7 things you didn't know about: Noxolo Grootboom

Noxolo Grootboom is retiring from broadcasting.
Noxolo Grootboom is retiring from broadcasting.
Image: Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Themba Makofane

After 37 years in the industry, the iconic broadcaster Noxolo Grootboom is set to read the isiXhosa news bulletin for the very last time tonight at 7pm on SABC 1.

The legendary anchor inspired a nation through her stellar news reading skills and her iconic signature sign-off, “Ndinithanda nonk’ emakhaya”, that warmed homes every evening.  

Grootboom has been a significant contributor to the country’s history through covering many historic events, but there are a few things many people don’t know about the phenomenal broadcaster. 

1. THE ORIGINS OF HER NAME 

The legendary anchor was named "Noxolo" by her grandparents. Her name means "mother of peace" and from her time in the industry, many have attested that she lived to embrace the meaning of her name. Grootboom has been all about giving love and peace to all the people around her. 

2. HER EARLY LIFE 

Grootboom was born between 1959 to 1969. She grew up in the rural Eastern Cape as a young girl and later started her career as a typist at the SABC. 

3. HER CAREER

As a young aspiring media enthusiast, Grootboom pushed all boundaries and looked at her position as an opportunity as she did not have any background information on journalism.

4. FROM TYPIST TO ANCHOR

Known for having an inimitable knack for the isiXhosa language, Grootboom was later moved from being a typist to the newsroom, landing her as a news anchor on the isiXhosa news channel.

5. MULTILINGUAL

As a linguist, Grootboom had a poised manner and sense of humour that drew fans to listen to her. She also had a significant influence on her listeners who did not speak isiXhosa. 

6. COVERED HISTORIC EVENTS 

Having covered significant events such as the deaths of Chris Hani and Nelson Mandela, Grootboom had so much impact on the country's media industry. During the state funeral of SA's former first lady Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, 947's Thembekile Mrototo proposed for her to air the news. The much-loved anchor heeded the request and went back to the SABC's broadcast to do what she did best. 

7. SHE LOVES GOODNESS FROM THE QUEEN

Although she's all about reporting news and being an anchor, Grootboom also enjoys watching local telenovelas such as The Queen. The veteran broadcaster surprised actress Zenande Mfenyane, who plays Goodness on the show, with a call where she complimented her on her impressive acting skills. 

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