By Tiisetso Maloma
Some say Tbo Touch (real name, Thabo Molefe) is annoying on radio as he (formerly on his Metro FM show – Touch 326) talks more about himself.
I wrote this post before he left Metro FM to start his own online radio station with Gareth Cliff – Touchcentral. And now it has changed to Touch HD.
Maybe he is a bit of a narcist. I’ve figured there are great variables to learn from a positive narcist that can help others introspect and build character. This can be a bit hard for some to fathom, I will touch on it at the bottom.
Besides being friends with stars like Akon and Floyd Mayweather, lol, this South African brother is a serious darer (and success). He owns a wine brand (one of his bottles recently auctioned for a R1.3 million), a perfume brand (or call it cologne), he is a promoter and I am sure a bit of other things.
Below are some qualities I notice from Tbo Touch that help him propel and do his thing.
1. Paying it forward, and also in cash
Back in the days, 1990 or so, he was an intern at Def jam in the USA. I guess this gave him access to American hip hop artists.
He then connected with Zak Dakile on Metro FM back in South Africa to report on hip hop news on that side of the world and at times interviewed those artists.
I heard Metro FM did not pay him for this and that the studio he used he paid for with own little money I reckon at the time.
I also heard stories that when he returned to South Africa, he wasn’t paid for hosting the same hip hop show after Zak had left.
Fast forward, he became a drive time host on Metro FM, paid very well I imagine.
2. Pushing hype
Sometime ago DJ Drama was in the country and on Touch’s then drive time show on Metro FM. Drama was given the honours of introducing his song ‘my moment’ featuring
Meek Mill, 2 Chainz and Jeremih. There is something magnetic about American hip hop DJ’s and hyping songs up just before they play them. His intro went something like, “I know you have been hustling for a minute, your time is coming…” It charged me up. Drop a bomb baby, 3 words – Mandela, Mandela, Mandela.
This is what American hip hop DJ’s do. Do they take it from their priests? Priests are good hype men, not in a bad way, they hype your spirits. It is called whooping. “You have walked through the valley of no luck, still you peddled on, and your spirit shows you are anointed, your time is coming.” That’s my portrait.
Tbo Touch also has this ‘gift of the hype gap’. When he talks about a 4 pipe car convoy, it snipes good envy into you. If I had a 4 pipe car, I would have damn time embarked on the procession.
This is some creativity here. I was reading an article in Playboy Magazine where a hype man at a party in Nigeria said “this is not a f*cuken party, it is a movie.” Pheeeewww, if I was at that party, that would have lifted my turn-up senses.
3. Self promoting
I always thought being self promotional was wrong. No, it is letting people know what product you have and where they can get it from. In interviews I mostly forget to do this. I hope I don’t anymore.
The people we call self promotional are always called onto media platforms. Why? It is because they know they have something of value to offer, e.g. business advice or interesting stories to tell, and are articulate or inspiring when delivering their message.
It is a trade-off. They share their value and get to plug in whatever it is they are selling. Platforms (media, conferences) are ever looking for these people (because they have value to offer).
Touch is definitely self promotional.
4. Discharging good energy (man of faith)
He attests his Christian faith all the time on his shows, how it enabled him to be where he is and how it carries him in endeavouring for more.
All the dreams one has for the future, most times ridiculous, are not real as in they are not material as yet. But hope and faith carry us in trying to actualise them.
Because Touch achieved some of the things he espoused to achieve and at a greater scale, he is an example to most that it is possible.
And because he is loud about it – positively, he spreads an attractive energy to people that it is possible.
This is what people of faith do: spread some form of good energy.
5. Keeping on the line of good energy
His perfume (Touch Homme and Touch Femme) brand is sold at Stuttafords. I imagine he approached other department stores. It is possible they said no.
Being an entrepreneur myself, I always get rejections. In certain cases I suspect it because of my race. It might not even be that these gatekeepers are racist; it could be that cultural mistrust and differences exist.
That is corporate South Africa for you baby.
I’m no celebrity and have not huge platform but at times I am tempted to wander off accusing corporate South Africa of racism and intolerance towards blacks. It must even be more tempting for celebrities with huge platforms.
Moreover, for me, it is just bad energy to wander off with such accusations. Concentrating on bad energy, for me, is more distracting.
I am not against those who do it. And big-up to those who do it as PR stunts.
So far I haven’t seen Touch do it.
But hey, he is fighting for #datamustfall. Amandla!!
6. Partnering up
Most would agree that Joe Man, sports presenter and inevitably a co-host on Tbo Touch’s former show on Metro FM, made the show. I hear it wasn’t planned that way. But Touch embraced him and they made killer radio – with Joe’s wild (hilarious) antics.
Rewind it back, Touch hosted a killer Friday night show with Fistaz Mixwell.
Now he has Touch HD, an online station, with Gareth Cliff (founder of Cliff Central) as former partner. Few years ago Cliff left 5FM to start Cliff Central.
The great thing is Cliff already had an online station going. He made the necessary mistakes already, which I am sure touch benefited from.
Also he has Touch Warwick Wines, a partnership also.
Partnering up with the right people takes care of what you lack.
7. Serial networking
He has several relationships with prominent figures, politicians and celebrities – South Africa, Nigeria, USA.
You can’t keep relationships if yourself aren’t working, and also adding value to them.
Learning from positive narcissists
The dictionary defines a narcist as someone who is in love with themselves. I believe in positive/healthy narcism, which is defined as “the characteristic of possessing realistic self-esteem without being cut off from a shared emotional life, as the unhealthy narcissist tends to be.”
You can’t improve yourself without often introspecting. Listening to people, let’s say who are into themselves, talk of their successes and failures, gives us various angles and perspectives on what could be going on inside of us.