The voice is one of the first sounds a baby hears when it comes into the world. The voice is also the most powerful tool a radio presenter can possibly possess - as an ability to carry meaning, message and magic, to a mass listening audience.
For the lovely Che Ulenga, her voice is just part of her package of exceptional qualities. And after 13 years as a celebrated Namibian radio personality, DJ, host and celebrity in her own right, she has earned her title “goddess of the airwaves”.
More than just charm, brains, beauty and the ability to communicate, Che’s energetic drive has taken her personality beyond radio, where she has been front and centre as an MC for countless events and shows, whilst thriving on the limelight. In fact, this week-end she has been invited to MC the upcoming ‘MTC 081 Every1 Music Festival ‘ in Katutura at the Sam Nujoma Stadium, which she is super excited about. This is the seventh time the show is being held in Namibia, with artists from South Africa, Nigeria, Zimbabwe as well as a stellar line-up of Namibian acts on the programme.
Che is preparing to be the “host with the most”, starting off at 11h00 and ending at midnight. She’s gearing up to get the crowd excited, and says she will let the energy speak for itself because it won’t be scripted. They are expecting a huge turnout with proceeds from the N$25 ticket sales going to the Shack Dwellers Federation. Social awareness is something Che holds close to her heart, and she’ll tell you she uses her platform as a radio presenter to spread positive messages and create awareness for certain causes. She is comfortable calling herself an “activist”, and supports female empowerment, as she was raised in a home where issues of Gender Based Violence (GBV) formed part of her upbringing.
Last week she was forefront in the ‘break the silence - no more violence’ march against GBV, joining ‘the #TOTALSHUTDOWN Intersectional Women’s March’, which saw 50 women take to the streets, in a call for Government and society to consider GBV a “crisis”. Known in the industry as the ‘goddess of the airwaves’, for the past six years Che has been synonymous with the ‘Breakfast Show’ on 99FM, where listeners are inspired at the start of the day to her upbeat energy, music and chatty voice.
She’s a huge supporter of local music and talents of the arts, and was selected as one of the Namibian Annual Music Awards [NAMAS]’s judges, which she describes as both exciting and challenging, contributing towards the growth of young artists and the music industry. Che has also spread her wings on many travels throughout Africa, London, Berlin and Egypt, whilst meeting people from all walks of life. She says her career highlights are the people, her listeners and her audience who have shown her support and love over the years, fuelling her reason to carry on. But radio wasn’t first choice, explains the mother of a teenage boy, who was on her way to becoming a forensic physiologist, before she found her niche. Che says going forward she will continue to do what she loves, to support the local music industry and the arts, stand up for women’s rights, and be the voice on radio for the people.