I first met Thando Thabethe on the set of “My Perfect Family”; the SABC 1 sitcom which would essentially serve as her “big break”. I distinctly remember the Executive Producer of the show telling me about this talented kid who she thought would go on to do big things. And she was bang on the money. Thando was bright eyed, “booty-tailed”, hard working and determined to succeed. Not surprising, absolutely nothing has changed since then.
After a string of successes across the broadcasting spectrum, Thando has landed a prime time, weekday slot all of her own. She fills the shoes of popular and well loved 5FM DJ, Poppy Ntshongwana, and will present 10am to 1pm Monday to Friday. When asked how she feels about filling Poppy’s (very fashionable) shoes she gleamed, “I’m super excited! My goal has always been to do my own show… and I’m honoured to have been selected to take over from the amazing Poppy Nthsongwana. I admire her work ethic, her fashion sense and ability to connect… she is genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve met. She walks in her own lane and nothing distracts her from her goal. I think it’s these qualities that make a strong woman”.
It’s easy to see what sets Thando apart. Above and beyond her roles on television and radio she runs a yearly Netball Tournament in aid of abused women because of her personal experiences with overcoming domestic violence.
“I have put in the work,” she says, “and respect radio as my craft beyond what others may imagine. I believe I’m at a point where not only my radio talent but also my standings as THANDO Thabethe would allow me to host a show of such magnitude.”
Thando is known to be an incredibly talented actress having appeared on shows such as Intersexions and more recently, Generations. So then, why radio? “I always say radio found me. It was never a part of the plan. I initially joined radio because I thought it would get me TV work… Started at UJ FM as a newsreader, moved to being a DJ, then head hunted by YFM and ultimately by 5FM. Radio for me is as real as it gets, probably one of the most profound art forms you are putting on a show but still need to be real.”
But don’t despair if you’re a Nolwazi fan (Thando’s character on Generations). The show is happy to share her with 5FM for 3 hours everyday starting 18 January 2016! Watch out SA, Thando’s star is on the rise…