Phat Joe

Phat Joe (Majota Khambule) is the South African radio DJ and television personality who rose to fame in the late 1990s to the early 2000s with The Phat Joe Show. With a long standing radio career, Phat Joe has since reignited his television career with his hosting of The Real Goboza; initially with Brenda Ngxoli, then with Pearl Thusi and now with Sinazo Yolwa and Amanda du Pont.

Phat Joe (Majota Kambule)
Born Majota Mandlakayise
Isaac Khambule
December 04, 1974
Pretoria
Gauteng
South Africa
 Occupation  Radio DJ
 TV Personality
 Businessman
Since 1995 – to date
Agent Unknown
Website Unknown

Phat Joe was born Majota Mandlakayise Isaac Khambule in Pretoria in the Gauteng province of South Africa – at the time Transvaal Province of apartheid South Africa.

He has two siblings; Lindiwe and Lebohang, with whom he lived in the United States of America (USA) along with both their parents.

Phat Joe lived in Mafikeng, North West and in Polokwane in Limpopo where his father, Matthews Khambule, was a lecturer.

When he was eight years old he moved to the United States of America (USA) with his parents and siblings, presumably, fleeing the oppressive apartheid regime.

The apartheid regime presided over the apartheid system which was rigged against non-white South Africans – especially the blacks – and in favor of the whites – especially Afrikaners.

He spent approximately 12 years in the United States. He attended school in that country.

It has been reported before that Phat Joe also attended college in the United States before dropping out to pursue a career in entertainment.

After the all inclusive General Election of 1994; Phat Joe, his parents and siblings returned to South Africa.

In 1995 Phat Joe joined a Mmabatho based radio station, Radio Bop, whose fate is today unknown. There he was a radio disc jockey (DJ), he remained at the station until 1997.

In 1997 he joined Johannesburg based radio station, YFM, At YFM Phat Joe was a DJ and host of the weekend breakfast show as well as the sales executive for the station.

In 1999 Phat Joe became the host of the weekdays breakfast show at YFM and vacated his sales executive post for the remainder of his time at the station.

That year he began hosting his own comedy show – The Phat Joe Show – on the then newly founded national television station, e.tv.

In 2001 Phat Joe left YFM for SABC radio’s Metro FM and his e.tv show – The Phat Joe Show – moved to SABC 1. His stay at Metro FM was short-lived, in 2002 he left the station. The Phat Joe Show remained on SABC 1 until 2005.

In 2008 he joined Kaya FM, there he hosted The Phat Joe Morning Show, and in 2009 he left the station under a cloud of controversy.

In 2009 Phat Joe joined Cape Town based radio station, Heart FM and remained there until 2012.

In 2010 he was named Brenda Ngxoli’s co-presenter of The Real Goboza. He was later joined by Pearl Thusi who replaced Brenda Ngxoli and when Pearl Thusi departed, Sinazo Yolwa and Amanda du Pont were brought in as her replacements.

In 2011 he co-hosted The 17th Annual South African Music Awards with Bonang Matheba.

In 2012 Phat Joe returned to Metro FM where he now host a Saturday breakfast show with Pearl Thusi.

In 2014 he hosted the first season Take Me Out South Africa, a South African version of the UK format Take Me Out which aired on SABC 1. In the same year he was a contestant on e.tv’s game show, I Love South Africa.

Also in 2014; Phat Joe hosted the 13th Annual Metro FM Awards with Pearl Thusi and was a guest on a Nicky Greenwall hosted e.tv talk show, Screentime with Nicky Greenwall.

In March 2015 he joined SABC 3’s new show, Presenter Search on 3, alongside Bonang Matheba, Jeannie D, Jonathan Boynton-Lee and Leigh-Anne.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1999 – 2005 The Phat Joe Show Himself Host, Comedy Talk Show
2010 – to date The Real Goboza Himself Host & Presenter, Magazine Show
2011 The 17th SAMAs Himself Host, Awards Ceremony
2014 The 13th Metro FM Awards Himself Host, Awards Ceremony
2014 I Love South Africa Himself Contestant, Game Show
2014 Take Me Out SA Himself Host, Dating Game Show
2015 Presenter Search on 3 Himself Judge

Controversy

Phat Joe is among South Africans whose ability to attract controversy is unmatched. Down the years Phat Joe has attracted numerous controversies.

  • Remarks on King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu

Phat Joe had to issue an apology to the king of the Zulus; this was after the king’s fleet of official cars was taken away by the KwaZulu-Natal government with the promise of updating it.

During the opening of his show, The Phat Joe Show, he joked about how on his recent trip to Durban he spotted King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu on a pavement, thumb in the air, hitching a lift from passing motorists.

Phat Joe went on to advise the king to buy a second hand Uno with the 150 lobola cattle he was expecting from the then impending marriage of his two daughters as reported by Sunday Sun at the time.

