ISSN 1993-9655 â€¢ RSA R30.00 incl VAT (Namibia R26.50 excl VAT)
9 771993 965003 www.afropolitan.co.za | 2018 | Edition 53
THE GOOD LIFE
THE REJUVENATION OF SELF
11 BEAUTIFUL, NATURALLY
42 UPCYCLE YOUR STYLE
13 ECO GROOMING
44 KASHMIRI CASHMERE FIT FOR A KING 46 CONSCIOUSLY CLOTHED 48 COTTON. WOOL. WOOD.
14 ARE YOU WHAT YOU EAT? 15 NO FIT EXCUSE
18 THE WISDOM OF THE ELDERS
50 EYES WIDE OPEN 57 OFF THE GRID 62 NATURAL ATTRACTIONS
22 READ THE ROOM
66 TECHNOLOGY THAT SAVES 69 NOTHING MUST GO TO WASTE
26 INVESTING IS NOT JUST FOR THE WEALTHY 30 HALF MAN, HALF AMAZING: TECH ENTREPRENEUR, STAFFORD MASIE 34 JOBS OF THE FUTURE 38 LOVE FOR THE STREETS
70 THE FUTURE STANDARD
72 TSHEGO MPETE: SECURING OUR FUTURE A DROP AT A TIME 3
FROM THE EDITOR
IMAGE Judd van Rensburg GROOMING Nthato Mashishi
EDITOR Kojo Baffoe IMAGES Akona Kenqu CONTRIBUTORS Janine Jellars Brendah Nyakudya-Dandala Tshepo Matseba Damian Murphy Dominique Wolf PUBLISHING HOUSE Contact Media & Communications 388 Main Avenue, Randburg Block A Tel: +27(0) 11 789 6339 Fax: +27(0) 11 789 7097 email: email@example.com web: www.contactmedia.co.za CEO & DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR Sean Press MANAGING DIRECTOR & PUBLISHER Donna Verrydt FINANCE & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Lesley Fox HEAD OF SALES Didi Okoro SALES MANAGER Quincy Matonhodze SALES Kate Bowden Charlene Heyburgh Melanie Scheepers Emma Strydom Paul Styles DESIGN & LAYOUT Quinten Tolken COVER PHOTOGRAPHY Gareth Jacobs SUB-EDITOR Margot Bertelsmann PROOFREADER Angie Snyman PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Gwen Sebogodi IT AND WEB MANAGER Carmen Petre REPRO & PRINTING Kadimah Print
LET‘S TAKE RESPONSIBILITY I
n his book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, co-written with Steven Kotler, Peter Diamandis, the Greek-American innovator, entrepreneur, physician and founder of the X Prize Foundation, says, “When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. Yet the threat of scarcity still dominates our worldview.” The premise of Abundance is that, because of the exponential evolution of technology, a great many of the fears we have about the world, in particular, future potential scarcity of food, energy and water, are unwarranted. As far as Diamandis is concerned, as we continue to innovate, we will be able to better access these resources.
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For example, “according to the TransMediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation,… enough solar power hits one square kilometer of Africa’s deserts to produce the equivalent of one and a half million barrels of oil or three hundred thousand tons of coal.” All we need is to find more innovative and cost-efficient ways of harnessing that energy, which, the authors argue, is close to guaranteed when you consider how quickly technological advancements have happened, particularly over the last 20 years. Diamandis makes a serious case for optimism, and it is hard not to get caught up in that optimism for the future.
But we cannot become complacent. While we live on a continent that has an abundance of resources, we have never had the access to those resources. Historically, it has been extracted by and for the West, and there has been a lag in our capacity to harness those resources in more recent times. For too long, we have been at the bottom end of the food chain and many of us continue to live in survival mode. This is why, for those of us who are privileged to have access to resources, there is a great responsibility in how we live our lives and interact with the environment around us. Take water, for example. southern Africa has been undergoing a drought. In Cape Town, the situation has become dire. In Gauteng, while we have had good rains, it hasn’t always been in the right places and we're not guaranteed a steady water supply in the future. Yet look around our cities and it feels like business as usual. It is the things we do and the habits we acquire today that will determine the kind of world we leave for our children and the generations to come. We need to do something. We can't act like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. This is what this issue of Afropolitan is about: facing our challenges head-on with commitment and a willingness to not only talk but to do. Repeatedly.
UNIVERSITY OF PRETORIA AD
THE GOOD LIFE
The Spa at The Oyster Box Hotel
REJUVENATION OF SELF THE BODY IS NOT A MACHINE. SOMETIMES, YOU NEED TO TAKE THE TIME TO REJUVENATE TO ENSURE THAT YOUR BODY CAN KEEP DELIVERING. BY JANINE JELLARS elf-care is enjoying a moment. The term has found itself as a popular social media hashtag celebrating everything from meditation to manicures. While it’s easy to dismiss self-care as self-indulgence, no one can dispute the importance of regular me-time. Beyond the Instagram captions, taking consistent care of yourself and maintaining a level of care throughout the year is essential to ensure a balanced lifestyle. Whether you require a mani-pedi to remind yourself that there’s life away from office stress, or need a weekend getaway for total rejuvenation, we’re here to help you find the perfect relaxation retreat. Here, we take a look at six spas across South Africa that will help you relax, rejuvenate and reboot.
CHIC SPA EXPERIENCE
The Spa at The Oyster Box Hotel in Durban combines the luxury of a high-end spa with the traditional effectiveness of local plant-based products and eco-friendly technologies. World-class service meets opulent facilities as guests are free to explore any number of indulgent areas, including a grooming lounge, plunge pool, gym and infinity pool. It’s easy for guests to be transported to complete serenity in a spa set in private, tropical gardens. And, once pampered with treatments inspired by nature, guests can enjoy quiet time in a post-treatment tranquillity lounge.
The Garden Spa, set within a bamboo forest, offers everything from facials to massages, therapies and pedicures. To add a special touch, fresh herbs such as lavender and rosemary are picked from the garden every day for use in the spa’s daily rituals. That means the treatment menu is dictated by what’s seasonal, local and ripe. The spa is a treat for all senses, with guests welcome to enjoy modern facilities such as a hammam (or Turkish bath), chill room and gym. Guests can also enjoy a tea ceremony featuring herbs and infusions from the healing garden.
THE SPA AT THE OYSTER BOX HOTEL, DURBAN, KWAZULU-NATAL BEST FOR: ECO-FRIENDLY AND EXOTIC OPULENCE IN TROPICAL SURROUNDS
THE GARDEN SPA AT BABYLONSTOREN, WESTERN CAPE BEST FOR: HOLISTIC TREATMENTS INFUSING LOCAL, SEASONAL INGREDIENTS
THE GOOD LIFE
BREATH-TAKING BUSH BREAK
KARKLOOF SAFARI SPA, MIDLANDS, KWAZULU-NATAL BEST FOR: LUXURIOUS SAFARI AND SPA EXPERIENCE IN SERENE SURROUNDINGS
If you want the best of a bush breakaway and the serenity of a spa retreat, Karkloof Safari Spa is the place for you. This awardwinning luxury lodge offers everything from private guides to game drives. And then, once you’ve satisfied your appetite for spectacular wildlife, it’s time for the full wellness package. Karkloof has mastered the luxury spa experience with a whopping 17 treatment rooms, all with wonderful views of the bush. No detail has been left to chance and guests can be spoiled with unlimited hydrotherapy, a flotation pool, therapy pools, an open-air Jacuzzi, saunas, steam rooms and more. Pure bliss! www.karkloofsafarispa.com
SPA WITH SPIRITUALITY ST FRANCIS HEALTH CENTRE, BATHURST, EASTERN CAPE BEST FOR: TRANQUIL TREATMENTS AND HOLISTIC HEALTH AND HEALING
There’s a time and a place for a quickie mani-pedi. But St Francis Health Centre offers so much more. This spa is, in a word, an experience. Tucked away in the Kleinemonde River Valley, this spa specialises in stress relief, weight control and natural healing. For those seeking a “health holiday”, its detox programme is world-renowned. If the famous hydrotherapies, steam and jet baths and indoor and outdoor pools aren’t enough, guests can take their journey to a deeper level. St Francis Health Centre provides holistic healing and guests are encouraged to explore The Labyrinth and The Sanctuary to treat life’s stresses.
Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa
Karkloof Safari Spa
AM SPA LODGE, HOEDSPRUIT, LIMPOPO BEST FOR: STILLNESS AND TRANQUILLITY MEETS INDULGENCE AND PRIVACY St Francis Health Centre
The Garden Spa at Babylonstoren
Luxe in Limpopo? Yes, please. The awardwinning AM Spa is well known as an oasis of total relaxation. A global World Luxury Spa Awards winner, this spa is a serene haven, enclosed in the stillness of the bush. Guests can enjoy soothing treatments, from facials to massages, all while being serenaded by birdsong and wildlife rustling in the grass and trees. If a massage with a bush view is your idea of relaxation, then AM Spa is for you. A dip in the outdoor pool or unwinding under a canopy of trees awaits you at this wilderness gem. www.amlodge.co.za/am-spa
FAIRLAWNS BOUTIQUE HOTEL AND SPA, JOHANNESBURG, GAUTENG BEST FOR: BREAK AWAY WITHOUT LEAVING JOBURG
Need a quickie relaxation session without leaving town? Fairlawns Boutique Hotel and Spa in leafy Morningside might be the destination for you. This Balinese-style spa offers various treatments and packages for everyone, from those seeking a few hours of indulgence to guests in need of a weekend escape for maximum indulgence. Guests can shake off the Joburg hustle and bustle in the lush gardens and enjoy a true oasis of relaxation. The spa, which offers classic therapies and Asian-inspired treatments, features a heated plunge pool, a spa bath, Chinese daybeds, as well as steam rooms and a sauna. www.fairlawnshotel.co.za/spa-at-fairlawns.html
B E AU T I F U L N AT U R A L LY LOOKING GOOD IS A CONSCIOUS CHOICE. NOW YOU CAN MAKE IT IN GOOD CONSCIENCE. BY DOMINIQUE WOLF
hankfully, it is becoming easier to look flawless and be a part of saving the world at the same time. There is a massive worldwide drive to significantly reduce pollution and waste and we are seeing more and more beauty brands lifting the lid on natural, organic, and eco-friendly products. Here are some sustainable and environmentally friendly make-up brands that we think are making a great impact.
THE BODY SHOP
After many years, The Body Shop still remains true to its pillars of enriching its people, enriching its products and protecting the environment. The Body Shop sources some of the finest raw ingredients and hand-crafted accessories from all over the world. The company harnesses the skills of small-scale farmers, traditional artisans and rural co-operatives that are experts in their fields. As a pioneer in fair trade in beauty, it has 26 community trade suppliers in 21 countries around the world today. BEAUTY EDITOR'S PICK: The Body Shop Brush On Radiance bronzer R275 Visit www.thebodyshop.co.za to find the store closest to you.
Couleur Caramel is a trusted brand of mineral make-up that uses natural and certified organic ingredients. The beautiful range of products for face, lips and eyes is available in a myriad of colours. Couleur Caramel products are “Leaping Bunny” approved and not tested on animals. The company is fair trade certified, and the organic ingredients used in Couleur Caramel make-up are certified by Ecocert. BEAUTY EDITOR'S PICK: Dr. Hauschka Colour Correcting Powder OO Translucent R715.50 Order Couleur Caramel make-up products online at www.faithful-to-nature.co.za.
Dr. Hauschka is a long-established, internationally renowned brand of natural and organic cosmetic products. Pioneer Dr. Rudolf Hauschka first began creating preservative-free medicinal preparations in the 1930s, and later worked with a cosmetologist to formulate a range of complementary skin care products. Its products are free of harsh synthetic ingredients and are not tested on animals. Ingredients are certified organic and wild harvested wherever possible to ensure the highest standards of purity and consistent quality. BEAUTY EDITOR'S PICK: Dr. Hauschka Colour Correcting Powder OO Translucent R715.50 Dr Haushka make-up can be found at www.absoluteskin.co.za.
Esse’s core principles are certified organic, vegan and cruelty-free. The company supports fair trade and is carbon-neutral. Esse subscribes to the Ecocert Organic Standard, which enforces minimum organic percentages and bans ingredients deemed to be unsafe or unsustainable. The Standard also audits the production facility and ensures full traceability of all raw materials. Esse’s packaging is regulated to make sure that the materials are safe for the consumer, don’t leach into the product over time, and are recyclable. Esse is committed to the fair trade of natural products and is an accredited partner of PhytoTrade Africa, which is dedicated to the development of fair trade and environmentally sustainable natural products. PhytoTrade oversees the sustainable harvesting of plants from the wild by rural communities in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Malawi, Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa. BEAUTY EDITOR'S PICK: Esse Eye Make-Up Remover R210 at www.faithful-to-nature.co.za. Alternatively, visit www.esseskincare.com to locate your closest store.
ECO GROOMING GOOD GROOMING IS A CONSTANT PROCESS OF SELF-CARE AND PRIDE, BUT CONSCIOUS GROOMING MAKES THE EFFORT EVEN MORE WORTHWHILE. WE HAVE FOUND SOME GREAT LOCAL PRODUCTS THAT ARE NOT ONLY ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY BUT ALSO EXTRA KIND TO YOUR SKIN. BY DOMINIQUE WOLF
BEARDWORX BEARD BALM This handmade beard balm is a specific mix of beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, argan oil, jojoba oil and sweet almond oil. The combination of these ingredients helps to naturally stimulate growth, prevent premature ageing and wrinkling of skin, regulate the pH balance of the skin, improve skin elasticity and hold moisture in the skin and hair. R220. Shop at www.beardworx.co.za.
THE BEARDED MAN PREMIUM SHAVING OIL This 100% natural shaving oil is made with a premium organic blend of cold-pressed jojoba and argan oils and infused with eucalyptus and lavender essential oils. Designed to lubricate and protect the skin for an extraclose, smooth shave, it also helps prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs. It’s good for all skin types and leaves skin feeling superhydrated and refreshed. R180. Get it from www.thebeardedman.co.za.
THE BODY SHOP ACTIVIST RANGE
BARE NATURALS CLEAN SHAVE SOAP The castile base in this cleanser-cum-shave soap is a natural olive-based soap that has been used for centuries and is renowned for its purity, light lathering and gentle cleansing. It’s amazing for men with sensitive skin. This naturally mild formulation has been enhanced with the addition of African marula, coconut, avocado and therapeutic essential oils making it a multi-purpose cleanser and shave soap. It provides excellent razor glide without being sticky or greasy, giving you a closer shave and much less post-shave irritation. R160. Shop online at www.barenaturals.co.za.
AFRICAN BLISS MEN’S SOAP
The products in this men’s range by The Body Shop have a lasting warm and spicy scent. The shower gel comes in a squeezable tube, perfect for travel or the gym. The anti-perspirant deodorant is quick-drying and longlasting for all-day freshness.
This amazingly masculine dark chocolate-coloured soap has a warm, spicy scent of cinnamon, orange and the indigenous essential oil artemisia afra. It has the added benefit of containing unbleached, natural beeswax, which makes it a hard, long-lasting bar.
Find your nearest store at www.thebodyshop.co.za.
R34. Available at www.faithful-to-nature.co.za.
A R E YO U W H AT YO U E AT ? ACCORDING TO A FRENCH PHYSICIAN FROM THE 19 TH CENTURY, YOU ARE. AND GUESS WHAT? MANY HOLISTIC HEALTH APPROACHES USING THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF TODAY RATHER AGREE WITH THE WISE OLD MAN. BY BRENDAH NYAKUDYA-DANDALA
kota crammed to the brim with polony, cheese, slap chips, Russian sausage and a fried egg. Or a bag of squishy, subtly sweet magwinya with atchaar. The sensations of comfort and pleasure that many a South African knows and loves. And while these culinary gifts from the gods are perfect as occasional treats, they are highly processed food items that have, unfortunately, become a major part of the staple diet of many South Africans. In the 1826 publication Physiologie du Goût, ou Meditations de Gastronomie Transcendante, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin famously wrote, “Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es” - tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are. The notion that you are what you eat has traditionally not been taken seriously on this continent for several socio-economic reasons, which has led to a myriad of health problems. But more recently the serious impact of the food you ingest when looking at the sustainability of a healthy lifestyle has become a hot topic of conversation. But how does one maintain a healthy eating plan? Before embarking on a trolley run up and down the health food section of Woolies and racking up those Vitality points for 15% off a flight to Durban, take time to investigate what your body can withstand. This will not only go a long way to save you money, it will also help you maintain the healthy lifestyle you have chosen. Here are some options to consider to make the best choices:
HAVE A BLOOD TEST
Your blood cells contain a significant amount of information that is more usually used to optimise athletic potential. However, because these tests also examine your levels of folic acid, vitamin B12, glucose, creatine kinase, magnesium, vitamin D, ferritin, total cholesterol, calcium haemoglobin and triglycerides, among others, they are now being used for dietary purposes. Results from blood tests direct you as to which nutrients and supplements you need to include in your diet, as well as those to avoid. This allows you to create an eating plan suited to your blood type for optimal health.
CULTIVATE A HOLISTIC OUTLOOK
Homeopaths say that to understand what will maintain your health in the long run, you must consider several factors. Homeopaths delve into the patient’s emotional, physical and psychological well-being and feel that the body is “an energetic self-regulating being” that can correct the imbalances within itself with homeopathic guidance and therapy.
