By: Vulani Baloyi
Mike Maringa was born and bred in the dusty streets of Siyandhani Village, few kilo meters from Giyani Towship in the Limpopo Province, 34 years ago. Born second in his family of eight members, he was raised by both parents.
From Primary school, Maringa matriculated at Kheto Nxumayo Agricultural High School before he went to Tshwane University of Technology in 2001 where he did Diploma in Journalism.
He works for the SABC as a Reporter. Maringa told Giyani View he never dreamt of being a Journalist; instead he aspired to be a radio presenter. When he was young, he used to listen to SABC’s Munghana Lonene FM (MLFM),the addiction which gave birth to his passion for the media.
He revealed he was inspired by the likes of Dj Brian, Fanuel Magayisa, Ike Ngobeni and Oswell Bila of MLFM, among others. “I thought if they could do it, so am I. I then decided to register in one of the Media institutions,” he said.
Maringa was given a chance during his studies to work as a news anchor and current affairs show host on TUT FM before he later joined SA FM as an intern producer. Since he had fallen in love with the radio, he joined MLFM’s current affairs show, Tiko Axi Etleli, as presenter and producer.
He left MLFM and joined SABC TV as a reporter, citing the need for growth.
Maringa said he was not seeking after fame when he joined the media industry, but to make a positive contribution in the society. “Fame has never crossed my mind and I do not regard myself as a celebrity.”
According to Maringa, being a journalist is not a walk in the park, and that it was not a career for the faint-hearted, as one would have assumed! He remembered when he was told during his college time that to work as a journalist was a scary task, given the environment and the nature of work journos are exposed to!
Asked how it feels to interview prominent people like Presidents, MECs among others, Maringa said it depended on the mature of story one is covering. He stated, in most cases, negative stories are met with hostilities.
He said despite being exposed to limelight, he still manages to stay away from drama and scandals by staying away from booze and devoting quality time to his family.
“I grew up in a family where alcoholism was never tolerated. After work I go straight home. I think that if media personalities and celebrities could do likewise, they would avoid trouble that they usually get embroiled in,” he said.
Maringa aspires to report on one of the International media house.
“I have been with SABC for more than 11 years now and it has been good to me. But if an opportunity from the likes of BBC, Al Jazeera and CNN presents itself, I won’t think twice but would grab it by both hands.”
Maringa’s role models include ENCA’s Thulasizwe Simelani among others. He said he admires Simelani’s assertiveness and looks up to him for his good works.
Music and soccer keeps him going. His favourite muso is legendary Dr Thomas Chauke, while football team Orlando Pirates and him are inseparable! “No day goes by without melistening to Dr Chauke’s music . And I am not just a fan of Orlando Pirates, the team is in me. I grew up supporting the team and my family does too. I grew up playing soccer but because of the nature of my work, I am unable to continue,” he proudly said.
As part of maintaining healthy lifestyle, he participated in Soweto Marathon among other races .He runs for about 10 kilometres every morning and about 20 kilometres on weekends. “I am runner. I wake up every morning between 5 and 6 am and run.”