Mel Bala embarks on new journey of inner peace through yoga
The veteran broadcaster believes her online yoga classes can help people who are suffering with depression
With close to three decades of experience in the television and radio industry, Mel Bala has managed to stay at the top of her game despite the challenges and demands of showbiz.
Bala, one of the familiar faces that dominated our screens in the early '90s as an “IT” girl, now describes her journey as “nothing short of amazing”.
The 46-year-old, who features in the third episode of Festive Get-Together in The Life Artois along with Minnie Dlamini-Jones, told S Mag her resilience is what got her this far.
“I got my first job in television as a presenter on Bop TV. I was 17 years old at the time when I was introduced to the industry and it still stuns me at how time has flown by.
“My initial plan was to work hard and at least last 10 years in the industry but because I was doing what I loved, the years rolled into three decades in the industry. Yes, it hasn’t been an easy journey as I met many challenges along the way but I taught myself how to navigate around them.”
Bala, the news anchor on Metro FM’s breakfast drive show, says there is no secret to longevity in this industry but hard work, professionalism and being reliable which helped sustain her as one of SA’s household names.
“I have many highlights in my career. I have been afforded to sit down and interview some of the world’s greatest artists and icons. I have shared and made wonderful memories with the likes of Brenda Fassie, Lebo Mathosa, Naomi Campbell, the list is endless… those experiences are some to this day I can’t believe I lived,” says the veteran broadcaster.
With the amount of dedication she’s put into her career, Bala has also been vocal about the importance of women being open about their mental health issues.
“One of the worst tricks that mental health challenges play on you, is making you think that you’re all alone in whatever you’re going through. And so in speaking up and sharing your experience, it’s a way to let other women know that you’re not alone.
I’ve been there, I’ve felt that way – and with working at it, I’ve made it through and I believe so can you. I love the expression, ‘You’ve been given this mountain, to show others it can be moved’. If one thing I say resonates with someone, then that’s enough for me.”
The mother of two, 15-year-old son Sean-Litha and 10-year-old daughter Peyton, takes her mental and physical wellbeing seriously, so much so that she qualified as a yoga instructor last year.
She plans to conduct online yoga lessons in the new year.
“I am a qualified 200-hour Vinyasa teacher. I decided to embark on my journey as an instructor based on the inner peace yoga gives. It has allowed me to be able to navigate and deal with my mental health.
“It also helped me to deal with the loss of my father and my divorce which both happened in the same year. Yoga was my lifesaver as that period was really an emotionally intense one.
“This is why I believe yoga can help people who are battling with depression. With my online class that I’ll conduct this year, I plan to assist people to restore their inner peace.”
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