A new experience for me


Yesterday I had a novel experience, well for me at any rate. I spent time in a radio studio, watching and listening to a live broadcast.

Some time ago, a friend of mine was a guest on this community radio station. They were so impressed by her that they offered her a slot of her own, for her ‘own show’. This was unexpected, but when I thought about it, not really a surprise.

She’s a woman of intellect and charm, a very effective communicator in so many ways. She’s the wife of an influential businessman, yet has made her own identity in the academic, education and political arenas, no mean feat in the face of his career demands and their family demands. She’s raised 3 daughters who have kept her pretty busy, and who are such a credit to her. Their home is always one of interesting conversations, much going on, and always a warm welcome for an old friend, and for newcomers.

Between ensuring my early morning sneezes had really gone (sneezing is not a good idea in a live broadcast, mine may make someone fall off their chair and damage the studio) and a blissfully silly idea that traffic in that direction would be like traffic from home to Randburg, I arrived a bit late for pre-show coffee. There she was in full swing, getting to know the guests better, find friendly aspects to mention, and discussing what the show conversation would be about.

Then off to the studio. To be met by a very friendly young dog, who seems to believe that the whole world is his friend, and into a cheerful room. Double glazing looking out on Jan Smuts avenue, yet silent! Huge padding blocks on the walls to prevent echoes, covered in a cheerful yellow.

A seat at the back for me. The young DJ, ready and interested. My friend in the middle and the two guests on either side of her. First notices of events happening in Jozi, a range of so many to go to, that’s the joy of community radio, they tell you about the stuff that doesn’t have huge advertising budgets. And as I watched and listened to her reading out the list with lots of details I realised I’d be back-tracking on several, she’s a real pro. (I stand in front of largish groups of people quite often to speak, so I’m talking from a position of experience here)

With brilliant timing, as she was introducing the guests, the third one arrived; AS she started to introduce his name into the show. This was going well; apparent hiccoughs making the show interesting, but no real problem. I suspect the tension of wondering if/when he would arrive added some adrenalin to the morning for her.

Then I was fascinated. The person I know as a charming hostess at home, is such a delight to her on-air guests. She gives them the leads, and they come out with the stuff. (Maybe these were easier than the average guest but I doubt it.)

Under the charm is great technique. Repeating telephone numbers and web/e-mail addresses, prompting when someone goes wandering off, keeping the show moving along, yet letting the guests’ personalities come through. An impressive experience, someone who makes all that look effortless is really good.

After this we are going on some of the tours that were discussed. A SHOPPING tour in the fashion district downtown (where the youngsters keep up with international trends as they emerge), a foodie trip to Fordsberg night market.

Sadly, like most things, it had to come to an end. Then off back to work for me.

What I remembered last night, lying in bed letting my mind float freely over the day was yet another impression of my accomplished friend doing something else so well, and letting me in to share the experience as she has so often over the many years of friendship. I am so lucky she is my friend.

To hear her show, listen in on Tuesdays at 9am on Joburg’s Radio Today 1485 AM. But only listen if you want to hear real things about our city, wonderful and interesting stuff. Not pretending any of the bad is not there, but allowing us a balanced view of our home city, vibrant, interesting and so alive if you are prepared to move outside your high walls and be a real person.

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