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Zoë Brown talks blending balance and bliss 

Is there anyone quite like Zoë Brown? A dynamic personality whose smile lights up a room – even when it’s just breaming at you from the confines of your screen.  

You’ll recognise Zoë Brown not just for that megawatt smile, but thanks to the good energy she channels every morning as one of the hosts of SABC3’s Expresso show. In her own words, “I’m someone who’s always evolving, never static,” and the woman has undoubtedly made big moves in the broadcasting industry. This dynamic personality has defined and redefined her trajectory in the media landscape; recently departing from the radio airwaves, she has embraced the freedom to reinvent herself.   

Reflecting on her upbringing, Zoë (33) recounts her transition from a follower to a trailblazer. Moving from Cape Town to Durban in her early teens marked a pivotal moment where she discovered her voice and authenticity. Even with financial challenges, her parents instilled in her the power of creative thinking, a lesson she carries to this day. Despite linguistic hurdles transitioning from Afrikaans to English, Zoë personified resilience and adaptability.  

“My journey has been about embracing change and finding strength in adversity,” Zoë recalls. ‘Moving from Cape Town to Durban, it’s where I truly discovered my voice and the power of authenticity through simply embracing who I am and being myself.”   

@afternoonexpress We asked Zoë Brown for 3 tips that she uses to achieve her dreams 💭🤩 #AfternoonExpress ♬ Vlog – Soft boy

Her academic journey led her to Stellenbosch University, where she studied international relations and was initially enamoured by the allure of print media. As the landscape shifted towards digital platforms, Zoë pivoted towards radio, a decision shaped by her passion for multimedia storytelling. From humble beginnings hosting the post-midnight ‘graveyard shift’ to landing a full-time daytime radio slot, Zoë’s journey epitomises dedication and perseverance.  

Leap of faith  

Transitioning from academia to the media industry was no easy feat. Zoë initially faced the daunting task of balancing her studies with her burgeoning radio career, navigating rainy days and early mornings as a host on student radio with a relentless resolve. Sacrifices became the norm as she poured her heart into her craft, fuelled by passion rather than monetary reward.  

“There were moments of doubt and uncertainty BUT MY PASSION for storytelling and CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE kept me going”

“MFM campus radio played a large role in developing my passion for the media industry and helped to prepare me for the world of work. I started off doing the shift between 3am and 6am,” she recalls. But her career truly took off with the Expresso morning show in June 2015. This was when she became a household name. In 2018, she simultaneously joined KFM’s Afternoon Drive with Carl Wastie. 

@hlami_ Homegirl really wanted to make a tiktok with us🤣🤣#mom ♬ original sound – hlamimatukane

“As I transitioned from TV to radio, there were moments of doubt and uncertainty,” Zoë admits. “But my passion for storytelling and connecting with people kept me going. I’m proud of the fact that I never missed an academic deadline despite being swamped trying to balance being a student and radio presenter. I knew I had to pursue this path, regardless of the challenges.”  

Zoë found herself at a crossroads as her career blossomed, grappling with the decision to leave radio behind. Despite the allure of consistency, she yearned for new horizons beyond the confines of her current role. Embracing uncertainty, Zoë embarked on
a journey of self-discovery, guided by her faith and a desire for personal growth.  

“For me, leaving radio was a leap of faith,” Zoë says. “I knew I needed to step out of my comfort zone and explore new avenues for growth. It wasn’t an easy decision, but I knew it was right for my personal and professional development.” She had to pass on many opportunities due to having to balance a hectic radio and TV schedule. Something had to give – and it was radio. And now that she has freed up some time, she is open and available for when the right opportunity presents itself.  

A delicate balance  

For Zoë, the pursuit of happiness extends beyond professional success. It’s about fostering meaningful connections, embracing vulnerability and prioritising self-care. Whether it’s indulging in pilates classes or disconnecting from her phone during her travels, Zoë’s approach to life reflects a delicate balance of ambition and authenticity.  

“In order to thrive in both my personal and professional life, I’ve learned the importance of self-care and setting boundaries,” Zoë says. “Taking time for myself allows me to recharge and show up as the best version of myself for those I care about.”  

In her partnership with her husband, Robbie Anderson, Zoë finds peace and support, the stability she needs with life’s uncertainties. The couple tied the knot at Beuld The Venue in Robertson on 11 November 2023. Together, they navigate the complexities of marriage, cherishing moments of intimacy while respecting each other’s privacy. Their commitment to open communication and mutual respect serves as a foundation for their bond. She tells us that they have known each other since she was a teen.  

“He just doesn’t put me on a pedestal. With him, there weren’t all these barriers where I had to try and prove that I was just a normal girl working an extraordinary job. To him, I’m still Zoë,” she says. “Robbie has been my rock throughout this journey. His support and love have been
a constant source of strength for me, especially during the challenging moments. We’ve learned the importance of honesty, communication and vulnerability in our relationship.”  

Making a change  

Zoë is a staunch advocate for responsible social media use, emphasising the importance of mindful posting. She shares her personal guidelines: “If I won’t say or do it in front of my dad, I’m not posting it online!”  

She strives to shift the social media narrative, and believes these platforms can be powerful tools for promoting causes and passions rather than just seeking validation through ‘likes’. “I want to show young women (and men) that you can utilise social media for causes and passions.”   

Speaking of which, Zoë serves as an ambassador for WWF South Africa, advocating for environmentally friendly practices like using paper instead of plastic straws. Additionally, she lends her voice to organisations like the Children’s Trust and the Sunflower Fund, where she is a registered bone marrow donor.  

In her quest for authenticity, Zoë embraces vulnerability as a source of strength rather than weakness. She remains grounded in her values and committed to positively impacting the world as she continues to evolve and grow.  

Rapid Fire Q&A 

What do you know for sure?
You can never go back in time. 

One thing one will always find in your bag?
My cellphone. I can do everything with my phone. 

A quote that resonates with you?
Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.

If you could sum up your personality in one word, what would it be?

If you were to trade places with a TV character, who would it be?
Rachel from

A career goal you’ve set for the next five years?
My own TV show.

A book or a movie that has influenced your outlook on life?
The Devil Wears Prada.

One thing people are surprised to learn about you?
I have a sewing machine. 

Words by: Koketso Mashika
Photography: Zhann Solomons
Styling: Calista De Luz  

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