Today I celebrate three years at Flow Communications! I should be a fossil and have my picture next to the skull of Mrs Ples and Harry the Hominid.

Journalist, Miliswa Sitshwele with her Apple phone

Three years ago I walked through the gates of Flow as a 21-year-old, wet-behind-the-ears university graduate to start my first real job. I couldn’t sleep the night before, pondering and nervous about what the first day would be like. As a a result, I got to Waverley at 7:15am, so I decided to hang around at McDonald’s and get to the office just before eight.

My first day was amazing; I was welcomed by friendly staff who showed me the office and made me feel right at home.

In the months and years that followed, I got to grips with the world of online journalism – it was fast-paced, fun and sometimes nerve-wracking.

I got to rub shoulders with the who’s who of South African politics, as well as businessmen, artists, fashion designers, social entrepreneurs, activists, archaeologists, students, migrants, community members and many more wonderful people.

In the past three years I have travelled far and wide in South Africa. I have been to community conversations, press conferences, festivals, informal settlements, suburbs, covered events and more recently, a game reserve for the first time in my life. Hell, I even picked up Tswana, Sotho and a bit of Tsonga.

I met Mr Mandela for the first time, working at Flow. I stood there in awe of the man, the man with whom I never thought I would be in close proximity. I was so excited, I got on the phone to my grandmother and told her all about it. She couldn’t believe it and she was proud of me.

I have come face-to-face with the elite of the elite and have seen the lowest of the lowest. My view of life has changed, my opinion of people living with HIV/AIDS has changed as I did intense research and interviews with people affected by and infected with the disease for the various websites that Flow manages. I have grown, matured and learnt to appreciate the little that I have when I saw what other people don’t have.

I remember the late nights we worked in the writing studio, singing songs and giving each other hugs, constantly repeating, “I am a starfish in the sea.” These are some of the memories I will carry with me always. The jokes shared around the foosball table, Flow staff meeting Fridays, soccer fever and more recently, redsockfriday.

As Flow was my first job, it was sometimes not easy going up to celebrities, but Tara pushed me and said, “Come back with a quote.” And now when I would look at my notebook, I see quotes from Morgan Freeman, Loyiso Bala, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Rica Hodgson, Bantu Holomisa, Patrice Motsepe, Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Matthew and Sonia Booth, Peggy-Sue Khumalo, Tatum Keshwar, Lebo Mashile, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Zwelinzima Vavi, Basetsana Khumalo, Baby Jake Matlala and many more. My heart is filled with so much joy – I mean, who would have thought that a girl from a one-horse town in the Eastern Cape would interview these people?

I have formed lifelong friendships at Flow. The past three years have been about fun, work, inspiration, motivation, courage, hope, faith, love, friendships, professional growth and most of all, they have been about family – Flow family.

I came to Flow as a young girl, but now I can safely say I am a young woman who is so proud to work for a company that has grown so much in the time that I have been here. I am, and always will be, a Flowstar wherever life takes me. I will cherish the memories that I have made here and will tell my kids and their kids about them. Here’s to many more years of going with the Flow (tequila glass in hand!).

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