A charity drive hosted by Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in partnership with Tuks FM, has resulted in a huge amount of goods collected for disadvantaged students of the University of Pretoria (UP).

The ‘Back to School’ campaign called upon students, residents of Pretoria and businesspeople to contribute groceries, toiletries and blankets, among others, which will be donated, through Tuks FM, to UP’s Student Representative Council (SRC) to benefit students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The official handover of goods took place at Tuks FM’s studios on Monday.

Menlyn Park general manager, Olive Ndebele said the partnership with Tuks FM was part of their strategy to work with community media. “A lot of students aren’t financially able to support themselves. They may manage to pay their university fees, but can’t afford accommodation, food, stationery and toiletries. We thought we could get our customers to assist by donating items.”

She thanked Tuks FM and the community of the University of Pretoria for allowing Menlyn to be part of the initiative. “We are not just a shopping centre, we are about lifestyle, and lifestyle means also making positive contributions to the communities in which we operate. So students and education is something that is very close to our heart.”

Leanne Kunz, Tuks FM’s Station Manager, said they were very happy with the outcome of the campaign and would look to make the event an annual occurrence. “Tuks FM has always strived to improve the lives of the community it serves, a large part of which is made up of students of the University of Pretoria. We teamed up with Menlyn for this wonderful initiative because we understand that large parts of the student fraternity and their families are only just keeping their heads above water, considering the high cost of tertiary education.”

“We are ecstatic to be able to help students in any way we can, and even though it’s just a drop in the ocean, every little bit helps. We hope to be able to lighten the load for these students so that they can focus all their attention on completing their studies and reaching their full potential, as opposed to worrying about their next meal,” Kunz said.

The donations are being stored at Tuks FM’s offices in the interim. They will be collected and distributed to students by the SRC.

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Tuks FM won awards for its two flagship shows at the Liberty Radio Awards, held at the Sandton Convention Centre on Saturday night.

The annual ceremony celebrates the best of the best in the radio industry. According to the Liberty Radio Awards website, it’s about rewarding those individuals and organisations who combine talent, hard work and skill to ensure that their listeners are compelled.

Tuks FM won awards for the Best Breakfast Presenter, which was scooped up by Nicholas Lawrence, as well as the Best Afternoon Drive Show, presented by Sila Odhuno and Caitlin Weber.

Lawrence says winning an award came as a shock as he has only been in radio for just over a year: “Winning is definitely one of the proudest, happiest moments of my life. Following my passion and being awarded for doing what I love, there’s just nothing that beats that. But in saying that, as much as this award is mine, it is a win for the station and all my fellow presenters.”

Odhuno, who is known on air as ‘The Kenyan King’ says he couldn’t be happier: “The first time I heard of the awards in 2015, everyone told me how magical it was and how much of a privilege it is to mingle with the best in the radio business. On Saturday night, I got to mingle with the best in the business and finally scoop up an award, and I can confirm that it is truly magical! Radio has been my creative outlet for the last three years and it’s encouraging to know that people appreciate the noise I make on the radio!”

Weber remained with her feet firmly on the ground following her win: “Awards aren’t everything, but it’s great to get recognition for something you love and enjoy so much!”

Tuks FM presenters, Tayla Welch and Quintus Potgieter were also awarded Bright Star Awards. These accolades are given to individuals either on-air or behind the scenes who are 35-years-old or younger, and are making waves in the industry. It is given to people who are thought to be the future of the radio industry.


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Tuks FM proved its commitment to uplifting the community it serves by handing over a sizeable cheque to the University of Pretoria’s Student Representative Council (SRC) recently.

The cheque for R123 416 was received by Dr Matete Madiba, Director: Student Affairs; Dr Willem Jorissen, Deputy-Director: Student Affairs; as well as the President and Treasurer of the SRC, Kwena Moloto and Duane van Wyk respectively.

Tuks FM’s Station Manager, Leanne Kunz, says the initiative is one way the station reaches out to its community: “As a campus-based community radio station, Tuks FM’s purpose is not to make a profit but to enrich our community, a large part of which is the student fraternity of the University of Pretoria. As such, any revenue we make over and above our operating costs is ploughed straight back into the university to be used to enrich the lives of needy students.”

The station will also conduct several other outreach projects during the course of the year in a bid to enrich the lives of the broader community. These include a charity golf day in Winter and a clean-up operation in Hatfield in Spring.

