Samantha Lehoko aka Sammy Sosa, is the 23 year old YFM radio personality, Channel O presenter and vocalist burning up the airwaves. We hollered at the young media mogul in the making to chat about her roots and where she’s headed.
Who is Sam and why should we watch out for her?
Sam is a young, black, energetic, fun and honest woman who is never afraid to speak her mind. Someone who is always up for a challenge, loves meeting new people, loves music, tattoos, fashion and family.
For the longest time I was always into photography. Working on campus radio in Cape Town was another passion of mine, but I never really thought that it was possible for me to make a career out of it. In 2012, I came to Johannesburg to pursue this whole radio thing and it was all because of my dear friend, Scoop. But I guess it just wasn’t the right time…years later, I received a phone call to come back and try it all again. This time, everything worked out and I was given a prime time slot on YFM 99.2. In terms of television, eTV’s Club808 saw a lot of potential in me and allowed me to do their weekly gig guide. It was such a lot of fun and after a while, I started getting used to being in front of the screens. The response from the viewers at home was also phenomenal and gave me so much more confidence. Channel O then approached me a few months later, and well….. The rest is history!
How have you adjusted to the city of gold?
Only until you’ve left Cape Town do you realise how many AMAZING opportunities are out there. Johannesburg really is the city of dreams, gold and wonderful opportunities. It’s amazing how in a very short space of time, I have been able to kill my show on radio, improve on this whole TV thing and tap into the music industry. The opportunities are there, you’ve just got to chase them. This life is truly super exciting, but there are also times where you just wanna crawl into a corner and cry! I’ve learned to keep my circle extremely small and to never trust anyone. Everyone wants to be somebody, so it makes things that much harder. But having said that, I’ve grown thick and tough skin and my backbone is intact.
Tell us a bit more about your radio show ‘Made Different’ on YFM 99.2?
I would have to say that the show speaks for itself. It’s all in the name…. Made Different. I’ve always said that I want to bring myself out through my show. I think it’s important to remain true to yourself and never apologise for being different. Whether it’s the way you look or sound that makes you different, it shouldn’t ever matter. We live in a country where there are so many negative stories being spoken about, so many trials and turmoil, so why always talk about them, especially on such a huge platform. YFM is an amazing youth radio station, and I really do think it’s important to make listeners feel good about themselves.
What’s easier to do, radio or TV and why the move?
As I mentioned before, Club808 was definitely a lot of fun. From everyone in hair and makeup, to the sound crew, even the presenters themselves, I always looked forward to seeing everyone. It even got to a point where I got to interview Davido & the amazing Talib Kweli. I was able to get comfortable in front of the camera and gain more and more confidence. But in life, there comes a time where you have to move on and explore other avenues. I did things the right way and went over to Red Pepper studios and mentioned that I just got an offer from Channel O and everyone from Club808 was more than supportive. In terms of TV and radio, I love them both!!
Why this industry?
Well, it’s never been about the fame and fortune, but about the love I have for entertaining the masses, meeting amazing people and also just being me. It’s not often where you get to wear what you want to wear, get a whole bunch of tattoos and get your messages across to people. I really do find this industry a lot and it’s so challenging too, because you’ve got to always work on staying relevant and true to who you are.
Females in the radio/TV industry…do you believe there is a level of inequality?
Everyone is running their race. I think that women in this industry are doing extremely well and are slowly but surely catching up to the gentle brothers! Having said that though, I do think that it’s important to focus on yourself and not spend your time worrying about how well others are doing. I’ve always said, “I’m too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener!”
2014, your year in one word?
UNFORGETTABLE!! Maybe EXPLOSIVE, actually.
Any exciting plans for 2015?
I think it’s going to be even more exciting and jam packed! I am just going to keep working at this radio thing and I’m definitely going to be doing more amazing things with Channel O. They really do take care of their own and I absolutely love my team over there. More music is definitely on the cards as well. I’ll be working with Tellaman, Zano, Kaznova, just to name a few. And most importantly, I’m most certainly going to keep letting all my followers know how much their love and support is appreciated. You may or might not know this, but I’m also now part of the ShowLove team. I’m really excited about that and can’t wait to make my team proud. The man behind it all, Tibz, is really one focused individual, who knows not only about the industry, but about business as well. So, if I’ve got him next me, you know I’m in great hands.
Written by Bridgette Makhela