EXCLUSIVE: Zizi Panther Talks All Things Radio

Mimi Zimasa Mokgwathi-Dintwa, popularly known as Zizi Panther, is a mom to 2 awesome girls, and a wife to a man she deems ‘pretty cool’. She grew up in a little village called Mahalapye and later moved to Bulawayo in Zimbabwe and back to Botswana where she attended school in Francistown and finally moved to Gaborone for university.
 
Although she never imagined she would one day be on radio, she is currently the co-host of one of the biggest breakfast shows in the country, The Buffet Breakfast Show on Yarona FM with musician Scar.
 
We caught up with radio personality and businesswoman to chat about all things radio.
 
When/how did you discover your love for radio? 
It was never my intention to end up on radio. After doing a sports feature called 'The Olympic Gold Rush in 2012', a few months before graduating from varsity, I realized that I liked producing and ultimately broadcasting information. I had learnt a new skill and I wanted to learn more about this medium called radio.
 
What is the one thing you love about the breakfast show as opposed to other shows you've done?
Morning radio is placed perfectly (Hahahaha) I have the rest of the day to get to other business. Imagine knocking off at 10am, how cool is that?
 
What is the hardest part about live radio?
Live radio means you have to be prepared ALL the time. Preparation is key! You can't sleep on the job.
 
A lot more people have an interest in Radio than ever before, but many radio stations have made radio about the number of followers one has on social media thus hiring influencers instead of talent. What are your thoughts on that?
It's great that more people are interested in radio. But radio is more than speaking into a Mic and playing music or how you respond to tweets or DMs. While it's great to have influencers on air, it's worth noting that talent goes a long way. You have to able to back it up.
 
Studies have shown that more and more young people are abandoning radio due to the digital era of streaming. Do you think that this is the case in Botswana as well, and what can be done to change this?
We can't stop change and progress and we shouldn't try stop it. And that's what streaming is. Traditional media has found ways of jumping into the wave as well. PERSONALITIES and interaction are what people are drawn to and in Botswana, people are still looking to traditional media for those. If you're looking for just music then stream away!
 
 I understand that you have a psychology background, how has that helped you in interacting with listeners/ dealing with bullies in the course of your career? If it has helped at all.
Hahaha. I don't think even if I had a PhD in psychology I would have been prepared for bullies/public scrutiny. It's tough out here but you learn to grow thick skin over the years. I just say though, psychology has helped with the way I handle interviews with different guests.
 
Apart from the Buffet breakfast, what is your favourite radio show
I honesty don't have a favourite radio show per sé. I listen to different personalities. In Botswana I listen to the Yarona FM line-up, also to Resego's Sunday Ballads on RB2. I also listen to Anele Mdoda on 947, and Martin Bester on Jacaranda. 
 
Your advice to aspiring radio personalities?
My advice: don't look to get into radio to be famous! Radio is really personal to listeners because you help them get through the day, heal from heart breaks, celebrate milestones and you have the power to set the mood of the day. It's that serious!

Read Next: Scar Under Fire For "Victim Blaming"

Main Image Credit: Botswana Youth Magazine

Written by:
Nokuthula