Soweto TV personality defies pressure

Being an on-screen media personality could come with expectations from fans and community at large. Mbali Gamede of Soweto TV can attest to that. “There was a lot of comparison. I was expected to drive flashy cars and own an apartment,” Mbali reveals.

Soweto TV personality defies pressure

Aiming high: Soweto TV's Mbali Gamede develops a thick skin

She might not be full time on screen lately, but she had her fair share of pressure. “With my family it was about money, and I have lost a lot of friends. My mother was a bosom supporter who understood me better,” says Mbali.

Pressure has followed Mbali from way back. Her middle name is in fact, Sandra. “Other kids at school were laughing at me, saying I had old people’s name. I added the prefix, CA, to my name to make it Casandra.”

This time she refuses to bend to external influence. “I have focus and know where I am going, so no stress,” she assures.

Former child star, Hulisani Ravele, popularly known as Cece of Yo-Tv, made her fall in love with being on a television screen. Incidentally, a Soweto television crew was recording vox-pops, and was asked for a short link. They liked her, and viola, was recruited.

Mbali is now a vision mixer, floor manager and co-producer of Soweto TV’s Kasi Vibe. The show is broadcast on week days between 14:00 and 17:00. You can have a glimpse of her from 16:00 to 17:00. It is a sub-section of the show called Bona Reetsang.

She is a Marketing Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg, and did intense in-house broadcast training with Soweto TV, which she has been with for four years. Her ambition is to have her own platform to tell local stories. Just watch the space.