Homeopathy seeks to identify core patterns in the symptoms of a patient. These are then matched with a symptom pattern of a specific remedy, which will communicate with the body to help it recalibrate and thus get rid of the symptoms. This is coupled with the emotional therapy that comes with every homeopathic consultation, as well as an eating plan to ensure a sustainable approach to maintaining one’s health holistically.
THE END OF THE EPI-PEN
Whether it’s a case of the genetically modified food we are exposed to making us sick, or our immune systems being weakened, studies are yet to tell. But the reality is food allergies are on the rise and they are making it difficult for people to stick to an eating plan without adverse reactions. Allergy testing that identifies the immunoglobulin E antibodies that trigger allergic reactions can help you select foods that work with your body and reduce adverse reactions. With milk, gluten and egg-checking allergy kits from Quickcheck Rapid Diagnostic tests now available in South Africa without prescription, when you embark on an eating plan you can make sure your body is not only getting what you need but what it can process. Understanding your body’s holistic needs is a solid foundation to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and aiming for longevity. Diets, cleanses and detoxes do not form part of this narrative because a sustainable healthy eating lifestyle is a long-term commitment, not a quick fix. So while it’s tempting to stuff whatever we can grab on the go into our mouths, if the saying “we are what we eat” is true, it’s time to make sure we are more green veggies and lean proteins than deep-fried chicken! For the sake of our future.
NO FIT EXCUSE
DITCH THOSE OH-SO-STANDARD EXCUSES FOR FLAKING OUT OF YOUR #FITNESSGOALS. BY BRENDAH NYAKUDYA-DANDALA
Bodytec fitness studio
t's March and the herds have begun to thin out, unlike the start of the year when gyms are filled to the brim with “resolution gymmers” in their Lorna Jane outfits looking to accomplish their #fitnessgoals. If you've had enough of queueing for the treadmills, too many naked bodies in the changing rooms and the waft of a thousand perfumes in the air, we have the answer. A new breed of health studios understands that you know that keeping up your health is of utmost importance, and that a maintainable programme that is easy to stay committed to is key. These studios now offer fitness and training programmes designed to address the challenges clients face when it comes to maintaining a regime longterm.
EXCUSE #1: TIME
Finding time to train between work demands and family responsibilities is sometimes near impossible! Fitness studios like Bodytec offer you more than just fitness…they offer you precious time back! Bodytec’s EMS (electromuscle stimulation) fitness method only requires 20 minutes of your time, once a week! EMS methods have been used for decades in the world of professional sports and rehabilitation. EMS training imitates the natural principle of muscle contraction, which is a result of the interaction between the brain, the central nervous system and muscle tissue. A low-frequency stimulus is used to activate intense contractions of up to 90% of the body’s muscles simultaneously – making it more time-efficient than conventional weight training that focuses only on one or two muscle groups at a time. After six
to eight sessions you can expect improved strength, endurance, posture (stronger core) and blood circulation and reduced body fat. Research from the German Sports University Cologne (Filipovic et al., 2012; Speicher et al., 2008) found significant improvements in speed and maximum strength after a period of EMS training, so it is definitely worth a try for 20 minutes, once a week! Membership packages are available from R975 a month. www.bodytec.co.za
EXCUSE #2: CONVENIENCE
Newly launched in Illovo, Johannesburg, luxury gym Ritual touts itself as the most efficient gym in the world with its 30-minute HIIT workouts. What’s even more important than efficiency for a premium customer? Convenience! We all have been in a situation where we race like a demon out of the office to catch the once-a-week 5pm boot camp class at gym…only to miss it because a truck jack-knifed at Gillooly's! At Ritual, this will cease to be an issue because, while there are different workout programmes every day, that day’s programme is run every half hour throughout the day so you can pop in as and when you like. You will no longer have to commit to a time slot. Keep forgetting your kit at home? At Ritual, there will be no need to lug your gym bag around as clothes, towels and quality toiletries will be provided should you require them. Problem solved! What about sneakers, you ask? I’m not wearing someone else’s shoes! Well, with a “no shoes required” policy at Ritual you can literally walk in empty-handed and get your sweat on! Bookings are made online or via the app. All you have to do is show up! www.ritualgym.com
EXCUSE #3: COST
For any health regime to be sustainable it needs to be affordable. With prices rising everywhere, everyone is looking to save a buck on the monthly budget. Understandably gym membership can be relegated to the “nice to have” instead of the “need to have” column. Brands like Viva Gym cater to this by offering low monthly rates. Viva maintains its low prices by offering only the basics you need to train – so no sauna or steam room – but that’s not what you go to gym for! And because life is unpredictable, black tax is real, and circumstances can force us to make financial changes, they offer monthto-month subscription options. Cancelling a contract attracts no penalties should funds be low that month. www.vivagym.co.za
With the top three biggest challenges to fitness resolved and your needs catered for, what is your excuse for not getting fit this year?
FUNTAINMENT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
AT KAYA FM FAMILY DAY
ring your family and join ours at Kaya FM’s Family Day, brought to you by African Bank on Sunday, 29 April!
Kaya FM Family Day has become one of the most anticipated events on the station’s calendar. It’s an opportunity for Kaya FM listeners to enjoy outdoor activities, great music, meet Kaya FM presenters and spend quality time with their families. “The home of the Afropolitan is about family values and this social occasion celebrates that. We’ve switched things up this year and will be including African games to create an interactive environment amongst parents and kids that encourages development and education through fun and play.” “We want families to walk away having enjoyed themselves and made long-lasting memories with loved ones,” says Kaya FM Managing Director, Greg Maloka. African Bank Head of Marketing, Kaibe Mollo, also believes in celebrating families, and days like this give everyone a great opportunity to do so. “At African Bank, we value time with our own families and we live by our motto ‘We are you’, so we’re excited to once again have a chance to enjoy a day in the sun with our customers and potential customer-families.
motivating and inspiring our communities, and encouraging family fun is a great way to do this,” he says. We've also introduced a home-grown twist to this year's event and will include games such as jenga, mgusha, dithini. Families will also still enjoy our regular family funtainment and game challenges, such as lip sync battles, sack races, tug of war and lots more, with great prizes to be won! This year's first Kaya FM Family Day featured soul-treat tunes from Msaki and a great selection of music played by your favourite Kaya FM DJs throughout the day. A Touch of Soul presented by T-Bose was also broadcast live from the event. Stay tuned to Kaya FM for confirmed venue of the next family day. Tickets will cost R350 for a family of four, R150 for adults and R50 for kids, and will be available from www. quicket.co.za. No alcohol is allowed.
#KAYAFAMILYDAY #AFRICANBANK #WEAREYOU
“We’re so proud to be part of this event and hope to see as many Jozi families there as possible. We’re all about serving, uplifting,
KAYA HOUSE 195 Jan Smuts Avenue, Parktown North, 2193 TEL 011 634 9500 WEB www.kayafm.co.za
THE WISDOM OF THE ELDERS DO SUPERSTITIONS HAVE A PLACE IN MODERN AFRICA? TUNICIA PHILLIPS CHATS TO A FEW AFROPOLITANS TO GET THEIR TAKE.
he big day has finally arrived: your wedding day. Albeit with a backdrop of roaring thunder, gushing water and mud deep enough to submerge your Christian Louboutins. The throwing of the bouquet could end up resembling a mud-wrestling match and the scramble for shelter will also likely be coupled with that one aunt loudly reminding you that you, in fact, are the cause of this rain on your wedding day. “We told you what would happen when you tasted from the pot at the reunion last year,” she exclaims. Setting the date during the rainy season obviously has little, if not absolutely nothing, to do with today’s downpour. Superstition is as ancient as the Egyptian pyramids yet, despite these beliefs coming from what could be termed “another time”, some of what we call “old wives’ tales” continue to endure. According to the New World Encyclopaedia online, “the term is also related to the Latin word superstes (outliving or surviving), and in this sense refers to the remains of ideas and beliefs that continued long after their original meaning had been forgotten.” The popular, and the not-so-popular, superstitions we encounter throughout our lives as Africans seem to come from all quarters. In some ways, how we navigate our formative years and, later, how we “adult” is often subtly influenced by our encounters with a reprimanding older person’s wagging finger: “Salt must never be bought at night, or spilled, or run out at all.” Johannesburg-based Dawn Ngwenya believes many of these superstitions, while practical, were infused with supernatural qualities to instil fear in the hope that they would later save us from harm. “One superstition my dad used to repeat was not to dish out of the pot while it is still simmering on the stove because your problems will always be hot and bubbling and you will never resolve them.” She adds, “The real reason for this is, obviously, that you could burn yourself while dishing from a bubbling pot. “They also say that girls should not jump over stuff lying around and should rather pick things up in the house or they will never marry,” she says. Dawn believes that, apart from the obvious risk of tripping and falling, people felt that girls were not supposed to do things that may cause their hymen to break, as it had cultural implications with regards to “purity” before marriage. As far as Dawn's concerned, the reason why you're not encouraged to cut your nails in the evening is that, when it's dark, you may miss a clipped nail lying around and it would be unhygienic to have a visitor sit down on a sofa with nail clippings all over it. “The funny thing is, the superstitions that can be rationalised are the ones that I don’t adhere to,” laughs Dawn. “It's the ones that aren’t logical that I heed. For example, because I cook a lot and consider myself a ‘foodie’, I’ll often dish out from a simmering pot because what I have prepared needs to be served hot. Yet, if I sweep my home at night, I will not sweep the dirt outside. I’ll park it by the door until morning. I was told growing up that if you do that at night, you're sweeping your luck out. Sinister things happen at night and if someone wanted to hurt you, that's when they'll do it.”
