UPCOMING Bulawayo television and radio presenter, Mpumelelo Moyo, popularly known as Lelo, recently had opportunities to appear on SABC 1’s YOTVLIVE, Channel Africa and SkyzMetro courtesy of his versatility. Strong-willed and focused, the 24-year-old Lelo is breaking barriers and still strives for more. Despite his noteworthy exploits, he has maintained a low profile uncharacteristic of most upcoming and ambitious upstarts in the arts industry. NewsDay Life & Style Reporter, Sharon Sibindi (ND) caught up with Moyo (MM), who spoke about his adventures and experiences in the arts industry. Below are excerpts of the interview.
By Sharon Sibindi
ND: Can you tell us more about yourself? How has your journey in the arts industry been?
MM: Well, I am just an ambitious boy from Bulawayo with big dreams for the future. It has been fruitful, sad, interesting, trying and overwhelming all at once. It’s not an easy road.
ND: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
MM: My family inspires me because everybody at home, especially my grandmother, is a go-getter.
ND: Since you have been based in South Africa, how do you find the arts standards back home?
MM: In Bulawayo to be specific, there is a lot of talent. People are gifted here, but then there is the downfall of arrogance. Almost everybody thinks they are famous and too important to collaborate with others. That’s their downfall. It’s a shame.
ND: Looking at television and radio presenters in Zimbabwe, do they match the South African standards from your assessment?
MM: Given the lack of resources and the necessary training here in Zimbabwe, I think we are doing well. We really make the most of everything and we try to catch up.
ND: As an upcoming television and radio presenter, what have you learnt so far in your journey?
MM: I have learnt that this is not my mother’s house. It’s not all glitz and glam. It’s a superficial industry with little reality and very few genuine people. One needs to have a thick skin because it’s not for the faint-hearted.
ND: Besides being at SkyzMetro FM, where else have you showcased your talent and how was it for you?
MM: At SkyzMetro FM really, it was a short stint of corresponding for the breakfast show, yet it was also eventful. I learnt a lot from that experience. I had the blessing of being on YOTVLIVE: SABC1 as well as Channel Africa at the Grand SABC Radio Park-it was life changing.
ND: Would you say you have accessed fame and fortune as many seek?
MM: No, I do not think it necessarily gave me fame although some people do recognise me from YOTV. I wish I had the fortune.
ND: What are some of the challenges that you encountered in your journey and how have you managed to cope with them?
MM: The irony is that after my training at the SABC as a presenter/producer, so many people distanced themselves from me. Some friendships ended. I had the support of my family and God. I think that was the only way I managed to cope with the disappointments and challenges that come with this industry.
ND: Do you live off on being a presenter or you have other supplementary projects?
MM: No, I am not a full-time presenter and I am currently off air. I doubt it’s possible to live off on it in Zimbabwe just yet. I actually do have other projects, but I might shelve them since I need to go to university soon for a psychology degree.
ND: What was your time at SABC like?
MM: I truly had a wonderful time working at the SABC’s Henley Studios in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. The people there were friendly and very humble. I met a lot of legendary artistes and learnt so much. The limitless invitations to events like Miss SA, SAMAs, Metros and SA Fashion Week were the cherry on top.
ND: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
MM: Really, I have to say my mother, my grandmother. In the entertainment industry I admire Connie Ferguson. Can I please give a shout out to Garaatwe Mokhethi, the publicist at Generations: The Legacy. She is gold.
ND: What do you think should be done so that we match what other countries are doing in terms of content?
MM: I think people need to understand that as presenters they have the responsibility to educate and empower others through sharing knowledge. We need to learn to work together and be more open to other ideas.
ND: Your parting shot?
MM: Be the best that you can be and always keep it in the heart, never allow it to go to the head and remember, we keep moving!