Getting to know Khutso Theledi - 'What people don’t know about me is that I’m an introvert'

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Metro FM radio host Khutso Theledi opens up about her career goals, upbringing and more.
Metro FM radio host Khutso Theledi opens up about her career goals, upbringing and more.
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Loved for her popular catch phrase "A hi fambeni", the Mpumalanga-born- and-raised radio DJ has her sights set on new heights.

Formerly the host of YFM's Krunch show, Khutso made waves Metro FM. 

Reflecting on her time at YFM, she said, "It feels like the kind of attachment one has to their first love. I know that in God’s timing, change will happen and it will be big. Mo Flava and Tumelo Diaho-Monaheng poached me while I was studying at Boston Media House. I didn’t know that I would ever do radio, but YFM opened that door."

Among her career goals is taking on the small screen and hosting a reality show one day. 

Khutso talks to us about family, finding love and more.

My fondest childhood memories are of me going back home from boarding school. My dad died when I was two years old, and I went to boarding school from the age of five. My highlight was going home to my mom, brothers and sisters. Family time will always be a priority for me.

I love my dad so much, even though I didn’t know him. I do all my shows with his picture in the studio. He is always with me, even in my car. This is weird to explain, especially in my relationships. I have a spiritual connection with him, and I can’t do anything without the presence of his image.

My energy and gratitude for the listeners keep me going. Regardless of the show’s listenership, it’s about that one person. I can only credit God for showing up each day, whether I’m going through heartache or family problems. Just the fear that it could be my last (show) is why I’ll always bring my best energy.

My dad is my greatest inspiration. I want to leave a legacy. I don’t want to be known only as DJ Khutso. I am Khutso Theledi – people need to know where I come from as well as what I’m about. I don’t just represent myself; I also represent my family, legacy and the next generation.

If I was allowed a do-over, I would go back to the day that my dad was murdered. That is the only do-over I always pray for, even though I can’t turn back the hands of time. I would go back to the man who decided to kill him, and I would do anything to change his mind, reverse that gun or even wish that my dad was somewhere else.

I don’t involve myself in negative conversations or comparisons within the industry. I prefer to work in silence, doing what I know best. Additionally, I am grateful for my industry mentor Mo Flava, who made me see who I was from the onset. Although comparisons do exist, I quickly learnt to distance myself from them and block out all the noise. I am more about motivation and inspiration – and that’s helped me find my own voice.

Being God-fearing helps me understand my purpose. I know that my purpose is speaking to people, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I am quite certain that I am following my purpose, and that I’m on the right path. I am very grateful for that.

Our industry and society need a bigger platform where young women can share their stories. Every time there is a conversation about gender-based violence, it peaks and then quickly dies down. We need a safe space and haven for women to vocalise their true stories and concerns without criticism or judgement.

READ MORE | DJ Buhle on riding the deep house wave - 'My sound is inspired by the elements of nature' 

We need to let go of the notion of perfection. As public figures, we need to let young people, in particular, see and know that life is not always rosy. You will occasionally experience bad days and phases. This is why I applaud all those who share about their struggles while at their lowest.

What people don’t know about me is that I’m an introvert. You would think that I would rather steal the spotlight, but I’m actually a listener. I watch people and gauge their energy because I genuinely believe that it doesn’t lie. I’m also a God-fearing person. I praise and worship daily. I listen to 30-minute prayers, and have a circle of women who I regularly pray with.

I did a cameo on Rhythm City, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The producers then started calling me back for more, and I asked if they wanted me to join [chuckles]. I would love to get into acting because I did drama in high school, even though I didn’t study acting. I have respect for the craft, and understand what goes into it. I hope it happens organically. If it’s meant to be, then it will be.

What I love most about my partner is that he chose me, and continues to do so daily. We started dating after he slid into my DMs on Instagram. I asked a mutual friend if he was serious because I was shocked. At the time, I had been single for so long. And yet here we are! I’m very happy with my Italian man who is a few years younger than me; I absolutely love him!

Once you date in the spotlight, people start talking. Fortunately, or unfortunately for me, I’m dating a white man. Whenever I post anything about us on Instagram, I mute the comments because I don’t care about people’s opinions. It’s our love, and when I want to, I’ll share on it.

I would love to host a reality show in the next five years. I would also like to go national in radio, and start a foundation for women empowerment and create change by opening more doors. 

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