Tuks FM will also host a relaunching event in September following a full format change in April. “If you tune in to Tuks FM now, you’ll hear a very different sound to what was previously the case. We are now playing a mixture of Hip Hop, EDM (Electronic Dance Music), Pop and alternative music, which includes artists like The Chain Smokers and 21 Pilots. This makes our sound much more mainstream and attractive to a youth audience, which is who we are targeting,” says Kunz.

She adds that the event will aim to showcase the new Tuks FM and what the station is about going forward. “With a new management team in place, we are here to announce that Tuks FM is all about the youth. We aim to be relevant, vibrant and at the forefront of youth infotainment.”

Mike Bower, Tuks FM’s new Programme Manager, says lots of hard work is being done behind the scenes in a bid to improve the station’s programming output: “An extensive training programme has been rolled out for each department, with a strong focus on the presenting and news departments. This will improve the quality of the content we’re broadcasting.”

He adds: “An entirely new programming schedule will also be implemented which will feature shows that cater specifically to our community, which is the youth of the greater Tshwane area, as well as specialist shows, including a 30-minute talk segment, to cater to individual tastes.”



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Several Tuks FM alumni joined the radio station’s training camp, held recently at LC de Villiers Sports Grounds.

Ayanda MVP (947 presenter on the Ayanda MVP show) and Rob Forbes (5FM presenter on the Forbes and Fix show) were among the alumni who shared their knowledge with 57 newbies who recently joined the Tuks FM family as volunteers. The new recruits will be discovering the exciting world of radio with on-the-job training in various areas of radio broadcasting including presenting, technical and audio production, marketing and graphic design.

Tuks FM has produced some of the biggest names in the broadcasting industry to date, including the likes of Anele Mdoda, Gareth Cliff and Rian van Heerden.

With a new station manager Leanne Kunz at the helm, Tuks FM has one major focus area this year, to realign itself with its core market: the youth in the greater Tshwane area, as well as students of the University of Pretoria. “Tuks FM will essentially rebrand itself to become a vibrant, relevant multimedia platform for the youth of Tshwane,” said, Kunz, explaining that “this training camp was the start of many great things to come for the station this year”.

An entirely new music format is on the cards, “so in the next month or so, listeners will start to hear a brand new Tuks FM. This along with a renewed effort to provide volunteers with the best possible training so they, in turn, can provide the community with quality, relevant content, is a major focus at the moment,” she said.

Other Tuks FM alumni who joined the training camp included Hennie Myburgh (JacarandaFM), Marietta Dercksen and Andre Kunz (5FM), who trained the teams on music scheduling, social media, and presenting and content production respectively.

A new programme manager, Mike Bower, also an alumnus, joined the team in March. He has many years of experience in the broadcasting industry, not only at Tuks FM, but also as programme manager at an online radio station, as well as a lecturer at Boston Media House.


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Tuks FM’s second annual 012 Radio Indaba, held at Boston Media House in Arcadia on 2 and 3 October, has been hailed a roaring success.

The event saw speakers – specialising in programming, presenting, news, music, and content creation – sharing their knowledge with students and others interested in pursuing a career in the media space. The event was free of charge and open to the public.

The first day opened with a panel discussion on the “Future of Radio in South Africa’. The panel featured consultant and head of BMH Radio, Tim Zunckel, 947 programme manager, Grant Nash, and Mix FM programme manager, Kudzayi Tiribabi. Each shared their views on the current status of the radio industry and what needs to be done to remain relevant in an ever-changing media landscape.

Zunckel, who has worked locally, on the continent, and abroad, said he didn’t think radio had changed that much in the last 10 or 15 years. “At its root, radio remains a connection between the presenter and the listener. No other medium can offer that same experience.”

Nash said technology was a powerful tool to use to learn exactly what audiences want and thus improve the listener experience: “We need to convert our FM listeners to digital listeners. If we can do that we can get data on them and then you can know your audience.”

947 presenter, Ayanda MVP, hosted a Q and A session on the radio industry. She spoke about the importance of hosting events such as the 012 Radio Indaba for youth in radio: “We need to remind people that we were once where they are. A lot of people assume that we just got to where were are, that we never underwent training, or started at campus level and worked our way up.” She added that radio should be seen as a relationship:

Other speakers present at the Indaba included 5FM’s Nicole da Silva, Kaya FM’s T-Bose Mokwele, 947’s Alex Caige and Jacaranda’s Kriya Gangiah.

The event will be held every year, with a bigger and better line-up planned for 2019.

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