2017 Liberty Radio Awards Hall of Fame Inductees
Fakir Hassen joined the SABC in 1985 as a Chief Sub Editor in SABC Radio News in the Johannesburg office. Throughout his career, he witnessed not only the transformation of the country, but the transition of the SABC through 15 heads of the corporation. From 1985 to 1995, he was Station Manager of Radio Lotus in Durban, guiding it from a service broadcasting a few hours per day to being a 24-hour service. His key challenge at Lotus was striking a balance between the diverse linguistic and religious needs of the audience – almost like juggling 15 radio stations in one. His passion for promoting Indian music almost landed him in jail in India, but also saw many triumphs in the initiation of partnerships which led to the recording of many groups and singers across the country, as well as the first song contest for lyrics in the five Indian languages used in South Africa. Amongst his pioneering projects was the establishment of an outside broadcasting studio for Radio Lotus in Chatsworth Centre.
Following the dawn of democracy, he was recalled to Johannesburg to become part of the new Radio Management team led by Chief Executive, Govin Reddy. His first task was to develop a new Educational Broadcasting Service on the SABC’s African Language Service stations, in conjunction with the Department of Education. Amongst his successes was the introduction of the hugely successful Takalani Sesame radio series in different languages.
Fakir was also a founder member of the World Radio Forum. He led the Public Service Announcements Committee of the SABC to allocate free airtime on both radio and TV to deserving organisations.
Following his stint at SABC Education, he was appointed Broadcast Compliance Manager at the SABC’s fledgling Policy and Regulatory Affairs Department. In this role, he defended may complaints lodged with the Brodacasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) and handled complaints against the corporation at regulatory bodies such as the Advertising Standards Authority; The National Consumer Commission; the Wireless Application Service Providers Association, and those received via government departments, Parliament and Chapter 9 institutions.
Not content with staying away from the microphone, Fakir presented a weekly IT programme, Rekenaar Rubriek, on RSG. The programme, which was initially scheduled to run for 3 months, lived on for 17 years. Fakir has also been a prolific writer and photographer with articles appearing across the globe weekly. He has authored seven books, the latest of which is “30 years at the SABC”. Fakir’s career has left a huge mark on the Radio Industry in South Africa and his induction into the Hall of Fame is a small acknowledgment of an exceptional person and career.
You might wonder why Jeremy Maggs is only being inducted to the Hall of Fame now. After all, his remarkable career and work ethic has qualified him for induction since the inception of the Radio Awards, however it speaks volumes to Jeremy’s personal integrity and ethos that he would not accept induction while he had any involvement in the programme. After the sale of his company in 2014 which conceptualised the Awards, he now qualifies in every respect to be inducted without any compromise to either himself, or the integrity of the programme.
Jeremy Maggs has been in radio and other media for over 30 years. He started his career at 702, working in the newsroom under the tutelage of Chris Gibbons, Gary Edwards, Stan Katz, Rina Broomberg, John Berks John Robbie, David Williams and Mike Wills. He was thrown in at the deep end when asked to present a news bulletin at 5am which his brother Andrew says sounded like a hyperactive commentator calling the last race at Turfontein. He has slowed down since then. From there his love of radio was forged. He left 702 after 11 years as Head of News. He has worked on several stations and hosted the breakfast and afternoon shows on SAfm for six years. Most recently, Jeremy hosted a daily one-hour news show, POWER UPDATE, on POWER 98.7FM.
Jeremy is known for being a consummate professional in radio (and in all his journalism exploits) and he sets a great example for his colleagues. He takes a key interest in emerging talent and is always willing to assist newcomers to the industry with advice and encouragement. He now presents a weekly TV show focused on the Marketing Advertising and Communication Industry (Maggs on Media). He was also the quizmaster on the acclaimed TV Show, “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” and is currently a senior anchor on eNCA. His contribution to the radio industry has been immense, particularly as he was instrumental in bringing the radio awards into being. His induction into the Hall of Fame sees a noticeable gap in the Hall being filled.
Copywriter by training, producer by design, and maverick by nature, Lynn started Creatrix in 1992 in response to an overwhelming industry requirement for authentic, resonant multicultural communications. As Chief Executive Officer and Executive Creative Director of Creatrix, Joffe pioneered destination-listening, branded edutainment campaigns for meny blue-chip SA brands, from brief to broadcast. Amongst these are Telkom (24/7 and Chomza Place); Anglo American (Makarapa City); Standard Bank (Wise up Waya Waya, Halakasha, Joy of Jazz) and many others. Creatrix has created campaigns that have been translated into 10 SA languages, creating work that educates and entertains and which speaks to the listener.
