Who is Macfarlane Moleli?
Well I got a baptism of fire from Carte Blanche, and was thrown straight into the cauldron, because the first story I covered was in downtown Johannesburg and we got mugged on the first day of shooting. So I would say unsafe and dangerous locations still pique the nerves a bit.
How do you think your life might change now that you have joined Carte Blanche as a presenter and anchor?
I certainly hope that it will allow me to play a greater and more significant role in telling stories about ordinary South Africans that are doing incredible things, moreover to also contribute to bringing about positive change in society through the lens of a camera. The biggest change would also be the public profile, this is a massive opportunity and a huge role in an award winning show that has a phenomenal legacy. I believe that a greater measure of respect would come from industry colleagues, that also view the show as a bastion of investigative journalism.
Are there things you simply refuse to do?
Every story needs to be told, and I believe that this places a huge responsibility on the shoulders of those blessed enough to have an opportunity to tell those stories. However being a Muslim, there are certain things which I may have to face that will question my belief systems and go against what my religion says. However I think each story, situation or issue will be looked at individually.
The show has been on-air for close on 30 years - the longest of any South African current affairs show. To what do you attribute its longevity?
The quality of stories that have gone on air and the immense amount of work that your research teams put into telling stories that resonate with all South Africans have certainly set you apart. One doesn’t want to miss an episode on Sundays, because of the amazing stories which you cover that no one else does. I used to play rugby right up until provincial level after high school and a story which I followed religiously, which you covered so well, was Joost van der Westhuizen’s Motor Neuron Disease. I knew every detail and how he got to where he was and the doctors involved. This for me was one among many of your award winning coverage of stories that will forever resonate in my heart.
Your high profile must offer some measure of security – but what still gets you nervous on a shoot?
Well I got a baptism of fire from Carte Blanche, and was thrown straight into the cauldron, because the first story I covered was in downtown Johannesburg and we got mugged on the first day of shooting. So I would say unsafe and dangerous locations still pique the nerves a bit. Volatile political protests are also really nerve wrecking as crowds have often turned on journalists. This is however the most exciting part of being a journalist, when you choose to put everything on the line so that the truth or justice can be served for the greater good of mankind. There can be nothing more fulfilling than that!
Enough about work... Do you have a middle name? And a nickname you’re willing to share?
My middle name is Khabele which is a Sotho Name, descriptive of someone who is decisive. However my friends (and everyone else) call me Macfarlane and Mac. The Nickname Mac has many derivatives depending on how well you know me. Macdaddy, Macflurry, Macintosh, Makhatini, etc…
Your favourite getaway or wind-down activity…
I really enjoy cycling especially off-road or mountain biking, followed by swimming, I know it doesn’t seem like winding down but the open road or water really help to refocus and because you are alone it helps you refocus your centre.
If you could choose a job that is far removed from TV and presenting, what would it be?
I would love to be a psychologist, I am fascinated by the human mind and how human beings think. I guess it would also be therapeutic to engage with people crazier than I am. I know I am a special kind of crazy so maybe we may get to start a Whatsapp group.
What can’t you live without?
There is a prayer book which I have grown very fond of and take with me everywhere and I find that my days are never the same if I don’t read the Quran and Prayers inside that book.
Do you have any hidden talents – or a party trick?
I can sing, cook and dance very well. I have moves better than Mick Jagger or Babes Wodumo. But out of all those talents cooking and singing are my favourite.
Top holiday destination…
South Africa will definitely be shared by two provinces very close to my heart, and that is KZN North Coast, and the Mpumalanga Panorama route.
Oh Brazil, Copacabana and the Favelas, it’s like a mix of Alex and Durban’s Umhlanga.
Your favourite food that you’ve mastered in the kitchen…
Chicken or Mutton curry. Listen here, you will gnaw your fingers off, from the delectable and tantalising taste sensations that will moonwalk, better than Michael Jackson or Usher on your tongue!
Macfarlane Moleli has over 14 years’ experience as a journalist in the media and entertainment industry. Recently he worked at Kaya FM, eNCA and SABC 3. Well-versed in in-depth interviews on current affairs, contentious issues in politics, business, sports and environmental issues, Macfarlane now brings his presenting skills to Carte Blanche in 2017.
Following @macmoleli on Twitter.