I have been blessed in so many ways and the last few days have made me appreciate that in a new way.
I joined the media 7 years ago and truth be told, it was sheer luck. It was completely a matter of the right ‘someone’ hearing my voice, liking it and out of the blue offering me that opportunity. It was never something that I had considered and it was never something that I thought I could do for a long time and yet it has changed my life in so many ways. I have seen and experienced so much that I otherwise may not have the opportunity to experience. I have faced challenges and I have grown through this journey.
Sometimes I hear a radio personality recounting his or her struggle to make it on radio and get the opportunity; and I am always in awe of how far some people will go to achieve their dream. I was lucky and so blessed in it all, I didn’t go through some of the pain and strife that some have had to go through to get to where they want to be.
And that appreciation of my slightly different journey was heightened when I participated in the Top Billing presenter search. Ukhozi FM, the radio station I work for, partnered with Top Billing for the Durban leg of the search and nominated two presenters to participate in the process; I being one of them, Chilli M being the other.
Again, my experience was slightly different in that I didn’t stand in a long queue with all the contestants and go through the whole anxiety of ‘what to expect’ because I had at least stood in front of a camera before; filming for roots at the South African Traditional Music Awards in 2011 as well as Ses’khona in 2009 and Creature Club between 2007 and 2010. For these auditions, I was expected to arrive and when I arrived, I went in, signed in, did the audition and I left.
However, in the short time that I was there, I did gain some insight into what people who really want to make it, go through. Some of those young women and young men, were there from the early hours of the morning, hoping to be first in line and get the opportunity to impress the judges. They were dressed to the nines, rehearsing their links, practicing their walks. It just goes to show that in different ways and in different careers, people are just looking for their lucky break and looking to make their mark.
I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to do what I enjoy and what allows me to be me from a very young age. I am blessed to have had the experiences that I have had, learnt the lessons that I have learnt and walked the path that I have walked.
I am so blessed to have been part of these auditions. For me, it was not about the competition, I participated simply because I had never been exposed to that side of trying to get into the media and I wanted to experience that and kind of stretch myself, open myself up to criticism and get a better understanding of what I am capable of and not capable of.
At the same time, being a strong believer in messages from the universe, I don’t think the primary purpose was for me to just audition; it was for me to appreciate what I have, through seeing how badly some people want that one lucky break and the lengths they will go to, to get that opportunity. I have at least had that opportunity.
I thank the powers that be for the opportunities that I have had, the lessons I have learnt, the people that have seen in me what I did not know existed and the path that I am walking.
I may not have it all but for what I have been blessed with, I am eternally grateful.