DS Exclusive: Catching Up With Caley Van Der Kolk

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There’s No Giving Up For Vibrant Xhosa Speaking #Top11 Contestant – Caley Van Der Kolk! After been eliminated this past Friday from the #PresenterSearchOn3, #Top11 Contestant Caley Van Der Kolk didn’t take it as a huge train smash but rather she used this as motivation to keep on achieving. We’ve managed to ask her a few questions about her life, the competition and her career…

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1. What has been your fondest childhood memory?

“I have a few…
1) Arriving in the big city (East London), seeing the street lights and exclaiming “ma, look at all the stars” – I grew up in a Xhosa village- I wasn’t familiar with street lights.
2) Covering myself in black mud and putting plaits in my hair -> all in lieu of looking like my Xhosa friends.
3) Riding a motorbike for the first time – I was 9 and my dad put me on the bike in the forest near Willowvale. It was a thrilling experience. I did crash into a tree, but that is also okay. I have very fond memories of fishing in the local dams and riding my small motorbike around the area.

2. Describe your family to us?

“Dad – Most loving, open minded human I know. He is incredibly well respected by the chiefs and local community in the village where he resides. He has a wonderful way with people – he can get along with any human on the planet and he treats everyone with equal respect.  He is also fluent in Xhosa.
Mom – Smart, strong, kind and driven. She is a rock for us all.
Brother – Kind, humble, gentle human.
Granparents – The most open-minded humans I have ever met (not just because they are my family). Grandpa got on a boat in Netherlands (post World War II), didn’t know where he was going, but ended up in South Africa. He has never gone back. They have travelled the world and have friends of all ages. My gran joined Twitter to see what people were saying about my performance on Presenter Search on 3. That sums her up.”

3. Tell us about your first travel experience in South Africa...

“I don’t think I understand this question fully.  My first travel experience in S.A. was to Kruger Park. I was absolutely fascinated that wild animals used to roam free in Africa at some point, but I remember feeling a deep sense of sadness that this was no longer the case. I love nature and being outdoors, this was my first taste of wild Africa. I love it.”

4. At what age did you first learn Xhosa and what was the first fluent sentence you can remember saying?

“I was fluent in Xhosa at the age of 3.  First sentence was “Hamba Paddy” – I was telling my dog to go away.
My next was “outside” (so my first word was actually Xhosa and not English!)

5. You are a digital strategist at Ogilvy & Mather, what is the one thing you love most about your job?

“I lasted 3 months in an advertising agency. I didn’t enjoy the culture and felt it stifled my creativity. So I stepped out to create my own Brand (last year August) in an arena I am incredibly passionate about yoga and holistic health. My Brand is called Sentiens. I have loved creating Sentiens because the Brand is an extension of my view on life and my values, it has therefore been a very liberating experience to be engaged in such a venture.”

‘Sentiens’ actually means feeling and perceiving with the senses. Caley combines aspirational design with a functional fitness product to bring you the first of its kind in South Africa: Printed Yoga & Active Mats! Designed to inspire and enhance your unique active expression… More about Sentiens @ www.sentiens.co.za

6. You are also a writer and an Entrepreneur. Tell us about what you exactly do in both these different fields of work.

“I occasionally write for Getaway magazine. When I travel, I blog about it. It’s been a while but you can see some old posts up on their blog. Otherwise, I write as a form of meditation. It helps me make sense of the world. I shall one day write a book on my unconventional life story and subsequent views on the world.”

7. What made you enter the Presenter Search On 3?

“I have always wanted to combine my love for people and travel with my ability to speak English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu. Presenting / acting seems like a good fit. I have wanted to be a Top Billing Presenter since I can remember- not because I want my face all over screens, but because it gives you a platform to build a Brand and to do great things in the country.”

8. What has being your most memorable incident as the Top 30?

“Cooking on camera. Oh man, I was nervous because I am horrible undomesticated. I thank my lucky stars that I landed with the Smoothie option. It was still quite a challenge though. Also, shooting in the heart of Transkei with my family. That was a day I shall cherish forever. They were all petrified of being on camera, but came to the party for me – and did very well I might add. That made my heart happy.”

9. After making it to the Top 11, viewers voiced their opinion stating that you shouldn’t have being the one going home. Do you believe that this wasn’t your time?

“It most definitely was NOT my time. I had accepted that my link must have been the worst, but when I saw the episode, I was like… Hang on, yours was one of the best! I got sent home too soon. I know it and many viewers know it too. They have been verbally abusing the competition and I have received numerous messages saying it should not have been you – it was quite something to witness to say the least. People are angry.”

10. The bottom 3 was Ziphozakhe, Mishka and you, do you think you would have stood a better chance if Ziphozakhe wasn’t in the bottom 3?

“Perhaps, yes. Who knows. The judges know what that they are looking for. That’s all that counts in a competition of this nature. I think they were wrong to send me home though” 😉

11. Your message to aspiring presenters like you out there…

“Have something that makes you unique – for me, it’s my ability to speak Xhosa. It makes people turn heads and not just regard you as another pretty face. Always stay true to yourself. Viewers see through facades.”

12. What’s your views on the current Xenophobic attacks?

“Completely unacceptable. I am part hippie and believe in LOVE – Xenophobic attacks are an extension of the human ego, not cool. We are on this planet to learn and to create, to help one another become better versions of themselves. Certainly not to inflict violence on our fellow species.
One love – I’m all for it.”

FactFile

1. Your favourite colour?

  • Green (Heart chakra)

2. Your role model is?

Mara Hoffman (designer), her designs are simply incredible and she is a deeply spiritual being (huge respect).

3. One lesson you take from your experience on #PresenterSearchOn3.

Know who you are. Emanate that and that only at all times. On and off camera. I always did, but I saw how much other people changed on camera and it is not the way I would do things.
Personal opinion 😉

4. A quote you live by…

Presence! Live always in the moment – it’s the only place where life actually happens

5. Are you single/married or not available?

Not available. Soon to be married 🙂

From the Digital Street Team, We wish you everything of the best with your future and hope you grow from strength to strength Caley!!! #TeamDS 🙂

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