#YouthMonth: How to make your mark in the SA broadcast industry

This year, Barron Hufkie is celebrating seven years in radio, having made the lucky jump from campus radio on MFM 92.6 in 2011 and shifting the dial to KFM in 2015. Hufkie explains his biggest learning since entering the world of work and shares advice on how others can follow suit.
Barron Hufkie by Eben Photography.

Hufkie is a ‘voice guy’ – not only is he an in-demand bilingual event MC and voice-over artist, he’s also a club and event DJ, and of course, you can hear his vocal talents on KFM 94.5 every single day of the week.

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Issued by Primedia Broadcasting 21 Nov 2017

He’s currently the sports anchor on the Flash Drive with Carl Wastie and Zoe Brown from 4pm to 7pm on weekdays, while also hosting the Saturday night Bloc Party from 9pm to 1am and KFM Sunday Nights from 7pm to 10pm.

This comes as no surprise to those who've known Hufkie from an early age, as he shares that while growing up in the Eastern Cape, he hosted ‘concerts’ where family members were charged an entry fee to see him perform. His natural talent for entertaining meant he took a shine to public speaking and debating at school and honed his skill from there.

Here, Hufkie explains his nickname ‘Snack Burger Barron’, how he combines his passion for radio and sport and shares advice to those aspiring to follow in his footsteps as a radio presenter…

Bizcommunity Talk us through your career highlights so far.

One of my biggest career highlights thus far is definitely being on one of the Cape's biggest drive-time radio shows and getting to do what I love every single day!

I also hosted the breakfast and drive shows at MFM 92.6 after responding to a job posting and nailing it. While there, I coordinated the news and sports reports and interviewed the likes of Mumford and Sons and deadmau5. I was also nominated for two MTN Radio Awards in my first year and won numerous campus radio awards.

Bizcommunity What was your biggest learning on entering the ‘world of work’?

I've learned so many things but most importantly that things don't just happen overnight and it’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of "hanging in there". Also that you need to have your own back in this industry, because if you don't, no one else will.

Bizcommunity What was your ‘when I grow up’ dream when you were younger, and what is it now?

As a kid I wanted to be a big TV star, I always wished I could be one of the KTV or Yo-TV presenters. I still have the TV goals in mind, but there are also other business aspirations…

Bizcommunity What do you love most about your day (or should that be ‘night’) job?

Seeing that it’s not your normal 9am to 5pm job, I love all the free time I have in my day. I have to be at the studio at least an hour before my show starts at 3pm so luckily I don't have to be up at 5am to start my day.

It is also a bonus if you work with people you admire and get along with like Carl Wastie and Zoë Brown. They certainly make work feel like it’s just three friends hanging out having a great time.

Bizcommunity You’re on-air for a few hours seven night a week. How do you balance that and fill the rest of your time?

Doing a three-hour radio show every day from Monday to Sunday can get quite intense because you constantly have to be there mentally and emotionally 100%, you can’t ever have a bad day or "not feel like it." The show must always go on. Each day can be very different from the other. Sometimes you can have a 12-hour day when you have an MC or DJ gig and a radio show on the same day.

I also do retail radio at Clicks Live on certain days, which means I end up doing six to eight hours of radio in one day. When it comes to preparing for your radio show, you need to think quality over quantity.
Many people think that good radio presenters just ad-lib their show but the secret to creating that spur-of-the-moment sound or feeling is to prepare properly. This doesn't mean you have to write out a script for every word you are going to say. Remember you want your show to sound natural.
Thus the better you prepare the more time during the show you will have to enjoy yourself, interact with the listener and deliver a great show. Even if you aren’t “feeling it” on a particular day, the work you have already put in to prepare in advance will ensure you still deliver a good show.

Bizcommunity We hear your nickname is ‘Snack Burger Barron’, explain how this came about?

Being the new kid on the block, a listener sent in a voice note on our show and greeted everyone, but she couldn't get to my name, so she just called me "the other guy" and of course my co-hosts Carl and Zoë thought it was the funniest thing ever. They started referring to me as "the other guy" for the rest of the show until another listener sent in a voice note saying,
I don't know why they're calling Barron 'the other guy', have you seen Barron!? He is a snack! Not just a snack sommer the whole buffet, he can be my little snack burger anytime.
It just escalated from there!

Bizcommunity What role does social media play in your career?

Social media undoubtedly plays such a big role in every media practitioner's life.

It's not necessarily always a good thing for us as radio presenters, because your talent doesn't speak for itself nowadays unless you have a big social media following and the sad thing is that those followers don't necessarily tune in to listen to your radio show, they just care about what you post on "the gram".

The positive side is that you can use social media as a platform to promote content and your brand.

Bizcommunity Share some advice for those aspiring to become a radio presenter.

You don't choose radio, radio chooses you. You need to be a certain kind of crazy for it to choose you.
Be tough. Be patient. Be unapologetically you. And put in the work.

Wise words for anyone to live by, whether you’re young in years or young at heart. Visit the Primedia Broadcasting press office and be sure to follow both ‏KFM and Hufkie on Twitter for the latest updates.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) is Editor-in-Chief: Marketing & Media at Bizcommunity.com, with a passion for issues of diversity, inclusion and equality. She's also on the Women in Marketing: Africa advisory panel, was an #Inspiring50 2018 nominee, and can be reached at ...