Statement by Minister Mthethwa on the death of legendary broadcaster: Eddie Makhosonke Zondi
It is with deep sadness that we have learned of the sudden death of nationally renowned legendary radio broadcaster Eddie Makhosonke Zondi who died at the age of 47 on 16 June 2014. At the time of his death, Zondi was riding the crest wave of success as the host of the highly rated popular Metro-FM show Romantic Repertoire on Sundays between 3 - 6pm.
We offer our condolences to his wife Phakamile, family, relatives, friends, the broadcasting fraternity and millions of fans. Born in Soweto in the late 1960s, he took charge of his life when he worked in community radio as a resident deejay at a Johannesburg shopping mall. This was where he honed his craft before he sought bigger challenges at a national level.
In fact, he was offered his first big break by Metro-FM founder Koos Radebe in 1999 where he started doing what was called the grave yard shift on The Obsession between 9 - 12pm on weekdays. But this marked a turning point in late night broadcasting as he was able to intuitively connect with his audience, especially females. Perhaps more than any other broadcaster, Zondi was able to influence the turn of musical taste if Metro-FMs playlist with slow soulful songs with lyrical content that tugged at the heart strings and emotions. Following his tremendous success, broadcasting was revolutionized by a deep intuitive personal touch, so to speak, as his name was on the lips of a growing legion of female audience.
This achievement pushed the listenership of the station higher to become one of the top radio channels in the country and continent. To sharpen his craft, Zondi temporarily relocated to Durban in Kwa-Zulu Natal to be mentored by late iconic broadcaster, Cyril 'Kansas City' Mchunu who was the biggest draw card at UkhoziFM. This enhanced his skills, experience and insight presumably more than what he had learned at the Wits School of Broadcasting where he had furthered his studies. Before Wits Zondi had pursued his studies in Speech & Drama at FUBA.
Today scores of the new generation broadcasters at Metro-FM and beyond have been inspired and affirmed by Zondi's unique talent, resilience and determination to use broadcasting to nourish the soul of the nation and lift his life to the greatest heights. At the height of his career he was a celebrated icon and legendary broadcaster who endeared himself to his audience with his warm, intuitive and personal style of interactive radio. He was a rare but highly gifted and disciplined all-rounder who produced his own show, selected his playlist and gave a personal touch to his engagement with female listenership. Eddie Makhosonke Zondi was, essentially, an intuitive legendary broadcaster who was a national icon. His talent contributed to making Metro-FM one of the biggest radio channels in the continent.