DAN CORDER – Country’s youngest breakfast show host Cord(ially) sets tongues wagging

Award-winning radio host Dan Corder has confidently taken over the reigns as the host of Good Hope FM Breakfast, weekdays from 06h00 to 09h00. At the tender age of 24, Corder is officially the youngest presenter in the country to hold such a prestigious post on a commercial station, and it’s one he takes very seriously if not with a heavy dose of entertainment to rev listeners’ engines. The position also comes with an incredible amount of responsibility as Corder strives to take radio where no one has before and to represent the youth of South Africa to the best of his abilities.

Possessing an indescribable passion for local music, Corder has been a staple on Good Hope FM since 2015 as host of the Weekend breakfast Show. He then moved on to do a 100 day stand in for the Weekday breakfast Show. He has also hosted Beats by Dan (2017) as well as co-hosted The Hype (2016) where he established the campaign Finding the Hype. Listeners across the Western Cape were encouraged to submit original music which would be carefully listened to and reviewed by Corder and his team. If songs were deemed worthy of radio airplay, the team would assist the artists in producing radio ready singles as well as aid them in registering their original material with SAMRO. “There was only one condition to being featured in the campaign,” explains Corder. “Entrants had to be unheralded artists, without a meaningful public following or a history of having songs playlisted by stations or distributed by labels.” Once the process was complete, singles would receive airplay on The Hype every Thursday evening, and were considered for possible national airplay across Good Hope FM sister SABC stations across the country. “For many of these artists, their debut was also their very first media interview on any platform, and I’m so proud that Good Hope FM chose to give South African talent such a noteworthy kick start to many careers,” adds Corder. This initiative saw Corder nominated for a Radio Innovation Award at the 2016 Liberty Radio Awards.

The more serious side to Dan Corder was highlighted in 2015 when he directed and produced the documentary Luister (‘listen’ in Afrikaans) which investigated and shed light on racism and linguistic academic exclusion at Stellenbosch University. The documentary went viral across South Africa with the hashtag #Luister trending at number one on Twitter for just over three weeks. This led to the short film being recognised internationally by media platforms such as CNN, the BBC, The Guardian and Al Jazeera. The global media frenzy resulted in Luister literally making the Stellenbosch University leaders listen and take stock of the situation at hand. A subsequent summons to Parliament, and a thorough government investigation, culminated in the university changing their language of instruction policies as well as investigating racism among students. To date, the documentary has been shown at several international film festivals and was also the focus of an event at Duke University in the USA. “It was utterly amazing and dumbfounding to all of us that Luister did so well and became a global headline phenomenon. It gave me a faith that I had never had before; that if you created something good enough that the world would respond in a positive way and care for people that had suffered injustice,” explains Corder.

A multi-faceted talent resolute on making himself heard in more ways than one, Corder was no stranger to radio before joining Good Hope FM. He first cut his radio teeth at UCT Radio for one year from 2014 as the host of the Weekday Breakfast show from which the show, Contraband was born. The show received favourable recognition from the BBC and became the source of much-needed information for students and world-leading news organisations during the #RhodesMustFall protests at the University of Cape Town (UCT). As a result, Corder was awarded the opportunity to co-host a 30-minute show on the BBC World Service which was broadcast to millions of people around the world.

Understanding actions speak louder than words, Corder vehemently believes in making himself heard in more ways than one. In 2012, he joined a service delivery protest in Rondebosch, Cape Town just days before beginning his first-year orientation at UCT. The protest called for the provision of land, jobs and housing in poverty-stricken areas. Dozens of protesters were arrested as a result with Corder being one of them. Detainees were held for 12 hours and later released when no charges were laid against them.

Corder doesn’t just stop at producing world-class radio, supporting local talent, and fighting for equality. His days are also spent writing articles for tech publications and when at play Corder is happiest on a football field surrounded by his teammates. “Soccer is my religion!” exclaims Corder who also admits to being passionate about all forms of sports.

One thing can be said about this incredible young talent; there is a lot more where this came from so sit back, relax and watch his star rise in more ways than one.

RUAN: It is no doubt that you are one of Cape Town’s most loved voices on Good hope FM’s Breakfast show! Not to mention the youngest presenter in our country to hold such a prestigious post. What has jour journey been like so far?

DAN: It has been wonderful. As I left studio today it dawned on me that I am fast approaching half a year on the show! I am shocked that is has flown by so quickly, but the fact that it has is a good sign. The listeners have been so kind and we have already created something quite special together.

RUAN: When did your love for radio start?

DAN: It took a few weeks of campus radio, but from the moment we did one dynamite show I was hooked! I fell so hard.

RUAN: What does it feel like being an award winning radio host?

DAN: Winning the award for best campus breakfast show was amazing, but getting a nomination for best radio innovation when I was working at the top level of the industry meant even more. Our work was validated even more because it was chosen from among all of the innovations that the best in the business had done that year.

RUAN: You are talented in the sense that you don’t just do radio but you have also directed and produced the documentart “LUISTER” what was that journey like?

DAN: That was the wildest time of my whole life so far. We never expected Luister to become so famous or have such an impact. We were thrilled when it had around 10 000 views after the first day that it was out. Suddenly, we were getting calls from the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, Al Jazeera and more. We were in the centre of the world’s top story. It was surreal. By far the best part was that Luister contributed to meaningful policy change at Stellenbosch University that helped students.

RUAN: What was it like from weekend radio moving over to a breakfast show?

DAN: Weekday breakfast radio is a different game to any other show. I started on weekend breakfast, and moved through weekday brunch and weekday lunch too, before being offered weekday breakfast. All of those slots are challenging and exciting in their own ways, but weekday breakfast is the hardest, and the best. It requires a lot of self-belief and humility to take that step up.

RUAN: What advice do you have for anyone aspiring to be a radio presenter especially our youth?

DAN: There is only one way to get good at radio. Get behind a mic, and spend hours and hours and hours there. That is simply the only way to get to a level of performance where, no matter what the situation, you will be good. Take advantage of the fantastic opportunities that campus and community radio stations afford new talent to develop and always be willing to sit with that mic.

RUAN: Are there any exciting things we can look forward to for the remaining of 2018?

DAN: Yes! But I can’t say what in public just yet. I cannot wait for September! Heritage Month is going to be amazing on the show. I’m so excited.

RUAN: Like most humans we are bound to make mistakes when we are live on radio. Do you have any embaresing moments you could share with us?

DAN: I can’t think of anything terrible that I did by accident. I have stunted my death on air before though, and did my next content feature from beyond the grave. I was on campus radio at the time. It was clearly and obviously a joke, but a prospective employer did not take it as one. In hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t end up at that station so maybe it was a blessing.

RUAN: If you could some up your life right now using a hashtag (#) what would it be and why?

DAN: #Jetlagged That’s what breakfast radio feels like. A constant state of jetlag. I’m operating in a different time zone.

RUAN: On which social media platforms can we continue to support and follow your on-going journey?

DAN: The twitters @DanCorderOnAir the instas @DanCorderOnAir the facebooks @DanCorderOnAir


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