What do you do exactly? I hear that often. From friends, family and my daughter. Mommy, what do you play at work? Do you colour and do action ball like me? I could easily fall into the play, colour and action ball category when it comes to my career.
It’s hardly a job. My world is colourful and packed with action, and the ball bit refers to the big ones, made of steel, between my legs…in my line of fun, I have to wear them proudly.
So what do I do?
After completing my National Diploma at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) in Cape Town, I spent six years as a PR practitioner at an agency, Rabbit in a Hat. As I’ve mentioned before, not quite sure where (maybe on the odd occasion I get to talk to myself), but I’ve always believed it was what I was meant to be doing because I was darn good at it, and I was happy…sort-of. At least, I truly believed I was at the time. That’s only because when you’re there, there’s always something that seems (and is) worse. For me, at the time, it was just being grateful for the fact that I had a job, that in my mind, would quickly pay off my study loan (it took me three years).
I got to represent a range of clients I quickly fell in love with; projects that felt very much a part of me; things I poured my heart and soul into, projects or clients I follow to this day. Not the stalker kind of follow, but on social media and in the news. (I’m NOT that girl!)
I worked on, and received a credit in Barry Hilton’s first feature film, Finding Lenny; I managed The Grand Daddy Hotel as well as the other hotels under the Daddy brand, including the amazing Old Mac Daddy Airstream Trailer Park in Elgin. Some of my clients included: Infecting the City Arts Festival; Spier Contemporary, South Africa’s largest biennale of contemporary art; Badilisha Poetry X-Change; Cape Town Tourism, and got to explore so much of my beautiful city; The Cape Town Partnership, an NPO who are all about bridging the divides of the city; The Cape Country Meander; The Economic Development Partnership (EDP); and City Hall Sessions, to name a few.
Although my work was fun and rewarding, and I met some amazing people, who I still have a skinner with to this day, two years into my role as an Account Manager, I realised my deep-rooted love for music, and my colleague (I only had one sharing my space, it was a small business) was at the other end of this ultimate dream churning machine. Thank you for listening, Tam – or pretending to listen whilst you had earphones in! 😉
I spoke everything into existence. I never secretly wrote down ideas or created spread sheets or action plans; I’d talk and talk and talk until I got tired of hearing my own voice, which forced me to do something about it. In my spare time (now that I think of it, I had loads!) I made connections with award winning record labels from around the world and started volunteering my time to music-related projects. Some were London-based, while others were in different parts of SA – distance was never a deciding factor. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I was also involved in Maher Zain’s concert that was held at the Athlone Stadium in 2013, attracting roughly 15 000 people.
My love for the crazy, yet exciting industry grew, and after a few more years, I started doing more work for labels, starting with homegrown musicians – local is lekker! At this point, I now covered two roles, one from 07h30 to 17h00, and one which I focused on after hours, at night, and on weekends – back then it was easy, I wasn’t a mom.
The closer I got to motherhood, the more things started to grow, and in 2014 I made the decision to join a bigger agency, where I now fulfill the role of a Campaigns Manager, Creative Director and Writer, with our biggest clients in the fuels and lubricants industry. I would have NEVER seen this coming. I get to work with an exceptional team, and I’ve been at it for one year and five months now. That’s my eight to five and I thoroughly enjoy it. (I am no longer in PR, but highly respect those who are [doing it right!])
Still unsatisfied that the music hole hasn’t been filled, I started working with my wonderful business partner, a Moroccan and sometimes, Holland-based, music director. (he’s all over the show, literally) involved in internationally acclaimed shows all over the world. Although I work independently from South Africa, things work pretty well and I can finally say, that gap has been filled. Thank you, Faical. Your faith and trust in me is appreciated.
- Then, I am also part of Outlaws Cape Town, a car club that was born from the idea of bringing car enthusiasts of all ages, races, sects and creeds together, who all share a common interest and passion for cars. Family and community investment plays a huge role in the club, which is why I am as passionate about it as all the car enthusiasts (My husband, best friend and brother are co-founders). Just last week we went to drop off a heap of things for a family whose home burnt down in an unfortunate incident in Mitchells Plain.
- I am also a mentor and am happiest when motivating and helping kids, with career guidance, homework or just advice. It brings me great joy.
- I was blessed enough to briefly join forces with Lauren Booth a couple of years ago, as I did some PR for her. Lauren is a Palestinian activist and revert to Islam ( she is also the sister in law to Tony Blair, British Labour Party politician, who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1997 to 2007 – just in case you needed that extra info)
- I was also featured in a few print media for my role in the industry, and believe it or not, for my hair (that post is still coming…)
- I had a brief stint in the modelling and acting industry where I did a few commercials for overseas clients, that landed on a few digital billboards in New York.
- Oh yes, one more thing (although I’m pretty sure this is not the last thing) but I’m also a blogger now 🙂
I do a lot, not because I feel like I never have enough, but because the only way I’ll grow and know what truly makes the heart happy, is to try and do as much as I want. And the strange thing is, since becoming a mom, you’re usually left with less time (a whole lot of less), but I always seem to do whatever the hell I want.
Maybe we’ll never truly be satisfied, but I’m always on a search, and if it makes me happy, I don’t usually do it again, I find something even better. It’s all about a new adventure for my life…every single day. If it doesn’t exist, I create it!
It is important to me that H knows that I make a choice to go to work every morning. I could stay at home with her and play, and a part of me would always want that, but I enjoy what I do, and I want her to love what she one day chooses. The choice is to choose to be happy, and at three years old, she gets it, in her own way.
May you always choose to be happy!
P.S A big THANK YOU to all who have already joined me on this journey. I appreciate all the love and feedback. (don’t forget to leave your comments below)