Zimbini takes the airwaves by storm

Zimbini Mdolomba, a traditional radio host at the Sajonisi Youth Radio in Port St Johns believes loving what you do is the recipe to doing great thing.
Zimbini Mdolomba, a traditional radio host at the Sajonisi Youth Radio in Port St Johns believes loving what you do is the recipe to doing great thing.
Image: Supplied

Just over a year ago, 29-year-old Zimbini Mdolomba found herself thrust into the spotlight when Sajonisi Youth Radio station manager Simiso Shozi asked her to step in at the last moment to host a traditional – or “mbaqanga” – music show.

“I never thought of ‘mbaqanga’ as an important music genre and I never pictured myself hosting such a show,” said Mdolomba, who grew up in Qumbu, but is now based in Port St Johns where the station broadcasts from.

Mdolomba’s life is all about having a positive impact and and instilling a sense of heritage and culture in people who have similar views to her – so she grabbed the opportunity to do the show with both hands.

“My show, Ziyadidiyela, is all about culture and traditions and I am happy that I was thrown in the deep end as I am learning a lot,” she added.

“It is more about knowing one’s origin and it teaches listeners about heritage. My heritage is who I am, my identity, and that for me means that I am not intimidated by the changing environment in which we live,” said the proud Mpondomise. Mdolomba said some people had forgotten their heritage but with her listenership of more than 30,000 she was hoping to change that. “It is important to know where you come from,” she believes.

Many traditional music shows are hosted by men, but Mdolomba said she is not intimidated by that.

“I am a hard worker and I am dedicated to breaking stereotypes – such as [the belief] that traditional shows can only be hosted by men.

“Nothing should be reserved for a specific gender or race so I embedded that from the start.”

She finds hosting her Saturday show a breeze and does it effortlessly. “I love my job. I am shining the spotlight on the traditional genre and our traditions,” she said.

Shozi said he chose Mdolomba because one day he heard her speaking out her clan praises (ukuzibonga).

“It hit me that she could do the show and I don’t regret my decision. Just four months into her job Mdolomba entered the Satma awards. Unfortunately she did not win, but it is this determination that led me to my decision,” he said.

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