Gareth Cliff looks on smilingly as stylist and entrepreneur, Siya Beyile, starts his very first radio show. Ok, so the real Gareth is actually in another room, sat around a table, with very serious looking people. But in this CliffCentral studio, a smiling caricature doll of the radio legend stands next to a Yoda Clock and an old school radio and it feels like a good sign for Beyile who admits: “I'm not a radio person, I’m a content person,” in the first five minutes of meeting him.
Called The Threaded Man Exchange with Siya Beyile, the one-hour show that happens every Monday at 11am is co-hosted by Lisa Majozi who most certainly sounds like a radio person. Her voice is so distinct that it is actually the sting that announces the show. The point of the show is to disrupt fashion norms and have debates about important aspects of the scene. The 22-year-old looked satisfied and energetic after completing his very first foray into radio, which was the perfect time to speak to him about his plans.
People know you from your site, The Threaded Man, as a stylist and fashion director. What drew you to radio?
For me, it’s not even about radio. I love content and as a young, black South African, I feel like if I have this space in the industry then I need to impart my knowledge. I need to share more and build more. So in doing the show, it wasn’t about stepping into radio. I talk to people about style on my website, on MTV and I give more of myself. I felt that on radio, there needed to be more content that is honest and can empower other people. I feel that this is the year of the young, black creative. And that’s why I did the show.
Debates seem to be a big part of what you want to be the show’s identity.
Yes! I want to debate hot topics that people don’t want to talk about. I want to talk about the fact that [fashion editor and show guest] Asanda Sizani doesn’t believe that minimalism is African. That is a bold statement to make. We’re not just black and white. Colour communicates things for us. There’s a lot to be tapped into.
CliffCentral is online and you started your career online. Do you believe that traditional media is becoming obsolete?
I’m not against traditional media. I just hate that it is not willing to learn or adapt. Traditional media can survive. Vogue magazine will be around for the next 50 years because it does understand the times and reflects the era that we’re living in. Why isn’t this content on SABC? Because SABC is not willing to have this kind of content on there. It’s about being brave and accepting that young people think, operate and consume differently. It’s about reflecting that.
The Threaded Man Exchange with Siya Beyile is on CliffCentral.com every Monday at 11am.