Benson Ntlemo who is the managing director of BN Press is a veteran journalist who has written for various newspapers, magazines and wire services in a career that spans more than 35 years. Ntlemo cut his journalism teeth when he was recruited and trained on the job at the defunct The Voice Newspaper the fiercely anti-apartheid newspaper that was owned by the South African Council of Churches.
He worked under the tutelage of news editor Tebello Radebe who had trained as a journalist in Zambia and sub editor Mothobi Motloatse, who is also a well-known author. That was in between 1979/1980.
When The Voice closed down Ntlemo went to Rand Daily Mail when he covered different beats such as sports under Harold “Hard Puncher” Pongola and showbiz under Doc “The Carcass”Bikitsha. Both Pongola and Bikitsha who worked with him are legendary figures in journalism themselves.
Pongola was regarded as pound for pound arguably the best golf writer in the country while Bikitsha is regarded as the doyen of showbiz writing in the country. Ntlemo has written for several newspapers in the country such as The Star, Golden City Press, The Sunday Times, Sowetan and the present-day City Press.
He also wrote for national magazines such as Drum, Frontline, Sideline and Pace magazine. Ntlemo has also written for wire services such as The Associated Press (for overseas market) and the South African Press Association.
He also served as a sub editor of e-Vibe music magazine as well as the editor of Vhembe news, a commercial newspaper that was based in Thohoyandou. He also worked closely with several top notch journalists such as the late Drum editor Stan Mocuwadi and is highly acclaimed in journalism circles.
Ntlemo has made presentations in workshop ploughing back to transfer skills to upcoming journalists. He has undergone training in journalism himself and on two occasions attended courses at the highly reputed Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Parktown under the tutelage of reputable journalism coaches such as the late Allister Sparks, Marc Chavannes a journalism professor from Netherlands and Yves vanderhaeghen, also a distinguished journalist.
He recently attained a certificate from the University of Witwatersrand on Children Reporting, an accredited course.
A distinguished writer, one of the stories he wrote for the defunct Frontline, The Nomads of Our Times can be googled under Sub-Saharan Reports after it was used by the United States Department of Information in 1987 as one of the best stories from Africa the same month.
The story was also used in The Sunday Times magazine, something that is no mean feat. In the 80’s Ntlemo also worked closely with the “Freelance Editors”, Tony Sutton and Kerry Swift who were based in Dunwell House in Bramfontein and he used to sell stories to them and in turn they used them for various publications such as Hit Magazine and Black Enterprise.
In 2005 Ntlemo was honoured by the Giyani community for his role as a journalist. The same happened recently when he received the Giant Reefs award in recognition of his excellence in journalism. Recently Ntlemo established The Village Voice, a commercial project that circulates in Vhembe and Mopani, particularly in Malamulele, Saselamani, Giyani, Bungeni and Elim.
After the advent of democracy in 1994, Ntlemo has been involved in corporate writing and has undertaken many projects in that area.
He had a stint as a sole writer and editor of Thulamela municipality newsletter.