On the evening of Tuesday 30 March millions of South Africans tuned in to their TV screens to watch for the last time, the woman who lit up many households with her class, professionalism, and signature sign-off. Even President Cyril Ramaphosa delayed his address to grant Mzansi a chance to watch Noxolo Grootboom read her final news bulletin.
MZANSI WISHES GROOTBOOM WELL IN HER RETIREMENT
Since the SABC announced her retirement, social media streets have been filled with love and peace, two things Grootboom always advocated for, and exactly what her name means “peace”. Many have shared how the veteran broadcaster inspired them to pursue a career in journalism, to continue speaking and promoting their mother tongues in a country where ethnic languages are slowly perishing.
SABC colleagues, former employees and Mzansi at large sent their messages and well wishes to “Mam’ Noxolo” as Grootboom was popularly known.
Metro FM journalists Melanie Bala was one of those who wished Grootboom well. She wrote “What a moment. What a stellar career. All the things a news anchor should be: Class. Professionalism. Trusted. A reassuring voice even in uncertain times. Thank you Mam’ Noxolo Grootboom. You have set the bar high. Enjoy your retirement, you have earned it”
NOXOLO GROOTBOOM DELIVERS EMOTIONAL FAREWELL SPEECH
As expected, Grootboom was dressed in one of her signature traditional Xhosa attires. Professional as ever, it seemed like she had never left the small screen.
In her last Xhosa news bulletin, Grootboom delivered a powerful and emotional farewell speech that had many shedding tears. She recalled how for years South Africa has showered her with love, support and how the country has promoted the Xhosa language which is evident by the growing number of young Xhosa TV broadcasters and radio presenters. This again is proof of how important representation is.
“I am deeply humbled by the love that you have showed me, since the SABC announced my retirement. I wish that you could love each other the same way that you have loved me. If we love each other, we can put an end to black-on-black violence. We can put an end to some of the most atrocious incidents that taint the image of our beautiful country.
“Umuntu, ngumuntu ngabantu, nindithandile, nami nganithanda. Ndinithanda nonke emakhaya,” an emotional and teary Grootboom said as she signed off for the last time.
PRESIDENT RAMAPHOSA DELAYS ADDRESS TO HONOUR GROOTBOOM
During his address President Cyril Ramaphosa also acknowledged Grootboom’s role in broadcast journalism.
“We decided to delay this address for 30 minutes. Many people asked us to do so, so that they can watch the legendary Noxolo Grootboom’s final bulletin. We wish Noxolo Grootboom well and thank her for her many years of service, may you enjoy your retirement and know that as many South Africans love you, I love you too.”
Without a shadow of a doubt, Mam’ Noxolo’s farewell speech will go down as one of the most memorable moments on South African television. Even if you had not watched her on the small screen for the past 37 years, even if you did not know her, the love that South Africa has showered her with is proof that she played a pivotal role in many people’s lives. She will be sorely remembered for her class, professionalism, and signature sign-off.