Matsoarelo Makuke Chasing International Broadcasting Dreams 

Alex FM sports anchor Matsoarelo Makuke is barely two years in the sports broadcasting space and she is already building a credible name for herself. From SuperSport to SkySports, the Alex-native plans to go global. All Photos: Supplied

In 2021 Matsoarelo Makuke was moved from the role of news anchor to sport, a move she wasn’t too happy about. At the time she believed it was a decision that was made to set her up for failure. She couldn’t see herself get out of what she perceived to be a deep end.

“I felt like it was one of the worst experiences of my life because then when I started, I knew nothing about sports because I was doing news anchoring. Imagine moving from news to sports. You have no background whatsoever.”

Some of her earlier experiences were heart-wrenching and they led to her questioning her capabilities. However, the visionaries behind the call to move her, the management at Alexandra based, leading community radio station Alex FM, had seen potential in Makuke that has now made better sense and she’s owning her space in the sports department.

“I really want to say ‘Thank You!’ to them because, wow, I’m loving it here!” 

Alex FM Sports Anchor, Matsoarelo Makuke

After initially feeling like she’s not equipped for the new position, she went home and taught herself all things sport and she’s never looked back since. Some of her highlights include winning the prestigious Gauteng Sports Awards and interviewing Banyana Banyana star goalkeeper, Andile Dlamini.

“One of my highlights was winning the Best Presenter at the Gauteng Sports Awards. This was in 2022, a year, one month after being in sports. It is one of my highlights actually because it uplifted my mood and it boosted my whole confidence.”

“I remember interviewing Masabata Klaas and Andile Dlamini when they came back from the WAFCON in 2022. I was the first female sportscaster to interview her when she landed. I remember she was very tired during the interview. But I did it anyways. And then, when I interviewed Masabata Klaas when we had the Cricket Women’s World Cup in Cape Town last year.”

“I have other highlights, such as interviewing young, emerging soccer talent in the township of Alexandra, their coaches, and the whole drama involved in it.”

Her work-ethic and passion for sport has also seen her earn a position with SocialTalk, an international online publication.

Coming from a township like Alex, community radio stations play a crucial role in giving coverage to local sport. They are also in the perfect position to enlighten and highlight that there’s plenty of home grown talent and future sport stars deep in the belly of the Johannesburg township. Another extremely crucial role particularly in an underprivileged community is to keep the children and youth of Alex out of the streets. A challenge faced by many South African Townships.  

“I feel like sports, especially in this township, has had a positive impact  that we can even see and measure.  Especially for this generation that we have now, they like things like always going out to parties but sport has kept them from this and away from the streets. If you come to Alex on a Saturday for example you will see that sport has overtaken communities and it has moved kids away from the street because  over weekends, that’s where you’re going to find them in the sports grounds.” 

When you look at how the South African radio industry is set up, Campus Radio Stations and Community Radio Stations are the feeder of talent to Commercial Radio Stations, thus becoming an important player in the unearthing of raw talent and plugging them into better resourced and funded stations. These platforms are responsible for taking a person who merely had an interest in the medium of radio to becoming South Africa’s popular broadcasting talent.

“Our station manager Takalane Nemangowe, likes to say that Alex FM is a creative hub because they will take you from wherever you come from, not knowing anything about broadcasting and they will sharpen you. They will sharpen you to an extent that you won’t recognise yourself. The management team will make sure and they never miss.   

“You can even look at the people who are from Alex FM, who are making waves in the industry. The likes of Itumeleng Banda. There are so many people who are making waves who are from Alex FM. And they are on bigger platforms. Greater pastures and they are doing great.”

Fresh from the “Year of Women’s Sport” that is 2023, Matsoarelo weighed in on the lessons we, as women, and or people keen on seeing the rise and growth of women’s sport, can take from the historic year that just ended. 

“I think the lesson that we can take away from that whole year is that women in sport are ready to take over. We’ve got this and we’re not even here to prove ourselves because we are capable. We just need a platform. I think each and every one who was following sports from the month of  January until December 2023, they would tell you, women have been are ready.

“All the examples are there, look at the Netball World Cup, Women’s Cricket World Cup, Rugby Sevens Women’s team, Banyana Banyana? I mean, what more do we need? Look at Julia Stuart? She’s in the Premier League. Look at Naledi Aphane who went to cover the Cricket World Cup in India. That is big.”

Inspired by an exceptional 2023, she hopes women can continue to rally behind each other from the pitch to the boardroom: 

“I hope in 2024, we can be united.  Support each other as much as we can. When we fight, we need to do it as a unit with one loud voice.  I think we need  to go back to the drawing board and start fighting for the same thing. The mission must be the same. We must all be headed in one direction. 

Alex FM Sports Anchor, Matsoarelo Makuke

“I just wish a great 2024 sporting year for each and every woman.  May just God open all your ways.  I hope all women can achieve each and every resolution set for this year.”

From Alex to the world, the future for the award winning Makuke is bright, in just a very short space of time she’s proven that she’s destined to be one of the countries broadcasting greats. She has also proven that even at a time when she was new and didn’t know much in sport, she’s willing to put her head down and work towards her dreams.  

“My short dream specifically for this year is to see myself leaving Alex FM and of course joining a bigger platform. I’d also like to work on an annual sports tournament of two combined different sports codes, Netball and Football on the same day. I’m currently planning to have it at around March, and I’m confident that it I will succeed. In future I’d  like to see it expand to other communities, and not only limited to the township of Alexandra. I want  to go to Tembisa, Vaal, Diepsloot, Soweto, Katlehong, and so forth.

“I have big plans like working with local and international brands. I want to partner with your Nike, your Adidas. I hope to join SuperSport one day, hopefully this year. By God’s grace, hopefully it will be this year,  because people are saying 2024 is going to be a good year. And hopefully even for me, it is going to be a good year. Internationally, I would like to see myself one day working for Sky Sports, and I’m going to make sure that I work extremely hard to be in that space, to reach that dream.

“Other than that I would like to have my own sports publication,  something that I’m also like currently working with and of course I would like to grow my Facebook sports page . I would like to see it growing. I see myself leaving a mark and just being the girl that I think I am because I’ve got great things to offer.  I’m such a great talent. I’m a go getter. And I’m very passionate about what I’m doing and I really want to see my career succeeding.”

With 2024 barely in, the dedication and resoluteness that you can hear as Matsoarelo speaks about her career makes one trust and believe that the Alex-native is destined for greatness and we can’t wait to see her winning in 2024 and beyond.

Photo Caption: Alex FM sports anchor Matsoarelo Makuke is barely two years in the sports broadcasting space and she is already building a credible name for herself. From SuperSport to SkySports, the Alex-native plans to go global. All Photos: Supplied

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