When her peers were chasing tertiary school deadlines, worried about their Grade Point Average (GPA), retakes or failing their respective semesters, this young and vivacious lass was on another tip as she always knew her dream was fixated on becoming Botswana’s next big media entrepreneur. The former Mantlwaneng presenter, Rea Kopi started Rea Online four years ago, and back then it was not really popular to air a TV show online.
And this coupled with Botswana’s depressing and slow internet which vexes potential subscribers to channels such as YouTube also threatened Rea’s noble idea. However, armed with her unwavering zeal and God-given talent, Rea was not deterred to pursue her dream of becoming one of Botswana’s most sought after media personalities.
Akin to the adage, “you reap what you sow”, Rea’s perseverance and patience of almost four years is starting to bear fruits which has led industry leaders to take notice of this articulate and sassy Ramotswa-born lass. Her biggest break came in snippets after she won ‘The 2014 Orange Presenter Search’ at the inaugural Yarona FM awards.
She fairly did well, with only two years down the line of her mainstream media practice. She was also amongst the winners of the Gaborone International Music Festival Female Hosts Competition in 2016; possibly her huge break into the elite league of Botswana’s showbiz industry as GIMC is rated amongst the Top 10 festivals in Africa.
All these achievements were done parallel to her brainchild idea, Rea Online.“Four years ago when I started Rea Online, I predicted it to become a critical online platform for women acting as an encouragement and inspiration. I didn’t really think it would become a formidable television talk show. For me as a presenter, I also wanted to show my skills after the Mantlweneng gig to at least land a presenter gig somewhere, which actually happened. The point of it was to harness my television presenting skills. I was so emotionally attached to this project.”
Now with the youth television channel, Now TV which launched and opened dreams of about 22 production houses early this year, Rea Online has finally made it to mainstream television. Kopi (24) has finally employed some youth (5) and looks to become a better media personality with her inspiration drawn from different media moguls around the world. She is so focused on getting her hands on owning several other productions.
“I look up to people like Oprah Winfrey, Tyra Banks, Basetsana Khumalo and Khanyi Dhlomo and Gaona Dintwa because they own what they do. It’s very important for me as a businesswoman not just as a television personality to own the content that I showcase. Dintwa has always been my mentor locally because we started online together when it was not so popular to do.”
Fast forward to today, she now owns a production company dubbed Esse Media, which produces Rea Online.She also the presenter for “African youth in business” on Now TV and Travelogue on Btv respectively, all with different markets to serve. She finds her balance in staging a different persona for these various markets.
“As soon as I stand before the camera I totally forget about any show that I host. Rea Online is for youthful women, African youth in business is straight forward while Travelogue is about local travel. All I do is focus at a time to give every show the required energy. However importantly, I don’t lose my personality whenever I present each and every show.”
Quizzed what else tickles her fancy, Rea said when she’s not doing TV, she is on radio at Gabz FM where she is slowly carving her own golden niche. “With radio, it is uncensored, no one is directing me on what to say or do, it’s for the youth and the show is aimed at the youth and I know how we all think thus I give it the Midas touch it deserves.” Rea says she has grouped her success to a big celebration next month where she will reveal what her company Esse Media has been up to as well as sharing future plans of her protégé idea.
“Together with the team we are celebrating our milestone, we will host inspirational women who have been part of the show and have a showing of when we started to date. For now it will be strictly 100 and carefully selected media movers and shakers. I live by the inspiration that, ‘if not you then who’, so for this I understand that there are people who look up to me so it’s going to be a night of learning from each other. Plans are underway to also give back to the society because it is the society that make us.”
“Next month, on the 3rd of October, we will reveal more of what we want to become and it will be a group effort.” she confessed.