Zanele Potelwa, aka Young Boomerang on the Roger Goode Show, joined the station as a young presenter along with the 5Squad last year. 5Squad were a group of newbies the station gave on-air opportunities to, and Zanele shone from day one.

Now she reads traffic on The Roger Goode Show (Monday – Friday, 6am to 9am) and hosts The Takeover, Sunday 10am to 2pm. She’s also landed a presenting gig on SABC 1 lifestyle show Selimathunzi.

5FM presenter Zanele Potelwa
5FM presenter Zanele Potelwa

Tell us about your journey to Selimathunzi?

Zanele: Thank you so much. I still can’t believe it’s real – somebody pinch me. It all started with the presenter search that SABC 1 held in 2017 for the show Mzansi Insider. I was the runner-up of the search and 2 years and 2 months later, I got a call asking me if I could stand in on the longest running magazine show in SA, Selimathunzi. Today I am forever grateful to the legendary producers of Selimathunzi and of course SABC 1 for deciding that the stand-in girl over the past few months, could stay and I now get to say I am a presenter and one of the new faces on the biggest television platform in SA. Somebody pinch me again!

You’re passionate about radio and TV, when did this love for broadcast start?

Zanele: I originally wanted to be a doctor, but as they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans and man did God laugh! I realized in my first year of doing a BSc that the science field wasn’t for me and it just so happens that the hobby I looked for while studying towards my BCom turned into my full time job. I joined Tuks FM which sparked the interest, but my ultimate selling point of broadcasting was when I joined the 5FM 5-Day Mentorship programme – the awesome management allowed me to hang around a little longer and observe the radio industry as a mentee. From there, the rest is truly history, because I fell in love with every part of entertainment! I also think watching the likes of Roger Goode, the iconic Fix Moeti and all the incredible humans I’m now lucky enough to call colleagues do their thing, in their space, inspired the bright eyed 21 year-old me – at the time.

You have a great can-do attitude – how do you keep motivated?

Zanele: In 2019, purpose became a very big thing for me. I believe we’re all here to do something, complete a mission of sorts and I try my best to work as hard as I can towards fulfilling that purpose and honouring that feeling of knowing that I have every responsibility to live up to my potential and beyond. My Christian faith, my optimism and my belief in hard work are definitely some other big contributors to it – all of which I can thank my beautiful mom for.

What advice do you have for youngsters trying to get into the industry?

Zanele: Take every opportunity with both hands and run with it, especially when it’s something as simple as making coffee, because that’s your audition for the bigger tasks which are coming – be faithful with the small tasks, so that the bigger can fall into your hands. This brings me to my second point: you never ever know who is watching. My first real job wasn’t at 5FM, but it came from someone who knew the kind of person and worker I was, as a result of us working together a couple of times at 5FM. I don’t believe in ever doing anything for other people, because I believe that what we love deserves our best, always, but from my experience, it is 100% true that you never know who is watching.

What’s the best part of working with the 5FM family?

Zanele: Do we have all day? Man! I love so much about being part of the 5FM family. From how much creative freedom you have as a broadcaster, to the absolutely incredible people that I get to work with and also party with because we love good times – when there’s no pandemic of course. It’s not only one of the most legendary stations in SA, but in terms of the 5FM family – every listener in SA and abroad – it’s home to the people who wake up on the wild side of the bed, the lovers of good times and happiness and it’s home to some of the most insanely hilarious humans. Our listeners make us laugh every day. 5FM is 100% just that – a family and I love it!

Who: Zanele Potelwa 5FM
Radio 5FM: Here.