The televised farewell of legendary news reader Noxolo Grootboom on SABC1 was watched by millions of people.
The Broadcasting Research Council (BRC) audience ratings for the month of March shows that on 30 March the isiXhosa news was viewed by 3,823,686 people.
Grootboom took to the SABC news studios to read her final bulletin at 7pm that evening. Initially, President Cyril Ramaphosa was to address the nation at the same time but moved his address so people could watch Grootboom for the last time.
The love and admiration also took Grootboom by surprise. She too couldn’t believe the president would change his schedule on her behalf. She was emotional and tears of joy were evident on her face in a video shared on social media.
SABC broadcaster and journalist Chriselda Lewis suggested to her employer that a broadcast studio be named after Grootboom and that Ramaphosa should award her a national order for her contributions to journalism. There was general consensus that Grootboom’s impact on the national state broadcaster should be marked in some significant way, it is unclear if this will happen.
Minnie Dlamini- Jones was dragged for her Grootboom story, claiming when she was four years old she would scream the newsreader’s name when she appeared on screen. Twitter users hilariously reacted to these claims, with Dlamini-Jones calling the comments disgusting.
Rating for the news during the prime time on SABC1 is usually above 3 million. In February, isiZulu news was viewed by 3.7 million people.
Retiring after 37 years, her final words were: “Ndi nithanda nonke emakhaya.”