Iman Rappetti talks future plans after leaving ENCA
“You know news is an organism, it lives, it sparks legs, and it becomes an alien sometimes. You just respond to it in the moment.”
This is coming from seasoned broadcast journalist Iman Rappetti, whilst we are talking on the phone.
We are discussing how she gracefully handled earth tremors while live on TV during a recent broadcast.
Rappetti has decided to leave eNCA after 11 years to focus on family life. However, her fans will still have a chance to catch up with her on radio. She has a radio show weekdays between 9am -12pm on Power FM.
“I got to a point in my life where my children need me. I need to be more visible and more present with them and so I’ve been on Power FM for close to three years now and I really love it,” she explains.
“I’m fortunate to be in a place where they want to retain my talent. It’s also at the perfect time of the day where the end of my work day coincides with my child finishing school. I drop her off at school and I can meet her in the afternoon.”
Rappetti’s illustrious journalism career dates back to her first permanent job in Iran in 1997 where she used to host a weekly current affairs show called Forum. Upon returning to South Africa in the year 2000, she hoped to make her broadcast debut in a grand manner.
However she received a rude awakening. She ended up having to settle for an SABC online spot after applying for a TV job on etv with no reply. After the SABC, Rappetti had a stint at Business Day and Talk Radio 702 before eventually making her way to eNCA.
Her appeal as an anchor and journalist is due to her outstanding work ethic and attitude. She states that the beginning of her journey at eNCA was a ‘baptism of fire’. She joined the broadcaster during an election year and when President Jacob Zuma’s rape trial had just started. She handled it all within her stride.
“With news you can’t go in there with the attitude that you are in the theatre and you’re the star player. Your journalism chops are always with you. You are always a journalist, whether you are an anchor or whatever. That is kind of in my DNA,” she points out.
And that's a wrap for @ImanRappetti at eNCA. We put together a little video of some of her highlights... #GoodbyeIman and thank you! https://t.co/URjktG6bec
The future certainly looks promising for Rappetti. She is going to be staying on at Power FM and hints that she will be ‘playing a big role’. She also has a book and a television project in the pipeline.
Although she opted not to give too much away on the book, she did reveal that the book will be her memoirs. She wants to start a television talk show as well.
“I want it to be crazy, funny and serious’’ she says on her talk show.
She’s also not closing the door totally on eNCA, she remarked that people might still see her on the channel for special events as her association with the broadcaster was definitely going to continue.
On the state of our country
It seemed natural to ask the seasoned journalist her thoughts on our country’s current political state. Rappetti remarked that there is almost a “prescriptive aura” in the country. People seem torn in two opposite directions and maybe with the right information they will be able to navigate forward.
“For me as media practitioner [we need to give] good trustworthy information. We need to give people information that allows them to make up their own minds. We can’t make up people’s minds,” she says
“We need to let them know what the landscape is with the best analysis and best credible information. Lastly, allow them to have access to that and what they want to do.”
The Phoenix, Kwa-Zulu Natal, native also expressed that the country needed to figure out what its greatest need is.
“All the big national debates which are centred around populist politics, the questions we have to ask ourselves is what is in it for my neighbour? What is in it for my mom’s neighbour who still lives in a poor community? We might have grown up and moved to Jo’burg but a lot of the communities we come from are still stuck in the past in terms of access to opportunity,” she says.