WE TOLD YOU WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN YOU TASTED FROM THE POT AT THE REUNION LAST YEAR Martin Letsie, a 25-year-old systems administrator based in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, says he absorbed these superstitions as a result of his grandmother’s scolding when he was a child. “Koko was, to a large degree, spiritually gifted despite having rejected the calling to be a sangoma in her younger days. While I was living with her, she would sometimes get visions in her dreams and they would come true. Seeing that made me believe and rely on her knowledge and perspective on life.” Kwaku Gyante, a social media consultant in Gaborone, Botswana, admits that he keeps to most of the superstitions he was taught. He said that he was even told that if you wore one shoe, your mother would lose a breast. “I don’t really believe in any of these but I comply with them because of how I have been conditioned,” he says. “I don’t think I act superstitious per se. As much as we may feel being ‘modernised’ is the best option in this age of
borderless hyper-connectivity, people often cling on to traditional and cultural markers to retain their unique identity and feel a part of that identity, no matter how small.” Superstition is pervasive in African cultures, but they are seen in all culture. Their spread may even be linked to migration, colonialism and transfers of customs between ethnic groups. David Chidester in his book, African Traditional Religion in South Africa (1997) claims that there are “similarities between Xhosa witchcraft beliefs and those of ancient Israel as they are recorded in the Old Testament.” He thinks the two peoples may have had contact and exchanged beliefs. “Supporting this theory with reference to the history of gold mining in the region of Zimbabwe, which was supposedly undertaken by ancient Hebrews and Phoenicians, and assuming they acquired their gold in South Africa, the assertion is that the Xhosa people have, in the past, had direct connections with the Jews.” Superstitions often centre around fortune, and how to achieve it, and misfortune, and how to avoid it. Superstitions were probably born out of a desire to make sense of events out of the control of the generations that came before us. At the same time, some continue to have a place in our world today. They obviously speak to a need, when you consider how pervasive they continue to be, even among the many modernised, educated Africans who continue to uphold the superstitions they were taught. There are many dimensions to being African and if a respect for the lessons that the elders pass on – even if we don’t always agree – is part of what makes us African then, yes, there will be no buying of salt, from dusk till dawn.
SUPERSTITION IS PERVASIVE IN AFRICAN CULTURES, BUT THEY ARE SEEN IN ALL HUMAN CULTURES.
top for a moment. Look around you. What do you see? Space, and the objects that fill that space? We walk past them daily. We inhabit them. We engage with them absent-mindedly. We start to take them for granted. The objects. The buildings. And everything in between. Architectural design is the most beautiful thing when it does not impose itself yet serves as a character in our lives, when it blends seamlessly into our world.
A Makeka Designs Building
READ THE ROOM ARCHITECTURE IS ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN SIMPLY PUTTING UP BUILDINGS. IT SPEAKS TO US AS HUMAN BEINGS. IT IS ABOUT HOW WE LIVE AND WORK AND SEE OURSELVES. THERE IS AN INHERENT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE PRACTITIONERS. BY KOJO BAFFOE 22
Leading global architect Sir David Adjaye said, “Architecture has to be attentive to its inhabitants and to its place.” Architecture, and design in general, is about humanity and human beings. Those who do it well do so from that perspective. For Cape Town-based architect and designer, and founder of Makeka Designs, Mokena Makeka, architecture is “actually about conversations. Sometimes we walk into a room and we are challenged by the level of conversation. We find ourselves unsettled, we interject, we find our arguments challenged. This is great
DESIGN architecture. Sometimes we walk into a room, and the conversation is thin, coarse, perhaps even dismissive of our potential. It is stilted, concealed, condescending. Sly eyes give discourteous glances and whisper hurtful words – this is the architecture of pessimism, and actual disinterest with what we are and who we want to be.” He goes on to say, “Sometimes the room is charged with energy, like a courtroom or a classroom. Power literally drips from the walls; we need to be on our guard. Sometimes the room places us far away from the action but elevates our role as spectators. Here the conversation is about controlling our experience – think of a stadium or a theatre. What makes architecture amazing is not the stuff you touch, see or feel. It’s the manipulation of human behaviour in space. For example, when you enter a cathedral, it’s designed to make you revere and be aware of sound; or the design of a hotel foyer which communicates ‘welcome’. It’s about smart conversations without words.” This applies to the outside of things but equally to what’s inside, the soul. Daniella Salgueiro, an interior architect with Savile Row, takes it a step further. When asked to define interior design, she says, “It depends from person to person. I studied interior architecture in varsity, and we started off with those studying architecture, learning its foundation and then branching off into a different direction to elements like ergonomics, material studies (textiles, temporary and lightweight materials), etc. We deal with the structure of things, exploring space planning, interior design and interior decorations.” With a hotel refurbishment project in Botswana, she was dealing with a building that had been in operation for many years. The whole building was gutted, the furniture removed, ceilings and services, taken out, leaving just the structure,
the shell. They then completely redesigned the interior, firstly to create a better customer experience and, secondly, to enhance the staff experience and, therefore, the productivity of the business. What drew Salgueiro to interior architecture was the sensory nature of the work. She says, “To be honest, I did not know it existed until I went to an open day at Tuks (University of Pretoria). I always wanted to be an architect but I was intrigued by the level of detail you go into with interior architecture and I enjoy the human factor involved in it. We work with the architect right from the start to figure out what the interior will look like. For an office, such as for a multinational, we make sure that the interior takes into consideration the country’s climate, traditions, and so on. We will have a work survey, engage in detail with the client, gather data on how the office is working and what is not working. We contextualise the interior.”
Savile Row Mall Interior Project
...IT TAKES TIME FOR THE BODY, MIND, AND SOUL TO APPRECIATE THE ART. ...ARCHITECTURE IS ENDLESS LIKE MUSIC.
For a new client, Savile Row Interiors will go into presentations with the primary objective of understanding the brand, its standards, what it is about and what images represent the company. For example, they will show different types of suits or cars or colours and gauge which represent the client best. For instance, an SUV is multifaceted whereas a sedan could be about luxury and comfort.
It is this nuanced understanding that enables architects to create spaces that allow people to flourish within them. When Makeka is working with a client, his approach is to “listen to what is being said and what is not being said. To have fun with my client. Surprise them. Don’t just do what you were asked, nurture discovery. I watch movies. Rap lyrics sometimes
Makeka Designs Bench
DESIGN inspire my thinking. Politics. Dreaming. And daring. And doing.” He sees architecture as an esoteric discipline within which philosophy, poetry and mathematics are of equal importance. What appeals to him about the field and why he both studied it and pursues it as a profession is that “it is about a visual language with a global vocabulary. In the way that hip-hop breaks down and then reassembles language into something familiar and new, really good architecture has the same effect.”
Savile Row Hotel Project
He goes on, “I was illiterate in a manner of speaking until I began to understand architecture. Much like listening to classical music or jazz for the first time, it takes time for the body, mind, and soul to appreciate the art. I love its depth. I found engineering so easy it bored me. Architecture is endless like music.” Both Makeka and Salgueiro feel that there is a lack of understanding that gets in the way of them being able to do their work effectively. Salgueiro sees the greatest misconception as interior architecture being easy when, in reality, space planning can be one of the hardest parts of the work. A client comes with figures around different elements from cost to, for example, the size of desks, without taking into consideration ergonomics, ease of use, or space for something as simple as a chair in a particular section of the building. Makeka reinforces this with a wonderful analogy, that building is to architecture like drinking nectar is to warm water. Both are liquids but they are not the same. Another
Savile Row Corporate Project
I ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN ARCHITECT BUT I WAS INTRIGUED BY THE LEVEL OF DETAIL YOU GO INTO WITH INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE... misconception is that cost and value are the same thing, with the consequence is that you lose a lot of value when trying to save costs. Adding value is of utmost importance. Salgueiro says, “I am most proud of the hotel refurbishment in Botswana. I was thrown into the deep end and yet we were able to add true value to the space. In a building in the hospitality industry, you get to see the end result in a real way. The most rewarding thing was being able to actually experience the space and seeing other people enjoying it.” Her dream project would be the design of an island resort, from start to finish. “With an island resort, there is nothing
there when you start. You have to cover everything from the basics of getting materials and other resources there, such as something as simple as food and also the people to work. In South Africa, we often take these things for granted. Logistically, it is the ultimate challenge.” Makeka finds that cultural and public projects gravitate towards him and he loves all design – except shopping malls! The important thing is for him to learn and to be involved in projects that allow for his artistic journey to add value. “If it’s a building you want; it’s far better to get a builder or a handyman. I live for the poetry, not just the making.” He continues, “I still want to do so much. Furniture and lighting. Bags. Shoes. A sneaker collaboration would be awesome. A new house of parliament for South Africa. A proper cemetery for Maseru, Lesotho; there are no layouts and no logic. I would love to convert Greenpoint Park into an 18-hour facility. Create urban lakes. Bring food production back into cities.” Architecture is about humanity and human beings. It is about the way we live and the way we love. And it is about us being bold, brave and unafraid to follow a vision that we may not understand but are excited to see unveiled. No meaningful design has ever emerged without trust and it is about us empowering and trusting those who create that design. With that, the world and the spaces we inhabit will be better for it.
