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Uncle Shima quits radio after 25 years as a jazz show host

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TIME TO QUIT: Uncle Shima

Shima Monageng will officially leave Gabz FM radio station on February 3rd after his last show.

Popularly known as Uncle Shima, the veteran politician and jazzman is also a renowned estate professional who runs his firm Monageng Valuers.

In an exclusive interview with The Voice, Monageng confirmed his exit from Gabz FM where he has been at the helm of one of the most listened to jazz shows, Styles of Jazz Fusion for 18 years has pulled down the curtain on his sterling radio career.

Monageng began his radio career at RB2 in 1994, taking over from Bapaphi Mphusu as the new host of ‘Jazz For You’ on RB2.

“Everything has a beginning and an end. It has been a pleasant and fulfilling road,” said Monageng.

“The station is undergoing a restructuring phase and we mutually agreed to part ways,” he said.

He said before falling head over heals in love with Jazz music, he was into gospel music and carried cassettes to school at Kgari Sechele Junior.

That would however change after the arrival of South African refugees following the 1976 Soweto rising.

“South African students who schooled at Kgari Sechele were different, they played music we didn’t know and they were considered and instantly became a hit with the ladies,” he said.

Monageng said he befriended the South African legion and his perspective on music changed forever.

“I was recruited by Monica Mphusu who was the Station Manager at RB2 and felt my voice would be perfect for a jazz show,” Monageng said.

After seven years at the national commercial radio station, Monageng received another call from Sidney Baitsile who was the new Gabz FM Station Manager.

“He told me I’d be perfect for Gabz FM, and I immediately switched allegiances and started a relationship that surpassed two decades,” said a nostalgic Monageng.

The veteran broadcaster said in his 25 years on the airwaves there has been ups and downs, but would rather focus on career highlights.

One of his proudest achievements is that he has interviewed almost all local jazz artists and has played a meaningful role in launching and promoting their music careers.

He has interviewed international jazz stars such as Sadao Watanabe, George Benson, Kirk Whalum and many other South African stars.

“The biggest moment for me was however when together with ED who hosted a jazz show for Radio BOB in South Africa broadcasted live from Gaborone Club. It was a jazz festival and I did the show from 2pm to 6pm and ED took over from there,” he said and added: “It was magical, as Sipho Gumede stepped onstage at 9pm.”

Monageng whose political future has recently been under scrutiny said being on radio, particularly Gabz FM has taken him places. “Through South African Tourism I was able to attend Standard Joy of Jazz and Cape Town jazz, the perks that came with the industry,” he chuckled.

“I’ll definitely miss radio. It was like playing at work. This however will be time for me to introspect and listen to other jazz presenters who I never had an opportunity to listen to on Sundays,” he said.