Many young South Africans would love the chance to discuss taboo topics or the complicated decisions they're facing in life. With its honest and inspiring conversations, the monthly Don't hold back: say it loud! podcast is one of the few platforms to do this and it's back for a second season, launching on Wednesday, 15 November 2023, say the collaborators. 

"Gauteng's beloved 'More Music you Love' radio station has added an ecosystem of multimedia offerings like the Don't hold back: say it loud podcast, and winning a bronze prize in the Education, Art and Culture category at the International Anthem Awards celebrates our purpose to connect with our listeners wherever they are," says Deirdre King, managing director of Jacaranda FM.

According to the collaborators, host Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba has a CV that is perfectly matched to carry and give clout to 'difficult' conversations. Her YouTube channel has over 200 000 subscribers and millions of views, and Qamngana-Mayaba — who's made it her mission to hold open conversations about her journey living with HIV — is one of Mzansi's biggest activists in the space.

Qamngana-Mayaba, Nozi, as she is known, chats with fellow South Africans on matters ranging from:
  • developing a career
  • navigating Black Tax
  • recognising toxic relationships, to
  • struggling with substance abuse and coping with life's everyday pressures. 

She shapes the podcast Don't hold back: say it loud! by bringing her personal experiences into the interviews and thus creating an intimate atmosphere — especially when it comes to taboo topics that are usually not discussed publicly in South Africa. But Qamngana-Mayaba also gives her guests enough space to tell their stories, the collaborators add. 

Among the guests featured in season two are:
  • Google Africa chief marketing officer Mzamo Masito
  • leading expert on social media law Emma Sadleir
  • chef Wandile Mabaso, and
  • futurist Graeme Codrington.

The focus of Don't hold back: say it loud! is always on constructive conversations: the listeners of the podcast will take away insights to improve their own lives, the collaborators say. Qamngana-Mayaba also manages to give the podcast a unique ambience through her positive, emphatic and direct manner. The podcast is a co-production between Jacaranda FM, East Coast Radio (ECR) and Deutsche Welle.

Don't hold back: say it loud season one has also caught the eye (and ears) of The Association for International Broadcasting as they revealed that Qamngana-Mayaba had been shortlisted for 2023's AIBs in the Presenter of the YearRadio / Audio / Podcast category.

The AlBs recognise the highest standards in journalism and factual productions across TV, radio and digital platforms. Gaining a place on the shortlist is a significant achievement since the standard of entries across all categories in 2023 was extraordinarily high, say Jacaranda FM, ECR and Deutsche Welle.

About the international collaboration

According to the collaborators, pre-launch, Deutsche Welle invested in more than 20 hours of in-depth interviews with South African youth, employing a user-centered approach to address their most concerning needs. From battling debt and suffering gender-based violence to toxic relationships and fighting depression, this youth podcast covers real-world topics that matter to Mzansi's youth.

"The data collected to produce the podcast highlighted that urban South African youth often feel isolated in their issues. Don't hold back: say it loud was crafted as an audio companion to help Mzansi's youth find their own path, but with real-world anecdotes and advice that they can put into practice every month," says King.

"This international broadcaster collaboration on a podcast is a first of its kind on African soil as Deutsche Welle, Jacaranda FM, and East Coast Radio have created a digital product together from scratch — a true collaboration. We are incredibly honoured to be Deutsche Welle's production and distribution partner in Africa for a second season. It's also really exciting to present the youth with an audio companion, backed by data and produced with the utmost care," adds King.

Claus Stäcker, Deutsche Welle head of programmes for Africa, concludes, "With the second season, Don't hold back is no longer an experiment; we know that Qamngana-Mayaba is a popular host; we know that our topic focus is well-received, and we know how we can bring the worlds of digital audio and analogue radio together. The response from users and international awards are proof of this. That's why we're excited at Deutsche Welle to be starting a second season."

Key facts

  • It's a co-production by Kagiso Media Radio (Jacaranda FM and East Coast Radio) and Deutsche Welle and is the first international broadcaster collaboration for a podcast on African soil, and this will now be the second series.
  • The podcast is hosted and produced at Jacaranda FM studios in Midrand, Johannesburg.
  • It is a video podcast.
  • Urban South Africans aged 20 to 35 are the target audience for the podcast.
  • Language: English.
  • Length: 20-30 minutes each episode; the first season had 10 episodes, with 10 more planned for season two.
  • Rhythm of publication: monthly on all podcast platforms and YouTube.

About Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba

South African presenter Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba is well known for her HIV-AIDS activism and YouTube channel, say the collaborators. After her own HIV diagnosis in 2013, Qamngana-Mayaba made it her mission to hold open conversations about her journey.

Now a published author and respected authority on the subject, the 31-year-old's work was named as one of the web's Top 15 HIV YouTube channels. She recently completed a second season of her TV show called '#YesIHaveHIV', where she assists others in disclosing their HIV statuses to friends and family, add Jacaranda Fm, ECR and Deutsche Welle. 

In May, her presenting skills earned her an international nomination in the Presenter of the Year category at the Association of International Broadcasting Awards. With her direct, engaging and empathetic hosting style, she's the perfect fit to address taboo topics — and to say: Don't hold back!  

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