A WOMAN HARD AT WORK
*Caption: Bawinile Ngcobo poses for a photograph
Written by: Zama Ngcoya
Hailing from the township of Osindisweni, at Ndwedwe, she is certainly climbing the ropes and making her mark in the media industry through her hard-work, passion and flair.
Born on the 26th June 1982, Bawinile Ngcobo, the eldest of three children was born into a middle-class family where she was coddled and raised by both her parents.
She began her primary schooling at Ogunjini Primary School, before moving on to Oakford Primary School. She later progressed to Sacred Heart Secondary School where she did her higher level of education and matriculated in the year 1999. After matriculating, she enrolled in a Business Management and Computing course for a year. During the midst of the year that followed, and her independence being hampered because of unemployment, Ngcobo had a change of heart. Because she had been an avid writer while in school and had a love for words and storytelling, she decided to enrol for a course in journalism at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). Ngcobo did her internship at RadioKhwezi.
In the year 2006, she was awarded a short contract to be a part of the SABC team in Durban that was working on local government elections. In the year that followed, she got a job at North Coast Courier as a reporter. Because this was a community publication, they were required to wear many caps. Part of their tasks included writing stories, features, editorial, photography and doing their own layout and design, and sub-editing.
In the year 2008, Ngcobo’s journey to becoming one of South Africa’s top journalists was still well in motion, and she brought into being a point of interest which most tickled her fancy in the industry.
“I joined Isolezwe in June 2008 as a reporter and last year I was a court and crime reporter. You normally start off as a general reporter but then once you’ve started you tend to develop an interest in a specific field and mine was crime and courts,” said Ngcobo.
In the year 2015, she was promoted as a senior journalist for the Sunday Edition of the publication.
“The Sunday edition is different. Although the deadline is everyday due to production, it is more relaxed. So when I got there, even though I was still a crime and court reporter, I also wrote features, open pieces and entertainment, to use the time I had on my hands,” added Ngcobo.
Although she has been in the industry for many years now, Ngcobo’s biggest highlight of her career was covering the trial of a serial rapist and murderer from Umzinto. She covered the proceedings from the very beginning, right till the very end. She admitted that though it was a terrible experience for those who fell victim, for her it served as an eye opener. She also had the honour of covering the burial of the late former president, Nelson Mandela. This was very important to her because during this period she did not have an editor, and she was praised on a job-well done.
Ngcobo says she also draws her inspiration from educating others through her work.
“As a court and crime reporter, my goals is to see success being done. You just feel like you have contributed because as much as you don’t have direct influence to the functions of the courts, but by reporting these events, you also playing a certain role in creating awareness to the public and teaching people about crime,” she said.
Ngcobo takes great pride and concern in her work especially in the treatment of other work personnel so in the future, she hopes to set a good example to everyone in the work place and not make them feel inferior or unappreciated in the work place. Her other hopes are to continue telling stories of the people, particularly of black people. She is also doing her third year of studies in criminology and part of her dream is to work for the forensics department of the South African Police Service (SAPS).
Ngcobo also sent out a message to other people who are still thriving to make a name for themselves in the industry.
“What I can say is that you need to be focused, you need to work hard, know what you want and work hard in order to get it because if you don’t, it will be hard to reach your goals. Also be open to new ideas and constantly be willing to learn,” concluded Ngcobo.
On the first of the month, she began her job as the newly appointed news editor for Isolezwe’s daily edition.