Redi Thlabi (née Direko) was born on 5th May 1978 in Orlando East, Soweto in South Africa. She is a Television and radio presenter, MC, author and columnist.
Redi has worked in the Office of the Premier of the Western Cape, where she was appointed communications director in June 2004.
She was a student at Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg where she graduated with BA degree in Communications.
She also graduated from University of Johannesburg with an honours degree in Social Sciences and English Literature.
In 2008 she obtained a Master’s degree in African Literature.
Redi’s career started as a reporter at Network Radio News, after which she moved to Kaya FM, a Gauteng radio station where she hosted the afternoon drive show and worked as a bulletin editor.
She worked for the SABC as a reporter and later as a current affairs anchor and producer. Redi has presented a variety of programmes for the SABC and its Africa channel, including ‘Today in Africa’, ‘News Hour’, and ‘Interface’.
In 2005 she became a senior Eyewitness News journalist for Talk Radio 702.In August 2005 she became the anchor of the evening radio show ‘Talk at 9’.
Between 2006 and 2008 she was the presenter of Rights and Recourse- a legal rights television talk show that aired on SABC 3.
In 2007 Redi covered the G8 Summit, as the African anchor for the UK’s channel, that was held in Gleneagles in Scotland.
In 2008 she became of the co anchors of the Primetime news bulletin for e.tv’s new 24-hour satellite news channel, eNews, also featuring Jeremy Maggs. Redi left the Primetime news bulletin in May 2009, citing her busy schedule and heavy workload as reasons.
Redi presented a legal/consumer rights show, ‘Rights and Recourse’, on SABC 3. She has also produced a much-talked-about documentary on President Thabo Mbeki.
She is the host of ‘The Redi Direko Show’ which broadcast every weekday on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk.
Redi writes a monthly column for the South African women’s magazine, Fairlady, as well as a weekly column for the Johannesburg-based Sowetan newspaper. Her first column in the Sowetan appeared in February 2009.
She is also a South African brand ambassador for Clarins, a French cosmetic company and an avid runner. She has run the Comrades Marathon three times and is a member of the Rand Athletics Club.
In 2008, Redi Tlhabi made headlines for leading a protest against the sexual harassment of women. The protest, held in Johannesburg and made up of mini-skirt wearing women, was in response to the ordeal of a young woman at the Noord Street Taxi Rank who was attacked for wearing a mini-skirt.
In 2008 and 2009 Redi was been chosen as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Young South Africans you must take to lunch (in the media category).
In 2008 she was presented with the Vodacom Women in The Media ‘Rising Star Award’.
In August 2009 she won the ‘Tomorrow’s Leader Award’ in the Most Influential Women in Business and Government (MIW) awards for 2009.
In 2012 she wrote ‘Endings and Beginnings (Jacana) which received popular and critical acclaim and received the Alan Paton Award in 2013.