Rivash Soni Davnarayan on landing his dream job as a Lotus FM presenter

Rivash Soni Davnarayan. Picture: Supplied

Rivash Soni Davnarayan. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 26, 2024


Lotus FM’s recent radio shake-up has brought young talent to the forefront of mainstream radio.

Rivash Soni Davnarayan, a familiar voice on community radio station Hindvani, has moved to Lotus FM, where he presents a prime-time weekend show.

Davnarayan described “The Weekend Explosion” as a high-value show that included travel, entertainment and lifestyle features, as well as interviews and great music.

Davnarayan broke into the world of broadcasting in 2013 when he won a DJ competition at Hindvani.

He worked his way up from hosting a youth programme to filling a late-night slot and, later, to the drive-time slot.

Soon afterwards, he was promoted to the “Breakfast Show”, which he headed for three years.

While at Hindvani, Davnarayan learnt everything he needed to know about broadcasting, but his dream remained to work for the SABC.

“I graduated from Performing Arts and Media. Thereafter, I won the DJ competition on Hindvani.

“I hosted the station’s flagship ‘Breakfast Show’ where I served for three years. It was an incredible experience. It really spoke to my values and my values mirror that of Hindvani, so it was a great fit for me.

“I learnt a lot about culture, morality and community work.

“For anyone who has worked on a community radio station, it’s always a dream to work for the SABC and since I was a little boy, I used to drive passed SABC with my family. I told my father that ‘one day I want to work here’.

“So, when the opportunity came, I gladly accepted it,” said Davnarayan.

Rivash Soni Davnarayan. Picture: Supplied

Davnarayan has presented four shows on Lotus FM.

“The experience has been phenomenal. It’s exciting, it has given me a broader opportunity now to reach out to a wider audience. It gives me the creative space that I can express myself in presenting information in a very creative way.”

Davnarayan said he planned to make the show inclusive.

“I source interviews, I make sure that I am very inclusive of everyone in society with regard to local artists, people with disabilities, offering youngsters a platform to share their views and opinions and just give them a high-quality life, with the topics I discuss on the youth feature.

“When you are working in this industry, you have to be multi-talented, creative, have the ability to think outside the box and always be proactive. Although the show is on the weekend, it’s a high-value show, so my entire week goes towards planning and preparing for it.”

Apart from radio, Davnarayan is a motivational speaker, an advocate for mental health and a fitness fanatic. He also helps his mother run her food business.

He said that even though he had so much on the go, storytelling was his first love.

“Every since I was a little boy, I used to stand in front of the TV and watch ‘Top Billing’ and Desmond Dube from the Clientele Life infomercial. I use to imitate them, and I said to myself: ‘I’ve got a talent’.

“I realised at a young age that I have a passion for presenting information in a creative way. I love storytelling and sharing knowledge and experiences, but I like to do it in an unconventional way.”

Through his show, he wants to entertain, inform, educate and empower listeners.

“I really wish to open people’s minds, to gain entry into their lives through the channel of radio, communicating to them via my features to tell them that there is life out there to experience.

“I want to show them how people think and feel, outside their own family and friends circle. I want to introduce them to the diversity that the nation has to offer through storytelling, interviews and entertainment. I want to make them feel good and happy about living life.

“Many of us are just caught up in the material world that we see and always just chasing things that have no value, no real meaning to life. I want to reel them back in to want the organics and basics of life.

“During the three hours in my time slot, I want them to just sit back, relax and enjoy.”

Being a mental health advocate and working with the youth regularly, he also plans to use the platform to involve youth.

Rivash Soni Davnarayan. Picture: Supplied

“I am a youth myself. I’m always involved with them, speaking to them, meeting them through my social interactions, gym, the youth centre, my mental advocacy work, and I know what they think, feel and go through.

“I want to collate all that information and bring it in to the show in a very entertaining, educating and empowering way.

“Parents need to know what their kids are feeling and going through and how they can assist.”

Through the show’s travel feature, Davnarayan hopes that he can get more people to venture out into the world.

“It aims to open people’s minds to travel. Many of us just sit at home. We don’t know what’s out there. We don’t know what travel opportunities can do for us in terms of self-development, helping us to see the world differently, exploring and experiencing different cultures.

“The important thing about life is just social interaction, and if people can master that, it can, ultimately, contribute to us living in a much more harmonious society.”

Now that Davnarayan has landed his dream job, he understands that with the excitement comes responsibility.

“As much as working for the SABC is exciting and professionally rewarding, it comes with a great deal of responsibility to the nation.

“I plan to uphold the brand’s identity, and value system with a great deal of pride and set of rule.”

∎ “The Weekend Explosion” airs on Lotus FM on the weekend, from 9am to noon.