WINDHOEK - Mannetjie Tjiundje, popularly known as DJ Max-T from NBC Omurari FM, has a wealth of experience when it comes to local music and promotes it very well in his own vernacular, which is Otjiherero.
Many local presenters on radio stations that work for different language services tend to only play music that is created for that specific language, but not Max-T, as he has broken that barrier to cross-border promote all local content at the station where he works.
The coolest Otjiherero entertainer, as he calls himself, attributes his knowledge to understanding the industry and knowing all types of genres. He told Entertainment Now! that, as an entertainer, he needs to stay updated on what is happening from the current crop that is trending, and from producers to artists.
“I make sure I feed the nation with everything that is moving. That is how I have been able to cater for different audiences all these years; I don’t discriminate. When I’m on the radio, I do this for the people outside to judge what our local industry has to offer,” he explained.
When he started in 2004, he had opportunities to join English radio stations, which he declined because he saw a niche in the market. He wanted to move away from the normal way of thinking that people only listen to a particular radio station because of a particular language and change the format of the music played and the artists interviewed ranging from #Ma/gaisa, Hikwa, Kwaito, and Shambo.
He calmly handles his interviews in a unique manner and he quickly translates their conversation for the listeners to understand. This has broadened the scope for the veteran DJ/MC and expanded his listenership on the station. “People have this belief that if you do everything in English you will make it. I have learned from our colleagues in South Africa where they embrace their culture and relay their message to the masses. I want my audience to listen to hit songs and hear their favourite artists on my show, which will make you tune into our frequency regardless of your ethnic background,” he said.
Max-T, who started out at Katutura Community Radio (KCR) now known as Base FM in 1997, won the NAMAs best radio entertainer award in 2014. He has a unique way of conducting interviews on a fast pace with great ease and knowledge of the subject at hand, which intrigues listeners.
Omurari FM only had a playlist that included Oviritje, Soul Brothers, township disco or South African music at the time he joined Otjiherero Radio at the time, he relates. “I explained to my management when I started that we should not be tribal, as music brings everybody [together]. This was difficult, as they always used to shift me to programmes, which included more formal content. With time, the station changed their views as I always used to preach the One Namibia, One Nation notion, which they gradually adopted,” he reminisced.
Today he is proud to be one of the pioneering producers coming from a language station that proudly supports all local genres, including international music. He also advised all artists to concentrate on producing good quality music and for them to knock on any radio station for interviews, as they should accommodate anybody regardless of their music and nobody should feel left out.