His jokes were met with harsh criticism and rebuke, especially from the Zulus who expressed their displeasure with his disrespectful  jokes made at the expense of the king.

Inkatha Freedom Party provincial member of parliament (at the time), Blessed Gwala,was quoted saying “He has insulted the Zulu nation and the royal family by creating a joke about Isilo Samabandla the king and his princesses. I nearly fainted when I saw him uttering such an insult against our king. We demand the SABC do something about him now or ban the show. As the Zulu nation we greatly respect our monarch and are not going to tolerate Phat Joe’s comments. I suspect he has become too white in a sense that he can treat blacks so insignificantly”.

Phat Joe’s apology read: “It is unfortunate that last night’s programme’s reference to His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini has been interpreted in the light it has. It was never my intention to show any disrespect to His Majesty and I apologise unreservedly for any ill feelings that may have arisen from this.

“I was making light of an issue which was addressed extensively in the media over the weekend. It was not done in a harmful or disrespectful manner. On the Phat Joe Show we draw attention to, laugh at and make fun of many things the newspapers have to say.

“I think it’s important to know that my mother is Zulu and I would never insult any culture. I respect both the Zulu monarch and Zulu culture. I was not trying to be malicious”.

“I hope that in future we may have His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini as a guest on the show and profile him, as he is an influential member of our society. We have been in communication with His Majesty’s office in this regard”.

  • Remarks on his working experience at e.tv

Phat Joe was quoted saying e.tv was “like Afghanistan being run by the Taliban”. This has been cited as controversial particularly because, supposedly, at the time the e.tv management was largely Indian. It was also been reported that some executives at e.tv considered his remarks as a racial slur.

  • Alleged Feud with Felicia Mabuza-Suttle

Phat Joe reportedly repeated ridiculed Felicia Mabuza-Suttle on his show, The Phat Joe Show. Phat Joe and his comedian colleagues on The Phat Joe show reportedly made fun of the liposuction surgery she (Felicia Mabuza-Suttle) underwent a few years earlier.

Felicia Mabuza-Suttle commented “It is good when comedians talk about you. It gives more visibility to the Felicia brand. All I ask is that they continue to make people laugh but they should be respectful of adults and our icons”.

  • Remarks on the Caster Semenya Saga

Caster Semenya famously ran to victory so far ahead of the competitors during the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and secured a 800 metre gold medal.

After her victory questions were raised about her gender. The IAAF subjected Caster Semenya to a gender test which led to an international debacle and the accusations of violations of her human rights and racism.

Then SA President Leonard Chuene also admitted to having subjected Caster Semenya to gender tests.

The Australian media Phat Joe was quoting on his show reported that Caster Semenya had underdeveloped internal testes instead of ovaries and a womb, however, Phat Joe kept repeating that Caster Semenya had testicles.

Furthermore, Phat Joe was quoted as having said “Could it be at this point she has not had her period? She should have known that something was wrong; or is she still waiting for her period?”

He went on to say “To some extent, she should have known that something is not 100 percent right, she was still waiting for her period perhaps? Did she cheat when she left those women (behind) in Germany? Why is it possible that she could not have known that she is not 100 percent female?”

Numerous listeners called in and edged Phat Joe to practice restrained and show sensitivity towards Caster Semenya and her family but he failed to heed the call.

Following the incident then Kaya FM station general manager was quoted saying “The position is not to exacerbate; her rights have already been violated. We all know that Joe is a loose cannon and his show is edgy, but there are limits”.

Phat Joe was suspended from air after the listeners called and complained that his remarks were harsh.

Phat Joe never returned from suspension, he was fired after the station received further complaints expressing disapproval on how he had handled the Caster Semenya situation.

  • The Fallout in the Wake of his Dismissal from Kaya FM

Phat Joe turned to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to challenge his dismissal but the CCMA ruled in favour of the station. He took the matter to the Labour Court in a bid to have the CCMA ruling overturned but he was once against unsuccessful.

It was during this period that further details about Phat Joe’s dismissal were revealed:

  • In January 2009 Phat Joe reportedly received a warning from then content manager Neil Johnson about “gratuitous smut, sexual innuendo and partisan politicking”
  • He was accused by the station of  breaching broadcasting legislation by running competitions in which contestants were made to eat cat food and drink his urine on air.
  • In early 2009 Phat Joe predicted that President Jacob Zuma would be raped to the station management’s dismay.

Personal Life

Phat Joe has a son named Brooklyn Khambule with former model Farai Rook; it is understood that the pair’s son was born in 2002. Some reports have stated that at one point Phat Joe and Farai Rook were married. He appeared with his son, Brooklyn Khambule, on an episode of the SABC 3 lifestyle magazine show, Top Billing, in early 2015 with Jonathan Boynton-Lee.

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