WE EXPLORE THE EASTERN CAPE WITH DJ AMAZA NTSHANGA
After sixteen years on Umhlobo Wenene FM, Amaza Ntshanga has truly stood the test of time as today, he enjoys a listenership of four million people. A passionate advocate for his mother tongue isiXhosa, we caught his national show in full flight.
Growing up in King Williams Town, Amaza’s love for radio started in the early 90s when he would listen to the likes of Pucto Mafani, Bra Fix Lubisi and Given Ntlebi on Radio CKI.
“I grew up listening to and being inspired by their craft and that’s what attracted me to radio,” he explains.
Today, he is the host of the Masigoduke drive time show on Umhlobo Wenene FM, a national radio station that provides news, sports, and entertainment broadcasts in isiXhosa to households across South Africa. Umhlobo Wenene FM is the second largest radio station in the country.
To get to know him better we joined Amaza and his wife, Sibulele Ntshanga, in their home province, the Eastern Cape, and Theo Cromhout, General Manager of Shamwari Private Game Reserve, looked forward to welcoming him home.
Motivated to restore the Eastern Cape area to its former glory, the reserve was born out of the need to conserve the land and its abundant wildlife, birdlife and ecological diversity.
“I think what makes us special and unique is we’re located in the Eastern Cape, we provide a wonderful alternative to all of the lodges up in the north of the country,” says Theo.
In addition, Shamwari Private Game Reserve is home to five of the country’s seven biomes. As a result of their conservation efforts, the reserve was officially declared a Protected Environment.
“Our mantra is conserving a vanishing way of life,” explains Theo. Today, Shamwari Private Game Reserve consists of seven luxury lodges and one explorer camp. The reserve also includes two different education and rehabilitation facilities.
While enjoying what Shamwari has to offer, we got to know a bit more about Mr and Mrs Ntshanga’s love story.
“We met through a mutual friend. I did play hard to get but he did eventually get my number,” explains Sibulele.
After lockdown delays, the pair finally got married last November at Sibulele’s home in Queenstown, followed by a white wedding in his home of King Williams Town. Now, they are just enjoying being together.
Although the getaway was needed, the couple found themselves missing their three year old twins, Melo and Enzo. Despite both coming from the Eastern Cape, the pair decided to raise their children in Gauteng.
“One thing I want my children to learn is to respect and treat others with love, irrespective of where they come from,” says Amaza.
Learning about South Africa’s natural heritage in the province they both grew up in was a new way of appreciating home and especially when it comes to our most endangered animal.
In the last two years, Amaza has learned to appreciate the simple things, having food, a family, people you love – and living life. This is a DJ who’s become more of a listener and with it he has gained an understanding of what qualities he values in others.
In his career, the next move will be into a television career, to present a talk show and later go on to producing and directing. So, this weekend was the quiet before the storm.
Now into his third decade on air, Amaza Ntshanga will hear no talk of having stood the test of time. He’s only getting started!