Vaylen Kirtley (Photo: Gallo)
TV PRESENTER Vaylen ‘Nkosazana’ Kirtley graces our mornings
with her daily dose of sport reporting on one of South Africa’s biggest shows,
Morning Live, on SABC2. But while growing up, the mother of one, who has become
a force to be reckoned with in her field, had no plans of being a sports
broadcaster, let alone a media all-rounder.
The Cape Town-born presenter, who has lived in Joburg even
before starting primary school, recalls wanting to feed her love for animals
and the outdoors by becoming a veterinarian (animal doctor). But as most
children do, she changed her mind as she was growing up and fell in love with
drama and communication because she wanted to tell stories through being an
actress. Nonetheless, she had always been very sporty as a child.
She says sports broadcasting chose her and not
the other way around. It was with the SABC sports department, formerly called
Top Sport, that she got her first opportunity to do something sports-related on
national television with a junior sports show called SportsBuzz. “I grabbed the
chance to do the two things I love; be involved in sports and television
broadcasting,” she says about her break into the industry. But her journey has
not been without challenges, especially as it is predominantly male dominated.
However, she takes it in her stride and is not intimidated at all. “Half of my
life has been about broadcasting, with sports as the content. It is so much a
part of me that I don’t feel I am out of place despite it being predominantly a
male environment,” she assures. She has
become a sought-after talent and the SABC saw it fit that she replaces Minnie
Dlamini on SoccerZone. “They asked me to get involved with the show,” she
excitedly shares and assures her fans that she’s not leaving the other shows. Asked
about challenges she's faced as a woman in sport, she uses the opportunity to
advocate for other women in sport and calls on the powers that be to support
and sponsor women’s sport.