Lindiwe Dube grew up in the township of Daveyton in Ekurhuleni. Growing up, like many households there, her family had no basic sanitation or electricity. During school holidays, she would get to watch DSTV when she visited relatives. Now, Dube is an award-winning sports broadcaster for DSTV.
Dube often shares this full circle moment to inspire young girls from disadvantaged backgrounds to face the challenges and go on to achieve their dreams.
Last year, she walked away with the Estee Lauder Style Star of the Year award at the 2019 Momentum gsport Awards, an award her fellow SuperSport Journalist, Kate Nokwe, accepted on her behalf, as she gave her best as a sports anchor on live television.
Dube says the Momentum gsport Award meant a lot to her because she puts as much into how she presents herself as she does with her research.
Her journey began in 2012 when she was accepted into the YFM Y-Academy programme after two unsuccessful attempts.
With an advertising background, Dube had no experience in radio or journalism, but with her passion for sport she went the extra mile to learn as much as she could from field reporting, to producing a show and compiling bulletins.
She was not going to let her lack of experience in the sport industry determine her future and the life that she wanted to provide for her family.
Two years later, her contracted ended leaving Dube unemployed for six months, depression started to kick in…
That same year in 2014, SuperSport held auditions for the MultiChoice Diski Challenge where Dube was selected as one of the presenters for the inaugural season.
Six years later, she continues to thrive and inspire the next generation of female sportscasters to believe in their dreams.
Speaking with gsport’s Celine Abrahams, Dube talks about overcoming life’s challenges and making a mark in the industry.
Lindiwe, how has life under COVID-19 lockdown been for you?
Lockdown has been tough because there’s a lot of uncertainty around this outbreak, we don’t know when normalcy will resume. But, no matter how challenging things may be, there is always something to be grateful for, things like shelter, being surrounded by loved ones and saving money on petrol by staying home!
What are you doing to keep yourself motivated?
I’m a firm believer in prayer. I try not to dwell much on things I can’t control but focus on how I can help improve the situation and that’s by adhering to the rules. I’ve also teamed up with Netball SA to conduct interviews on Instagram every Wednesday and Friday, that’s keeping me busy.
How has this time impacted on your work?
I think sports is one of the hard-hit industries by Covid-19, our entire calendar has been rearranged or scrapped. Personally this time is usually the busiest for me because of the different competitions I work on, the Telkom Netball League is now expected to get underway later in the year, domestic football is suspended resulting in no work for reporters and athletes.
Have you picked up a few new hobbies?
I’m essentially doing more of the things I seldom ever have time for. Such as cooking, reading, working out and I’m using this period to rest, that’s so important to me because we travel a lot in our line of work…and just reflect.
“Growing up in Daveyton was exciting and challenging, like most households in the township, we didn’t have basic sanitation and electricity at home, the only time I’d watch DSTV is when I was visiting relatives during school holidays and now I work for the brand.” – Sportscaster Lindiwe Dube
Let us look at your journey. What was life like growing up in Daveyton?
Growing up in Daveyton was exciting and challenging, like most households in the township, we didn’t have basic sanitation and electricity at home, the only time I’d watch DSTV is when I was visiting relatives during school holidays and now I work for the brand. I always share this not because I want people to feel sorry for me but with the hope of inspiring the girl child from a disadvantaged background.
The area gave birth to many star professional footballers, how did that inspire you to pursue your dream knowing that the same people around you were able to achieve theirs?
Sport affords you so many opportunities if you are willing to put in the work, when the likes of Jabu Mahlangu were playing professional football, I was young and didn’t even know I wanted to work in broadcasting, I was just a fan. His story inspired millions of us, moreover kids from townships because it meant we could have a better life not only for ourselves, but for our families as well. A young boy from Daveyton who played for big clubs like Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates gave us hope that we can achieve anything.
How did your journey in sports begin?
After two unsuccessful attempts of getting into the YFM Y-Academy (a six months internship program where hundreds of radio hopefuls apply and only 12 people are selected) I was finally accepted in October 2012 and that’s where it all began for me.
Coming from an advertising background with no experience in radio or journalism, I was passionate about sport and wanted to learn more than anything. And so YFM was that platform for me, they taught me everything from field reporting, to producing a show, compiling a bulletin amongst other things.
