Circa 2007, a new voice was heard on the local airwaves via the Yarona Frequency Modulation (FM) spectrum. This was the voice of a young man by the name of Tshepang Motsisi who had a burning desire to learn and carve his own golden niche. As a protégé of seasoned radio veteran, Owen Rampha, the young Motsisi alias DJ Izzy was given his first break straight from completing his secondary school education and immediately impressed like a duck takes to the water.
Fast-forward to today, the Ramotswa-born lad has placed himself as a brand and currently steers the youth radio station’s drive time slot. He’s also allegedly one of the most-sought after and highest paid presenters around today. Ten years into the game, we trek down memory lane to some of his fondest radio memories as he prepares to celebrate his successful radio career with a colourful do dubbed ‘TenUp’ slated for September this year.
According to Izzy, in due course he will announce the 10 DJs and 10 artists who will join him for an impassioned collaboration at Stanbic Bank Molapo Piazza in Gaborone on September 29th.
Having joined radio straight outta secondary school, how did you find it and who are the individuals that helped you reach for the stars?
Oh yes, I finished my Form 5 and my mother immediately stopped giving me an allowance. She felt that I did not need to move around so I was home and broke with nothing much to do. I needed something to do and pocket money so I got a part-time job at Yarona FM. I had enjoyed radio airplay for my songs before at the station as an artist so K-Luv and Big Duke already knew me.
I started out doing adverts through K-Luv’s recommendation which then convinced the Programs Manager then, Owen Rampha to absorb me into his training program. I completed the training and got my first radio show in June 2007 and ten years later I am on weekday radio.
It’s been 10 years since your voice boomed through our radio speakers. What are some of the highlights of your career both in social projects and profession respectively?
There has been a lot really such as winning the following awards has proved that indeed my craft is celebrated. I have won the MISA Award for Best Radio Presenter, Vision 2016 award under the Pillar of a United and Proud nation for the Hotness Winter Drive, YAMAs for Best Hip Hop DJ and Mascom Social Media awards and of course being a DJ at an international stage of the Big Brother Africa eviction night to entertain the house mates and being watched by over 60 million viewers across the world was amazing.
What does it take to build a brand as sassy as Izzy?
Consistency and adaptation because times change and it is important to consider this in all aspects of our lives. Moreover, we are not getting any young so you can’t do things the same was you did last year this year.
Not only are you a multi-award winning radio presenter, you are also a disc jockey with several accolades and a few radio singles to your name. Why did you venture into radio, music and lights?
As I said, I have been making music since primary school. All throughout high school I was a rapper and I used to perform during talent shows. I paused this in order to become a presenter. After mastering presenting and fully establishing my brand as a media personality, I went back to my other passion which is making music.
I didn’t imagine this but it just felt natural. For me it seems like a complete full circle. However, I make music as a DJ brand now. I do minimum work vocals wise and focus more on brewing concepts and production.
And now you’re busy cooking up a storm as you prep a huge party as part of celebrating your life in radio and music. Please tell us more…
This is a music concert aimed at celebrating Botswana music and it will take place at Stanbic Molapo Piazza. We will have 10 of BW’s hottest artists and 10 DJs alike. This is in line with me celebrating 10 years of being active in the BW entertainment industry. I am hoping to attract at least 5, 000 people at this event. Early bird tickets are already on sale at P100, which admits two people and I encourage people to buy tickets on time and support local.