Putting moms in the picture

2013-03-18 00:00

DURBAN-BORN radio journalist and television presenter Uveka Rangappa is drawing on her experience as a mother for her popular e.tv series Great Expectations, and says she doesn’t hesitate to make use of the advice offered on the show herself.

“Great Expectations makes parenting advice available to everyone — new mums, parents of older children and mums-to-be,” she said. “We try to help them deal with things that happen in everyday life.

“Being a mom helps me to do justice to the show and the viewers can relate to me. I’m speaking from within. But we don’t know everything. That’s why we have experts. Lebo and I are just facilitators.”

Rangappa, who is the morning news anchor on 702 Talk Radio, shares the presenting duties with well-known poet, actress and mum Lebo Mashile, who she says is great fun to work with.

“We don’t see each other as much as I’d like,” Rangappa added. “Lebo is so full of energy — and we laugh all the time when we get together.”

The women also work closely with the show’s producer, Sally Burdett, when it comes to brainstorming ideas and researching topics, many of which are suggested by viewers and visitors to the Great Expectations Facebook page.

Living in Randburg and a mother to two young children — three-year-old Suryana and six-month-old Surav — Rangappa began her broadcasting career at the SABC in Durban. “I started in 1996 as an intern while I was studying journalism at the Natal Technikon [now Durban University of Technology]. I was offered a permanent job at Lotus and was with them for about five years, and then at East Coast Radio for 11 months,” she said.

With nearly six years’ experience under her belt, Rangappa headed to Johannesburg. She joined 702 in 2002 working with afternoon drive anchor David O’Sullivan and later with Alex Jay at 94.7.

She also presented Rights and Recourse on SABC3 and joined the E-News channel as its 9 am to 1 pm weekday anchor, before returning to Eye Witness News at 94.7 Highveld Stereo and then 702 Talk Radio.

Asked what she loved about being a radio journalist, Rangappa said: “The accessibility and the immediacy … but things are changing so much.

“Back in the day you just had to read perfectly and flawlessy. Now, with digital platforms and the Internet you can catch things straightaway and break into a show if you need to. I think it allows for more creativity … Eye Witness News is even doing video reports online now.”

Born and raised in Verulam, Rangappa admits to missing the simpler way of life on the coast, but she has no regrets about moving to Jozi and pursuing her dreams.

Asked what advice she has for young people thinking about a career in radio, she says: “Spend time at a radio station – a week or two, even a month – to figure out how things work.

“And remember, if you want to do this you have to realise it’s not about money, it’s got to be about passion for the job. And as a journalist you need to be flexible, confident and brave.”

GREAT Expectations is designed to help mums with the life-changing transition from woman to mother and to guide viewers through the many delightful

challenges of being a parent.

The show, which is broadcast from Monday to Wednesday at 11.30 am on e.tv, is hosted by two mothers. It touches on a variety of topics, with advice from experts, ranging from serious issues such as post-natal depression or special-needs children to light-hearted subjects such as how to dress like a trendy mum and how to whip up a nutritious meal for the whole family.

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