South African-born world traveller Fikile “Fix” Moeti is making a comeback to radio. She spoke to Helen Herimbi about home, hair and the hustle.
Memories don’t live like people do/Baby, don’t forget me, I’m a travelling man/Moving through phases, space and time, I’ve got a lot of things I’ve got to do/But God willing I’m coming back to you.
Way before he changed his name to Yasiin Bey, Mos Def rapped and sang those words on top of a DJ Honda instrumental and Travelling Man became a hip hop classic. Fikile Moeti, better known to the public as Fix, may not have had anything to do with that song, but she sure lives like a Travelling Man.
“I love South Africa,” she tells me, “and you know what? When you’re away from home, you become the proudest patriot of your life. Like, if anyone dares to say anything about South Africa, I’d be like: ‘What are you talking about? South Africa is the best country in the world’. I guess you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”
But don’t cry for Fix, Argentina.
Fresh from more than a year spent abroad, the multimedia maven has announced that she will be returning to 5FM on April 1. In the year she spent studying business entrepreneurship in Chicago and then a few courses at New York University in their summer, Fix didn’t attempt to be a radio jock.
“I thought about being a campus radio DJ, but I was really enjoying the entrepreneurship gig and I was focusing my life around that. With radio, you have to tie yourself down, but I needed a break. The point of going out there is to explore. But I missed it,” she says introspectively. “That’s the truth. I missed it. Radio and TV will always be my number one. I love, love, love, love, love it!”
When she returns to 5FM at the top of next month, Fix will be a contributor to a weekend breakfast show (9am to noon) that will be anchored by Rob Forbes. “I’ll be a contributor,” she explains. “I’ll be doing all the features, but it’s his show at the end of the day.”
Having hosted a late-night show on the station, does Fix think presenting in the mornings will be difficult?
“I wasn’t always a morning person,” she laughs, “but I’ve become a morning person. I run in the mornings now. Okay, maybe I haven’t done that this week, but I’m not worried about doing mornings.”
But why did Fix leave two great jobs (MTV base,where she was the first female VJ, and 5FM) and a string of opportunities that come with being a South African celebrity to be a student?
“I left because there was so much more I wanted to do,” the free-spirited Fix is, in tone, replaced by a more serious woman, “before I left. In terms of a social perspective, I knew that we live in a me, me, me lifestyle that is right there in your job description. Now I want social upliftment. I wanted to discover me more. I love travelling and, you know, sometimes when you’re stuck in this bubble you only see certain things. You don’t learn more than whatever is in front of you.”
More than anything, Fix says her time away was special because “I grew a bigger heart.” Plus, 5FM reached out to her as opposed to the other way around. Still sounding surprised, Fix says: “5 has always been family, but I wasn’t expecting a call from them.”
I ask her if she wasn’t looking to land a radio position elsewhere.
She laughs and says: “I wouldn’t say that. I just wasn’t in a rush. I was more, let’s go with the flow. And I knew that the job I get would have to work for me and it would have to work for them. I’ve been so fortunate to have family at both MTV and at 5FM, so when they called I was like ‘of course’.”
While she is no longer a permanent employee of MTV base and now works for them as a freelancer, Fix says: “That’s kind of the position you want to be in because I’ve got the businesses I’m working on, like my arts foundation, and I want to grow.”
First on her growth agenda is her hair. Since she burst onto the scene, Fix has undergone a colourful transition from a vivacious young woman with plenty of potential to a full-on style envelope-pusher sporting the craziest hairstyles.
“My hair is short now,” she laughs, “weaves in America are too expensive. I became a student again, girl, so I was not going to pay $700 for a weave. But everyone says my short hair looks friggin’ fantastic so we’ll see if it gets more extravagant.”
The 26-year-old has gained a wealth of knowledge through her travels. After taking a gap year in London, Fix returned to South Africa in 2006 where she put her media studies at UCT on pause to join MTV base.
The then-19-year-old spread her wings and soared right into a slot on 5FM where she hosted a night-time party slot. Then she took flight again.I ask her about New York and Joburg being concrete jungles. Is it really true that if you can make it in either, you can make it anywhere?