YFM produced seasoned anchors like Motshidisi Mohono and Thato Moeng. To be mentored by Zukile Majova the same editor they worked with is something I will forever be grateful for.
After two years at YFM my contract ended, and I was unemployed for 6 months. One of the most challenging periods of my life, I could feel the depression creeping in…
SuperSport held auditions for the Multichoice Diski Challenge presenter search in September 2014, Amanda Manku and myself were selected as the two presenters for the inaugural MDC and the rest is history.
What challenges did you face getting into the sport industry?
A few challenges include multiple no’s after several auditions! You start to question your abilities and sometimes God for not pulling through for you. But as time goes you learn to trust the process and His timing.
As women we always have to deal with men trying their luck, however it’s important to stand your ground and remain true to yourself.
“My family is my biggest support system, SuperSport director and producer Nono Cele Xaba believed in my potential, even when I didn’t believe in myself. ” – Lindiwe Dube
What motivated you to continue fighting for your place in the game?
The ability to provide a better life for my family is what kept me going and becoming one of the best presenters SA has produced.
Who has been your biggest supporter and mentored you along the way?
My family is my biggest support system, SuperSport director and producer Nono Cele Xaba believed in my potential, even when I didn’t believe in myself. She always encouraged me to always put in 100 percent in my craft.
What was the turning point in your career that made you realise that you had made a name for yourself and people were starting to notice your work?
To be honest I think I’m still building my name in the industry, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. I’m taking it one day at a time.
What is your take on the current state of women’s sport in the country?
I strongly believe we are not where we were a few years ago, however there’s so much work that still needs to be done. Look at the Spar Proteas team for example, a bevy of them now play in some of the big leagues abroad including the Australian Suncorp Super Netball, since we started having competitions like the Telkom Netball League.
What changes would you like to see taking place?
I’d like to see both women and men receive the same wages, if a team can walk away with over a million Rand for winning the domestic league, why can’t we offer women the same? Even with endorsements, brands need to step up! A footballer can endorse an energy drink, a footwear brand, be an ambassador for bank but our netballers and women’s football players for instance are nowhere near the list.
What are you doing to play your part in uplifting and supporting women’s sport to raise the profile?
Covering women sport on the pitch or on court does not end there for me, I try to play my part by being the voice as well, being vocal online not only when I’m working to create awareness.
Last year, you were honoured with the Chairman’s Award by Dr Irvin Khoza at the PSL Awards ceremony and Style Star of the Year Award at the 2019 Momentum gsport Awards. What was it like for you to receive these accolades?
Let me start with the Momentum gsport Award – presentation is very important to me, it’s how I command respect without even saying a word, not only to the male coach on the pitch but to the 15 year old girl watching me on TV. People will not take me seriously if I arrive on match day in shorts. To be recognised for my dress sense was exciting because I invest the same energy into it as my work.
The PSL Chairman’s award was one of my career highlights. I still consider myself a newbie in the industry. To have the chairman of the PSL Dr Irvin Khoza celebrate my growth since my MDC days was truly special. I will always be thankful to Multichoice and SuperSport for enriching my life!
What are you still hoping to achieve in your career?
I wish to never arrive or become complacent. In everything that I do I pace myself. We make our own plans, but God has bigger and better plans for us. I want to grow as an individual and with SuperSport and other brands I’ve established relationships with and build more. Over and above I want to inspire the girl child.
Photo 1 Caption: Sportscaster Lindiwe Dube is working hard to cement her place in the world of sport as she hopes to inspire the next generation of female sportscasters. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 Caption: The 2019 Momentum gsport Awards Style Star of the Year winner’s journey began in 2012 when she was accepted into the YFM Y-Academy programme after two unsuccessful attempts. Photo: Supplied
Photo 3 Caption: With an advertising background, Dube had no experience in radio or journalism, but with her passion for sport she went the extra mile to learn as much as she could from field reporting, to producing a show and compiling bulletins. Photo: Supplied
Photo 4 Caption: In 2014, SuperSport held auditions for the MultiChoice Diski Challenge where Dube was selected as one of the presenters for the inaugural season. Photo: Supplied