The Houseparty has been trending of now late and it is all thanks to radio jockeys Naledi and Lefa. Puseletso Ramontsha spoke to the TUKS FM duo and this is what they had to say:
1) Tell us a little bit more about yourselves, outside of your careers. Give us a brief background into your lives, where you were born and raised and the values instilled into you by your guardians to make you the type of people you are. What are your interests (music, fashion, literature, etc.) and what are you both currently studying at the University of Pretoria?
Lefa: I was Born & and raised in Pretoria. Raised by a single mother along with 3 sisters. I was always taught to always remember where I come from so that I can know where I am going, and that as long as I'm still in the 'ring' then I still have a fighting chance. Honestly my interests are anything I can get paid from / anything that puts me a step ahead, right now that thing is radio. I'm currently studying Information & Knowledge management at the University of Pretoria.
Naledi: I was born and bred in Pretoria. I went to primary school in Pretoria and attended high school in the North West. I grew up in a household that believes that hard work and education is the key to everything. My mother taught me to focus on the prize, always and that is why I push so that I excel in everything that I do. I love music and fashion so much, if I had money, I would establish my own record label and travel the world buying clothing. I currently study Investment Management at the University of Pretoria because I love money and working with money so bad. LOL.
2) Has being on radio a dream you have always had or did something recent (like an event or inspiration by a certain radio personality) given birth to this interest in this industry?
Lefa: Being on radio was never really the plan, family and friends just kept telling me about my voice and how it should be behind a mic. The rest is hsitory.
Naledi: Radio was my dream since I was in high school. I remember I wanted to be an actress (lol), then a presenter until I realised that I’d be happier in radio. The other motivation was that I was in contact with a radio DJ who is already established in the industry and he was willing to help me. Unfortunately, he couldn’t. So that forced me to make things happen for myself. I didn’t know where I’d start though, but that didn’t stop the girl.
3) How has it been so far? Especially considering that you are both students concurrently. How is juggling your studies together with working on radio going?
Lefa: Honestly juggling school with any career is not easy. It gets tough, your body will tap out but you need to remember why you started, and that will carry you. People think it's all glitz and glam, but it is hard. You are only as good as your last link.
Naledi: Radio has been amazing. So lovely. I have learned so much and I have also met incredible people who also taught me a lot. Juggling school and radio hasn’t really been a problem for me because my timetable is so flexible, thank goodness. And also, I try to manage my time properly so that I have time to study and prepare for my shows. It gets tricky sometimes, but I manage.
4) Judging from your experience now in the industry, would you like to carry on working in media in the future? And if so, would it be radio that you continue in or what other career in media would you like to pursue?
Lefa: Yes definitely. I would like to carry on in the media industry, but not be dependent on it for survival. I look up to guys like Sizwe Dlomo who were able to push their business ventures and still do something in the entertainment industry. Once you rely on the media's paycheck that’s when you will let the flashing lights make you lose focus and change you.
Naledi: Well, I would love to carry on with media, radio to be specific, in future. I love how comfortable radio is. I could be crying in studio or be messy as hell and people wouldn’t even know as long as I hold it on the mic.
5) Tell us about your show HouseParty. What is it about, what inspired its development and why are you both passionate about it?
Lefa: Houseparty is a show that Nay & I do on TuksFM 107.2, its a feel good show that gives you an escape from all your problems and gets you started for the weekend. We are there to keep you company before you hit up the party. Houseparty is a result of pure HARDWORK, to me it’s like a son that I am watching grow right in front of me. It's been a team effort though, Nay & I are the one's behind the mics but there's a whole team lending a helping hand.
Naledi: House Party neh? House Party is a feel-good show. It’s a show you would want to tune into if you’re looking for good vibes. It’s like a pre-party. Because it’s on Friday and Saturday night, we allow it to be fun and put people in the mood for the actual parties they’re going to. The target market inspired its development. The youth. And because we are part of the youth, we know what makes the youth feel good and that’s what inspired the House Party’s development. I am so passionate about the House Party because it’s so appealing and lively and puts everyone in a great mood, both the listeners and us (Lefa &I).
6) Referencing the question about your show HouseParty and considering the fact that your show plays a considerable amount of Hip Hop music, what are your opinions on the state of House music in South Africa? And how do you feel about the recent shift in Hip Hop music, where many Hip Hop tracks are slowly moving towards or are rather slowly becoming identified as House music?
