For a decade he was known as one of the biggest personalities at YFM. He started off as a trainee and a traffic reporter and in time, he moved to daytime radio.
By the time he left YFM after 10 years, he was doing the drive time show. Sabelo Mtshali, popularly known as DJ Sabby, is excited about his new journey. He’s one of the DJs that have joined Metro FM after the big shuffle.
He fell in love with radio when he was 14 and got his start at YFM in 2010 through the Y-Academy and in the same year, was offered a trainee slot and traffic reporter position.
By the time he was 23, he was hosting the lunchtime slot and at 25, he moved to drive time. Now at 30, he’s moved to the Top 40 chart show on Metro FM on Saturdays.
DJ Sabby says his time at YFM was a very important part of his journey as a radio personality as he became a part of the lives of ordinary South Africans.
“I am always keen to learn people and radio allows me to do all of that. I have a different experience everyday with people, one moment you’re having a good day and the very same moment you meet someone who is having a bad day.
“I am a boy from the townships striving to live his dream every single day. I am consistent in pushing myself and learning more about myself,” he tells DRUM.
“My 10 years at YFM were very organic. When I joined YFM I had left a spot that was promising but I wasn’t scared to start all over again. Throughout the years there was always room for the next chapter to be different from the other. I believe with what I have achieved at YFM, the drive show will always be one of the greatest things I have been a part of. It was 10 years of shaping how people consume sound in South Africa and connecting people with artists through listening sessions. I reached a point where I felt I was ready for a new challenge.”
He says he is still in shock that he is now part of Metro FM and he sees it as his moment and a path to greater things.
“Metro FM, for me growing up in KZN, it represents black excellence. Everyone on Metro sounds like black excellence, it was a different experience for me. But I have always known that I will one day join Metro FM. The platform allows you to engage with people across the country, I still can’t believe it. I am proud of myself in the highest level possible. Now I have to work 10 times harder, and another challenge is that I will be on air once a week, it is exciting that I get to do something I have never done before.
“My mom taught me that great things take time and my grandmother always told me that God’s time is on time. I learnt from a young age that what you put in is what you get out. I came to Johannesburg with no plan and I have learnt that great things do take time and we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves.”
When he’s not on radio, Dj Sabby enjoys being a father to his three-year-old son with his news anchor girlfriend Lindi Sirame and he says that fatherhood pushes him to break barriers so that his son won’t face the same struggles he had.
“Every time I drop him off at school I have a moment where I look at him and think how his life will pan out is dependent on me. I would be lying if I said I want him to have the same struggles as me, I know some parents want that for their children but not me. I am not going to make him a lazy boy but I want him to be a man with access, I want him to experience things that I didn’t at a young age so that he becomes a better version of himself.
“One thing I always wanted from my father when I was kid was time, but unfortunately I lost him very young and so I want to give my son my time as much as I can so that he’ll have the memories when I am gone.”