How Marvin Borcherds Accidentally Fell into a Career of Writing

Marvin Borcherds is a career driven content producer who has always taken a deep interest in radio. But after several attempts of sending out CV’s to radio broadcasters that only returned unsuccessful and then sustaining a very painful knee injury, Marvin was forced to explore other options outside radio.

Growing up in Blackheath – a real city boy – in a home with a slightly peach coat of paint, Marvin always knew what he wanted to do with his life. Raised in a loving environment, Marvin remembers enjoying the unending support of his family throughout all his endeavours.

Therefore, when he told his parents that he wanted to study arts at the University of Stellenbosch, they were his biggest supporters. However, while studying at the University of Stellenbosch in 2006, Marvin realised that he was no longer sure of his choice and dropped out of varsity hunting for other career paths.

While figuring out his next move, Marvin recalls flipping through his TV-channels one day and watching The Hills (an American reality television series). A particular character who worked in an Events and Marketing environment caught his attention. It wasn’t long thereafter that Marvin enrolled at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, studying Events and Marketing; majoring in Communications.

While studying at the university in 2010, Marvin dislocated his right knee while exercising and had to stay at home for six weeks with his leg elevated.

“I felt so unproductive, but being able to write my thoughts down, made the six weeks slightly bearable. I wrote short stories and poems. Writing took my mind away from the condition I was in and it ended up being a lovely escape,” he says. Today, when asked by people how he started writing, he jokes and responds, “I literally fell into it.”

After his recovery, Marvin went back to varsity to complete the rest of his education, but faced, yet another challenge. Missing classes resulted in Marvin failing two subjects and he had to rewrite them in 2013.

During his last year, Marvin interned at Heart FM radio for six months. On his last day at the station, Marvin received a call from KFM wanting to interview him for a position that had opened. Four days later he received a call saying that the job was his. “It was so overwhelming. Here I am fresh out of varsity with little work experience about to work for one of South Africa’s biggest radio broadcasters.”

When his contract with KFM ended, Marvin received another opportunity to intern at Media24 for six months where he grew extremely driven. He wanted to prove to himself and his community that he too could achieve success.

While working at Media24, Marvin got the biggest shock of his life. Media24 offered him a full-time position as a content producer. Here he gained invaluable knowledge and expertise about the industry. After working there for four years, Marvin said his goodbye’s and was ready to move on to bigger and greater things.

Thereafter he worked as a freelance writer for various publications and did TV-commercial modelling and acting. “I worked with Samsung, Lenovo, Heineken, and Castle Lager.”

But even though Marvin enjoyed life as a freelancer, he never lost sight of his plans to establish himself as a writer. He continued applying for writing jobs of which countless applications to the Suidooster TV-show was one of them. The management team could no longer ignore his persistence and finally offered him a volunteer position in 2018. “It wasn’t what I wanted or hoped for, but it was a start and I was willing.”

As his time at Suidooster also came to an end, Marvin was again pleasantly surprised – the production team offered him the production assistant position. He accepted, but soon felt that his career was heading in the wrong direction. In his heart, he still pursued writing and felt that he was moving slightly off track.

With these thoughts in mind, Marvin made the difficult decision of resigning in hopes of landing a writing job. it’s a good thing he did because later that year Marvin started writing for the Son Newspaper with the concept of producing weekly column pieces that review Suidooster episodes with a comical spin. “We are celebrating eight months of publication this month and I’m so happy that I persisted and never gave up on what I wanted.” His column, Marvin Borcherds Waai Met Suidooster, is published every Sunday in the Son and can also be found on Facebook.

Marvin’s persistence is now, revealing other hidden talents – one of them being scriptwriting. He is currently working on filming one of his scripts with film director, Jaak Erasmus, and promises to keep us all up-to-date as the film develops.

He believes that his journey has taught him resilience, patience and more importantly that success is not determined by the balance of one’s bank account, but how your craft or gift is able to light up someone else’s momentary darkness. “I therefore now live by the three P’s; Patience, Perseverance and Prayer,” he adds. 

Note: A special thanks to Marvin Borcherds for making time to speak with us.

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