Radio and television personality Zuraida Jardine is as comfortable in front of the camera as she is behind the microphone
You started your career as a disc jockey on radio. What are your fondest memories of that time?
Zuraida Jardine: A highlight of my career is having been the first female DJ on 5FM to ever host a daytime show. It will remain an accolade that I, this small-town girl, will always be proud of. I was fortunate to work with some radio greats like Marc Pilgrim, Mark Gillman, Alex Jay, Sasha Martinengo, Barney Simon, Randall Abrahams and our station manager, Anthony Duke – all of whom taught me a degree of professionalism and respect for the art of radio.
Following that, you went on to television presenting and also starred in some television shows. What made you press the ‘pause’ button to take a sabbatical in the US and focus on your family?
I went to the USA with Josh Lindberg, my partner at the time, who later became my husband. I did not start a family immediately after leaving radio. It was about carving out some me-time to explore and grow. We lived in New York for a few months and then did a road trip from the east coast to the west coast over a few months. It’s one of the biggest gifts I’ve given to myself and taught me that we should always be investing in little sabbaticals along life’s journey. They always prove to be great self-check-ins to see if we’re still on a meaningful life track or need to change paths.
It’s admirable to go back to varsity and study full time at the age of 40. What sparked the decision to do that?
I am all about living life fully. Life can be short, but it can also be long. If we are privileged with time, it is vital that we explore our curiosities. I went to study because it was time for more, for me. I was beginning to take a vested interest in my own health, ancestry and wellbeing. I was and remain intrigued by psychology, human behaviour, neuroscience and the root cause of our ever-expanding diseases. For as long as I breathe, I am curious, open to learning, expanding and being a student of life. I am always listening out for the callings that have nothing to do with age and everything to do with meaning.
You are presenting a show on television about health and wellbeing. Are there similarities in the principles of television and radio work?
The principles of being a good host remain the same. Being professional and authentic. Now, however, I bring a layer of expertise to the field I am presenting in, which is rewarding.
When you worked for a Cape Town radio station, you lived in the Mother City and then relocated to Gauteng to work in radio and television. You moved back to Cape Town with your family in 2023 for your television work. What is it like going full circle?
The move didn’t happen because of my television show. We moved to Cape Town for an environmental and lifestyle shift. I was listening to the callings again. My family and I were yearning to live closer to the ocean and have a more active outdoor lifestyle. We now hike and take oceanside walks regularly. My opportunity to work on Afternoon Express was a beautiful coincidence.
How different is your lifestyle in Cape Town from the one you had in Johannesburg?
I feel that in Johannesburg, we spent a lot more time indoors. Cape Town is the opposite – we love the outdoors. We are constantly exploring the landscape of the Cape. The city is a special slice of the globe. I wake daily to witness the sun rise and pinch myself that I get to be surrounded by this outrageously radiant mountain and ocean – I’m beginning to sound like a real Capetonian!
You and Josh celebrate 20 years of marriage in 2024 – what an incredible milestone! What is the secret to a happy and successful marriage?
There is no secret. Relationships are always in a state of change, negotiation and renegotiation. Character strengths in any relationship are founded in communication, respect and compassion, with the understanding that tough times will prevail and pass. Josh and I try to be supportive of one another, allowing each other the freedom to pursue our individuality. We are both practical and realistic about the intersections of real life and want nothing more than to see each other flourish.
Exciting projects on the horizon?
For the last year, I have been working on my online passion project Be Still and am so excited that it will finally be launching to the public. Be Still is a transformative four-part series designed to empower individuals to break free from the cycle of anxiety, stress, insomnia, lethargy, disinterest and burnout. A big part of my health and wellness practice is teaching the scientific art of breathwork. This is a powerful medicine available to us all and learning how to anchor oneself through breath manipulation can foster the emotional regulation many of us are seeking in today’s unpredictable landscape. It’s a technique we should all be practising for optimum health and wellbeing. In addition, I will also be embarking on my PhD, which I am super excited about!
Text: Heléne Ramackers Photography: Garreth Barclay
For more information, go to zuraidajardine.com.