I’ve always wanted to work in showbiz and my first real taste of it came when I acted in several local theatre productions as a teenager. During one of them, I met South African radio celebrity Roy Williams. Roy invited me to sit in on some of his shows and that’s when the radio bug well and truly bit, so to speak.
Acting on a suggestion from a teacher, I drew up a proposal to start a radio station at my school, and my ideas were accepted enthusiastically. With the help of staff and friends, I got South Africa’s first school radio station, Heartbeat Radio, off the ground in 1992.
After school, I enrolled at Rhodes University to further my career in the media industry. Their campus station, Rhodes Music Radio, was the first independently run one in the country to be granted an FM licence. They held auditions the week I arrived, and I was chosen to be a DJ and newsreader after coming first in those.
Keen to get a slot on the province’s commercial station, Radio Algoa, later that year, I convinced them to audition me. They were impressed and offered me freelance work. I was only 18 at the time and this was a dream come true – a newsreader for a major FM station!
The following year, there were several line-up changes at the station and I was hired as a weekend disc jockey. I also began freelancing for the SABC television department, which handled the regional crossovers for Good Morning South Africa.
After completing my studies, I went to collect a friend from an interview with 702 Talk Radio in Johannesburg. A woman I knew who worked there introduced me to the news director and he hired me after doing a quick audition. I worked for 702 as a newsreader and editor for over two years.
The company, Primedia Broadcasting, also runs an adult contemporary radio station, 94.7 Highveld Stereo. I was one of 10 people chosen from over 200 to present weekend music shows in 1998. I also successfully completed a course in TV presenting with On-Cue while still in Johannesburg.
In March 2000, I moved to Cape Town, where I began working for Cape Talk, another Primedia station. I read news for them and was a sub-editor for one of their web portals, iafrica.com, until March 2002. By that stage, I’d been granted an Australian permanent residency visa and decided to immigrate.
In Australia, I worked for SBS radio news as a broadcast journalist in Sydney. I also captioned/subtitled programmes for British and Australian clients such as the ABC, BBC, UKTV, Foxtel, SBS and channels 4, 5, 9 and 10.