Walter Mokoena began a new chapter in his life on Tuesday as an academic.
The charismatic sports presenter is teaching media studies at Wits University in Johannesburg to second year students. Mokoena said he was initially invited to motivate journalism students and explain to them what workplace expectations were.
But the invite changed to visiting lecturer status.
Mokoena said the department called him as part of the changing curriculum to accommodate the advancement of social media which has changed how traditional newsrooms and news gathering operate.
Mokoena runs his own news portal Joburg Post and this will be used as a case study.
“I’m in the intersection of traditional and new media. I can teach students how to start online publications,” he said.
He said his experience in sports journalism on television and the newsroom stood him in good stead.
“I’ve fancied myself as a teacher but not at university level. It’s quite a pleasant surprise to be at the number one university in South Africa.
“For someone who didn’t even get to university, this is a great moment for me. I’ve never been in a lecture hall.
“I work on 10-year cycles. The reason I stopped in 2010 was because I’d been with SABC for 10 years.
“I went overseas for a sabbatical and studied French.
“When I went back to the SABC, I knew it was not going to be for long. After two years I thought it was enough.”
Professor Nicky Falkof, head of Wits Media Studies said: “Mr Mokoena has been invited to share his expertise on the media industry with students at Wits University.”
He takes teaching seriously.
“When you teach you’re preparing a generation of students to get better. Oliver Tambo and Julius Nyerere were teachers. It’s an accident of history that they became politicians.”
Mokoena has edited and published publications Soccer Life 442 and Football Arena.