She is currently SABC’s most accomplished female sports presenter, hosts and produces a women’s sport show, and is the only woman hosting live football on an SABC platform.
Lebo Motsoeli loves sport, having played hockey for 14 years, and then becoming a hit on SABC Sport as a presenter, producer and voice artist. She admires Sports Minister Mbalula for challenging the establishment to ensure the visibility of women in sport, including financial support.
A lot has happened in Lebo’s life since we first featured her on gsport in 2007. She hosted the In a nutshell, all the hard work is paying off.
gsport spoke to the multi-talented and ever-busy Lebo, who is hosting the live football during the Olympics for SABC. She says her heart is behind Banyana Banyana and the SA women’s hockey team, and her spirit is behind the rest of the athletes.
Lebo, gsport first featured you back in January 2007, tell us how your career has progressed since then?
Since 2007, my journey has been incredible. I hosted the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, then went to Beijing to report on the Paralympic Games.
I hosted and produce Women in Sport. It’s a sports program that solely focuses on women in the industry, on and off the playing field. I’ve also been roped in to do live football, on Laduma. The only woman doing so on an SABC Platform. This is a huge opportunity for me, a learning curve. I’m also the female voice on Saturdays and Sundays Soccer 411 and Laduma.
Then there’s the Sport Preview Show, now in its 5th month. It’s the first live sport show on Prime Time (SABC1, 19:00 Thursdays). I’m also doing live football games for the Olympics. I’m also on Radio 2000 as part of the breakfast Morning Joy show doing sport.
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Shu! Up at 04:30 am. At work at 5am so I can begin to package my sport sound bytes for radio. I produce all my radio bulletins. Then on air from 6-9. Thereafter it’s the voice over work, which usually begins at 9:30. Thereafter, rush home, and get ready to present various shows for television.
What role are you playing in SABC’s Olympic coverage?
For the Olympics, I anchor the football, both men and woman for TV. Then do all the coverage on Radio 2000.
Wow! There are no expectations from me for any of our athletes. All I can do is hope they achieve their personal goals. Being selected and qualifying for this world spectacle is already an achievement on its own. My heart is behind Banyana Banyan and SA women’s hockey team, and my spirit is behind the rest of the athletes.
Where are some of the amazing places your job has taken you?
Wow! My job takes me to ALL corners of the country. My favourite was a drive to Nelspruit for the last Banyana Banyana local game. And of course, Cape Town is always my favourite, anytime!
What do you make of Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula’s decision to throw his weight behind women’s sport, netball in particular?
I fully support our Minister’s intense involvement in Women In Sport. I’ve also let it known how I feel about it as a woman in a male-dominated industry, and how there are similarities between those that are playing and those on the mic. Minister Mbalula has gone against many to ensure visibility of women in sport, as well as financial support. Love his work!
How do you personally feel we can raise the profile of women in sport?
The SASOL women’s football league also needs to be broadcasted. They ladies don’t get enough platforms to show South Africans what they are capable of. You only see some games when there are no PSL games or NFD games. Women also need to be equally compensated for their participation in sport. That’s across all codes!
It is not an easy industry for a woman to thrive in, who are some of the people who have supported you over the years?
This is definitely not an easy industry to thrive in. Its male dominance makes one work that much harder to prove we too can do it. We are questioned daily about our credibility regardless the years we have behind us. My family has always supported me. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.
What are the biggest challenges you face and how do you handle these tough situations?
The challenges I find are the constant questioning of our women’s credibility in sport. We are first taken at face-value before anyone listens to us. Thereafter, it’s another task to convince people you know what you’re talking about. The industry is sexist, but so is society. So it’s a contact battle between work and how women are perceived by society.
What is your advice to budding female sports journalists?
Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you can’t achieve your goals. Don’t let anyone dictate your future! Only you are in charge. And people can be cruel, but in this industry, you have to develop a thick skin…. Just switch off and continue to DO YOU!
Which sports broadcasters do you admire?
No one in particular. I take various aspects of people’s lives, from across different professional platform.
What is your greatest ambition?
My greatest ambition is still being carved… Only God knows. He runs my future while I live today!