WRITTEN BY: OMEGA NGEMA
“When life gets you down, roll over and look at the stars.” This is exactly what the talented and resilient champion angler Sachali Viljoen has done during each of the many times life has gotten her down.
When one encounters the bubbly, go-getting wife and mother of two, it would be hard to believe that she has endured such an arduous journey in her life. At the age on 19, Sachali was brutally raped, a life changing encounter which she describes as the most challenging time in her life. However through her faith in God and the love and support of her loved ones she managed to not only rise above the tribulation, but also use it to inspire and empower others. “I love empowering women especially. They are worth so much more than they are made to believe,” said Sachali.
Today, Sachali is a world class angler selected as a Protea angler to fish at the World Championships in France this September, however she stumbled upon fishing by chance when she was six months pregnant with her second child. “When I was six months pregnant with my second child, my husband let me fight a brownskate at Vetchies in front of Ushaka and I almost threw the rod into the sea but once I landed her, I was hooked,” said Sachali.
Her mother says she had other aspirations while growing up. “My mom says I wanted to be a ballerina and I remember wanting to save the world when I was 16,” said Sachali.
When the fishing bug bit Sachali, she was hooked for life as angling is now her first love. “Sometimes I cry tears of joy and pride after landing a big catch. The excitement and awe I feel while marvelling at the beauty of the fish however always propels me to quickly get it back into the water,” said Sachali.
She also said she appreciates the serenity of singing alone at the beach while doing what she loves that fishing gives her. “I learn so much about myself and how small my problems are when I see this vast ocean in front of me,” said Sachali.
When she is not fishing Sachali enjoys face painting with her children and says her passion for art and singing is a reverie she would still like to explore someday.
Representing South Africa at the World Championships in France would enable her to fulfil her lifelong dream of coaching juniors and growing the ladies division in pegged fishing.
“I have faith that it will all work out if I do my best, I know about winning and I know about losing, so I appreciate it when I win and congratulate when it’s not my turn,” said Sachali.
Sachali needs your help to get to France to represent South Africa at the world championship in La Tremblade, France, however she needs your help to be able to get there. If you would like to lend a helping hand, visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/sachali-viljoen and donate to Sachali’s trip.