The media powerhouse who beat convention with ambition
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Nontuthuko Lekhuleni is a powerhouse. The headstrong mother of two has developed content, written scripts and recorded, edited, and presented on Ligwalagwala FM for the past ten years. Her afternoon show, Learner Support, allows her to combine her love for journalism and education to help others by providing on-air, after-school lessons and advice by qualified professionals. On top of everything, she is also an ambassador for the Mpumalanga Youth Footprint Foundation.
Lekhuleni wanted to be a journalist from a young age. But the aunt and grandmother who raised her had other plans. “They had good intentions for me, but they wanted me to be a physiotherapist,” she says. Balancing individual ambition with external expectations is never easy. Wanting to make her family proud, the young woman from Mahushu enrolled in a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Venda. But after a year she had to pursue what was in her heart. Lekhuleni began a degree in Media Studies and thrived. Following her graduation, she worked as a nanny and taught high-school English while applying for various journalism jobs. When the SABC called her in for an interview at the Siswati radio station in 2007, she knew that this was where she needed to be.
Lekhuleni wants to give the youth the necessary tools to advance their education, while encouraging them to pursue their interests. Having gone down the wrong path initially, the radio producer and presenter now guides others towards the fastest route to fulfilling their potential. When she deviated from her plans, her aunt was angry. “Later on, she realised this is what I wanted. Right now she’s very proud of me,” Lekhuleni says. Through her work on and off air, she is proving that developing your dreams and interests always pays off.