Lula Odiba Talks New Show on YFM and Breaking Into the Entertainment Industry

Keletso Bonolo Modiba, born March 4th 1998, better known as Lula Odiba is one of the most vibrant voices up and coming on South African radio today. Having double majored at Wits with a Bachelors of Arts in Media Studies and Anthropology, she formalized her love for being on air on campus radio station VOWFM. Allowing her to hone her skills on the ins and outs of all things radio.

Having also interned at 5FM, Lula has just been announced as the new 2021 DJ lineup on YFM. Where she host the 7pm and 10pm slot on The Nightcap with Lula Odiba which focuses on music and, for the first time, include a full hour of talk each night as Lula gives young people the platform to openly explore the issues they face. We had a chat with Lula about her passion for radio as well as breaking into the South African entertainment scene; and here’s what she had to say:

IceKream: For those who’ve never heard of Lula Odiba before, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

LulaOdiba: My real name is Keletso’eBonolo Modiba. Born on the 4th of March 1998. I consider myself a radio purist with a good work ethic. I’m tall and tattooed up. I love music and DJ’ing. I love people, I love investigating social issues. 

IceKream: Can you tell us about the first time you fell in love with radio and how you got into it?

Lula Odiba: The first time I fell in love with radio was at 7/8 years old. My big brother Keleabetswe would always listen to YFM and even though I didn’t understand what was being said, every time I watched him listen, he’d laugh so much. He didn’t want to be interrupted. I was intrigued that a voice from a machine could make someone so happy.

IceKream: How did the name LulaOdiba come about?

Lula Odiba: In high school, my friends and I were trying to figure out what our names mean in other languages. The direct translation of Bonolo into English is “easy” and easy in isiZulu is “lula”. As I was trying to create my Instagram account one day and name it @lulamodiba via my handle, I noticed when I tried to log in the second time that I forgot to place the ‘M’ in Modiba. My handle became @LulaOdiba and I just kept it that way.

IceKream: YFM recently announced their new DJ Lineup for 2021, can you tell us how you felt about the changes and new lineup? Were you worried at all about your role/show? 

Lula Odiba: I love how after 11 years, we have a female drive time host, Khutso Theledi. I was very excited when I was told I was finally moving to weekday radio. I’m super proud of myself as this move means that the company sees my potential and all the sacrifices I’ve made for the past 4/5 years. 

Khutso Theledi

IceKream: What can listeners expect from your new show, The Night Cap, which aspects are  you most excited for audiences to hear? 

Lula Odiba: The listeners can expect entertaining, empowering and educational radio. My show is three hours long on most days and the one hour is dedicated to talking to/with GP to discuss things we go through that nobody wants to talk about. Also, the music bangs!

IceKream: If you could wave a magic wand and fix something about the SA entertainment industry in general, what would it be?

Lula Odiba: If I had magical powers, I’d wave my wand and insure that entertainers are compensated fairly and that gatekeepers hire people based on their talent and work, not on how they look or how popular they are on social media.

IceKream: What’s next? What is the ultimate goal for Lula Odiba? 

Trevor Noah

Lula Odiba: My ultimate goal is to host the Grammys like Trevor one day. I want to be the biggest thing in the country and I want to help people reach their goals. Oh, I want a billion rand too.

Here are 5-scoops-of-facts you didn’t know about Lula Odiba: 

Scoop 1 – In terms of career, what did you want to be when you were a kid? 

Lula Odiba: As a kid I wanted to play an instrument professionally or sing professionally. It was always creative.

Scoop 2 – Bungee jumping, sky diving or getting inked?

Lula Odiba: Absolutely getting ink. I can’t stand heights, I’ll actually die if I bungee jumped.

Scoop 3 – Name 3 songs on your music playlist right now.

Lula Odiba: Kwish SA – Liyoshona, YG – Swag, Ayanda Jiya – Love Me

Scoop 4: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world — who would it be and where would you take them?

Lula Odiba: I’d have dinner with my father, we didn’t have enough of those. I’d ask him about his career, about how heaven is, about love and about mistakes.

Scoop 5: Who are your creative influences / inspirations?  

Lula Odiba: Trevor Noah, Anele Mdoda, Sade Gilliberti, Smash Afrika & Karabo Poppy.

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