BBC Radio Sheffield announced this morning that Sile Sibanda is the winner of their This Is Me competition and will be a new presenter on the station.
Sile, 21, is from Rotherham and has been given a 12 month paid contract to work for the station.
She was told she had won at an event at Radio Sheffield last night. The announcement was made to listeners on the Toby Foster breakfast show this morning.
Toby Foster, breakfast presenter on Radio Sheffield, said: “All three finalists were brilliant but Sile just edged it. She’s fun, charming, has a great personality and she’s passionate about our patch. She wants to make a difference and now she’s got the chance to do just that. We can’t wait to get her on board.”
On hearing she had won, Sile said: “I’m speechless to have won. It’s wonderful. “
Sile is currently in her third year studying forensic science and psychology at the University of Derby. She was chosen following a day of auditions held in December at the New York Stadium in Rotherham.
Sile said she had a spooky premonition about working at the BBC: “Before I knew about this competition I was walking past Radio Sheffield with a friend and said that one day my picture would be among all the presenters at Radio Sheffield. And now I’m going to be working there. It really is a dream come true!”
150 people auditioned for This Is Me from across South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. They auditioned in front of a panel of judges made up of Toby Foster; BBC Look North presenter Amy Garcia; and Radio Sheffield editor Katrina Bunker. Magid Magid, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield and one of the station’s evening show presenters, also joined the judging panel for part of the day.
The top 15 candidates attended interviews at Radio Sheffield last month and following that a final 3 were selected. Sile was up against the two other finalists: Matthew Weigold and Abby Russell. All three of the finalists have been guests on the breakfast show this week.
Sile will be fully trained and supported by experienced BBC producers and journalists for the new role. Alongside reporting for Radio Sheffield, she may also appear on other BBC radio, TV or digital programming across the Corporation, gaining further experience and exposure.
Sile is also a poet, public speaker and a lover of puzzles. She was born in Zimbabwe and came to Rotherham with her family when she was 12 years old.
Katrina Bunker, Managing Editor of BBC Radio Sheffield, said: “Sile has fought off some really tough competition to win This Is Me. We had over 150 applicants and Matthew, Abby and Sile all stood out. Sile was the final winner because her sunny personality, curiosity and enthusiasm for radio and her passion for the area came together in the perfect package.
“I would like to thank everyone who took part in the This Is Me auditions. The caliber of the applicants was incredibly high and I was genuinely blown away by the talent out there in our region.”
Sile will start her new role with BBC Radio Sheffield in Spring 2019.