Former Ukhozi Fm station manager and radio presenter Welcome Nzimande has died.
Nzimande, who is regarded as a legend of the airwaves died on Friday morning due to a Covid-19 related illness according to his wife Zandile Nzimande. Popularly known as Bhodloza or Ingulube Ncani, Nzimande widely attained popularity both on television and radio when he presented shows such as Ezodumo on SABC1 and Sgiyangengoma on Ukhozi Fm. He distinguished himself with his flair behind the microphone and his humour.
Born in Richmond in KwaZulu-Natal, he joined the SABC’s Ukhozi FM in 1978 as an announcer for 19 years and thereafter as the station manager for 13 years. Current Ukhozi Fm’s acting station manager Sbongi Ngcobo said about the passing of Nzimande:
“It is a sad moment for us as the station. I want to say condolences to friends and family. Bhodloza played a big in making sure that Ukhozi Fm is where it is today. He was passionate about development and uncovered a lot of radio presenters’ talents. As the station, we will dedicate this day to his honour speaking to people who worked with him and those who were close to him. What I liked about him was that he was always available to advise me as the current station manager.”
Minister of sports, arts and culture Nathi Mthethwa praised Nzimande for taking African traditional music to another level:
“Bhodloza was dedicated and passionate about promoting African traditional music and culture. Today maskandi is popular all over the world and Bhodloza played a big role to that. He was concerned about the livelihood of artists and wanted business and government to play a big role in changing their lives.”
While at Ukhozi Fm, Nzimande promoted traditional music and culture through his radio show Sigiya Ngengoma. He was later recruited by SABC1 to present its popular show Ezodumo together with another legend Thuso Motaung. He also introduced and conducted a high profile chat show programme in Ukhozi FM which was called Phumela Eshashalazini. Nzimande unearthed a lot of talent including the late Mfazomnyama Khumalo.
He retired as a station manager in 2010.