Radio changed my life, says JB
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?”
“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