RMR left Wiggaless

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By Kirsten Harris

Rhodes University bid farewell to Rhodes Music Radio (RMR) Station Manager Mike ‘Wigga’ Smurthwaite. DJ Wigga first joined RMR in 1999 and has been spinning the decks at RMR, around campus and Grahamstown ever since. He has managed the station for six years and has left the position to continue his career in Johannesburg. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rhodes University in 2000, majoring in Human Kinetics and Ergonomics (HKE) and History. In 2001 he completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism at Rhodes. Being a man of many talents Wigga is also in the process of obtaining his LLB through UNISA, something he hopes to complete this year. Wigga has been actively involved with campus life since his early days at the University. DJ Wigga was the master mind behind the transformation at RMR. During his early days at the station the studio consisted of a desk, micro-phone, CD player, tape deck and a run-down computer. The University was keen to shut down the station due to lack of finances. Wigga was a key-player in drafting a five-year recovery plan and, soon after, RMR went ahead with the make-over of the studio, including equipment. Looking back at the changes that have taken place over the years, Wigga says, “The station is strong now and that’s what I wanted to see, that’s what I envisioned when I started off”. Rhodes University is in the process of recruiting a permanent station and Gugulethu Mhlungu is acting station manager until the University has found a suitable candidate. This, however, has caused concern around campus as people fear that without Wigga, RMR will not maintain their established standard, but Wigga explains, “I don’t think there is a cause for concern, the existing staff has the honorary role, and there is no real change.” Wigga is currently working in Johannesburg for Adsat, a satellite company dealing with corporate radio stations. He is also looking to expand his DJing and music careers through the release of a house music compilation CD sometime later in the year, as well as work as a music producer. Although Wigga’s departure from campus marks the end of an era he said, “It is something really positive. It was an amazing experience and for that now to be available to guys coming into RMR in the future; that is the thing that stands out the most for me, I have left something that enables future generations to enjoy Rhodes.”

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2 Responses to RMR left Wiggaless

  1. carls says:

    Wishing him all the best! but wow – the end of an era!

  2. MK says:

    Well done, wish you should have helped Radio Grahamstown survive as well, because RMR’s content excludes the locals. As a fan of local house, I’ll be uying your album as well. gud luck with your new job, we will miss you and your contribution to the Rhodes community.

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