A young woman who runs her own media and advertising agency is testament to what can be achieved with willpower, and wants to motivate others to pursue their goals – despite how hard it may seem.
Born and bred in Southern Hills in Lavender Hill, 28-year-old Saskia Riley, dreamt of being in the entertainment industry since she was a young girl – now she runs her very own network.
Ms Riley is also a personal development coach, she was a judge on Mr South Africa last year and does humanitarian work for various childhood development NGOs.
Ms Riley is also the founder of the Huckleberry Media agency which is part of the Saskia Riley Network that she started. Under the network she presents an online TV show called Healing through conversations with Saskia on which she chats with people who have experienced extraordinary breakthroughs.
“I’ve acted and sung my entire life in musicals and theatres but eventually when I was 24 I stopped performing to be on the other side. I represent entertainers in the industry and build their brand, manage my PR and help their business”.
Ms Riley said it’s difficult getting into the industry because there are so many extremely talented people and many fail because they have lack of business knowledge and understanding of the technical side of the industry.
“They often don’t understand how to look at contracts or how to set goals or how to take care of their mental health so they often make a lot of mistakes because of the pressure. It is a stressful environment and my job is to do the best in ensuring they take care of their personal development and their businesses.”
Ms Riley said the support of her family and pure determination were what helped her get where she is today.
“Born in Lavender Hill I was surrounded by gangsterism, drugs, alcoholism, teenage pregnancy and poverty. I was blessed to be surrounded by family who played a major influence in my childhood development, spiritualism and encouraged authentic leadership.”
She recalls being brought up without her father in her life and now speaks to others on how to navigate their emotions and holistic well-being.
“I want to shed light on mental health issues and the effect that our surroundings and experiences have on us as individuals, how to search for the power within to heal and how to elevate our state of being,” she said.
One of her online shows featured Zane Meas, a former 7de Laan actor, who spoke about the importance of a father’s presence in their children’s lives. On another episode she spoke to Nazreen Noor, a married Muslim man who transitioned into a transgender woman, about the struggles she faced and still faces today.