Up close with Nicolette Mashile
Briefly tell us who is Nicolette Mashile?
Nicolette is a young woman from Mphenyatsatsi. She attended Diphaswa Primary and WEM up until she was taken to Nelspruit in search for better education. She is the daughter of Busisiwe Mashile who works at the college and her dad is Mashile wa palamenteng as he is popularly known.
She is currently a co-host of SABC1’s Daily Thetha youth talk show and an advocate for Financial Literacy through her various platforms which she uses to promote personal financial education. She is a serial entrepreneur owning not only a property business but also a brands activation and media buying agency.
She holds a National Diploma in Sports Management, a BA in Human and social studies, an Honours degree in Integrated Organisational Communications and a post-graduate diploma in business admin with sights to do her MBA. She is passionate about people and loves to talk.
- Tell us a bit about your educational background?
I left Bushbuckridge to Nelspruit to look for better education and at the age of 9 started living in boarding school. I matriculated at Hoërskool Rob Ferreira in White River Mpumalanga and then went on to Rhodes University to pursue a Law Degree which I struggled with.
Having come from a very strict family and the structures of boarding school, the freedom and independence at varsity proved to be too much and I dropped out of my degree. I later moved to Johannesburg to try another career. I since received a National Diploma in Sports Management, a BA in Human and social studies, an Honours degree in Integrated Organisational communications and a post-graduate Diploma in business admin, I am planning to continue with my MBA very soon.
- Tell us about your journey to becoming a presenter on Daily Thetha?
Surprisingly, when Daily Thetha started in February 2017, I was one of the first inserts they did and the episode was about mistakes in varsity. I then casually responded to the producers of the show and asked when I would be given a chance as a presenter not knowing that 8 months later I would be invited to try and audition for the show.
I spent months auditioning at least going through 4 rounds of Auditions with a production company. Initially, I was meant to stand in for then pregnant Tumelo [Mothotoane] but when Tumelo didn’t return for season 2, I was asked to stay.
I had come from community television, having hosted Gau TV’s flagship show; Assertiveness. My biggest struggle on the show has been adjusting to co-hosting but also doing a live show with an earpiece. I enjoy the show because I learn so much about so many subject matters. I love doing research and being a bit of a know it all.
- What encouraged you to speak in your mother-tongue on national TV where most people who originate from Bushbuckridge adopt other languages on similar platforms?
Authenticity! I’m a real person, now how can I be real not speaking a language I am comfortable in? It is still a struggle because most Sepedi and Setswana speaking people accuse me of butchering their languages and always try to correct me, but I have to always explain that I am speaking Sepulana which in itself opens up more questions.
There is a curiosity about the language unknown to most people. Sepulana is already in Gauteng, it’s spoken in Tembisa, Germiston and some parts of Pretoria. Speaking Sepulana is not to isolate myself which is a real risk I face, but it’s to bridge the Bapedi and Batswana communities and some Tsonga speakers. They understand me, they might cringe but they do understand what I am saying.
- Why is it important that you speak Sepulana, even though it is not recognized in South Africa?
So that the youth in Bushbuckridge recognize their voice and that they always know that their voices matter. Also, can we get rid of colonial control? I should be able to speak a language that the people that I identify with understand.
- To the youth with similar dreams to you while growing up, what’s your word of advice?
Go for it! Yes, Bushbuckridge doesn’t have resources but you have a smartphone. Be uniquely you because to be honest there isn’t anyone like you out there. Shout out to Skhanda Boys who are pushing. I mean being from Bush is hard enough in the province of Mpumalanga, we still get overlooked but we are here now and the revolution has started.
- Lastly, what is it that you’re willing to do in order to encourage young people from where you come from to be motivated enough to never give up on their dreams?
Speak to your dream! Don’t be intimidated by your dream. Back up your dream, it will remain a dream unless there is some action behind it. I am grateful for the family I am from; my parents raised us to be humble and straight up. I say what I want, I ask for what I want and I work for what I want. Know yourself, be clear that just because you are from Bushbuckridge doesn’t mean you are less deserving, if anything, you should understand the importance of excellence.
We are known to be part of statistics, so let’s give them something different to talk about. Let us shine. I really would like to appeal to Mpumalanga Provincial Government to give us a chance, bring personal finance to the people of Bushbuckridge, education around family planning, business hubs and finally; please hire us as the youth, we can also MC!