‘ I never expected to be jobless and living with my mom’ Radio personality Naledi Moleo, 29, turned unemployment into a launching pad for success. She lives in Lyndhurst. In 2007, I was working as a producer and presenter for a current affairs show on SABC News International and I loved every moment of it. I enjoyed engaging with young South Africans on issues that weren’t often discussed, and I had a lot of input into, and control over, what went into the show. We had a great three-year run and it was a huge shock to all of us when, in 2010, the show was cancelled and the station shut down. My colleagues and I were naturally distraught to be losing our jobs. I was 22 and, at that age, you don’t really plan for the worst; I was living pay cheque to pay cheque and I had no savings to fall back on.
Naledi Moleo Success Photo Gallery
I had to move out of my apartment in Westcliff and go back to living at my mother’s house in Alexandra. It was clear that I’d made mistakes; I had been reckless with my finances and had become complacent in my job. Being unemployed was horrible – it wasn’t just the embarrassment of having no money and relying on my mom, but I hated having no sense of purpose.
When I had to scrape together all of my money to see if I could pay for transport to a job interview, I knew I’d hit rock bottom. The turning point I’d had enough, so I decided to do something about my situation – I volunteered with an NGO in Alex to keep busy and help out in my community. My mood lifted as soon as I had a reason to get out of bed; I used this time to make decisions about my future while I also mapped out my career goals.
The first step in realising my dreams was to associate myself with a media brand I had a lot of respect for, SAfm. So I put together a demo for a talk show and dropped it off at the station. Six months later the station had four copies of my demo and more emails than I’d like to count, but my persistence paid off: I was eventually called in for an interview, and I landed a job with them as a radio talk-show host. Today I’m a property owner, a speaker at various events, and host of three radio shows on SAfm. That difficult time gave me a chance to rebuild my life in so many ways; I learnt so much about what I want, what I’m capable of, and how to make better life decisions. Although the road ahead is long, it’s also exciting – and I know I’m finally on the right track.
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