Story by Constance van Niekerk, Vereeniging
This is a long overdue story on one of Vaal’s humble, kind and vibrant radio personalities, ‘Mr Gee’, George Lephoto.
Mr Gee’s voice has filled our homes since 2014, the same year I was introduced to Lekoa FM by a friend who’s also a brother, Bona Sera. Bona is also a presenter at Lekoa FM. One afternoon we were talking about Jazz. I mentioned to him that I was a Jazz lover.
Bona then he mentioned that he was a Jazz presenter at a local radio station. I had no idea there was a radio station on the rooftop of MarkPark! He invited me to tune into Lekoa FM on a Sunday from 6 – 9pm. Then a few weeks later, I decided to tune in earlier than 6pm and I heard Mr Gee. I was so excited, my Sundays were pure bliss from 3 – 9pm. Until one day out of curiosity, I decided to tune in earlier, wanting to hear what it is that happens before Mr Gee came on radio, that’s when I heard Mandla Mthimkulu. His show starts from 12 midday, since then, my Sundays have never been the same again. So, they call this time (12 noon to 9pm) The Sunday Passionate Journey. What a journey it is, what a time! Lekoa FM can also be streamed online
That is how my love affair with this radio station began, by and by, we became family. Mr Gee became more than just a voice behind the mic. I have since seen first hand, his love for the community, his passion for development, for positive change in the community. He opened his home, not only to me but to many others who listen to his show, The Sunday Soul Serenade. He has helped many, on a personal level one way or the other. Mr Gee has initiated many charity projects. One, that is going from strength to strength is the No_Barefeet charity drive. This is a project aimed at providing shoes to less privileged children in and around Vaal. Mr Gee believes that as people, if we come together, we make things happen. Every year, he requests for donations of school shoes which are distributed at the beginning of the first term. This is quite a great initiative as not every parent can afford new shoes for their children. Imagine, going to school barefoot while other children are in sparkling new school-wear. This affects the child’s self-esteem. It will definitely affect the school performance as well.
Another one of his projects is the Christmas gifts for families where he provides grocery hampers for families. He also holds a Christmas party for his listeners and fellow Lekoa FM co-workers every year. This is quite an event for some of us who don’t have Christmas parties to attend. If for some reason I fail to attend it, there’s no alternative for me to attend.
Mr Gee has also collected sanitary pads for school girls who can’t afford sanitary pads. He has also done some Valentine’s Day giveaways to couples who couldn’t afford to enjoy this romantic time. He has done many projects, some I might have missed, but, this is him, the man with a big heart.
Every year, Mr Gee hosts a group of mothers for Mother’s Day lunch. This is quite a special time, especially for me as I have never been spoiled at Mother’s Day… I’ve never had anything special happening for Mother’s Day, except Mr Gee’s lunch. I am forever grateful to have been honoured to be part of the mothers invited for the past 3years. Mr Gee also hosts a Father’s Day lunch for the fathers every Father’s Day. The atmosphere on Father’s Day can be felt while listening at home!
I can go on and on about George Lephoto. Some of the things he has done, I know he would rather not have them publicised. That’s just his nature, very humble, quite modest… He never puts himself on a pedestal and doesn’t want anyone doing so as well. As I write this, he is unaware of the article, and he will read it first time with the rest of the world. So, I take full responsibility for this article and any mistakes that it might contain. It is not intentional.
Imagine my excitement when I heard that Mr Gee has been nominated for an award. I thought to myself, ‘He deserves this and even more!’ He has been giving to the community, never expecting anything in return, it is my hope that the community votes for him as a way of saying, “We appreciate you.”
Voting has been extended to 7 March. Voting is done by texting, only available to people in SA. If you would like to listen to Mr Gee, tune in every Sunday at Lekoa FM 91.0 (Vaal) or stream online. Just tune in once, and you will be hooked 😀
Imagine having at least 5 Mr Gees in Vaal? Imagine having 5 in each of our communities in South Africa? Mr Gee has taught me that, “Do the best you can for others. Live a life of making a difference. Leave a mark.”
This article won’t be complete without mentioning Tshepi Lephoto, the woman behind the man. Besides every successful man, is a supportive wife. The one who encourages, the one who makes his castle an oasis for him… Mme Lephoto, I salute you maiguru (brother’s wife). Without you, Mr Gee won’t have a home to invite us to 😂😂😂