Meet the man behind the voice of



Published Jan 7, 2012



He’s been famously ridiculed in one of Trevor Noah’s comedy shows, and is best known for his unique voice on Yet for the past decade no one has seen his face, or discovered the man behind the gravelly voice.

This week, however, Weekend Argus caught up with’s well-known voice-over artist Bongani Njoli.

The 42-year-old Capetonian’s voice has become synonymous with the channel, having worked at the station for the past 11 years. Viewers will recognise his voice from the many programmes he advertises.


Njoli began his stint as a voice-over artist at the station in 2000, after impressing them with his work during the graveyard shift at Good Hope FM.

“It all happened really quickly,” said Njoli. “One of the producers at phoned me and asked me if I was interested in working as a voice-over artist. I jumped at the opportunity and fortunately they were impressed by my audition.”

Interestingly, Njoli had auditioned for a job at in 1996, but didn’t make the cut at that time.

The 42-year-old, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCT, was thankful for the second chance.

“It’s certainly a fun job, but a very challenging one too,” he said.

“Many people think it is a very simple, straightforward job. That’s not the case at all. Different programmes require different kind of voices.”

He explained that when he is presenting WWE wrestling, “I have to use a kind of adrenalin rush, exciting, over-the-top voice”. For drama or horror, though, he says his voice becomes “much deeper and darker”.

Turns out that his voice is “all natural” too.


“The voice that people hear on is my natural voice. Nowadays many people go for voice training, but I never ended up going.”

Njoli said he most enjoyed advertising for WWE and Champions League football, as he was a huge wrestling and football fan


It has not, however, all been smooth sailing for Njoli.


“I get SMSes and e-mails from people saying that I am trying too hard to sound American. I have even received messages saying that I should be fired, so overall I get a fair share of stick for the job I do.

“To put it out there, I have no intention of ever sounding American,” he laughed.

He admits that it “felt weird” when he first heard his voice when watching But now he’s used to it.


Besides working at, Njoli does voice-overs for several other big local companies.

“My mom is very proud of me. Each time she hears my voice she feels really happy,” Njoli said, adding that his two-year-old daughter also recognises his voice on TV.

He’s also often stopped in shopping malls by strangers who recognise him by his voice.


“I have had many people who have come up to me and asked me if we have met, after they hear my voice.”


On what it takes to be a good voice-over artist, Njoli joked that a lot of cigarettes helped.


“I’m just kidding. I guess everything requires hard work.”

He dreams of returning to radio one day.

“I actually didn’t expect to stay at for such a long time, but I am having so much fun that time just flies by.” - Saturday Argus

Related Topics: