Fondly referred to by her fans as the First Lady of Sports in South Africa, Carol Tshabalala is a renowned sports broadcaster, producer, and voice-over artist. She has worked in different reputable media outfits since she began her career as a media personality and has steadily risen through the ranks to become one of the best-known African faces in the business of sports reportage.
Today, Carol Tshabalala is now a household name in South Africa and is greatly admired for managing to beat all odds and emerge at the very top of what has always been a male-dominated field. She has won accolades and awards for her work and is known worldwide for being the first African to host the very prestigious FIFA Ballon d’Or Awards. Carol has established herself as a force to reckon with in the sports arena and is seen as an inspiration to all girls aspiring to do great things.
Carol Tshabalala Was Born In Soweto
Not so much is known about Carol Tshabalala’s childhood but we know that she was born in Pimville, a township in Soweto, South Africa. Tshabalala was born on the 11th of August 1981 and is 40 years old at the moment. The sports broadcaster spent her early years growing up in Soweto.
Details about Carol’s parents remain elusive at the moment. This is mainly because she has not spoken publicly about them. Also, not much is known about her siblings but we know that she had a sister who sadly passed away some years ago. Tshabalala has since taken her late sister’s son as her own and helps to raise him.
Tshabalala studied at the Krugersdorp High School from where she graduated in 2000.
She Began Her Career At The Age Of 18
Carol Tshabalala began her career as a media personality at the age of 18 in 2000 when she was hired by the South African Broadcasting Corporation, SABC. She was fresh out of Krugersdorp High School at the time and was just a young girl with big dreams of doing something good with her life. She would go on to work with SABC for 10 years, rising to the top of the game during that time.
However, while she was with SABC, she also freelanced with other media outfits, including Kaya FM, a popular commercial radio station that broadcasts from Johannesburg in Gauteng, South Africa. She joined Kaya FM in 2005 as a sports information reporter and quickly proved that she was up to the task. At Kaya FM, Tshabalala soon rose to become the person in charge of compiling and reporting information on the breakfast show. While on the job, she got the necessary experience needed to do greater exploits in future endeavors. After working with Kaya FM for about two years, she left the station in 2007.
In 2008, she began work with Radio 2000, a South African national radio station that is owned by the SABC. She worked as a drive-time recreation display host at the station. At this time, she had already spent 8 years working with SABC and her name had become synonymous with SABC Sport. She had so many fans who looked forward to seeing her broadcasting sports news and hosting sports programs.
During the 2010 World Cup which was hosted in South Africa, Carol Tshabalala was assigned to host a SABC magazine show with the world-famous South African comedian, Trevor Noah as part of the SABC World Cup coverage.
Carol Is The First African To Host The FIFA Ballon D’Or Awards
In 2011, Carol Tshabalala got the job to host the very prestigious FIFA Ballon D’Or award ceremony which was held on 10 January 2011 in Zürich, Switzerland. This made her the very first African to ever host the awards. It was no small feat and it earned her a lot of praise around South Africa and beyond.
When she returned home from her Ballon D’Or hosting gig, Tshabalala decided that she needed something bigger. SABC was a huge deal but it didn’t offer her the kind of platform that she needed anymore. She wanted a more global platform that could provide her with the opportunity to travel the world, do international interviews, and attain global stardom. She knew she had to leave SABC.
So, in 2011, shortly after returning from Zurich, she announced that she was leaving SABC after spending 10 years with the station.
Carol Tshabalala’s Exploits With SuperSport
In 2011, after leaving SABC, Carol Tshabalala joined SuperSport, the Pan-Africa group of television channels. With SuperSport, she has become even more popular, appearing in and hosting programs that are shown on the DStv satellite & GOtv terrestrial platforms with the contents being seen around many African countries. Tshabalala later revealed that she had been approached by SuperSport about three years ago before she eventually joined them.
In 2016, the sports broadcaster landed an even more global sports reporting role when she became a live studio anchor on Barclays Premier League Productions produced by the International Management Group (IMG) productions. This happened while she was still working with SuperSport. In 2017, she co-hosted SuperSport’s 10th-year birthday party.
Carol Tshabalala still works at SuperSport and is one of the easily recognizable faces at the media company.
Carol Got Married At The Age Of 19
Carol Tshabalala’s life has not always been about reporting sports news and hosting sports events. She is also a mother who was once a married woman. As a matter of fact, the sports reporter actually got married when she was just 19 years old in 2000 shortly after she began working with SABC.
Tshabalala was married to a man called Solomon Manana. At first, things were rosey for the couple who were head over heels in love with each other. But things later fell apart over the years and deteriorated as time went on. Tshabalala later complained that she felt trapped in the marriage mainly because the love that had bound them had vaporized. She also complained that she was being physically abused by her husband.
Eventually, she sought a divorce in 2006 after about six years of marriage and they parted ways with each other.
They Had Two Sons
The marriage between Carol Tshabalala and Solomon Manana produced two sons. Their first child called Joel was born in 2002. Their second son called Solomon was born in 2007 after their divorce. The sports reporter is said to have full custody of the two children.
Also, Carol Tshabalala adopted her late sister’s son, Mpho after his mother died. She raises Mpho as her own son.
Carol Tshabalala Has Dated A Few People Since Her Divorce
After parting ways with her husband, Carol Tshabalala has gone on to find love with other people. The media personality has been linked to several men in the past. She once dated rapper Sbu Motloung, however, the couple broke up their short-lived relationship in 2015 after rumors emerged that Sbu was cheating.
Tshabalala was rumored to be dating Sadio Mane, the world-famous Senegalese football player in 2020. The rumors emerged after she began to post different photos of herself and Sadio Mane together. However, neither Tshabalala nor Mane has confirmed or denied the dating rumors. At the moment, Tshabalala is not in any known relationship. She is believed to be single at the moment.