When Romy Alexandra Titus (36) walks onto a stage; there is a stillness, a calm.
She looks out into the crowd, with a poise only a true leader can pull off.
She begins her speech with an eloquence that keeps the crowd enraptured from 0.01 seconds.
She is a phenomenon and she will be celebrated.
Titus was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and completed her Journalism qualification at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
At the age of 20, she was the country’s youngest news anchor, but these days the 36-year-old focuses on sport, reporting soccer for SABC TV and anchoring Radio 2000’s Game On.
Titus is the founder of Babies Behind Bars (BBB), a non-profit organisation that provides mothers in prisons with essentials like clothing, food, educational toys, nappies and infant formula.
BBB is a charity organisation that was officially registered on February. BBB currently assists 800 infants and toddlers living in prisons across South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Swaziland and Namibia. Titus’s aim is to be in every prison on the continent.
BBB relies on donations from the public; but not everyone wants to help convicted criminals, so it’s not uncommon for Titus, who is an accomplished journalist, to donate her emceeing fees to the organization.
The 16th of August 2017 was a remarkable day for South Africa, as 100 young leaders and aspiring leaders gathered at the Houghton Golf Club in Johannesburg for TYI’s #MzansiTop100of2017 launch. It was also a day when the TYI community had the opportunity to absorb inspiration directly from the phenomenon that is Titus, as she shared her remarkable journey with us.
Titus says, “the joys of journalism are that you never know where you’ll find yourself, meters above the ground with the fire brigade’ hoist doing a piece to camera or witnessing a stranger take their last breath, in a hit and run robbery.”
I resonate with Titus’s message as I recall interviewing a young woman called Berenice Adams who showed me the ‘other side’ of Cape Town.
A side where gunshots are fired everyday and no life is spared in the crossfire. Berenice was one of the victims who was shot during the Cape Flats gang fights. A bullet is lodged 2 cm away from her spinal cord, removing it would risk her paralysis. A panado is all her mother can afford to suppress Berenice’s pain when she can’t sleep. The shooter still walks freely on the streets of Cape Town.
Journalism is not for the faint hearted. It is about being able to give the voiceless, a voice.
Top 10 reasons why we love Romy Titus:
1. She is the founder of a first of it’s kind charity organisation called Baby Behind Bars (BBB) which is aimed at bringing love, care and joy to infants in prisons around SA, Namibia and Swaziland.
2. She was the youngest news anchor for eTV at the age of 20.
3. During her internship with eTV, during her first broadcast she managed to interview world recognised musician, Hugh Masekela
4. In 2008, her amazing work won her the best TV news Anchor with the national broadcaster.
5. Titus was the only female in SA to get the opportunity to host the Fifa World Cup as a senior radio anchor.
6. She was one of a few in SA who hosted the most watched gambling game show on eTV, the National Lottery.
7. She continued presenting as a sports TV presenter even during her trimester of her pregnancy.
8. Titus pursued from the age of 8 years, when she discovered anchor Riaan Cruywagen.
9. Romy gave birth to a beautiful daughter on the 25th of April. The baby’s first name is Hera which means ‘warrior’ or ‘to be chosen’ and her second name is, Sarai – means Princess.
10. Titus was a keynote speaker during the TYI #Mzansi100Top2017 launch and her speech changed many young lives.