New Documentary Chronicles Nolo Letele’s Impact on African Broadcasting

“Yes To Impossible: The Nolo Letele Story” is a new documentary that explores the life and legacy of Nolo Letele, former Executive Chairperson of MultiChoice Group.

The film highlights how Letele’s vision and determination helped shape Africa’s broadcasting industry, allowing the continent to find its own voice on the global stage.

Letele’s upbringing during a period of burgeoning independence movements across Africa deeply influenced his vision for African media. The documentary showcases his tireless efforts to bring this vision to fruition.

Nolo Letele’s contributions to the African broadcast media industry are profound, driven by his passion for African storytelling and his unwavering commitment to excellence.

After earning a degree in electronic engineering from the University of Southampton and becoming a chartered engineer, Letele faced significant employment barriers in apartheid-era South Africa.

In 1974, he found limited job opportunities for black electronics graduates and began his career with the Lesotho National Broadcasting Service, a small radio station. By 1988, he had played a pivotal role in launching Lesotho’s first TV station in collaboration with M-Net.

In 1990, then-Naspers CEO Koos Bekker invited Letele to join M-Net, describing the experience as “being thrown in the deep end.” Letele was instrumental in developing DStv, and despite the challenges posed by apartheid, he spearheaded MultiChoice’s expansion across Africa.

In 1995, he became the West African regional general manager in Ghana, and later returned to South Africa as the chief executive of MultiChoice South Africa.

Letele served as MultiChoice Group CEO from 1999 until 2010, after which he became the executive chair of the MultiChoice South Africa Holdings board for 11 years.

Following the company’s spin-off from Naspers and its independent listing on the JSE, he continued to contribute as a non-executive director of MultiChoice Group Limited.

Throughout his tenure at MultiChoice, Letele received numerous accolades, including the Lifetime Africa Achievement Prize for Media Development in Africa, the Naspers Phil Weber Award, and the Black Business Executive Circle Chairman’s Award.

“I’m proud to have helped connect Africa to the world and give the continent a voice,” says Letele. “MultiChoice’s reach is unparalleled in Africa and it has given the people of Africa the opportunity to tell their own stories in their own languages.

We have grown industries, created jobs, and contributed meaningfully to economic growth across the continent. It’s something I hold very dear as the realization of a vision I had over 35 years ago when I joined a small Pay-TV business in South Africa.”

The documentary will premiere for Ethiopian audiences on Abol Duka on Thursday, June 13th, and Friday, June 14th, 2024, at 8:30 PM, and on M-Net Channels on Thursday, June 13th, 2024, at 9:00 PM, with a re-run on Friday, June 14th, 2024, at 9:00 AM.


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