Tuks FM’s Balcony Sessions are back following a break during the exam and recess period.
This week, we welcome South African producer, songwriter and musician, Ross Jack, who will bring his own unique brand of hip hop to the 012.
Tuks FM will feature prominently at this year’s Radio Days Africa conference, which is Africa’s biggest radio conference.
Programme Manager, Mike Bower, will host a talk about Tuks FM’s award-winning campaign, ‘Hear the Sights’, which won a 2019 Liberty Radio Award for the best radio innovation. Hear the Sights aimed to enhance the listening experience of students at the Prinshof School for the visually impaired by taking them on a sensory journey during a visit to the Pretoria Zoo.
Bower says he is honoured to be given the opportunity to speak at such a prestigious event. “This opportunity is made so much more special by the fact that the topic I get to speak about is something that is very close to the hearts of the Tuks FM staff. We have so much potential to innovate within the youth radio landscape, I think that it is very exciting for other radio professionals to see what we are doing.”
Leanne Kunz, Tuks FM’s Station Manager, will join a panel discussion called ‘What it Takes to Win’, which features representatives from each of the four Station of the Year winners (commercial, community, campus and PBS) at the 2019 Liberty Radio Awards. Kunz says the fact that two Tuks FM representatives will speak at the conference is a massive feather in the station’s cap. “Radio Days Africa features speakers from across the globe who are making their mark or innovating in some way or another, so for us to be included this year is a huge deal and I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity.”
Radio Days Africa, now in its 10th year, is hosted annually in Johannesburg. More than 350 delegates and 60 speakers from across the world attend the conference each year, which caters for a variety of sectors within the radio business.
The conference runs from 3 – 5 July 2019 at the Wits Club in Johannesburg.
Tuks FM has secured 18 nominations for the 2019 Liberty Radio Awards to be hosted on 13 April at the Sandton Convention Centre.
In so doing, the radio station earned the title as the most-nominated campus radio station in the country, and the second most-nominated overall (campus, community, PBS and commercial), falling only three short of the radio station with the highest number of nominations for 2019.
Below is a list of all the nominations Tuks FM received:
AFTERNOON DRIVE PRESENTER
1. DUANE JEFFERY VAN WYK
2. KEA BOYA
AFTERNOON DRIVE SHOW
3. THE TUKS FM DRIVE SHOW
4. THE TUKS FM BREAKFAST SHOW
6. HOT TOPIC
7. HEAR THE SIGHTS
8. LOCALS ONLY
9. THE TUKS FM HIP HOP SHOW
10. THE TUKS FM HIP HOP SHOW
11. LOCALS ONLY
13. THE TUKS FM RADIO INDABA 2018
15. HEAR THE SIGHTS
16. TUKS FM 107.2
WEEKEND RADIO SHOW
17. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHTS WITH AARON
18. TUKS FM TOP 40.
Tuks FM is also the only campus or community radio station to be nominated in the Multi-Channel Promotion and Radio Innovation categories, with all the other nominees being commercial radio stations.
Station Manager, Leanne Kunz, says the achievement is a massive feather in their cap, and shows that the repositioning the station underwent in 2018 is bearing fruit. “We made sweeping changes at basically every level of Tuks FM’s operations in 2018 in a bid to realign ourselves with our core market. These included implementing a structured, intensive training programme under Programme Manager, Mike Bower, which has vastly improved our output overall. I think the number of nominations we received this year is a reflection of those changes, as well as a massive team effort to make Tuks FM the best campus radio station in the country.”
Tuks FM received nine nominations at the 2018 event, and won two awards, as well as two Bright Star accolades.
Over R40 000 worth of goods were collected during the 2019 #Back2Varsity campaign, a partnership between Menlyn Park Shopping Centre and Tuks FM, which is in support of disadvantaged students of the University of Pretoria (UP).
Research conducted by the Higher Education Department estimates that about 216 000 students in South Africa are without suitable accommodation, and almost 400 000 beds are needed to meet its enrolment targets for 2030. This has resulted in thousands of squatting tertiary students needing urgent support.
Olive Ndebele, General Manager at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, said the #Back2Varsity campaign was far more than a charity drive. “It’s about our contribution to society, our appreciation of society, and our appreciation of what education means to the world, to our economy and to the individuals here. Education is so important – it’s a maturity of the mind. It’s not just about getting a degree so you can get a job and a better paycheck. The way you express yourself and your opinions, your confidence – there is a great distinction between those that have been educated and those who have little exposure to education.”
Professor Tawana Kupe, Vice Chancellor and Principle of the University of Pretoria, emphasised the importance of community, and the role radio stations such as Tuks FM play in benefiting the communities they serve. “This initiative really is about community, and a community is about giving, because in a community to give is to be given. No community coheres if there is no state of giving. A community radio station’s job is to create a community, in this case consisting out of the University of Pretoria and its environment.”
David Kabwa, President of UP’s Student Representative Council, thanked both Menlyn and Tuks FM for contributing to student well being through the #Back2Varsity campaign: “To Menlyn, we are extremely grateful that you’ve joined in to help. Not only do students go to Menlyn to have fun, but now they also know that Menlyn is supporting them in reaching their academic success. To Tuks FM, what more can we say? On behalf of every single student of the University of Pretoria, on behalf of all the students who come through the doors of the Department of Student Affairs wondering how they can focus on their academics when it’s hard to focus on anything other than how hungry they are, thank you.”
All the items collected, which include non-perishable foods, stationery, clothing and toiletries, will be distributed via UP’s SNAPP (Student Nutrition and Progress Programme), which provides support to underprivileged students with food and related assistance.
