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No-airs trailblazer

As a news anchor, presenter, actress and voice over artist Rozanne McKenzie has come a long way (well 15 years to be exact!) since she entered the fast-paced media and broadcasting industry. With a list of achievements behind her name and establishing her own media company, she is on a roll, and not planning to stop anytime soon.

Currently presenting on VIA channel’s Kopskuif, a reality show about health and wellness, you might not have known that presenting is not the only thing Rozanne McKenzie has tried her hand at – and succeeded!

Rozanne McKenzie Media is producing Rozanne’s first TV show, Omgee-engele also on VIA which is an extension of Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels featured on Breakfast with Martin Bester every Wednesday morning.

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‘Omgee-engele being on air is a dream come true. I still get emotional whenever I watch the show … It’s not as if I haven’t already seen the episodes a hundred times in the edit!
‘The show revisits some of the incredible stories that listeners have heard on Good Morning Angels over the past few years. Presented by Martin and Dianne, the TV show goes back to the beneficiaries and we chat to them about how they’re doing now and how their involvement with Good Morning Angels has changed their lives. These guests in every episode then get the opportunity to identify someone else in need and pay it forward by making a cash donation. There are increasingly more wonderful people out there – rays of light in the darkness – who are changing the world for the better!’

If financing was not an issue, Rozanne would love to produce a show about pole dancing. Ever since watching the movie Hustlers (which follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients), she’s been fascinated by this art form.

‘I’ve met and interviewed the most incredible pole instructor on the TV show, Besigheid wat saak maak on VIA. I’ve started taking lessons since and even have a pole in my garage. I just love the strength and creativity aspect of pole dancing. It is such a beautiful art form and I would love to do a documentary series about going from knowing nothing about pole dancing to competing.’

Being in this industry for so many years and not planning to leave anytime soon, Rozanne admits it is because her career offers variety, with no two days being the same. From juggling meetings to coaching sessions with voice-over clients to shoots for programmes and interviews or commercials, then heading over to Jacaranda FM where she is on air with Alex Jay make her tick.

‘This is what I’ve wanted to do my whole life. Getting paid to do it is something I’m so grateful for. I work hard, but doing what I love makes the long days worth it. There is so much that I still want to achieve and if the next 15 years are anything like the first 15 … then I’m in for one adventurous ride.’

Rozanne can be seen as a trailblazer in the media industry, paving the way for women who want to follow in her footsteps.

‘It’s taken us a long time to be in the room where the decisions are made, and when we get to be decision-makers, we shouldn’t back down. We are powerful but often made to feel like we are less. We aren’t less. We are so much more than we think we are and we shouldn’t forget this.

Rozanne is indeed running a tight and very organised ship, and admits that even at home with her husband Chris and two kids, James (6) and Fallon (3) she is the organiser.
‘I get things into the diary and make sure everything happens when it’s supposed to. I live in my mom uniform (tracksuit pants and a T-shirt), so much so that James has asked me more than once, ‘Why are you going to the shop in your pyjamas mommy?’

‘I always try to be as present as a mom and wife as I can … It is not always easy though, because my mind is often occupied by all the things I need to get done for work. But I love our house; it makes me happy when I get to be home with them, wearing my tracksuit pants.’

Where some prefer to sip on wine or lie on the couch, the best way for Rozanne to unwind is to break a sweat at the gym.

‘I read a post once that said, ‘Wearing myself out for an hour at the gym is the most relaxing part of my day’. I identify with that. Training is my time … where all I have to think about is the next rep. It really clears my mind when I’m in a gym session.’

Not one bit self-conscious to post a real, no-filter gym selfie embracing her body’s imperfections, she is an inspiration to the many women who follow her on social media.
‘As I’m getting older, I’ve realised that this body is the only one I have and I need to be grateful for it, no matter how it looks. I think as women, we have this idea that if we have rolls, cellulite and stretch marks our bodies are not perfect. Actually, all those things make our bodies perfect for us. We need to celebrate it and not be ashamed of all the things that make us unique.’

Always smiling, (even when she exercises!) there are no airs and graces about Rozanne.
‘I wear my heart on my sleeve. Honestly, I would suck at poker if I ever played it. Life is hard enough. Yes, I do have my dips when smiling is the last thing on my mind, but when I’m happy, I will show it. As for smiling when I exercise, it somehow helps me get through my sessions, especially when there are burpees involved. Then I’m smiling because in my mind I’m swearing!

‘If there is one thing that wipes away my smile in an instant is when people are rude or condescending. It is so important to me to be a decent person. You don’t have to be fake, just be decent. That’s something my mom taught me from a very young age. As we say in Afrikaans, wees net ordentlik.’

Buying new gym clothes – I have so many gym outfits, but whenever I see something I like, I’ll buy it.
Twitter This is my favourite social media platform. I follow such interesting people and it’s so great to engage on the platform. I get all the latest news and I laugh so much at the tweets, videos and memes.
HIIT – I’ve been doing High Intensity Interval Training for about nine years and I love it. It’s such a powerful feeling being able to push myself further in every session.
IGN’s Crushing on Podcast – I have never really been a podcast listener, until this one. It’s about pop culture and entertainment. I love listening to it. It’s presented so well and I feel like the host, Caryn Welby-Solomon is chatting directly to me.
Survivor – I love the American version of this show. It’s had 40 seasons and it’s still fresh and current and fun. The host, Jeff Probst is just excellent. He’s also one of the producers. My dream one day is to produce a show that I’m presenting.
Any melon fruit – I don’t eat any fruit in the melon family. I just can’t handle the smell and the thought of the texture.
People who drive in the emergency lane – It’s so inconsiderate and if an actual emergency vehicle needs to get through it can’t. Don’t do this!
Mom shamers – So many moms have opinions now, especially on social media, and go as far as telling other moms how they should be parenting. We are all trying to do the best we can for our kids and having someone else think they can do a better job of raising my kid makes my blood boil.
Mountain biking – I had to do mountain biking on a shoot once and I hated it. Being on a bike is just not my thing.
Chipped nail polish– I got into having my nails done regularly and now if there is a crack or a chip or something that can’t be fixed, I have to get them redone completely.

Details: Follow her on Facebook, @rozannemckenzie and Instagram,

Text: RIALIEN FURSTENBERG. Photographer & make-up artist: WILLEM BOTHA. Stylist: LEE SCOTT.

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