Iman Rappetti talks life after eNCA

2017-04-19 05:00

Cape Town – Iman Rappetti has bowed out of eNCA (DStv 403) and NewsNight, saying she wants to read more bedtime stories for her little girl, is writing a book and implored South Africa's journalists to keep asking questions despite silence and to hold up a mirror to ordinary people's struggles.

On a hot mic, accidentally not muted, eNCA viewers heard while she hugged her co-anchor Jeremy Maggs as the end-credits rolled, as he gently asked: "Are you alright? Are you okay?"

Iman who immediately jetted off to New York for a well-deserved holiday over the long weekend, decided to leave the South African 24-hour TV news channel's prime time newscast that she co-anchored on most nights for the past half a decade with Jeremy.

Jeremy  is also leaving NewsNight but not eNCA, having requested a shift to an earlier afternoon timeslot on the news channel.

This past Thursday evening just before the start of the Easter long weekend, Iman signed off on her final NewsNight bulletin after over a decade with eNCA, about five years of which she spent behind the glass desk during prime time at eNCA's Hyde Park headquarters.

A visibly emotional Iman wearing black and with two of her children watching behind-the-scenes in the studio, started crying.

She wiped away tears on live television as Jeremy who called her "my friend", said "the country's best and most accomplished TV news anchor by far has read her final story".

"In her time here, she has proved to be a fearless journalist. Iman you ask questions that others are afraid to ask. But much more than that you have an eye for a story that's driven by a deep desire to get to the truth but never, ever at the expense of an abiding sense of decency and compassion," said Jeremy Maggs, who added that "myself and our loyal audience are going to miss you terribly".

Amazing highlights

eNCA closed out NewsNight by showing a terrific highlights reel of Iman Rappetti's reporting over the years at eNCA and eNews, containing bloopers, various hairstyles and some of her most arresting and courageous doorstop interviews.

Iman for instance interrupted the Zuma Spear painting defacer and asked if he's "meant to do this", and asked then-president Thabo Mbeki afew years back, "Have you seen the warrants for Jackie Selebi?" (His flabbergasted answer at her wonderful impertinence: "You can't be serious.").

Most recently Iman Rappetti walked up to president Jacob Zuma after his cabinet reshuffle where he refused to talk to the media as the sole journalist there brave enough to shout out: "Mister president, I just want to ask why you fired the finance minister? Are you able to give us some answers please sir? Mister Zuma?"

See it here:

Iman said she decided to go into journalism because "I couldn't afford to be a human rights lawyer".

"I remember my mom was polishing the floor on her hands and her knees and I said 'I'm going to study journalism'. She said: 'How are you going to do that?' And I said it is going to happen."

‘I want to encourage journalists to be fearless’

About her next chapter, Iman said "I'm writing a book. It's really cool. It's going to be a loose memoir. But I'm going to spend time with my children. I want to hold their hands more. I want to cook dinner. I want to make butter chicken curry as many nights as I possibly can."

"I want to read my little girl more stories to sleep at night".

"I just want to encourage all journalists out there to be utterly and supremely fearless in what you do. And to remember that stories are not about you. They're about the families it matters most to – especially those who has a voice, but whose voices need amplification. We need to in a clear way just hold a mirror and a megaphone to their context." and eNCA hasn't announced whose taking over as NewsNight anchors from Iman Rappetti and Jeremy Maggs.

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