Seasoned Radio 2000 producer Hlengiwe Khumalo describes herself as an activist and a humanitarian at heart. Through radio production, she has found an outlet to communicate her views while also getting into people’s headspace.
Raised in Pietermaritzburg by a father who was an avid reader, Khumalo very quickly picked up on the habit as well.
“There were always Reader’s Digest publications, newspapers and magazines lying around at home. As a result, I also became an avid reader.
Reading enabled me to imagine and travel the world from the comfort of my couch. This early exposure to reading made me curious about the world and led me to pursue a career in journalism,” she said.
Listening to Radio Zulu with her late grandmother also played a huge part in her journey. Radio dramas and shows by legendary broadcasters such as Kansas Mchunu and Malindi Ntuli fueled her love and curiosity for the theatre of the mind.
Today, the 40-year-old mother of one is a producer on Radio 2000 where she serves as a prime example of media excellence.
With a total of 17 years in the media industry, Khumalo’s path has been filled with plenty of insights and lessons.
“Interactions with different media personalities over the years have equipped me with emotional intelligence and my daily quest of getting into the listener’s headspace has sharpened my communication skills,” she explained.
In a time when podcasts are enjoying continued popularity, the award-winning radio producer expressed that podcasts should not be viewed as replacements for radio but rather additional avenues which open doors for more voices to engage.
Interestingly, Khumalo is also a fashion enthusiast and entrepreneur with a bag business known as Mama ka Jama Bags. As the founder, she says the brand is an extension of her identity since her son’s name is Jama. It is also a business which she believes started purely by chance.
“A lady who used to live in a building I live in gave me a handbag. I posted it on social media and there were a lot of inquiries from my followers. I then went back to the lady to find out how much it would cost to produce the bags. And that was the birth of Mama Ka Jama Bags,” she explained.
The brand has since expanded to include a different range of bags which are fit for different purposes, including laptop bags.
On days when she is not producing award-winning work, spending time with her son or engaged in entrepreneurship, Khumalo can be found relaxing and catching up on much-needed sleep.
Continuing to excel and inspire, the multi- award winning producer looks to embrace a plethora of new opportunities within the media industry.
“I’d like to explore filmmaking and tell more human interest stories through documentaries”.
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