Rising to each occasion paths the way for personal growth. And Elana Afrika-Bredenkamp, radio show and parenting podcast host, lives this belief. Elana is ambassador for the 2022 SPARWomen’s Virtual Challenge Race, and she chats to us about the perks of facing the challenge and cultivating a life around kindness.
What does rising up mean to you? The term I Rise makes me think of growth. To grow into a role you choose for yourself and to show up for yourself, every day. To me, that’s presenting my radio show – The Workzone on Jacaranda FM, and my podcast – Baby Brunch, running a business and being a mom (to daughters five-year-old Annabelle and seven-year-old Esther Beth), and wife (to husband Ian). These roles can often present an array of challenges. What matters is working through these obstacles and growing into a stronger version of myself. Every day I am rising!
How do you face challenge? I face challenges every day, like everyone else. With my radio show I need to keep my listeners positive and inspired. As a business woman, I strive to be on equal measure with my male counterparts. As a mom, I want to raise the happiest, most wholesome girls I can. All of these goals come with unique challenges. My trick to facing them is to make the conclusion before the scenario even presents itself. Each day before I leave the house, I pick a word, phrase or piece of scripture that sets a positive foundation for my day. Later, when faced with a challenge, I go back to it and apply the sentiment to my own scenario. Challenge will never leave us, but neither will the opportunity to rise! It’s up to you when, how and with what you rise!
What role does kindness play in your life? Everything! It’s not just a value, it’s a way of life. Kindness was the start of every major project that I’ve ever done. It was the start of my relationships, my marriage, and what I teach my children every day when they quarrel or don’t get along. It’s what we need to fall back fall back on when someone is really struggling. I really believe that if we acted out of kindness more, humanity would be able to achieve greater goals.
And how do you show yourself kindness? I don’t show myself kindness by just pampering. I love using affirmations. Telling myself, out loud, that I am beautiful or courageous. My latest is telling myself that I am unstoppable! In tough situations, reminding myself that I was put here to do good for the greater good, gives me value.
How do you share kindness with others? By only giving them good news on radio! I use every mode of communication I have to help others, inspire them and show them that they’re not alone. People are in need of a lot more grace in life and I realize that. If someone is feeling angry or sad, the minute you’re kind with them, they will feel lighter. That is how kindness changes the world.
What inspires you to keep on rising and why? All of my wonderful projects! This year, I get to be ambassador for SPAR Women’s Virtual Challenge race. Through this, we will assist young women and children with providing the essentials, like education and dignity products. On my radio show, The Workzone, I get to start the day with my listeners, kicking the day off on a positive note. Keeping others going is definitely what keeps me going!
Have you read or heard anything inspiring recently? There’s one book in particular that I always go back to. What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid by Michal Oshman. It’s one of the books that has inspired me the most and I would definitely recommend giving it a read if you’re low on inspiration. I have also been listening to Oprah’s Soul Sessions recently. She interviews remarkable women who stand out, who are really positive and who didn’t all grow up being liked. These women aren’t successful because they’re anyone’s favourite … they’re successful because they help people.
What do your daily rituals look like? My morning rituals involve coffee in bed from my darling husband, who never skips a day! We read bible cards or say a prayer with the girls before giving them a cuddle. Then, on most mornings, I’ll whip out the yoga mat and do some stretches. I don’t often get to go to the gym or go for a run, so stretching and sit ups are my go-to. I also have a body roller and I’ll roll absolutely anything, even if it doesn’t help! My daily rituals are simple but effective. Something so ordinary, like a sip of coffee made by my husband, starts me off with just the right dose of love and kindness!
How do you rise as a family? We make our own traditions, including having a big meal every Friday evening. We sit down at the table together and tell stories about the week. I have also started horse riding on Thursdays with my daughters. I don’t get any cellphone reception out on the farm, so it’s a great way for me to switch off and focus on my kids …and not falling off my horse!
Best way to unwind? I don’t tell many people this because I’m not one for boasting but I am actually a winemaker and make my own wines! Why am I telling you? Well, there’s no better pastime than settling down with Ian, sharing a bottle of our own Shiraz. I could also settle for a warm cup of tea while I am cozied up on the couch, though!
Text: SAVANNA DOUGLAS. Photo: Nick Boulton
The 2022 SPARWomen’s Virtual Challenge has chosen the theme #IRise … reborn, re-energised, refreshed and refilled. They’re challenging you to rise above your challenges, struggles and obstacles that block your path. A virtual challenge is a fitness goal that tasks you to run, jog, or walk your own race, at your own pace. Anyone can participate and it can be completed at any location. Join in on Saturday, September 3, anytime between 6am and 6pm. You’ll need to enter (don’t waste time … entries are limited to 60 000), and your entry fee of R120 includes your Virtual Challenge pack, and for every entry, SPAR will donate a pack of sanitary pads to help keep a girl in school. The Virtual Challenge pack includes a beautiful T-shirt, a gorgeous matching buff, a drawstring bag, a printed copy of the My Virtual Challenge Magazine and your medal.
Details and entries: sparvirtualchallenge.co.za