This is my story…
I remember standing outside our home in Cape Town and watching international aircrafts fly by and I imagined that one day I would live overseas. I had always known in my heart that I was destined to discover a life beyond Cape Town…
My mother was a single mother who worked as a machinist at a shoe factory in Cape Town. My mother and my grandfather had continuously encouraged me to dream big and adopt a growth mindset. I had a very strong knowing that learning, growing and having the right attitude would empower me to become limitless in achieving my own definition of success. With a dream in my heart, a desire to take actionable steps and an unwavering faith in myself I had embarked on creating my own purpose driven journey.
Growing up in Bonteheuwel in Cape Town I had witnessed first-hand the challenges and obstacles faced with growing up in a low socio-economic neighbourhood. I had always held the belief that I was never at a disadvantage, instead, I had infinite advantages. I had always visualised a more hopeful future for myself. I believed that challenges, obstacles and hurdles are opportunities for growth. I had handwritten my deepest desires and goals on a piece of paper. I was around ten years old at the time. I had tucked away my note under my pillow, visualised my goals so vividly like a movie playing in my mind. I have always believed that taking action, having clear goals and making empowered choices would inspire positive outcomes. Today I can honestly say I have achieved every goal on my list. I believe that the difference between a dreamer and a doer is all about taking action. A dream without a plan of action is merely an illusion.
In grade eleven I had my first casual job working over weekends at a high-end fashion retail chain. I had saved my money and opened my first bank account at eighteen years old. When I graduated from high school, all my friends in my group had gone to university, they were chatting about the excitement of being on campus, meeting up and hanging out as a group. I must admit I was envious that I could not join them on their university journey straight away.
I remember heading to the Waterfront, my favourite place in Cape Town. Feeling sorry for myself, I walked into a bookshop called Exclusive Books. As I was walking through the personal development section, my elbow had accidently knocked a bookshelf. A book called The Power Of Positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale had landed on the floor. I was curious and read through a passage in the book. I stopped feeling “sorry for myself” and changed my mindset. I believed that I had to ask myself the right question “How am I going to achieve my dream and vision?” As opposed to focusing on having a lack mindset I had focused on creating opportunities for myself. I am a solution driven person, with a determined attitude and can do mindset. What I focus on expands, I am the captain of my ship and so I hold the power of choice. Never give up!
I had known that I had a financial advantage whilst working my way up in the fashion retail chain from working on weekends whilst in high school, to becoming a part-time casual then promoted to a full-time employee running my own department. I had saved my money over time and completed my Marketing course and received my certification. A year later I enrolled to undertake a Public Relations course and received my certification. With all the practical skills I had learnt and applied throughout my certificate courses my department had become the highest grossing high-end department in the history of the retail chain. With hosting customer focused in-store events, cultivating return customer service loyalty and communicating with internal and external stakeholders the department had continued to reach profitable outcomes.
I had received a significant salary increase and purchased my first car at twenty one. It was an adorable little Fiat Uno, paid with the help of a small deposit from my mother. I had my driver’s license, my car, my education, a bank account with a stable income, but I wanted more, my vision continued to evolve.
Whilst working as the retail department manager, I was headhunted and offered a position at the award winning 5-star hotel and spa in Camps Bay. During the same week I was offered a senior position at head office, my intuition had leaned towards going for the interview at the hotel instead. I am always challenging myself to push myself to new heights and grow my highest potential.
I remember going for my interview at the hotel and feeling a warm tingling sensation running down my spine. I remember driving by these beautiful luxurious ocean front hotels with my family and reading about them in the Conde Nast Traveler magazine, thinking to myself how amazing it would be working at a 5-star hotel of this calibre.
During my time working in the hospitality industry, I had worked as the Front Office Manager. I had managed the daily spa operations, working on PR strategies and communicating with both local and international celebrities and VIP’s including Camilla Belle, Ralph Fiennes, Luke Goss, Malik Whitfield, soccer player Ronaldo, Laila Ali, heads of states, diplomats, local entertainers and many more. I loved my job, meeting new people and seeing new faces every single day, what a great experience.
Whilst working at the 12 Apostles hotel and spa I had saved enough money for a deposit towards my 4-year national diploma in Public Relations Management at Cape Peninsula University Of Technology. It was a challenging journey, studying part-time and working long hours in the hospitality industry. I am so grateful I had an amazing manager who had supported me. I was laser focused on achieving my goals. But I had known in my heart and soul that my hard work and dedication would pay off long term.
As fate would have it, I had met radio and television celebrity Natalie Becker. We had connected deeply around topics that were dear to both of us. I was interviewed on her radio show called Winning Women. I had pinched myself this was the same radio show I would listen to every morning on my way to work. I had visualised myself speaking in front of a microphone, my dream had come true. I had known instinctively as ten-year-old girl, performing and entertaining the church congregation on stage during Sunday school activities that I was home in front of an audience.
In November 2005 I had met my Australian husband who was working in a senior role for United Nations, we had moved to Eritrea in Ethiopia before moving to Australia in 2008.
I had encountered many challenges, setbacks and hurdles adjusting and adapting to my new enviroment. I had also struggled with loneliness having all my friends and family back home in South Africa, redefining myself and discovering who I was. Having said that I was filled with excitement knowing that this chapter was a large part of my vision for myself, my family and our future.
We had our son in May 2008. I had so many changes happening all at once, moving to a new country, getting married, starting my new job and becoming a proud mother all at once. I have an enormous respect for my mental, emotional and physical health. There are challenges in one’s life that will push you to the brink of exhaustion. However, I believe that we have the power within us to continue to create the life we want no matter the external factors that challenge our growth and evolution.
With all of these significant changes happening in my life I continued to fulfil my dream in using my voice in radio (our team had won a prestigious radio award for our show), creating my own television show Her Untold Story aired on a community television station, (making history as the first all female crew), podcasting and chatting with guest from all walks of life, public speaking and launching my own communications business Desmore Media in 2019.
Fast forward to 2021 my son had turned thirteen years old, my husband and I have been together for seventeen years, we have a beautiful dog named Katie. I am at TAFE studying a Certificate IV course in business and growing my own business.
I believe that we hold the key to writing our own story, we get to decide how our story ends…