Building a Sustainable Media and Broadcasting Career: Q&A With William Lehong

Credit: Image by Tiyani Baloyi from Kingraphy Studios

Media and Broadcasting as a career…a very sore point for parents. As soon as they hear that their children want to go into that space, their blood pressures shoot high. So, I thought let me ease their stress. Let me get someone who has BEEN doing it and rocking it for almost 2 decades. In this Q&A with William Lehong, we look back at his career and some of his favourite highlights. Before we get into it, please do not forget to hit that like button after reading the Q&A. Let’s get it!

Sibusiso Nkosi: You have more than 15 years’ experience in the media and broadcasting industry. That is huge and congratulations! How does it feel looking back from where you started? 

William Lehong: Thank you for your kind words. Reflecting on my over 19 years (I started my radio and television career in 2005) of experience in the media and broadcasting industry, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. It has been a journey filled with challenges, growth, and learning opportunities. Looking back at where I started, I am grateful for the experiences that have shaped me into the professional I am today. I am excited to continue evolving and contributing to the industry in new and innovative ways.

Sibusiso Nkosi: I know you probably have a lot of highlights in your career. Over 19 years is a long time. If I was push you to pick 3, what would they be? 

William Lehong: Certainly, narrowing it down to just three highlights from my extensive career in the media and broadcasting industry is a challenging task. However, if I were to pick, I would say that launching a successful radio show – #440Hits on Metro FM – that resonated with a much wider audience, receiving an award for a groundbreaking television documentary – What’s In A Name on SABC 1 Sport – that I presented for the FIFA World Cup 2010, and being promoted to a leadership anchoring role within a prominent breakfast television program – The Morning Show on eTV – are among the most significant highlights of my career. Each of these experiences has been instrumental in shaping my professional journey and contributing to my growth in the industry.

Sibusiso Nkosi: For me, over 19 years in an industry signifies career sustainability. What are some of the strategies you used to ensure that you sustain your career for this long? 

William Lehong: Maintaining career sustainability over 19 years in the media and broadcasting industry requires a combination of dedication, adaptability, continuous learning, and networking. Some of the strategies I have employed to ensure longevity in my career include staying current with industry trends and technologies, seeking out new opportunities for growth and development, building strong professional relationships, and consistently delivering high-quality work both domestically and globally. Additionally, I have remained open to feedback, embraced challenges as opportunities for growth, and prioritised work-life balance to sustain my passion and motivation in the industry. 

Sibusiso Nkosi: What are some of the misconceptions about the media industry? Clearly some parents are still against it. Maybe you can help shed some light. 

William Lehong: Some common misconceptions about the media industry include the belief that it is solely focused on sensationalism and entertainment, that it lacks credibility and integrity, and that it is a volatile and unstable career choice. These misconceptions can lead some parents to be hesitant or opposed to their children pursuing a career in media. However, it is important to recognise that the media industry is diverse and multifaceted, encompassing a wide range of roles and responsibilities beyond what is often portrayed in popular culture. Media professionals play a crucial role in informing, educating, and engaging audiences, and many individuals find fulfilling and successful careers in this dynamic field. By shedding light on the various opportunities and positive aspects of the media industry, we can help dispel misconceptions and encourage a more informed perspective on this rewarding career path. 

Sibusiso Nkosi: There is this perception that going into the media industry is some sort of rebellion from going into mainstream corporate. What are your thoughts on that? 

William Lehong: The perception that entering the media industry is a form of rebellion from pursuing a mainstream corporate career is an interesting perspective. While some individuals may view the media industry as unconventional or non-traditional compared to corporate roles, I believe that both sectors offer unique opportunities for professional growth and fulfillment. The media industry allows for creativity, innovation, and the ability to make a meaningful impact through storytelling and communication. It attracts individuals who are passionate about sharing information, shaping narratives, and engaging with diverse audiences. Ultimately, whether one chooses a career in media or corporate, the key is to follow one’s interests, skills, and values to find a path that aligns with their personal and professional goals.

Sibusiso Nkosi: In your assessment, is it still worth it today for young people in school to pursue a media and broadcasting career? Is the industry still full of opportunities? 

William Lehong: As a seasoned broadcaster, I can provide an objective perspective on the current landscape of the media and broadcasting industry. While the industry has undergone significant transformations due to technological advancements and changing consumer behaviours, there are still ample opportunities for young people to pursue a career in media and broadcasting. The digital age has opened up new avenues for content creation, distribution, and engagement, creating a diverse range of roles and opportunities within the industry. By staying adaptable, honing their skills in emerging technologies, and cultivating a strong network, young individuals can position themselves for success in this dynamic and evolving field. Ultimately, the decision to pursue a career in media.

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About Sibusiso Nkosi

Seasoned Executive. Board Member. Certified Life Coach (Specializing in Career Coaching).

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