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Accidental Politician

I always knew I would use my voice to change the world.

When my soprano singing voice landed me an invitation to attend the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (currently the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) in Glasgow, Scotland, more than 8,000 miles away from my home in South Africa, I imagined a future on the world’s grandest stages.

But it quickly became clear that my bank balance was too modest to support such lofty dreams of international training. I felt my chance at the spotlight slipping through my fingers.

I threw myself into plan B, a Bachelor of Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, followed by a Bachelor of Arts in political communications at the University of Cape Town. In my final year at university, a research paper I wrote on South Africa’s opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, opened the door to a job with the party as a parliamentary research assistant.

A year into the job, I realized that the parliamentarians I worked alongside were mere mortals. Two other 20-something friends who I worked alongside had a similar realization. We talked it over and asked, “Why not us?”


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