Leanne is on top of her game

Leanne Manas (Gallo Images)
Leanne Manas (Gallo Images)

EVERY weekday South Africans wake up to news anchor Leanne Manas (41) delivering the news and conducting interviews on Morning Live. She has been doing this for more than 10 years without fail and has become a part of our morning routine as we prepare ourselves for work.


The mother of two says she wouldn’t be able to do what she does were it not for her support system at home. “The way I juggle motherhood and work is through the help of my mother, mother-in-law, helper and, of course, my supportive husband, Marc Menelaou,” she admits. Like any other mother, she says motherhood is no walk in the park, but it’s worth it. “Motherhood has changed me in every possible way. You’re selfish until you have children. You worry more about them than about yourself," she says, adding that she is not shy to ask for help whenever she needs it. Even with a flourishing career, she says her children, Alexandro (6) and Gabriella (3), are her greatest achievement. “You realise how much your heart can love. It’s amazing,” she enthuses.


Leanne says the journey in her broadcasting career was slow, but amazing. She says she is happy her journey was slow because being an overnight sensation is not worth it, something she learns everydayfrom the people she interviews. “What’s the point of being an overnight sensation and then have nothing to show for it?” she asks. The Joburg-born TV personality says when growing up she knew she wanted to do something in media, but news never crossed her mind. “I always knew I wanted to be in the media industry. But I never thought I would do news because I was always not up-to-date when it came to current events,” she admits. 


Leanne studied towards a communications degree and jumped at the chance to do traffic reporting for Radio 702. From that day on, she never looked back. She was presented with an opportunity to join Summit TV, but had no financial journalism knowledge. “I knew nothing about financial journalism so I enrolled for a post-grad diploma in financial journalism,” she shares. But this was before joining the current affairs show, Morning Live, which she co-hosted with the late Vuyo Mbuli.


Leanne and Vuyo had an electric chemistry on screen until his passing in 2013. She says when she heard the news of his passing, it hit her hard. “When you’re such a dynamic duo, it’s very hard to come back. I don’t think I will ever gel with somebody like that. We worked so well together. I will forever miss him,” she says. Leanne says it was not easy when she had to go on air the day after Vuyo’s death. “I had no other option but to be strong. In the end, you realise that the show is bigger than you,” she says.