With a classic radio voice and a confidence that belies his age, few would realise MORE FM Day Show Host Tyrese Epiha (Te Atiawa) is only 19 and lived with social anxiety during his school days.
Thanks to taking part in the 30-week WITT Trades Academy Radio Broadcasting programme in 2021, taught by respected broadcaster Bryan Vickery, Tyrese stepped out of his comfort zone and into his dream career.
“I remember he was fanatical about radio but he lacked confidence and needed to meet people in the industry. He, like other students, also really benefited from the formal structure and support of the WITT Trades Academy programme,” says Bryan.
One of the people he met on the programme was former Mediaworks Taranaki Manager Matt Hastings who told ākonga to call in and be a nuisance. Tyrese tried not to be a nuisance but he did keep knocking on the door of Media Works, home to his dream job – a broadcaster on MORE FM.
His perseverance first led to some promotions work for the station.
“I put up my hand for everything because I wanted them to see how keen I was,” he says.
He remembers one of his first jobs was giving away hot cross buns to MORE FM listeners one Easter.
That willing attitude paid off and in August last year  he hosted his first show – the Saturday morning breakfast show. Today Tyrese can be heard on air from 9am to 3pm every weekday as the Day Show Host.
“I am hitting my goals – working in radio is a dream for me. I am so stoked to do this,” he says.
He’s also keen to share his story to inspire others to find something they love and stick with it.
“The Tyrese I was two years ago wouldn’t be here today without family support and saying yes to the trades academy programme,” he adds.