The question caught him off guard. His natural response was a hearty, genuine laugh. I doubt that at the age of 31 he was expecting to be asked what he wanted to be when he grew up.
“I don’t ever want to grow up,” he joked before continuing on a more serious note, “I want to be somebody who makes a positive difference in people’s lives.”
Katlego Maboe was raised by grandparents who taught him the value of hard work. He excelled in many activities and they applauded each success. Add to that the support of his mother and a school secretary who gave him a dictionary inscribed with a quote that became his mantra, ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’. The result was a motivated young man who believed he could be anything he wanted to be.
He recalled how a TV show he used to watch as a primary school pupil made him want to be a scientist. At another point in his childhood he wanted to be in law enforcement so he could live out every boy’s dream of being able to carry a gun everywhere he went. As he grew older and became an adept cricket player, he had hopes of one day playing for the Proteas.
“At every point there was a different motivation to be something else. I guess until I finally found my calling, which I believe is what I’m doing right now… broadcast, being able to have an impact on people’s lives through a passion that I have,” he said.
As a presenter on Expresso, Katlego aims to be a daily source of energy for viewers. If he could make someone’s day with crazy antics or humour he feels he will have achieved part of his purpose.
He finds fulfillment in playing a role, big or small, in mechanisms that result in positive changes in people’s lives. He believes impact of any magnitude could end up having a ripple effect in society.
“Being on television and being recognized is great, but if at the end of the day you can’t pour that influence or that impact into society and make a difference with it, it’s really not worthwhile,” he said.
One way in which Katlego pours his influence into society is through his work as a goodwill ambassador for Hope Cape Town, an organization that strives to sponsor, support and improve the quality of life for children and families effected by HIV/AIDS. Having lost a family member to the disease, this work is very close to Katlego’s heart.
When Father Stefan Hippler approached him to be part of the organization, he could relate to the motivation that fueled Hippler to help those who were suffering. One of the areas Hope Cape Town works in is Blikkiesdorp where they provide developmental care for affected children.
Working with an organization that advocates hope, Katlego defines hope as a light in a dark space that burns regardless of the challenges that surround it.
“That one little piece of a voice inside you, of a voice around you that says, ‘Don’t worry, it will be okay, we will find a way.’ That’s hope.”
To have your day made, catch Katlego on Expresso on SABC 3 Monday to Friday, from 06:00 to 09:00.