The SAFREAN: November/December 2018

Bringing you the latest news in Southern African freelancing


Dear Safreans,
On 8 November, the executive, oversight and sub-committees came together for a full-day strategy meeting in Johannesburg. It was an incredible opportunity for SAFREA's leadership to get to know each other better and work together, which has led to us finding creative ways to overcome challenges and make the most of new opportunities for the organisation. A big thank you to our executive administrator, Thea Aboud, for facilitating this fruitful day, the results of which are documented in the new Business Implementation Framework that will guide SAFREA for the next five years. We look forward to sharing this with members as soon as it is finalised. 

We are excited about our collective future and eager to start implementing some great new ideas, all of which are geared towards growing SAFREA and offering even more value to you, our members.

We wish you all a wonderful festive season and hope that you have time to rest, relax and recover ahead of the new year.

Season's greetings,

Tina Krynauw
SAFREA Interim Chair 

P.S. Thanks to Nigel Hove for our stunning newsletter photos this month (please follow him on Instagram for more)! If you would like your work to be featured next month, please get in touch.

P.P.S. Thank you Gareth Griffiths for capturing our smiles at the end of a very productive strategic meeting (below). 


On 15 November, the SAFREA Western Cape tribe met up for their first event this year. It was held at the Imbizo conference venue in the Clocktower at the V&A Waterfront. We had two very informative speakers who shed some light on many of the burning questions we have as freelancers. Sonja Frank gave us some sound advice on money matters, taxation and how to stay on the right side of SARS. Tiffany Markman gave us some more tips on how to stay on top of your game as a freelancer. She shared time management, marketing and pricing tips that were very insightful for new and established freelancers. Thanks to Gareth Griffiths for the fantastic event pics!

Scary. Confusing. Complicated. These were just some of the words Safreans who attended our recent Gauteng South coffee club used to describe tax. We invited Nicole Holborow-Browne, accountant and business coach at, to join us at Loof Coffee in Birnam on 7 November and help demystify the ‘black hole’ that is freelancer tax. Read her top 12 tax tips here


Please stay tuned to our social media and Events page for updates on events taking place in your area! Feel free to host your own get-togethers and invite your SAFREA colleagues! 

12 December, 14:00: SAFREA Gauteng South is hosting an end-of-year celebration at Impi Brewing Co at Victoria Yards in Bertrams.  


Ilse Zietsman
You may recognise Ilse Zietsman's name from our social media pages as we regularly share her travel adventures during our weekly #SAFREASpotlight feature. With our interest piqued, we decided to find out a little bit more about this jetsetter in our ranks. 

Please tell us about what you do and how long you’ve been a freelancer.
I write articles, mostly on travel and food but sometimes on people as well. Also, on an interesting personality like Franz Kafka, novelist and short story writer from the early 1900s (after I visited the Kafka Museum in Prague) or Piri Reis, an Ottoman admiral and one of the first cartographers of the world in the early 1500s (after a visit to ‘his’ tiny museum in a small coastal town called Gelibolu in Turkey).

I’ve been freelancing since the end of 2008. When I went to varsity, I intended to study post-grad journalism but I got side-tracked by all the fun there was to be had so after my BA degree I did not pursue what I initially intended. It took many years before I eventually got around to writing and journalism but now I’m absolutely loving it. I also do proofreading, editing and translation.
Why do you find your work in the educational field (writing, proofreading, translating) so rewarding?
I’m a word nerd! I love reading, I always have. I’m a compulsive reader. But that’s not all I do – you can send a glass of chardonnay or bubbly my way any time!
You publish in both English and Afrikaans. Would you say that multilingual writers have an advantage in the South African market?
I definitely think they have an advantage – it certainly increases publishing opportunities!
In your experience, what factors make for a good travel story?
Writing with passion! Immersing yourself in the story you are writing and getting the reader to feel that he/she is experiencing it themselves while reading it. I believe it is essential to give travel tips as well – eat here, have a sundowner there, recommending affordable and central accommodation in a particular city, a train ride not to miss (I love train travel!)…provided you have in fact eaten there, slept there, taken the train.
How do you decide which destination to visit next and what to write about when you get there?
I keep adding more places to my list – either new places or places which I would like to re-visit! I like the unknown – I prefer not to understand the language. Whilst I’m traveling, I have ideas of what I could write but I do not focus on the writing part yet; I think about that once I’m back home. Currently I’m reading up on Vietnam and Cambodia – it’ll be a totally new experience for me; can’t wait! And there’s a great train ride that intrigues me…
What advice do you have for other freelance writers looking to pursue travel writing?
I’m still learning as I go along as well. I think one needs a lot of luck apart from being prepared to work hard. Certainly I find that it cannot be one’s only source of income.
You’ve travelled extensively – what’s your country count and what is it about travelling that you love so much? 
I’ve been to 48 countries. I love the unknown, learning and experiencing new things including cultures. I love the assault on my senses – the more, the better.
Have you ever had any ‘lost in translation’ or embarrassing moments during your travels? Please share a story or two. 
I’d just learnt my first smattering of Arabic. When repeatedly harassed by a guy in Egypt, I shouted what I thought meant "Go away!" in strong language (I thought I was saying something like voetsek), only to discover I was shouting "peach" (as in the fruit). No wonder he didn’t back off! To my untrained ear, the two words sounded very much the same.
What does SAFREA mean to you?
I learn a lot from SAFREA. I read nearly every email – did I mention that I’m a word nerd?! – as I pick up tips all the time.
What is your life motto?
Clichéd, I know, but it’s ‘Carpe Diem’. And ‘Do something new every day’, even if it means starting to read a new (or newly second-hand) magazine, buying a product to cook with that I haven’t used before (I love cooking), tasting something new or driving down a road where I haven’t been.
Bonus question: If you could make your home anywhere in South Africa, where would it be and why? 
I live in Paarl and although I didn’t enjoy it much initially, I now cannot see myself leaving. My second home town is Cape Agulhas where we have a weekend place. I cannot see myself living there permanently as I would find it too quiet; Agulhas is very close to my heart though. In my next life, I would like a holiday place in the medina in Marrakech, Morocco. And enough money to travel there often, amidst other travels of course!

Thank you for sharing some of your story with us, Ilse. We wish we could fit in your suitcase for your next adventure!

If you'd like to share your story next month, please give us a shout!


At SAFREA, we're always on the lookout for time-saving tricks and business insights to help our members take their careers to the next level. 

This month, Tiffany Markman shares 8 tips for getting more out of your next training session or conference.



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