IS NOT JUST FOR THE
SELECT THE RIGHT INVESTMENT INSTRUMENT TO GENERATE REGULAR INCOME FROM YOUR RETURNS. BY TSHEPO MATSEBA
outh Africa’s household savings rate is very low. As a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) it is sitting at just 16%. According to the latest statistics from the National Credit Regulator (NCR), there are 25 million credit-active people in South Africa. Of that, 15.2 million, or more than 60% of consumers, are in good standing with their credit providers, meaning that they are able to fulfil their financial obligations every month. This is a positive indication as more people who have credit are able to pay their required monthly premiums than those who cannot.
shows that despite the increasing financial pressures experienced by South Africa’s working metropolitan population, there has been a slight improvement in South Africans’ confidence in their own ability to make responsible financial decisions.
However, 9.8 million consumers had bad credit records at the end of September 2017, which is 39% of the total number of creditactive consumers. For these consumers, things are not looking positive as their accounts may be three months or longer in arrears, there may be a judgment against a consumer, or he/she may be blacklisted.
When it comes to preparing for retirement, Nicholson points out that South African working metropolitan households still suffer from a lack of long-term planning. An alarming 40% of respondents said they have no form of formal retirement savings at all, including pension/provident funds or retirement annuities.
Research shows that only 6% of South Africans can retire comfortably. Moreover, due to high levels of indebtedness, most people aren’t even able to contribute to a savings vehicle, thereby perpetuating a myth that investments are only for the wealthy. While a reasonable degree of income is required to save and invest for the future, investors need not be wealthy to start.
“The harsh reality of this scenario is that if South Africans think they are feeling the financial squeeze now, they are in for a major future shock unless they remedy the situation,” Nicholson warns.
The research findings of the 2017 Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor
“There is a very likely link between this small shift in mindset and the encouraging decrease in income-to-debt ratio recently reported by the South African Reserve Bank, as well as some of the debt- and loan-related findings in our research,” says Lynette Nicholson, a research manager at Old Mutual.
“The one resounding message that emerges from our research each year is that we are not saving enough: as individuals and as a nation. The reality is that we all need to accept that we must reduce our spending today to make provision for tomorrow. Yes, there are small signs of improvement,
but as individuals we need to urgently take more drastic steps if we are to have any hope of building a financially secure future,” Nicholson concludes.
WHAT TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU START INVESTING
Dr Adrian Saville, founder and chief executive of Cannon Asset Managers, says that the primary consideration for any investor is “How long do I have to save?” “The time you have available to invest has an important influence on your asset allocation, which could be in bonds, property, equities or cash. For example, a 25 year old would be best served by allocating money to a venture capital fund, private equity fund, or small cap stocks that might be very volatile but over a long time will grow quickly. That’s where a 25 year old should be,” says Saville. “A 75 year old may not have the same long runway and they are probably drawn down on the capital that they would have accumulated over time in their lives. In that context, their primary objective is stability.” According to Saville, there are two primary considerations in determining where to start. “The first one is how long do I have and the second is what do I need? Do I need capital growth or do I need income? A 25 year old needs capital growth while the 75 year old needs income, not necessarily capital growth, but capital protection.”
THE IMPACT OF LIFE EXPECTANCY ON YOUR INVESTMENT DECISIONS
In South Africa, many people retire at the age of 60 or 65. “For an investor in their 40s, it might seem that retirement is now starting to loom, but actually, life expectancy is steadily climbing. Sixty-five might be the age you stop working, but you are likely to live beyond 65. In Japan, for example, life expectancy is 82 years. If you retire at 65, it’s not just about, ‘How do I live off the portfolio I have or the capital I have accumulated?’, but you actually start to introduce a different risk, which is, ‘Could I outlive my capital?’ If you’re
46 and have access to advanced medicine and are in good health, then your life expectancy is probably another 30 years. That means you should be allocating to risky asset classes that have a lot of growth in them. At that age, you should have as much risk in your portfolio as a 25 year old,” he argues.
THE RELEVANCE OF PENSION/ PROVIDENT FUNDS AND RETIREMENT ANNUITIES
Very often, investors are not sure whether pension and provident funds are still relevant mechanisms to save money.
IT IS NOT ABOUT TIMING THE MARKET; IT IS ABOUT TIME IN THE MARKET. 27
“What these instruments do, is to establish a habit of saving,” argues Saville. “When you look at an individual’s saving behaviour, there is some fascinating evidence that demonstrates a direct link between an individual’s current monthly saving with the amount of savings that they invested last month. The biggest explanation for how much they save this month is how much they saved last month. In other words, saving is a habit – it is a behaviour. If you start allocating capital on a monthly basis to a pension fund or a retirement annuity, it establishes and entrenches the behaviour of saving. The earlier you start, the better,” he adds.
DEMYSTIFYING THE PERCEPTION THAT INVESTMENTS ARE FOR THE WEALTHY
“There’s a widely held perception that in order to save money you have to be a highincome earner. But have a look at countries like India, China in the 1980s, South Korea in the 1960s, Japan in the 1950s … at the time all of those countries were low-income countries. But they had savings rates of 30% to 40%, compared to South Africa’s 15%. The inference is that high income isn’t the basis for saving,” says Saville, adding that, “Discipline and habit are the basis for saving. In a low-saving country, it is often the case that if there are income increases, people don’t save more, in fact, people spend more.”
SOME INSIGHTS TO GET YOU STARTED
A simple place to start is income investing, which means selecting investments that are designed to deliver income gradually over a period of time. Saville stresses that “there’s no such thing in the investment world as ‘the solution’. Each person has a unique circumstance and an individual problem. I think investing always has to start with the individual and then the asset class, not the other way around.”
A few tips to get you going •
Consider your options – different people at different age groups have different options. For example, you may choose to delay your retirement age from 55 to 60 to buy more time.
Don’t rush into anything – just because markets have fallen doesn’t mean that they are cheap. Often markets fall for a reason.
Markets aren’t as inefficient as people think (buying when shares are under-priced and selling when they are overpriced). If a share looks cheap, the chances are there are reasons why it is cheap. In addition, if it is cheap, there are probably other risks that many other investors are not willing to take.
Obtain professional financial advice.
Evaluate all investment opportunities against a standard set of criteria.
If you’ve lost money, it’s already lost – getting out of the market might help you not to lose • more money, but it is surely not going to help you recoup the money you have already lost.
In any market there will always be opportunities. The only way to identify an opportunity is to have a relevant predetermined set of criteria against which you evaluate the opportunity presented by any investment. Remember, if a promise made by an investment product provider seems too good to be true, it probably is.
If you follow a disciplined strategy and have enough time to follow it through, chances are that you will still be able to make money out of your investment. You need to be more patient.
If you have outstanding debt, such as credit card debt, pay that off. Settle your shortterm debt first. People generally have little spare cash, but those who do should look for savings opportunities which depend on their circumstances and the amount of investment they wish to make. There are numerous investment vehicles you can use for saving in the retail market. When investing in retail products, you must take into account the cost of investing in the product. You need to look at your time horizon and determine which is the most appropriate asset class. Try to get the most cost-effective solution possible.
There are a number of instruments you can employ for income investments: equities or stocks, bonds, mutual funds, alternative investments (e.g. fine fine art, Section J12 companies), property, cash, annuities. Choose the best funds and vehicles – diversify broadly. Make sure you have in place the highest set of criteria when determining the best funds or vehicles within your requirements. Diversification is always key, but determine what represents quality, value and appropriateness and apply evenly.
You should start by reading and researching more about the above instruments and how they work. There’s no substitute for doing research. Read investment and personal financial planning articles, listen to business radio, attend the right investment forums.
The key is to first get into the habit and the behaviour of saving. The earlier you start the wealthier you will retire.
