Mzansi celebrated the luminous career of legendary broadcaster Noxolo Grootboom, who retired on Tuesday after 37 years, by giving her well-deserved flowers.
Noxolo became a household name as a news presenter, who made an art of presenting the news in her home language isiXhosa. Most South Africans will know and remember her for the phrase Ndi nithanda nonke emakhaya (viewers at home, I love you all), which she popularised.
On March 30, Noxolo delivered her final broadcast before beginning her retirement.
Just hours before her final show, Noxolo told TshisaLIVE that she was honoured to have had such a long and rich career. She joked that she had pleaded for a “quiet exit”, but got the opposite on social media as fans celebrated her.
“From a quiet exit to this, so you can imagine how I feel. I told them I don’t even want a farewell party. I am trending but I’m not even on social media.”
Here are some interesting facts about the much-loved legend:
1. Noxolo started at the public broadcaster as a typist in the 1980s, and then worked her way onto the television TV screen and behind the scenes where she’s also worked as editor on the isiXhosa news desk.
2. Noxolo won Mzansi’s hearts with her humility and her command of the isiXhosa language. The news anchor made anchoring in isiXhosa fashionable and exposed many to the richness of the language.
3. Noxolo presented the funeral proceedings of former president Nelson Mandela (who died in 2013) as well as that of former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018.
Noxolo also read the late YoTV presenter Akhumzi Jezile’s obituary during his funeral service in 2018.
4. It was her grandmother who named her Noxolo, which translates to “mother of peace” — a name she’s embodied on TV for many throughout her career.
5. President Cyril Ramaphosa moved his national address aka ‘family meeting’ which was originally scheduled for 7pm to 7.30pm on the night of Noxolo’s final bulletin, to allow SABC viewers to watch the veteran presenter.