Coming from the dusty streets of Ilinge Township near Komani, Lukhanji FM sports presenter Thando Mgedezi, 31, scooped the best sport show award at the national community radio awards in Bloemfontein on Friday night.
Mgedezi, who is the host of Sport Review Show on Lukhanji FM, was the only Eastern Cape radio presenter who came home with an award from the event.
Speaking to Daily Dispatch yesterday, Mgedezi said his love for radio, combined with his love for sport, was the recipe for his success.
“When I realised I was too old to play sport professionally I decided to contribute by sharing what I know with the community of Komani through radio.
“But when I entered the competition after my station manager Andrew Joe told me about it, it never entered my mind that I might win,” he said.
Working for a radio station for five years without being paid motivated him to work harder.
“The station is losing talented people, but I stayed because I am doing this not for money but for the love of sport.
“Passion and the support of my family are the only things that have kept me going,” Mgedezi said.
He said there were times when his family would doubt what he was doing.
“My late father, Luyanda Mgedezi kept on encouraging me to go forward. I dedicate this award to him,” he said.
He said coming from a disadvantaged area like Ilinge, where the majority of people are unemployed and depend on social grants, winning the award was “the best thing in my life”.
Mgedezi said in his category he was up against the best people from big cities. “I was this man coming from a small township without resources and confidence.
“The whole week while we were in Bloemfontein we could hear local stations supporting each other. On that day the torture of seeing people being called to collect their awards was unbearable, but when my name was called I could not believe it,” he said.
He thanked the department of sport, recreation, arts and culture, Lukhanji FM listeners, colleagues, Safa Chris Hani region and his friends for the votes and support.
“I appreciate the support of all those who voted for me,” he said. — firstname.lastname@example.org
By TEMBILE SGQOLANA – DispatchLIVE