HALF AMAZING STAFFORD MASIE IS A TECH ENTREPRENEUR AND FUTURIST WITH A CONSCIENCE THAT DRIVES EVERYTHING HE DOES. VUS NGXANDE TRACKS HIS JOURNEY AND FINDS OUT WHAT MAKES HIM TICK.
round six years ago, a woman walked into a municipal executive’s office, distraught and emotional with a baby in her arms. Painstakingly trying to stitch her words together, she relayed to the civil servant how she had recently given birth to twins. The birth had left her physically incapacitated and unable to leave the house. Having little support as well as not being tech-savvy, she was unable to make payment on the utilities bill. The municipality then switched off her utilities, despite her having cash and bank cards with her. As a result, one of the twins succumbed to the elements and passed on. In that municipal office was Stafford Masie, a high-flying tech executive in his 30s, coincidentally there for a meeting. It was in that tragic moment that he found his calling and his life changed direction. This is his story. Stafford tells me he prefers speaking engagements to conducting interviews. Seemingly, the Eldorado Park native’s insights into the tech industry, especially financial technology, are in high demand. I ask him if the surge in demand is rooted in some sense of panicked foreboding of the future. “Definitely”, he remarks. “Companies are starting to realise things that we told them about almost 10 years ago.” When he was young, Masie’s political activist father sent him to Israel where he studied at the Tel Aviv University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 1993. He began his working life at Telkom as an analyst in the mid-90s. I ask him if he had always known where he wanted his career to go. “Steve Jobs said,” he answers, quoting one of his role models, “the dots never connect forward. They always connect backward. This means that whatever you’re doing at the time, you’re doing it because you love it. Then one thing leads to another and a career path emerges organically and when you look back, the dots connect.”
YOU CAN NEVER COMPETE WITH A WISE CROWD. NO INSTITUTION OR GROUP OF EXPERTS CAN COMPETE WITH DEMOCRATISED PARTICIPATION.
From Telkom he joined Dimension Data, in 1994, as a national software strategist. After that, Stafford joined a few business people and started the software services company Red Star. It was here he cut his teeth as an entrepreneur. The company grew and was eventually collapsed into Novell, a US-based software company with offices in South Africa. He worked at the company’s local division, eventually moving to the United States to hold the position of product marketing director. At Novell he developed his nascent ability to anticipate changes. In the late 90s, a change that was widely unanticipated was the emergence of OpenSource software. He “leaned over the fence and realised that what was coming was not a product but a movement”. The threat that OpenSource posed to software companies was that it offered what big companies were making billions from, for free. He started becoming more vocal about the “tsunami” that was coming. Fortunately, his company paid attention, and eventually relented. Novell acquiried Linux OS (OpenSource), a family of free and open-source software operating systems; thereby future-proofing the company. In 2006 Stafford returned to SA and continued his pioneering work within the OpenSource field. The reason he believed in the potential of OpenSource was because, “the internet is the embodiment of the potential that human beings have”. The scale of the internet has birthed what he calls the Wise Crowd. This is a phenomenon whereby a medium exists that allows for broad participation, across geographic locales, and attracts a multitude of diverse cultures. “You can never compete with a wise crowd,” he declares. “No institution or group of experts can compete with democratised participation.” This is a philosophy that can reduce the level of reliance on governments to provide, but rather empower citizens through networking and connection with likeminded people. Stafford caught wind of Google wanting someone to help establish a footprint in southern Africa. He used his network to get a foot in the door. Eighteen interviews later, Masie was appointed as the first CEO of Google sub-Saharan Africa, or as he calls it, he became “the Google guy”. He attributes his successes at Google, such as writing the business case for what would be google.co.za – thereby optimising the intergration of advertising – to the great team there. Then, after-three-and-a-half years, at the height of his career, he gave it all up and walked away.
TO ACHIEVE GREAT THINGS, YOU HAVE TO SACRIFICE A LOT. YOU SACRIFICE YOUR HEALTH, YOUR FRIENDS...
Masie’s new company, Thumbzup, offers innovative business mobility solutions and in partnership with ABSA, manufactured the Pebble locally, a first in the country. “The Payment Pebble was a moment in time that affected me so tangibly that I needed to take everything about who I was up until that day and do something to improve financial inclusion,” he says. The success of the Pebble led to the launch of the Payment Blade, a more robust card payment device that is currently in use in other countries. Despite his drive, Masie was reluctant to repeat the mistakes that were costing him his personal life. “Thumbzup has a new CEO,” he says. “I am an advisor and founder but I’m not intimately involved in the operations of the company.” He continues, “You can’t build great things alone.” Stafford Masie sees the relationship between people and technology as symbiotic, where both improve on each other rather than competing. While Neo might have been able to see past the human facade of the Matrix, Stafford Masie is able to see past the machinery of technology and into the human spirit. Stafford resigned from Google under a cloud of contrived controversy. Speculation abounded as to a ‘deeper’ business reason for his departure. In his own words he is less circumspect. In numbers, he equates 30% of the reason he left to the impact that the economic downturn had on how Google was operating. The company “wanted to return to basics” which meant a lot more administrative work that focused on revenue generation rather than pursuing innovative ideas and products. This went against his personal philosophy. Seventy percent of his reason, he says, was family. “My career was at an all-time high,” he says, “but at the same time I had great challenges in my personal life.” He took a sabbatical with the sole intention of trying to save his first marriage. “To achieve great things,” he continues, “you have to sacrifice a lot. You sacrifice your health, your friends, especially when you are passionate and you are doing things based on a conviction. Then you have to pay a price and sometimes that price is steep.” It was during his sabbatical that he found himself, one day, in that municipal executive’s office, listening to a woman tell a story about how she lost her baby. He went home and told himself, “Whatever I am going to do next, it is going to help that lady.” From that, the Payment Pebble was born. A device that turns a cellphone into a card swiping/acceptance machine, it allows service providers and merchants to process card payments anywhere, anytime.
JOBS OF THE FUTURE
PREPARING FOR THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IS OUR CURRENT CHALLENGE FOR THE WORLD OF WORK. HERE'S HOW TO PREPARE. BY TSHEPO MATSEBA
THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION (ILO) ESTIMATES THAT THERE ARE 71-MILLION UNEMPLOYED 15-TO-24-YEAR-OLDS WORLDWIDE. UNEMPLOYMENT AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 15–24 YEARS OLD IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA HAS HOVERED BETWEEN 12% AND 14%. THIS IS HIGHER THAN THE 9–10% IN SOUTH ASIA OVER THE SAME PERIOD, ACCORDING TO THE WORLD BANK..
n South Africa, it is estimated that the unemployment rate for the youth younger than 25, using the expanded definition, which includes discouraged workers, is a shockingly high 67.4%. With such alarming unemployment statistics, compounded by poverty and a lack of access to quality education, future leaders must think long and hard about creating sustainable job opportunities in an increasingly technology-driven world. Technological revolution brings about plenty of opportunities to enhance the way we work. In an increasingly digitised world, humans can now perform some functions in a matter of hours, minutes and even seconds, what took years to perform during the first industrial revolution. The fourth industrial revolution is here. But what does it mean and how should futuristic individuals and organisations respond to such rapid changes? During the first industrial revolution, people used water and steam power for the production of goods and services. As the second industrial revolution emerged, electric power was used to generate mass production. Information technology and electronics were used to automate production during the third industrial revolution. Today, the fourth industrial revolution is marked by a combination of complex technologies that are distorting the lines between biological, physical and digital environments. This revolution is bringing about a new era in the way humans work and perform functions.
Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, has been at the centre of global affairs for over four decades. He is convinced that we are at the beginning of a revolution that is fundamentally changing the way we live, work and relate to one another, which he explores in his book, The Fourth Industrial Revolution. “Ubiquitous, mobile supercomputing. Intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neurotechnological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed,” says Schwab.
“The resulting shifts and disruptions mean that we live in a time of great promise and great peril. The world has the potential to connect billions more people to digital networks, dramatically improve the efficiency of organisations and even manage assets in ways that can help regenerate the natural environment, potentially undoing the damage of previous industrial revolutions,” he adds. Schwab says that leaders and citizens of the world must “together shape a future that works for all by putting people first, empowering them and constantly reminding ourselves that all of these new technologies are first and foremost tools made by people for people.” A recent study by PwC shows that we are living through a fundamental transformation in the way we work. Automation and “thinking machines” are replacing human tasks and jobs, and changing the skills that organisations need in their people. The pace of this change is highly accelerated. The study, which was conducted at the Saïd Business School in Oxford, commissioned a survey of 10 000 people in China, India, Germany, the UK and the US, providing unique insights on what people anticipate the future workplace to be like andhow this will impact their employment opportunities and future working lives.. One of the key findings of the study was that 73% of the respondents believed that technology can never replace the human mind, while 37% were worried about automation putting their jobs at risk. Nana Serapelo is the human resources manager at Datacentrics, an ICT solutions provider in Midrand, Johannesburg. She says that there is a growing misconception that only lower level or blue-collar jobs will be replaced by technology. “While technology has automated a lot of traditional roles and also enabled assisted automation – its impact will not only be felt by poor people. Those who only view the future in terms of class and seniority may be in for a shock.” “Artificial intelligence impacts everyone – from self-driving vehicles and drones to virtual assistants. The opportunity for future career seekers is to invest in
FOUR MAJOR TRENDS THAT WILL IMPACT THE WORLD OF WORK OVER THE NEXT 15 YEARS FLEXIBILITY
“Globally, we are seeing a continuation of the growing trend towards short-term work. According to the International Labour Organization’s The Changing Nature of Jobs report, 75% of the... global workforce is currently employed on temporary or short-term contracts.
