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Sade Giliberti: Why I Left SA

They say it’s brave and courageous to leave your comfort zone. Leave behind family and friends, a well-established career, your home, dog and life behind to venture out into the world looking for something more. Something greater. Something that the soul craves. Some people find it unfathomable to do such a thing. Some people dream of doing such, but could never leave behind a life for an adventure that has blank pages. But I did it.

I sold my car and all my belongings, gave a few things away to charity, gave my dog to my dad, said goodbye to friends and left behind a career that took me almost 24 years to build up all in the name of ‘wanting more and being more’. Besides wanting more in my career, I wanted to be closer to my family in Italy, I wanted to be an aunt to my nephew and one that could see him whenever I wanted to. I wanted to travel, to be able to get on a train or find a cheap flight to any destination. I wanted to explore more, not only the world, but also my own spirituality. I am, after all, 30 years old now.

So yes, moving was a risk but it’s a risk I needed to take so I could be more, do more and find my true path – my own “Personal Legend”. I needed to do it before it was too late. I didn’t want to wake up five years from now regretting having never left. It’s not about running away; I didn’t run away from anything. I had a great life back home, supportive friends, my cute little dog, a father I love more than words, a car, a scooter, a great career – which yes, got a little quiet and as the universe would have it, the moment I made the decision to leave I got offered five different jobs in the space of three months. But I knew I had to refuse them all, because if I had stayed, I would have never left. And that would have plagued me for days, months and even years.

I’ve been in London now for four months. Starting from the bottom in the hopes of ‘getting my big break’. You see, here it doesn’t matter that you’re an award-winning presenter from another country, with years of experience on screen and off. Here you’re just like everyone else who ventures off to a big city in hopes of following their dreams and being a star. Here you’re up against all walks of life wanting that international break. I needed this challenge; I needed a new place with a different vibe and atmosphere. A place where no body knew me, so I could just be myself.

Where I could be an Italian/Zulu and where it could possibly work to my advantage. This may sound conceited of me to even say, but a massive part of me felt that I had reached my peak back home with regards to being a TV presenter. I needed more, and S.A wasn’t going to give it to me.

I’ve always remained the humble type. Grateful for my career and my job on television, never looking down on people because of the work I do. I guess a massive part of me was also tired of going up against people who were seen as the best of the best. Don’t get me wrong; all of these said people are good at their jobs. But it was always the same people and that was boring for me. Ego’s can be so exhausting to be around. So where else can one remain humble if not in a city that is bigger than yours?

It’s been an eye opener for me, but also a very exciting adventure to be on. Emotionally it’s been draining, exciting but draining. Spirituality it’s tested every part of me, but it’s also been very enlightening. I’ve spent the last year being as disciplined as I possibly could be with regards to my spirituality. Maybe it’s because I ended a relationship with a person I dearly loved; with that amount of heartache one always needs something positive to pull them out of their rut.

I decided this time around to handle it all differently than I have done in the past. I decided to delve straight into my spirituality, as at the end of the day, I ended for it me. No other reason, but me. And to be honest, I’ve never felt more connected to this universe like I do now. Which is perfect timing, because to be one with the universe, means that it shall listen to you and bring you what you desire. There will be obstacles, moments of pressure, moments of doubt, moments where I will question whether this was all a good idea or not, but because I am following my heart’s heart, I know I am in the right place at the right time. This place is going to serve as a base for me to truly follow my path.

Some may think, how the hell do you even know this? Well, sometimes you just know. Sometimes you just need to follow your intuition. Because let’s be honest, your intuition is never wrong.

Since being here, I have found love, I have found work, and I have explored my spirituality even more. I’m healthier, I’m happier and I’m making new friends and being acquainted again with old ones. I do however miss my people. Those that I can call up whenever I want to, see whenever I want to. I miss weekly phone calls with my dad and weekend visits, I miss my dog’s cuddles and his quirkiness… but… as I said, I am happy here. Truly. No lies. This new life is happening because of a bigger picture. I am here to paint this canvas.

So, what’s work like in London? Well, castings here are more available to you on a daily basis – due to the many casting sites one can join, at a fee of course. Finding an agent though is no walk in the park. My first attempts at finding an agent, I applied to all the great acting agencies (it all happens online here), many rejected me, and the rest didn’t even get back to me. Which in itself is rejection. For a moment I felt despondent, but then again what did I expect attempting to join agencies that housed the best actors in the UK and America. Ha! Nice try Sade. Not just yet.

So I forked out a ton of money to get more portfolio shots done with a studio that also hooked you up with agency contacts. For a moment I queried whether it would be worth it, but after being told that I was a natural in front of the camera, that my genes were good to me because I do not look my age, that my style and image was different and alluring, and that a certain agency would lap me up immediately, I realized, maybe spending that exorbitant amount would be worth it in the end.

And it was. Not only because I got great compliments (which I guess I needed to hear after feeling a bit despondent) but I also then met up with the agency and within 10 minutes of my interview the agent signed me up on the spot. And there it was, the beginning of something great. The stepping-stones began to lay themselves out in front of me.

As I mentioned I’ve been here for four months now and in that time, I have MC’d a sporting event (with more gigs in July), have done a short film and have been shortlisted for future gigs. All of this without the agent though – just through the casting sites. And that in itself is good enough for me. That in itself shows me that I am on the right path. That I am in the right place at the right time. So the hustle shall continue and I shall continue to go out there and showcase what I can do in hopes of that big break. Those breaks that will in end lead me to my own Personal Legend. Which ironically doesn’t really have much to do with the industry, but it’s the industry that will assist me in making it happen. That however, is a story for another time.

So if you have nothing holding back. No commitments that you can’t leave behind. Then I’ll say this; if you suffer from wanderlust, if you seek to paint on a new canvas, and if you have the ‘balls’ to try and start a new life else where, do it! The secret to bravery is that it’s within. It’s something we develop. And the best part about leaving is that you can always go back home. Because as cheesy as it sounds, home IS where the heart is. True friends never fade, family will always be there, and if you have made such a remarkable mark in your career then that too will welcome you back with open arms.

I’ve learnt not to live in fear because fear weakens the soul. I’ve learnt that failure doesn’t determine who you are; it determines your determination to try. There are things that we are made for and things that we are not made for. But one will never know unless they try. So whether you’re crossing the dam, or just a province, if you seek more, go out there so you can be more. No matter the outcome, your character will have learnt something new.

Sade Giliberti is a South African TV Presenter and Actress with the coolest tattoos you’ve ever seen. You can follow her on Twitter here and Instagram there.

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