Following the success of last year’s Back2Varsity campaign, Menlyn Park Shopping Centre and Tuks FM have again joined forces to continue their support of students of the University of Pretoria. In 2018, the partnership was able to provide approximately 170 students with meals for six months.
Research conducted by the Higher Education Department estimates that about 216,000 students in South Africa are without suitable accommodation, and almost 400,000 beds are needed to meet its enrolment targets for 2030. This has resulted in thousands of squatting tertiary students needing urgent support.
“For this reason, in 2019 the Back2Varsity campaign will continue to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing them with necessities such as canned foods, stationery, toiletries and blankets amongst other things which will remain accessible to them throughout the year,” explains Olive Ndebele, General Manager at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre. “We recognise the need to support students. For this reason, we will continue working with Tuks FM to ensure both the shopping centre and its retailers are able to help them reach their academic goals.”
Menlyn Park Shopping Centre has set up collection boxes at their Starbucks Court, Ground Floor. These collection points are linked to customer purchases aimed at encouraging the Pretoria community and corporates to donate to students at the University of Pretoria from 28 January – 15 February 2019. Some retailers will match the donations made by customers, while others are encouraging customer support by linking their donations to Back2School prices.
“It is without a doubt that the donations received last year brought change to the students’ lives by ensuring that they had meals to sustain them during the day and enabled them to succeed in their studies. Hunger is an obstacle which we need to remove to ensure that students are not compromised in terms of attaining academic success,” said Dr Matete Madiba, Director: Student Affairs at the University of Pretoria.
Leanne Kunz, Station Manager of Tuks FM, says the radio station is only too happy to again be involved with an initiative as necessary and valuable as this one. “Many students are battling to keep their heads above water with the high costs involved with getting an education. The last thing they need is to also have to worry about where they’re going to get their next meal, or how they’re going to afford stationery or basic things they need to get them through the day. We were so encouraged by the success of last year’s event, and we’re determined to make Back2Varsity 2019 even more successful!”
The frontman of Pretoria pop group, December Streets, recently came full circle when he visited Tuks FM’s studios along with a fellow band member.
Tristan Coetzee – a Tuks FM alumnus – and Dane Steinhobel performed the group’s latest single, Messed Up live on the Drive Show. Coetzee joined Tuks FM in 2009 as a volunteer for the station’s music department.
Now, 10 years later, Coetzee returned to his alma mater – an unofficial Tuks FM 10 year challenge!
The start of varsity is an exhilarating experience. You have finally completed matric and you are about to start studying what you actually love, or what you don’t necessarily love but have been accepted for. You are going to meet new people and put all that high school drama behind you! You feel as though you are on your way to a new life: you are an emerging adult – nothing gets sweeter than this. You will be living away from home and making your own rules… and the freedom! Yes, the freedom! No curfews or strict rules and being monitored – just the pure bliss of freedom, making new friends, meeting the love of your life (or not) and studying what you love!
Your first year in varsity is as exciting as it is challenging: no one can completely prepare you for it, just as no one can prepare you for any kind of change. The best a person can do is share experiences and hope that what we learn will at some point help you stay afloat. So here’s the reality:
Spatially, the university campus is BIG and you will have to attend classes that are so far apart – it will be almost impossible to skip cardio (because you have ten minutes to get to your next class – it’s not much, trust me). You will attend the wrong class for the first two weeks and discover new faces just before finals and wonder if these people were ever in your class to begin with. You will see student numbers that don’t necessarily start with “19” (which denotes the year in which a person begins their studies), it is not for you to judge or question, just mind your own. You will have too many friends or not so many friends, you will study hard and party harder (or vice versa), and you will eventually learn about balance and prioritizing. You will have various experiences, both delightful and dreadful, but the best part is the growth you encounter and the victory you witness at the end of the journey – however and whenever the journey ends.
In hopes of making your first year experience even more exciting and liveable, the Tuks FM family has some #FreshersAdvice for you:
And for the students who will be joining campus residence this year, Kopano Bookholane, a presenter at Tuks FM and Head of Community Engagement at House Mags, formerly known as House Magrietjie, had this to say: “When asked what advice I would give to a first year entering residence life I hesitate, because my lived experiences may not be another’s, and I guess that’s where I start: make residence life your own! Don’t live up to others’ experiences and expectations. Each class is different and therefore, will have different challenges, so make it your own. Within it all, it is about being relentlessly true to yourself and trusting in the magic of new beginnings.”
My final word of advice, which is equally as important as the others, is to make Tuks FM 107.2 the standard frequency on your radio: you will make amazing friends who will forever keep you company through great music and awesome chats.
Tuks FM wishes you all the best with your first year of varsity. Stay in school kids!
Tuks FM is now also available on the internet-based music streaming service, Deezer.
Deezer currently has 53 million licensed tracks in its library, with 14 million active monthly users in 180 countries. Users can listen to Tuks FM on Deezer on all devices.
Leanne Kunz, Tuks FM’s station manager, says the partnership means that the station will be even more accessible. “Whether we like it or not, more and more people, especially those in our market, are using streaming music services. The idea behind this partnership is to have a presence on these platforms so that we’re accessible not only via our website and our terrestrial FM signal, but now also to those listening to their favourite playlists on Deezer. Because let’s face it, playlists are great, but people still crave that personal connection which radio offers. So, when users want a break from their playlist to connect with someone, we’re there.”
Tuks FM is also available to stream on the radio station’s website, at www.tuksfm.co.za.
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.”
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.”