I joined Vision View Productions in July this year, and instantly fell in-love with its eccentric, opinionated and sometimes controversial bunch. I always said, “we deserve to be in a radio station – our lines will always be busy.”
That said, if I’m honest, the tip of the iceberg for me was getting to work for a black-owned company, that’s doing very well in a market that was untapped when they started; sports broadcasting. I suspect that my deep patriotism is a residual trauma from having been black in Cape Town, if you know what I mean. I yearn for successful black people, and when I get a cup of them, I don’t just sip, I gulp, then ululate, then dance. I celebrate, because I can take a pause from Koleka Putuma’s “another one who looks like me died today” line.
Today, I am chanting about the possibilities that have been ignited by this entity.
I am fortunate enough to be the company’s all-round writer. The written material of the company’s new sports radio endevour was obviously no exception, because Mafadi Mpuru, who is the co-founder and CEO alongside Eddie Seane, called us to the boardroom one day to say; “Uh, ladies, I called you here because we gonna need some written stuff for the radio station. So, yea, just be warned. It’s gonna get busy. We gonna need promos. Yea.” This is really how he speaks; very direct. Before he said this, he did outline the schedule to Content Manager, Sarona Sullaphen and what followed the ten minutes in that boardroom was the execution of the radio station.
I must say, Mafadi and Eddie spearheaded the new business branch in a sense that made it very clear to me (as a newbie in the company) that as entrepreneurs, they are as fearless as they were when they started twelve years ago, if not a little bit more. In the same breath, to start something that has never been done before is risky, nerve-wrecking, but exciting.
My back and forth e-mails with Mandla Maluleke, the Station Manager, were monotonous and sometimes, exciting. The guy was particular about what he wanted; not surprising at all, since he has grandiosely aced radio for ten years, and by default, knows what feels right and what doesn’t. I got his copywriting brief wrong so many times, and soon realized that radio grounds are not for the faint-hearted – the extent of imagination and creativity put in is insurmountable, hence it sounds so effortless on air.
Mandla said “…the reason Vision View Productions is launching a radio station is because we saw a gap in the radio industry, South Africa has no 24 hour sports radio station. Primarily, we feel like when it comes to sports news, our country is more reliant on TV than they are on radio.”
His curation of the sports legends who will be presenters include himself, retired goal keeper, Brian Baloyi, former international professional boxer Dida Dipheko, TV presenter, Christopher Bongo and SuperSport’s presenter Thato Moeng, to mention a few. He went for a combination of exceptional broadcasting geniuses, balanced with former athletes, because a presenting skill is as important as the authenticity of how the sports are represented. And, you cannot have a sports radio without sportsmen and sportswomen.
In my opinion, this is such a necessary project because I remember when Mandla gave samples and references to the audio guys to listen to – most of those were American and British, meaning, in a few years time, Vision View Sports Radio will be the reference for a 24 hour sports radio station. What I can say is that in the few months I have been with the company, I have been so impressed with its innovative vision, and the calibre of art that is produced by the young creatives who work there. The radio station simply continues the trend of this company’s culture of constantly pushing boundaries.
We have to back this dream; call it higher and slam any mediocrity, while demanding more. Ultimately, the bigger picture is that no one can barricade us from achieving any ‘unattainable’ dreams, and if you are hesitant because you fear failure, consider these words by Erin Hanson;
“What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
From 01 December 2017, Listen live.