Already, the idea that you study and then use what you’ve learned to follow a career at one company throughout your life has become obsolete, notes Barrick. “Lifelong learning, where workers constantly reskill or renew skills every five years, is becoming the norm,” she says.
QUALITY VS QUANTITY science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). However, that on its own is insufficient. You have to practice other soft skills such as emotional intelligence, which machines cannot teach. Leadership, teamwork and punctuality are some of the key skills that cannot be replaced by technology,” says Serapelo.
According to Valter Adão, the chief digital and innovation officer at Deloitte, preparing for a digital future is no easy task. “It means developing digital capabilities in which a company’s activities, people, culture and structure are in sync and aligned toward a set of organisational goals,” he says. “Most companies, however, are constrained by a lack of resources, a lack of talent and the pull of other priorities, leaving executives to manage digital initiatives that either take the form of projects or are limited to activities within a given division, function or channel.” “Yet some companies are transcending these constraints, achieving digital capabilities that cut across the enterprise. Our research found that nearly 90% of digitally maturing businesses – those in which digital technology has transformed processes, talent engagement and business models – are integrating their digital strategy with the company’s overall strategy. Managers in these digitally maturing companies are much more likely to believe that they are adequately preparing for the industry disruptions they anticipate arising from digital trends,” says Adão. “Companies that give their senior executives, senior management and managers the resources and opportunities
to develop themselves in a digital environment are more likely to retain their talent,” he says. Employment expert Georgina Barrick, MD of Cassel&Co, InsourceICT and IT Edge – the specialised recruitment agencies of ADvTECH Resourcing – says becoming a SMART worker (specialist, mobile, adaptable, resilient and talented) will be the key to surviving and thriving in the new world of work. “Within the next decade – and we are already seeing this happening to some degree – the traditional employer/ employee relationship will be largely a thing of the past,” says Barrick, adding that by 2030, historical workplace structures will overwhelmingly have been replaced by the concept of workers as consultants and their own bosses, who sell their services to client companies.
BE SMART AND FUTURE-PROOF YOUR CAREER PROSPECTS “SMART is an acronym for the profile of future-fit workers: specialist, mobile, adaptable, resilient and talented. Being SMART will be the key to surviving and thriving in the new world of work,” says Barrick.
Barrick says the driving forces behind the changing work environment include rapid and ongoing technological innovation, which is responsible for the disruption of historic industries and old economic systems. This gives rise to new industries and jobs, but also means that an estimated 50% of all jobs currently in existence – including white-collar roles – will become automated.
“The emphasis is shifting away from chasing money at all costs to a focus on critical values, like work/life balance, happiness and fulfilment,” says Barrick.
Technology already enables remote work and, as fibre becomes the norm in South Africa, internet speed is no longer the inhibitor it was 10 years ago. “Over the next 15 years, it’s predicted that rapid technological innovation will promote 24/7 work performed by employees in different geographic locations and time zones. The traditional notion of a ‘corner office’ as we know it today will become obsolete as workers work remotely, hot desk and collaborate in ways we can’t yet imagine.”
The 10 best jobs for the future 1. APP DEVELOPER 2. COMPUTER SYSTEMS ANALYST 3. NURSE PRACTITIONER 4. PHYSICAL THERAPIST 5. HEALTH SERVICES MANAGER 6. PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT 7. DENTAL HYGIENIST 8. MARKET RESEARCH ANALYST 9. PERSONAL FINANCIAL ADVISER 10. SPEECH/LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST Source: Kiplinger.com
FOR THE STREETS
WANDI ZONDO, CO-FOUNDER OF THESIS LIFESTYLE, TELLS US ABOUT CREATING MORE THAN A STREETWEAR BRAND BUT A SHARED VALUE ECOSYSTEM FOR A COMMUNITY OF YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS IN SOWETO AND KAGISO. BY TSHEPO MATSEBA
he concept of shared value was coined by Michael E. Porter, head of the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, and Mark R. Kramer of the Kennedy School at Harvard University. In an article in the Harvard Business Review, Porter and Kramer argue that, in a world where companies are perceived to be prospering at the expense of communities within which they operate, and trust in corporates being at its lowest levels, businesses have to change the way they conduct themselves and shift from an outdated, narrow approach to value creation. The authors argue companies focus on driving short-term performance while overlooking society and long-term success. “Why else would companies ignore the well-being of their customers, the depletion of natural resources vital to their businesses, the viability of suppliers, and the economic distress of the communities in which they produce and sell?” they ask.
In South Africa, the shared value model was spearheaded by Discovery’s Adrian Gore, whose business model centres on making people healthier and having a positive long-term impact on cost and value for both the insurer and the client. The model encourages clients to be healthier, which means there is a positive impact on mortality and morbidity in the health, life and short-term insurance markets. The resulting insurance savings leads to better price points and more client incentives being created to encourage more positive behaviour change. The effect is shared value, with a positive impact on clients, insurers and society. The good news is that shared value is not exclusive to big business.
CHANGING THE FACE OF TOWNSHIP BUSINESS
Wandi Zondo is one such an entrepreneur who spotted an opportunity in street culture. He co-launched Thesis Lifestyle as a brand that’s inspired by “a new point of view about street and ‘loxion’ culture.” Founded in 2005, Thesis is about adapting global street culture trends to the South African market. It is a streetwear brand that is built on creating a positive influence in the community through great clothing, a beautiful retail experience, and fun activities that range from events through to running. Zondo’s story began at the then-Technikon South Africa, where he had to drop out due to a lack of funds. At the age of 18, Zondo joined Edcon, to earn income, but mainly to gain experience in the clothing retail business. “I learnt early on in life to work to learn as opposed to working just for money, because that way I could gain expertise that would be valuable when I later established my own business,” he says.
The authors believe that things don’t have to continue in this way. “Companies could bring business and society back together if they redefined their purpose as creating ‘shared value’– generating economic value in a way that also produces value for society by addressing its challenges. A shared value approach reconnects company success with social progress.”
THE INTERDEPENDENCE OF BUSINESS AND SOCIETY
The essence of shared value is that a company’s competitiveness and the well-being of the communities where it conducts its business are interdependent. When companies embrace this mutual dependency and interconnectedness between business imperatives and societal sustainability, they are likely to unlock new markets and create long-term and sustainable ecosystems.
CREATING A PLATFORM FOR LOCAL DESIGNERS
“While working at Edcon, I realised that there was no platform for township designers to showcase their work and build their brands. So together with my business partners, we took a T-junction in Soweto to create a home for what is now known as Thesis Lifestyle.” The business model was simple, says Zondo. “With Soweto having a population of five million citizens, our aim was to attract only 10% of the market, which got us to a healthy R5-million turnover per annum – a remarkable achievement given the fact that we opened the first store on a shoestring budget,” he says.
INVESTING IN YOUR OWN DREAM Zondo used his credit card and a loan from family members to fund the business. “At that time, it was easy to secure credit. I understood the difference between good and bad debt and figured, if I don’t invest in my own dream, nobody would. People invest in businesses that are a going concern, not just ideas.” What makes Thesis Lifestyle unique is the fun community environment which the business provides for artists, photographers, comedians, musicians, designers, copywriters and other creative people to showcase their talents while having fun at the same time. One of Thesis’ well-known customer engagement platforms was the weekly Social Jam Session, which allowed comedians such as Mongezi Ngcobondwane, also known as Tall Ass Mo, to tell their stories and promote their brands.
BUILDING A COMMUNITY OF ATHLETES
“We started off with second-hand clothes and got to spread our value offering having been inspired by the growth of street culture globally. In addition to the highly successful Social Jam Session, we added the Thesis Run Cru to the mix, providing the youth with an opportunity to stay healthy and fit, while engaging with a really cool brand. Our approach culminated in running clubs, cycling, walks and more activations around the country,” says Zondo. “In everything we do, we believe in the power of defining yourself and collaborating with others.” Major urban running initiatives were pioneered by Thesis Lifestyle, including the
popular Run Jozi with Nike, which resulted in more than 20 running crews around the country. “We made running look cool – we started a movement, something that positively impacts the community. We run, we party and we repeat.” Soon, another Thesis Lifestyle store was opened in Kagiso, on Jozi’s West Rand. Zondo and his partners were changing the face of the township – instead of renting space in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, they opted to develop an ecosystem in Soweto and Kagiso. Today, Thesis Lifestyle boasts a wide product range including the retail store, a restaurant, running clubs, and more community-empowering initiatives.
