Highveld Stereo or Jacaranda FM?

Which is better? Highveld Stereo (now becoming known as “Nine Four Seven” it seems) or Jacaranda FM? These two radio stations are very popular and there’s often a bit of debate between my colleagues and friends as to which one is tops.

Highveld Stereo is so obviously Joburg-based. It tries hard to be slick and sophisticated. Jacaranda has more of a Pretoria DNA and is more folksy and South African in character. They use the word “lekker” a lot. Jacaranda has less to prove than Highveld Stereo. Highveld Stereo tries too hard, I think.

There are the invariable Joburg kugel(s) on Highveld Stereo. I don’t know her name / their names. They all sound the same to me. Like they’re from the northern suburbs and they’re “like so sophisticated”. And then the equally colourless jocks. Their vowels are flatter than those of the kugels. They use the word “bru” a lot. So all in all, Highveld Stereo’s a bit irritating. I mean, they’re all trying to sound like each other, aren’t they?

But though Jacaranda FM is sometimes a better option in terms of the personalities of the presenters, it can also be a tad common when its folksiness de-generates into loud, rather unruly behaviour. A whole lot of howling laughter with no context does very little for the listener.

I think the two stations show us the best and worst of South Africans. And it’s not like the one station shows the best and the other one shows the worst. No – it’s a case of both of them doing both. Some days they just seem to be doing the worst of South Africans in equal measure.


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