Clement Manyathela soaring in broadcast, influenced by radio’s best
Filling the shoes of the late, revered broadcaster, Xolani Gwala, might not have been an easy task for 702’s Clement Manyathela.
His perseverance and hard work has paid off and the slot will bear his name, to be The Midday Report with Clement Manyathela.
The newscaster, who hails from Mpumalanga and has built an impressive resume in the field in just nine years, stood in for Gwala while he was off sick.
He described the period as being bittersweet and one that was filled with great anxiety because he was stepping into the shoes of his mentor and someone he looked up to.
“It was extremely nerve-racking. Here is a young journalist being asked to stand in for his mentor I mean? What is that? But when I look back at it all, I am so honoured to have been the one.”
During that time, Manyathela would from time to time seek counsel from Gwala, who was fondly known as “XG”.
Their constant interactions helped him ease into the show backing it up with lots of research and reading, “just to be the best, just as XG did,” said the 29-year-old.
“XG taught me a lot about fairness - that you can still ask the tough questions, hold those in power to account and still be fair and respectful in your approach.”
While it never occurred in his widest dreams that an opportunity this big would unfold so early on in his career, his aim for the show is to take his listeners on a journey to get a better understanding of what is happening in the country and the world in just one hour.
His love for journalism developed over time. During his second year of studies at the University of Pretoria, he got an opportunity to be an intern at the Pretoria News and later at the SABC News online department, where he fell in love with the art of storytelling through journalism.
Asked what he would do if he were president for one day, he quipped:
“I’d direct my minister of education to expedite the revision, overhaul of the history curriculum (to restructure it to be more Afrocentric) and make sure every pupil reads Steve Biko’s I Write What I Like. The Midday Report with Clement Manyathela airs on weekdays between 12pm and 1pm on 702.
The Sunday Independent