Kaunda Selisho
Lifestyle Journalist
4 minute read
10 Dec 2021
5:16 pm

702’s Relebogile Mabotja proves that conversation is her niche

Kaunda Selisho

Relebogile Mabotja has made her return to radio and her audience seems to enjoy listening to her just as much as she enjoys doing her job.

702 Afternoons host Relebogile Mabotja | Picture: Instagram

After conceptualising a successful television show and simultaneously launching a joint YouTube account for it, Relebogile Mabotja has made her return to radio and her audience seems to enjoy listening to her just as much as she enjoys doing her job.

Relebogile initially joined the Primedia team in 2017 and hosted the Early Breakfast show until 2019. Thereafter, she did a brief stint at Metro FM before parting ways with the station to focus on her other work as an actress, television producer, host and event MC.

After a one-on-one interview with her directly after her first show on 702 on Monday, 22 November, it’s easy to understand her passion for the entertainment industry. This is something she traces back to her parents’ love for talk radio and music.

Watch as Relebogile Mabotja details her return to 702

“My parents used to listen to 702 all the time in their cars. They loved talk radio and I have very distinct memories of driving home from school in the Brooklyn, Hatfield area in Pretoria all the way to Soshanguve which is quite a drive and 702 playing in the car and we’d be like ‘change mama, change!’ and she would be like ‘you need to know what’s happening in the news!’ and she’d turn the volume up and be like ‘ you see! The president says…'” reminisces the host.

For her, what stands out is her parents’ love for the conversational element of staying informed and how she believes planted the seed that blossomed within her.

In the early days of her career in radio, Relebogile says she drew up a long-term career plan which listed her joining 702 at some point in her career but as luck would have it, 702 is where she started her work in radio.

Upon reflection, Relebogile believes she manifested her return to 702 because a month prior to her return, she had indicated her longing to return to radio to her manager.

She said that all the other offers for work that she had received during that time just didn’t feel right.

“I said to my manager ‘it’s time, I don’t know how, I don’t know when but I need to return to radio’, so when the call came, I was like ‘huh! it is time’ and the timing couldn’t be more perfect,” she said.

After an almost two-year hiatus from radio, Relebogile was naturally nervous ahead of her first show but says the nerves faded away with each passing segment which is either measured in 15 – 30 minute intervals.

“The show went much better than I anticipated! I honestly thought I would be forgetting to tell the time, I would stumble over my own Twitter handle or get the phone numbers wrong but I actually still know the phone number by memory.”

‘Unpacked With Relebogile’

Before the opportunity to return to radio presented itself, the broadcaster recalls missing the talk format of entertaining and long-form storytelling which led to her deciding to launch a podcast.

That idea for a podcast snowballed into what she then hoped would be a YouTube channel.

“At the time, it was lockdown, a lot of shows and things had been put on hold and I spoke to the people I work with. I was like ‘listen, I don’t have money but do you guys want to come and help me put together a show?'”

“Everyone I called was like ‘cool, I’m game.’ We literally set up in my house and I was like to them ‘guys, the hope is that we will go online and someone will pick up the show and it will do great and we’ll get a sponsor and do all these things!'”

After filming the first episode, Relebogile and her team were so proud of what they had done that they pitched it to television channels.

Thanks to her track record as both a producer and a host as well as the quality of her product, SABC3 called exactly a day before her YouTube channel was set to go live. Upon securing her deal, Relebogile highlighted the importance of having a YouTube channel to accompany her show and the channel agreed to let her grow it. Now, each video she uploads amasses tens of thousands of views.

It’s safe to say that conversation is Relebogile’s niche.

Catch Relebogile Mabotja on 702 every afternoon between 1 pm and 3pm.

READ NEXT: Azania Mosaka hands the 702 baton over to Relebogile Mabotja