“The dormouse will share what he has discovered through curiosity and perseverance. He isn’t obtrusive, but because of the things he says and does he leaves an impression.”
23-year-old Frederik “Freddy” Mahieu reads a quote off the screen of his computer. A quote about his spirit animal, a small rodent called a dormouse, which his fellow scout colleagues compare him to. For over 12 years he has been in the scouts, and the youth organisation has come to mean a lot to him. A sort of second home.
“I’ve gotten to know myself better and met incredibly many different people” Freddy explains.
Even for a journalist, Freddy is a truly curious character. His interests span from fencing, to gaming, to international relations and politics. He even studied law for two years, but felt like this was something he had been pressured into by his family. He was unhappy. After working as a social worker for a year, Freddy found his path and realized that journalism was his calling. The core principle of his journalistic endeavour? Humans.
“Humans are fascinating because they are perfectly flawed. Each and every one can provide a unique nugget of knowledge. I believe exploring different opinions will deepen my own abilities” he says.
Suddenly, a small tap on Freddys shoulder. A fellow student asking for help. Freddy casually switches from fluent English (with quite a thick American accent) to Dutch. One of the perks of growing up in the city of Ghent in the Flemish region of Belgium, is that languages are close to come by. Speaking fluent Flemish, French and English gives Freddy a huge advantage in the line of international reporting.
“Wees paraat.”. Be prepared.