IN THE more modern times of Zimbabwean radio, few presenters and DJs have dominated the airwaves quite like DJ Ollah 7.
It was therefore a shocking turn of events when the youthful Star FM talk-show presenter abruptly announced his resignation from the station this week, with rumour swirling around that he had a disciplinary hearing hanging over his head.
Ollah 7 – real name Owen Madondo – bade farewell to his fans live on radio on Monday, much to the chagrin of Star FM listeners and advertisers.
He didn’t immediately give the reason for his departure.
DJ Ollah 7 is largely credited for introducing cameras to the studio to combine TV and radio for the first time on Star FM.
That brought him not just fame abut also thousands of listeners who would follow the show also on social media platforms mostly, YouTube and Facebook pages in real time.
He told The NewsHawks this week that he decided to call it quits after realising that he was now a “brand” capable of going it alone.
“Firstly, it is all about growth. It is a good thing to plan your exit plan and imagine with this new project I am going to employ other people,” said Ollah 7.
“Secondly, I am going to return to radio one way or the other. With which station I don’t know yet.
“And thirdly, I realised there was now a clash of interest because I had been running my YouTube channel and Facebook page while also doing the same for Star FM. So, I decided to focus on just one thing.”
Ollah is currently using Nash TV studios in Graniteside, owned by entrepreneur Tinashe Mutarisi. His first show, which aired this week and guested by Juntal, was viewed by over 50000 followers.
Asked why he left Star FM after 12 years at the station that had given him the platform to shine, he said:
“I was with Star FM since inception but then I was not that popular at the time up until the last two years when I started doing On The Spot. That became popular because remember listeners could watch the show in real time on my YouTube and Facebook pages. This was new because I not only brought radio, but also visuals of my guests live on these channels.”
What about reports of disciplinary hearing regarding fraud? Well, nothing of that sort ever transpired, DJ Ollah 7 retorted.
“People should understand that I tendered my resignation first and the management saw it fit for me to go on air and bid farewell to my listeners,” he commented.
“If there was a case of fraud, would you think the management would allow me to go on air to announce and thereafter issue a glowing statement on their social media pages? The fraud case is a BIG lie.”
As part of his new venture, DJ Ollah 7 is set to produce three shows – the Podcast which will tackle several debates ranging from religion, politics to social then the Genius Kids where he interacts with adolescents and then On the Spot, where he interviews celebrities.
“These shows will air on YouTube and Facebook pages beginning on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays starting at 7pm,” he said.
But sources within the station hinted that DJ Ollah 7’s resignation not only shocked the management but the entire Star FM listenership.
It is said Ollah 7 had raffled feathers with one of the bosses after realising that his personal YouTube channel had become popular drawing several heavy hitters in adverts including Bakers Inn, Giant Petroleum, borehole drilling companies and clothing shops.
According to sources at 102 Simon Mazorodze Road, DJ Ollah 7 was being sabotaged by some interested parties.
One time he was being told who to interview on his show while the other time his shows would be affected by blackouts.
The worst was when DJ Ollah 7 was accused of moonlighting for his own pages, a case which appeared on his charge sheet before the disciplinary hearing.
Sources said there was so much envy and hate over the success of his show On The Spot because of advertisers who have since moved with him to his new project.
The sources said the station was now under threat from a certain individual who has orchestrated the departure of several presenters including Pathisani Sibanda and others.
Itayi “Iyati” Takaendesa is said to be a victim of “shoddy management” after she was demoted from being programming manager to just a presenter.
On the whole there seems to be discontent at the station regarding top management and sources said more presenters are likely to leave the station.