Cape Town - As Women’s Month draws to a close, one more glass ceiling has been smashed.
Cape Talk presenter Refilwe Moloto will on Monday become the first black female talk radio breakfast show host (commercial radio) in Africa when she takes over from Kieno Kammies.
The 38-year-old is no stranger to the world of radio, having started out as a business news contributor on the John Maytham Show before landing her own slot, Upfront with Refilwe Moloto, in March.
Not only will Moloto be one of very few females to host a talk breakfast show, she will also be one of the youngest, but this BCom Economics graduate is far wiser than her years.
“I consider myself a baby-boomer, a millennial, but I also share the same sensibilities as my listeners. Also, I do not take myself too seriously.”
She comes from a distinguished family, her dad being a judge and mom studied medicine and two older sisters who are successful.
“My sisters are very supportive. We each wear a white diamond eternity ring, we are kind of married to each other.”
The family’s from Umlazi in KZN, but Moloto spread her wings and opted to pursue a degree in economics, which she started at UCT and eventually completed at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she was awarded the Dean’s prize.
“As the baby, I wanted to mark my own space and I think that’s why I chose to study at UCT. I am very proud of what my family has achieved.”
Moloto was “blessed” to have a career before entering the world of broadcasting and worked at Merrill Lynch in New York.
“After my studies, I said to myself, let me quickly go see what’s happening in the market. I spent almost 10 years in New York and I consider it my other home. But I decided to return to my first home, South Africa, which was also not as hard hit by the financial crisis.”
But it’s not only Moloto and her family members who are bright shining stars - her great grandfather translated the Anglican Prayer book into Setswana in the 1800s. Her grandmother Ellen Kuzwayo became the first black woman to receive the CNA Literary Prize for her autobiography, Call Me Woman in 1985.
Moloto attributed the successes of her siblings and other women in her family, to the men who believed in the education of women. “In fact, when my grandfather was on his deathbed, he made my granny promise him that she would see that his girls got educated.” While she was not aware of the fact her new talk radio slot would be a first for a woman in Africa, she did say she was “humbled” to stand in that kind of company.
“Because broadcasting is not my first skill set, I have to work twice as hard and I do.”
Talk Radio 702’s Azania Mosaka said Moloto’s new slot was “groundbreaking”.
“We are pushing back the boundaries, they said we couldn’t have the mic on certain shows, but we did and we do. I am so excited to see what women can still achieve, not just in broadcasting Refilwe is a powerhouse, she is smart, she is well-travelled and she has such broad interests. She will be at home behind that mic.”