Rozanne McKenzie: multi-facetted anchor, presenter and actress

Rozanne McKenzie

Rozanne McKenzie is a news anchor, presenter, MC, actress, producer and voice-over artist based in Johannesburg. She is a studio anchor on the weekly agriculture and lifestyle show on Etv, Niche Farmers. She has been a presenter and anchor for live and pre-recorded TV on lifestyle and actuality programmes including Kopskuif, Nuusdag, Dagbreek, FLITS, Nation in Conversation / Nasie in Gesprek, Geldhelde and Kwêla.

Her MC and voice-over experience spans over 15 years, working with various local and international corporates, organisations and brands.

Rozanne can be heard as the co-host of The Drive with Rob and Roz on Jacaranda FM, weekdays from 4-7 pm.

In 2018, Rozanne established her company Rozanne McKenzie Media and their first TV series, Omgee-engele aired on the DStv channel Via in 2020. The company also offers media skills training and presenting workshops.

Q & A with Rozanne

Tell us a bit about who you are and how your journey into the industry began.

I always knew that I wanted to work in arts and entertainment. I studied Drama and Media Studies at UCT and then did my honours in Drama. I was a presenter on UCT radio while I was studying and I loved it! Once I had graduated, I did lots of different things like teaching, corporate training, children’s theatre and voiceovers.

In 2006, I got a role in a Barnyard Theatre touring production of Grease. That was my first big gig and the reason I decided to move to Joburg full-time. In 2008, I auditioned for my first TV presenting gig and I have been working in TV and radio ever since. In 2018, I started my production company, Rozanne McKenzie Media.

What tips can you share that have helped shape your career?

  • You need thick skin. There is a lot of rejection in this industry and you can’t focus on those too much. They are still disappointing, but you learn not to dwell on them and move forward.
  • Be prepared. Always know your lines or do your research. It makes the process go faster and people enjoy working with someone who is ready.
  • Find people you can learn from. Things change so much in the media space, so you should make sure your skills are up to date.
  • Be on time. No one likes starting or finishing late, because of waiting for one person.
  • It’s not all glamorous. This industry is hard work, long hours, lots of time away from home. You should really want to be in it.

What is your most memorable career moment to date?

I’ve had so many career highlights, but interviewing the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is one of them. Also, seeing my first TV production as Executive Producer goes to air for the first time in 2020. That was a huge moment for me.

What projects are you currently working on?

After working on Jacaranda FM for 9 years, I am now the co-host of The Drive with Rob and Roz on the station. Hosting a prime-time radio show is something I could have only dreamed of, even just a year ago. I am also the co-anchor of Niche Famers on Etv. This show is putting the spotlight on small-scale farmers, especially black female farmers and it’s bringing a lot of hope to many people.

I will also be presenting a talk show that will be broadcast later this year, which I can’t say too much about. My voice-over and presenting coaching work are also keeping me very busy. My company has optioned the screen development rights for an incredible South African novel, which is such a huge undertaking, but I’m working with an amazing team and I’m excited to see that come to light.

What do you think makes African content so unique?

African content is so unique because there is no one singular African identity. Even within every African country, there are so many rich, diverse cultures and histories, each with their own stories to tell. We are putting our stories forward and telling them ourselves now, not through the gaze of someone who isn’t from here. We are owning our identities and putting them on screen in brave and interesting ways.

Which women have the most impact on your career?

Our MD at Jacaranda FM, Deidre King is a boss of note! She has worked all over the world with many multinational companies and now we are lucky enough to have her. She just gets the job done and she’s unapologetic about her success. That being said, her door is always open to give me advice or just have a chat about things that aren’t even work-related. Deirdre has also put so much faith in me, by putting me in such a prime position on the lineup of a radio station that has such a big listenership. It’s a big change and it’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m definitely up to the task.

Read more Fameous Friends here

Sonnette Fourie

Sonnette Fourie

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