Matie Voices

Renaldo Schwarp

Alumnus of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

“It is extremely important to stay true to who you are when building a career in media.”

Radio presenter, television personality and digital media guru—Renaldo Schwarp is a great example of a modern, well-rounded entertainment personality.

Over the last five years, he’s built a strong career in both the corporate space, as well as the broadcast entertainment industry.

“This is why I’ve positioned myself as a multi-platform media specialist,” the former Stellenbosch University (SU) graduate, who now lives in Johannesburg, explains.

“I have developed a comprehensive digital skill set that spans strategy creation for radio, television, and print. The digital and broadcast worlds are my playground. They feed my interest in all things trending.”

Renaldo first became interested in South African pop culture and entertainment at SU.

“Having received a full bursary to study law, I respectfully declined the offer to rather pursue my first love: a BA in drama. During my third-year television and radio classes, lecturers Elsabé Daneel and Susanne Beyers spotted my innate presenting talent and spurred me on to join MFM 92.6, the campus radio station, during 2012. The rest, as they say, is history.”

In this role as head of digital at Jacaranda FM, he now leverages his knowledge of digital brand development, strategy, content creation, and marketing, to create and implement a digital strategy that supports the station.

“I deal extensively with identifying content strategies for our target markets and audiences. I also collaborate with the station’s programming, marketing and sales teams.”

Having worked on different spheres of the entertainment field, Renaldo believes he is a testament that, in the industry today, one must be multi-skilled.

“You have to be so much more than just a talented presenter. Some of the most successful brands and personalities we see on TV and hear on the radio have all branched out and built massive presences outside of the mainstream media platforms that they work on.”

One of the other secrets to success, he believes, is to be unapologetically authentic.

“It is extremely important to stay true to who you are when building a career in media. There will be many opportunities to ‘sell out’ or associate yourself with a brand that isn’t true to your or your beliefs. Always ask yourself ‘Why am I doing this?’, or ‘Why am I partnering with this brand?’.”

The ‘why’ for Renaldo is simple but two-fold: His passion for people, and telling their stories.

“There is a lot of focus on representation currently and rightfully so. We need to see and hear a bigger variety of voices and faces on TV and radio. And from all walks of life, backgrounds, languages, races, sexuality and religions.”

Looking towards the future, this young media mogul has several exciting projects in the pipeline.

“I have recently joined kykNET as presenter of their actuality programme KLOP! and would love to build on my presenting work with the channel.

“In addition, I’m also venturing into a few new LGBTI projects within the Afrikaans broadcast space. With this, I am hoping to start necessary conversations around issues that are underrepresented in mainstream media circles.”

- By Steyn du Toit -