Our UNCUT moment with Best South African DJ winner at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, Anele Mdoda!

“… Everything is a sum of choices. Fate favours the prepared. Fortune favours the brave. The brave know who they are and what they stand for”

Anele Mdoda is one of South Africa’s most loved radio personalities. Her razor-sharp wit and exuberant personality has garnered her millions of fans, both on and off the airwaves.
Anele came onto the South African radio scene when it was still very much a man’s world. She soon caused a stir among audiences with her skills. She hosts one of Jo’burg’s most popular afternoon shows and is never short of things to say.

She was born in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape where she spent the first six years of her life, spent two years in Polokwane and then moved to Pretoria. Anele inherited her crazy sense of humour from her parents, whom she says were “awesome and funny people”.

“My parents were the most influential people in my life. They always filled the house with light and love.”

Her love for broadcasting developed from an early age. “I wanted to be a broadcaster from a young age, mainly because I spoke a lot!”

Her radio career took off as a DJ at the University of Pretoria in 2003, where she was studying politics and international relations. At the time she met and befriended previous co-host, Grant Nash.

In 2007 the radio twosome was hired by Highveld FM where they hosted a successful weekday evening show for a year. They were then recruited by national broadcaster 5FM, where they occupied the 12pm to 3pm slot.

Earlier this year the pair parted with 5FM and Anele returned to Highveld.
Anele oozes self-confidence. She believes the best person one could ever be is themselves, and that people must take full accountability for their own lives.

“Everything you’re doing should be a series of choices, leading to the next choice. You can’t just fall into things. Everything is a sum of choices. Fate favours the prepared. Fortune favours the brave. The brave know who they are and what they stand for.”
Anele has also enjoyed a stint on the small screen. She was one of the celebrity contestants on the fifth season of the SABC 2 reality dance competition, Strictly Come Dancing.

She also co-hosted, with Rob van Vuuren, the SABC2 reality competition SA’s Got Talent. She is madly in love with her job. “It is an extension of who I am,” she notes. Her listeners are her top priority. “They are people that I would hang out with. They are basically friends that I have never met.”

Anele Mdoda sees radio as a personal medium within which relationships are built. “There is no secret to radio; it’s really about being relatable and being yourself.” Her advice is to “at all times be you. Be as interested as you are interesting”. Despite people sometimes poking fun of her because of the gap in her teeth or her weight, Anele is not shaken by critics. Thick skin is important in broadcasting. “The ability to be at peace with the fact that not everyone is going to like you certainly ranks high in the survival guide,” she observes.

The radio industry in South Africa is small and highly competitive. It is a tough territory which requires one to be focused, hardworking and diligent. “Radio has to be the least glamorous job in the world. Do not be fooled; there is no glitz and there is no glam.”

Asked what her advice is for those wanting to venture into radio, Anele says: “You must be willing to start at the bottom and put in the time. Secondly, you must not do it for the fame and finally, you have to be yourself.” Anele has also penned a book called It Feels Wrong to Laugh, But…, in which she discusses everything from radio to hair weaves and owning your size. The book is part of a series of entertaining pocket books called The Youngsters, which features prominent young South African voices.

Catch Mdoda on The Afternoon Drive on 94.7 Highveld FM weekdays between 4pm and 7pm.

Fast facts:

Born: 19 May 1984
Station: 94.7 Highveld FM
Host: The Afternoon Drive, weekdays 4pm to 7pm
Twitter handle: @Anele
Favourite quote: “I am not here for a long time, but a great time”