Entertainment / Celebs And Viral

Steven Tau
2 minute read
18 Jun 2014
6:00 am

Zondi’s eclectic taste recalled

Steven Tau

Millions of South Africans are still reeling in shock following Zondi's sudden death.

FILE PICTURE: Eddie Zondi at the Metro FM studio on June 14, 2011, in South Africa. Zondi presents the Romantic Repertoire on Sundays. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo)

Known to may as the “president of the airwaves”, Zondi died in the early hours of Monday morning after complaining of chest pains.

Zondi had presented his Romantic Repertoire show on Metro FM on Sunday afternoon.

Eddie Zondi’s strength was the eclectic repertoire of music he drew on as a DJ, said radio veteran Grant Shakoane, who played a major role in getting Zondi his first break at Metro FM.

Reflecting on Zondi’s radio career, Shakoane told The Citizen yesterday he was an “insistent and persistent” person. He had always wanted to work in radio.

“Metro FM had a roadshow many years ago in Soweto. That was how Eddie knew of me. One day he came to me and said: ‘GS, I also want to be on radio.’

“He was so persistent. I had no choice but to tell him to come and see me the following day. But that Monday I’d forgotten I’d spoken to him. Our receptionist told me that I had a visitor, and when I went out I saw that it was Eddie.

“I took him out for lunch and promised that I would speak to my seniors. I was acting manager, but I didn’t have the power to hire people.

“I spoke to then station head, Koos Radebe, about a young man who was pestering me. His reply to me was: ‘Slot him in on one of the night shows’.”

Shakoane said Zondi started making waves as soon as he got his chance. It was not long before he was filling in on other programmes.

Zondi was then given the Sunday 3-6pm music slot before taking over the 12-3 GS Connection from Shakoane.

“Eddie didn’t make drastic changes to the show. Instead, he perfected it by adding younger artists, whose work he combined with the old soulful ballads. That was the mix that made him a big figure in radio circles.

“There’s one song that will always remind me of Eddie: The Everchanging Times by Aretha Franklin. Eddie was a marvel,” Shakoane added.

Tributes to Zondi’s memory continued to pour in yesterday.

The Gauteng department of arts and culture said Zondi had been “an integral part of our homes, lives and communities”.

The ANC said South Africans were now musically poorer with the passing of Zondi, who had become a permanent feature on Sundays.

The Economic Freedom Fighters said radio would never be the same for lovers of R&B and soul music. – stevent@citizen.co.za