BACKSTORY: eNCA’s John Bailey
We question managing editor at eNCA John Bailey
What’s your top tip for doing a deal?
Build a trusting relationship with those companies or individuals with whom you’re planning to go into business. When it’s time for the paperwork, the process should be a whole lot smoother.
What was your first job?
As a pupil my first job was delivering newspapers in the morning, before school. My first job after completing my tertiary education was a radio journalist.
How much was your first pay cheque, and how did you spend it?
I earned R2,500 as a junior radio journalist. My biggest expenses were rent and food, while I saved about 20% of my salary.
What is the one thing you wish somebody had told you when you were starting out?
Continue to save as much as you can ... and that becoming a journalist is for the love of the profession, not for money!
If you could fix only one thing in SA, what would it be?
Our education system.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I collect coins from all over the world, postage stamps and traditional masks.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
I wish I’d bought my first bitcoin when it was still priced at $5.
What is the hardest life lesson you’ve learnt?
Some animals are more equal than others.
What is something you would go back and tell your younger self that would impress them?
I followed my dreams — and instinct — and despite many challenges, stuck to my guns and achieved the goals that I set for myself. I continue to do so.
Was there ever a point at which you wanted to trade it all in for a different career? And if so, what would that career be?
I was quite interested in becoming a town and regional planner. I was motivated by addressing the spatial and geographical inequalities in our country. However, I absolutely love the media and journalism industry. It’s what makes me tick. There’s never a day that is the same and in my role there are many moving parts that I have to keep together.
If you were President Cyril Ramaphosa, what would you change, or do, tomorrow?
There’s an inherited skewed historical economic and educational legacy that we’re dealing with. It’s just too simplistic to expect one person to address or resolve these challenges. There must be a concerted, national, long-term and in-exclusive plan to address these issues. I’m not sure the National Development Plan is keeping up with the changing environment and our legacy.
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