Expresso presenter Zoë Brown’s biggest dream was to become Miss South Africa and she still sees herself as the child who had those dreams - and she credits that as a quality the keeps her grounded in the industry.
“I feel like I'm the same person just doing a crazy cool job. I did pageants, and I always thought I was going to be a Miss South Africa - that was one of my childhood dreams.
“I started modelling when I was 16, and when I was 17 I did Miss SA Teen and I ended up being third - which is second princess. But after high school she says she wanted ”a real adventure”.
It's this very drive that led her to audition for Presenter Search on SABC 3.
It was her colleagues and friends who made her keen to pursue a television spot - something she had never considered before.
“Some of them would ask me if I’d thought of presenting, so I think it's everyone who planted the seed in my head and I decided, ‘Cool, I'm going to give it a go. So I did a short course on TV presenting because I had a zero clue of what was going on (in television).
her opportunity came after she received a tip-off about what would later give her foothold in the industry.
“It was one of the guys (in class) that told me that there is this new show on SABC 3 that's called Presenter Search on 3 and he said we should all go and audition as a class. I think the majority, if not all of us, went and auditioned on that day. I was the one that made it through all the way to the end,'' she said excitedly.
Just a little over a year into it, she still remembers how nerve wrackingher first day was because she was, and still is, working alongside presenters that are well established.
“I was intimidated and very nervous in a sense of... other than being the new girl, (I thought), ‘What's going to set me apart?’.
“But I think through time I was able to find my own feet on the show., It's been so much fun learning from each and every one of them because they are all so different so you can pull from those qualities, which is very fun,” she added.
I've been told my snap chat has no game! 😂
Will try and be a bit more active 😌 pic.twitter.com/U5BALC16V7
The broadcasting bug first bit her when she was completing her degree in International Relations and that's when she started carving out her career in campus radio, and later joined a commercial radio station - KFM.
Her official television presenting debut was on Expresso after winning the Presenter Search. It was a challenge at first but she got into the swing of things and loves every bit of it.
“For me it's been a big challenge for my personal growth purely because I had zero experience prior to Expresso. I mean we are live and I think that's the thing about being live, you just have to be as natural as possible.''
She enjoys being on the show even though she has to be up before the crack of dawn - a routine she says she is used to now.
“I'm there at half past four. I get my makeup and my hair done, I get dressed and then we have an early morning meeting to discuss what’s going to happen in the show - especially if there is anything particular that we need to focus on. Then we get mic'ed-up and then by six we are ready to go,'' she said.
Her work doesn't end when the cameras stop rolling at 9am; she has to roam the city, filming for the show.
“There is so much more to the live show, and a lot of the things that we do... because we get sent to locations to do inserts or we get sent to events to cover (them), and that's all the stories that you bring to the viewer in the morning,” she said.
Asked about her future plans, she says, ''I'm probably not sure what the future holds. My thing has always been ’I'm preparing myself for something that doesn't exist, and you never know what's going to come along’. If you look back three to four years ago there was nothing like Uber - now look at how big it is. So I'm staying open minded in that sense, but that doesn't mean I'm sitting still and waiting for it to fall on my lap.”