ON AIR

CUT From a Different Cloth

THE CUT OF BREAKFAST appeals to young people across the socio-economic spectrum. It is by any yardstick the best breakfast show in the province. It respects the art and science of radio – from the choice of a host and the playlist to social conscience and community needs, writes ART STATE editor Ace Moloi.

It is often said that the most important meal of the day is breakfast – good and healthy breakfast. Unlike my person, I wouldn’t really say I’m a person of breakfast. I can skip it as many times as a kid skips rope. But what I don’t miss though is, yes, breakfast radio.

I’m addicted to PLANET HAAIIBO on Radio 2000, hosted by the witty, spontaneous and experienced Justice “The Ice Man” Ramohlola. I’m very stubborn to be convinced to listen to any other show – unless you’re a certain Nkox the Leader and you host THE CUT OF BREAKFAST weekdays from 7 to 10 am on CUT FM. For you to register this feat, you must be really good in the radio kitchen.

This means your craft must be in agreement with what Dr Robert Hilliard writes in Radio Broadcasting: An Introduction to the Sound Medium, saying a talented presenter must be “… versatile, adaptable, quick-thinking, and (I like this one, so I’m enlarging it) INDEFATIGABLE, possessing variety [and] honest vitality….”

Nkox is indeed one such prototype of Dr Hilliard’s definition in more ways than one: organic, relatable, highly charged and engaging.

What I want to highlight as Nkox’s individual indefatigability is what I will later seek to advance as a weakness of the show. Later.

Dedicating this month of July as a period to review The CoB reminded me of the need for consistency in the art of radio – consistency which the object of my focus seems to achieve without much of a dialectical acrimony with, for example, creativity. I found Nkox to be quite remarkable in his ability to start the show and steer it towards its destination without dwindling energy levels.

I’m a cringist of note. I find myself always holding my breath and sympathising with someone whose performance I interpret as an embarrassment. So the fact that I could stay up with Nkox from salutation to valediction decidedly means he has assured me that there’s no need to hoist my shoulders in anxiousness when he’s riding the 105.8 airwaves.

I’m a moody listener myself. A problematist.

One of my major areas of problematisation is when a presenter conducts an interview. This is because although you can look yourself in the mirror to rehearse your links, live interviews are a beast of their own manner. It’s what I had sort of trapped Nkox on: his interviewing skills. For some reason, on most of the days I listened to him he didn’t do interviews – which (if not exempted by poor timing on my side) is something the station definitely has to fix.

Anyway, I was actually massaged by his interview with the forum that claims to represent commuters who are painfully affected by the hikes in bus fares between Botshabelo/Thaba-Nchu/Bloemfontein. In the past I had heard him interview entertainers, which is not the most difficult thing to do on earth, as it does not ‘weigh like a nightmare on the brains’ of the presenter. But this specific interview was about engaging issues affecting the working class masses of our people in the ruthless hands of capital, eh wena leadership – and engage them this one of cde Nkox did.

Others followed, i.e. the painful story of an identity theft victim, which he led quite well. I later mushroomed as a political analyst of sorts on the show, but my self-love battery is too low to comment on my own interview, except to say once more that I was led.

Thing is, most of my peers have fallen prey to the shallow practice of “ho qhaza” as a broadcasting style. Sure, a presenter needs flair on air; it’s only fair. But substance is of a higher premium.

It takes religious reading, engaged conversation and personal improvement for a presenter to sharpen their tongue on both sides, so that we may speak of it as a two-edged sword of sorts that educates as it entertains and informs as it performs. It’s never just about the next gig or Twitter controversy.

If it’s all about that, then it’s not about radio at all.

No doubt, Nkox is a smart young man with an alert social eye. He gives us a cut of breakfast because he has breakfast. He finds different ways to stimulate conversation. He picks our brains on interesting topics and runs good polls. He has the listenership of the city under the leadership of his voice.

Whenever he opens the lines, listeners react in fair numbers. His show earns impressive social media interactions and often times needs help with reading out dedications, or ‘daps’, on air.

Unsurprisingly, his bosses have faith in him and he doesn’t disappoint when trusted with special broadcasts such as the recent Mandela Day OB. As one person puts it on Twitter, he is “a true leader of the Bloem radio industry.”

Earlier on I promised to juxtapose Nkox’s high energy levels with what I called a “weakness” of his show. I believe we’ve dwelled reasonably long on the former. So let me expound on the latter part of the shortcoming and see if it really is a limitation.

My observation is that when Maki Molapo left the show she left Nkox to talk to himself. The two were great chefs together. The studio was their kitchen and they prepared us breakfast with a synergy that is not easy to strike.

Waking up to a conversation between these two refreshing personalities was something exceptional in the Free State radio community. So when life redeployed Maki elsewhere, there was a void on the show, which weeps to this day. Of course it does not scream so as to mock Nkox’s talent, but precisely to say, “Monna, you’re too smart to be left alone.”

Nkox needs an epistemic peer. A learned interlocutor. A Maki Molapo of sorts. Someone must toast the bread while he beats the eggs. I want him at his best, with someone who takes the best out of him.

It is not good for a man to be alone. So, CUT FM, fumanelang Nkox mosadi. Nyadisang ngwana batho, hleng batho ba baholo.

THE CUT OF BREAKFAST appeals to young people across the socio-economic spectrum. It is by any logical measure the best breakfast show in the province. It respects the art and science of radio – from the choice of a host and the playlist to social conscience and community needs.

If I were a media strategist for any company in Bloemfontein, or interested in capturing the city from Saxonwold, this show would be the largest consumer of my public engagement budget.

Try it and see if you won’t find yourself addicted.

Ace Moloi is the Editor of ART STATE. He is @Ace_Moloi on Twitter

5 comments
  1. Chapi

    Too say anything more it will be to insult or mess such a great article. Ntate Moloi ke sa rola katiba ke bontsha hlompho

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