Twenty-four-year-old Keegan Basil is making a name for himself in the entertainment industry, with his own online radio show on the city centre-based Hashtag radio and his growing modelling career.
Keegan describes himself as a “typical southern suburbs guy” who was born in Wynberg before moving to Zeekoevlei where he lived for 17 years. He matriculated from Norman Henshilhood High School in 2010 and studied a BCom at the University of the Western Cape.
“I am not an academic, so it was a bit tough getting through maths and computers. I’m more artistic, and I wanted to get into something creative, like PR, or in something different, but then I decided to start my own business and something that will benefit me in the long run”.
In 2013, Keegan left university to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He completed a few short courses in acting and presenting before being scouted to work in Los Angeles as an actor. Unfortunately, said Keegan, he did not qualify for an acting visa as he was modelling at the time.
The following year, Keegan and his two friends, former international model Sydney Bailey, and Jandro Saayman, who is now his manager, decided to form an NPO called Free Hugs South Africa, which was inspired by the movement Free Hugs, which began in 2004 in Australia.
“Giving back to our own community was so important to us. We were three ambitious kids growing up in a normal community, where there was a lot happening, and we wanted to change that. We did an outreach programme, “Drive-By Givings”, where we would give back to the less fortunate and giving back to our own community of Grassy Park. We wanted to invest in their lives because we wanted them to know that there is something better out there for them”.
Today it is known as Holy Hands foundation which is run by Sydney.
It was after Keegan was interviewed about the Free Hugs campaign on Hashtag radio that he was offered his own show. The Keegan B show was launched in February last year.
“Myself and Jandro decided that Hashtag radio would be the perfect platform for my career in the entertainment industry. We decided we needed to brand ourselves, we needed to think business wise and get our brand out there; how is Keegan Basil going to be so different from the other radio presenters out there? It didn’t take long before we brainstormed and came up with (the tagline) ‘Aspire to inspire’, which I’m all about. I am aspiring to be the best version of myself I can be and while doing that, inspiring people to be the best versions of themselves.
“The purpose of starting this show was not to make it all about me but to be a platform for people to be a hundred percent themselves and talk about their story without feeling they were being interviewed or feeling there was pressure on them. It was just normal conversation, and because I am a people’s person, I am someone who people can easily relate to, which is amazing. I am so grateful to (station CEO) Joubert Botha who allowed me to do my own thing and pioneer my own show.”
His first guest was Syndey who at the time was an international model, modelling in New York Fashion Week. Among his other guests have been Expresso presenter Katlego Maboe, comedian Siv Ngesi and radio personality Tracy Lang, who, says Keegan, was one of his favourite guests.
The Keegan B Show will be launching its own YouTube channel later in the year.
“I want people to see my passion, my charisma, my sense of style – if you could call it that. We are busy working on our pilot. The show will be similar to the Ellen DeGeneres Show. It will be the first show of its kind in Africa. We want to show the country that the South African blood is doing well by educating people about our different cultures.
“It has been a great journey, and I am learning every day” said Keegan, attributing his inspiration and success to his mother René Lynne.