Only in South Africa

On the 30th of March, President Cyril Ramaphosa was set to address the nation at 7pm in yet another family meeting. Within moments of this announcement, the Presidency notified the nation of a 30-minute delay in the family meeting proceedings. This 30-minute delay allowed the nation to bid farewell to Noxolo Grootboom – an iconic broadcaster who always reassured her viewers that they were loved.

Noxolo Grootboom’s career at the SABC began 37 years ago as a typist before transitioning into broadcasting. With a career that spanned three decades, one can only imagine how much she has seen this country grow and change. The one constant that has stood the test of time is her eloquence in delivering the isiXhosa news. For Noxolo, this was more than just reading the news. It was an opportunity to expose viewers to the nuances of isiXhosa and entertain them using idioms and expressions while delivering the news. During her career she has has covered historic events including the deaths of icons Chris Hani, Nelson Mandela, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. This is one thing she would like to be remembered for.

As she retires, she is looking forward to spending time with her family. The words she shared as she closed off her last broadcast epitomize who Noxolo is. She thanked the nation for welcoming her into their homes night after night and said, “You loved me, and I loved you. May you sleep tonight with the robe of harmony, peace, and love. Ndin’thanda nonke emakhaya.”

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