Sassy and smart, voice over artist, radio presenter, TV host and motivational speaker, Carol Ofori has the world at her feet. She’s the voice behind many of South Africa’s most loved brands, and just as importantly, some really important current conversations. We learn about her life in the limelight, how she juggles motherhood and a multi-faceted career, and how reality TV is her big escape.
From music with her weekday radio show, to her parenting TV talk show, Raising Babies 101, to taking over as host of East Coast Radio’s coveted daytime slot, Carol does it all… with humour and energy. Add to that plenty of love left over for her friends, compassion to spare for every individual she encounters, and the fact that she’s a committed parent, a passionate advocate for her children, Sena (5) and Serwaa (1), and a wonderful example of a loving partnership in her marriage to her husband, Greg. Whew! A strong woman indeed.
Over the years, Carol has had the privilege of interviewing some of the most distinguished public figures and renowned global personalities from the late President Nelson Mandela and international news anchor Lukwesa Burak to American rapper Lil Kim, with chats to Hollywood actors Antonio Banderas and Morris Chestnut, Dr 90210, and International DJ Black Coffee in between. Amongst her seemingly endless list of achievements and career highlights, Carol was named the 2020 South African Radio Awards winner for the best weekend show #TheWeekendFavour.
Carol recently moved to Umhlanga, into a gorgeous home in a luxury estate, to start her new chapter on East Coast Radio, and she’s already making waves on our shores, soaking up the things Durban has to offer – the weather, the beach, the promenade, the nightlife and the chilled vibes.
‘This is me in a nutshell – I am a dedicated wife, mum, daughter and career woman. I enjoy a good laugh, travelling the world, eating out, a great bottle of wine, engaging conversation and a good walk on the beach. I just love that we have moved to Durban! The fresh air is a great start to the day, the people are uplifting, and the way of life is a whole new experience that I am thriving on.’
‘I had a great childhood, with many happy memories growing up in Soweto. Commuting to school was always tough … the early start, the long day, the hunger pangs in the late afternoon on route home, but for the rest we lived and thrived in the outdoors. We played, we laughed, and we enjoyed being kids. It is only later in life, when we discover new joys and luxuries and a new way of life, that the hardships we faced as youngsters were highlighted, but it’s not something I dwell on because I am a positive thinker. I see any challenge in life as a good thing which, if faced well, can turn us into great people.’
Carol’s love affair with broadcasting began when she was studying at Rand Afrikaans University, where she was DJ manager and radio presenter on the campus radio station. And she’s come a long way, from intern journo to news anchor to full-time radio presenter, via some of the big guns … 947, Metro FM, East Coast Radio. She’s not rested on her radio laurels … she’s written for some of SA’s leading mags, tucked a marketing management post grad degree under her belt, and is a seasoned voice over artist.
‘When it comes to radio, wow, this has been such a long journey and I am enjoying where I am right now. I am having the best fun laughing, learning, sharing happiness and everything in between. My show focuses on me as a holistic individual. So there’s the African Buzz feature (think positive Africans), Woman Crush Wednesday (celebrating women doing remarkable things), Appreciation Monday (be grateful for every single thing in your life … I found that when we are grateful, we are able to be more positive, productive and more present in our lives, so this especially, is an important feature for me’). One of the fun features Carol enjoys is Bad Mom’s Club – a tongue and cheek approach to parenting.
‘I think the hardest part of my day, and any working mum’s day for that matter, is being a mum. Never having a lunch break or just time to yourself is tough. It can be overwhelming. My day, much like that of many other dedicated mums, is committed to my kids, then my work, and in there somewhere I make time for my husband. With a one-year-old in the house, I’m usually up at 4.30am, and from there it’s getting kids ready, then heading out for my radio show, then voice-overs, then school pick up. Once that’s done, I’m back home, making dinner.’
‘The best way for me to find a balance, is to compartmentalize – put everything in boxes, and deal things one at a time. I have to give credit where it is due though, because I wouldn’t manage without the help of my husband and my nanny. Also, I cannot stress the importance of taking time out from any routine. Reality TV is a big escape for me – I try to make time for at least one soapy or telenovela just to end my day off on a relaxing note. I also enjoy a good glass of wine, along with a wonderful conversation with my sister who is also my best friend, a gym session with friends and dinner dates with Greg are a MUST! Every now and then I’ll spoil myself to a massage, a walk on the promenade or even dinner for one just to escape.’
Carol is also a passionate advocate for women empowerment and self-love, believing strongly that women should love themselves no matter what. Looks, size, quirks… they matter not. ‘Self-love is so vital, so cut yourself some slack. We are all different for a reason. That uniqueness is what makes us stronger, more courageous, and it gives us stories to share. Surround yourself with positive people who bring out the best in you, and allow yourself to be positive. Invest in anything you value… whether it’s your family, relationship, career or even a hobby, but keep fueling that positive energy within you. And dream big! I do this daily… I still have big dreams in the television space, but wish for nothing more than happiness, joy and good health and because of that I believe I usually always find it. You can too!’
Details: You can catch Carol on East Coast Radio – Monday to Friday 9am to 1pm, SABC2’s (Raising Babies 101) which is also available on YouTube or connect with her on Facebook: Carol Ofori; Twitter: @CarolOfori or Instagram: @CarolOfori
Photos: Katlego Mokubyane