“There was a time I felt like giving up,” he admits. “Bills were piling up and I couldn’t afford to pay the team for the production of the podcast. But then DJ Sbu came on to the show for an interview and gave me a new lease on life. He said I shouldn’t let go of my dream, despite the challenges. He begged me to face them head on,” MacG recalls.
And clearly that was the best advice ever because today he sits with around 140 000 subscribers, whom he refers to as his chillers. MacG says he started his podcast in June 2018, after leaving radio 94.7 and did it as a form of continuity so that the audience he had built at the station, wouldn’t forget about him.
“I didn’t want an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ situation,” he says. By December of the same year, the podcast grew from strength to strength.
Although he is thriving, this space isn’t without its challenges. “It was hard for the corporates to see the vision and buy into it but now, more sponsors are warming up to us unlike when we first started,” MacG admits.
But of late, he has rubbed up sponsors the wrong way and this saw Old Mutual and Studio 88 pulling out their sponsorship because of the nature of comments on the show.
“It is sad and disheartening to lose sponsors but to be honest, the business model has never been about sponsors as much as it is not about the numbers,” he says, adding that it is about “our chillers”. “The chillers are our main sponsors. It would impact me more if chillers were the ones pulling out,” the 33-year-old former YFM deejay says.
Speaking about the youth radio station, he was reportedly fired for making homophobic remarks, the same issue that landed him in hot water with sponsors recently. Is he homophobic? “No, not at all. People will take things out of context to suits whatever narrative they want to drive. People who watch the channel and know me, know I am not homophobic. I have worked and employed people in the community,” he says, explaining that his departure from YFM was a progression and a build-up of things happening off and on air and his comments then were the last straw.
“If you watch my show,” he says, “you will see I didn’t say anything as I am implicated but because it’s my channel, the buck stops with me.”
His big focus now is forgetting about the naysayers and landing an interview with comedian Trevor Noah. “It is hard to make any dream come true but you have to persevere. Getting Trevor is my dream and I want to show people that it can happen. Whether I interview him now or next year, it’s still fine, the key message is that you have to follow through on your dream,” he says.