When the news broke of his passing in May 2013, Leanne Manas, his co-host on the ‘Morning Live’ series told viewers of the show: “I feel like I’ve lost my morning husband. It’s very sad... Every moment this morning I’ve expected him to walk through the door. I’ve been sitting in Makeup expecting him to walk up the stairs – he used to run up the stairs in preparation for his Comrades Marathon. But it’s no more. But we’ll do the best we can without him.” She added: “I was warned of Vuyo when I came into television and onto this programme. They said: ‘Vuyo is a tough guy, he’s a this, he’s a that’, but the moment I sat down with Vuyo when I was doing the elections in 2004, he welcomed me like I’ve never been welcomed by anyone. And from that moment we clicked and I wasn’t even on ‘Morning Live’ yet.” Vuyo Mbuli and Leanne Manas entertained the country and kept it up to date and informed with the headlines and breaking news stories from around the country and the world, informing the country’s people of the issues and affairs that affected their daily lives.
Vuyo spent every Christmas holiday at a home in Port Alfred on the marina. He loved to braai, run, and canoe on the Kowie River while on holiday. Vuyo was seen by many as a gentleman and a family man, a man committed to his wife and family and passionate about the broadcast media. ‘A barefoot boy from Soweto’, Vuyo was proud of his upbringing, which he called ‘simple, stern and religious’. He grew up with four sisters. His hard-working parents had a love of languages and literature, a love which was instilled in him by his father’s passion for reading, in particular biographies. He cherished his roots and regarded his formative years as happy ones. He was seen as a fair man who weighed up all points of view and opinions. Never one to sit on the fence, he was deeply troubled by the critical social issues faced by all within the country. Poverty and the lack of security in particular troubled him and he aimed to create awareness of its effects through his work in the media. Vuyo had a genuine interest in people and was concerned by what they had to say, lending an ear to all, which some may regard as a rare trait among public figures.
He read newspapers daily to remain in touch with current affairs, but not while on holiday with his family. There, he would switch off and focus on connecting with his family. The quaint setting of the town of Port Alfred allowed him to unwind from the busy Johannesburg life he led. Travel with his family was his most treasured pastime, and he aimed to spend every weekend out of town with his family.He was regarded as a humble man who constantly strove to be the best he could be at all times. This was a lesson learnt from his parents, so he knew that success would come only from his personal strength, actions and perseverance. Charged by an internal locus of control, he spoke of how he never had any easy breaks in his career, but had had to work with earnest determination to achieve the success he found. “I don’t have time for people who sit around wallowing in self-pity and saying they never ‘had the breaks’. You make your own breaks in this life.” Vuyo Mbuli was loved by many. Tragically, he passed away at a Bloemfontein stadium in the Free State while watching a Super Fifteen Rugby match between the Cheetahs and the Reds. He celebrated his 46th birthday on 14 May 2013. He is survived by his wife Savita and their two children, Siphosihle and Sithenkosi Mbuli.
The Industry's Guide
Mbuli was a founding anchorman of Morning Live on SABC2 when the programme started airing on 1 November 1999
He made his TV debut in 1993 as a continuity presenter for SABC3.
Growing up he wanted to study law
He was regarded as a person who treated everybody equally and remained a humble person
He was an avid sport lover who enjoyed canoeing when on holiday
A Media Icon Remembered
Vuyo Mbuli was an iconic television and media figure. His career began in television and radio broadcasting, with his most prominent role being that of anchor presenter of the SABC2 programme, ‘Morning Live’.
He made his television debut in 1993 on the then TSS channel – now SABC3 – as a continuity presenter. He worked passionately, climbing the ranks within the SABC as a sports presenter, then joining ‘Morning Live’ in November 1999, presenting alongside Tracey Going. His career in radio broadcasting began in 1995 on SAfm, a position he held until his untimely death. Prior to his media fame and notoriety, Vuyo was trained as a teacher and began his working career at a high school in Soweto, teaching Business Economics. As a young man, he initially wanted to study law, but circumstances prevented him from pursuing this dream. He displayed an entrepreneurial drive early in life, running a small fruit-and-vegetable business, thus supplementing his meagre earnings as a teacher.
by Lisa Kolwa