Ms Noxolo Grootboom (centre) will receive a Doctor of Philosophy (honoris causa) for her invaluable work and contribution to journalism, media, and communication, as well as her upliftment of the linguistic heritage of South Africa.
Born in Cacadu (formerly Lady Frere) in the Eastern Cape, Ms Grootboom moved to Gauteng in 1981, where she took up a course in computers at a Johannesburg-based computer academy. Thereafter, she took up a position as a typist at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in 1983, seeing this as an opportunity to move into the media space, albeit with no formal journalism background.
She worked her way up to being appointed as a production assistant and received mentoring from fellow journalists. Her love of storytelling and her passion for the isiXhosa language landed her a position as a current affairs producer.
A stand-in stint in the newsroom in 1990, reading a news bulletin, impressed the public broadcaster’s management and she subsequently became an isiXhosa news anchor.
With her unique sense of humour and her inimitable knack for the isiXhosa language, Ms Grootboom represents many things that Nelson Mandela University stands for, including the value of healing society from its brutal wounds, while preserving the intellectual heritage of isiXhosa for families across the nation.
Her public service in South African society to translate stories and capture the mood while teaching younger generations of the content and knowledge preserved in language, makes her one of the few news anchors and storytellers who deserve the opportunity to be honoured by “ukuthweswa isidanga” (graduation) for the excellent work done in service to society for more than three decades.
It is an honour for Nelson Mandela University to confer the degree of Philosophy (honoris causa) on Noxolo Grootboom.