Thato Moeng, the woman whose name is synonymous with radio sports presenting, has a dream of owning a football club one day.
The 32-year-old from Pretoria North is one of the first few women who dived into the sporting world when fewer women could, and still believes that a lot more still needs to be done in encouraging female participation in the industry.
“I don’t think I’ve achieved everything I want to achieve and I honestly feel like this is relatively a young career. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to own a football club, and I look at women like Rea Ledwaba and I am immediately inspired to reach my dream, with no fear. I do realise that it does take a lot of hard work. It won’t happen overnight,” she said
Moeng, whose love for sports touches on all sporting codes, started her career at Yfm before moving onto 5FM as the first black female sports reporter on the station. She also hosted the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2017 and then the World Cup; both of which are the highlights of her career.
“At the time of taking over the sports gig, I didn’t think it was my kind of field. I was just fixated on becoming a political journalist. And because of my love for sports, a love inspired by my father, I took a chance and the results are where I am now.
“But being the first female sports presenter on 5FM, at first, I just didn’t see what the fuss was about. But you later realise that as much as the industry has opened up, it was quite shocking that this was the reality in 2011. That I’m the first woman to do sports, are you guys for real? That became a bittersweet moment for me, finally we have made it as women but where are the rest?” she said.
She currently wears different sporting hats as she co-presents a show with legend, Robert Marawa on SuperSport, hosts her own shows on Vision View Radio titled Morning Flow, and another titled NFD on Friday.
Moeng is also an in-studio and field soccer presenter for SuperSport, all of which she says took hard work to attain.
Where she stands right now, she also acknowledges the responsibility and weight of the honour of recognition in the field, to make way for other upcoming female sport participants, showing that it is possible.
“I need to continue to have these conversations about having an equal approach when it comes to sports journalists. This also means that I also have to make sure that I protect the rest of the ladies coming up so they don’t go through half of the things that we’ve been through. It would be very unfair of me just to sit quietly knowing how the industry is and not giving the girls a heads-up in an industry that still questions a woman’s capabilities yet there is infinite proof of the fairer sex's abilities.
“I am proud of all the women who take charge of what they want and also hope this inspires more women in our country to take charge. As women climb up in different industries, dubbing it 'their time', it is equally also the time for women in sports to climb up. It is our time,” she said.