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The news is out that 5FM is changing. By now, some listeners might have migrated with motormouth Gareth Cliff to platforms like WeChat, Comedy Central and his website, but traditional listeners are in for a change too, with time slots and new voices on 5FM.
Ads on 5FM promoting their new presenters may have had some listeners wondering, “Who’s Nick Hamman?”
Hamman, however, is not new to many Western Cape listeners. His promotion to a daily prime morning slot on national radio, only two years after being plucked from campus radio, is an accolade.
In 2012, Hamman was the winner of Good Hope FM’s campus DJ search.
He was a philosophy and politics major in his second year at Stellenbosch University when he won the contest, for weekday afternoon drive show on the campus’s MFM.
At the time, he told The Good Weekend that he grew up listening to radio. He still had a tape recording of a radio presentation he had made for his Grade 6 class.
Hamman did his last show on Good Hope FM on March 30. He was the host of their weekend breakfast show.
Soon the nation will hear “Hamman Time” from 8am to 10am, as 5FM breaks away from traditional three-hour slots.
In the void left by Cliff, DJ Fresh mans 5am to 8am, leaving Hamman with the last hour of the morning drive. Joining him will be Thabo Modisane as executive producer and news presenter Kim Schulze.
Modisane had worked on the morning show with Cliff.
“I’m excited about Nick being 23 and moving to our platform. Nick is the amplification of the youth’s voice that 5FM represents,” said 5FM programme manager Tim Zunckel.
Unlike Rob Vember, who did not make the line-up, Hamman will not do the show from Cape Town. He has moved to Gauteng.
“Thanks to the magic of radio, I did my last show for Good Hope FM from the basement of the SABC (in Auckland Park). We needed as much time as we could, we want to achieve something groundbreaking,” he told The Good Weekend.
Hamman will return to the Cape in June to collect his degree at his graduation at Stellenbosch.
“Studying is something I will always keep doing. My studies and radio have always been separate things for me. I think if you are on radio, you have a social responsibility. We need optimistic people; radio is a medium that can never be replaced.”
Moving to Joburg to take up this large task is a big step – it’s his first time living away from home and the furthest he’s been from home. He has so far found Joburg friendly, with a “pro-active culture”.
A slot like 8am to 10am is fairly unusual in commercial radio, as most morning drive shows run from 6am to 9am.
“I think this is unconventional. I will be doing breakfast content for South Africans who start their days later... It’s going to be Hamman Time.”
MFM and Good Hope FM have boosted his profile, and he says they have prepared him for the 5FM task.
“The important thing is to be current and be yourself. It’s no secret that I’ve wanted to work at 5FM. Every employer of mine knows I’ve wanted to work there.”
His intentions for Hamman Time? “I’m bringing radio back to the listeners. It’s not going to be about me, me, me. There will be a lot of opportunities to get involved.”
Hamman keeps his finger on international radio trends using the TunedIn app. His feet, however, are firmly planted in the Mother City and he intends building on the station’s profile here.
“The best thing about 5FM is that it is national. It makes sense for them to want to keep a strong hold in Cape Town. I am going to sneak down to Cape Town at every opportunity.”
l Follow Hamman on Twitter using the handle @Nick_Hamman or join the conversation about the new line-up using the hashtag #upgrade555.