#BehindtheSelfie with... Lesley Piet

This #WomensMonth, we go behind the selfie with radio personality, voice-over artist and club DJ Lesley Piet, on-air at Heart FM until recently, who grew up in an all-woman home, raised by her mom, late grandmother and three sisters.
Piet captions this: "#LivingMyBestLife. You don’t need much to be happy and content."

1. Where do you live, work and play?

Live – Northern Suburbs.
Work – Green Point.
Play – I play everywhere. On a mountain, the beach, with my dogs…

2. What’s your claim to fame?

I was a DJ at Club Entourage in Stellenbosch – I sent an email asking if I could come in and play, even if it was for an hour before the club got busy. I was the only female DJ at the club and after a while they became brothers.
Though it wasn’t my first radio job and I started off with the graveyard shift, from 1am to 4am at Heart 104.9FM in late-2017, and until recently I was the weekday traffic anchor, from 9am to 3pm.
A door has opened up for me, but I’m only at the beginning of my career. I still have so much more to offer the industry whether it’s on-air, TV presenting, or content producing.

With that being said, I’m so grateful for this opportunity and the fact that I have been able to work with radio legends has been a huge bonus!

3. Describe your career so far.

My career thus far has been pretty exciting. I’ve learnt so much in the past six years of working in this industry.

From doing graveyard shifts at independent Stellenbosch campus radio station ‘Move to the Music’ MFM 92.6 back in 2013, where I was nominated for a Liberty Radio award for ‘Best Daytime Show’ for my weekday show The AM2PM.
When I started out, I just listened to one music genre and I wanted to be a sports anchor/reporter, but somewhere in between my training at MFM 92.6 I was introduced to other genres and how to create compelling radio content that evokes different emotions in order for you to connect with your listener.
Then I moved on to Pep stores’ Feelgood FM retail radio, and to a short producing stint at Cape Talk 567, before starting my dream job at Heart FM, which I've since left, having parted amicably with the station. Keep an ear out for me as I find my wings? Side note – I’m only getting started!

I see myself growing as a broadcaster and really getting to understand radio on a commercial level. I just want to do radio and have lekker conversations with people from all walks of life, whether it’s on a daytime or night-time show.

4. Tell us a few of your favourite things.

I love hiking and dancing – in my head, I’m a professional video vixen!

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When I’m not at work, you can find me with my family either watching movies, having a glass of wine or braaiing. I love spending time with my family. I don’t always have time to hang out with my friends, but it’s good to catch up with the people that you love once in a while. It’s therapeutic.

5. What do you love about your industry?

The industry is very small and everyone knows everyone – I love the people you get to meet and work with.

I also love the storytelling aspect, the stories you get to share with the listeners and the impact you get to have on their lives. To be able to change the listener’s mood is really something special.

6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists.

I’m a true Capricorn in every essence, so my days are pretty planned out… until recently I was at Heart FM from 9am to 3pm, and if I’m booked for voice-over castings, they happen after 3pm. My nights belong to reality TV shows –yes, I’ve watched all of the Real Housewives franchises!

7. What are the tools of your trade?

My authenticity. I don’t know how to be anything else but real.

8. Who is getting it right in your industry?

I absolutely love Phat Joe! He’s been my mentor in my head for many years. I love how real and authentic he is, be it on TV or on radio.

Also, Pearl Shongwe of Metro FM. She’s young, bubbly and her energy is next level. I love how she’s shaping her own path in the industry.

9. List a few pain points the industry can improve on.

I’d like to see more females leading the pack.

I’ve worked with some great ladies and it’s really nice to watch other females flourish and cheer each other on. It’s really inspiring.

10. What are you working on right now?

Besides radio, I’m currently doing a social media and marketing course. I think as media personalities, it’s important for us to understand our brands and how to fuse print, radio and TV with social media.

11. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself.

“Content is key,” definitely floats around the office every now and then.

12. Where and when do you have your best ideas?

In the morning, when I’m having breakfast.

13. What’s your secret talent/party trick?

I can’t b-boy to save my life, but I’ve mastered the windmill. Shout out to my primary school ballet teacher, Ms Penny!

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14. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?

I’m definitely in-between.

15. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?

Nothing, to be honest. I clear my messages and call logs, even on WhatsApp. My apps all have passwords, so you can’t access them. The photos, music and videos are all copied to my laptop.

I’ve lost too many cellphones, and I have this fear that someone is lurking around with all my old stuff…

16. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?

Take initiative. If you want something really badly, do the work.

If you really work hard and put in the time and effort and show that you really want to do something, you’ll be rewarded. It might not happen as fast as you’d like it to happen but it will. What’s meant for you will always find a way to you.
I want to show the young girl from Blue Downs, Eersterivier, Kleinvlei or wherever you come from, you can rise above your circumstance. Stay focused on the end goal and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.
Simple as that. Follow Piet on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for her latest updates.

*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.
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About Leigh Andrews

Leigh Andrews (@leigh_andrews) AKA the #MilkshakeQueen, 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, and can be reached at ...