Andile Ndlovu’s ’Remember When’ podcast is the healthy nostalgia we need
By Buhle Mbonambi 23m ago
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There was a time last year where I just couldn’t consume new content. Not that I wasn’t trying. I was. Almost daily I would choose whatever streaming platform I wanted to, pick a show and watch. Most times I would sigh, switch off and find myself gorging on another marshmallow.
I just wasn’t able to watch or listen to anything new. Everything felt like a trigger for the uncertainty that was 2020. I would see people on social media raving about a particular show and of course, I would rush to try to catch an episode so that I could be part of the zeitgeist. And yet the second something in the show elicited an emotional reaction that caused me pain and anxiety, I would switch off.
It got pretty bad. I only watched TV shows and films whose endings I knew already. I don’t know why. Maybe it was that comforting feeling of familiarity? Like, I could trust that I will be okay after watching whatever production it was? Also, it had to make me feel good either about myself, or the world.
Nostalgia became a way that I could be in my bubble of make-believe. Where I would not think about the current happenings in the world. I felt insulated from the world as I watched another episode of Schitt’s Creek, Derry Girls, The Good Place and Parks and Recreation.
I wondered what it was that was going to take me out of my slump and allow me to actually come to appreciate the great new content that is on offer. I thought it would be the fourth season of The Crown – it fits everything that I was looking for in TV content at the time. I knew exactly what was going to happen. I was even ready to be newly enraged by the shenanigans of the British Royal Family. And yet it didn’t do anything. It just made me go back and watch all the shows I’d watched before. Until I came across Remember When … with Andile Ndlovu.
Hosted by writer and editor Andile Ndlovu, Remember When is a podcast that’s all about nostalgia. It dissects moments in our culture that had a lasting impact on us. It reminds us of the many interesting conversations and fights that we had in the ’ 90s about things that were shown on TV and played on the radio.
From the violence of Yizo Yizo and the cool kid feeling that was brought by Soul Buddyz; the hopes that Popstars and Idols gave to people who had dreams of stardom, to some sporting moments like Penny Heyns winning gold at the Atlanta Games and Manning Rangers winning the inaugural PSL.
What made me quickly subscribe to the podcast (besides knowing the subject matter and how it ended), was knowing Andile’s attention to detail and his research skills. Having read his work over the years, I have come to appreciate his voice as a writer.
His choice of the guest to speak about the moment being discussed every week is perfect. It’s definitely not always the person I would have picked to speak about the pop culture moments of the ’90s and early 2000s the show explores. But from them, he is able to get really great conversations that always gives me an appreciation for them and that nostalgic moment.
He has managed to get Penny Heyns to admit she was disillusioned with swimming before she went to the 1996 Olympics, and also had Sthandiwe Kgoroge reveal that her role on Yizo Yizo was what made Generations call her back on the show after letting her go, to reprise her character of Zinzi Mudau.
Another thing that is great about this podcast, is Andile’s voice. It’s deep but friendly and is reassuring. You want to listen to him speak, and I can only imagine that his voice and interview style also contribute to making his guests relax and give him the answers that make for a great conversation. I particularly liked the episode where he interviewed Letta Mbulu. His approach was one of reverence. You could tell that he respects and is likely very fond of the iconic songstress.
So if you want to learn more about what happened in some of the greatest sport and pop culture moments in South Africa, from two decades years ago, this is a podcast you should definitely listen to.
Remember When … with Andile Ndlovu is available on all podcast platforms.