With over a decade in media, Mpho Maboi is breathing new life into sport commentary on television and radio. As co-host of The Ultimate Sports Show, the Benoni-born and Joburg-based sport broadcaster and enthusiast is proof that passion can and does take you places.
Tell us about your current role and how you got there?
After starting on radio with Yfm in 2004, I switched to sports in 2009 with SuperSport. In 2013, I joined SABC Sport, and a year later I joined MetroFM and my career has blossomed since.
What’s the biggest challenge you face in your industry today?
Being a woman in a man’s world, but in all honesty, I think things are changing more and more each day. More men are willing to listen to sports being presented by a woman. But there's always that one man who is determined to show you that he knows more than you.
What’s the one thing you don’t fear?
Failure. I fear never having tried something in life and living in regret.
What are you hoping The Ultimate Sports Show will achieve for young girls in and around SA?
I'm hoping that we will be able to have a platform for women to deal with matters that are women-specific in a safe space and where we can find solutions. Also, to inform women of the different platforms that exist both on and off the field.
Who is the ultimate sportswoman in your opinion right now and why?
Caster Semenya. With everything she has and continues to endure in the court of public opinion, she remains gracious and truly humble. She's a queen.
Do you have a favourite sport?
Soccer, rugby and Motorsport and FIFA and Motorsport on PlayStation. Hahaha!
Growing up, what did you want to become?
At nine, I wanted to be a doctor. At 15, I wanted to be a chartered accountant, and that changed at 17, in my first year of my BCom Acc degree studies, when I decided I actually wanted to study Information technology.
What’s the first thing that you do in the morning?
I pray then get into the shower.
What’s your go-to power outfit?
A suit or a skin-tight dress in sky high heels.
If you could have a round table discussion with any five sports women, who would you invite and what would you discuss?
Caster Semenya, Serena Williams, Marion Jones (I know she was banned for drug use)
Kgothatso Montjane and Amanda Dlamini, and we would talk about how we can work towards getting women in sport taken seriously by corporates and the public in general.
What’s been the most treasured piece of career advice a woman has shared with you?
The battles you fight today and the victories you win are not your own but for the benefit of the generation that comes after us.
What makes you laugh?
Everything. I laugh ever so easily. I love to laugh. I want to laugh even at inappropriate moments.
What’s on repeat on your playlist right now?
The Soil. I love all their albums...
Who do you think should design the SA Olympics team uniform for the next games?
I've always loved the idea of incorporating fashion into sport and we have lots of world renowned designers who can make our athletes look amazing. In 2016 the USA was dressed by Ralph Lauren. Canada was dressed by DSquared2 and the Brits were dressed by Adidas in collaboration with Stella McCartney. So why can't we go the same route?
Photography: Supplied courtesy of Mpho Maboi