Former Y Mornings host Bryce Clarke, also known as DJ Ankletap, shares with us how he built his brand at YFM, his next career journey and his success tips
Affectionately known as Malume by his listeners, DJ Ankletap bowed out of his morning show on Friday after 12 years at YFM. He talks to KDanielles Media about his next venture and shares his success tips.
Give us a glimpse into your childhood dreams. Was radio a career you wanted to pursue?
As a kid growing up in the small town of Potchefstroom [in the North West], my dreams were like most kids: to be a famous athlete or musician. I pursued both passions, becoming a stadium announcer at a local cricket stadium at just 13 years old, and later becoming a house music DJ. It wasn’t until I moved to the bustling city of Johannesburg for university that I fell in love with radio.
I still remember my first audition at the campus station, ujfm. I was nervous, but also excited at the prospect of potentially sharing my voice and music with a larger audience. As soon as I hit the airwaves, I knew that radio was where I was meant to be. The thrill of connecting with listeners and entertaining them with great music and conversation was unlike anything I had ever experienced before.
So, while radio wasn’t necessarily my childhood dream, it became my true passion later in life. And now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
You furthered your studies in psychology at varsity. How did you use this background to connect with your Y Mornings listeners?
My background in psychology has been incredibly valuable in helping me connect with my Y Mornings listeners on a deeper level. As the host of the Breakfast show, I’ve had the opportunity to build a strong relationship with my audience over the past 12 years. They call me “Malume” (which means uncle), and I think that’s because I’m an excellent storyteller, and I’m able to share my personal experiences in a way that resonates with them.
My training in psychology has taught me to be empathetic and to understand the complexities of human behaviour. I use this knowledge to connect with my listeners, to help them navigate life’s challenges, and to provide support and encouragement where needed. I also draw on my own struggles with mental health to help others. I believe that by being open and honest about my own experiences, I can create a safe space for my listeners to share their own struggles and seek help when needed.
Ultimately, my goal is to use my platform to motivate and inspire others, while also keeping things fun and entertaining. I believe that a good laugh can be just as therapeutic as any therapy session, and I try to infuse humour and positivity into everything I do on the show. By connecting with my listeners on both a personal and professional level, I hope to continue to build a strong and lasting relationship with them for many years to come.
You started working at YFM 12 years ago. What have been some of the highlights, challenges and lessons you learnt over the years?
Joining YFM 12 years ago was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ve had the opportunity to grow up with the station, and it’s been an incredible journey so far. I’ve experienced so many highlights, challenges, and lessons over the years that have shaped me into the person I am today.
One of the highlights for me has been connecting with my listeners on a personal level. I love that they trust me enough to share their stories and struggles with me, and I feel honoured to be able to provide support and encouragement where needed. It’s also been amazing to have had the opportunity to travel the world and meet some incredible people along the way.
Of course, there have also been challenges over the years. Working on radio can be demanding, and it’s not always easy to balance work and personal life. But through it all, I’ve learnt the importance of perseverance and hard work. I’ve also learnt to be flexible and to adapt to change, especially in an industry that’s constantly evolving.
One of the most important lessons I’ve learnt is to never give up on my dreams. When I joined YFM, I had no idea where it would take me, but I knew that I wanted to be a successful radio personality. And now, 12 years later, I’ve achieved so much more than I ever thought was possible.
Share with us why your moniker is Ankletap.
Ah, yes, the infamous Ankletap moniker. Let me tell you, it’s a name that’s stuck with me through thick and thin. But to understand how I got the name, we have to go all the way back to my childhood. You see, I was born with severe club feet and required special shoes, which made me stand out from the other kids at school. And of course, kids being kids, they picked up on that pretty quickly. They started calling me Ankletap after that move in sports where you tap someone on the ankle and they fall. It wasn’t the most flattering nickname.
But when I started DJing at 16, I knew I had a choice to make. I could let the bullies win and give up on my dreams, or I could turn their insults into something positive. And that’s exactly what I did.
I decided to embrace the Ankletap nickname and make it my own. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be associated with a cool sports move, right? I made the name my stage name and I’ve been DJ Ankletap ever since. And you know what? It worked. The bullies lost their power over me, and I gained a new level of confidence and self-esteem.
So, to all the kids out there who might be struggling with bullies or feeling like they don’t fit in, I say this: embrace your uniqueness. Don’t let anyone else define who you are or what you’re capable of. You have the power to take control of your own story, just like I did with Ankletap. And who knows, maybe one day you’ll look back on those bullies and realise that they were the ones who helped you become the amazing, confident person you are today.
How did you define success then and what does it mean to you now?
Success is a tricky thing, isn’t it? When I was just starting out in my career, success meant rubbing shoulders with celebrities and getting invited to all the hottest events in town. But as I’ve grown older and wiser, my definition of success has changed.
Now, success is waking up every day and feeling fulfilled by what I do. It’s about making a positive impact on the world, one person at a time. It’s about knowing that I’ve helped someone through a tough time, or made them laugh when they were feeling down.
And let’s be real, success is also about being able to afford to buy Woolies diced onions without feeling guilty. Am I right, or am I right? But in all seriousness, success is about finding joy in the journey and being true to yourself.
What career paths are you stepping into after your exit on March 24?
Well, I will still be doing Breakfast radio from 5am to 9am on weekdays…I am incredibly excited to be joining You FM, a station that is not only passionate about its craft but also about making a difference in its community.
As someone who was born and raised in the North West, it feels like coming full circle to be able to use my voice to connect with my fellow North Westerners. After the challenges of the past few years, I am eager to return to my roots and contribute to the growth of a station that is determined to make a positive impact. I truly believe that together, we can achieve great things and put the North West on the map.
So, while it may seem like a bold move to some, I see it as an opportunity to grow, learn, and make a difference.
To young people wanting to have a career in radio, what advice would you give them, especially when the going gets tough?
To all the young people out there dreaming of a career in radio, let me tell you this: the journey isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it. There will be times when you feel like giving up when the stress of the job feels like it’s taking over. But those moments are exactly when you need to remember why you started in the first place. For me, it’s all about the passion and love for what I do. I connect with my listeners through my stories and my experiences, and that’s something that no one can take away from me.
So my advice to you is to stay true to yourself, to your vision, and to your voice. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share your story because that’s what people connect with. And when the going gets tough, just remember that you’re not alone. There’s a whole community of us out here who have been through the ups and downs of this industry, and we’re all here to support each other. And that’s why they call me Malume because I’m not just a radio host, I’m a friend, an uncle, a mentor, and a storyteller.
Which international radio station or host would you like to co-host with and why?
Howard Stern! For those who don’t know him, he is a legendary American radio host who is known for his honest and often controversial style. He has been dubbed the “King of All Media” for good reason!
Lastly, what success tips do you have for young people?
To all the young people out there, I want to remind you that success is not a destination, it’s a journey. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about striving towards your goals and never giving up. Believe in yourself, trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to take risks. You never know where they might take you. And remember, every failure is a lesson learned and an opportunity to grow.
And if you ever need some guidance or inspiration, just know that you’ve got an uncle in the radio business. Keep tuning in and listening to those who inspire you, and always be willing to learn and grow.
With passion, hard work and perseverance, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. So go out there and chase your dreams because the world is waiting for you to make your mark.
Connect with DJ Ankletap on:
Image source: Instagram