Award Winning Journalist, Radio Personality and Author of “Becoming Iman”
Iman Rappetti is an award-winning journalist who has worked across print and radio, and is currently a senior news anchor. Iman counts among her career highlights, interviews and encounters with former South African President Thabo Mbeki, President Jacob Zuma, and queen of talk Oprah Winfrey.
In May 2018 “Becoming Iman” An Adventure Through Rebellion, Religion And Reason was launched and has been received with critical acclaim.
In a competitive industry that’s often marked by duplicity, Iman stands out for several reasons. Her raucous, infectious laugh is one. Her refusal to contort herself into boxes is another. She’s gained a reputation as a fearless journalist and broadcaster but she’s also a dedicated single mother who’s tackled issues of divorce, self-image and happiness in a very admirable way.
In her own words, after spending “too much time” living up to other people’s ideas of her and succumbing to social pressure, she’s now resolved to be as true to herself as she can.
“I do a happiness audit every day. I’m, like, ‘What am I feeling today? What’s making me upset?’ I ask myself whether it’s about a job, an attitude or a niggly thing I can fix. That’s how I navigate my life now,” she says.
Opening herself up to these perspectives and pursuing “the real” feeds her evolution into an authentic brand. She’s confronted politicians on many occasions, forcefully asking things we’ve all been dying to know of Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, through a career that’s taken her from being a religious student in Iran, to the field and then the studio.
She’s also lived through moments of pride in her work – and mortification about her hair! She still cringes remembering how she looked on camera in 2007 when she confronted former President Mbeki about then Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi’s arrest warrant. “My hair looked terrible! And on the days when I asked Zuma about the National Prosecuting Authority and the possibility of charges, it looked awful too,” she laughs.
Being on TV every day makes it difficult for her not to become hypersensitive about her appearance, especially since viewers often email or tweet her with opinions of it. Whether these are compliments or criticism, they put a lot of pressure on Rappetti. “You have to be very careful how you put yourself together – and, trust me, I haven’t won every battle. There are days when I’ve wondered what on earth I was thinking!”