TV commentators feeling the pinch

Zama Masondo.
Zama Masondo.
Image: Thomas Turck/Gallo Images

The focus has been on athletes during the lockdown, but too little has been said about commentators whose eloquent words direct the flow of fans' emotions and make them enjoy watching the game.

Most PSL players still get paid their salaries, although some clubs have now indicated they will institute pay cuts.

Commentators, on the other hand, are not full-time employees, which means there's no income for them when there is no soccer. Some are contract workers while others are freelancers who get paid per call.

Their voices are some of the most recognisable, the likes of Zama Masondo, Zolani Bongco, Veli Khumalo, Thulisile Miya and Reggie "Mapensela" Ndlovu. Each iconic goal is intrinsically attached to a particular piece of commentary, such as Masondo's Laduuuuuuma! when a goal is scored.

Masondo, who commentates for SuperSport, admitted the lockdown has been harsh on his pockets.

Masondo said the lockdown has hit them hard financially. He said they now also have to pay for things that they didn't pay for before the lockdown, like online education for their children. "A lot of us have contracts, so they (broadcasters) are looking after us for now ... but until when we don't know," Masondo said.

Ndlovu said: "I miss being involved in football; to see people happy about what we do; the vibe and feeling of being at stadiums.

"My heart goes out to freelancers who get paid per call. From my side I am still okay."

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