New rhythm FOR PUTCO
Radio veteran opens up about his shocking exit from Umhlobo Wenene
IT CAME as the biggest surprise in the station’s programme line-up reshuffle. Listeners of the popular Breakfast Eyondlayo Ekseni (BEE) breakfast show certainly didn’t see this one coming. In a shocking move, popular radio DJ Mphuthumi “Putco” Mafani recently left the country’s second biggest radio station to head up the newly-formed commercial radio station, Rhythm FM.
NEW KID ON THE RADIO BLOCK
Prior to his departure, there had been wide speculation on social media about Putco allegedly teaming up with media mogul Given Mkhari, who is the CEO of MSG Afrika Group.
Speaking on the breakfast show, Umhlobo Wenene station manager Phumzile Mnci confirmed Putco’s exit.
“It is indeed true that Putco will no longer be part of the breakfast team. I received his letter of resignation and we will be announcing new changes soon,” says Phumzile, adding that the current team comprising of Pastor Nozewu, Mluleki “Coach” Ntsabo and Mafa Bavuma will continue as hosts until a new line-up is announced.
LEAVING A LEGACY
Putco says he is excited and sad at the same time. “I am sad that I give my back to a warm family of management, fellow staff and colleagues at Umhlobo, where I was always at home. And equally so, I am proud of the achievements I have enjoyed there,” he says.
Putco says he is leaving the station a happy man after delivering on the mandate given to him in 2010 to take the breakfast show listenership from 700 000 to more than three million listeners. “Legends are called legends when they leave a legacy, and that’s what I have done,” he says.
TEAMING UP WITH AN ‘OLD FRIEND’
He says he is looking forward to building his own legacy as the co-owner of the first commercial radio station in the Eastern Cape, being a station manager and a breakfast show host.
“This is unprecedented in our lovely province. Rhythm FM will broadcast from East London and reach listeners throughout the entire province. We are making history,” he says.
The new station is set to go on air by 1 July. Putco says their partners, MSG Afrika Group, have two radio stations already – Power FM in Gauteng and Capricorn FM in Limpopo. Putco is excited to be teaming up with his old friend, Bob Mabena, who has been appointed MSG’s group head of programming, and will work closely with him at Rhythm FM.
“He is a fellow South African Radio Hall of Fame inductee just like me. That tells you we are going for quality, fine broadcasting with a station sound like you’ve never heard in the province before. Together we will ensure good and pleasant programming, ” he says.
REMEMBERING HIS TEAM
Putco says he will miss working with the BEE team.
“I was lucky to team up with three young brilliant guys. The magic behind the personalities and the compatibility we shared did not come overnight but once they gripped my style, we began flying,” he says.