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DUT Alumnus and staff member wins at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards

DUT Alumnus and staff member wins at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards

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Alan Khan, charismatic and respected media and radio personality who is also Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at the Durban University of Technology, was the proud recipient of the “Best News and Actuality Show” at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards in Sandton last weekend.

Khan was nominated for two awards for his radio show Walk the Talk with Alan Khan, one for the Best News and Actuality PBS and the second for Best Night Time Show PBS. A third nomination was for the show’s Producer, in the category Best Content Producer. “The competitive environment in South African broadcasting is very strong and I was humbled and ecstatic to win the award for the Best News and Actuality Show at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards,” he said excitedly.

Established in 2010, the Liberty Radio Awards strives to recognise the very best of South Africa’s on-air and behind the scenes radio talent. The awards ensure that all radio talent, in all areas, receive due recognition and that talented producers and presenters, at all radio stations, are motivated to constantly strive towards creating programming that meets the needs of their audience.

Khan’s career in radio spans almost 27 years and for him, receiving awards and recognition is great but it is not his main motivation for still being on the air. “I love radio and I am grateful to DUT for allowing me the privilege to still follow my dreams. I started on campus radio when I was a Chiropractic student at the former Technikon Natal in 1990. So, DUT has played a vital role in my career, apart from giving me the start of my radio romance, it afforded me outstanding training when I studied Journalism at the City Campus. Now, returning as a staff member and being part of the DUT community completes my circle. Winning the South African Radio Award this year and being inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2015 is all the more special, as it happened at a time when I was part of the DUT family,” he added.

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DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Thandwa Mthembu was also excited upon hearing the news of Khan’s win and said that DUT was very proud of him.

Khan is married to a sociologist, Dr Mariam Seedat Khan. They have two sons, Nasser (18) and Ameer (15), who were overjoyed with his win. “Family comes first and I am indebted to my circle of love for their continued support and encouragement,” he said.

As the Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at the Durban University of Technology, Khan spoke about how radio influences the work that he does at DUT. “Part of my function is to also be the media spokesperson for DUT and I often find myself responding to journalists who invite me onto talk shows or interview me for their news reports on radio and television. I also make statements to print and online media and having a media background and experience in broadcasting certainly benefits my role at DUT,” he said.

For Khan, radio has given him amazing experiences and allowed him to meet and interview unforgettable people like President Nelson Mandela, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Stevie Wonder, Sir Richard Branson, Bryan Adams, Janet Jackson and Sir Alex Ferguson amongst many others. “It’s opened up a world of opportunities to me but most importantly, I met my wife Mariam Seedat when I interviewed her on my talk show at Capital Radio 604 and we recently celebrated our 20th anniversary in March this year,” he said excitedly.

The humble media man added that radio is the original social media and he loves the fact that he can make a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of others. He added that “Radio is a free resource, it’s highly accessible and radio is evolving as the digital world continues to impact peoples’ lives.”

Khan believes that radio will always remain relevant as it’s not about the music or the presenters, it’s about the content and that radio presenters must ensure that they are excellent story tellers. They must engage with their audience, on air and online. “The future of radio will involve video and text. So it’s not just the spoken word. Radio will survive if it wins the battle of the attention economy. Remember, many years ago The Buggles once sang about, ‘Video killed the radio star…’ Well, radio is still here but VHS is not,” he said.

Pictured: Two DUT Alumni winning at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards, Alan Khan and Jeremy Maggs, both Journalism graduates from DUT.

Pictured: Alan Khan is the proud recipient of the award for Best News and Actuality Show at the 2017 Liberty Radio Awards in Sandton last week.

—Waheeda Peters

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