*This article was previously published in the Move! print edition
While growing up, it was almost every child’s dream to be a TV presenter – to have fun on television while gaining fame and fortune. And it was no different for Expresso Presenter Search on 3 winner Jamie-Lee Domburg (26) who now gets to live that dream. She won the competition in October and has been on Mzansi screens since November. It’s been an adjustment, she admits. Because the show is live, the pressure is challenging and the fear that came with her new job initially held her back.
FINDING HER RHYTHM
She has now let go of the fear and is ready to help people kick-start their day with a vibe she calls the “gara” – a word she made up, found catchy and ran with it. Jamie-Lee hopes to learn as much as she possibly can while working on Expresso. Initially, she thought she’d be an actor, she says, and went to study speech and drama at the Cape Academy of Dramatic Art.
This after she took a gap year after matric and went to Dubai in 2011 because she wasn’t sure what to study. “I did not want to study just anything, so while there I was bored and I was like, ‘This is not me, I need to be on stage’.”
That’s when she came back to study. Although it did not go as planned as Jamie-Lee lost interest in her studies, the experience helped her with speech and some direction. “I remember going to an interview because we had to do one before starting with school,” she says. She was asked if she wanted to be on Afrikaans soapie 7de Laan, but Jamie- Lee said she wanted to be a presenter.
“They were like, ‘You know you don’t need to come to acting school, right?’ and I was like, ‘No, Jamie, this is not your calling, you suck at acting’,” she laughs. The Cape Town-born single mother to 10-month-old Luca David is happy she gets to spend more time with her son since she’s doing a morning show. When she’s working, her mom Patricia Domburg (59), a part-time nurse, helps her with David.
GROWING WITH EXPERIENCE
During the Expresso presenter search, she interviewed musician NaakMusiQ and she was very nervous. “I think [now] I’m becoming a bit more comfortable. After the show I watch the episode and make notes to see where I can improve.” She always goes to the directors to get feedback, and they are always helpful.
Jamie-Lee says she feels she’s her biggest critic because sometimes she feels there were embarrassing moments while presenting. “Someone would message me and say, ‘We loved what you do and when you say ‘gara’.” She’s learning not to be so hard on herself, she says, and to understand that this is part of the learning curve.
“I am going to grow and eventually get better,” she says. “It’s like everything I have done prepared me for this moment,” Jamie-Lee says.