“Don’t lose your momentum keep getting those powerful stories,” says Khayelihle Khumalo, acclaimed broadcaster for the SABC. Khumalo has been navigating the field of journalism for over 15 years and shares how he got into the industry and some of his experiences of being a broadcast journalist.

How did you get into journalism?


It’s quite fascinating how I got into the industry, from the outset I have always been interested in current affairs, critical issues like the political landscape, development in our continent, poverty eradication, and its evolution from colonial Africa to the post-colonial era and many other aspects as well. It’s such a sacred job it allows you to tell stories of the people and ensure that decision-makers are accountable. But also teaching citizens about their rights etc.

What are some of the stories you have worked on that had an impact on you?  

I’ve done quite a number of stories in South Africa and outside the country, I think I was in Chad, N’djamena right in Central Africa a couple of years, there was a big conference on good governance and essentially tackling issues facing young people in Africa but I was just astounded by poverty and it’s a broken place despite the fact that it’s an oil-rich nation, etc. It’s kind of hard to single out one story and all of them carry significance but it’s always heartwarming to see positive results once you have exposed wrongdoings.

What are some of the challenges of being a broadcast journalist?

Luckily, South Africa is a vibrant democracy and we have unfettered access to so many things in our work, but with the advent of social media, it’s easy for people to attack you online.  But as a journalist you kind of build resilience and develop a thick skin to withstand vicious attacks. Fortunately, we don’t have cases where journalists are jailed or killed, it’s a reality in some parts of Africa.

You enjoy travelling, what is the one country you would want to travel to? 

I love traveling, it’s rewarding and fulfilling, it has to be the United States of America. I absolutely love it. I have been to New York and it’s quite a cosmopolitan city with people from all over the world.

As a journalist, it is important to stay up to date with current news. What publications or platforms do you get your news from? 

Undoubtedly, stuff breaks all the time. It’s vital to keep updated with what’s happening around. It’s fascinating and of course, my primary source is SABC News, and given its massive footprint, it’s such a critical player. From time to time, I check out international channels and well, I am old school. I still prefer buying tons of newspapers on Sundays just reading articles and so on. Social media is also essential now. I browse through just to remain updated and of course, you always have sources who are keen to go all out to give you tip-offs.

In the next five years, where do you want to see your career? 

Well, I want to continue telling African stories, and hopefully, who knows hosting one of the mega-Pan African shows from Cape Town, Lome, Monrovia, Maputo, Addis Ababa and contributing to the development of young reporters who just started, it’s quite a brutal space but with a bit of guidance, things get better.

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