Heavy Z’s long walk to radio
3 November 2020
By Simukele Ngema
A 33-year-old man from Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal has finally started the radio career he has dreamed of since he was a little boy.
Zenzele Dlamini joined online radio station, VMC Planet Radio which is based in Johannesburg, on October 1, when he started hosting a talk show. VMC is a youth empowerment station whose main aim is to give artists and entrepreneurs exposure. The station has been on air since February.
Dlamini’s show, VMC Talk, airs Monday to Friday, from 13h00 to 15h00, and covers social, political, business and entertainment issues.
“I fell in love with radio way back before I even started school but I saw it as a dream that would not be realised,” says Dlamini, adding that he decided to pursue the dream after finishing high school in 2011.
He auditioned for Ukhozi FM and made it all the way to the top five, but lost in the last round. In 2012 he auditioned for Soweto-based Jozi FM, but he did not receive any feedback.
On Tuesday, October 27, Dlamini was engaging with listeners about how they feel since they are working very hard but seemingly fortune doesn’t favour them, but some people who don’t seem to be working very hard, who have got everything – houses, cars, families and so forth. On air he sounded confident and like a lot of fun, with great interpersonal communication skills.
Heavy Z is his radio name; Heavy to describe his body size and Z for Zenzele.
“Since I’m a person who is a wheelchair user I decided that every Thursday during my show I should educate people on different types of disabilities and I invite guests with disabilities to talk about barriers they face,” says Dlamini.
VMC station manager Takalani Nghomani says “I hired Zenzele Dlamini known as Heavy Z because he is passionate about the radio.” She says the decision was not taken by her alone but her team also picked up Dlamini’s passion for radio due to the fact that he took himself to broadcasting school and during interviews he demonstrated a lot of potential for growth on radio and he is willing to learn.
Dlamini’s sister, Sibongile, says “I was excited when my brother got his first job on a radio station because I knew that it’s what he wanted from his early age.” She says she has always supported her brother from the day he told her how much he would love to work for a radio station as radio disc jockey (DJ), and especially after she listened to his demo tape which showed just how talented he is.
She describes Dlamini as “a very free spirit, merciful, passionate, independent and he can comfort you, give you hope during tough times and always pictures the future as bright as ever”.
Back on air, Dlamini ends the show with these words: “Let us keep conversation rolling even when I’m not on the air, on Facebook. Peace and love to all!”