Rhulani BaloyiRhulani Baloyi is the co-presenter of educational programme Shift on SABC 1, Trustee for SA Mobility for the Blind Trust, 2010 Tributes Award winner. Baloyi studied and completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at Wits University Among others Rhulani received a PANSLAB award for multilingualism on Shift and the prestigious CityPress/Rapport Women’s Achievement Award. She lives in Weltevreden Park in Johannesburg.

Rhulani was born in a small rural village Elim, near Louis Trichardt in Limpopo and has made a name for herself as a journalist and anchor. “From grade one to matric I attended Siloe, a school in Limpopo for the blind and partially sighted. The Catholic Church influenced the school founded by them and the order of the day was to attend church twice a day, mass in the morning and rosary recitation in the evening,” she says.

Rhulani is the first-born child of six children and grew up largely with her maternal grandparents. She says, “My grandfather influenced who I am today. I’m told that at the age of four, when being taken to boarding school, my grandma was very disapproving. My granddad told her and my mum that they must let go and said ‘we never know what this child will be when she grows up’. He was an avid believer in education and wanted us to learn English from English-speaking people.”

At school she was a non-conformist, “I was the one to defy the rules. My favourite subjects were English and History. I wanted to be a teacher because I thought teachers knew everything and had authority in whatever they did. Maybe it was also because my late mum and granddad were teachers.”

Her solid education allowed her to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree at Wits University. She majored in Sociology, English and Religious Studies. “After that I completed a Higher Education Diploma which was my mum’s idea. She said I needed something to fall back on, in case my career in broadcasting didn’t take off. Who knows, maybe one day I might be a teacher!”

Rhulani is also an experienced court reporter, she says “I enjoyed those days, serial killers and other murderers fascinated me, I always tried to understand what made them do what they do.”

Rhulani listens to African jazz; her favourite musicians include Oliver Mtukudzi, Thandiswa Mazwayi and Hugh Masekela. She has some reggae moments with her favourites, Jimmy Cliffe and Bob Marley.
Rhulani is annoyed by people who pass remarks about her blindness, assuming she can’t hear what they are saying. White Wedding is Rhulani’s favourite movie and as a blind person she appreciated the narration of Ray Charles’ life because she could associate with most of it.

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Andrea Vinassa

Andrea Vinassa

For more information, photographs and publicity material call Andrea Vinassa / Media co-ordinator for Casual Day Cell: 079 089 9835 Landline Cape Town: 021 790 6698 \ Landline Edenvale: 011 609 7006 Email address: andrea.flashpoint@gmail.com

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