Home Cover Story Motshidisi Mohono – A New Goal For SA’s ‘First Lady’ of Rugby
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Motshidisi Mohono – A New Goal For SA’s ‘First Lady’ of Rugby

EVERY RUGBY ENTHUSIAST SEEMS TO BE OBSESSED WITH TV PRESENTER MOTSHIDISI MOHONO (35). AND THE CORPORATE WORLD SEEMS TO LIKE HER TOO. SHE HAS JUST BEEN AWARDED THE HOLLARD SPORTS INDUSTRY BROADCASTER OF THE YEAR AWARD. SHE SAT DOWN WITH INBOUND SA EDITOR GAVIN PRINS TO TALK ABOUT HER GOALS, THAT OX NCHÉ-MOMENT AND HER F-BOMB LIVE
ON AIR…

She played hockey and netball at school, grew up with her parents in Katlehong on Gauteng’s East Rand and was just an ordinary teenager who thought her parents were superheroes.

Today, Motshidisi is fondly known as the ‘First Lady of rugby’, presenting huge games and interviewing sports legends in the studio. And sometimes, she can be found standing in front of a camera next to the rugby field interviewing players and coaches.

Her confidence, she says, comes from good preparation and a good relationship with the team members.

“When you have a good rapport with the people you work with, when you make a mistake, they will laugh about it to save face for you quickly, then you feel like you are hanging out with your brothers,” she comments.

Her biggest blunder on a live broadcast, she says, was when she was still on YFM as a newsreader. “I was reading the news. So, {afterwards} I thought we were off air. I said what the f***! And we were live! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. You know when you hope nobody was listening? Everybody was listening.”

She was suspended for a week, but a good lesson was learnt.

Going viral on social media is not always a good thing
But the moment that went viral on social media was when she was interviewing former Springbok Bryan Habana and was suddenly picked up by Springbok Scrum Ox Nche.

“I thought, do they know that we’re live?” We are working! Why? So, when he put me down, I looked and of course it was Ox. Because you are around them so much, you start to build a real rapport with them. You’re building friendships,” she says.

But the backlash on social media shocked her. “He is like a brother to me. And then people sexualised it. We were just happy to see each other.”

Advice on getting into sports broadcasting
“Be yourself. You have to be in your element all the time. I want the person they meet in the streets to be the same person in the studio when they turn on their televisions. If you’re the bubbly person, be the bubbly person. If you’re the witty person, be the witty person.

“Be prepared. It goes hand-in-hand with working hard. When people see us on air, they see the finished product. They don’t get that there is all the preparation, research, all these games that you have to watch, trying to put story lines together. When they watch, they think I’m using an auto-cue. But there is a lot of work. Even the person you are interviewing can see if you don’t know what you’re talking about. Your credibility will be gone. People want to be able to trust you.

“Greet the crew. You not ever in your life going to be so big that you can’t say hello to people. Our crew knows I am a hugger.”

Her inspiration
Motshidisi counts her parents as her biggest inspiration.

“I thought my mom (Maphuthi) and dad (Kenny) were superheroes when I grew up. My father had a stroke when I was in Grade 7. That moment made me realise that they weren’t superheroes but two people doing their best. Once you see your parents as human beings, the relationship is completely different. You know their capabilities have limitations.”

NO MATTER WHERE I LIVE, NO MATTER WHAT I DO OR WHO I BECOME AFTER THIS, IF I AM AT PEACE WITH MYSELF, THEN I’LL BE HAPPY

When she got the job as sports presenter, her parents could not have been prouder.

“Years went by, and my dad got better with his rugby knowledge. After a production, he used to call me and comment on a game,” she says. Sadly, Kenny passed away in 2019.

“My mom would still call and be like ‘oooh girl, you looked so good.’”

Enroute to some significant goals
Having achieved so much in life, Motshidisi still has some serious goals, and is enroute to becoming a world-class presenter.

“If people are walking around anywhere in the world saying, ‘who is your top 5 presenter? I have noticed Motshidisi Mohono from South Africa. She is bang on’. Then I know I have done what I needed to do as far as broadcasting is concerned,” she comments.

But for now?

“I want peace. My definition of success now starts with peace. I don’t want anyone to be in conflict with me. I don’t want to be in conflict with anybody. I just want to be happy. No matter where I live, no matter what I do or who I become after this, if I am at peace with myself, then I’ll be happy.”

FAVOURITE FOOD – Anything except olives.
FAVOURITE CAR – What Lewis Hamilton drives.
FAVOURITE CITY – Cape Town
MOST EXPENSIVE ITEM IN MY CUPBOARD – A Luxe Homme bag
LEAST EXPENSIVE ITEM – I have a tub of Vaseline in every bag
LAST BUSH HOLIDAY – Mount Grace Hotel in Magaliesberg

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