Helga van Niekerk
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Date of birth? 5th November
What Year did you begin at Radio CCfm? 1993 as a data capturer. 1996 as a presenter
What did you want to be when you were little? An air hostess with the rest of the 6 year old population
Whom has influenced you most? Apart from my relationship with Jesus, my husband and my children
Why a presenter at CCFM? I am passionate about CCFm and about the opportunity to bring hope and be an encouragement to those listening.
What makes you laugh? What young children say, Ken Davis, British comedies, PJ!
What angers you? Abuse, injustice
What's the best piece of advice you've received? Psalm 46:5 -God is within her. She will not fall. He will help her at the break of day! :-)
Your Most embarrassing moment? Went down a water slide and lost part of my swimming costume! Ooops.
Your biggest triumph? Apart from eternal life, my husband Mike and my children - Stacey and David
What is your favourite verse in the Bible and who is your favourite Bible character?
The Bible is full of gems so I don't have one favourite verse, but a good one I have memorised is
Ephesians 4:2 - Be completely humble and gentle. Be patient bearing with one another in love. Favourite Bible character -next to Jesus, Paul
What do you do when you are not behind/in front of the microphone at CCFM?
I'm a WIFE & daughter-in-law /carer for my darling Mother-in-law.
What was the BEST moment of your life? Birth of my children.
Which season is your favourite, and why? I love both winter and spring.
Do you like the wind in Cape Town? I don't mind the wind, but I wouldn't choose it.
What do you think about Cape Town's people? Wonderful! Varied. Talented Unique. Blessed.
Helga was born and raised in Zimbabwe but moved to Cape Town at the end of 1982 to pursue a nursing career. She qualified as a Registered Nurse & Midwife in 1986. By then she was hopelessly in love with her future husband Mike. They walked down the aisle in August 1986 and went on to have two children. Stacey is now 20 and David is 17.
While raising her young family Helga did a degree through UNISA graduating with a degree in Nursing Education and Occupational Health. A couple of years later, in 1996, she was asked to present a short 15 minute programme on CCFm on health issues. The programme was called Learning Together and consisted of basic health education on topics such as diabetes, high blood pressure, TB, etc. In 1997, Helga joined CCFm staff on a more permanent basis as their main (actually it was their "only") sales rep. Having no qualifications in sales or in radio or in advertising, it was a step of faith. Eleven years later, Helga is still selling airtime for CCFm, although her Rise & Shine work takes up most of her day. Another big step in 1997 was taking on a "graveyard shift" one night a week...this was from about midnight to 3am. It allowed her to "cut her teeth" on continuity announcing. From there she was asked to present Homeward Bound once a week, then Rise & Shine once a week and finally with the new format in June 2004, she took over the Rise & Shine Show Monday to Friday from 6-9.
Helga says the absolute best thing about presenting the Rise & Shine show is the interaction with so many wonderful people. She counts it a tremendous privilege to be able to sow seeds of hope and faith into peoples' lives.
Until the age of about 8, Helga's childhood was very happy. But at about that age, her parents faced some enormous challenges that eventually result in her Mother moving out when she was 12. Being the youngest of 4, Helga and one brother stayed with their dad. Her older brother and sister had already left home. At the age of 14, Helga was invited to a youth group. Initially she didn't want to go, but after some persuasion she went along and enjoyed it. She continued to go every Friday evening. One evening the youth were divided into groups of about 5. The leader was told to ask each child a very important question. Helga says "I was so pleased they started with someone else, because it meant I got to hear the question and could formulate an answer!". Eventually, the young youth group leader looked Helga in the eye and said "And you Helga, what about you? ARE YOU READY TO DIE?". Helga says: "I knew I wasn't, but I wasn't about to tell the truth, so I said 'yes.' I lied! I went home that night feeling soooo bad. I felt so guilty. I didn't know what to do. I was too proud to phone the youth leader and tell him I'd lied. So eventually I decided the only thing to do was to make my answer the truth and ask Jesus to take over my life, so I WOULD be ready to die. So on 17th July 1979 in the evening, all by myself in the quietness of my bedroom, I asked Jesus to forgive me & I asked Him to take over my life. You know at the time you don't realise how much hinges on that decision. My life has never been the same again! God has walked beside me every moment of every day. I've had His security and peace and assurance and I'm very grateful.