First days at a new job may be daunting for some, but for VoW FM’s new station manager, Itumeleng Bahetane, it was very different. Clad in onesies, jimmies and night time gowns,  staff members at the  campus radio station made sure his first day was one he would never forget.

The stations marketing manager Zabalaza Mchulu says by wearing pyjamas along with the breakfast team was an attempt at “breaking the ice” with Bahetane on his first day. “We wanted to show him that we are fine people who are not too uptight and we don’t sleep on the job.”

Head of Wits Journalism and vice-chair of VoW FM’S board Franz Krüger says the new station manager is expected to lead the station to further growth as a leading campus station in the country. “VoW FM is a contributor to the university community which develops talent for the radio and broadcasting sectors. It also ‘innovates in programming approaches”, said Krüger.

He further says that the station manager works with a number of stakeholders beyond and within the university in an environment that is financially challenging.

“Bahetane was chosen for the position because he comes with a strong background in campus radio and has a clear vision of what the opportunities and challenges of this kind of radio station are”, said Krüger.

The new station manager’s professional radio career began back in 2008. He previously worked at North West University’s RIVER FM for about five years. He also did programming and production training for the Mafikeng Campus station for the North West University.

Bahetane, who has always worked in radio, has come to what he calls “SA’s media hub” to “compete in the bigger league” and seize the opportunities it holds for him.

In 2011 he became the founding station manager at NWU Vaal’s RiverFM fm, where he started the radio station from a clean slate. He was also the station manager for Mafikeng community radio, and in 2013 he was appointed as a consultant by the Central University of Technology to help set up CUT FM in Bloemfontein. He also provided training for new community radio stations in rural areas of the North West Province.

With only a few days into  his new role, Bahetane will continue with the current programme plan for VoWFM for the rest of the year and will implement new strategies and changes in 2018 which will be measured by the progress of the radio station this year.

Part of his plans in building the campus station to greater heights, Bahetane will keep track of developments at some of  VoWFM’s biggest competitors. He says that  this will help him in moving forward to make VoWFM the best radio station.

“A radio station’s success is measured by various things, so I believe that it is unfair to confine it to one or two things. When measuring, one factors into account; programming, marketing, online reputation management and so on. But in years to come I see us as one of the best radio stations which will give commercial and PBS radio stations a run for their money,” said Bahetane.

This story was first published in Wits Vuvuzela.