My name is Siyathemba Zimkhitha Ben. I’m a qualified journalist with nine years’ working experience. I started my career as an intern at the Media24 Journalism Academy in 2011, where I worked for different publications such as the Daily Sun newspaper, Channel24 and Women’s Health magazine.

Since then, I’ve been part of other amazing South African media houses including MTV Base Africa, ZAlebs, VUZU and Channel (through Don’t Look Down Entertainment) as a social media manager/writer/digital content creator. I’ve also been part of the social media team for other big brands including KFC South Africa and Standard Bank Arts.

In 2018, I decided to launch Nia Online because I wanted to create a space for authentic and meaningful conversations. The word “Nia” means purpose, and that’s exactly why the website exists – to contribute and deliver purpose-driven content that is intended to bring hope and a positive change.

The site was inspired by my own story as a rape survivor. While going through my journey of healing, I noticed that there was not a lot of content that was targeted at me and what I was going through during those dark moments.

Most of the stories I read about depression, anxiety and life after surviving rape were based on people living outside of SA. I struggled to connect with those stories and that forced me to come out with my story as a way of reaching out to other survivors in order to show them that they’re not alone.

Through this platform, I want to reach out to the thousands of rape survivors in my country and the rest of the world. I want to shine the spotlight on my experiences as a rape survivor – whether good or bad – my healing journey, wellness, mental health, real conversations with others and my walk with God.