By Jonk wa Mashamba
“This is my very first award and it feels surreal. I mean out of all the programs, the panel agreed on honoring a girl from the dusty streets of Kromhoek Ga Makgato (Limpopo),” says an exciting Mahlodi Vinolia Ranku.
” People have written me off a couple of times early on in my career. I almost let go of this dream of becoming a broadcaster.
“I almost didn’t get to hold this award. This award means I’m stepping in the right direction, it means nothing I dream of is out of reach and I should keep pushing,” she says.
Mahlodi’s broadcasting journey started at Alex FM in 2016 as a sports bulletin reader. She left a year later, after being given the opportunity to participate in a film titled ‘She is king’ that was shown on the big screen.
She could not keep the two jobs because she spent many hours on film. Late 2020, God and passion pushed her back to Radio.
She was called back to Alex FM. Three months later, she became the first woman to host a sports show since the inception of Alex FM in 1994, a moment she described as surreal.
“Nna, I’m a fighter Jonk, I must mention that. Mahlodi is a football enthusiast, I laugh a lot.”
In 2010, she lost her Mother, and it totally changed her life because things became really difficult for her.
“I had no strength to continue and I almost ended it all at some point, but God refused it,” she says.
When her first child, Oratilwe, was born in 2017, she became her source of strength and comfort, and she constantly reminds her why it is worth carrying on. ” I’m at a much better place right now. I’m genuinely happy.”
The ceremony took place on the 26th February at the Brixton Multipurpose Centre.
Something happened during the day while she was getting ready for the ceremony and she had to cancel.
” I didn’t know about the award until I interviewed one of the women who attended the ceremony. She shouted ‘hello award winning broadcaster’. I hung back a bit and said ‘thank you’.
“That’s how I found out on air.
I would have loved to walk up the podium to collect my first award,” said Mahlodi.
“I just want to thank God, for not taking his hands off me and I thank everyone who has touched my life in one way or another. Thank you for being a part of my story.”
Her message to the youth is: “Opportunities are not going to come looking for you, go look for them and squeeze every drop out of them. The rest will take care of its self.”
Alex FM station manager , Takalane ‘TK’ Nemangowe said: “We want to take this opportunity to say, the hard work we put into the background is finally visible. It shows that as the station, we are on the right track.We will continue to give this platform, particularly to young people.”
Nemangowe said the station will allow the youth to come to the station to utilize the platform so that they will attain skills, experience and expertise that can be used for bigger medium.
” We are proud, because Mahlodi is the first woman in the history of the station to do a sport show,” he said.
TK said he was proud of what the station has accomplished so far, adding that he thanked the listeners for their unwavering support.