By Mthethwa Thandeka
Aggrey Lichopwa (24) a presenter at Energy FM S.A., started at UJ FM doing a show called The Midnight Crush from 1:00 to 4:00am every Saturday and Sunday and from there his stars have been aligning, helping him to climb higher and higher in his radio career. Aggrey says that he is an extrovert, “I enjoy public speaking and I am an adrenaline junkie, but above all, I have a passion for people and giving back to the community, which is why I am involved with multiple charity drives in my area,” says Aggrey.
How did you get into radio?
When it comes to the radio calling, there is this thing called the “radio bug” and once it bites you it causes a chronic condition that can only be cured by the microphone and an audience. The radio bugs bite me when I was sixteen years old. I had a fond interest in all things radio. So I used to record myself on my grandmother’s laptop and pretend to be on air on my own show.
I materialized that passion when I came to Joburg in 2011 and heard that there are UJ FM auditions. I then took a leap of faith as a young lad from Limpopo to go for those auditions. That audition was successful bearing credit to the woman who discovered me and my very first programmes manager Natasha Archary-Majiet and from then till now, I’m still a radio personality.
Would you say that at UJFM you learnt a lot?
I certainly did and it was evident when I joined Energy FM S.A last year February. I was doing the Dawn Express weekdays from 3 to 6am but then in a short space of time, i moved to the weekend breakfast show. And currently, I do a show called the Blast from 7 to 10p, which is a listener music request show as well as the Saturday Weekend Breakfast titled the Energy Rush from 6am to 10am and the Sunday rendition of the same show from 10am to 2pm. For me this is an awesome phase of my life because I am now being mentored by the legendary radio and TV personality Ashifashaba.
To those who do not know Energy FM S.A, where is it based and what is it about?
Energy FM S.A. is the first urban community radio station in Limpopo. It is situated in Polokwane and covers the city and its surrounding areas. It is a young, vibrant, quirky and a trailblazer in the industry. With the slogan “The pulse of the City” this means that it caters to every demographic with a wide array of music, entertainment, documentaries and personalities.
Does it have online streaming?
Absolutely, you can find us on www.energyfmsa.co.za or download the simple radio app and look for Energy FM S.A.
Do you have any special rituals you do before you go on air?
I do have a special ritual. I always prepare my shows hours before I go on air. I also meditate before going on air so that I can transform my entire being and give it away to the listener and if on that day I feel like I need an extra boost of confidence, I call my partner and then the show goes on.
What time does your day normally start?
For my on air programming, on Fridays I start off at 17:00pm for my 19:00pm show, on Saturday at 4:00am for my 6:00am show and on Sunday from 7:00am for my 10am show. Otherwise during the week, my day is from 5am as I have a corporate job outside of radio.
So you have a nine to five kind of job?
Yes but it is more of an eight to five kind of job. I am a client Liaison Client Officer.
What other dreams do you have either with the field of radio or outside?
I actually want to venture into TV presenting. It has always been a passion of mine.
What obstacles have you faced in your radio career so far?
Nothing comes to mind except for the occasional moments where you want to sneeze but cannot because you are live on air.
Really, so what do you do, do you hold it in?
It is the worst thing ever; it is like a near death experience. You hold it in and keep sounding as natural as possible but once you start playing the next song, it comes out in full force (laughs).
Have you ever felt like you were not enough on radio?
To tell you truth, to date I still hate the sound of my voice so insecurities are real but you keep going because you love the medium. As I said at the beginning, once the radio bug has got you, it has you for life.
Who are your favourite radio presenters in South Africa and why?
I am a huge fan of Mam’Shado Twala, Bonang Matheba and DJ Fresh. There is so much authenticity in their craft.
So which radio station is your guilty pleasure?
I honestly am an Energy FM ride or die. I always listen to the station like always. I always listen to the radio station I work for so that I can be able to see what better thing we can do so that I can be able to contribute ideas to better our on air final product.
So what advice do you have for people who want to be on radio?
Go for it, and go for it with the right reasons. If it is about fame and fortune then change the direction. But if you would like to impact somebody’s life and add a valuable contribution to society then definitely go for it.
If people want to reach out to you, how can they contact you?
They can reach me on Twitter at: @aggrey92, on Instagram I am: @aggrey01 or alternatively, they can email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org