“It’s a good platform to talk about things like mental health and bullying and Te Reo Māori, which are things that I’m a strong advocate for. So, I’m glad that I’ve now got that platform where I can say bullying sucks, stop it, mental health is important, its real, don’t be afraid to talk about it, and, Te Reo Māori is special to this country so let’s learn it.”
Jayden King hosts The Edge’s afternoon drive-show alongside Sharon Casey from 3 to 7pm every weekday, a dream role he landed at the beginning of this year after winning the station’s Quit Your Day Job competition. He attended three schools within our Pupuke Kāhui Ako community: Sunnybrae Primary, Takapuna Normal Intermediate and Westlake Boys’ High School, graduating from the latter in 2014.
Over the course of our interview, Jayden reflects upon the exciting and unique challenges of starting out as a radio broadcaster in 2020, a year which given the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement and looming elections, has been unlike any other. With insight and positivity, he unpacks the privilege of being considered an essential worker during the Covid-19 lockdowns, reflecting that “it was our job to keep that normality for people who were locked at home and give them something to entertain them, something to light up their days, because I know it was a dark time for a lot of people.”
Jayden also speaks openly about some of his own challenges since leaving school. Struggling for motivation at AUT (where he had won a scholarship to study Communications) he decided to turn his back on university life. He worked a variety of jobs for a time, including as a waiter and a panel fabricator, but knew that he had to find something more suited to his talents when he was ‘told off for talking’ at the panel job. In 2018, he enrolled at the New Zealand Radio Training School in Wellington, completing their one-year diploma in broadcasting.
His journey is a great reminder for Westlake’s senior students that everything may not go smoothly, or exactly as planned, when leaving our gates and, therefore, how vital it is to continue to travel with positive energy and persistence when seeking out a career pathway that they are passionate about.