Breaking Barriers: From Disney to Nando’s to leading Jacaranda FM

Breaking Barriers: From Disney to Nando’s to leading Jacaranda FM

Managing a top business is difficult... doing it several times over with different companies is even tougher. What does it take? Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba chats to Jacaranda FM MD Deirdre King.

Deirdre King on Don't Hold Back

In the latest episode of ‘Don’t Hold Back’, Managing Director of Jacaranda FM Deirdre King shares her remarkable story of how she shattered the glass ceiling as a woman in the boardrooms of corporate South Africa. 

Deirdre managed three of her own companies before she was appointed to head up The Walt Disney Company’s Marketing and Communications for Africa. 

She was also the head of Brand Experience and Crisis Communications at Nando’s for India, Middle East, and Africa. Deirdre is currently leading as the first female Managing Director of Jacaranda FM, one of the largest independent radio stations in South Africa. 

"This role I literally got in Level 5 lockdown. I’d never been in the radio industry. When I got the job, nobody had even considered a thing called COVID-19. I ran the radio station for the first three months from my dining room," Deirdre tells #DontHoldBack podcast host Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba. 

"I think it’s about taking a breath and going ‘All right, how am I going to approach this?’" 

 Click below to listen to the full interview:

In the last 'Don't Hold Back' podcast: Jet-setting, game shows, vlogs, and beauty products… what does it take to be an online creator these days? 

Everyone wants to become an influencer, but how do you stand out with your content and still make money? 

YouTube star, vlogger, and all-round content creator Naledi Mallela shares her experience with Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba - plus all the tips that took her to a career as a digital entrepreneur.

Listen up (below) as this young Internet starlet takes us on a tour of the good, the bad, the ugly… of a YouTube channel set!

Naledi Mallela

Meanwhile, dating is tricky at the best of times - but can love conquer all, even the complications around a positive HIV status? In a previous episode, HIV-AIDS activist and digital creator Saidy Brown shared her story of living with HIV, including navigating love, dating, and how to reveal your status to a lover. Saidy was born with HIV. She found out about her status when she was 14. 

“It was a long journey of denialism and just feeling like, ‘I want to die’ - until I was 18 years old. That was when I wrote the letter [on Facebook titled, ‘An Open Letter to HIV’] I remember writing it crying. I literally was crying the entire time. There's a line where I said, 'Because of you I feel less pretty' - and I stopped, and I read that line and I just broke down in tears," she recalls in a frank discussion with ‘Don’t Hold Back’ host Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba. 

Don't Hold Back with Saidy Brown

Saidy sets the record straight on living with HIV, the myths and truths around HIV, and its impact on life and love. Listen below...


South African presenter Nozibele Qamngana-Mayaba is well known for her HIV-AIDS activism and YouTube channel. After her own HIV diagnosis in 2013, Nozibele made it her mission to hold open conversations about her journey. Now a published author and respected authority on the subject, the 31-year-old’s work was named as one of the web’s Top 15 HIV YouTube channels. With her direct, engaging, and empathetic hosting style, she's the perfect fit to address taboo topics - and to say: Don't hold back!

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‘Don’t hold back – say it loud’  is a co-production between Jacaranda FM, sister station East Coast Radio and German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW).

Don’t hold back – say it loud’ is both an audio and video production.

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