I blame my brother.
He had dominion over the record player and at the tender age of seven, I was subjected to David Bowie, Yes, Deep Purple and the likes. When we got the first stereo hifi he also bought headphones, which we had to fight over who got to use them. In a crowded home of nine people, music became a beautiful escape from the noise. As I entered my teens, I still used music as an escape. Like every teenager in the Eighties, I sat glued to my radio for the weekly Top 20 and I imagined myself with the idyllic job as a Disc Jockey (DJ). Neil Johnson created a show called ‘homebru’ where he showcased local bands and I was in heaven. Around the same time, I decided I wanted to be a nurse, you know, to help people. My quiet, unproclaimed dream of being a DJ remained silent. I mean, seriously, who do I think I am wanting to do that job? To be surrounded by music all day and not help people? Plus, saying something like that came across as boastful and egotistical and I could never be that! So I let the dream lie there, deep within.
I did become a nurse, and was a damn good one, except that I failed my anatomy exams. My life plan instantly shattered, I immediately thought of new goals, new dreams because I couldn’t wait the three months for a rewrite. I now know that I was too emotionally involved in my patient care and cared too much in a way, well at least, I cared too much for a 17 year old Fadget.
Fadget? What on earth….?
My nursing year also saw me fall in love with a local band, eVoid, which had a regular gig at the Chelsea Hotel in Hillbrow. Every spare cent went towards my entrance to the dodgy club where I was surrounded by ‘live’ music which seemed to fill my soul. I watched the roadies and sound engineer do their thing and quietly thought to myself ‘I would love that..’
Roll on 24 hour nursing notice and I was suddenly free. Free to do what? I felt extremely relieved to be away from the responsibility of nursing and I was so swept up with confidence that I called the local broadcaster, the SABC (Mnet didn’t yet exist) from a pay phone (tiekie box) in a neighbouring block of flats. I was given a job interview and I sailed my way through the process, with the only real obstacle being, to prove that I could ‘praat die taal’. This was 1985 and the soutie girl applying for a fantasy job seemed a little out there. But, I got the job that I didn’t know had an actual name… a sound technician/operator. I threw myself into the work and I even had a fantastic Scots boss which eased my way into the very male dominated world at the time.
This century sees me on a completely different plane but I am still enjoying the journey. I had forgotten about my ‘secret’ dream of being a DJ until recently. I was asked to do a radio interview for an ‘older’ station with a friend and I jumped at the chance. I have been on radio a few times as well as on TV but somehow this time made me think… ‘what if?’
I don’t know what lies ahead, nor the what if’s, but I do know that by letting my old ‘young’ dreams wash over me, made me feel that ‘anything is possible’. I spent a long time in my head thinking ‘I can’t’, maybe it’s time to explore those dreams with a feeling of ‘I can’.
In the meantime? I’m pretending…. be right back after this break!