When Sivuyile Wayi started working at Zibonele FM nearly six years ago, he was volunteering and had no other source of income.
But being the eldest meant that he had to be supporting his family financially and relatives never really understood why he had opted to volunteer instead of getting a paying job.
The 29-year-old said many described him as a lazy person who had no ambition to achieve something in life.
And instead of being “a man” and working to support his family, he chose to “waste” time on the radio.
He said many people did not understood why he opted to work in radio and frequently questioned his decision. This, he said, was one of the main challenges he encountered in his first years in the industry.
But the support and love he got from his parents was enough to see him through and all other negative things being uttered did very little to dampen his spirit.
He said passion and love were his biggest daily motivators, which encouraged him to be on radio.
He said he understood that everyone needs to start somewhere in order to achieve their dreams and that meant making sacrifices.
This dedication and perseverance has earned Mr Wayi two nominations at the National Community Radio Week Awards for a best male presenter and religious programme. The two categories are decided by public vote and he is competing with other radio presenters across the country.
Mr Wayi said he needs the public vote to clinch the awards, which will be presented in Bloemfontein at the end of this month.
He said he was there to represent his station and the Western Cape.
He said the nominations show sthat hard work pays off and that he is on the right path in his career.
Mr Wayi believes that this award nomination tells a story that one should never absorb negative comments from those who undermine your dreams.
He said his radio journey has been filled with countless challenges but he knew from an early age that he wanted to be involved in broadcasting and his love for it was etched in his veins.
This is the second time Mr Wayi has been nominated at these awards and this time he is hoping to walk away as a winner.
He said he was fortunate to be given six different shows to host when he started working at the station as that enabled him to enhance his knowledge and keep him on top of his game.
He graduated with a diploma from City Varsity for sound engineering in 2014 and also completed a short television presenting course at City Varsity last year.
He intends pursuing a journalism degree at CPUT and studying further.
Mr Wayi is also a traditional praise poet who is passionate about embracing culture and preserving language through his poems. He said he wanted to conquer the world of the airwaves and be among the top journalists in the country.
“Broadcasting is my first love. Radio has given me a platform to engage with my people and express my thoughts. Radio has afforded me an opportunity to preserve my heritage.
“I’m there to represent my Khayelitsha and surrounding areas. The nomination is not for me but for the people of Cape Town,” he said.
Mr Wayi said he applauded the community station for giving young and inexperienced broadcasters an opportunity to hone and fine-tune their skills.
He said community radio stations were at the heart of their communities and were very important to preserving culture and heritage.
He is asking the community of Khayelitsha and surrounding areas to rally behind for the awards. You can vote for Mr Wayi by texting religion1 to 45844 or Male6 to 45844 or perhaps you can send him airtime to vote on 073 446 7706.