Bob Mabena | Legendary SA radio and TV Presenter: RIP

Bob Mabena

Bob Mabena is one of South Africa’s most famous and most awarded radio Dj and TV presenters. A man whose voice, heart and mind I got to particularly love whilst listening to the Radio Metro Breakfast Show in the mid 90’s. His career spanned almost 3 decades and he also had various roles at Radio Bop, KayaFM, 5FM, Goodhope FM, Heart FM, Power98.7 and others. What most people don’t know is he’s also won a SAMA for Best Rap Artist of the year as well as raced cars professionally for Nissan. Now 50, a father of 7, with his own business and non-profit organization, I was very privileged to catch up with him to find out what he believes has been, and still are, some of the secrets to his success, his massive energy levels and his passion for life:

My Definition Of Success | To me success is measured in many ways. I know I could never be “FATHER OF THE YEAR” but I strive to do my best at all times in this area. This is a lifetime job. As simple as it might sound, HAPPINESS ranks very high as well. I laugh a lot and make sure that I check my happiness barometer constantly. Contentment can be infectious and the rest can follow. Happy at work, happy while working, happy at home!

I Am Driven By | Having known abject poverty drives me. I detest “need” because it robs one of the spirit of creativity. By this, I am not alluding to opulence but merely the ability to live comfortably and happily.



I think my ‘MAGIC’ come from | Obdurate mentality to my career and persistence.

The Difference Between good And Great | Having an iterative approach to purpose. Practice, practice and more practice in order to keep improving. It has been proven that talent alone isn’t enough and I live by that credo.

A Key Talent | Perseverance and patience. Enduring success can only be sustained by focused hard work. The joy of being knocked out and down lies in the exemplary ability of the human spirit to fight back and win!  I can never stress enough how important it is to “KEEP THE MAIN THING, THE MAIN THING”. Focus will keep you on the right track and yield results.

Principles I Live By | Honesty, trustworthiness and a spiritually forthright outlook on life are valued principles.

A Critical Skill I Develop | Listening is extremely important – this is the reason we have two ears and only one mouth. The more I listen, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more empowered I remain.



How I Use My Mind | The right attitude counts a lot. Think of a match between two talented soccer teams on the field. They both have a great squad, great coach and fantastic supporters. The team that will prevail is the one with a winning attitude! The right attitude counts a lot.

Lessons I Have Learnt | Negativity does more damage than anything else. It is worse that a bad diet!

Dealing With Doubt | My first Radio audition was quite challenging and I was scared. To overcome, I had to begin with the end in mind. I had to visualize myself as a Radio Presenter – a great one at that.

Performing At My Peak | Again; practice a lot but more importantly, interact with different people who are likely to add value in one’s life.

Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | In my area of work, two things: 1. Interact with young and creative people. 2. Read a lot!!!

My Future Dreams And Ambitions | Re-launch my Foundation and keep it going for the sake of my legacy and the African child.

Balancing high performance with with happiness and contentment |  I find happiness in almost any and everything. The glow of the moon, a howling wind, a bird in mid-flight, helping others. I never struggle with happiness at all.



The Best Advice I’ve Received | When you are not comfortable with something, do something about it! From my grandmother!

Advice On Building Wealth | Find your passion and work at it with everything you have.

Motivating my team | Share knowledge and skills all the time. All things can be done better!

I am Inspired by |Young people inspire me. The challenges faced by young people today are almost insurmountable.

The Legacy I Would Like To Leave |  I would like to leave a legacy of having helped to make others successful.


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