Nikiwe Bikitsha is a leading South African broadcast journalist and columnist. She was recently interviewed by her classmate Moira Muller as they both attended a Wits certificate course in online journalism.
Nikiwe Bikitsha is the epitome of her own favourite quote by Saint Catherine of Sienna: “be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.”
Since starting as a trainee reporter with Cape Talk radio in 1997, Nikiwe has had the kind of media career that most can only dream of. She’s been associated with most big-name radio and television channels and has had the opportunity to interview the likes of Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. “My most recent highlight has to be covering the funeral of Nelson Mandela and being able to bring that story to the world on TV, as we mourned this remarkable leader,” Bikitsha says.
Urban terror in Cape Town fuelled her interest early on in her career, but she later shifted her focus to politics, and most recently to political economy, having travelled to Mauritius and the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
Travelling, in fact, is Nikiwe’s favourite pasttime. She has travelled extensively to the US, Europe and Africa and intends on exploring West Africa next. “I never tire of travelling. It opens the mind and I treasure those experiences.”
Earlier this year Bikitsha made the decision to pursue a freelance career and to head back to university. In 2010, she left SouthAfrica to study in the United States and it seems the urge to study further hasn’t left yet.
Despite her focus on radio and television, Nikiwe advises junior journalists to ensure they are able to create and generate content for the digital space as the media is a dynamic and evolving space at the moment. “It’s very fulfilling to be at the coal face of what is happening in the country and the world,” she says.
“There is a thrill and enormous responsibility which comes with being able to inform, educate people about news developments.”