It seems that for radio personality, Sechaba Gqeba, known as Sechaba G, a career in broadcasting was written in the stars.
Almost all the doors she knocked on opened, leading to where she is now. Her journey began during her matric year, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, where she attended a radio workshop by accident.
“My festival schedule got muddled up because I fell sick on the first day. I ended up gatecrashing a radio workshop for three days instead,” she says.
“At the end of the workshop, the Rhodes station manager pulled me aside and said, ‘I don’t usually tell people this and I can tell that you didn’t plan to come here, but I think you are really talented and you sound amazing on air. I have an ear for the person that has a knack for this. I really think you should pursue a career in radio.”
Since then, Vereeniging-born Sechaba G has worked for Vaal Community Radio, SAfm and Kaya FM, among other popular radio stations in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
“I love the authenticity of radio and that it’s not overly scripted and not overly planned,” she says.
“Yes, there is a lot of planning beforehand, but I can literally come across an idea while on air and speak about it for the next five minutes. It can be hard at times but the listeners make it easy... there is always content,” says Sechaba G, who also works as an MC and voice-over artist.
The 30-year-old mother of one has landed her biggest role to date as the 19th season presenter for SABC2’s flagship women’s talk show, 'Motswako'.
Produced by Carol Bouwer Productions, 'Motswako' has entrenched itself as a powerful and essential voice for South African women, discussing relevant issues facing women today.
“I have been doing radio for 11 years. I love radio and it will always be my first love. However, I have always wanted to explore broadcasting as a whole,” she says.
“I have been trying to get into TV for the past two years so I am very excited about this opportunity.”
Sechaba G has big shoes to fill. Previous 'Motswako' presenters include industry giants such as the likes of radio presenters Mapaseka Mokwele and Penny Lebyane.
“I am talking to women from all walks of life, which for me is exciting. So far, I have interviewed Malawi’s former president, Joyce Banda, and singer Kelly Khumalo I chat to different women from all walks of life, which makes it interesting. I am still nervous about the position!
Then I remembered that it’s how I was when I started radio. I feel like as an artist there should always be some type of nerves. When you stop being nervous and you get too comfortable that becomes a problem,” she says.
What is it like working with former actress and TV presenter Bouwer, I ask.
“She is amazing. She is really what I would call a full-on mentor. She is all about uplifting other women making sure that she gives the time and resources to empower them.
“She always tells me, ‘You have to do it for the next woman and the next as well It needs to be a chain.’
“Working with Bouwer has been enlightening and surreal, but at the same time, it feels like she is someone I have known my whole life who is looking after me,” she says.
On the TV footprint she would like to be remembered for, she says: “I just want to do my best. I am quite young compared with the previous hosts so pressure is on!
“I want to be counted among the great. I am one of those people that don’t do something for the sake of doing it.
“I know this may sound cheesy or corny, but I would like to walk in the footsteps of Oprah Winfrey, whom I look up to. She has inspired a lot of women like me,” she says.
* Catch Sechaba G on 'Motswako' every week, on Wednesday at 8.30pm on SABC 2.
Follow her on Instagram @sechabag