Testimonials from members

Comments from SAFREA members regarding the SAFREA community:

Safrea deserves all this eloquent praise. My favourite benefit of membership is the inspirational glow of sharing fellow Safreans' achievements in the regular "Friday brag" posts for members only on the Google forum. - Marina Pearson

"For me, the move into the world of freelancing meant attempting to break into a new industry, in a relatively unknown market in which I had zero professional contacts. Unknowns and uncertainties were common. I was fortunate to discover Safrea very early on in my freelance career. The empathy, advice and support I received from fellow members was very helpful. Everyone faces vocational challenges of some kind, but to do so in the absence of any understanding and guidance from those who have walked a similar path can be a very isolating experience. Safrea has played a major role in the development of my freelance career, and for that I am grateful." - Grant Cyster

What I found most valuable as a student member of Safrea was having access to experienced people in many spheres of media. I benefited not only from direct advice on questions I had but from interactions among Safreans. As a student, I was unsure about a lot of things when dealing with interviewees or employers. The issues dealt with in the google forum helped me to deal with the people I approached for work experience during my studies. My whole concept of what media is and what opportunities are available for me to take advantage of outside of permanent employment was expanded. – Nosipho S Mngoma

I’m grateful of the wise counsel, assistance and words of encouragement I received and continue to get from individual Safreans. Ek is dankbaar, kealeboga, ndiyabulela! With Safrea on my side I can only be productive and succeed! – Douglas Mthukwane

Since I joined Safrea, I’ve learnt so much about the business of freelancing as well as the joys of members' achievements. – Bettie Lambrecht-Coetzee

… this experience made me realise how great it is to be a freelancer and reminded me of why I decided to freelance in the first place. It also made me realise how valuable it is to be part of Safrea. I have made many mistakes, but I have done so much right too and knowing that Safrea has been behind me all the way makes a huge difference, especially when dealing with difficult clients. – Gero Lilleike

“SAFREA has played a very important role as my virtual news room for the past 10 years. I've made lifelong friends and business partners through Safrea and although I no longer “need” the networking available on the e-group I still get work and press trips (including Seychelles, Uganda and Zambia) directly from the e-group as well as directly from other Safreans where we have built up a trusted working relationship. Safrea is a valuable resource – be it needing help with information, a source or contact when on deadline, or a competent someone to take on some work, advice on work related issues or simply someone to commiserate with you. ...I would not be without it.” – Sharon Davis

“I didn’t know what to expect when I joined Safrea. At first, I was nervous to make my voice heard, but when I got to grips with the e-group I enjoyed some lively, helpful debate. After some months, I made good contacts and in addition I took up work opportunities that came my way. As a result, I now have a regular client I would not have had otherwise. I have expanded my network and made friends, too.” – Fiona Zerbst

"Joining Safrea was without a doubt the one step that helped me grow my freelance business into a successful enterprise. As a newbie sole proprietor working from home I was faced with questions about  how to deal with the isolation after many years in a busy newspaper environment, which rates to charge, finding and retaining clients, approaching work I had never done before but wanted to take on. Safreans proved to be friendly creatures, freely sharing their expertise in various fields, enthusiastic about their freelance careers, always encouraging. I can't thank them enough."  – Helen Ueckermann

“As a business woman I am very aware of the value of networking and experience Safrea as an exceptionally supportive forum with a highly knowledgeable and experienced membership who freely share lessons learnt in the industry. And we are having fun!  I have found a freelancers’ home in Safrea and can highly recommend joining the Association to all who find themselves in the freelancing space, whether you are old hands, newbies, prospective freelancers and journalism students." – Madi Hanekom

"Making the decision to go off on your own is never easy. The big world out there looks scary and it feels as if you are about to dive in and swim with the sharks, bleeding with fears and insecurity. However, by joining Safrea and participating in the virtual life of the group, I soon found my strength through the support and answers flowing freely through the arteries of the e-mail group. I must admit, that like many new Safreans, I had hoped that I would get work merely by joining Safrea. I did not find jobs, but I did find myself and hundreds of others like me that helped me to  learn, gain confidence and finally grow to the extent that I can subcontract overflow work and build my own business. So get into the water and swim with those who have collectively learnt how to deal with sharks." - Runa Prinsloo

“As a lone freelancer, Safrea helps expand my vision when the four walls of my office start pushing in too close for comfort. The wealth of knowledge and support in this group is priceless. I have no idea how I operated, in isolation, before I joined this family.” – Jaco Wolmarans

“Freelancing is extremely fulfilling but ultimately lonely, so I joined Safrea in order to become part of a network.  The association has exceeded my wildest expectations.  I have found lots of work, made friends all over the country, become involved with interesting people, got insight into the way other people work, received tons of useful information, and gained a sense of community. Safrea rocks!” – Niki Moore

Morning everyone – and thank you for the responses re Xhosa translation. Just want to say that I have consistently been impressed with the leads, help and responses I have obtained via the Safrea chatgroup. It is a brilliant resource and community and great to know that whatever one needs – from a translator to a tax person to a shoulder to cry on – you can be sure to get an incredibly fast response from the group! - Leverne PS. I have also made *bucks* from the site, responding to requests for Annual Reports, etc.!

And a hooray from me too. Service is quick, knowledge encyclopaedic; and the willingness to help is a major reason why groups like this work as well as they do. - Roxanne

I also think Safrea is a brilliant resource. I’ve been out the loop this year because of baby Sofia, but every time I’ve posted a query or request I’ve had a great response and it’s certainly made me feel connected to a bright bunch of people. So thanks everyone! Also, the technical info on copyright, rates etc is invaluable. - Karena
I still meant to say a BIG THANK YOU! to those of you who helped me out with leads on business investment in education recently, when I was so snowed under with more articles than days for several weeks that I just didn't have the time to spend searching around in cyberspace. It's just wonderful to be able to rely on the generosity of well-connected Safrea colleagues! When I first moved to Cape Town from Joeys in 2000, I spent an uphill year of freelancing without Safrea, so I really appreciate being part of this "virtual newsroom" - as Sarah-Jane put it recently. The moral support, practical guidelines, banter, grammar "lessons", sometimes heated discussions, jobs, networking at member evenings, and selfless sharing of tips and information has made freelancing in Cape Town much more profitable and more fun! May there be lots more of the same for many years to come.
Add my vote too! A really big thank you to everyone in the group for all the help and advice you’ve so generously given. –  Impti



Safrea is a Registered Non-Profit Organisation (NPO 114-297).
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