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Alumna’s Inspiring Journey as an Award-Winning Multimedia Reporter and Entrepreneur

In the realm of media and journalism, where the spotlight often seems reserved for the chosen few, Lerato Fekisi has emerged not just as a professional storyteller but as a force to be reckoned with.

A proud BA (Media, Communication and Culture)’10 alumna of Nelson Mandela University, Lerato's journey to becoming a multimedia reporter for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) is a testament to her unwavering determination and passion for the craft.

Her roots trace back to East London, where she spent a vibrant childhood surrounded by the love of her siblings and mother. Early on, her prowess in sports, particularly netball and swimming, set the stage for a young life marked by achievements. By the age of 13, she proudly wore her provincial colours, representing her region in swimming—a foreshadowing of her future successes.

Lerato’s academic path led her to Nelson Mandela University, where she pursued a degree aligned with her dream of gracing the television screens as a presenter. Little did she know that the path to realizing this dream would be a challenging yet transformative one. Post-graduation, she embarked on an eight-year stint, volunteering at community radio stations in Port Elizabeth, navigating the intricate world of news reading, producing, and eventually earning her stripes as a radio show host.

The breakthrough came when she was recruited to produce three television shows at Bay TV. Soon after, SABC recognized her potential, selecting her as one of the fortunate few out of over 5000 applicants for an internship. Lerato's talent and dedication shone during her internship, leading to a permanent position at SABC in Gqeberha (former Port Elizabeth) - a remarkable accomplishment marking the beginning of her 9-year tenure as a multimedia reporter.

In her current role, Lerato covers news stories for radio, television, and social media, showcasing her versatility and commitment to delivering information to the public. Her remarkable achievements in journalism have not gone unnoticed; Lerato has bagged five Vodacom Journalism of the Year regional awards, anchored national day broadcasts, and represented the SABC at the Arts and Culture festival in Russia—an experience she cherishes as her first overseas trip.

Beyond her media career, Lerato and her husband established a cleaning company in 2021, which was recognized as ‘the Best Start-Up Entrepreneur Award’ at the Mbokodo Rise Awards. The recognition extends beyond her professional life, as Lerato actively participates in mentorship programs, guiding young minds in the Vision for Woman mentorship program and contributing to various charitable causes.

Looking ahead, she envisions winning more accolades, breaking into international newsrooms, and expanding her business ventures. Her daily motivation stems from her two daughters, aspiring to set an example of limitless possibilities through hard work, consistency, and perseverance. Lerato's faith in God, combined with a belief in exploring all facets of her being, propels her forward as a multifaceted individual. Lerato is currently in pursuing her LLB degree (second year) from Unisa with the plans of opening her own digital law firm.

Reflecting on her university days at Nelson Mandela University, she expresses profound gratitude for the impactful experiences, from reigning as Miss NMMU (now NMU) to leading Melody Residence and being part of Family Christian Fellowship. These moments, she emphasizes, shaped her into the person she is today.

As she continues to leave an indelible mark in the media landscape, her story stands as an inspiration to aspiring journalists and entrepreneurs alike. She shares, “Have a relentless, pit-bull spirit when it gets to your dreams, don’t stop until all of them are realized, consistency in excellence is key to success, rest when needed and always be intentional about being grateful daily and lastly stay low but keep firing!”