Liza Xobololo, a self-proclaimed mama’s boy from the rife township of Nyanga East in Cape Town, has turned his management skills and love for hip-hop into a viable business.
Born to a family of six in the Eastern Cape, he has always been a huge fan of this music genre since his days in high school. He now runs and owns an online radio station called Koppolla Connecta.
After realising early on that he had no actual musical talent, Xobololo turned to the behind-the-scenes element of the hip hop industry. As time went on, he soon noticed that the local hip hop industry was lacking in the number of available platforms for artists to showcase their skills.
“I couldn’t rap, trap or sing so I was always amongst Hip Hop debates. That grew in me and made me understand that there is more to the culture [of hip hop] than being in the front limelight.
“It is from there that I decided a radio station would be a great platform for rappers, DJs, producers, debaters like myself and many more who fall under the umbrella of Hip Hop,” he said.
Being an optimistic and business savvy individual he eventually chose to bite the bullet and start his own radio station by taking out a small loan that was meant to finance his first car; utilising it as start-up capital for his dream of owning a radio station.
“I told myself this is more important than anything. It is more important than a car. I went as far as cutting my parents off financially to make sure I at least get a start. It was not easy but the dream of being in the hip hop industry was too big and painful as it kept poking at my heart,” he added.
From this dream and his strenuous financing, Koppolla Connecta was born. It is an online Hip Hop radio station that produces over 90% of South African content to its listeners. It also dedicates a great majority of the shows & programmes to up-and-coming artists, with a primary target audience of tertiary students.
Their secondary target market are those music listeners who are looking for niche content that is not easily accessible through traditional media channels like your commercial radio stations, regional or community broadcasters.
Owning Koppolla Connecta requires Xobololo to be very hands on. He is involved in the day to day operations which include managing and scheduling presenters, checking internet stability and making sure that broadcasting is uninterrupted. The station is steadily growing its listenership and has been running smoothly on air. However, it does go through a few difficulties of its own.
“We have a lot of financial challenges as the station depends solely on my salary as the owner. We also experience internet cuts that cause glitches as we are operating in a place where there is no fibre internet. We have power cuts and cable theft problems because we operate the station from the township,” said Xobololo.
As part of his ‘solution finding’ strategy Xobololo is busy seeking support and sending out business proposals to companies throughout the country, asking for financial assistance so he can get a place with not only a stable electricity supply but one that has fibre internet lines to help overcome their broadcasting glitches.
When it comes to long-term plans and aspirations for his radio station, this is what he said: “I want to turn Koppolla Connecta into a continental media house. I see us as the number one hip hop radio station and media house in Africa helping to shape talents on our continent and exporting it to the world.”
To get in touch with Xobololo, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.KoppollaC.co.za to tune in to his station. For airplays & interviews, send an email to KoppollaC@gmail.com and follow @KoppollaC across social media platforms.
Photo Credits: Wayne Mpala
— Koppolla Connecta SA HipHop Radio (@koppollaC) September 20, 2018
~ Thabisile Ngeleka