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Mo Flava admits he nearly turned down Metro FM breakfast slot: 'It came a lot sooner than I expected'

2019-08-20 14:23
PHOTO: Supplied from Metro FM

Johannesburg – It was a Wednesday morning when I met with Mo Flava (real name Moeti Tsiki). The radio presenter had wrapped up his new morning slot on Metro FM before rushing into a meeting with "the big boss", as he put it, then immediately making his way over to the Channel24 office where we got to sit down for a quick chat.  

It's his first meeting with the Metro FM management team since taking over from DJ Fresh, he explains to me when I meet him in the foyer of the Media24 building.  

He doesn't say too much, but from what I can gather, it went well.  

After grabbing some coffee, we head to a boardroom where we sit down and make polite small talk before the interview gets underway.  

While many now know him as the guy who has replaced DJ Fresh, Mo Flava's radio career extends far beyond that. The presenter has spent more than a decade in the industry, starting at YFM in 2005. He explains how he landed that first job.  

"I remember applying for different jobs in retail stores, and I submitted my demo to YFM. A couple of days later they [YFM] called me in for an interview, and they said, 'we'd like to see you', so I went through." 

It was the stations, then, manager Bondo Ntuli who first saw something special within Mo, offering him a job on the spot.

"I literally started that night," he says. 

Taking on Metro FM in the morning

One of the biggest moves in his career so far has been taking over the breakfast slot on Metro FM – a position that is among the most coveted in South African radio.  

While the transition may have appeared to be seamless to fans, Mo Flava admits that he had many questions running through his mind when he was first offered the job, including how and why it happened.  

"Why now? Why not in five years time? Which is when, perhaps, I would have felt I would have been better suited [for the job]." 

He tells me that although he hesitated and did not want to do it, "there were things that said do it, and they overpowered the things that said don't do it." 

He adds: "This is a defining moment for me. It came a lot sooner than I expected, and it's not even something that I wanted to do, actually. I never thought that one day I would do a breakfast show on Metro." 

The DJ admits he was perfectly content running the stations drive time slot. But when Metro FM cut ties with DJ Fresh, someone had to step up and take over. And boy, what big shoes they were to fill.  

Fresh's followers had kept a keen eye on Metro FM, waiting patiently to see what the station's next move would be.  

I ask Mo if, at any point, he felt pressure from the public. "It wasn't pressure from anywhere but myself," he says.  "Because I knew that there were things that had to develop in me as a broadcaster before I could feel that I'm ready for something like that. So when the reality came, and the offer came, and eventually I said yes. That yes just basically put me under pressure just from an internal point of view." 

And what about his relationship with Fresh now that he has taken over his job?

There are no hard feelings there. In fact, the two caught up shortly after Fresh started his new position at 947.  

"I called him on his day one when he started at 947, and I asked him how the show was, and he gave me his feedback, and we were laughing about it. We've had those conversations, you know?"    

Having formed a strong bond over the years, Mo says Fresh has become like a brother to him. "I look up to him, and we always compare notes." 

With a massive task at hand, Mo Flava believes that all he needs to succeed in his new position is a little bit of time.  

"He's [DJ Fresh] been in the industry way longer than I have, but what we know is that time is everything in radio, and things take time to build."