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'It is a gift that I believe I was given': Robert Marawa on being a broadcaster

24 June 2021 1:34 PM
Tags:
Robert Marawa

Robert Marawa says he's more than comfortable being in the industry he's been in for over two decades, adding that he's been offered various positions over the years, but declined them.

For over 20 years, Robert 'Madl'uphuthu' Marawa has brought sports into South African homes with his signature voice, charm and cool demeanour.

The only boy among four siblings, Robert was born eMondlo, near Vryheid, in KwaZulu-Natal and went to Hilton College in Hilton outside Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.

All I remember was the 'verkrampte' nature of what Vryheid was about. There was a Wimpy that was there and my mom would love to take us there for breakfast and we were always excited. But what always fascinated me - and it was weird and I guess it's part of what apartheid was about - was seeing two lines and two tills, but the one till was always empty and the other queue was very long. And what was striking about it was the queue that had a lot of people was just black people... and the people who were sitting down eating were all white, so you as darkies were not allowed to sit down.

His family moved to Nkandla when Robert was young where his parents ran a business.

He describes how his love for sport developed as a youngster...

I would ask my mother to record on VHS the football over the weekend because I was in boarding school eShowe. So my mother would record the football, keep the newspapers... because for me, it taught me football. So when I would come back home... I would get there and there would be all these games that my mom recorded and I would watch those games.

Robert Marawa, broadcaster

He later attended the University of the Witwatersrand in 1992 where he studied for a Law Degree.

In 1996 when the SABC relaunched its three channels, he auditioned and was hired as a continuity presenter for SABC 1.

In 1997, he switched from continuity presenting to sports broadcasting, joining Topsport ahead of the 1998 Fifa World Cup in France. On Topsport, Robert presented Laduma, a football show that continues to endure post-Marawa-era.

Robert has faced some tough battles in his personal life, including beating COVID-19.

I have tested negative for the past 14 days now. I left the hospital probably about 10 days ago or so, but I'm feeling great - no greater feeling, actually, than how I'm feeling now because, having been on the other side, having been in ICU watching people join me in ICU across them and having them not being there the next day, you conclude what has happened there. The virus is brutal, let me not lie to you... take it from me - it's the hardest battle you will ever fight.

Robert Marawa, broadcaster

On his chosen career path, he says he's more than comfortable being in the industry he's been in for over two decades, adding that he's been offered various positions over the years...

I know my lane. I'm not any of those things... For me, as a broadcaster, I respect what I do.

Robert Marawa, broadcaster

I don't even think that I've got a magic formula, the thing is - your desire to want it. When I watched TV and I saw Martin Locke presenting TopSport... I told myself that I actually want to do what this man was doing, it was as simple as that. For whatever reason, I became obsessed with sports from a broadcast perspective, so I told myself in my mind, as young as I was, that I want to do what this man is doing... I followed a passion. It is a gift that I believe I was given...

Robert Marawa, broadcaster

Listen to the full interview below...




24 June 2021 1:34 PM
Tags:
Robert Marawa

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