SAD NEWS: Radio icon dies

File pic

RADIO icon Rufus Mpolokeng has died.

He passed away on Saturday, 8 June, aged 88.

According to his family, Rufus, affectionately known by his clan’s name, Namane Ya Tholo, died due to natural causes.

He made history when he read the first ever news bulletin in the country on 1 June 1962 on Tirelo ya Setswana ya Aferika Borwa, which is now Motsweding FM.

The veteran broadcaster was among the seven announcers who were the first to work for the station when it was launched.

At the time, the station was on air for only seven hours between 5am and noon.

Bennet Koma, Veterans Broadcasters Founders co-ordinator, and another radio veteran, Rudolf Letsoalo, formerly with Thobela FM, paid their tributes to Rufus.

“He was a good entertainer and educator and shared his knowledge with his listeners,” said Bennet.

Rudolf said: “The old man taught us to withstand the wrath of apartheid. We learnt the spirit of Ubuntu from him from the fact that we were Sepedi speaking, and he never discriminated us. He was full of jokes that brought us together. Whenever we met on different occasions, we knew that there would be no dull moment.”

His son, Orapeleng Mpolokeng, said his father was a giant.

“We learnt a lot from him. He taught us that victory and losses are just a mere imposter and are not permanent. It’s how you value things that make a difference in your life. He abhorred the ‘I factor’ in every step of the way. He taught us to always say ‘We’ instead.

“He was also a highly religious person and an Anglican Church member to the last day. He was a teacher by profession and loved soccer and boxing.”

Rufus will be buried on Saturday, 15 June, in Kgabalatsane, North West. Daily Sun.

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