Q&A with Sasha Martinengo

Sasha Martinengo is one of the most well-known DJs in SA, and also a Formula 1 presenter on SuperSport. We chat to him about leaving 5FM at the end of March.

You’ve been a radio host for 17 years. What does it take to succeed as a radio DJ in SA?
Patience, preparation, enthusiasm, dedication and the desire to be on top form every day.

Did you always want to be in this industry?
I always wanted to do something with music and sport. Presenting was an opportunity and I embraced it.

What were the highlights on your career at 5FM?
So many highlights – I love that I brought technology to 5FM. Having DJ email addresses was very much my idea and it has been great to grow with the station.

What motivates you? What makes you get up and go in the morning?
The fact that there’ll be a Formula 1 Grand Prix coming up. Besides that, I love to see people smile – that makes me smile and thus motivates me to want to get up and do something.

What are your long-term ambitions and plans for the future after 5FM?
I am in negations with companies; hopefully I will find what I want to do in the near future. I believe I have a lot to offer so hopefully people will see my value.

What other projects are you currently working on?
Content providing for radio stations and my involvement with F1.

What has been your biggest work-related challenge?
I think staying relevant as I get older. Ironically I have more young people identifying with me now than when I started in radio years ago.

What is the standard of the radio industry in SA compared to the rest of the world?
I think our radio stations have formats and models that have been successful, but I still believe that too many stations are scared to push the boundaries a little more. There are a few stations that drive their DJs' personalities and styles, and this is the wrong approach in my opinion. There are so many avenues for people to get content that radio needs to compete in a more aggressive way.