Tumelo Mothotoane is the current affairs host on SABC 1 Sunday Live, the stand-in host of SABC 2 Morning Live and the presenter of AM Live, a part of the SABC’s 24-hour news channel.
She hosted the launch of the National Book Week in 2013, breathed new life into the ailing women’s programme Sistas on Soweto TV and she’s vibrant, energetic, focused and naturally charismatic. Tumelo attributes her commitment, her career and addressing real issues to her family.
“One of my greatest influences is my maternal grandfather who was a social worker until his untimely death in the late 1990s, and growing up in the same house with a social and community leader inspired me to pursue a career that engaged with people and their social, political and economic issues,” says Mothotoane.
She uses her voice to focus on the topics and challenges that her fellow South Africans relate to, and believes that the role the media has played in the country’s journey to democracy, and plays today, is vital.
“I am inspired by how more African women’s talents and abilities are now recognised, thus encouraging the emancipation of women’s voices,” she adds.
“There are more women in media who are vocal about issues they would not have freely expressed before. “I have just been appointed the president of the South African Youth Chamber of Commerce to join the executive board of the Young Women in Business Forum which is about empowering young women entrepreneurs.”
For Mothotoane, this role is essential in an era where young women are taking on previously male-dominated roles.
“If we were more willing to accept each other for who we are and if we collaborated in moving our country forward, then change would be more effective,” she says. “The potential for young people in media in South Africa is overwhelming and we need more of us to actively participate and influence positive change in our country.” — Tamsin Oxford