If you ever have the pleasure of meeting Nicola Mayer and Jade Botha like I have, I don’t blame you for thinking at the outset how completely polar opposite they may seem from each other.
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Once you get offered a window into what they do though, you’ll also see like I did that it’s not the substance of their careers that connects them. Rather, their dovetailing stories of perseverance since finishing school have molded them into the young professionals that they are today. Their seemingly opposite journeys towards what they would like to become in the industry uniquely expresses exciting potential prospects for the future.
Nicola Mayer is a 21 year old musician who, in her words, loves to laugh and has a deep passion for songwriting. She also happens to be the lead singer and keyboard player of an up-and-coming cover band by the name of ‘UnderCover’. Jade Botha is a young Cape Townian who hails from the place that he likes to (quite humorously) call, “the dirty South (Southern Suburbs).” Matriculating in 2008, he explains that he had trouble finding direction in what profession to finally settle on. “I jumped from job to job where each job I did lasted an average of 3-6 months.” It was while he was working at a jeweler shop in the heart of Rondebosch that he decided to pursue a career in I.T, doing small jobs on the side for extra income. This was the beginning of his “electronically charged journey.”
Nicola found clarity in living the life of a musician at a very tender age. “It was after my first experience in a recording studio that I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life. I was fourteen years old. However, at that point I thought it would only remain a dream. I was painfully shy and would hardly move an inch on stage, but I wanted to be a singer. I knew I had a long way to go, but I knew it was the right way to go for me.”
“Since a young age I’ve always had a passion for electronics. From breaking up my radio and not knowing how to put it back together, to plugging in a light bulb directly into a plug socket and shocking myself nearly to death, I was always interested in electronics and eventually I grew a passion for computers and laptops. I was always fascinated by how they worked.” With this in mind, Jade started his own business, Fix I.T, where he does laptop and cellphone repairs. Go and see for yourself at www.fixitcorrect.com.
What does the foreseeable future hold for Nicola Mayer? “[UnderCover] have just completed a summer contract on Royal Caribbean’s, ‘Independence of the Seas’ in Europe and in January 2015 we will be heading out to Australia.” One of her long-term ambitious hopes for the future is to play at Wembley Stadium in London. Closer to home, “I hope to be a positive influence and role model both through my musical endeavours and my personal ones. I want to grow stronger as a performer and right now ‘UnderCover’ has presented me with the opportunity to perform almost every day, to save and make an income, and travel the world,” Nicola asserts.
And for Jade Botha? “I would like to one day have my own storefront and have different branches in different areas for convenience to everyone. I would like to create job opportunities and help others who share the same passion as me.” If you have ever considered a career in music, Nicola has the following golden advice to offer: “After being a vocal teacher for well over a year and working directly with students, the best advice I can give is to simply WORK HARD. Don’t sit around and wait for opportunities to come your way. If it means so much to you, be pro-active, do the research, experiment and write songs, learn the theory and allow yourself to grow. Don’t be scared to make mistakes along the way. It’s humbling and the best way to learn.”
For those wanting to do something similar to Jade, “Just never give up,” are the simple words he shares not just for those going into electronics, but for anyone venturing off into the professional landscape that’s bound to be a rocky ride. What Nicola and Jade can both say with full confidence at this leg of their journey is that everything which has happened to get to where they are currently so far has been worth it. And even amidst all the trials and tests that will still come knocking on their door, it seems like these two will be able to say at the end of the day that it was worth it, and worth doing again. All the best endeavours are.4