50 Coffees is a blog series that follows me, Lucia Dramat, as I interview inspirational Christian women in South Africa. I had the opportunity to meet the inspirational, business superwoman and all round amazing person, Jolene Martin. She has been on TV for years from kids shows to Christian talk shows to soapies and even Powerball. In addition to that she runs her own successful production company, working with top South African companies. I was captivated by her honest and inspirational answers the entire time we chatted. Give it a read and enjoy it for yourself.
You have this exciting and ever evolving career. What has been a moment, an interview or an experience that has impacted your life? A ‘wow God’ moment.
I always want to tell this story but I never do because it is hard to sound diplomatic, but I will tell Fiftyloop the story. When the production Lion King came to South Africa, I hosted the red carpet. It was rumoured that Oprah Winfrey would be walking the red carpet. I was like ‘that is not going happen’. God is great but Oprah Winfrey, not going to happen. About seven minutes into me being on the red carpet and interviewing these high profile guests, I get told in my earpiece that Miss Winfrey is here. I thought I was being pranked. Then she walks onto the red carpet, bear in mind that at the time I was solely a TV presenter and who was my (excuse the word) Idol, Oprah Winfrey. She is not only standing a few meters away from me, I am going to interview this woman. She steps up to me and a falter and fluff my way through the first question, so embarrassedly. I look at her and I am thinking ‘Oh she thinks I am a clown’. As she is answering my badly asked question, my internal dialogue is ‘Lord Jesus please give me the strength to make it through this without looking like an idiot’. As I open my eyes and look at her, this is where I don’t want to sound nasty but this really happened, she was struggling with her strip of eye lashes. Her makeup artist probably didn’t glue it on right. As she was trying to fix it like a lady, I looked and I thought to myself ‘you are just like me, you are normal. You are a human being’. All of my nervousness just left, all my anxiety left. I saw her in her own skin and not as this idol that I had. What that did for me that day, allowed me to walk into any room or any environment and speak to anyone with an air of confidence. It allowed me to know that nothing divides you and I. We are all human, having the same human experience on the same human journey. Now I can literally do anything. That was the interview that changed my life.
You recently got engaged, Congratulations! So many ladies are waiting for their person, especially us Christian ladies that really want to get married. What advice do you have for them in that season?
They need to get over it. (She jokes). But seriously, I did have a first marriage which failed dismally. From that point talking about my perceived failure and now having some sense of success in a relationship I think my advice should be heeded. Let’s get honest now… the big mistake we have as Christian women is we don’t wait for the revelation of what God’s advice is. Big bold letters in the bible says ‘DON’T BE UNEQUALLY YOKED’. So then if he goes to church and I go to church then we are equally yoked, right? Not really. Sometimes we need to take that word and spend time meditating on it and praying on it. Then ask God, what does it mean for me? As Jolene, what that verse means is find someone who is an equal partner in every part of your life. Jolene, you are a hustler, a hard worker and you do tons of things at the same time. You can’t marry someone who is perfectly happy working from home or doing nothing. You have got to find someone who inspires you. I was coming home from power ball on a Tuesday evening, for instance, at about 11pm. I get home, eat a bowl of muesli and print my script for next day’s corporate broadcast which was live at 8am. That meant I needed to be up at 3:30 wash my hair, do make up and go live at 8am. So when I come home, whoever is at home I need to respect. So that’s what I learnt, you need to find yourself equally yoked in terms of your growth and your maturity. You need to find someone equally yoked spiritually because if he goes to church it does not mean he has a personal relationship with Christ. If he goes to church it does not mean when you go through a rough time he will be able to intercede for you. So you need to find someone who is as passionate about seeking the heart of Christ as you are. Equally yoked is a simple thing, do you have the same outlook on how to raise a child. Sometimes we are going to find men who already have children, that doesn’t mean they are off the market, you just have to get onto the same page. Don’t marry that person until you have spoken about those things. I want women to get really practical about what it means to be equally yoked. For me, I think financially it is important to be equally yoked or have that conversation at least. You cannot be the contributor or the bread winner if the other person doesn’t feel like they need to do the same. That for me was huge lesson because I had worked so much there was so much money coming in that it didn’t matter if there was no other money coming in. After three or four years of working like that, your exhaustion will make you resent them. So it is 2016 we need to really start looking at what it means to be equally yoked and have those conversations with our girlfriends, mothers, and sisters. We must use the sisterhood to have those conversations because there might be a lesson that I learnt that might be relevant to you in two years. We need to talk to each other more as women and have those heart to hearts.
What was the inner fear, doubt or thought that you needed to overcome to be who you are today?
I was stupid, in the late 90s there was this trending question: what is your biggest fear? I was stupid because I told people. I breathed life into my fear. It was the dumbest thing I could have ever done. An older Christian woman said to me ‘be careful of what you say because the devil is always listening’. I told everybody that fear was my biggest fear and I feared fear and failure. I feared failure so much because I was an over achiever for so much of my life. Then I failed at marriage and that crippled me, for about three or four years you didn’t see me. I kept working but I was dealing with some serious stuff because I felt like a failure and it was that fear of failure that made the failure so much worse. The thing I had to overcome was fear, once you acknowledge it and you start reading verses and books about fear your learn that, quite honestly, fear is not from God. He says ‘I have not given you a spirit of fear. What are you doing, it is not from Me. Where did you pick that up, who have you been hanging out with’. That was the thing I needed to overcome and now it is not an issue, I have become fairly fearless. I actually don’t even fear people’s criticism of me anymore and that is huge for us as women. Sometime we leave the house and say my hairstyle today someone is going to say something or someone is going to say I’m overdress for this function. Whether we fear our internal voice or external voices there is a fear that we need to get rid of and live unapologetically.
On her website www.jolenemartin.com
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