M-Net and Carte Blanche are welcoming a new face to the country’s longest running investigative journalism programme. Claire Mawisa will join the formidable Carte Blanche presenting team of Derek Watts, Devi Sankaree Govender, Bongani Bingwa and John Webb this weekend – Sunday (12 April) at 19:00.
In her first Carte Blanche report, she will take viewers to a remarkable but forgotten, archeological and historical heritage site that covers 10 000 square kilometres of the Mpumalanga escarpment. She asks why scholars, tourism and heritage agencies have been ignoring this place called Bokoni, where rock formations present evidence of a massive human settlement before colonialism.
Mawisa (35), who is well-known to the South African public as host and co-host of several television and radio shows after entering the limelight at a very young age as a model and continuity presenter, has also garnered extensive experience in the media industry in different roles behind the scenes. In 2014, she left Kaya FM to start her own business, an enterprise that empowers young women through life skills workshops.
“Claire will be a great asset to the Carte Blanche team,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity Lani Lombard. “She has an incredible rapport with young and old and we’re thrilled to add a new member to the team that will also draw a younger audience to our flagship programme. Moreover, her energy, investigative skills and extensive experience in the media industry will complement the existing team’s impeccable work.”
“There is no show like it on TV”, says Claire. “I have grown up watching Carte Blanche, and it has always had a very high standard when it comes to telling the South African story in an honest and fearless way. It always evokes an emotion in the viewer, whether it is heart wrenching, infuriating, amusing or uncomfortable, you can never accuse Carte Blanche of ever playing it safe. To say that I’m excited to join the team is an understatement.”
On Twitter, her fellow Carte Blanche presenters welcomed her to the fore, with Bongani Bingwa tweeting: “It’s official! I’m so pleased that the lovely and quite brilliant Claire Mawisa has joined the Carte Blanche team!”
To find out more about the new Carte Blanche presenter, visit www.mnet.tv
Read Claire’s full biography here:
Born in Cape Town, Mawisa spent her early years living in Gugulethu. Living with her mother and older brother, her family settled in Kenilworth, Cape Town, when she was five. That’s where they lived until she eventually left Cape Town for Johannesburg many years later.
At 14 years old, Claire was approached by a model boss and was asked whether she’d be interested in modeling. After signing with Topco Models, they decided to enter Claire into the prestigious model competition, Cosmopolitan Model of the Year 1994, to get some idea of what the industry was like. The novice model achieved the unthinkable and went on to win the competition at the age of just 15, beating professional and established models. She became the youngest and the second black South African beauty to be featured on the cover of the local Cosmopolitan magazine.
Claire was suddenly in the limelight and she took it all in her stride. Juggling modeling and her schoolwork, Claire travelled to many exotic destinations for her assignments; places including the length and breadth of South Africa, Maui, Hawaii and the Seychelles; all the while doing her homework on location. She has also graced many magazine covers, including True Love, Pace, Drum, Real and Bona. Claire continued to model to pay her way through university, and one day on campus, she received a call from her agent asking her whether she was interested in continuity presenting for SABC 1. Claire sent in her audition tape and clinched the job just two days later. Diving in head first, Claire left Cape Town and moved to Johannesburg to start her new job as a continuity presenter.
This opened the door to many other presenting opportunities that would come her way. She co-hosted “Live and Dangerous with Phat Joe”, Yfm’s breakfast show; co-hosted Miss SA Teen 2000 and 2001 with Michael Mol; won a Duku Duku award, became the Team Leader for SABC1 presenters, and became a preferred choice for a female MC during her two-year stint as a Simunye presenter.
After leaving SABC1 in 2001, she moved to England for a year, where she worked at mega retail entertainment leader HMV. Returning to South Africa in 2002, she became the anchor presenter with Bianca Le Grange and Masello Motana, for SABC1’s flagship music show One, and became more involved with radio. She joined Metro FM, South Africa’s largest English urban radio station, as a DJ for the “Smirnoff Experience Dance Mix Show” and as a Lifestyle Team member.
After interning at True Love magazine as a fashion assistant in 2002, Claire was recommended by the editor, Khanyi Dhlomo, to Seventeen magazine’s editor, Justine Daly, to become their new beauty editor. Claire worked passionately at Seventeen magazine for over a year before deciding to get back into TV.
In 2003 she co-hosted SABC2’s ‘Face 2 Face’ with Mark Pilgrim, a reality makeover show that targeted unsuspecting shoppers in malls all over the country. In 2006 she hosted the reality fashion show The Cut: South Africa, based on the Tommy Hilfiger-created American reality show of the same name.
She also co-hosted the second season of the reality show You’re Hired, with Pepsi Pokane.In 2006 she co-hosted the lifestyle magazine television show Africa Within, with Chilu Lemba.
She has worked as a radio content producer for KG Moeketsi on Radio 2000, for Randall Abraham’s syndicated radio show POV and for Thabo “Tbose” Mokwele on Kaya FM.
Claire joined Kaya FM in 2011 as a content producer and a content coordinator for the station. Responsibilities at the station varied from programming management to content development, research analysis and talent development.
Claire left Kaya FM at the end of 2014 to pursue her dreams of empowering young women through life skills workshops that she facilitates. She co-owns the company that started the Code Teen workshops, and feels this is the right time to grow the reach of the business.
In 2015 Claire joined the Carte Blanche team of presenters, alongside Derek Watts, Bongani Bingwa, Devi Sankaree Govender and John Webb.
Media and empowering young people are her passion and these are the fields that she has excelled in as well.