Writer: Takalani Sioga
Growing up in a rural area in Limpopo I always knew that I wanted to work in media, be it TV or radio presenting or being a journalist. When I told my friends and my classmates that I want to be in media some made fun of me because firstly my parents couldn’t afford to send me to university. In that time my English was terrible, I couldn’t even write an essay of one page. Despite everything I was determine to be in media. At the age of 13 I started to buy newspapers and magazines, I would save my pocket money to at least buy one magazine a month. Sometimes I would even steal my mom’s money just to buy a newspaper. Something inside me always told me that “you can do it”.
Former President Nelson Mandela once said that we live in a country that says be what you want to be. Again he once said that we live in a country which is full of possibilities. Those are the words which made me even more determined. Negative comments from people couldn’t stop the burning desire and passion I have for media. Slowly but surely my English started to improve, I started to gain confidence when I speak English, and started to write long essays about my problems and the challenges I was facing in life.
In 2008 I passed my matric very well, I remember crying in front of my mom while holding my results, my mom asked why I was crying and I said, even though I had passed my matric so well I would not be going to university nor a college (college was not an option for me). She reached my hand and said “God’s grace is upon us, he knew about the plans he has for you before you were born”, I live to those words even today.
2009 I was accepted at University of Venda to study BA Media Studies and managed to secure a study loan. The passion for media grew even more. That same year I started to write for Daily Sun, I was overwhelmed when I read my first article in the newspaper, and it became an assurance that I am not in the wrong career. At the end of 2009 I changed universities to Tshwane University of Technology (one of the best universities to produce journalists). One of the reasons I came to study in Pretoria was that I wanted to learn other South African languages and cultures. The three years I spent at TUT were the best of my life.
2011 I worked for one of the biggest commercial radio stations, Capricorn FM, as an intern in the newsroom. God has always been great to me. I will always be grateful for the opportunity that Capricorn FM gave me and for trusting me enough. When I was there I learned a lot about journalism as a whole and sometimes after working for hours I would go and sit in studio with a DJ and observe what he/she was doing. I am always thirsty to learn new things every day. When my period with the station expired, I went back to school to finish my National Diploma in Journalism.
A week before I finish my studies, JazzE online Magazine gave me an opportunity to meet and interview Sibongile Khumalo, this is one of the highlights of my career so far. A day after I qualified as a Journalist, I met and interviewed Lira at the South African State Theatre in Pretoria. I had never thought in my wildest dream that one day I would sit down and have conversations with such talented and well known music legends. Indeed dreams do come true.
Even though am still looking for a job, I’m proud to say I am living my dream. It doesn’t matter what your background is, if you have a burning desire to achieve something you will certainly do it. It takes lot of courage, hard work, sleepless nights and family support. Dreams do come true – mine did.