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Tuks FM’s star performers were honoured at the radio station’s year end function at the weekend.

The event took place at the Harlequin Rugby Club in Groenkloof and was attended by 65 staff and volunteers.

Tuks FM has undergone sweeping changes in 2018, from a full format change i.e. a change in the type of music the station plays, to wholescale changes to the programming line-up, a new vision and mission, as well as a new strategy, culture and ethos.

Tuks FM’s station manager, Leanne Kunz, expressed gratitude to staff and volunteers, for playing their part in facilitating the changes and working together as a team. “When I look back to where we were when I started here in January and I compare that to where we are now…well, there is no comparison, it’s like night and day. The progress and the improvements we’ve made are phenomenal, and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have achieved together as a team. Each one of you, from management to the last volunteer we took on board in August, has played a part in bringing us to where we are today, and for that I thank you.”

Awards were presented to each department: music, production, marketing, presenting and news, as well as to the unit leader of the year, the personality of the year and the member of the year.

– Presenter of the year: Gregory Symington
– Music compiler of the year: Bonolo Matlala
– Producer of the year: Saul Oboth
– Marketer of the year: Laaiqah Bhika
– Unit leader of the year: Bile Diphoko
– Personality of the year: Max M’membe

The pièce de résistance – the member of the year accolade – is awarded to the volunteer who consistently goes over and above the call of duty, who is a top achiever is his/her department, who is enthusiastic and makes a positive contribution in all they do, and embodies everything it means to be a Tuks FM volunteer. This award went to Keabetswe Boya, the presenter unit leader, who in a very short time in her leadership position has made a massive positive impact. “With the amazing growth that I have seen at Tuks FM in just the past year all I can say is, what a time to be alive and be part of a great radio station that invests greatly in their talent. Greater things can only happen from here onwards.”

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Tuks FM hosted the first of what will become an annual event for Prinshof school for the visually impaired at the Pretoria Zoo last week. The “Hear the Sights” initiative offers Prinshof learners the opportunity to experience all the sights the zoo has to offer, using the spoken word, as well as audio and tactile aids.

Nineteen Tuks FM volunteers took 24 Grade 6 Prinshof learners, along with chaperones from the school, on an audio-tactile journey through the elephant, giraffe and monkey enclosures, before heading off to experience the snake centre and the aviary. The learners were also taken to the tiger, crocodile, rhino and gorilla enclosures. Along the way, Tuks FM volunteers explained in detail what they were seeing, while audio clips of the different animals were played to the learners. They were also given objects which resembled the way the animals feel.

In preparation for the excursion, Tuks FM volunteers visited the school. They were blindfolded and guided around the school premises, in a bid to help them see things from a visually impaired person’s perspective.

Mike Bower – Tuks FM’s Programme Manager – conceptualised, organised and led the initiative. “The work that the teachers and staff do at Prinshof is absolutely phenomenal. We are hoping to set up a long term relationship with them where we use our skills as broadcasters to give each of their learners an excursion that makes them feel special and connected to their city!”

Bower adds that Tuks FM’s presenters also learned something in the process. “As a radio presenter, a large part of what you do is tell stories. By perfecting that craft, we will not only be adding to our presenters’ skillset, and by extension, our listeners’ experience, but we will also benefit Prinshof learners by offering them a truly unique experience.”

Corlia van Heerden, an English teacher at Prinshof, said she was very thankful to Tuks FM and all those involved in making the day possible. “I really hope the learners experience all the different sounds and things that, because of their disability, they are often denied.”

 

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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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