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Inside the multifaceted life of Kaya 959’s Tsikwe Molobye

Katlego Sekhu

Inside the multifaceted life of Kaya 959's Tsikwe Molobye
Inside the multifaceted life of Kaya 959’s Tsikwe Molobye

When you think about Kaya 959’s midday traffic reporter and journalist, Tsikwe Molobye, you might not immediately associate him with the world of triathlons or beer crafting. However, his story is a testament to the power of curiosity and passion.

Molobye’s journey as a broadcaster dates back to 2011, when he started as a late-night presenter and traffic reporter at Impact Radio.

In this interview, the outgoing personality shares his unique path, the joys of engaging with radio audiences, the complex artistry behind craft brewing, and much more.

When did the broadcasting bug bite you?

It was back in late 2011. I always wanted to get involved in the music industry and learn how it works. My father was a jazz musician, so music has always been important to me. There was a time when I was six years old, and I thought Miles Davis was one of my uncles because my dad played his music a lot, and almost everyone in my dad’s family played the piano.

Anyway, I was a student at the University of Pretoria, and one day I decided to just rock up at Impact Radio and told the lady at reception that I was looking for a job. Fortunately for me, she said that I had a great voice and that they were actually in the process of auditions for potential presenters. I went through the auditions, and a few hours later on that day, I got a call from the program manager telling me that I got the job as the late-night presenter and traffic reporter. I started the next day and connected and engaged with the listeners.

When did your journey as a brewer start?

I was in Cape Town with my wife, celebrating our anniversary, and tried out a Belgian Wit Beer by Darling Brewery. Now, that was the first time I tried craft beer, and I was amazed by the flavour profiles. Because of my background in engineering, I have an inquisitive mind, and I decided to read up on it and taught myself how to brew beer at home after building my own homebrew system.

It was when a few friends of mine offered to pay for my homebrew that I realized there was a gap in the market, and that’s when I started my brand, Stimela Brewing Company. I ultimately started consulting and brewing for other breweries, including Twigga Brewery, Tanzania’s first craft brewery.

Inside the multifaceted life of Kaya 959's Tsikwe Molobye
Inside the multifaceted life of Kaya 959’s Tsikwe Molobye

What’s the most unusual ingredient you’ve ever used in a beer, and how did it turn out?

There were two beers I made using a few unorthodox ingredients. Both were inspired by a few musical artists. The first one was my Gin and Juice Saison, inspired by Snoop Dogg. In this one, I used Juniper berries and orange zest in my attempt to make a gin and juice-inspired beer.

Bra Hugh Masekela inspired the second one. I decided to make an all-African clear beer with only African ingredients. As a substitute for hops, I used a plant called “gesho”, the scientific name Rhamnus prinoides.

Gesho is an indigenous plant to Africa that Ethiopian people use to make “Tej”, a mead/honey wine. Instead of barley malt, I used malted sorghum/Mabele, a grain we use to make umqombothi. This beer was a bit tricky to make, as sorghum grain has lower enzymes that convert starch into sugar compared to barley malt grain. But in the end, this beer was good, light-bodied, easy-drinking, and refreshing drink. The benefit of sorghum is that there is zero gluten in it. This means people who struggle with celiac disease can enjoy it.

What do you love most about your professional career as a radio presenter and brewer?

Engaging with the audience. Although radio is very public, it’s also very personal. You get to have the privilege to connect with your audience, in their cars on their way to work, in their living rooms, in kitchens while they are cooking, etc.

On the craft beer side, with every sip you take of craft beer, you can taste the full intent, the history, and the purpose of the people who made it and pushed it towards you.

Inside the multifaceted life of Kaya 959's Tsikwe Molobye
Inside the multifaceted life of Kaya 959’s Tsikwe Molobye

If you could only train as an athlete in one of the three disciplines (swimming, cycling, or running) for a year, which would you choose and why?

This is a difficult one, but I would probably say swimming.

What’s your go-to song or playlist to get pumped up before a big race?

It’s definitely Khuli Chana – Tswa Daar ft Notshi. It’s such a dope, gritty song! If I were to make a good old-fashioned action movie when the hero/protagonist is training, this is the song I would choose. Imagine Iron Mike Tyson or Dingaan Thobela training to this song!

Read Next: A day in the life of the enigmatic Mfundo Mabalane

Written by: Katlego


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