Former RB2 presenter popularly known as DJ O’neal is not shy to let people know that he came to the city armed with nothing but a small luggage and a burning desire to succeed.
In this interview Voice reporter Daniel Kenosi digs deeper to find out what makes him tick.
Q. Hi O’neal, Please share with us a brief history of your upbringing.
My up-bringing story is a touchy one and I have told it so many times.
But to cut the long story short. It’s a story of rising above one’s environment and making sure you don’t fall victim to the unsafe environment you were raised in.
There were more negative than positive people all around me but I chose to have that as an inspiration for me to be where I am today.
I basically mapped my own way out of poverty by staying positive and dreaming big.
I found comfort in reading which is what helped me through.
Q. Where do you come from?
I was born in the mining town of Selibi- Phikwe where I also did my schooling.
I have another family based in Francistown from my father’s side who is from Tutume.
My mother is from Serowe.
Q. What inspired you to go into radio?
It’s very funny that a lot of people don’t know where it all started.
Before I joined radio I was a club DJ and it came to a point where I felt the little that I was making as a DJ will not sustain me forever.
I just felt like radio was a home for DJs and could be a great platform for me to grow.
Some of my friends really pushed me into it.
They kept on saying they liked my general views and encouraged me to give it a try.
One day I picked my bags and came to Gabs.
The first place I knocked at was Yarona FM. From there I knocked on many doors while also using every opportunity I got to learn more about the trade.
Even after getting my first Radio job at Yarona FM I did not rest on my laurels.
I saw it as another opportunity to even grow bigger.
Q. Well it has been a lovely journey indeed that today you are a former BBA housemate.
Talking about RB2, Many people expected you go back on the airwaves after BBA.what happened to your job?
Radio is my career forever and ever and RB2 is also my home.
The RB2 management has been so good to me that they have never gotten in the way of my ambitions.
I have a contract with RB but people have to understand that I am a freelancer so my job with RB2 is when they need me or when I need them.
If I want to go back I can do that anytime.
I don’t have more contractual obligations like you.
Nonetheless I have a renewable contract with RB2 and most importantly I have a very good relationship with my management.
Q. Ok! Does that mean you have put your RB2 job on hold?
Yes! I just decided to extend my leave days.
I asked them to give me more time to pursue my other interests after the BBA game and they didn’t have any problems with it.
Q. You said you did a lot of research and even on radio.
What’s your take on radio in Botswana put on the world stage?
We have a long way to go because of our population. We lack control in delivering as radio.
We struggle so much in advertising that we end up allowing our business partners to determine our programming.
In short the business market that the radio survives on is very small and big shots end up controlling the airwaves hence lack of freedom and a loss of direction because we do what our clients expect.
Q. A lot of people didn’t expect you to take part in the BBA show. How did it all start?
One thing I’ll always pride myself with is my guts to push my career and determine my own destiny.
I do everything that I feel comfortable with in order for me to get what I want.
I like challenging myself because if I don’t I get bored.
Before opting for Big Brother game, a lot of people kept on telling me that I would make a good representative for my country but I never really paid much attention to it.
It’s something that I felt was way off mainly because there is no privacy but I finally took the challenge.
I went into the game to experience the Big Brother house.
I happened to meet other people and one of those is Feza whom I love and we connected in a special way.
That was my experience in the Big Brother house.
Q. Didn’t O’neal have a lady in his life before the Big Brother game?
(Laughs loud). It’s funny because there was a point in my life where people called me gay.
I wonder why nobody is asking didn’t Oneal have a man in his life before going into the house?
Only because I have a beautiful lady in my life now people start asking as to whether I didn’t have a lady in my life before meeting Feza in the house.
Q. Are you gay or were you one before the BBA game?
I don’t know what people’s interpretation of gay is.
I wouldn’t want to comment on their speculations because they say that based on what they see and how they feel.
I can’t say you shouldn’t perceive me as gay; after all everybody is entitled to their opinion..
I had relationships before I went into the house and I don’t know what those women could have said when I went into the house.
Q. You had ladies in your life. Ok! They all turned into ex girlfriends when you entered the game?
Yes! I was even open about it on my radio show, my avid listeners would tell you that I talked openly about my relationship status.
I still wonder where the rumour of a lady I was dating before going into the house came from.
In short I was single.
I am now with Feza and we can bet she has never met any woman who claimed that I am hers.
Q. Are you still in touch with your son?
Yes. I am still in touch with my boy.
I try hard to keep him away from the public eye and your cameras but we are very close not as much as I would want to because of my schedule.
Q. I understand you now stay in an up market house in Phakalane.
Things are going well.
I saw that one coming. (Turns to Feza) Babes please tell these people that there is nothing up market about that house.
There are more jobless and poor in Phakalane than Gaborone.
Truth is I moved to this house before going into BBA.
I wasn’t sure where I was going to go after the game so I looked around and I got a house in Phakalane.
This is not even permanent it’s just something that I am comfortable with at the moment.
I no longer look at myself as Botswana citizen only. I am now a world citizen.
Q. Do you now get more ladies throwing themselves at you or making moves?
I never. I always see them as fans but Feza is the one who is always quick to point out if there is a lady who has more interest in me than being just a fan.
She always points them out to me when we are out clubbing.
Q. There is a rumour that you abuse women you date. What’s your response?
I have never raised a hand to a woman.
There are so many forms of abuse and people who go around claiming to be abused don’t know what they are talking about.
People tend to think it’s only physical. I am not saying I am a saint but all I am saying is that let’s educate ourselves on what abuse is.
It’s a challenge to every man out there to reflect and think of how they have treated their ladies before.
Q. Some people say with your new found fame, you have suddenly become big headed. Your take?
People need to know that life is changing and they should just adapt to the changes as and when they happen.
You can’t expect me to be the Oneal you saw last year. You can’t expect me to be always around you.
One thing that I don’t like is people who go to the extent of hurting those close to me over petty jealousies.
These are the same people who post unfounded rumours about me on social networks.
That has been hard for my family and close relatives.
You can attack me but stay away from my loved ones.
Q. Thank God it’s Friday. What plans do you have for this weekend?
Feza and I are travelling to South Africa for a gala dinner.
Q. Thanks for your time Oneal
Much appreciated my guy.