#YouthMatters: Kati Dijane, founding editor of KDanielles Media
Four years ago, she created KDanielles Media, a platform where she was able to share her voice, provide tips from successful people and chose to profile predominantly young people to encourage other youth that success is possible, no matter your age and chosen career field.
As part of our #YouthMatters feature, we are honouring the under-35s who are the rising stars of the future.
Can you tell us more about KDanielles Media and what your role entails?
I am the founding editor of KDanielles Media, which is a blog that I started in May 2017. The blog is a platform that profiles young, successful career-driven and business people with the aim to inspire other young people to not give up on their career and business dreams; and to show that success and fulfilling your dreams is possible, no matter how long it takes. What I believe makes the blog different as well is that sometimes, with the permission of the people I profile, I send out their profiles to other mainstream publications for a possible feature.
When did your passion for media begin?
My passion for media began when I was in primary school when I used to read magazines, especially True Love, which my older sister, Mateboho, used to buy. Khanyi Dhlomo was the editor then. I knew from then that I wanted to make a difference (and a living) through the power of the pen (keyboard).
You've worked in the media industry for about 10 years. Briefly tell us about your journey.
I started my career as a journalist at Real magazine, which was published by Media 24, in 2011 after months of freelancing for them. Since then, I worked across different titles, such as editorial assistant, digital editor, sub-editor, and deputy managing editor across different publications and media companies.
You now run a blog. Tell us more. How did you get into it, and what is your goal?
I have always been an avid reader of different lifestyle websites and blogs, including theeverygirl.com and careergirldaily.com and I also wanted to establish my own blog that targets mainly young women who are starting and navigating their corporate and business journeys.
When I started, I profiled people who were already in my contact book such as Scandal actress Mapaseka Koetle and also attended events, like The Hookup Dinner, to meet people who I could profile. Social media and press releases were great tools to use to create awareness for the blog.
Since then I met and interviewed a lot of inspirational young people, including Zozibini Tunzi, Miss Universe 2019; Terry Pheto, an award-winning actress; fashion designers, Tshepo the Jean Maker and Gert-Johan Coetzee; Molife Kumona, editor of GQ; Sonto Pooe, founder of Native Child; media personality and businesswoman, Bonang Matheba; Timothy Maurice, a best-selling author; Dr. Phumzile Mlambo Ncuka, executive director for UN Women; Christyn Breckenridge, an American businesswoman; Basetsana Kumalo, South African businesswoman; and African Union’s Youth Ambassador for Peace, Karabo Mokgonyana to name a few. One of my biggest aims is to grow the blog to a point of creating employment.
What is your biggest motivation?
The fact that each person has a story to tell, which could change someone else's life and through the blog.
I want to be a bridge between the storyteller and the audience.
It was definitely meeting people from different backgrounds and different corporate levels who have trusted me to share their stories across different publications, and especially in my blog.
If you could travel back in time, what advice would you give yourself?
Don't be too hard on yourself because everyone's journey is different.
Do your best and celebrate each milestone, no matter how small it is.
They would be Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi because I believe she reshaped what beauty means on a global scale, and that through her reign, every young girl no matter their background can see themselves in her.
Oprah Winfrey because she has proved over the years that you can have a big impact on other people's lives and be very successful doing what you are passionate about and talented in.
And, Khanyi Dhlomo, because she inspired my love for the media industry. I'd definitely ask her what she's been up to lately.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I see myself heading a communications department or a media organisation. I also see myself as an author of best-selling books. Importantly, I see my blog transitioning into a successful media company.
As we celebrate Youth Month, do you have any words of encouragement for the youth?
Yes. Many young people have led revolutions and social changes that rewrote history, like Martin Luther King Jr, as well as the South African youth who led the historic march against Bantu education in 1976, which we are commemorating this month.
Today, young people across universities are fighting for free education. This shows that you can be the change you want to see, no matter how challenging it may be.
Don't think you are insignificant or don't have a purpose in life.Identify your passion, your skills and passion and use those to try to meet the needs of your community. That's how change begins.