Anita Khaile - August 19, 2020

A battle to emerge as the best radio presenter is looming for Malmesbury community radio DJ Sindiswa Maqwelana aka DJ Masindie, after being nominated as best radio presenter for the Golden Art & Media Awards (GAMAs) 2020. DJ Masindie is a presenter at the 7441 community radio station in Ilingelethu, Malmesbury. The radio station recently received funding from the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), which is a statutory body tasked with promoting and assisting the development of community media and small commercial media in the country.

Maqwelana, who is an advocate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) rights, grew up in the rural Eastern Cape before moving to Cape Town. She says after matriculating she pursued hospitality and had a little stint in the industry before quitting after facing discrimination in the workplace due to her sexual orientation. “Due to the way I was being mistreated by the management because of my sexuality, I then decided to quit my job within the field of study. I have always been a talkative child from a young age and while growing up I realised radio presenting would be the right career for me, so then I started researching and applying for radio presenting,” says Maqwelana.

In 2015 Maqwelana was introduced to the internet station called Radio “Khaltsha” where she worked as co-host for three years. In 2018 she joined Radio 7441 FM as host of Isinqi Sabantu, which is a Masikhandi session that plays every Saturday from 11am until 1pm. Her passion for radio was triggered by a love for people and a desire to make them laugh, and provide hope for her listeners and contributing to the community. “Being a lesbian and a radio presenter I’m able to openly talk about sexuality related topics and advise parents who see a sexual change in their children,” she says. “I started an NGO called Iyicace LGBTI which focuses on explaining to society about the LGBTI community so that people can accept us for who we are and stop killing and judging the LGBTI community.”

She says she hosts LGBTI meetings and workshop every weekend. The Iyicace LGBTI also works assists communities by providing food parcels and visiting old age homes where they help elderly people play games and exercise. Anyone who is willing to join hands with the LGBTI community is more than welcome to contact her, she says. Listeners can vote for Sindiswa Maqwelana aka DJ Masindi at radio 7441FM by SMSing GAMA1028 to 47439.

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