"The biggest irony of everything here is that I was fired for using a word that didn't exist."
This is how DJ Fresh, real name Thato Sikwane, reflected on his roller-coaster six-week suspension from Metro FM that culminated in his firing for the use of the word "m*****y" on air.
The Big Dawg, as he's affectionately referred to by his cult followers, welcomes me with his big tattooed arms at his new den, 947 – nestled in the heart of Sandton.
He seems to already be settling in, following the announcement on Monday that he will join the regional radio station from August 1. Fresh is greeted with hugs and adoration as he walks the corridors of the station.
He admits that the word that was red-flagged by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) will most likely make its way into the urban dictionary.
But he vowed to never use the word again.
"Offence is in the eye of the taker, not the giver. It's not my place to say people are being unreasonable," he says.
"I'm not going to use that word. People who know me know that I don't believe in
using words gratuitously. I'm not that guy.
"People mustn't get excited about the use of offensive language. It has never been cool."
He says during his time off he had a lot of time to look at "the man in the mirror".
Fresh says he has no regrets about anything, but he will take the lessons that came with the period.
"I don't have a regret, but I think it's regrettable how everything worked out. We didn't have to be here," he says.
"More often when you go through something [like this] it's the time that you get to
reflect a lot. You get to meet yourself and see yourself with your clothes off – see who is in your corner. For me, it's very clear who is and [is] not in my corner."