternoon drive, making way for Odiba at lunchtime. Nick Archibald and Yanga Mjoli will join Potelwa. Yonaka Theledi and Stephanie Be will team up for the mid-morning show.

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