Poppy Ntshongwana: “I Belong in This Space”

The excitement is in the air in South Africa particularly in Paarl, Cape Town and Gqeberha as the world has descended to Mzansi for the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup. With that came an opportunity of a life-time for Media Personality Poppy Ntshongwana as she got to MC the opening ceremony of the global showpiece.

“When you’re learning to be the best at something you will always be nervous and you will always be learning. The pressure is definitely always on to deliver and with the World Cup, I felt the pressure even more because the World Cup is on home-turf and secondly it’s a women’s World Cup. I felt the pressure but I always rise to meet the opportunity to deliver my best.”

“To be part of the World Cup was extremely special, all the tough times that I’ve had to endure, this opportunity conformed that I should be here and I belong in this space. It’s a lot of hard work that needs a lot of resilience”

Poppy started as a young student in Pretoria on Campus radio and since the world celebrated World Radio Day, she speaks about the impact of the medium.

“What was beautiful about radio at the time was to connect with people immediately. A lot of people that I meant along the way, people saying that “you got me through my degree, I was listening to you in High School and that’s what other DJs were to me on radio when I listened to 5FM, it came full circle for me when I was 5FM”

The journey of being in people’s lives in their cars and connecting with them. I love radio and I’m still a huge, huge fan.” – SA Media Personality, Poppy Ntshongwana

As many of us knew her as a Radio Personality it was interesting to learn that she loves cricket.

“My love for sport came from my mom who loves Cricket and Tennis. That’s what I grew up on but at the time I didn’t that I enjoyed it to the extent that I did.”

The Poppy Ntshongwana Show is Poppy’s baby and she tells us more about it and some of the incredible guests she’s had. “I’ve always been interested in people’s stories, whether it’s celebrities or people doing whatever they are doing in their lives, their struggles and triumphs. I think everyone has a unique story. I always say that my best interviews are people that I’m genuinely interested in and curious about because it means I have to listen, do my research and in the interview I have to get a feel for who the person is because I know nothing about them. It’s a platform to meet people and get to connect with them because Post-Covid I was missing that a lot.”

She adds that the process of starting a podcast was not easy, “let me be honest, it’s very daunting, you never know how people are going to respond to your requests for you to interview them. For me it was a journey of self-discovery. I’m in such a great space, I’m learning so much. For me what’s been very refreshing about the podcast is that people feel safe to tell their stories and people want to tell their stories.”

In 2019, the Wanderers appointed their first ever female stadium announcer as they were heading into the CSA T20 campaign and the former 5FM presenter Ntshongwana will be the voice of the Wanderers Stadium this season.

“It was a case of right place and right time, and with the right person, Kass Naidoo, backing me and Wanele from the Wanderers. I was a huge opportunity to learn. A lot of the time the opportunities come to you to prepare you, there’s nothing I could’ve done to prepare for the opportunity apart from being myself.”

Ntshongwana, was tasked with igniting and informing those present at the Bull Ring, in an effort to enhance the game even more.

“I never even thought that being a stadium announcer is a gig, it’s like a specific weird role. We just don’t get to see them. The brief was to be myself and be the “Radio Poppy”.


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