Our beloved Riva Schoeman – back behind the microphone

Her voice is as well-known as pap and sheeba. As rugby and a boerworsroll on a sunny day… Riva Schoeman is a household name in the greater Pretoria area and when she “officially” retired from radio last year February, we lost one of our most loved voices on local radio.  But one person’s pain is another person’s gain. Centurion Hospice grabbed the opportunity to work with Riva whose voice is described as darker that dark chocolate.  

Centurion Hospice is the only hospice in this country that ventured into the podcasting business and for the past six months has been slowly building an active audience who just SIMPLY love our courageous conversations.  Topics meander wildly from our immortal profile on social media platforms to your sexual health while receiving cancer treatment.

“I love the choice of topics,” says Riva who has an abundance of empathy and sympathy for the guests that participate on the podcasts. “I HAVE A GREAT affection for people, and I am really interested in their stories. I have also learnt a lot since I became involved with Centurion Hospice.”

“I think these podcasts are important because anyone of us might have ALREADY have or IS CURRENTLY experiencing similar situations. The topics are universal but also contemporary and FOCUS on the discourse of the day,” she says.  “I personally have been amazed by the experts’ knowledge in their particular areas of specialization. The topics stretch over a vast array of different and interesting matters that we can all relate to. I am instantly reminded of a particular topic here, which dealt with where we go when we pass on.  Well, needless to say there are many diverse opinions about just this one topic. We spoke to a Christian pastor, A Muslim Imam, and an atheist. Riveting content indeed.  Other guests included a family – the father, the mother as well as the teenage sister – of a young man who was diagnosed with a rare cancer. To hear their grueling journey up until the time of his passing tore at the heartstrings of each and every listener. The struggles, the pain, the questions – all dealt with that day. The interview went, right up to eventual acceptance and finding some sort of peace, which we all learnt, is ultimately possible, provided the family unit sticks together. A lesson for every family in that. “

Our beloved Riva Schoeman – back behind the microphone
Riva judging the Rebel Build A Pizza For Centurion Hospice Competition

She says it is very hard to choose a favourite topic. “Each and every topic is well thought out by the Hospice team and they go to immense trouble to find the most suited guest/s. “

“I loved each and every one, from the couple who were spoilt with a wedding in spite of the fact that the bride is terminally ill  right through to the one about meaningful aging – I mean, none of us know when our journey ends, therefore embrace this gift called life and live it while you are alive! “

“I was fascinated by the Death Doula, as I never knew that such a person existed! So, you understand, I cannot choose a favorite, they all are.”

“It is indeed heartwarming to discover the care that Centurion Hospice shows to each and every patient, and that there are no holds barred from providing the very best in palliative care and compassion. Thus, speaking to Centurion Hospice staff as part of some podcasts was an eye-opener and joy as well. I learnt that we do not know the half of it, and, that’s lovely to know.”

Riva is not unfamiliar with the inner workings of Centurion Hospice. When she was still working at Jacaranda, she says, she was approached by the Hospice to judge a cake competition.  “I am so glad I did! I never looked back and will always assist the Hospice in any way I can. They really have the knack of “making an event out of it”, in regard to all they do.”

Riva never thought that she would behind a microphone ever again. “I did not want to become a radio dinosaur,” she chortles. “I wanted to retire in style.”

Her voice has become a beacon of warmth for listeners from the Cape to Limpopo. Throughout her career that stretched over 27 years, she worked for OFM, Jacaranda FM, Radio Sonder Grense, Radio Kansel and her last job being at Groot FM.  “These days I am sitting in front of my laptop (sometimes in my pajamas), editing, rewriting, and translating copy for Bulletin, a news service that supplies local radio stations with news stories.”

On every second Monday evening she will dress up in (the stored-away-before-Covid-outfits) and make herself comfortable in front of the microphone in Deon van der Merwe’s (Touch of Class) studio in Wierda Park.

And then, the voice:  “You are listening to Port of Call with Centurion Hospice and Riva Schoeman.  In studio….”

  • Riva is still full of bounce and her love for the microphone persists. Call Riva on schoemanr@gmail.com to discuss your need for a “voice” to advertise your product or interview your guests.AR