JOHANNESBURG, August 2 – Much-loved veteran talk-radio host Xolani Gwala was welcomed back with open arms and tears by both colleagues and listeners on Thursday afternoon when he made his return to the airways on Radio 702 nine months after going off-air.
Gwala, who will be stepping in on the 702 The Afternoon Drive while Joanne Joseph is away for the next couple of weeks, was forced to take an indefinite sick leave in September last year after being diagnosed with colon cancer. He was hosting the Breakfast Show from 6am to 9am every weekday on the station.
The veteran presenter put up a brave fight against colon cancer over the past nine months and is officially in remission and recovering well. He made his first public appearance last month at the MTN Walk the Talk with 702 in Emmarentia.
Speaking with another 702 host, Azania Mosaka earlier, Gwala explained what he had gone through as a miracle but the journey was not over yet.
“I don’t know how I am feeling, I must be honest with you, so much has happened, that I think it would take me a lifetime to understand what happened over the past year. But for now, I am good, I am healthy. So with cancer, it is a question of time and it will take time before I can actually say that I am cancer free,” Gwala said.
Gwala said prayers had kept him going as he had seen a lot of suffering by other people when he was being treated in hospital. He said he would invite his oncologist on air just after 4pm to share with the public the process of his treatment and the journey of his recovery.
Joburg Mayor Heman Mashaba called in to the studio to welcome back Gwala and urged him to continue thanking God for sparing his life. Callers who are also cancer survivors called into the show to express their gratitude for Gwala’s recovery and shared their stories of survival.
In a historic move for radio, PowerFM’s Thabiso Tema also called Gwala congratulating him for his return on radio while wishing him well for his health. (ANA)