“Her road is the road less travelled. ‘Vellies’ in the sand, red lips, and a glass of wine in her hand – the pureness of her heart mirrored in the sunset. Family and friends as close as she can draw them near.”

Carlien Nienaber lives by the mantra, “If not now, when?” For her, life is too short for regrets. That goes for her professional life as well as her private life – and the CEO Social Media Specialist chose a life partner that would help her live out this ideal too. She has been married to her husband for 10 years. “He is my biggest supporter and always motivates me to go for what I want and go for what will make me happy. He is one of the most hard-working people I know, and he never gives up, he always says, “nothing is too much trouble”. His drive and positive attitude are infectious,” says Carlien.

It would seem that her ‘beloved’ simply picked up where Carlien’s family left off – a continuation of optimism and drive. Carlien grew up in Pretoria. “I had a very happy childhood, I have an older brother, so I mostly ended up playing with cars, playing cricket or building treehouses,” she smiles. “My parents were always very supportive of us.” Carlien’s family vacations were always to the Kruger Park. They love camping, and, it would seem, it birthed an adoration for the African bush within Carlien. “Whenever my husband and I have a bit longer off-time, we love exploring Africa – it is the most beautiful continent! We have done some amazing 4×4 trips into the most remote bush, and most beautiful beaches you can imagine – Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique.” Their goal is to first see everything Africa has to offer before exploring the rest of the world. Of course, some of the more daring adventures have been placed on hold now that they have welcomed a baby boy into their lives recently.

Carlien joined CEO in 2018. A recruitment company contacted her for the interview, and she says she is so happy they did. “I can honestly say it is the happiest I have been in my career. We really do work together as a team, support each other, and we also have a lot of fun in-between.” Her colleagues feel the same way about her. “She is loyal, friendly, helpful, always willing to assist, with integrity, honesty and creativity. Carlien is awesome to be around – and brings a sense of calmness to any difficult situation.,” they report.

Carlien’s career adventure began after she completed her degree at the University of Pretoria. “I liked the idea of being able to be a bit more creative, and that is something that is possible within the marketing industry,” she says. “When I first started working though, Social Media Marketing wasn’t really a thing, and I had to teach myself, it was a situation where I was thrown into the deep end!” Luckily – especially for CEO – Carlien swam!

Carlien graciously credits her family for her spirit of creativity and adventure. “My mom is a very artistic and creative person. She was a graphic designer most of her life. My dad was a Financial Manager, and thus very good with numbers, a talent I, unfortunately, didn’t inherit from him,” she reminisces. “They had to work very hard to make a life for themselves, both growing up on the farm in a small town, and I am blessed to have had such an amazing example of a determined, never-give-up attitude in life.” Sadly, Carlien lost her dad when she was just 22. “He is still the voice in my head: ‘You are strong, you are beautiful, you can do anything!’”

Wherever Carlien dares to tread, be it at the workplace or travelling and exploring Africa; be it in front of a laptop; or next to a campfire with a glass of wine – it’s sure to be a moment never wasted.