NewzRoom Afrika launches on DStv

Thokozani Nkosi and Thabile Ngwato, the owners of Newzroom Afrika, on Thursday evening launched the TV news channel.
Thokozani Nkosi and Thabile Ngwato, the owners of Newzroom Afrika, on Thursday evening launched the TV news channel.
Image: Thulani Mbele

Members of the public on Thursday were overjoyed to see NewzRoom Afrika, the first news channel to be directly owned by black Africans from its inception, going live on pay television DStv.

The 24-hour news channel, owned by media personalities Thabile Ngwato and Thokozani Nkosi, was launched yesterday evening. It replaces a news channel that was owned by Mzwanele Manyi and the controversial Gupta family after MultiChoice declined to renew the contract in August.

Newzroom Afrika, which broadcasts on DSTV channel 405, aired its first news bulletin at 5.30pm, with former eNCA anchor Cathy Mohlahlana taking the reins alongside sports anchor Marc Lewis.

Many took to social media to praise the channel for a powerful take off as one of its first bulletins contained an exclusive interview with former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi who has made damning allegations of corruption involving top South African politicians during the Zondo commission's inquiry into state capture and a round-table discussion with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Twitter user @KhomotsoBashele said she was inspired by the new channel.

"Got goosebumps watching this… We are truly the generation that gets to live our ancestors wildest dreams. So inspired," she said.

@AkaniMangena wrote: "We are glued to our TV's for this first screening of #NewzroomAfrika on @DStv channel 405. By the look of things, we are up for more exclusive interviews, untold stories and top reporting. Good to see @CathyMohlahlana and others back by popular demand. @Newzroom405 #Newzroom405

The state's communication machinery, Government Communication and Information System also jumped onto the bandwagon.

"Government wishes #NewzroomAfrika all of the best in its endeavour.  The introduction of the channel will further shape public discourse," it said.

Thabile Ngwato posted on Twitter: "This has been and will be the most fulfilling journey of my life. So grateful to lead a team of talented, committed and inspiring individuals, alongside the best business partner anyone could ask for @ThokozaniNkosi. Words can never be enough…"

However, @Nxuba_Rhudulu was a bit cynical. "It's been (hours) since the channel hit the screens, any similarity between @Newzroom405 and #ANN7? Asking for a friend of mine..." he posted.

South Africa’s newest 24-hour news channel, Newzroom Afrika - which replaced the Gupta-owned ANN7 - was officially launched on Wednesday evening. Newzroom Afrika, which broadcasts on DSTV channel 405, aired its first news bulletin at 5.30pm, with former eNCA anchor Cathy Mohlahlana taking the reins alongside sports anchor Marc Lewis.

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