By: Natasha Archary
“I don’t just take on the males in the industry, I am taking on the females too. I’m here to take on everyone. Everyone! Let’s go.” – Anele Mdoda
Radio and TV personality Anele Mdoda joined Unathi on Midday Joy for a much-needed catch-up. Unphased by her recent trolling on Twitter after pics of her in a yellow bikini went viral, the popular talk host called social media streets her playground.
“I understand that Twitter can get very acidic but I’m okay there. It’s a playground. There are people from all walks of life, smart, pretty, poor, rich. I didn’t have clicks in school. I can get along with anyone on the playground.” Anele shared with Unathi.
The two spoke about the “boys club” in the media industry and Anele admitted that there is one. Being constantly compared to male radio personalities across the country, she told Unathi that she’s tired of that comparison.
“I always avoid those questions that start with, ‘Oh you’re a female amongst the boys!’ No! I’m a broadcaster amongst other broadcasters.” Anele said.
It’s this mindset that has followed Anele Mdoda throughout her 18-year career in radio.
Where it all began
Her radio career began at TUKS FM, the University of Pretoria’s campus radio station in 2003.
“There was an unwritten rule from then already that a woman would never get drive or breakfast!” Anele stated.
The two most sought after time-slots on radio were predominantly given to male hosts. Other time slots like brunch, lunch and evening were the only options for female broadcasters.
Anele told Unathi that she avoided “the boys club” by refusing to be a co-host to anyone again.
She spoke about her show with Grant Nash at 5FM where she played co-host to Grant during 12h00-15h00.
“See even there, the show was called Grant and Anele. Luckily Grant wasn’t inclined by that rationale and would always include me.” Anele shared with Unathi
While there, Anele was excluded from show meetings and wasn’t given the opportunity to weigh in on key decisions. She parted ways with 5FM knowing where the glass ceiling was.
Since then, Anele has come a long way and now hosts her own breakfast show on 947, Anele and The Club. Her signature husky voice and infectious personality has made her one of the most loved radio hosts in the country.
She keeps things real and isn’t afraid to make fun of herself both on-air and on social media. The 37-year old is also a TV host on Celebrity Game Night SA and The Voice SA.
Her work ethic comes from watching her parents who both worked hard. Anele’s dad is still working although he’s retired. Despite their work, her parents were both present in her life as well as her siblings lives.
She spoke about her late mom who passed in 2009 still being a huge presence in her life.
“The beauty of making peace with my mother’s death is accepting that her lessons will be heightened,” she explained to Unathi.
The outspoken personality doesn’t know what to do with herself at an event where she’s not working. She’s so used to having a role at events, that she admits to being awkward when attending an event just to attend an event.
Her advice to anyone who wants to break into the media industry is to not be fooled by the “glitz and glamour.”
“You must be willing to start at the bottom and put in the time. Secondly, you must not do it for the fame and finally, you have to be yourself.”