Born and raised in Umtata, Noeleen's entrée to broadcast media was on Radio Transkei in 1986. When Noeleen moved to Johannesburg in 1994, she applied for a job on 702 and started out at the bottom again – as a junior reporter before landing a co-hosting job. Noeleen's career growth at the station was meteoric as listeners warmed to her generous, spirited style, first as a news reader and then as news editor.
From 2001, Noeleen was on the Primedia Board and hosted her own daily show before leaving the company at the end of 2002. In the process, Noeleen also won a Global Population Institute prize for Best Programme of the Year (which she received at an event in Cuba in 2002). Noeleen is a popular celebrity and MC at corporate functions.
Just three days before her farewell party of her talk show ‘3 Talk with Noeleen’, Maholwana-Sangqu said “stay humble and true to yourself. The show is not about you, it’s about the person you are interviewing. I am interested in the guest and don’t tell me about how fabulous you are – the viewers will decide how fabulous you are.” She aimed this at new presenters. She also said “If you believe in yourself, go for it. You can’t be someone else, you have to be you.”
3 Talk with Noeleen aired its last show on 20 April 2015.