Patrick Lumumba once said â€œtime limits are good things. No matter how good a dancer you are, you must leave the stage,â€ and former radio personality Mpho MotÅ¡oene seems to have taken these words into consideration and applied them to his everyday life in order to thrive.
Having worked as a radio presenter since 2015, the socialite known in the entertainment circle by his middle name, Patrick, this week sat down with NewsdayArts & Entertainment writer, Poloko Mokhele, to share his thoughts on his growing influence in the entertainment scene.
Despite getting his big break into the sector through radio, he does not see himself going back, given the â€˜exploitation of radio presenters locallyâ€™. Below is how the conversation unfolded:
Newsday: Many people know you as just Patrick but not much else about your background. Please tell us who exactly is Mpho MotÅ¡oene?
Patrick: I am Mpho Patrick MotÅ¡oene, a 26-year-old gentleman from Leribe Moreneng. Born and raised by a single mother and of course with the help of family especially my late grandmother, who helped me through my education journey. I grew up as a very exclusive child who loved school, fashion, and later public speaking.
I attended primary school at Maryland Primary School where I, unfortunately, obtained a third class after writing the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE). That is where my passion and drive to be the best began. Having not performed well in my Standard 7; I told myself that such will never happen again in my life. I then got a merit in Form C followed by a Top 10 Best Achiever nationally after the announcement of the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) and since then there has been a form of consistency.
Newsday: You used to be an active radio presenter, however, it has been a while since we heard your voice on the radio. First tell us, when did your journey in radio start and why did you stop?
Patrick: My love for radio began in August 2015. I had just started my second academic year at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) then when I got exposed to the campus station, DOPE FM. I honestly never thought I would be a radio presenter but since I loved public speaking; I just decided to try it. At that time, no posts were advertised. Instead, I approached the management and convinced them that I can bring some sort of growth to the station should I be given that opportunity. They did and I excelled. From there I moved on to 357 FM in 2017 where I gained more experience.
Newsday: You sound like this is what you love and are passionate about, but it has been a while since we last heard your voice, can we see you going back to radio anytime soon?
Patrick: I honestly do not see myself going back to radio. The medium has undoubtedly molded me into who I am today. I have met amazing people through that phase in my life and I am grateful for the lessons, failures, and relationships built. However, it came with scrutiny, attention, and â€˜fame,â€™ expectations to look and be a certain way which all lead to depression when such are not met.
The worst part of it is the exploitation of radio presenters locally. Having to dedicate oneself to the betterment of the station but not be awarded or benefit from that has driven many, myself included, to depression because exposure does not pay bills. I do have respect for personalities in that field and radio owners or managers but I will never go back since my priorities, life, and interests have completely changed and the platform is not in line with where I see myself in the near future. But, I am still open to collaborations with radio presenters which are related only to educating Basotho on Agriculture, more particularly plant breeding which is my specialisation.
Newsday: You were in Nigeria for some time. What were you doing there and when exactly did you go and returned?
Patrick: I was awarded a scholarship to pursue my MSc in Plant Breeding at the PAN African University Life and Earth Sciences Institute, University of Ibadan, Nigeria in early 2021. This university is among the top 10 best universities in Africa according to Times Higher Education 2022 rankings. I graduated on the 16th of November 2022. I then flew back to Lesotho in late November same year.
Newsday: What can you say about Nigeria, what are some of the things you learned especially regarding the entertainment industry compared to Lesotho?
Patrick: Nigeria is a very huge country and arguably the biggest country that whenever the outside world thinks of Africa, it is the first to come to mind. I must say interaction with multitudes of students from all across Africa and their diverse cultures and behaviors challenged me to be open to learning, exploring, and understanding that there is life beyond Lesothoâ€™s borders.
Nigeria has a full-fledged entertainment industry that is acknowledged and respected. It is a paying day-to-day job. I think also the impact that technology has or plays in the enhancement of the entertainment industry is a little underrated in Lesotho as opposed to countries like Nigeria. There are countless privately owned TV channels in Nigeria providing a brought platform for talent showcase as well and I believe we also shall get there as a country; it may not be anytime soon but we will.
Newsday: You recently hosted the Lesotho Fashion Week (LSFW) Autumn Winter 2023 event, which is one of the biggest fashion events in Lesotho. Tell us about your experience from the event, how was it?
Patrick: Hosting Lesotho Fashion Week was a dream come true for me, it is a feeling that I canâ€™t even explain fully. Even now, it still feels surreal looking back at how successful the event was. I believe attendees came out with high expectations from me and my co-host April Mahase since it was our first time working together as hosts. I hosted the LSFW model casting in 2018 but this was different because there was a live audience and one had to be extra smart.
As an event host, the show is basically on your shoulders and I believe we delivered to the best of our capability. The chemistry between my co-host and I made the show what it was and the fact that we are both 100 percent ourselves on stage and have presenting styles that are aligned is what made the event a success. I am confident to say Lesotho Fashion Week Autumn Winter 2023 was the biggest event I have hosted. However, before this, I hosted the Mr and Miss Intervarsity Pageant in Eswatini in 2017, Face of Lesotho, Miss NUL, and Face of Achiever Magazine to mention a few.
Newsday: In closing, what can entertainment lovers expect from Patrick the MC this year?
Patrick: There are a lot of things I will be doing this year but mostly I want to perfect my MC skills and offer Basotho nothing but the best whenever I am booked. Basotho must expect high-end fashion, international standards, and classy presenting, a well-articulated host with undeniable chemistry with the mic. I believe this is my time to showcase my talent for the rest of Basotho and the world to notice me. I must say; it took me leaving this country to realise and gain confidence in myself that I am made for this.