Taking the Leap: Sanet’s journey to journalism

Sanet’s journey as she works towards becoming a journalist

Sanet’s mother would describe her as someone who started writing before she could write, asking to be shown how to form letters and words. As someone who loved English at school and always doodled in notebooks, filling them with poetry, it wasn’t always explicitly clear to her that she would one day enter the world of journalism. To her friends and family, journalism is a natural fit – complimenting her inquisitive nature and ability to connect with people in an effort to extract stories from them.

At school Sanet had no idea what she wanted to do past her initial plans of travelling overseas after school to work as au pair to explore the wide world beyond the borders of her home country South Africa. With a plan in mind and determination in her heart, this is what she did, one year in Germany and a second in the Netherlands.

Learning a new language, discovering foreign cultures and countries, sampling strange foods, and making friends – she was in her element. It was these new experiences and the urge to discover more about how the world works and what societies can learn from one another that inspired her to study International Relations once she returned home. With two years of glorious Europe under her belt, this is what she did.

She moved to Pretoria and emerged herself in the first year student culture while diligently forging ahead with her studies. Three years and a lot of hard work later, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Studies, she was overjoyed at her acceptance into an honours degree in International Relations.

In between, she constantly sought out opportunities to travel abroad for conferences and student events while learning more about her own country and the lived experiences that come with a complicated and violent history. Working full-time and studying part time, Sanet completed her honours degree, eager to throw herself into the world of meaningful work only to be disappointed at the lack of opportunities available to recent graduates in the field of politics.

After countless applications, hours spent at unpaid internships, and energy spent in dead-end jobs, she realised that she needed to make a drastic change in her life.

As someone who is always busy with a variety of projects, she had become involved with an online magazine for which she was creating content as a staff writer. After a year and a half, the bug had bitten and she knew she was ready to pursue journalism.

Sanet had found that same determination in her heart that urges her to forge ahead, even when a situation seems impossible. Ten years after completing high school, she took the plunge, trusting that her finances will work out and believing in a more exciting future. Up to this point, her faith has not failed.