news as a career

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

In America, the president reigns for four years and journalism governs forever, said Oscar Wilde, the famous Irish poet.

Nkepile Mabuse is a reporter for CNN and is based at the network's Johannesburg bureau. She has been a news reporter on the southern African region since February.

"I was at for eight years, where I started as a runner for 3rd Degree before I became a reporter for five years. I moved on to become a documentary reporter and later an executive reporter," said Mabuse.

"Passion is the driving force for success in this job. You must have passion and care about people's stories because we tell their' stories," she said.

"One also needs to be determined and willing to learn. If you are willing to work hard, you will learn the skills of the trade. Be willing to learn from people who have been longer in the field. Learn from your colleagues. Always keep learning."

Having mentors has also helped her grow in her career.

"Mentors have played a great role in my life. My two great mentors are Deborah Patter and Sam Rodgers," she said.

Mabuse studied to be a civil engineer at Wits Technikon.

"I made a career change into broadcasting as I always felt that it was interesting. Here I am and the rest is history."

I came across stumbling blocks while working at CNN .

"Sometimes, we work very long hours. Covering Zimbabwe was one of the toughest challenges I have faced because we couldn't cover it from Zimbabwe - we could only do it from Johannesburg. We had to rely on people and not being there yourself to find out the truth and cover the story made it difficult.

We also have been working on the Zimbabwe story for more than six months so we had to find new ways of covering it and still make it interesting and appealing."

Despite these hurdles, working at CNN has given her several career positives.

"What I find exciting is that as an international news agency our news coverage has to be broad. I cover stories on southern Africa. This is a great learning experience for me. We don't always have to rely on wire agencies. We try to get the content for ourselves," she said.

"CNN is technologically advanced. We do a lot of news coverage in a very effective way and we are always looking at new technologies for news gathering to make it faster and more cost-effective."

To keep herself updated, she reads newspapers and networks with her contacts.

"My contacts have been key in helping me to cover Zimbabwe. It is essential to be on every mailing list possible to get story ideas and be updated on what's going on," she said.

"Your heart has to be there for you to do this job. It is not glamorous. It is emotionally draining.

"You need to find ways to relax and spend time with your family and friends, away from work. But it feels good to know you are playing a role in the world through the stories we tell," she said.