Mic Check: Young influencer hoping to change the radio game
By - Jan 1st 1970
JEREMY WAHOME is not your ordinary Gen Z presenter and brand influencer. The multi-talented radio presenter shares his journey to radio, and what keeps him focused on the drive to be the best:
Tell us about yourself
I lived a modest life growing up in Mombasa.
I attended my education at Mombasa Academy where I was a head boy in high school. Later on, I qualified to join Leeds University in the United Kingdom where I studied Communications and Media, and afterwards went to Cape Town AFDA University where I graduated in Film, Television & Entertainment Production. It is what I really wanted to study.
How did you jump into the world of radio?
I have always been the noisiest in the house, in the class. Since childhood, I always wanted to tell my story and entertain all those around me. I came into the world of radio firstly because I studied communications and media in undergrad but also thanks to one of my closest friends, Shaffie Weru. He always told me I had the voice for it and put me on the right track.
Apart from being on air, what else do you do?
When I am not on air I am a professional photographer and videographer. I Love food so you will always find me where good food is. I love to travel and if you know me you know I'm a whiskey connoisseur during my free time.
I also love to spend time with my friends and family on road trips, travels and my family and on top of that, I play golf, which I really love.
What has being on radio taught you?
Being on radio has taught me first to be responsible in what I say. I like to entertain, so sometimes I don’t censor my statements but now I know how to watch what I say and how I say it. I am also someone’s role model somewhere.
I have learnt to be disciplined and punctual. I was one of those guys who would tell you to schedule a meeting at 4 p.m. but end up leaving home at 4.20 p.m.
Do you ever feel like mainstream media has been dented by enhancing the internet and social media?
To be honest, it depends how you look at it. Radio has its target audience and people who listen to it. Yes, there is a shift for younger people due to DSP’s but at the end of the day radio has its people and I am sure they are always eager to listen to their favourite presenters.
Who do you look up to and who has contributed to your growth journey?
Without a doubt, Chunk and Filly, You Tubers from the United Kingdom. They make me wake up every day and want to work hard. My parents worked hard and I guess it just built that mentality in me.
The artistes I interview and my friends also motivate me everyday
And of course, Team Jezza, my supporters. I don’t believe in fans, I believe in supporters. They are everything to me. I’d be nowhere without them.
How do you feel about the filtration of virtual radio and podcasts to the entertainment world?
I think it's very good. I like to think the entertainment industry is huge; the more we have, the better. Podcasts are good because they are not real time and one can listen when they have time.
Any embarrassing moments on air?
Oh, they are definitely there. It's nerve-wracking to be on air every day. The pressure on air is insane, in fact at the beginning of my journey I couldn’t even sit still so I used to stand during links.
What has been your biggest challenge and fears?
My biggest challenge is that I want to be the best. There are no two ways about it. My only fear has been to let myself and my parents down. That would haunt me.
What have been some of your most memorable moments?
Most memorable moments are always when I make Team Jezza happy with my content but aside from radio it has to be when I went to Lagos in February for the Sound City Awards. I got to meet all of my favourite artists and even got a chance to present Rema the prize for best digital artist. It's mental and to be really honest, it's literally stuff you only see on TV.
What keeps you going?
What keeps me going is the very fact that I want to be the best and I can’t slow down till I get there. I want to leave a legacy on radio that everyone will remember me for. God put me on earth for one reason and I have to achieve it.