Roxette return to South Africa

Pic by Sarah Clayton

Last week I got to see a band that I have always enjoyed listening to live in concert. Now you’re probably asking who I’m referring to right? Well it’s the Swedish band Roxette, which is made up of Marie Fredrikkson and Per Gessle. I traveled to Sun City in the North West Province to see them light up the Sun City Superbowl. I was given the opportunity (one of three journalists) to interview Per ahead of the Friday concert, which was too much fun. It’s awesome to chat to someone of his calibre, his experience and his success. I must admit I was a bit bummed that Marie wasn’t able to make the interview and yet you can judge me for this, but I actually wasn’t aware of the fact that she had been so ill in the early half of last decade. After being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002, the star underwent surgery to remove the tumor, which was malignant. After that was successfully removed, she underwent month of chemotherapy and radiation and as Per told us, many of her close friends and family weren’t sure she would survive the ordeal.

“I think all of us thought it was the end of Marie actually. She had like a 5%chance of surviving. She had two big operations and she was on all this medication. She was swollen as a result. It has taken her many many years to recover from that. What has taken the most time is to get her confidence back. To be that person people want to see and that she can deliver what they expect. It’s a sort of a miracle that we can do this. If you’d asked me this five years ago I would’ve said no.”

pic by Sarah Clayton

Per said it was also really important not to push Marie. After announcing that she was in remission in 2005, she kept a very low profile until 2009 when Per invited her on stage in Amsterdam to perform a couple of Roxette songs. She did that and according to Gessle, the audience erupted into completely and utter praise for Marie. She’d come so far and the response to her being back on stage was so resoundingly positive, she asked Per if they could start work on a new album. That they did and as Per said, it was on their watch. He said it was important for him and the record label to make sure things were done in a way that would cater to Marie’s needs and at her pace. It’s believed that her love for music and for performing became therapeutic for her and this therapy lead to the announcement of a world tour. This also included South Africa and would mark their first visit to the country since 1995. Now get this, the first two shows (one in CT and one in Jozi) sold out so quickly, it resulted in organisers adding further dates to the tour. From two shows, the final number ended on 7… all of which were sold out. INSANE, but awesome too.

In the interview we also discussed the fact that Roxette happens to be one of the most loved bands, whose songs still appeal to fans, both young and old, black and white etc. So what makes their music so timeless? So appealing? I asked Per that and he said that ever since he started writing songs as a young boy, he’s focused on two things. Creating a good melody and writing lyrics that not only he likes, but fans can relate to. So if anyone has ever wanted to be a singer songwriter, perhaps you should bear that in mind. I mean think about it, a lot of what you hear on the radio nowadays is cool. It’s fun to listen to, it’s great to sing along to, but will it be around in a few years time? Will you still sing that song in five years? Will you still remember the artist who sang the original? Well with Roxette the proof is in the pudding. Look at a list of some of their top songs:

– It must have been love


– Dangerous

– How do you do

Crash Boom Bang

Those are just a few, but when I listen to them now, I think about a certain period of my life and each one of them will bring back a good memory. Speaking of memories, I thoroughly enjoyed the concert. While Marie doesn’t move around as much as she used to on stage (understandably so), I think to be on that stage after several other performances in the months leading up to my concert is incredible. She still sounds great and for everything that she has been through, she looks fantastic too. Check out this little clip I filmed on my Blackberry:



You can see how the crowd still absolutely love and adore the band. Big up to them for coming back and rocking out at Sun City and Cape Town. Big up to Big Concerts and Jacaranda 94.2 for bringing them down and thank you to everyone who made my stay at The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City a good one. Barring my jacket going missing, the room, the hospitality, the breakfast (oh that delicious Palace breakfast) was awesome. Great weekend! If you want to see my video interview you can check it out here for now. I’ll be uploading to Youtube soon.

MTN Radio Awards: Full list of winners

The 2011 MTN Radio Awards took place in Sandton over the weekend. These awards honour the best in radio broadcasting both on air and behind the scenes. Over 600 people were at the venue to see who rules the airwaves. Find a detailed list of winners below:



Content Producer – Non-Commercial – Zandile Tembe – Ukhozi FM
Daytime Presenter – Thato “DJ Fresh” Sikwane – 5FM
Daytime show – Commercial – Guy Mc Donald Afternoon Drive Show – Good Hope FM
Daytime show – Non-Commercial – Butterfly Corner – Radio Islam
Drama Programme – No Place for You – SAfm
Music Presenter – T Bose – Kaya FM 95.9
Music Show – The Homebrew Show – 94.7 Highveld Stereo and 94.5 K-fm

News and Actuality Presenter – Chris Gibbons – 567 CapeTalk and Talk Radio 702
News and Actuality Producer – Anisa Ussuph – East Coast Radio
News and Actuality Show – Today with John Perlman – Kaya FM 95.9
News Bulletin Reader – Stephen Grootes – Talk Radio 702
Night-time Presenter – Rob Vember – 5FM
Night-time Show – Commercial – The Dr. Eve Show – Gagasi 99.5FM
Night-time Show – Non-Commercial – Langarm and Nama Show – Radio Riverside 98.2FM
Breakfast Show – Commercial – Just Plain Breakfast – Jacaranda 94.2
Breakfast Show  – Non-Commercial – The Super Fantastic Show – Radio 2000
Breakfast Show Presenter – John Robbie – Talk Radio 702
Business and Finance Presenter – Bruce Whitfield – Talk Radio 702
Business and Finance Show – Talk @ 6 – Talk Radio 702
Community Presenter – “Delite” – Anthony T Ngcezula – Bay FM 107.9
Community Project – United we shall stand for Bafana Bafana – Primedia Broadcasting
Content Producer – Commercial – William Scott – Jacaranda 94.2
On Air Packaging – World Cup 2010 – 94.7 Highveld Stereo
Promotion/Stunt/Event – Commercial – United we shall stand for Bafana Bafana – Primedia Broadcasting
Promotion/Stunt/Event – Non-Commercial – VIP Treasure Hunt – East Rand Stereo
Sports Commentator – Masedi Simon Ramafalo – Thobela FM
Sports Presenter – Cindy Poluta – Talk Radio 702
Sports Show – Discovery Sports Centre – Metro FM
Traffic Presenter – Aki Anastasiou – Talk Radio 702
Wits Radio Academy Bursary Winner – Nontokozo Ngcobo
Young achiever Award (sponsored by Cresta Hotels and Air Botswana) – Smangele Mbatha – Gagasi 99.5FM
Lifetime Achievement Award (sponsored by Bairds Renaissance) – Issie Kirsh
2011 Induction into the Hall of Fame – Alexius Buthelezi, Max Mojapelo, Fanus Rautenbach, Ismail Variava, Shado Twala, Tim Modise, Eric Eagan, Koos Radebe and Alex Jay
My Station Award – Radio Islam
MTN Community Radio Station of the Year (sponsored by The Media Connection)– Radio Islam

Well done to the all the winners. I went to varsity with Rob and it’s so awesome to see a friend and now industry colleague doing so well. Also well done to Darren Scott, DJ Fresh, T-Bose from Kaya FM and all the winners from the Primedia stable. You all deserve these awards and you all make radio entertaining, informative, educational and enjoyable. Well done!