Lynn has also performed and produced in other media including a TV jazz series, children’s audio stories and risqué art festival cabarets. She has empowered and nurtured an outstanding team of incredible women who do extraordinary work in radio. She lectures as a storytelling practitioner at the Wits School of Education, the University of Johannesburg and conducts storytelling workshops around the country. She is currently completing a Master of Arts in Creative Writing at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Her passion for- and contribution to- radio, and for educating whilst entertaining and thus making compelling radio see her inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Rev Nomathamsanqa Rweqana
Born in King Williams Town, Reverend Nomathamsanqua Rweqana defines herself as follows: “I am a teacher by profession, a Minister of Religion by calling, a soldier by choice. I am a sociable person whose passion is to touch and change people’s lives. One thing that people don’t know about me is that I am shy and that I have a huge sense of humour and I enjoy a good Laugh”.
Radio is Rev Rweqana’s passion and she is completely at home behind the microphone, particularly when handling religious topics and helping the underprivileged, oppressed and downtrodden. Her programme between 03:00 and 05:30 addresses the plight of the unemployed masses living in dire poverty. Her audience at that time get hope, advice, prayers, inspiration and consolation from her show. It is an emotional show but often has immediate results encouraging listeners to help each other. She sees her programme as the opportunity of a lifetime, one that has enriched her faith and spiritual life.
Outside of radio, Rev Rweqana does charity work, visiting various communities in and around South Africa.Her radio programme has assisted a lot of South Africans by changing their lives with the help of good Samaritans. This includes getting school children back to school, building houses for needy people and also providing grocery packs for poverty stricken communities.
She demonstrates the qualities of a Hall of Famer through making radio tangible and compelling for her listeners and for constantly driving outreach, which she has done for a period of 22 years, with no sign of letting up. Rev Rweqana is a real champion of the medium of radio.
Tony started broadcasting in the UK, both as a pirate and a successful commercial broadcaster. He arrived in SA in 1971 and initially worked for the external service of the SABC, Radio South Africa and the English Service, before joining Swazi Music Radio under Stan Katz and later Channel 702 (as Talk Radio 702 was then known). A brief sojourn at the English Service followed before he moved on to Radio 5 in 1983 where he co-hosted the “Chuckle and Chat Show” with David Blood. Tony was instrumental in developing and hosting South Africa’s first Live TV Talk Show – Late Night Live – in the late 80’s. In the early 90’s he journeyed to the USA where he qualified and became a broadcast engineer and a member of the society of broadcast engineers. On his return to SA, he conceived and built Solid Gold in Johannesburg, the first independent station broadcasting in the country on a temporary license, for a period of two years.
At Solid Gold, Tony was a shareholder, CEO and a broadcaster. He was seconded to the stakeholders committee by then minister of communincations, Jay Naidoo as part of the sixteen member team to rewrite the broadcast Act. He then went on to Uganda where he built Radio One in Kampala. He subsequently built GABZ FM in Gaberone, Botswana and later four more stations throughout Africa.
Tony built up a TV production house, TSP in which he carried out production work for Vodacom, The Metropolitan Police in the UK and several other large corporations. He moved to Cape Town where he joined Cape Media as a director and built an electronic media section, as well as a pioneer Internet streaming radio station, Business Network Radio. This led to the application for- and birth of- Magic 828 AM where Tony is the CEO and a shareholder. His remarkable career in radio and the inspiration he has provided to many in the industry make him a worth inductee into the Hall of Fame.
Zola Yeye is a man whose motto is: “Champions come from ordinary people with extraordinary determination”. He started his career in 1991 as a news reader on Radio Xhosa (now Umhlobo Wenene FM). His drive and determination saw him appointed as a TV Reporter and Journalist in 1994 with him working on the historical 1994 elections for both television and radio. In 1996, he was assigned to act as Executive Producer for News Hour. This led to his appointment as the National Assignment Editor for TV in 1997 which meant that he was in charge of news content for both local and international news.
(Washington and London). In 1999, he went abroad to study at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida USA. He also did an internship at CNN in Atlanta before returning home to take up the position of Head of Eastern Cape News and Radio. Here he had the opportunity to mentor and coach several of the SABC’s finest in News including: Luzuko Koti, Tami Dickshon and Diedre Uren.
In 2005, Zola was appointed as the Provincial General Manager of the Eastern Cape. Aside from his contribution to the broadcast fraternity, he was also well recognised for his contribution to sport where he was the founder of the National Sports Congress. In 2007, he was the first black Springbok manager to win the IRB Rugby World Cup.
Amongst his portfolio of responsibilities as the Regional General Manager, was the oversight of Umhlobo Wenene FM. His input guided the station to winning many awards and to changing the lives of many South Africans. He is widely respected for his enormous contribution to the broadcast fraternity. He retired from the SABC in 2015.