Online station reaches milestone

KNR founder Keith Ngesi now ‘heeding God’s call’


What appeared to be a normal sermon during a church service in 2014 turned out to be a lifetime assignment for Keith Ngesi, founder of Keith Ngesi Radio (KNR) who at the time, was the spokesman for Buffalo City Metro.
He says this was when God revealed the plans he had in store for him.
Ngesi was talking about the birth of his radio station at the third anniversary of KNR which took place at Chairman’s Bistro among more than 150 stakeholders and friends of the station on Friday evening.
The anniversary was also the surprise launch of Keith Ngesi Digital Television.
“God spoke to me at that sermon. He said he wanted something extraordinary and in a loud and clear voice, he asked if it was going to be me that he would use to make this out-of-the-ordinary thing and he said, ‘is it going to be you or must I go somewhere else?’ And without counting cents and rands, I knew I had to respond and make the right decision. That was my Thuma Mina moment,” said Ngesi.
The emerging businessman said he had so much to consider, but God’s voice was so loud in his head, he could not ignore it and that is what gave birth to the KNR, the first online radio station in the province and the second in the country.
“After 12 years of working at the SABC and eight at Buffalo City Municipality I began to understand it wasn’t just my experience and skills that God wanted, but he wanted my availability to pursue his mission and break boundaries in the digital space.
“In this space all that experience doesn’t really count for much because this is a different space and we are learning as we go,” he said.
The anniversary, which was broadcast live on the station, also paid tribute to autism with autistic teen Jabulani Nkosi performing on the piano.
Ngesi said the station comprised of 20 staff, most of whom were not on his payroll but provided content to the station on a voluntary basis, while others received a stipend.
“The station has also helped advance the career of some journalism students, with six having recently graduated, with three more due to graduate next month.”
Ngesi in reflecting on the first broadcast, which was when the station was only 19 days old in Mthatha, applauded East London businessman Luthando Bara for believing in him and his team at the time, as well as government, which is the station’s top client through the various departments.
Government advertising and activations make up 80% his turnover.
MEC for economic development Oscar Mabuyane said Ngesi had done the province proud.
“We appreciate your efforts to aspire, to inspire, before you expire, and for imparting your knowledge with the young graduates that you have produced through the station.
“It gives me great pleasure to be here to congratulate you in the three years you have been pushing your business. Others may have collapsed in this period but yours is propelling,” he said...

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