Smooth-talking ‘Spitch’ up for Viewers’ Choice Award
Eastern Cape talent has been nominated in six of the 11 public categories for the third DStv Viewers’ Choice Awards and among the nominees is Mthatha radio personality Siphiwo “Spitch” Nzawumbi, 30.
The media personality has won the hearts of many Mzansi fans since his screen debut on SABC 1 consumer rights show Yilungelo Lakho five years ago and thereafter fostering his love for radio.
Nzawumbi received the news of his nomination last week. .
“More than anything, it’s encouraging for me to be recognised alongside legends who I literally grew up listening to on radio and watching on TV. What a brilliant way to close off the year,” Nzawumbi said.
The radio jock’s name popped up in the category alongside radio favourites DJ Fresh, Kgomotso Matsunyane, Seipati “Twasa” Seoke and Khathide “Tshatha” Ngobe.
Though Nzawumbi has, in the past, received communications-related awards, this is his first nod for broadcast.
He was introduced to public speaking at Mount Frere High School when he moved from Mthatha to study after he lost his mother.
Thereafter he acquired his tertiary qualification in broadcast journalism at the Walter Sisulu University (WSU) in East London. .
“I started working as a news reader at our campus radio station — WSU Campus Radio — and after about three months of news reading I got an opportunity to start hosting a show.
“Though campus radio slightly differs from national radio, I think [WSUCR] is what prepared me for national radio and it’s where I fell in love with broadcast,” he said.
While he dubs radio his first love, Nzawumbi made his national platform debut on Yilungelo Lakho in 2014, which he juggled with his duty of news anchor on Radio 2000.
He joined Umhlobo Wenene in 2017, relocating to host the show from the SABC’s Cape Town studios.
“I always knew I’d end up on mainstream radio and when Umhlobo Wenene approached me, I grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” he said.
“The loyalty of the listeners is definitely more than I ever expected and I never realised how big the Umhlobo Wenene brand was until I became a part of it.”
Beyond the microphone, the broadcaster has built an aligning brand across his social media platforms, where he often embraces his home language of isiXhosa.
“There’s this attitude that Nguni languages are not cool enough but that’s a sad misconception because the majority of people in this industry are Nguni speakers.
“I personally never felt I needed to neglect my home language because of the industry I am in. It is who I am, so I will carry it with me wherever I go and I always encourage people to do the same.”
A constant conversation starter, Nzawumbi is known among his followers for championing thought-provoking dialogues on various topics of interest.
On the lighter side, he has become one of the go-to people as far as celebrating black excellence is concerned, often at the helm of organising virtual celebratory parties for other people’s achievements.
He was among the founders of the humorous Black Twitter Awards in 2017, where various Twitter users were awarded in categories ranging from Twitter war of the year and feminist of the year to thief of the year.
And his authenticity is what has earned him so many supporters, he believes.
Alongside Nzawumbi other Eastern Cape nominees are:
Anele Mdoda in the favourite personality of the year category
Moshe Ndiki in the favourite TV presenter category
Khanyisa Bunu in the favourite comedian category
Siya Kolisi in the favourite sports personality category; and
Zola Nombona in the favourite actress category
Viewers can vote on the DStv App, on www.mzansimagic.tv/dstvmvca, via SMS by sending their favourite nominee’s code to 39201 or USSD by dialling *120*33033#.
The awards will be held on March 14 at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg.
Mzansi Magic acting channel director Shirley Adonis said: “As the number one provider of local entertainment in Africa, we are immensely proud of the growth of our industry, and we are fully committed to celebrating our local stars, and we congratulate all of this year’s nominees.”
For the first time, the public will be able to purchase tickets to attend the event, MultiChoice SA chief customer officer Simon Camerer said.