Music channel in hunt for new VJ

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to Fikile Moeti

Can you believe that more than seven years ago Sizwe Dhlomo was not a celebrity? He does seem to have been around for ever, though, judging by the success he has had over the years.

From being an MTV VJ in October 2005, Dhlomo has gone from strength to strength, making himself one of the most sought- after personalities in presenting, DJ work and MC-ing gigs in SA.

Of late he has also tried his hand at restaurant management and that seems to be going well.

But he is not the only one whose life changed overnight after being hand-picked as MTV’s next VJ.

A year after his induction, a bubbly Fikile Moeti stepped on to the scene as the second person who MTV Base chose as its favourite to host its shows. Since then it has felt as if the MTV VJ search exercise went cold.

For years the two winners ruled the airwaves as they branched out from their original jobs into other endeavours.

But judging from the recent announcement that MTV Base is looking for another presenter, it appears Dhlomo and Moeti will not be alone for long.

Moeti found time in her busy schedule to give some pointers on how to make an impression.

“The best advice I can give anyone who is going to the auditions is that they should be themselves. MTV is looking for a person who naturally speaks to, and represents, the MTV brand and not someone who tries to be a brand ambassador,” she explained.

She recalled how, back in 2006, she found it easy to audition because she had spent her entire childhood watching MTV, so she knew more or less what the brand’s expectations were.

“We watched MTV religiously because it spoke to us. The brand has to speak to you before you even step out of your home to go to the auditions,” she said. “I remember waking up after a big party at my flat and seeing the flyer for the search on my fridge. I was hung over and thought: ‘Maybe I will, or not.’ For some reason I decided to give it a try and showered and went. I was there for about an hour and a half and got nervous only when these girls who were in front of me started reciting speeches. I didn’t know we had to recite anything and when I looked at the brief I knew I could not remember all that. So I just went in, put my own spin on the speech and got the job,” she explained.

The new VJ will become one of the key faces of the music TV network, hosting programmes on MTV Base as well as interviewing stars, MC-ing entertainment events, walking the red carpet and travelling all over the continent.

Celebrity judges analysing the contestants on their potential to be an MTV VJ will be SABC Live presenter Bonang Matheba, hip hop star HHP, TV presenter and DJ Azania Mosaka and MTV creative director Tim Horwood.

“The person has to be aged between 18 and 25. They must hold a valid South African ID and be willing to move to Joburg,” said Horwood.

Because of the tight time frame only an undisclosed number of people will be interviewed at any given point. Others, such as latecomers, will be turned away.

“The person should have general pan-African music knowledge and passion. They should also know a lot about international music,” he said.

The MTV Base VJ Search auditions will start simultaneously in Durban and Cape Town at 9am on July 14, before moving to Joburg on July 21.

Registration opens at 9am in each location and the auditions will be on a first come, first served basis, so applicants are encouraged to arrive early.

For full terms and conditions, or to download the registration form, visit www.mtvbase.com and follow the relevant links to the MTV Base VJ Search page.

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