Lefa: The current state of South African music in general is good, and it can only go higher from here. I like the fact that HipHop has grown so much, and its dominating clubs and stations at the moment, house music is big here in South Africa and the fact that HipHop is incorporating it in their genre means that we are finally accepting our own sound as South Africans & we are not trying to sound like Americans.
Naledi: House music, just like Hip Hop music, is growing rapidly. I mean, look at the likes of Black Coffee. I just love how music in South Africa is versatile and that’s why it’s so easy for Hip Hop artists to jump onto House beats and still sound relevant. But also, I just feel that Hip Hop artists shouldn’t forget the concept of Hip Hop completely. What started Hip Hop, what Hip Hop is composed of and also the basics in it. Yes, it is acceptable to change and switch things up every now and again, but also, don’t get too carried away to a point where Hip Hop music is classified as House music.
7) Do you think the one genre is swallowing the other? What is your view?
Lefa: HipHop can never swallow House and vice versa. We are a country filled with diversity and therefore people will like to hear a lot of different stuff. Genres coming together is a great thing, it makes something powerful that brings people together, but those same genres are also still great on their own.
Naledi: I don’t think so. I just think that some South African Hip Hop artists try not to sound American by adding a sound from home so that it’s still Hip Hop but appeals more to us (South Africans) and it’s also enjoyable. I wouldn’t say House music is swallowing Hip Hop, it just acts as seasoning to Hip Hop music. lol.
8) Your show has become quite popular; it has been spoken about often on social media. Now I want to know from you, what does this mean to you? And where do you envision your show in a couple of months/years from now?
Lefa: It’s great that people are showing love because we do put a lot into the packaging of the show using what we have at our disposal. This is only the beginning, we will be passing the baton soon and the show will only go further up from here on. Honestly we got one of the best shows at the moment, and for us as long as one person is willing to switch on their radio & listen to us, we are winning.
Naledi: I love that our show is being spoken about, that means we are growing and that’s all that matters, growth. A few months from now, I want artists to want to be on our show so badly. I want people to look forward to every Friday and Saturday because of the House Party. I want people to want to be a part of the House Party and I want it to be an award-winning show. As for the next few years? We’ll probably be international, bring Kanye and Beyonce to our studios.
9) Now Naledi, how is it being a female host in such a male dominated industry? And how is it working together? And you Lefa, how is it working with Naledi? And how hectic are the hours that you have to put into the show?
Lefa: Haha working with Naledi is dope, we actually get along very well. She's very funny and always up for a goodtime, but most of all I like the fact that she always brings her part & more. It’s seamless and effortless, we don’t pretend and accept each other as we are.
Naledi: It’s tricky because Lefa often leads because he has more experience and he started the show and to those who don’t know this, it becomes one of those “oh, we expected that” things but we are planning on getting me on the driver’s seat soon. I don’t feel intimidated by working with males though, I don’t even feel like I need to work twice as hard to be on their level. Working with Lefa is wonderful. He is easy to work with and he also a good teacher – not great, just good. We try meet as much as we possibly can after hours when school and day shows are out of the way for the day. The hours are not too hectic. A good 2-3 hours is enough a few days a week.
1 Now moving a bit away from your lives as radio presenters to your lives as students, how do you guys feel about varsity fees in general? Does this affect you and if so, how does it affect you? Do you think anything can be done beyond the #FeesMustFall march that hit South Africa in the recent months?
Lefa: Fees must fall is a serious thing, and I am for the cause. Education should not be a privilege only for the rich. The way the system is set up is to work against the BLACK MAN, and fees falling means that more black people will be able to get an education and be able to better their lives.
Naledi: Varsity fees are a problem, I won’t lie. And already we are paying for a whole lot of things to stay in varsity (accommodation, books, meals, etc). They also affect me because fees are high and it’s difficult for my parents to pay them because I am not the only child in varsity at home. Unfortunately, it’s also hard to get financial aid because most of the time, we get excluded because money runs out at institutions or organisations funding us. And unfortunately, I don’t think there’s anything that can be done beyond the #FeesMustFall march. We really outdid ourselves during that march. The only thing that should happen is that the government should hear our cries and at least try to fulfil our wishes, or at least half our wishes.