ISSUE 12

WHO IS SUSH RIDER

Legacy Inspires takes time out to pin down the chaotically busy Sureshnie Rider or Sush. We asked her to divulge a little more about herself, her passion, her ability to stay calm in the face of chaos and the importance of family life – all of which she is doing while trying to carve out a legacy for her family and her daughter.

Q: So tell our readers, who is Sush and what are you currently working on?

I'm a former Durbanite currently experiencing Jozi, working as a 5FM on air presenter and newsreader. I am also a business woman and proud mom. At the moment I read the news Monday to Friday between 9am and 12pm, and host the 5FM Top 40 hits show every Saturday from 10am to 2pm.

Q: You are a qualified journalist who has made her name as a radio DJ and broadcaster amongst others. When did you wake up and decide that was the path you wanted to follow and who helped you along your journey?

I think when I started talking at an early age and was constantly questioning everything and everyone around me, my mother actually called it and said that I should just become a broadcaster and give her ears a break for a change.

It was my quest to know something about everything, which I have in turn followed my whole life. When it comes to following this path I had incredible support from my family right throughout my studies as well as through all the early hours I had when training and starting my working career. I must say my family has always been there for me and have helped pave the path for me to get closer to my dreams.

Q: So what does a day in the life of Sush look like?

Can I tell you honestly? It is unpredictable. As I sit here and reply to your questions, I have had three hours of sleep, I just flew back from Cape Town after MCing and DJing at a corporate event that went on until about midnight. I then caught the first plane out of Cape Town, got home and got dressed for a car shoot. I then headed off to a business meeting after which I went to fetch a supercar to test drive. After this I have to get home to my nearly three-year-old daughter, cook dinner for the family and then head off to the theatre for a ballet event! It's manic ... and I love it!

Q: Building a unique brand for oneself in South Africa can be a challenge. What is Sush’s brand and how have you managed to carve your niche?

I've always intuitively listened to my heart. So far I have been on radio for 16 years and when I got to a stage at each station I was at where I wanted to grow and develop, I took chances and calculated risks. I made a promise to my parents that I would always stay humble and that they wouldn’t have to adjust their doorframes for newfound egos or a big head. I think this has kept me grounded and calm in an otherwise frenetic lifestyle.

I live for the moment, I want people to be part of this happiness I feel inside and when I'm on air I want my audience to feel my brand of positive energy.

Q: One aspect you exude is confidence and you have an infectious personality. How do you get it right and what makes you wake up every morning?

I always get up on the 'right side' of the bed, no like literally I sleep better on my right side! Ok seriously I have always been a happy soul, I meditate and just give thanks for all I have and I try to bring power to my day through a simple life mantra, “believe In yourself an you can make it happen”.

Q: You are touted as one South African woman who is able to juggle a work life balance. How do you get it right and what advice do you give young women wanting to do the same?

There is simply no me without my amazing husband Leigh, our brilliant child nanny Noma and our daughter Pavani. They give me the energy and motivation to do all that I do, they are also part of the juggling act and have to make sacrifices so that I can be the person I am.

It's hard work and a lot of sacrifice but we are all aware that we do what we have to do to give Pavani the life we have always aspired to have.

Q: You are often quoted as stating how important your family is to you. How important is a close-knit family and life partner in your line of business?

Family is my every thing. I grew up in a large extremely close knit family. Our grandparents were very much involved in our lives and our life learnings. I truly believe there is wealth in the saying that it takes a village to raise a child.

For Leigh and I parenting effectively is key in our marriage and raising Pavani. We both bring our cultural and traditional heritages together to hopefully shape and mould her into a valuable member of society.

Q: Outside of your family you do a lot of charitable work. What are you working on currently and what do you look for in a charity?

Charity has always been an integral part of my life. This week I will be handing over a cheque to a beautiful young lady to help her complete her studies at Rhodes University as part of my duties as an MTN Yello Rose ambassador. As part of being an ambassador I was awarded R100 000 to invest In a social project and I divided my prize between helping out the Chatsworth Youth Centre and this student.

I am also so honoured to partner with the amazing team at Legacy lifestyle and cofound a project called Blow the Whistle. I wanted to create a device to give women back their voice, especially when it comes to crime that is specifically aimed at them.

Today too many young women are being raped and attacked, by creating the whistle of the Blow the Whistle campaign we are hoping that women will use it at that moment of self defence when they need to call out for help. We are also hoping to see just about every South African own one of these whistles and to buy one for every family member. We know it won't be able to change the climate of crime, but it's a start, and will hopefully help positively change what we would like to see for our country and its citizens

Q: You have the ability to go anywhere in the world because of your success – so why do you stay here in South Africa?

Because it is the country of my birth, it is home to the loves of my life and it is where my spirit will come to rest one day. She has given me everything ... I will not leave her.

Q: Any words of wisdom that you would impart on the youth of our country on how to make it happen for themselves?

I have always maintained that you need to believe in what you do, and what you want to achieve, because when you do it will happen.

Q: Do you have any specific role models that have helped make you who you are today?

My high school teacher at Mowat Park High, Miss Pat Schultz, remains my most important mentor. I can only hope that my daughter has the honour of learning a little from her one day.

My husband is also an incredible inspiration and motivation who has helped me achieve what I have in my life. He is my biggest critic and even if I disagree with his opinions, he's still welcome inside the house!

Q: If you could leave behind a single legacy what would that be?

Blow the whistle, find your voice, let’s change the face of crime and let's stand up for those who can't. I want my child to grow up free of fear in South Africa and I want her to always feel safe. I, as a citizen, am making my pledge and I challenge everyone to make this noise with me.


Fun Facts
Favourite colour: Mmm I love white
Favourite movie: Dead Poets Society
Favourite fast food: Chicken Licken Hot Wings
Favourite sport: Formula One
Favourite past time: Reading
The beach or bush: Both
Summer or winter: Summer (I'm a Durban girl)
What car would you drive if you could choose: I think I drive it today already... The Aston Martin Vantage
Favourite holiday destination: Anywhere near my loved ones
Favourite type of music: R&B and anything Indian classical
Dream job: 5FM Top 40… I am living my dream
If you could live anywhere, where would that be: Probably Italy - because we are crazy Ferrari fans
Quotable quote: Be yourself, it's the best person you know how to be. Don't set hurdles before your dreams. Dream big and set your beliefs alight.