Local celeb - Ayanda MVP
Phindile Ayanda Mduli, better known to the masses as AYANDA MVP, 27, is a bubbly ball of energy. The radio DJ is unapologetic about speaking her mind and owning the airwaves. And guess what? We’re listening!
From the energy I feel coming from Ayanda’s voice as I listen to her show while en route to our interview at 947 HQ, you’d swear that there’s a party going on in the studio. Instead when I arrive, Ayanda is all alone in studio, focusing on the innumerable buttons in front of her. She is truly a one (wo)man show. She executes everything effortlessly – reading the traffic, tending to the SMS line, linking to ads and, of course, having the most engaging conversation on the microphone. Our interview is one of the most candid conversations I’ve had to date – no frills, no PR spin.
AN MVP IS BORN
Post matric (she studied at Johannesburg’s National School of Arts) Ayanda took a gap year to figure out what she wanted to do with her life. All she knew was that music was her passion. In 2011, she enrolled at the University of Pretoria. She immediately joined the varsity’s Tuks FM after seeing an ad on the noticeboards. “I was first known as Phindi Mdluli. I did the breakfast drive before joining YFM almost three years later,” she recalls.
“I got called to join YFM. Well, it wasn’t a call but an inbox on Facebook from the then-programme manager in July 2013. Ayanda MVP was born when I moved to YFM.” Having heeded the call to the mic, Ayanda dropped out of her psychology and criminology degree to join the popular Gauteng station. She was no newbie to the limelight, having presented TV shows such as Vibez when she was younger.
Her fight to the top was overshadowed by the big names at the station at the time, including the likes of Bonang Matheba, The Twins and Thando Thabethe. “So I had to be trendy; to find a way to define and set myself apart, which is why I decided to dye my beautiful natural hair red. But now I can afford inches (weaves)! People still ask me where my red afro is!”
ON THE BRAND
Now, Ayanda has a prime-time slot on 947. Her lunchtime show is not the traditional three hours, but a whopping five hours. Solo. That is impressive! “I started here in May 2016. I was on Saturdays only, and then in July 2017 I did weekdays. My show was extended from 10am till 3pm this January,” says Ayanda.
She’s made a mark and is her authentic self, which is why brands like Delush Wines have chosen to collaborate with her. “I choose my collaborations based on whether they agree with me. If it doesn’t gel with my mind and spirit then I wouldn’t do it. What I love about my collab with Delush is that wine, for us as women, is a symbolic drink. If I come when you’re going through something, I’ll bring a bottle; if we’re celebrating, I’ll still bring a bottle.” The 27-year-old is one of three tastemakers who were selected to embody each product within the Delush range, and there’s no guessing which one she is – red, of course! The Delush TasteMaker Competition
It’s amazing to see more women taking over and shaking things up.The industry is cut-throat.
in July will be looking for someone to join the Delush influencer team in 2019.
After years of practice, the personality still finds the media industry challenging. “You constantly have to watch what you say and do, especially at events. But it’s amazing to see more women taking over and shaking things up. The industry is cutthroat. You must always be on your toes. Drake even said it on Look Alive,” she says, as she starts rapping the song.
PLAYING THE GAME
Ayanda wants to empower other women who want to join the entertainment industry. She does this through intimate sessions she hosts monthly. “I’ve been hosting these sessions at least once a month and it’s great now that Delush has come on board. The sessions include myself and other women who are doing great things in their spaces. We come to teach, share and inspire women who want to be DJs or presenters. I want to unleash the next Ms Cosmo, the next DJ Zinhle,” Ayanda adds.
When she’s not on air, Ayanda MVP is also a club hip-hop DJ. You need an unending supply of energy to be able to play three different sets at different clubs in the evening (she drinks lightly because of her show). She also emcees activations with brands on some mornings, and then runs to the station to prep for a marathon five-hour show. When time allows, she also fits in exercise and chill-out time. “I’ve become a 24/7 woman because once the wave was presented to me, I had to ride it. People need to know who I am. I need to make the most of it.”
MATTERS OF THE HEART
Ayanda is still in the dating game, having suffered a few knocks. “I’ve learnt to keep my circles small because I learnt the hard way that not everyone’s for you. Yho! Being a woman in this industry is rough with the dating thing, hey. I’m just seeing people, going on dates, and having fun.”
It wouldn’t be a chat with the lovely Ayanda MVP without a molifeng line (Tswana slang for ‘in life’), now would it? It’s a phrase that’s followed her throughout her career. I ask her what keeps her going? “Life! I like molifeng – you must do you as much as you possibly can. This is your life, molifeng, no one else’s and no matter what happens.”