Written By Mishka Patel
Social Star with Jo-Ann Strauss
I realised I never really shared my social star journey with any of you. A life-changing experience, that happened in October in 2015, which simply started as an entry for yet another competition, ended up with me spending a week in Mauritius with Jo-Ann Strauss, Minnie Dlamini and Gareth Pon! I think this shows you: If you do not take chances and see where it can take you, you never know where you might end up!
I entered two weeks before the closing date for Social star. I remember phoning one of my friends who‘s studying in the videography field to help me put a video together. And we made it happen two days after the phone call. I am sharing the link to the YouTube video below too, so please do send me any feedback! I tried to keep the video as real and authentic as possible, I have to say, I never thought I’d make it to the semi-finals with a last minute entry and online voting, never mind making it to the top 3! Have a look at the #SocialStar and see some other entries too.
I think it was a month before social star, that I lost my mom. It was such a crazy and hectic time in my life, my mind already forgot so much that happened in that time. That’s why I decided to write about what I have seen, felt and experienced during my time in Mauritius.
So let’s take a walk down memory lane again.
It was the step in my life that I needed to take in order for my life to move forward. Strangely the break-away, helped me mourn my mom. We laughed, cried and learned so much on the trip while experiencing the most incredible things. And it helped me push to overcome one my of many fears: Heights. I went parasailing! Probably one of the coolest experiences to float over the Mauritian oceans and see such incredible beauty. My second biggest fear: The deep sea. I was stand-up paddle-boarding in the middle of the Mauritian ocean: Life-changing I tell you! I had so much time to think, to regroup, to pick up the pieces and to plan for the rest of my life.
I think the most insane part was thinking of my mom while swimming with dolphins. To wake up 3am (South African time), preparing to swim with wild sea animals, and to smell the fresh ocean air… No words can describe these unbelievable experiences! Above it all, spending a week with the woman I have admired since I was a little girl, learning from her and taking every single moment in, was something I wrote down in my bucket list, and something I can tick off now.
It gave me the courage to keep on working towards my dreams as I knew that’s what my mom would want. Today, as I am typing this blog it’s been almost 7 months since I lost her.
I met Brandon Berg and Sibu Mpanza- guys who literally changed my life. I took pieces from both of them with me and I still learn from them every day as I watch them grow on social media. We were three completely different people. One a YouTuber, one a photographer and then there was me.
It’s where I learned all about how to go the right way about Instagram, how to make cool stories on Snapchat and what the right content is to share on social media platforms. It was a social media competition after all, so why not learn from each other while competing, haha.
It’s where I learned to be me, to give all of myself and where I finally realised: It’s okay to fail. Because at the end, I never failed. I learned. I am a 23 year old woman, and every day I learn new things about myself, and my journey.
After social star I had the courage to go for a big audition, about 3 months after the passing of my mother, which landed me my current job as one of three a new TV Presenters on Pasella, which airs every Friday at 19H30 on SABC2.
I believe everything happens for a reason and people cross our paths for a reason. Social star opened my mind and heart to so many new adventures and opened so many doors, and I thank Jo-Ann Strauss for the incredible opportunity.
Here’s to the rest of our lives.
Let’s keep dreaming, building and pursuing!