The year 2002 saw one of the country’s radio greats, the late Peter Johns who died last Monday (April 27) leave Zimbabwe airwaves for the UK.
It was that same year that PJ “The Radio Driver” left the then 3FM which saw the birth of a new voice that was very much inspired by the late wheel-spinner.
Having listened to him back then and even now, one can certainly tell that there is the late Peter John’s influence to his style of presentation.
Power FM’s DJ Scott-real name Scott Matengambiri- revealed that Peter Johns was a big inspiration to him among other radio presenters back then.
He also revealed that he learned quite a lot from the Peter Johns.
H-Metro’s Nyasha Kada (NK) caught up with DJ Scott (DS) to talk at length about how it was meeting his idol.
NK: Hie, briefly tell us when you started radio?
DS: I started radio officially in January 2002 having passed auditions sometime in 2001.
This was the third audition I had passed and got official correspondence for engagement but nothing materialised before.
NK: Who inspired you to do radio?
DS: Peter Johns, Hoseah “The Hitman” Singende and Kudzi Marudza.
NK: How was it meeting your idol( Peter Johns) when you joined the then 3FM?
DS: Yes he was there. It was awesome meeting my idol
I recall the first day I met him, I had just done the graveyard shift 3 to 6am.
He was coming in for the Breakfast Show.
He just greeted us, I was with Leander Kandiero and he welcomed us but to me PJ took the studio and his show seriously.
There was no yep yep (just talking) there. He concentrated on his show and we trooped off.
NK: What did you learn from the late Peter Johns?
DS: Let me tell you what happened and what we saw that morning
It was the first and most important lesson in my career as a broadcaster.
The graveyard ended at 6am and then came a 10-minute news bulletin.
After that at 06:10am sharp, the Breakfast show starts and you know in broadcast its tick tock timed.
For some reason PJ did not make it into the studio before 6 as is the norm so when the news came to the end we were worried what we would do next.
Remember this is a PJ breakfast show and audiences expect nothing but PJ execution.
So we were wondering how to deal with that, we were just trainees.
Just as the drums after the news came through the studio door slammed open PJ walked in greeted us and put his ‘game’ into motion.
It was the analogue era of CDs and vinyls and cartridges, he (Peter Johns) walked in with a stack of half a dozen cartridges properly marked and in order, a neatly done production sheet as well as a single CD with playlist in order.
As the drums finished, the cartridges played his stings (jingles) in order and we all know PJs jingles were ‘fire’.
He then played his song and his welcome remarks and the show was off to a flying start.
Everything went on so smoothly you didn’t t think he pitched up as the news drums finished.
Lesson number one I got from that was your show must be well prepared in advance to precise detail of music content and stings
Lesson two was work ethics. The studio is not a place to lounge, respect the audience and deliver
When we left the studio we couldn’t believe what we were hearing to what we had thought would happen.
NK: Apart from learning these things from him did you also sit down to take some notes from him?
DS: We used to stay at a hotel in Gweru, all the 3 FM presenters.
So we would meet up for drinks and chat about work.
He talked to me about consistency that’s the one thing I remember very well.
He said with good work ethics you can get to the top but how do you maintain being at the top.
Not really the top DJ but how to remain relevant and among the top crop after you get there.
NK: How did you feel when your idol left the station?
DS: Well we had discussed a lot with PJ about his feelings and what he felt was going wrong or right so to an extent I knew he was going to depart.
It was a loss because I knew he had a lot to offer.
On the other hand I knew at an individual level that he probably had made his mind up.
I balanced the two and felt maybe it was now up to us the new guys to be torch bearers in a new set up.
NK: Did you communicate with him after he left?
DS: Rarely communicated but whenever he was in Zim always went out to look for him and share.
NK: Are there any people that feel you imitate rthe late Peter Johns
DS: Yes people say that.
I take that as a big compliment, to be mentioned in the same sentence with PJ is an honour but you can never compare anyone to PJ he was in a class of his own. Period!
NK: Do you feel there is a resemblance in the late Peter Johns and your way of radio presentation?
DS: There may be some similarities in the work ethics because I definitely looked up to him for that.
As far as radio personality I beg to differ.
NK: How did you take the news of his death and what does it mean to you for radio broadcasting in Zimbabwe.
DS: It was sad but The Almighty has the final word on our being in this world.
All we can do is celebrate his days with us.
For radio broadcasters it leaves us with one question? Are you giving it your all passionately like PJ did or you’re just content that you have a slot on air and you can brag that you are popular.
NK: Which days are you on radio?
During this lockdown period am on air Tuesdays at 9pm till midnight, otherwise am on air Sundays Mondays and Tuesdays at 9pm till midnight.