A passion for sport and writing led prominent Sportscaster, Myron Naicker, towards a career in journalism. The award-winning yet humble eNCA reporter, who grew up in Verulam, Durban, took time out of his busy schedule to share his journey with us.
Tabloid Newspapers (TN): You are recognised as a prominent sportscaster but who is Myron Naicker really?
Myron Naicker (MN): Myron Naicker is an easy going, lover of life. I grew up in Verulam on the KZN North Coast. A small town which helped foster my ideals. It is also where my passion for social activism and sport began to take shape. I am a patriot who believes in the potential of South Africa.
TN: Your journey began at Tabloid Newspapers 10 years ago, tell us about your early years as a journalist.
MN: I was given an opportunity to enter the industry as an eager 20-year-old, fresh out of university by Rishaad Mahomed at Tabloid Newspapers. I only spent a few months there but it was enough to spark an insatiable craving for storytelling. At Tabloid Newspapers I got the chance to work in communities like Phoenix, Chatsworth, Wentworth and Isipingo. It was the perfect grounding for a youngster who was desperate to learn as much as possible. I soon moved to the Eastern Express where I continued my path as a community news journalist. At the Eastern Express I got the chance to work on a few sports stories. I have always wanted to work as a specialist sports reporter. This was a small step in that direction.
TN: In 2010 you moved to E News Channel. This must have been a huge leap in your career, tell us about what this opportunity has done for your personal life/family life and your career.
MN: eNCA was a fairly new 24-hour news channel at the time. It gave me a chance to focus on my greatest passion, sport. Working at one of Africa’s biggest news agencies meant that I had to learn swiftly. The channel’s global reach helped me gain recognition quickly. My family have learnt to deal with the long and unusual working hours. I became a public figure early on in my career but I would like to believe that it did not change my outlook on life or the person I am striving to become on a daily basis.
TN: You covered several high-profile events. Name some of them and what were those experiences like for you?
MN: I have had the pleasure of covering some major events over the past decade. I have followed the ups and downs of the Proteas, Springboks and Bafana Bafana intently. The 2010 FIFA World Cup, 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and multiple Comrades Marathons are among the biggest events I have covered. I am also the Durban based presenter for eTV’s football magazine show, eShibobo. While I enjoy covering stories with a national and international appeal my biggest focus remains in the field of development. I am passionate about transformation in sport and I enjoy telling stories of positive change in previously disadvantaged areas.
TN: The journalism field is very challenging, how have you kept at the top of your game?
MN: It helps that I was already a sports fanatic before I entered the world of journalism. My world revolves around sport so at the end of the day all I have to do is just do me and the rest follows.
TN: You attended Mountview Secondary School in Verulam, tell us about your schooling career (What was school like for you? Were you a well behaved/naughty learner? Haha)
MN: To be honest I was not a great academic and did not take school very seriously. I often felt like an elephant who was constantly asked to climb a tall tree. I think the school system is in dire need of a shake up. I enjoyed playing football and table-tennis during my free time rather than being force-fed in the classroom. So I think a student rebel more aptly describes my schooling career.
TN: As a little boy, was journalism your dream career, why? If not, what did you dream of becoming, why?
MN: As a youngster I always enjoyed telling stories, reading, writing and of course sport. It was only when I got to high school that I realised that I could make the most of these traits through the field of journalism.
TN: You won several journalism awards, which ones stand out the most for you, why?
MN: It is truly humbling to be recognised. In 2016 I won the KZN Vodacom Journalist of the Year in the sports category for my work on development cycling in Inanda. Many of the kids who we focused on had never ridden a bicycle before until a pump track was installed in their area. For kids who walk for many kilometers to school, getting onto a bike changed their lives forever.
TN: As a writer, aside from news writing, what else did you write or plan on writing?
MN: I enjoy writing for television and radio but hope that one day I will have the privilege of documenting the life of one of South Africa’s biggest sports stars in the form of a book.
TN: What advice would you give to future and current journalists / writers?
MN: It is a career which demands passion and hard work. It gives you the chance to help bring about positive change in a country with vast potential. There are not many opportunities for specialist journalists in South Africa but great work cannot be ignored and you will eventually get a crack at working at a bigger media house.
TN: What is your favourite sport to watch?
MN: Football. I grew up playing and watching the game. I eat, breathe and sleep football.
TN: What sport do you play?
MN: I play volleyball at a competitive level. Over the years I have played at few VSA Champions Cups and represented the KZN Senior men’s volleyball team.
TN: You got married not so long ago, how is married life treating you and the Mrs?
MN: We have been married for just under two years but have been together for over a decade. Married life is an incredible journey. We are like minded people who enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
TN: What are your future plans?
MN: I would like to start anchoring in a few years and then migrate to a role as an editor. I don’t like to preempt too much, I am excited about what the future holds.