Everything you need to know about the team behind DStv's new channel

Newzroom Afrika is the new black-owned 24-hour news channel in DStv's bouquet. 

It is a new company, a joint venture formed by television production entrepreneurs Thokozani Nkosi of Eclipse TV and Thabile Ngwato of Rapid Innovation.

Here's what you need to know.

About the directors

The two directors are former SABC employees.

Thabile Ngwato is 28 years old.

Formerly a news anchor at the SABC, she recently resigned "to pursue business interests" after five years.

Thabile currently holds several active directorships. These include at Rapid Innovation, Rapid Innovation Investments, and Ngwato Nkosi Holdings, all registered in 2018.

She was also previously a director at TN Media.

Thokozani or "Tox" Nkosi is 43 years old and describes himself as having had a passion for the arts from an early age. His website biography describes him having started writing religious skits with his church as a teen.

He is a director of Tox Media, alongside Riaan Meiring, which is the holding company of Eclipse TV.

He had a short stint in 1997 as a presenter on Channel O, after which he was a presenter of religious TV show Crux. In 2002, he started Eclipse with former employer Hanlie Kruger. Kruger retired in 2005.

The company produces SABC shows It's Gospel TimeThe Chatroom and Big Up.  

Nkosi's directorships also include Ngwato Nkosi Holdings (registered in 2018) and Tox Music (since 2009).

About the team

Television executive Zanele Mthembu will head up the broadcast operations. Mthembu was previously e.tv’s head of local content development and produced films Felix and Unearthed.

Malembo Phage will head up the newsroom. Phage also previously worked for e.tv.

There will be an editorial ethics oversight board headed up by Joe Thloloe and academic Dinesh Balliah, MultiChoice said. 

According to a statement from MultiChoice, the company's bid "stood out for its potential to bring a fresh, creative and diversified approach to news reporting".

About the selection process

MultiChoice SA CEO Calvo Mawela said the new company's teams had a "track record of entrepreneurial success".

Mawela said the opportunities for youth would be a focus area.

Ngwato said more details about the channel would be shared in the coming weeks.

According to MultiChoice, Accenture programme managed the overall sourcing and selection process. A total of 111 expressions of interest were submitted after the public invitation by MultiChoice.

According to the company, a "MultiChoice cross-functional team of experts stress-tested the bids against rigorous and objective selection criteria". The bidders were then "subjected to an independent and enhanced due diligence investigation process" conducted by Thomson-Reuters, the company said.

This included verification of their B-BBEE and ownership credentials.

Newzroom Afrika met all selection criteria, MultiChoice said.

Infographic by Jean le Roux

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