- SABC 1 viewers are eager to watch broadcast veteran Noxolo Grootboom for the last time at 19:00 on Tuesday.
- Grootboom is retiring after serving the SABC for 37 years.
- The line everyone is eagerly waiting to hear from her one last time is: "Ndinithanda nonke emakhaya."
South Africa's SABC 1 viewers are eagerly waiting to watch 60-year-old veteran news anchor, Noxolo Grootboom, for the last time as she ends an era on television screens.
Grootboom will read her last TV news bulletin in isiXhosa on SABC Iindaba after having done so for more than three decades.
And viewers are waiting to hear Grootboom's legendary sign-off: "Ndinithanda nonke emakhaya" - which loosely translates to "I love you all at home".
On Tuesday afternoon, those counting down to her swansong expressed their disappointment when it was announced that President Cyril Ramaphosa would be addressing the nation at the same time as her bulletin at 19:00.
They pleaded with the president to give the broadcaster her moment to shine one last time.
President @CyrilRamaphosa may you please move your address to the Nation to 20:00. This evening is all about mama #NoxoloGrootboom please sir. SA will be watching her for the very last time delivering the news at 19:00 on SABC 1. Please sir @AthiGeleba— #TheLordOfTheMedia (@samkelemaseko) March 30, 2021
Ramaphosa was expected to update the nation on developments in the country's response to the Covid-19 pandemic ahead of the Easter weekend.
And, much to everyone's delight, the Presidency later sent an updated announcement to say it would move the president's address by 30 minutes to allow Grootboom her final sign-off.
"The time for the address has moved from 19:00 to 19:30 to allow SABC viewers to watch veteran newsreader Noxolo Grootboom's final bulletin as she retires after 37 years."
The announcement left the veteran lost for words and teary-eyed.
A video posted on Twitter by journalist, Yolisa Njamela, showed an emotional Grootboom, covering her mouth, as though in disbelief at the news.
Imagine one day telling your children: "One day long ago, the president at the time wanted to talk to Mzansi, but then he moved his time so that your gogo, the TV Queen of News, could first read her TV news bulletin one final time on the public broadcaster."#NoxoloGrootboom pic.twitter.com/j0yGFi8UFj— TVwithThinus (@TVwithThinus) March 30, 2021
Njamela had earlier posted another video, which showed a good gesture from a woman, named Nombuyiselo Zinco, who travelled by bus from Gqeberha to Johannesburg on Monday night to deliver an outfit for the broadcaster to wear when she bows out.
The woman had asked if she could make the outfit for her, Njamela said in her tweet.
UMam Nombuyiselo Zinco took a bus from Gqeberha last night to Jozi. Arrived this morning. She came to deliver this outfit (see vid). She had reached out to mam #NoxoloGrootboom and asked if she can make an outfit for her for her last bulletin. That’s the outfit for tonight! pic.twitter.com/9k6fM8MuYD— Yolisa Njamela (@yolisanjamela) March 30, 2021
Channel24 earlier reported that Grootboom grew up in Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape and started her career at the SABC as a typist before making her way on-air.
She also anchored the funeral services of late struggle stalwarts Nelson Mandela in 2013 and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018.