Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Swazi Observer

22 February 2012



UNIVERSITY of Swaziland Journalism and Mass Communication lecturer and long-time announcer at the country’s national radio station Nomvula Motsa is dead.

Motsa, according to her elder brother Lunga died on Monday night while admitted at the Mbabane Government Hospital, where she had spent a considerable amount of time.

“Yes, it is true that Nomvula has passed away. She died on Monday night while admitted at Ward 18 at the Mbabane Government Hospital. I am currently here at home getting things organised in preparation for her funeral. I cannot give you much information on her death as I am currently busy with the issue,” he said.

The late popular ex-radio announcer was said to have lost her speech and struggled to breathe by the time she succumbed to death. She had been brought to hospital by her employer, the University of Swaziland.

Motsa was a radio personality of repute during the 80s and early 90s, where her command of the English language and her refined musical tastes made her a household name. She pioneered many programmes for the station but will be mostly remembered for her smooth jazz programme ‘Steamboat Jazz’ which she hosted for over a decade.

She left the station in the 90s to further her studies in the United States of America and upon return, joined the journalism faculty at the University of Swaziland. She met her death while still lecturing at the institute; although she still had a yearning to advance further her education.

This became evident during the 2010 graduation ceremony at the university, where she had to be restrained by security as she tried to force her way to His Majesty the King, saying she wanted to relay a message to him.

In later interviews, she stated that she merely wanted to request that the King assist her to go back to school even though she already held a Masters Degree in Communications.

She joined the University as a part-time lecturer in 2004 and was engaged fulltime the following year while the journalism and mass communication programme was at Diploma level. She was among the lecturers who prepared the programme for the Degree programme which was started in 2010.

Her brother Stan was a one time Director at the Swaziland Broadcasting Services, but that was long after she had left.

Government spokesperson Percy Simelane, another former director of the national radio station, who worked with the late Nomvula Motsa for a number of years was dumbfounded when called for comment over the news of her death.

“That is news to me, I had not heard about it. When did it happen,” he enquired.

He declined to comment because Motsa was no longer with government, but acknowledged that she had worked for the station for a very long time.

“It would be better that you call the University for comment,” Simelane said.

His colleague at the institution, Dr Maxwell Mthembu also expressed shock when called, saying he had not heard of the sad news. He also declined to comment saying the university management could be in the right position to comment.

Efforts to reach the Acting Registrar Ambrose Gama proved futile as he did not pick up his phone after being called on several occasions. Acting Director of the station Bheki Gama also declined to comment, saying he could be in a position to do so after receiving the news from Motsa’s family members. Motsa’s voice can still be heard on the station’s English Channel, where she welcomes listeners daily when the stations open at 5a.m.

Her family stated that details of her funerals would be released later after the family had met and decided the right date. Motsa leaves behind only members of his family as she had no children of her own.

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