04 September, 2013

Krog se Kind

By Youlendree Appasamy

“She’s blonde and short and adorable looking.”

That is the first introduction to Annetjie van Wynegaard I receive.
She is indeed blonde and short and adorable but those characteristics fail to describe her vivacity and near manic pace of life.

Annetjie is currently the commissioning editor for Rhodes Journalism Review, alongside being a research assistant in the department.
She also handles all of the Rhodes Journalism Department’s social media.  Being a Rhodes graduate herself, she was thrilled at the chance of coming back to Grahamstown and a job. 
“My job with social media right now is to make the Rhodes journalism brand visible on social media platforms,” she says.

Annetjie graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with writing and radio as her specialisations.
However, Annetjie’s main focus when younger was to become a writer. “I thought doing a Bjourn would be the best way to get me to where I wanted to be with writing,” she says.
“As a journalist I would be getting the information to write about interesting life experiences,” she continues.

China Mieville and Lauren Beukes are her favourite authors at the time of interviewing her, “but they change a lot, because I read a lot,” she says and laughs.
Science Fiction, True Crime and Fantasy are amongst her favourite genres, but again, with a bookworm this varies greatly.
Poetry is also one of Annetjie’s interests, citing Antjie Krog as one of her favourite poets.  This social media maven has a blog called annetjiesepoems.wordpress.com, where one can read more of her own poetry.

From being a “top-redenaar” when she was in Grade 8, to working towards a Masters degree, Annetjie is determined and extremely hardworking.
“I came from a very poor family – my dad was a street sweeper and my mom was unemployed,” she says. 

When being awarded as the “top-redenaar” (or best speech) by the  Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging (ATKV) Annetjie could not afford the blazer, yet received honours in her high school for her achievement.
 “I didn’t know what to do, but when I walked into my hotel room after the speech I found a blazer lying there – my teacher had bought it for me, so I could wear my honours colours,” she says excitedly.

Annetjie is one of those people for whom hard-work and dedication is an inherent part of their being.

Opportunities are seized wholeheartedly by her and as Jade Smith, one of her friends say, “She is the bubbliest person, who will smile even when she’s really angry – she’s the only person I know who does that!”

You can follow Annetjie on Twitter here: @annetjievwb

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