Gutsy hip-hop fa­natic starts ra­dio sta­tion

Daily Dispatch - - News - ZISANDA NKONKOBE zisan­dan@dis­patch.co.za

Ngcobo-born hip-hop lover Liza Xobololo, who started his own ra­dio sta­tion with a loan, is de­ter­mined to make his dream flour­ish, de­spite the chal­lenges.

Xobololo said he first tried his hand at rap­ping, but quickly re­alised it was not where his tal­ents lay.

His next step was start­ing a ra­dio sta­tion for fel­low hip-hop lovers, and a plat­form for up-and­com­ing artists.

Af­ter six months of re­search, find­ing suit­able premises and sourc­ing equip­ment, on­line ra­dio sta­tion Kop­pol­laC was born.

The ra­dio sta­tion, based in Ra­bie Ridge in Jo­han­nes­burg, was of­fi­cially launched in July.

It of­fers a se­lec­tion of hip-hop mu­sic, 90% of which is South African, from 6am to 9pm daily.

Un­der­ground and unsigned artists are also given an op­por­tu­nity to shine.

The ra­dio sta­tion was funded en­tirely by Xobololo, who took out a loan to get it started.

It is cur­rently manned by 30 staff mem­bers, many of whom wear the hats of both pre­sen­ter and pro­ducer.

Xobololo said the name Kop­pol­laC came from Cape Town Xhosa street slang.

“Kop­pola is to con­nect, to make it through hard­ships in the town­ships,” he ex­plained.

“Af­ter con­duct­ing months of re­search into the sta­tion, I then went about find­ing equip­ment and look­ing for staff. I took out a loan to pay for ev­ery­thing.

“I have a lot of staff mem­bers but most of them are former jour­nal­ism stu­dents who are work­ing for me for free.

“Like me, they love hip-hop mu­sic and many of them are un­em­ployed and this ra­dio sta­tion gives them a plat­form to prac­tise their cho­sen craft.”

The former Wal­ter Sisulu Univer­sity strate­gic man­age­ment stu­dent said the lis­ten­er­ship was around 500 peo­ple.

“This is based on the feed­back I have re­ceived from a num­ber of peo­ple on so­cial me­dia who lis­ten to the dif­fer­ent shows and com­ment on them,” he said, adding that he was in the process of “work­ing with an IT guy to try find a way to get ex­act fig­ures”.

Though there are many chal­lenges, he will not give up.

“I don't pay my staff. I just can't af­ford it.

“We op­er­ate from the lo­ca­tion so we bat­tle with con­stant elec­tric­ity cuts and the in­ter­net of­ten goes off-line so we lose con­nec­tiv­ity. Some fund­ing would fix these prob­lems but I'm strug­gling to get peo­ple to feed into my dream,” Xobololo said.

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