Redi Tlhabi

I was born in Orlando East, Soweto, on the 5th of May 1978. I studied Journalism and Communications at RAU and also hold an honours degree in English Literature from the University of Johannesburg.

I've been a broadcast journalist for 15 years, and have worked in both television and radio. My interest in the world around me, and my passion for life, has made me a versatile presenter. I can easily chat to any Head-of-State about politics, and then switch to a conversation with a comedian, life coach, sexologist, or hardened criminal.

My career started as a reporter at Network Radio News, after which I moved to Kaya FM, a Gauteng radio station. While there, I hosted the afternoon drive show and was the afternoon bulletin editor. After three years at Kaya FM, I joined the public broadcaster as a current affairs anchor and producer. I presented a variety of programmes for the SABC and its Africa channel, including ‘Today in Africa’, ‘News Hour’, and ‘Interface’.

The prominent newsmakers that I have interviewed over the years include President Thabo Mbeki, Tony Blair, Colin Powell, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela and many others. Two years ago, I was seconded to the UK’s Channel Four News as the Africa anchor at the G8 summit, held in Gleneagles, Scotland.

In 2006, I presented a legal/consumer rights show, ‘Rights and Recourse’, on SABC 3. The show was a big hit in many ways, as it demystified the law and made legal assistance accessible to ordinary people. During that time, I cut my teeth in film-making and produced a much-talked-about documentary on President Thabo Mbeki. In 2007, I presented a reality business show called ‘The South African Management Challenge’, where two teams of MBA students from different universities competed in complex corporate challenges.

I was the senior news anchor at eTV’s new 24th satellite news channel, where I co-presented the launch programme called ‘News Night’. I have been a columnist for The Sowetan newspaper and Fairlady magazine and am now writing for the Sunday Times newspaper.

I have anchored for international broadcasters like SKY and the BBC and I also produced and presented my own TV show called Redi on Mzansi for Mzansi magic.

I am currently the presenter of the Redi Tlhabi show on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk and host of South to North, an African current affairs show on Al-Jazeera, which I also produce.

I am passionate about my show, as everyday I occupy a privileged position that gives me a chance to talk to people from all walks of life and get a sense of what makes our nation tick! I love politics and being a part of our country's evolution.

I have run several marathons and ultra marathons including the Comrades and Two Oceans marathons.

My passion for books also runs deep and I have a Masters in Literature. I have also written my own book, Endings and Beginnings (Jacana) which was published in 2012. When I’m not writing – I’m reading more books!

Email Redi Tlhabi
What did you want to be when you were little?
All I can remember is that I wanted to be an adult so I can have my independence and freedom to choose - everything else was secondary!
What soothes you?
A new pair of shoes... ok then... several new pairs of shoes. They help me think clearly and restore my balance! REALLY!
What irks you?
Waiting and waiting for someone who keeps saying
Is there a book you read that changed your life?
That is IMPOSSIBLE to answer - I read ALL THE TIME and it's hard to pick just one book. What I can say though is that literature as a whole has exposed my mind to different realities and taught me valuable lessons and of course, this quest still continues.
The music you listen to most often?
I am an old soul and the golden oldies still do it for me. But Nina Simone stands out for me.
Who would you go to the ends of the earth for?
I can't say because I don't want him to know I would go to the ends of the earth for him!
Who is your greatest source of inspiration?
It's more like, what is my greatest source of inspiration and that is- MONEY... jeez I love it love it love it!
Do you have any 'show off' coffee table books in your home?
No, I am not a literary snob - my engagement with books is more sincere and enduring!

Ever been left speechless on the air?

Yes, when a woman called live on air and said she'd like to........
Who is the one person you would love to interview, but haven't yet had the pleasure?
Hillary Clinton. I love strong, dignified and successful women.
Join Redi Tlhabi as she takes your calls on your issues of the day and discusses stories in the news.
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