Monday, 15 February 2010 10:32

For many years, former radio personality, “Hot’ Henrietta, influenced a generation while working in radio broadcasting. 

(Our correspondent Diana Arevalo profiles DJ 'Hot' Henrietta's career and gets her advise to Latinas.)

She is most noted for creating the “Noon Time Workout” and interviewing celebrities such as Christina Aguilera,

Janet Jackson, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Ricky Martin etc while being one of the few outspoken Latinas on air. She began her radio career while being a student in high school. Henrietta Hernandez is the girl next door who happens to live in the South Side of San Antonio. She is a Harlandale Middle School graduate, Highlands High School graduate, a former University of the Incarnate Word student, and a graduate of St. Phillip’s College vocational nursing program. The radio jockey continues to lend her voice for radio commercials, is the game announcer for the Texas Fuel, and is currently working on a children’s book with her son.

Arevalo: You began your career while in high school. Who were your role models while starting your entertainment career?
“Hot” Henrietta: There were several. John Quinones was one. He was on KTSA before he went primetime. Also, there was Debbi Alcoser, the Electric Lady from KISS. Leticia Van De Putte is another role model. I don’t know how she did it, but she is fabulous. Rosa Rosales is definitely another one. I like her. I want her to go in front of corporate radio and knock some sense into them.

Arevalo: Many would say you are a role model, because you are a household name in San Antonio. But, who are the role models for young Latinas today?

“Hot” Henrietta: Well, definitely Leticia Van De Putte. (She laughs.) I’m not running for office, I swear. (She laughs. ) But, I don’t see many role models in the San Antonio community that are in the spotlight and are part of young women’s lives on a daily basis. I feel for the young women in San Antonio. Many don’t have confidence in themselves. They have boyfriends that treat them like they are worthless. More importantly, there is a lot of abuse among young Latinas and often times they never move past it. I’m worried about the young Latinas in our city today. Many have their lives wrapped around diapers and milk. But, they just don’t realize that they can do so much more.

Arevalo: Being a local celebrity and a household name, did you ever see yourself as a role model?

“Hot” Henrietta: Well, honey, I was always real. I never lied about who I was. I was never picture perfect. I’m a single, Hispanic, never been married, working mom. I fought adversity through the sexism and racism of radio and I did it all by myself. There was no one there to help me. Also, I intimidate men. No man has ever seen a strong Latina woman, (She pauses.) other than Leticia Van De Putte. You see, I could be a Senator. There is hope for all Latinas out there. (She smiles.)
I don’t know if I inspired others. The real people that inspire others are the ones that overcame obstacles. There are many people like that in our community. They met their challenges head on, whether it was trying to get through college or overcoming financial barriers, they press on and move forward. They find solutions for themselves and made it. You just can’t give up.

Arevalo: You are clearly inspired by Senator Leticia Van De Putte. Do you want to run for office?
“Hot” Henrietta: I may consider it. I can’t just run for Mayor, because I support Julian Castro. But, I may run for City Council for District 3. We need strong Latinas in office.

Arevalo: Who is your inspiration now?

“Hot” Henrietta: My son has inspired me so much. I’ve learned to enjoy the simple things that we take for granted: a flower, butterfly, the moon, a lady bug. That is so fulfilling to me. I enjoy learning to love all over again with my true and faithful little man, Jacob.

Arevalo: Let’s talk chisme. Tell me the best and worst interview on air.
“Hot” Henrietta: The best interview was Mariah Carey during the noon-time workout. The worst interview was Gwen Stefani, because she had a hard time paying attention to the interview. The most exciting interviews were with Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez (after she went Hollywood). The most exciting interview was with NSYNC. The saddest moment on-air was when I broke the news on the radio about 9/11. The happiest moment on air was when my listens called in and gave me an on-air baby shower.

Arevalo: What is your message to your fans, especially young Latinas who look up to you for inspiration?
“Hot” Henrietta: You don’t need a man to be complete. You don’t need negative people around you that will bring you down. Always strive to reach your goals out of life. Once you know what you want to be, there is no stopping you. But, you have to figure out what you want. You have to go get it. It’s not going to be easy. There is always work involved. Life is work. Life is what you make it.