Sports Journalists from various media houses in Lesotho received most coveted awards at the Alliance Sports Media Awards, held at Avani Lesotho last Friday.
Mo-Afrika FM presenters dominated the award ceremony as Chalale Mokhethi won the best Commentator Award beating veteran Radio Lesotho Commentator Mphasa Kinela to get M5000 and an award, while the latter got a certificate as the best runner-up. Other Mo-Afrika presenters that won at the awards were Hlakane Liteboho and Tumelo Ramaputle.
Thabelo Monamane from Lesotho Times won the best photographer of the year, snatching a trophy and M5000 to spend, while Leemisa Thuseho of Informative won in the best print Journalist of the year category winning M5000, followed by Nthako Majoro who is the current president of Lesotho Sports Reporters Association (LSRA).
Tsebeletso Tumahole won in the best Television presenter category, walking all the way to the bank with a M5000 cheque. Two veterans in the media, Motumi Ralejoe and Rantsubise Matete were also honoured at the sports ceremony for their excellent work over the years with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The duo worked at Radio Lesotho and Lentsoe la Basotho (Lesotho Today) respectively.
Ralejoe said he started his radio commentary when he was just a 17 year old-chap who became a sensation during his time so much that even listeners from Soweto in South Africa came to Lesotho, just to see him. He said his broadcasting went up and up until he went to work at Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) as the Spokesman.
‘I began my sports commentary at Radio Lesotho when I was a 17 year old boy. Whenever there was a game that I was going to broadcast I wouldn’t sleep a day before the kick-off as I would be anxious and preparing for the match. Later on I moved to LHDA to be the Spokesman of the company and was later on made the Secretary of former Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili until his government collapsed,’ said Ralejoe.
He thanked the LSRA for recognising his talent behind the microphone.
Mphasa Kinela said he was happy that he was recognised as the best second sports commentator in the country as the category was difficult and had talented broadcasters vying for the number one spot.
‘I’m very happy that I came position two because it was difficult during the voting process as other competitors gained more votes. The voters almost lost hope when the voting process took a long-time before the award ceremony. I would like to encourage young people who want to be sports commentators to love sports and work hard,’ he said.
LSRA Deputy President Clifford Molefe said it was difficult to negotiate M10 000 sponsorship from the corporate world after the establishment of the organisation (LSRA) but Alliance Insurance surprised them with their gesture.
Molefe said Alliance Insurance accepted their proposal and surprised them by signing a big cheque and bankrolling the first award ceremony held in Thaba-Bosiu in 2017. He said sports journalists work in difficult conditions, were poorly paid and their work was never recognised as people complained a lot about their work.
‘People are not always happy with our work. Journalists are the lowest paid professionals in the country and we asked Alliance Insurance to sponsor our awards so that we could be motivated and our hard work be recognised, said Molefe.
He concluded by congratulating all winners saying they should continue being more professional and hardworking. He pleaded with the companies present at the ceremony to support capacity building of journalists so that they could better their work and skills.