I can remember, when I was a little girl of about eight years old, wanting to be a native American princess. In those days, I would have said an Indian princess. I was given an authentic Indian doll by an uncle who had traveled to the USA and brought this back as a gift for his doll loving niece. I remember that her clothing was all made of real leather and she had traditional beadwork decorations. I was totally fascinated by that doll and for weeks afterwards I
forced encouraged my younger sister, Cath, to play Indian princesses with me. We had names; I was Princess Cherry Blossom and she was Princess Peach Blossom. We used to dress up as Indian girls and play outside in the sunshine for hours.
By the time I was twelve, my vision of the future had changed and I wanted to be a poet, just like Emily in the book Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery (also the author of Anne of Green Gables]. My poet and writing stage went on for a few years as I was still writing verses and bits of prose during my second year of high school. The year I turned fourteen, I had to select six subjects at high school to study to matric, my final year of school. This was serious stuff and I chose sensibly: English, Afrikaans (compulsory second language), Maths, Physical Science, Accountancy and History. The easiest subjects that required the least effort from me were English, Maths and Accountancy, but when I finished school I had no real idea about what I wanted to study.
I went to secretarial college for a year and learned short hand and typing as well as bookkeeping and Business English. These were all fairly easy for me and I passed all my courses with distinction. The course didn’t challenge me and I had a bit of a wild year with lots of partying.
I got a job as a junior bookkeeper and it was horrible. So boring and repetitive. After two years of working during which I changed my job eight times, I decided to go to university. I did a psychometric test and it came back that I should study to be a chartered accountant so that is what I did. I studied correspondence through a local part time university and worked as a manager at a local video shop for the three years of my undergrad degree in accountancy and auditing. After passing my degree with distinction, I applied to start my articles at KPMG Inc. in Johannesburg. I was accepted and the firm paid for me to study my honours degree part time. I passed that and then went on to study and pass my board examinations. It was during my first year of articles that I met my husband, Terence, who was completing his final year of articles.
That is my story of how I ended up becoming a chartered accountant. I did two years of articles and then I moved into corporate finance. At that time if you had all your core hours and competencies you could move after two years of auditing. I loved corporate finance and soon moved into stock exchange work. I gradually became an expert in this area and wrote a series of several publications on investing into Africa and the listing, debt and other requirements in the various countries. This work introduced me to the world of writing and publishing and from there I branched into writing for children. That, of course, is a whole other story so I shall stop here with the story of my paid job and work.
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