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!

True Love - - Contents - By SISONKE LABASE

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.”

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