By Sindiso Dube in Bulawayo
A restructuring exercise at Bulawayo’s first commercial radio station — Sykz Metro FM — has resulted in the departure of two popular presenters amid indications that more employees will ditch the broadcaster.
Prominent socialite Babongile Sikhonjwa, who pioneered the keenly followed Vuka Vuka breakfast show, is leaving the station this month end, Skyz Metro announced recently.
Sikhonjwa’s departure came hot on the heels of Patience Phiri and Lee Mangena’s exits.
Skyz Metro said its most popular presenter wanted “to devote more time to his growing entertainment business, which now requires his full-time presence”.
However, Sikhonjwa said he would only be able to speak about his next move on March 1.
“This is my last month with Skyz Metro FM,” he said.
“My last day is February 28 and I can only talk to the media as from March 1.
“For now, the station manager is the one who is responsible for all communication related to the station.”
Mangena, who was the station’s news editor, left after his contract was not renewed. The station has been operating without an editor for over a month.
Phiri, who is part of renowned playwright Daves Guzha’s latest offering, State of the Nation: Vortex, left Skyz Metro last month.
She refused to comment about her departure. Sky Metro FM station manager Goodwin Phiri said some of the employees left on their own volition following a restructuring exercise.
“We rolled out our plan for this year and part of that was to restructure and shift programming,” he said.
“Some of the people who left did so after the exercise and they did that willingly whilst others were not in our plans.
“As a station, we need to keep our position in the entertainment industry and as the leading station in Bulawayo we rolled out plans for the year, which affected some of our employees.”
But sources said some Sky Metro employees were not happy about the restructuring and were contemplating leaving.