Mzansi Celebs

Thami Ngubeni lands her first breakfast TV show

Thami Ngubeni joined eNCA as a co-anchor with Gareth Edwards on “SA Morning” this week. With many years of experience under her belt in the broadcasting space – as an actor, producer and presenter – it is safe to say that she is in her element in front of the camera and behind it.

Some of her acting credits include “Molo Fish”, “Generations”, “Known Gods” and “Jozi-H”. And she’s done some theatre work along the way. Ngubeni is respected for her grace, charisma, and insight, which manifested in the release of “My Sacred Spaces” in 2006.

Back to her landing her first breakfast TV show gig, she said: “Well, eNCA approached me and asked if I would be keen be interested to join the team and come on board as the co-anchor for the morning show.

“And clearly, I was very delighted. I’ve wanted to work with eNCA on other projects but this was like a really great opportunity. There was no way I could say no.

“First of all, I would watch Gareth in the morning and I just think he’s amazing. He’s so personable and so informed and he has a really great way about him, so being his co-anchor and joining him on the morning show, for me, was great.”

Interestingly, being a host of a morning show was a dream planted when she was younger.

“Actually, my sister reminded me the other day. Literally, growing up, among the many things I wanted to do, hosting a morning show is one of them.

“It might have been strange to come you know from the American television and how they have their morning shows, in the sense that they are a team effort. You get to work with a team, you get to keep your viewers informed but you also get to interact with each other and you get to play-off from your co-host.

“Everybody brings something to the table and that makes for a dynamic conversation and insight, which is always relevant and adds some insight for the viewer.”

Any breakfast show has to ensure it follows a template that is aligned with the needs of its audience. And “SA Morning” does that.

“The morning sets the tone for what the rest of your day is going to be like. It’s important to be well-informed in the morning and know what is going to come ahead of you.

“You also will know what happened overnight and what is important in terms of current affairs. And also, on a more practical level, what will affect you like which route to take? It keeps people informed in real-time, which is quite important.

“We also bring interesting guests that will help you question and think and maybe get more insight on developments within the news pace. It’s your potjiekos – a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

“I like that element of information and variety and depth that you get on the morning show.”

She continued: “Also, there is Nandi (Tshabalala) as well, who is part of the team, she brings the sports element to the morning show.”

When asked about how Edwards and her complement each another, she offered: “Gareth is very witty, quick on his feet, very insightful. He is the type of person who knows something about everything.

“There literally isn’t a topic you can throw at Gareth that he won’t have an opinion on. And that’s really great.

“In many ways, I’m like that as well. I think we are hand-in-glove. What I don’t have he has and vice versa.

“It’s like cooking, you have to have the right quantities, and right balance and, so far, Gareth and I have a really great chemistry in the way of working together.

“And it’s such a joy spending my morning with him and bringing the viewers along with us. He’s such a great anchor, I couldn’t ask for anyone else.”

Now time is a valuable commodity for Ngubeni, who also runs Thamzin Media. Aside from producing content, it also produced TV and film offerings. At the moment, she is completing her second book.

She added: “You may remember I was also a columnist for ‘True Love’ as well as ‘Destiny’ magazine. So, writing is also one of the things that I really love. It helps to distil your thoughts and revelations.

“I think so much comes when you just draw yourself towards yourself and enter that space.

“For me, writing is like downloading. It is a process that even leaves me in wonder because sometimes when I write something, I go back and read it and go: ‘Wow!’ It ends up being a revelation even for me.”

Interestingly, she landed a radio show about the book, shortly after returning to SA from studying film and television in the States.

She was hired by Freemantle Media to work on “The Apprentice SA”. While helping promote the show on MetroFM, where she worked as a newsreader some time back, she was asked to do a show that was very much in the same vein as her book.

For Ngubeni, the journey has been serendipitous. And getting to host the breakfast show is the cherry on top.

It also feeds into her desire to help heal, instil hope and bring justice.

She added: “And so I do see my role as a journalist and as a news anchor as being one that does search for the truth and how to elicit and bring about those conversations and help individuals come to their own conclusion and put the power in their hands.

“It is such an honour to be part of the process and one of the voices that helps question. One thing I love about SA, we do ask questions. You need a mouthpiece to ask on your behalf. That is what we do.

“We ask the questions that SA wants to know, so we can gain greater understanding, we can hold those that we elect to account because promises made must be promises kept.

“And so that is what this (show) is about.”

“SA Morning” is on eNCA (DStv channel 403) from 6am to 9am, on weekdays.

In lother news – OR Tambo School of Leadership cancels lecture by Ibbo Mandaza

African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general, Fikile Mbalula has forced the OR Tambo School of Leadership to halt a mooted public lecture with Ibbo Mandaza, a Zimbabwean academic who is not afraid to criticise the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF).

The school, which was set up to academically empower ANC members on subjects like history and modern politics, was set to host Mandaza on Thursday this week. Read More

Back to top button