Follow Your Passion, And Other Life Lessons We’ve Learnt From This Radio Host
Having spent seven years in the broadcast industry, Barron Hufkie knows more than a thing or two about what it takes to make it work. With his upbeat personality, the sports anchor shines on air, and at only 28, he has plenty of life lessons we can learn from.
Born and raised in the Eastern Cape, Barron loved entertaining his family and put on concerts at family gatherings. He also participated in public speaking and debating while he was still at school.
Now the award-winning radio personality entertains thousands on the Cape’s radio show KFM. MH wanted to know what he’s taken from the experience, so we gave him a call. Here’s the advice he shared.
1. Don’t Be Afraid To Pursue Your Passion
Barron was completing his Bsc in Microbiology and Biotechnology when he noticed a poster in the Neelsie (Stellenbosch University’s student centre) looking for presenters. At school, he excelled in Biology and Geography and decided to follow a career based on those subjects. But when he saw the ad, he knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass. “I just applied, and the next thing you know I was at MFM, doing what I now love.”
He became so passionate about radio, that when he obtained his Bsc, he opted to follow his love for radio, leaving microbiology behind. “A person has so many different facets, and it’s important for you to explore those facets. Just because you’re studying law or microbiology, it doesn’t mean that’s all you are.”
2. Make Sure You Use Your Time Wisely
When Barron first started at Kfm, he was still doing his shift at MFM, as well as holding a radio presenter slot at Clicks Live Radio. He’d go from one gig to the next with, little rest in between. Now that he’s just focusing on duties at KFM, he has more time to focus on himself and his future. “In radio you have a lot of time to play with because you’re usually only doing a three or four hour show. But I need to spend my time wisely. I need to invest in myself as a business, if that’s me going to the gym, doing interviews or taking a nap, then that’s me investing in myself.”
Working on his fitness is just one of the ways he invests in himself. Weekends will often see him hiking. “I enjoy climbing, that’s my thing. So I’ll always do Lions Head or this trail close to where I stay.” Along with his hikes, he plays tennis once a week, and gyms three or four times a week. “I need to go to the gym, even if it’s just me running on the treadmill, but I need to be active.” He’s also now partnering with F45 Woodstock to take his fitness to the next level.
3. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
We’re all human, and sometimes we make mistakes. For the majority of us, our mistakes are witnessed by only a few people. But, if you’re on air like Barron, thousands of listeners are witness to the mistakes you make.
Barron recalls an incident during his first year of radio when he had the exciting opportunity to interview Deadmau5. At the time, not much was known about the international DJ – and for Barron, the pronunciation of his name. “We had him on the line, my manager was standing outside the booth, there was this mounting pressure on me, and I introduced him as Deadmaufive, because I didn’t realise the ‘5’ was meant to be pronounced as an ‘s’. I saw my manager outside the booth going ‘Nooo’ and I didn’t know what I was doing wrong,” he laughs.
Mistakes happen to the best of us, and Barron’s learnt not to take himself too seriously. “If you take yourself too seriously as a radio presenter, you’re not going to make it. If you want to be perfect all the time, then you’re going to lose that attachment to your listeners. So you need to just have fun with radio.”
4. Stay True To Yourself
The biggest piece of advice that Barron can offer those with ambitions of being a radio presenter, is to always be true to yourself. ‘With radio, you know immediately if someone is trying to be who they aren’t.” The person you are on the street, should be the same person you are when you’re in studio. “If you’re going to try and be the next Maps Maponyane or whoever, then you’re not going to make it. Radio is about making people laugh, and keeping them informed. They need to feel like your best friend or part of your family, and the best way to do that is to be authentically you.”
Catch Barron on the Flash Drive with Carl Wastie on KFM 94.5 every weekday from 16h00 to 19h00. On weekends he hosts his own shows, the Bloc Party every Saturday night from 21h00 to 01h00, and KFM Sunday Nights every Sunday night from 19h00 to 22h00