Radio Personality Naledi Aphane Makes Waves on the Marawa Sport Show

HopeAlive radio broadcaster Naledi Aphane stands-in for the legendary Robert Marawa on the Marawa Sports Worldwide Show. Photo: Naledi Aphane (Twitter)

Naledi Aphane who hails from Jane Furse, Limpopo, works as a Sport Presenter for online radio station HopeAlive.

In 2022, she took a leap of faith and jumped into a world unknown to her by becoming a producer, for Vision View Sports Radio.

Aphane said she was encouraged to go into sport broadcasting by her grandfather, who told her she could be as good as Robert Marawa.

Fast forward to 2022 and the 22-year-old filled in for the legend on his popular Marawa Sport Worldwide show.

Speaking with Oarabile Diphoko, Aphane chatted about her journey to date.


Hi Naledi, thank you for chatting to gsport again. We only have about 2 months left of 2022, what have you been busy with this year?

I can’t believe the year is almost over, so much I’d still like to achieve before it ends but what I’ve been busy with this year was trying things outside of my comfort zone. I am a very curious person and I don’t want to be boxed…for example, I jumped into production this year and it’s been amazing. 2022 has been a year of doing everything that I believe sets my soul on fire in the industry and trying out different things.

Last year, when speaking to Tlamelo Kganakga, she asked you what you were looking forward to in 2022 and your answer was to see women in sport being equally celebrated, winning from all angles and just slaying this industry. Do you think this has been the case?

I did and yes, I’m so glad to see the growth in celebration and recognition for women in sport has gotten. From Banyana winning the WAFCON, to the Springbok Women representing the country at the Rugby World Cup, cricket hosting the first ever U19 T20 series, it’s been a great year for women in sport. There’s still more work to be done but with what’s happened this year, I’m quite happy.

Now comes the Marawa Sports Worldwide opportunity…Please tell us how that came about?

Oh yes! People might remember that I shot my shot and invited Robert Marawa to my show last year and we’ve been in contact ever since. I believe that was where he saw my passion and dedication. Like I said, we’ve been in contact, and I would ask to go and see him work so that I can get to learn and do just as great. I must put it on record that Robert Marawa believes in me so much that it scares me at times (in a good way) because he has been in the industry for decades and when he sees talent, he will believe in it and nurture it, I’m grateful for him.

How #MSW came about, one day after one of his shows, we sat down and he told me that one day I’ll stand in for him when he’s not around, and one thing about him, a man of his word… After my show on HopeAlive, I texted him and asked how do we deal with a bad day in the office, and he said to me, “Just get ready to host from Thursday.” I’m an over analyzer of everything, so I analyzed that and thought to myself, he said from Thursday and not on Thursday, “Oh, this means you’ll be in for a few days Naledi,” I said to myself. So that’s how it came about, it was an amazing experience.

How do you feel knowing that you are being recognised for the work that you do by legends within this industry?

It’s truly humbling to be honest. I embrace it but I don’t want it to get to my head. Sometimes I even walk in rooms and get greeted by my name before I even introduce myself to the people in the industry. I believe in working hard and my work speaking for me, so with this recognition, I embrace it and will still continue to work hard, better my craft and respect it.

What are your biggest career highlights so far and what more do you still want to achieve in the future?

My career highlight this year has to be standing in for Robert Marawa. That’s a big show, with listeners all of the world and definitely Rob seeing me as the right person to hold it down for him. What I’d like to achieve is doing sport bulletins for one of the commercial stations in the country.

Being in a male-dominated industry, we know how hard we as women have to work for opportunities. What have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced so far and how have you risen from those?

The challenges may be that we’re often under looked and you need to put in 10x the work to be on top… believing in your capabilities is how you rise above it all. I must say that I love how the industry is opening up for women now, we’re moving in the right direction.

Looking at sponsorship and how difficult it seems to be for athletes and teams to get corporates on board. What do you think we can do as media, to keep shining the light for these deserving athletes to get recognised?

We need to continue covering women’s sport that’s how we can close the gap; I think we’re on the right track. We must push a bit more.

Looking at women’s sport this year: The professional contracts for the SPAR Proteas netball ladies, the upcoming cricket T20 Cricket World Cup as well as the 2023 Netball World Cup, what are you most excited for, regarding what is coming to our shores?

Looking forward to all of the above, quite exciting that the Netball World Cup will be in South Africa and SuperSport will have an all-women crew working on it, what a time to be alive, looking forward to getting more netball players contracted.

What advice can you give aspiring women who are looking to get into this industry?

Get into the industry for the right reasons; be prepared to fight everyday because nothing will be given to you on a silver platter.


Photo 1 Caption: HopeAlive radio broadcaster Naledi Aphane stands-in for the legendary Robert Marawa on the Marawa Sports Worldwide Show. Photo: Naledi Aphane (Twitter)

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