Sias du Plessis, one of SA's most knowledgeable and passionate sports presenters, juggles 5FM and SuperSport Blitz with ease; much like he did during his varsity days at Tuks!
Having been very involved during his time at the University of Pretoria, this BA graduate needs no introduction.
However, we caught up with the legendary ginger and all round nice guy to find out more about his time at university:
(1) Good morning Sias. I'm sure it feels like afternoon for you. How are you?
"Good morning Kate. Yeah I've been up since 4am already. I'm well thank you."
(2) Well I'll get right into it; you completed a BA in Criminology and English, quite different from your current occupation. What was the reason behind this choice of study?
"Yeah; definitely nothing to do with broadcasting, but it's not what I initially studied. Upon my enrolment at Tuks I was drawn into sport, particularly cricket. As a result I registered for Sports Science. Cricket Tukkies were keen to sign me up, I thought I would eventually play cricket professionally. However, injury struck, I couldn't be in the team. At the same time I eventually realised Sports Science wasn't for me. Growing up I was always fascinated by forensics due to Sherlock Holmes and those guys. I wanted to do forensics, and that's when I took on Criminology and English."
(3) What type of student were you? Was your work on time and how was your class attendance?
"My work was on time, but the 7.30am class was difficult. I was juggling so many things. I needed the extra sleep, so I missed 90% of those classes. In most areas, I was just like any other student. I partied hard, but I studied just as hard. I was physically active - that's very important. As a student you need a balance."
(4) From my understanding; you were quite the busy student. Tell me about your activities and how they shaped your university days?
"Yeah I was quite the busy student, with Tuks FM, and I was also fortunate enough to be Red Bull's Campus Manager. I could say they definitely shaped not just my days there, but who I am today. They taught me about being responsible whilst also having fun. And that's what university is about. Having fun, but being responsible."
(5) Red Bull Campus Manager? I don't see Sherlock Holmes doing that?! What was that like?
"[Much laughter] No, I guess that is not something Sherlock would be into!! But with my early hours I was drinking more Red Bulls than anyone I know, I lived on Red Bull. That made me the candidate for the job. It was a great opportunity to learn about communication and marketing - an experience that is crucial today."
(6) It is due to Tuks FM that you have a career in broadcasting; it launched the Sias we know today. Take us back to the beginning.
"Yes, it all started with Tuks FM. I went for an audition and was told I was too boring for radio. Later I was asked if I would be interested in doing the sports bulletin for the breakfast show with Deon van Heerden... the following day! I loved and knew my sport so I accepted, but I was provided with no training. I went on air the next day and became part of this amazing community on campus."
(7) You mentioned your desire for a cricket career, which obviously did not work out. How involved were you in other sporting activities?
"As the sports guy for the campus radio station I was highly involved. I was at Loftus often doing interviews and reports, but I played hockey for the fourth team. I got to play against my brother Charl 'Sid', who played for the second and third team. It was great!"
(8) The Varsity Cup has become a fundamental event in varsity - and rugby - calendars. If it had been in existence while you were at varsity, what sort of impact would it have made in your days at Tuks?
"As mentioned I was the sports radio guy, therefore covering the matches was my job, so it would have had a huge impact [on me]. But even without the Varsity Cup, Tuks was big on rugby - as you would expect. The Intervarsity meant a great deal at Tuks and a lot of emphasis was put on it. Not to mention the regular inter-res rivalry on the rugby field(s). The standard of Varsity Cup is one of the best I've seen. It definitely provides the perfect start-up; it is the ideal launch pad. I mean with the TV and print coverage these guys get it's a great platform to establish themselves whether it be in the Varsity Shield or the main Varsity Cup. More importantly, however, the Varsity Cup answers the question of what happens between high school and university."
(9) Assuming you are supporting FNB Tuks; how do you rate their chances this year?
"Of course - I'm right behind my Tuks Boytjies!! Tuks Rugby has come a long way. They have all the right systems in place; they just need to apply them. I see them going far this year. They have all the facilities needed as well as quality coaches. We saw their spirit against UJ only last week - not to mention their win over the Maties. This is going to be a good year for them."
(10) Sias thank you for your time, we won't keep you any longer... However, before we let you go; please tell us what you remember and miss most about university. What do you think should each student take out of university - apart from a qualification, of course?
"University is some of the best years of anyone's life. I won't lie; I miss having a beer at 2am with my mates! Just being chilled and not having to worry about a lot of things, that happens at university only. The vibe provided to just be you. I'd encourage anyone who's at university to just enjoy it. Grab every opportunity provided, they are plenty of those. Take risks. Be active. Have fun; because before you know it you'll be chasing a 9-5."
By Kate Nokwe