Bloem’s lovely Lani
Lani was born in Kimberly and raised in Bloemfontein where she attended Jim Fouché Primary and High School. This is where her love for writing developed. “My love for language and writing was born in the classroom of our Afrikaans teacher in high school, Ms Irene Raath. My fondest childhood memories are playing outside with the neighbours’ kids until dark without a worry in the world. I also loved going camping with my parents. We would explore different places in SA as a family, travelling with our old caravan… from the bushveld, to the seaside, to Maselspoort!” Lani tells.
After school she headed off to the University of the Free State where she studied BA Media Studies and Journalism, and later completed her master’s degree in 2013.
After writing her last exam of her third year, she started working in the OFM newsroom. “This happened after practically begging the then-news reader, Karien Jordaan, to make a tiny space for me – I told her I would sit on the floor and make tea for everyone. I was completely thrown in at the deep end and had to cover major news events like the ANC’s birthday celebrations in Kimberley, big murder trials, which was a whole new experience, and I even wrote and read the news on air for a while. I loved every second of it.”
While having the time of her life covering big stories, Lani knew in her heart that she belonged in the glamorous world of glossy magazines. And when the opportunity to join this world presented itself, she grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
“I applied for the position of Get It editor (which is part of the same company OFM belongs to, namely Central Media Group) after the previous editor, Louwna Erasmus, resigned in 2014. I couldn’t believe my luck when I got the job… God knew what my heart desired.”
And telling the stories of Bloemfontein’s community has proven to be rewarding. “Out of all the other Get It titles (there are 12 nationwide), I strongly believe my job is THE BEST. Bloemfontein has the most wonderful people and it’s been an absolute honour and privilege to seek out our heroes, gifted artists, sportsmen and women, philanthropists and role models to tell their stories to the rest of the city. I wouldn’t want to do this anywhere else in the world.”
To Lani, working at Get It also comes with added bonuses. “On deadline day, kicking off my high heels and putting on a pair of trainers in order to run up and down the stairs to the layout artists and back hundreds of times during the day, I never needed a home workout – I got one at the office!”
Lani has not only grown as a writer and editor through the years, she has become wife to Jaco and mom twice. This has influenced her work. “Giving birth to my first son, Wian, and being a first-time mom, has been the hardest job I’ve ever done. It was daunting to have a tiny human being completely dependent on you for survival, and to go back to a full-time job after a few months. I cried a lot. But I also learned a lot. I learned what’s important in life, I learned how to be patient. And with my new fuller, richer mindset as a mother, I could write with a deeper knowledge about our community’s own moms, dads and heroes,” she says.
Having just given birth to her second son, Dandré, in January, leaving her two boys home for work will definitely be tough. “I am totally ready and looking forward to resume my work at Get It, and as a mom of two, I have so much to tell people and life experiences I want to pass on.”
Armed with her recent Caxton Award for Get It Journalist of the Year 2017, Lani is ready to take Get It Bloemfontein to greater heights. “Wow, this is something I have been working for for five years. My fellow Get It editors and journalists within the Caxton Group are a group of highly talented and creative souls. To have won this award, means that I can now measure up to their standards… and this means a lot to me. But this award was mainly due to the amazing content in our magazine – in other words, the stories of our people.”
“Bloemfontein is filled with inspiring individuals, great restaurants, talented artists, etc. By seeking out these gems and telling our readers all about them, I believe our magazine will never be watered down or get ‘old’.”
Restaurant: Bella Casa (Their pizza! Oh my gaash.)
Pamper place (beauty parlour or spa): Salon Mooi in Langenhoven Park (Su-Mari has magic hands!)
Best interview you’ve done: Local artist Eric Strydom (April 2014 edition. What an interesting guy.)
The best edition you’ve worked on: Every August edition is fantastic. We celebrate go-getter women in the City of Roses for the Women on the Move feature.
Best way to spend your days: Spending time with my babies (OK, and husband), going for a quick run and enjoying wine at a braai.