Lunga is liv­ing the dream

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - NEWS - ROBIN ADAMS

HE’S made a name for him­self on the Cape Town ra­dio scene. Now Heart FM DJ Lunga Singama, 33, can add hav­ing the big­gest au­di­ence in the sta­tion’s weekend line-up to his ac­co­lades.

Singama hosts the Fri­day night party slot be­tween 10pm and 1am and he’s back be­hind the mic on Satur­days from 2-6pm.

But it’s his Sun­day lunch time show that has gained him pop­u­lar­ity among his grow­ing fan base, as well as his bosses.

Singama’s My Cape Town slot, which airs for an hour from 12pm, is al­ready prov­ing quite the hit ac­cord­ing to lis­ten­er­ship num­bers. Of­fi­cial fig­ures show 326 000 peo­ple tune in to the seg­ment on a weekly ba­sis.

“The #MyCapeTown space at 12 is my favourite be­cause it al­lows us to tell the sto­ries of Capeto­ni­ans through their favourite mu­sic. #MyCapeTown has be­come a space where ev­ery­one who has a great in­spir­ing story, stops by to tell that story,” a proud Singama said.

The slot has fea­tured some big names in re­cent times.

Belinda Davids, who is steal­ing the hearts of Capeto­ni­ans with her Whit­ney Hous­ton Show at the Artscape the­atre, has had her turn in the My Cape Town seg­ment, as have pop­u­lar per­son­al­i­ties like Marc Lot­ter­ing, Vicky Samp­son, Al­lis­ter Izo­bel, Chad Saaiman, Sammy Web­ber and Kag­iso Maboe.

For Singama, be­ing on the air­waves is the cul­mi­na­tion of a teenage dream. In 1999, he left his home in the Eastern Cape town of Tsolo and moved to Cape Town in pur­suit of a ra­dio ca­reer. He then com­pleted an hon­ours de­gree in English lit­er­a­ture and lin­guis­tics at the Univer­sity of the Western Cape (UWC), be­fore land­ing his first ra­dio gig in 2008 at Fine Mu­sic Ra­dio.

“The Cape Town ra­dio land­scape was very ex­cit­ing for me, from Good Hope FM, Bush Ra­dio, KFM to the then-P4. I tried nu­mer­ous times while at var­sity to get into all the com­mer­cial stations but was con­sis­tently re­jected be­cause I wasn’t ready for the big league. My luck changed when I met Suga and Bongani Njoli at Good Hope FM, who both ad­vised me to try my luck at com­mu­nity sta­tion level to hone my craft. And that’s how I ended up at Fine Mu­sic Ra­dio.

“I used to take the last train from Bel­lville to Cape Town on Fri­day so that I could be able to do my show 2-4am on a Satur­day morn­ing. Then af­ter my show was done I would go back to the train sta­tion and hang out with the se­cu­rity staff un­til the first train back to Var­sity. Tough, but a very char­ac­ter build­ing time.”

Fast for­ward to nine years later and Singama has ful­filled his life’s dream. He is the as­sis­tant mu­sic com­piler at Heart FM and has had a big hand in the sta­tion’s suc­cess by way of his mu­sic se­lec­tion. Heart FM is the big­gest ra­dio sta­tion in Cape Town, fol­lowed by KFM.

He’s es­pe­cially proud of his Sun­day ra­dio show.

“It is what a quin­tes­sen­tial Sun­day morn­ing is about. While moms are cook­ing Sun­day lunch and dads are heat­ing up the braai, I play the per­fect sound­track for a Cape Town Sun­day. The show is based on Cape Town nos­tal­gia, from the mu­sic of ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, all the ev­er­green clas­sics that Cape Town loves.”

Singama puts the suc­cess of his show down to prepa­ra­tion. “It’s key for a ra­dio show. First I have to know all the songs I’m play­ing on the show that day inside out. I pre­pare lit­tle anec­dotes on artists, etc. Then I do re­search on my guest for that day, find out ev­ery pos­si­ble thing about them. My in­ter­view style is very con­ver­sa­tional, so it’s very im­por­tant to pre­pare, so that the good stuff can hap­pen dur­ing the in­ter­view.”

When he’s not rul­ing the air­waves, Singama en­joys trav­el­ling, is a big bas­ket­ball fan and has a weak­ness for sports shoes. “I’m very much into sneak­ers. I’ve spent so much money on col­lect­ing sneak­ers. There’s noth­ing bet­ter than that fresh new kicks smell, just glo­ri­ous.”

He also pos­sesses a deep love for his adopted city.

“The peo­ple of this place are win­ners, there are so many rich sto­ries from Gugs to Hei­de­veld all the way down to Muizen­berg. And I love telling th­ese sto­ries on the ra­dio.”

PIC­TURE: SUP­PLIED

Heart FM ra­dio pre­sen­ter Lunga Singama in stu­dio.

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