Quick catch-up with Jacaranda FM's Mack Rapapali

2017-02-03 05:01


Mack Rapapali
Mack Rapapali (Photo: Supplied)

Cape Town - We have a quick chat with family guy and radio DJ - Mack Rapapali. 

Mack Rapapali's talent was spotted in 2013 during a Jacaranda FM talent search called Foot in the Door. Unbeknown to the Jacaranda FM team, he literally slept in his bakkie at a petrol station close by and used the shower at a local gym for the first eight months of presenting at the station.

He is now one of the most loved presenters at the station - a family man living in Centurion with his wife and 3 year-old daughter.

Mack is originally from Welkom in the Free State and although he tried his hand at studying Law and working in the mining and FMCG industries, he says he has found his dream in radio. His life motto is: "I was never born poor to die poor", which led him to do whatever it took to turn this dream into a reality: A fantastic "Homeless to hot radio jock and TV star" success story!

1. Foot in the door ultimately led to your career in radio. Can you tell us more about that experience?

Jacaranda FM was the one station I've always wanted to work for and sitting in that studio auditioning was an amazing experience. Even after a few months had passed since the audition, I never gave up on the dream of receiving that call, but when I finally did I thought it might be a scam!

In a way I was also strangely afraid of the "big city life." Today, I wake up every morning with a humble smile - thankful for this opportunity - one that was once a dream of a young boy from Welkom who used to stream and listen to Jacaranda FM when driving past Gauteng to the Northwest Province for family holidays.

2. What is your favourite part of the job? 

The moment that red "ON AIR" light goes on and the adrenaline kicks in. The feeling of appreciation for the ears listening and the team working behind the scenes to make sure that the engine runs smoothly.

3. Who influenced you most in your career? 

My mom and ouma. They always told me that I have a big mouth, that I'm very opinionated (which they said would land me in trouble!) and that I should follow my first love - broadcasting.  Besides that I've always looked up to guys like Rian van Heerden, John Robbie, Thuso Motaung and Chomane Chomane, to name but a few.

4. Which years hold the best musical memories for you?

The 80's, 90's soul/R&B, hip-hop and "boeremusiek" - A reflection of the different phases I went through in life. I like older music because, in my opinion, there was better storytelling and more substance back in the day.

5. What advice would you give to people who want to break into the industry?

Do not fail yourself. No matter how bumpy the road may be or how long it takes, do not fail yourself. You have to love your passion and dream. Humble yourself at all times. Appreciate your listeners, viewers and clients who purchase your brand. Those are the people who motivate every second on your clock.

6. What's one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I'm actually an open book besides the fact that I struggle with insomnia from time to time. The sound of rain helps me to fall asleep, so my phone is full of rain downloads!

7. What artist would we be surprised to find on your playlist? 

I'm addicted to Hillsong! I listen to a wide range of musical genres, so each of them has an opportunity to be on my playlist at least once.

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