Veteran broadcaster Dirara Mokoena has been laid to rest in Johannesburg on Saturday. The 64-year-old former Lesedi FM station manager and Leihlo La Sechaba Executive Producer died of cancer two weeks ago.
He started his career as a junior announcer at Lesedi FM in 1983 and worked for the public broadcaster until he retired in 2019.
During a moving funeral service, family, friends, and colleagues hailed the veteran journalist’s contribution to the industry’s growth. Here are what some of them had to say:
His son, Kwena Mokoena says, “He was a disciplined person. He always wanted the best for us. It’s very tough to try to imagine the world without him and we will miss him very much.”
On behalf of Mokoena’s widow, Poppy Sebatana says, “You are my protector, my soul. My spirit is broken. I feel pain, but you have gone to rest. Go well, my love!”
Mokoena retired in 2019 after 35 years of public broadcasting service. For his former colleagues, he was a man who was not tired of nurturing talent.
Veteran broadcaster Dirara Mokoena laid to rest:
A colleague from Lesedi FM, Thuso Motaung says, “He was a peaceful person when he arrived at the radio station in 2015. He found and resolved problems which faced him in song.”
Sesotho Bulletin Editor, Borentsi Mooko says, “When he was in Bloemfontein, he became our Sesotho television news bulletin’s watchdog. He would always call when he spotted an error to get it corrected.”
Mokoena was also hailed for fighting to have indigenous languages recognised on air.
Producer Leihlo la Sechaba Annie Mokoena says, “He would emphasise on the use of a simple language even the eldest would understand wherever they are listening or watching.”
Former Lesedi FM station manager Dirara Mokoena funeral underway in Johannesburg on Saturday:
Former colleague Mohlalefi ‘wire’ Khoali says, “Lesedi FM has now 4 million listeners because of his contribution. When he left the radio station in 2019, he had laid a strong foundation.”
Lesedi FM Programmes Manager, Manini Nyokong says, “He was very passionate about ensuring that Sesotho culture is preserved so that young people may know where they are coming from and where they are going.”
Mokoena was laid to rest at the Fourways cemetery. He is survived by his wife, a son, two daughters, and a grandson.
Leihlo La Sechaba pays tribute to Dirara Mokoena: