EC sweeps national radio awards

Three Eastern Cape radio stations came tops at this year’s MTN Radio Awards.

The awards, in their sixth year, were held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday night.

The country’s biggest IsiXhosa radio station, Eastern Cape-based uMhlobo Wenene FM, won five awards, the province’s commercial station Algoa FM won four awards and community station Link FM won one award.

UMhlobo Wenene FM’s Putco Mafani, who presents the popular Breakfast Eyondlayo Ekuseni (BEE), was awarded the best breakfast show presenter in the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) category.

This is the second time Mafani has won the award. Last year he was inducted into the MTN Radio Awards Hall of Fame.

The late Saba Mbixane was honoured this year when he was posthumously inducted.

Mafani said it was an honour for him to win the award again this year.

“This shows that someone is recognising the effort that I put into my contribution in radio,” he said.

Mafani said his achievement would not have been possible without his team. “I dedicate this award to my team. This wouldn’t be possible without the unity we have and the way we approach things,” he said.

BEE is made up of Pastor Nozewu, Mafa Bavuma and Mluleki ‘Coach’ Ntsabo. Mafani said he did not understand why they only awarded him the award and not the entire show.

“This came as a surprise for me. They gave me best breakfast show presenter and another station won the best breakfast show award. If I am the best then shouldn’t my show be the best as well? But we are still delighted we got one of the awards,” he said.

Other awards the station won included best daytime show for Sijikilanga and best sports commentator went to Zolani Bongco. The station’s Busisiwe Titi was inducted into The Young Brightest Stars hall of fame.

Algoa FM won awards for best programming innovation, best promotion/stunt/event and best multi-channel award for its Heritage Day/Virtual Flag Campaign.

Daron Mann became the second presenter to win the best breakfast show presenter award in the commercial stations category for the second time, having scooped his first award two years ago.

The station’s operations director, Alfie Jay, said it was a proud moment for Algoa FM.

“Our creative team has been coming up with great solutions for our clients on a daily basis for many years and these awards speak volumes for our capability on a national platform.”

Jay said Mann’s win was also an outstanding achievement.

Link FM’s Gary Gerber won the best afternoon drive presenter in the community stations category. —