I go behind the mask with Alex Caige, host of Daybreak with Alex Caige on 947...
Your new show, Daybreak with Alex Caige recently launched. What are some of the noticeable changes from this new show to your previous early breakfast show?
The refreshed 5-6am will be a lot punchier and more interactive with our #5AMClub listeners, so you can expect a fast pace show with fun and games to get people in a positive mindset and ready to tackle their day.
947, Gauteng's leading commercial radio station, has announced a new-look, rebranded early morning show. Called Daybreak with Alex Caige, the show caters to the #5amClub - people who are awake at five in the morning...
Daybreak with Alex Caige airs at 5am weekdays. In your case, "the early bird catches the worm". What is your typical morning routine?
I'm someone that jumps out of bed on the first alarm at 3:45am, and literally the first thing I do is feed my pets, jump in the shower and get my day started. I'll only have my first coffee once I get to work around 4:30am.
Could you share with us what’s really behind your mask - literally and figuratively speaking?
Literally, pearly white teeth, I had braces when I was younger and take pride in the fact that I look after my teeth (my high school dentist would be so proud). Figuratively, I'm someone who is outgoing and loves to explore, learn, meet new people. Lockdown has been tough to not socialise, but I keep in mind it's in the best interest to try to stop the spread during this pandemic, so hopefully for the greater good.
Where are you based during lockdown?
At home in Fourways with my two cats, a great internet connection and some recently discovered incredible books!
Almost everyone's work environment has changed. Are you working from home or physical distancing at the office? How has your way of working changed?
We had phases of working from home, but the nature of radio includes a good sounding audio feed which naturally comes best from our studio in Sandton. I think the way we interact with listeners has changed, and the struggles a lot of people are going through need to be kept in mind when discussing things or more importantly for a show like Daybreak.
Listeners need more positive vibes than ever, which is exactly what the show and my personality type offers to those early go getters.
For someone working in a studio, what are the safety protocols taken to ensure that your colleagues stay safe?
We have many. From before even setting foot in the building, our temperatures are checked, we're sanitised, and in between each working station in the studio we have perspex shields to protect colleagues from transmitting the virus. Unfortunately the nature of this virus is that you could get it anywhere and from anyone, so we take precautions to the best of our ability.
Speaking of your colleagues, how do you maintain a good relationship with them?
The reality is Primedia's work environment is amazing, and the fact that those that I work directly with have incredible work ethic, which is important to me, makes my job and life easy at work. The relationships have never been forced, we have grown to like each other organically; but best believe, with strong personalities, when there is a little tiff, we don't mince our words. We do forgive each other within the next five minutes though, so it's ok. :)
Mental health is something that we should really normalise. How or what do you do to keep mentally fit and healthy?
It's one thing to always have someone to talk to, but especially during a time like we are in now, where there is a lockdown and social interaction is limited. I believe it's important to always continue learning. The university of life is one thing where you are always learning, but going a step further of enrolling for a short course on the random things out of your normal scope or comfort zone always gives your mind something to do or a different way to think.
Do you keep physically fit? How?
I absolutely do, and for me this is imperative for my mental health too, it releases all the right endorphins. I try to train at least five times a week at a gym in Sunninghill. On the odd occasion, I'll enroll in an obstacle course race or something similar to give myself a goal to train towards.
When you're not on air, what do you do? How do you socialise these days?
As already mentioned, I'm constantly trying to learn new things or develop myself, so if not keeping myself busy with that, or setting up business meetings to venture into new industries and diversify myself, I'll (out of lockdown restrictions of course) go to braais with friends and appreciate a good whiskey or wine with great conversations.
If I'm not mistaken, growing up you wanted to become a pilot and in 2020 you got your license! Tell us about this experience?
Not mistaken at all. Growing up it was my dream to do one of three things: a radio presenter, a pilot or a Formula 1 driver. I have achieved two out of three of these, so I'm quite stoked I get to live out my dream job(s) every day of my life.
Regarding the pilots licence. When I was probably around 5/6 years old my dad took me to an airshow in East London, and I got to sit in one of the planes there, and from that day onwards the idea of flying intrigued me. The sense of freedom one must feel when being in control of something flying miles above the sky seemed like an exhilarating feeling and I needed to experience it myself, and not just in the backseat of a domestic flight, actually upfront. I've consequently gone on to get my commercial pilots license, and have also completed an aerobatic rating in the past, which I'll be looking at pursuing further in the future.
2021 has just begun. Do you have any 'so-called' resolutions for the new year?
I have an interesting theory about resolutions that may take up more space than this article will allow, but it'll definitely be in my book one day. In a nutshell, I have a few goals I have outlined for myself, which once achieved you'll most certainly be made aware of.
Are you watching any series? Reading any books at the moment?
I have really made an effort over the last two years to read more than ever, and expand my library. I dream of having a 'library room' in my house one day, so to start my collection as soon as possible is key.
I'm currently readying Human Diversity by Charles Murray, and if I may, I would love to recommend to your readers to read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari if you need a good in depth read about our history.
What is the first thing you plan to do - if and when the lockdown lifts?
I'm most certainly going to look at travelling to a Formula 1 race somewhere, if they allow spectators. It was something I would've loved to have done in 2020, but as circumstances had it, that wasn't possible. What are you gonna do, besides continue listening to Daybreak with Alex Caige of course? ;)
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