Putco Mafani to lead first black-owned commercial radio station in E Cape

Eastern Cape’s first black-owned commercial radio station, Rhythm FM, is set to go live in July.

Rhythm FM station manager Putco Mafani Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN

The station will be based in Beacon Bay, East London.

News about the station first made the rounds in 2014 when MSG chief executive Given Mkhari tweeted: “Thanks to our brothers @PutcoMafani and @DicksyNgqula we will collectively bring much needed diversity to the Eastern Cape.”

The tweet came after MSG Africa Group won a radio licence for the province, following a long bidding process that started in 2012.

Almost three years later, the new radio station is ready to take over the Eastern Cape airwaves.

Speaking to the Daily Dispatch yesterday, new station manager and breakfast show host, Putco Mafani confirmed they would be going live in July this year.

Mafani is also a shareholder in the new radio station that will be working closely with MSG Africa Group.

Mkhari said: “We are very excited to be going into this venture with Putco, as he is a seasoned broadcaster and with him at the helm of power at Rhythm FM, the station will grow exponentially”.

Mafani said for the past three years they have been working towards raising funds to get the station up-and-running.

“The cost of starting a new radio station is very high. We had to raise money for this project and at the same time we could not be vocal about it because I was working for another radio station,” he said.

Mafani was the host of the popular Umhlobo Wenene FM breakfast show, iBreakfast Eyondlayo Ekuseni (BEE) which had a listenership of more than two million.

“This has been the most exciting but difficult time for me to leave Umhlobo Wenene FM, a station that I for the past nine years called home and achieved a lot with, including being inducted into the SA Radio Hall of Fame and winning multiple best breakfast show presenter awards,” said Mafani.

He said the station which will be broadcasting 60% in English and 40% Xhosa would be the first of its kind for the province.

lTo be a part of the new station, promising talent can send demos and applications to putco@putcomafani.com. — poliswap@dispatch.co.za


  1. Iyoooo bhutiza liduma elophayo elo kuMhlobo Wenene Fm but on the other hand we are very happy to see u growing to be what was ment of u to be showing us what u’ve learned & capable off all these years ur there. This is the huge step for u bhutiza & be sure as an East London-based citizen we will support that radio station fully.

  2. My bro well done ubom ngumzamo akukho nkwal iphandelenye sekunzima nakwenethole kulemihla ukwenjenjalo forward ever backward never

  3. Eista Bhutiza, I cant wait for the day the station is up and running, please update us as to when station will operational for the first time, and how is the station is going to inform listeners about that first day.

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