Alumna Delmari van Zyl says that the interview for this article was like a lovely personal journey back to her student days. “Now I understand why I sometimes yearn for the NWU so deeply,” she says.


Colour the picture


During her student years, Delmari was a house committee member of Kasteel. She says that hostel life is at the top of her list of things and people that shaped her. “We walked into that space still wet behind the ears, but we left with much more than just a degree.


“The university was like a clean page and I could decide how I wanted to colour it. Today I am so happy about the piece of art that I chose.”


Delmari says she changed a lot in her five years at the NWU. “I could choose who I wanted to become, what I wanted to stand for, what I wanted to build, what I wanted to busy myself with, and eventually the person that I wanted to be. It was like a menu chock-full of opportunities that I just had to grab.”


Delmari helps Aardklop rise from ‘deathbed’ to double victory

As part of a phenomenal Aardklop team, NWU alumna Delmari van Zyl has contributed to this arts festival twice being named as the most popular arts festival in the country this year.

Earlier in 2018, Aardklop was awarded a kykNET Fiësta prize as the most popular festival in South Africa. Then, at the beginning of June, Aardklop also came out on top as the favourite arts festival in the readers’ choice competition of the Beeld newspaper.


Delmari firmly believes it was the Aardklop team’s attitude in tackling the “Lazarus” festival in 2016 that made the difference. She calls it the Lazarus festival because the festival virtually “rose from the dead” after it was nearly “laid to rest” permanently in 2016.


Delmari joined the Aardklop team in May 2016 and says that organising a national festival in a matter of three months and then receiving so much recognition for it was uplifting.


“The captain of the new ship, Alexa Strachan, was the pacesetter and those three months shaped us. The pace at which we worked and the trust that the team developed in one another laid the foundation for something extraordinary.”


Hearts beat warmly for Aardklop


She says Potchefstroom plays an important role in the atmosphere of the festival. “The purpose of the festival remains to create a platform for the arts and artists, and the fact that the festival management have their hearts in the right place makes Aardklop something really special.”


In the first year, Delmari concentrated mainly on sponsorships. “I did not realise what an important element sponsorships were in the sustainability of the festival.” She is currently at the helm of sponsorships, marketing and the media for the arts festival. “It is an enormous privilege to be part of such a team – the enthusiasm is really contagious.”


Building networks in the media world


Over and above her work on Aardklop, she has been the project manager and coordinator at the kykNET programme Verslag since 2015, managing multimedia reporting teams in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town. “I am especially grateful that I built an enormous network at kykNET within the greater media world, which currently contributes to the success of my profession.”


Delmari says that being a journalist was always somewhere at the back of her mind, and that is why she obtained her BA degree in communication at the NWU in 2012. However, she says that from her second year she developed a great interest in corporate communication and later decided to do her honours degree in that discipline.


“Passing my honours degree with distinction was never my aim – it was rather the result of something in which I was intensely interested. I believe that communication, which is actually such a simple principle, can build bridges like no other profession or discipline can.”


Delmari also passed her postgraduate diploma in management in 2014 at the NWU’s Business School with distinction. “This study was very valuable – the broad approach to management is really something from which I benefit every day.”


Where dreams come true


“The NWU and structures on which students can serve really cultivate balanced adults. Here one learns how far you can push yourself and that hard work, little sleep and a good support system can really make dreams come true.


“Qualifications open wonderful doors, but your network of contacts, good time management and the willingness to walk the extra mile are in fact what separate you from the rest.”




The NWU & U


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