Ra­dio changed my life, says JB

The Manica Post - - The Weekender - Mor­ris Mtisi Post Cor­re­spon­dent

IF YOU do not lis­ten prop­erly when he is read­ing news you think Su­per Mandi­wanzira has come back on ra­dio or Joseph Madimba has come back to il­lus­trate how it must be done on news bul­letin.

If you lis­ten to his mu­sic se­lec­tion you have no doubt he is not only ma­ture, but has an ear for mel­liflu­ence, a soul and heart for beau­ti­ful mu­sic. You can­not sep­a­rate him from his mu­sic which he likes deeply mean­ing­ful which­ever side of emo­tion.

That’s JB for you. If ev­ery pic­ture tells a story as Rod Stew­ard said, what is JB’s story? He looks calm, cal­cu­la­tive and deeply thought­ful. He will ex­cuse me if I am wrong, but the pic­ture speaks ex­actly that.

Born and brought up in Sakubva-Mutare, JB proudly iden­ti­fies with the ghetto. He is a proud prod­uct of Sakubva where he went to school at Dan­gare Pri­mary School as a young boy. Later on young JB joined Sakubva High School. “Did you ever dream of be­com­ing a ra­dio pre­sen­ter?” I asked.

“Not at all! Yes MM. . .I loved ra­dio, but my par­ents were wor­ried that ra­dio and I were in­sep­a­ra­ble. I would read my books and lis­ten to my mu­sic at the same time. And that got them ter­ri­bly wor­ried,” said the Di­a­mond FM’s funki­est Dj and pre­sen­ter.

“You wake up ev­ery morn­ing go­ing to work at Di­a­mond FM. What is on your mind and what do you want your lis­ten­ers to en­joy or learn? Is ra­dio only about mu­sic and end-of-the-rain­bow joy. . .you know the show­biz bravado and brouhaha. . .bois­ter­ous mer­ri­ment kind of thing? Is that all JB a man or woman can do on ra­dio?”

An­swer’s the Smoothener of Jagged Edges: “Ra­dio must make lis­ten­ers happy MM. And mu­sic read­ily does that. But that’s not all. Mu­sic gath­ers lis­ten­ers to­gether, but when they are tuned in and are with you on air, give them a mes­sage. Get­ting peo­ple think­ing and gain­ing some­thing about life, must be the pur­pose of ra­dio. You know MM, give lis­ten­ers a mes­sage that changes a life. . . some­thing that will stick on their mind for life. Ra­dio changed my life MM, I must tell you. And I want to do just that to my lis­ten­ers. Even if it means just mak­ing them smile a bit and for one mo­ment for­get about the drudgery and pain of life.”

“Is it pos­si­ble to abuse ra­dio like we hear in pol­i­tics. . . where many are ac­cused of abuse of po­lit­i­cal of­fice and author­ity?”

“Of course yes. . . very pos­si­ble. MM you know ra­dio is in­ti­mate. You ap­pear in the pres­ence of lis­ten­ers... many of them. You speak to as­pi­ra­tions and fan­tasies of lis­ten­ers. But do not abuse the in­ti­macy ra­dio pro­vides for per­sonal ag­gran­dis­e­ment. . . for per­sonal glory. Never ever! For ex­am­ple you can­not ask to be paid for some­thing you must do freely. . . like play­ing a com­poser’s new song on ra­dio.”

“Is ra­dio real JB? Is this a job or mere act­ing what we are not?”

“Good ques­tion MM. . . but very dif­fi­cult! It’s a bit of both re­ally. We speak to as­pi­ra­tions and fan­tasies of lis­ten­ers on ra­dio... I’ve al­ready said so. The mo­ment one be­gins speak­ing on air, he or she is in a sort of movie-house, and you want to be­lieve it. It’s drama. . .real drama in that con­text. But as a think­ing pre­sen­ter, of­ten-times you also want to de­liver some­thing real. . .some­thing tan­gi­ble. Some­thing a lis­tener can learn and end up know­ing and ben­e­fit­ing from!”

“Ra­dio be­ing a school sorts kind of thing?”

“Ab­so­lutely!”

“Fi­nally JB, your wishes and as­pi­ra­tions on ra­dio.”

“Of course meet­ing more and more mu­si­cal celebri­ties and peo­ple of in­flu­ence like politi­cians! I have been priv­i­leged to in­ter­view His Ex­cel­lency Com­rade Em­mer­son Mu­nan­gagwa for ex­am­ple. . . even be­fore he was the pres­i­dent of Zim­babwe. I have in­ter­viewed both the for­mer first lady, Dr Grace Mu­gabe and the cur­rent one, Mrs Aux­il­lia Mu­nan­gagwa. I learn a lot in these priv­i­leged in­ter­ac­tions. MM, my best maxim in life is ‘In learn­ing we teach, and in teach­ing we also learn.”

“My last shot at you Jabu! Why do ra­dio pre­sen­ters call them­selves celebri­ties... and not heroes or hero­ines? What is the psy­che in this word and la­bel ‘celebrity’

JB? Politi­cians don’t be­come celebri­ties. They are al­ways heroes and hero­ines if they rise to the oc­ca­sion. Why do ra­dio and tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ters want to call them­selves celebri­ties? Cel­e­brat­ing what JB when we are suf­fer­ing with the rest? Your last shot and let’s wrap up the pro­gramme!”

“Ra­dio makes ev­ery pre­sen­ter al­most an artist. . .the ex­cite­ment and bravado al­most point­ing to a celebrity. That’s the feel­ing.

“And that hap­pens a lot. But as you seem to im­ply MM in your ques­tion, I agree with you. Don’t let the celebrity la­bel get into your head: it’s not real,” con­cluded the Di­a­mondFM cardinal ra­dio pre­sen­ter and news reader.

Jab­u­lani Mangezi is also Di­a­mondFM Ra­dio li­ai­son of­fi­cer. He helps with pro­gram­ming and as­sists with ev­ery­day hu­man re­sources man­age­ment is­sues on and at the sta­tion.

Un­til next week when I bring you an­other per­son­al­ity to know bet­ter, En­joy ra­dio!

Jab­u­lani ‘ JB’ Mangezi

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