Avid YFM listeners were ecstatic to hear the return of one of their faves to the breakfast slot as DJ Ankletap and Jess B reclaimed their morning spot. As part of YFM's drive to reinforce its legacy as the country's leading voice of youth culture on the airwaves, they listened to the overwhelmingly loud voice of their young audience and made the reshufflle happen.
This move comes hot on the heels of their celebration of their 20 years on air. That's also 20 years spent deeply entreenched in South African youth culture.
"YFM is on the Re-Up and after extensive engagement with its listeners, the station is launching a new breakfast show. GP's hottest frequency is placing radio's favourite 'malume', DJ Ankletap on the morning drive. Monday, 6 November 2017, will see GP wake up to YFM Mornings with Ankletap, weekdays between 05:00am and 09:00am," said YFM in a statement.
"As a radio station, we exist because of our listeners. The change comes from our extensive and thorough research, which took into account the current makeup of the Gauteng radio market and how YFM uniquely forms part of this," explained YFM's Head of Programming, Tumelo Diaho-Monaheng.
Diaho-Monaheng went on to add "we've had Ankletap on the morning show before and it proved very successful, the response our listeners have given has always been amazing. What we did this time around is that we decided to go to our audiences, so we did a lot of research around this morning show. It's not a thumb suck, it's well researched and what was coming through from our listeners quite consistently is that 'we need this guy back on the morning show, there's something that he sparked in our mornings and started our days in a very energetic and positive way.' So the call came from our listeners. It is a statement that we take our listeners and trade partners' voices seriously. We are excited about Ankletap's move to breakfast, he has a natural and easy connection with listeners."
However, there's no one more excited about the change than DJ Ankletap, "the breakfast show is where we set the tone for the rest of the day. I've always believed that it's important to make people feel good as they start their day. There's no greater feeling than knowing that listeners support what I do."
Ankletap expresses that he was overwhelmed by the fact that fans wanted him back so badly. He however went on to clarify that he was overwhelmed with happiness and not so much shock at the fact that they would go to such an extent to see his return.
"The whole four hours was a celebration. I could feel fans celebrating with me, expressing their happiness that I was back. There was no real negativity, people are happy that I'm back with them in the mornings and they're ready to have fun."
He attributes his fan loyalty and the connection he has built with his audience is the way he speaks about his life so honestly. "It's that relatability. People can relate to me because they feel like I am their uncle. You know all those nicknames, 'malume' and 'tap' and 'pompo'... everybody feels like in their own way, they know me."
"If I lie to them, they feel like they can't trust me and if a listener can't trust me then why I am even here?"
Speaking of fans... Ankletap let us in on his most memorable fan encounter - which just so happened to be with someone who had no idea who he is:
I was DJ'ing in Tsakane in a tavern, and when I say tavern, I mean a TAVERN and I walked in with my DJ bag on my back (and obviously you don't get too many white people in this tavern) and there was an older man... He must have been in his forties and he was just dancing and he had like a Black Label quart in his hand.
He looked up and when he saw me, you could see that he was genuinely confused that this white guy is here and he's here to DJ and I walked past him and he obviously didn't know who I was and he looked at me and he just went 'sure DJ Van Wyk!'
That was honestly one of the funniest and most memorable experiences I've had in my life because to him, any white guys is just a Van Wyk, but he said it with such happiness and welcoming in his heart and that kind of influenced how I broadcast - you don't really need to know who I am but if you're happy with what I do then I am happy."
One thing that caught my attention while in studio was a new segment called "the hookup" in which Ankletap's breakfast team (in partnership with some recruitment agencies) puts a listener's CV on the air and spends the next five days trying to find them a job.
"This is a youth station and the one thing we need as the youth is jobs. Unemployment is a problem so I've taken it upon myself and I'm putting my reputation on the line and the team's reputation on the line... Every Monday, we're going to take someone's CV and put it on the air and we have until Friday to get that person a job. So essentially, every single Friday, we're aiming to give someone a job and that makes a literal difference. If we do it one week at a time and one person at a time, that's 52 jobs a year and I think that's more than any other radio station and any other DJ is doing and that's going to be massive."
The station also announced Smash Afrika as the host of the YFM weekday evening slot between 18:00pm and 21:00pm. He will also start on Monday 6th November. Smash remains an integral part of YFM’s strategy. The station is still the best platform for talent to constantly reinvent themselves and Smash has proven a great ability to take on his new slot.
Main image credit: © ZAlebs by Kay Tatyana Selisho