Zanele Potelwa profile: SABC’s new star takes airwaves by storm

Zanele Potelwa profile
Zanele Potelwa. Image credit: The Platinum Club

SABC has a fresh new face taking its airwaves by storm right now on both TV and radio – Zanele Potelwa, and naturally, there’s growing interest on her profile.

Zanele is a new voice on 5FM where she is the traffic presenter on The Roger Goode Show and hosts the popular 10am- 2pm slot on Sundays.

Her TV career also continues to rise as she becomes the new presenter on SABC 1’s much-loved lifestyle magazine show Selimathunzi.

Zanele Potelwa profile

How it all started

Although Zanele has already made a name for herself in entertainment, she admits that she never saw envisioned a career in this competitive space. She had always dreamt of venturing into health science.

However, during her second year studying at the University of Pretoria, the budding star decided to join the university’s radio station TUKS FM and, from there, the radio bug bit her.

Zanele pursued her passion for radio by enrolling in one of 5FM’s five-day mentorship where she made an impression on the management team. Over the next two years, she gained more experience as the station called on her to help where possible.

Zanele also entered a nationwide presenter search for SABC 1’s Mzansi Insider where she scooped the runner-up spot, won the viewer’s choice poll and walked away with R10,000.

“Because it was my first trying my hand at TV presenting it was challenging – but it was also such an affirmation of where I was hoping to go,” Zanele says of the experience. “I didn’t win, but little did I know then that my win was just waiting for me along the way.”

First radio gig

Zanele earned her very first radio gig when a former manager at 5FM moved to a rival station and offered Zanele a job there. She became the host of the station’s 1am – 4am weekday slot. 

“I got to grow so much at the radio station,” she says. “From working with some of the biggest names in radio to working the Global Citizen red carpet where I interviewed the likes of Bonang Matheba, Danai Gurira and Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, [it] all culminated in me winning a Liberty Radio Bright Star Award. It was a true honour.” 

Back to 5FM

After a year building up an impressive resume, Zanele Potelwa’s profile rose even more when she made the big move back to 5FM where she continues to build up an impressive list of loyal listeners.

Zanele’s TV career also started taking off. After making a lasting impression with her Mzansi Insider audition in 2019, she was asked to fill in as presenter on lifestyle series Selimathunzi.

After resonating with fans across the country, SABC 1 asked Zanele to join the team full time and is now the show’s official presenter alongside colleagues Siphesihle Vazi and Sprkz.

With such an impressive start to her career, Zanele proud to have cemented herself as one of the freshest new faces in the local entertainment space.


“I do not take it for granted that I get to wake up each day and broadcast to our nation and that every Tuesday night, I get to be one of the faces that graces the TV screens of millions of South Africans, on the biggest TV platform in the southern hemisphere,” Zanele says.

“To say I am thankful and that it is a dream come true would be an understatement. It is still the most surreal thing to me that I grew up watching Selimathunzi on SABC 1 religiously and that I couldn’t get dressed in the morning without 5FM blaring on my radio and now I get to work on both these platforms!

“I thank God every day and I am so excited for what the future holds. I cannot wait to grow in this beautiful entertainment industry of ours.”

As Zanele Potelwa’s profile continues to grow, catch her every weekday morning between 06h00 and 09h00 as well as Sundays between 10h00 and 14h00 on 5FM.

Fans can also watch her on Selimathunzi every Tuesday evening at 19h30 on SABC 1.

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