By JUSTIN LATIF – Western Leader
Morning radio jockey Shaiyaz Mohammed doesn’t mind getting up at 4.30am to do the job he loves.
The Apna 990 general manager hosts the radio station’s breakfast show and has been with the media company since its inception.
The station, which broadcasts on the frequency 990AM, celebrates its fourth birthday this month and Shaiyaz says it’s been an exciting time.
The 32-year-old goes to bed at about 9pm to have enough energy for his show the next day.
He says the early starts are a struggle but once he’s awake he’s all go.
“I try to be funky and funny,” he says. “Of course getting up at 4.30am is hard.
“I start waking up from about 2.30am.”
The father-of-two started as a sports reporter for a Fijian radio station and moved to New Zealand with his wife in 1999.
“We wanted a better future,” he says. “For ourselves and our children.”
Staying awake at odd hours is one of the unique skills of being a radio DJ.
Shaiyaz hosted the station’s appeal for victims of the mid-January floods in western Fiji.
He remained on air for 54 hours without even taking a catnap.
The station raised more than $200,000 and Shaiyaz went back to his homeland to distribute food parcels bought with the donated money.
The former Lautoka resident says seeing the destruction proved to be harder than the sleepless two and half day show.
“I stayed awake on coffee and V drinks,” he says.
“But the appeal was easy compared with going to Fiji.
“It was a very emotional experience.”
Shaiyaz wants to extend the station’s coverage past Hamilton and make it the number one option for those who speak Hindi.
“This is my baby,” he says.
“I love it here.”
© Western Leader 19/05/2009.
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