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    #Newsmaker: The New Norm - Bliss Yeni talks Covid-19

    Bliss Yeni is the presenter of a new daily factual-entertainment talk show on SABC 3, The New Norm, which started on 1 June 2020.
    #Newsmaker: The New Norm - Bliss Yeni talks Covid-19

    The show provides insights and facts on issues around Covid-19 and the lockdown, as the country prepares for the new reality and the new normal we find ourselves in, in our efforts to contain Covid-19.

    The 20 episodic specials will see Yeni engage with experts and ordinary South Africans locally and internationally to discuss and share their thoughts, emotions and experiences of how they are learning to adjust to this ‘new normal’ from health care, finances, education, culture, technology, media consumption, tourism and travel.

    Here, Yeni elaborates more on the show and what excites her most, and she tells us how she, herself is navigating the new normal.

    BizcommunityCongrats on the new show. How do you feel about it?


    Thank you. I’m ecstatic and I feel honoured to be afforded the opportunity and to be entrusted with such a great responsibility to share knowledge and experiences with SABC 3 viewers through the various people and experts that I will be engaging with on the show. I am looking forward to hearing how South Africans, here and elsewhere in the world, are faring under the lockdown from day-to-day.

    BizcommunityWhat excites you most about this show?


    The show looks at the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, which was followed by the National State of Emergency instituted with a National Lockdown, amongst other stringent but necessary measures adopted by the state. Under these circumstances, South Africans and SABC 3 viewers, in particular, found themselves being put into a new norm that SABC3 wants to reflect on. It’s a different kind of talk that will follow all physical distancing protocols.
    The approach is avant-garde in my view. It's like being a Miles Davis in a mainstream jazz band. It's almost experimental and exciting. It’s new and fresh in its treatment of current issues. It's a no-one-size-fits-all, but it's embracing different views and a shift in our paradigm of thinking.
    I also just love that we will be exploring with technology for physical distancing. Our guests will be interviewed digitally. That's where the world is going and we are happy to be one of the first to lead the way.


    BizcommunityWhy do you think this show was needed and why did you want to be part of it?


    There are a lot of narratives around Covid-19 and the information overload can be overwhelming. We've had the opportunity to see how people respond to certain things and content; and we want to engage from a perspective that says, ‘We understand your anxiety and questions you may still have, and we'd like to engage with you.’ We are saying, ‘Come, let's reason together, I’ll hold your hand and you hold mine, with gloves of course!' We also want people to share their own stories and ideas on how they are embracing this new way of life, the new normal.

    The show itself will give an opportunity for us to examine a number of issues brought about by Covid-19, the psychology of the lockdown - fear, isolation, phobias, etc. that come with it, the usage of technology and the challenges to individuals and business, and I think all these are important discussion points. We all are looking at ways of navigating the new normal pathways and it’s a great opportunity for me to walk this journey of reflection and discovery with SABC 3 viewers.

    BizcommunityHow has the pandemic impacted and changed your own life and how are you navigating this new normal?


    The most recent painful experience for me was not being able to see my son when he was hospitalised. I grappled with the idea of not seeing people you love, that human touch, a hug, the reassuring facial expressions. It’s the core of who we are as human beings and that interaction heals the spirit. Love is the essence of hope and how could I reassure him that I may not be there, but I love him?

    I have learnt to meditate and listen to people who believe in strengthening the mind like Kobe Bryant and Dr Joe Dispenza. How you look at life is very important. If you are to win anything, you have to first win it mentally before winning physically. I believe in working on my mindset to stay positive. I believe in having a strong support structure of strong women, from my mother to my friends, the conversations we have and the support we give to each other. I believe so much in these women and love them dearly; they have shaped who I am today.

    BizcommunityWhat do you love most about your career?


    Being able to share my time with others and learning from everyone, from ordinary people to experts, their opinions and learnings… and who doesn’t love appearing on TV! (Wink)


    BizcommunityAny career highlights you’re particularly proud of?


    Oh, this is the highlight! The New Norm.

    BizcommunityWhat are you most looking forward to/enjoying so far?


    Gaining knowledge from our virtual guests and interacting with viewers. Also, being part of the public broadcaster, can you imagine the nuggets of experience I'll be exposed to? I am taking all of it with me.

    BizcommunityWhat’s at the top of your to-do list (at work)?


    Serving with humility and having a teachable spirit.

    BizcommunityWhat are you currently reading/watching/listening to for work?


    At this moment, everything in the news about Covid-19, to keep abreast. From print to digital news. I have also been immersing myself in watching different shows and formats that cover Covid-19 topics, both locally and internationally.

    BizcommunityTell us something about yourself not generally known?


    I’m a believer that God lives in all of us. Look, there will be so much stuff about me on the show, so come join me on The New Norm on SABC 3 and let’s discover each other and what a great way to do that than the opportunity that this lockdown has presented to so many. We have been able to hang out more with family and here is a show where we can share what it’s been like and how our connections and relationships are shaping the future as we live in the new normal.

    Catch The New Normal on SABC 3 every weekday at 6pm and repeats in the mornings at 9am.

    About Juanita Pienaar

    Juanita is the editor of the marketing & media portal on the Bizcommunity website. She is also a contributing writer.

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