Like any other business, there are hard times. “At times it dries up. There were situations that things were so hard that we didn’t have money to pay rent. But I have learned never to quit. I just don’t quit,” says Zondo.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
“Our next step is to keep the stores we have open and try to open more stores around the country. We’re also planning to launch an online store, to take the business beyond our borders,” says Zondo, adding that “for us to succeed, we have to keep going back to the basics. We will continue to conduct thorough market research in order to have a deeper understanding of our customers. In the end, we’re doing this for fun, and in the process, we make business. I love what I do. I’m really passionate about the difference we’re making in our communities. I want us to do more, and we will,” he concludes.
UPCYCLE YOUR STYLE BUYING UPCYCLED FASHION IS ONE EASY WAY TO CONSCIOUSLY MAINTAIN ECONOMIC GROWTH WITHOUT BEING DESTRUCTIVE. THE UPCYCLING CONCEPT INVOLVES USING EXISTING ITEMS AND RESTRUCTURING THEM INTO NEW GARMENTS OR ACCESSORIES. BESIDES THE OBVIOUS BENEFIT OF SUSTAINABILITY, A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF CREATIVITY GOES INTO TAKING EXISTING MATERIALS AND CREATING SOMETHING NEW AND UNIQUELY BEAUTIFUL. BY DOMINIQUE WOLF
Matsidiso Shoes are inspired by the beautiful diversity of panAfrican cultures, a celebration of colours melded with modern fashion. The Sesotho name Matsidiso means “comfort and peace after difficulty”. The handcrafted shoes are made in Epping, Cape Town by a team of 11 people, each member with a history in the footwear industry (some, incredibly, have more than 35 years’ experience in footwear).
Upcycled truck tarpaulins, advertising billboard mesh, stretch tent canvas and yacht sails are just some of the materials Sealand uses to make everything from duffel bags and briefcases to wallets and travel bags. Then there is the cork and recycled paper pulp, which is skillfully crafted into amazing designer shades. The two main men behind the brand, surfer-designer duo Mike Schlebach and Jasper Eales, are both passionate about the outdoors and the environment. They have built a labour-intensive business which gives them the opportunity to employ as many people as possible. All Sealand products are eco-friendly and ethical, well designed and meticulously manufactured. Sealand products are stylish and durable and all carry a lifetime guarantee.
The company’s vision is that, through its ethically made shoes, it will have the opportunity to help build the South African economy by offering team members pension plans, fair wages above the current manufacturing benchmark, and company shares. Their Shoes For The Liberated mission is to break the chains of the destructive mass-production cycle, educate the community around sustainability, and to be more socially conscious. Matsidiso is constantly working on evolving its products and testing processes to improve the sustainability of the business. The company uses chemical-free vegetable dyes to naturally stain its leather and is currently testing a process where scrap leather is consolidated, pressed into sheets and made into 100% recyclable socking for its shoes. The majority of the manufacturing process is done by hand, so the company is able to keep its energy consumption low and employment high.
The Voyager travel wallet is made from a combination of upcycled advertising nylon sheets for the zip pockets, card holders and document sleeves on the interior. The exterior is made from durable materials such as yacht sail and Bedouin tent canvas. The Voyager is designed to house all your important travel documents in one organised, safe place. The Fold is a simple wallet with five compartments made from materials such as truck tarpaulins and canvas, which are extremely durable and water-repellent.
Matsidiso is also very particular about its suppliers, making sure it chooses people with the same values, who make an effort to uplift their staff, recycle or are small businesses that also need upliftment.
The Mungo sunglasses are made with a unique material combination of upcycled waste material, cork and recycled paper pulp, which is bonded with a bio-resin composite. These unisex lightweight shades are unique and durable and come with a variety of lens options.
To shop Matsidiso’s large collection online go to www.matsidiso.com or call 065 819 2406.
For more information or to shop online go to www.sealandgear.com.
FORD MUSTANG WATCHES The Ford Mustang has been the king of American muscle cars since 1964, and it continues to encapsulate the American spirit for petrolheads all over the world. Thanks to REC Watches, a Danish watch company created by avid car enthusiasts whose motto is “Recover, Recycle, Reclaim”, you can now carry a piece of American history with you everywhere you go with a Ford Mustang watch. The idea was the brainchild of Christian Mygh and Jonathan Kamstrup from REC, who together scour salvage yards around the world for models, each of which can be transformed into hundreds of unique timepieces, costing from around R18 000. “Most people would just see a pile of metal, a ghost of a Mustang. We see something completely different – the soul of a car and a story that needs to be told,” said co-founder Mygh. “I’m not cutting up Mustangs. I’m bringing Mustangs that are beyond repair back to life as a watch.” These incredible chronograph watches are handcrafted in stainless steel and loaded with unique features, including a precision quartz movement and a striking black face which shows the distinctive Ford Mustang logo. On the reverse side are etched the Mustang horse and classic car with the words “untamed American spirit”. To ensure their stories continue to be told, REC Watches painstakingly traces the history of each vehicle, talking to previous owners, collecting stories and images from the car’s past lives, and incorporating them into a bespoke video. Each finished design incorporates the vehicle identification number, year of production and classic Mustang design cues. A power dial designed to look like a fuel gauge shows remaining battery life, and the hands, date and numbers on the dial are all influenced by the iconic car’s dashboard. The watchmaker uses the steel roofs, door panels and hoods from 60s-era Mustangs to create each dial, which has been rhodiumplated and finished. Approximately 250 watches can be created from a single car, but each one comes with an individual story card, which contains an NFC chip and a QR code where you can watch a short video detailing the back story of that specific vehicle. In addition, each watch face also has a small plate containing the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the car it was created from. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org or shop online at www.recwatches.com.
UP-FUSE BAGS Lifestyle and social enterprise brand Up-fuse is based in Cairo. With a mission to promote a sustainable and eco-conscious lifestyle, it designs and produces environmentally responsible bags and products while supporting local communities in Egypt. Up-fuse was founded by Yara Yassin and Rania Rafie and is now one of the leading eco-design studios in Egypt. The two product designers have developed techniques to upcycle plastic bags and transform them into high-quality fashion bags and accessories. Every product is handmade with unique colours and patterns using the skills and talents of local artisans. The process of making an Up-fuse item starts with local NGO Roh El Shabab in Manshayet Nasr, the so-called garbage city of Cairo, where garbage collectors called Zabbaleen pick up rubbish for a living. With the aid of the NGO, they collect the plastic bags, clean them and unicycle them into the coloured material called sabi. Students who are not enrolled in regular education are taught the upcycling technique as a craft to encourage them to finish their education while generating an income to support their families. The bags are sewn and finished by a talented leather bag sewer, A’m Sobhi, who spent his life sewing handmade bags in Egypt, Libya and Jordan, but found his career derailed by the influx of cheap Chinese products to the Egyptian market. Up-fuse has created job opportunities for 15 women, three of whom have so far been able to finish their co-education. They have upcycled more than 55 000 plastic bags in two years. To shop Up-fuse online, visit www.up-fuse.com or for more information email email@example.com.
CASHMERE FIT FOR A KING
YOU COULD BUY MASS-PRODUCED CASHMERE SCARVES FROM CHINA, OF COURSE. BUT HOW MUCH MORE ELEGANT TO PURCHASE A SCARF MADE FROM THE FIBRES OF THE ORIGINAL CHANGTHANGI GOATS OF THE KASHMIR REGION OF INDIA, HAND-WEAVED ACCORDING TO THE ANCIENT METHOD? WITH TREBENE, YOU JOIN THE 0.1% WHO DO, AND DO SO ETHICALLY. BY DOMINIQUE WOLF
n the 14th century, the Persian sufi and scholar Mir Sayyed Ali Hamadani stumbled upon the Changthangi (or Pashmina) goats, which produced extremely fine wool fibres, in the Ladakh and Kashmir regions of India. On his next trip, he is said to have travelled with 700 of his best craftsmen, who brought the art of pashmina shawl weaving to Iran. They also taught the local weavers, who laid the foundation for the ancient craft of hand-weaving cashmere in Kashmir. Fast forward to the 21st century, and 70% of the world’s cashmere is harvested from China and produced using machine looms. Only 0.1% of global cashmere production comes from Changthangi goats, native to the Kashmir region, whose coats produce longer fibres and are softer because of the harsh conditions of their environment. Having spent 15 years living outside of Kashmir, Bushera Bashir, a global citizen and a proud Kashmiri at heart, founded Trebene with a mission to preserve the ancient craft of hand-woven cashmere in its place of origin. Trebene procures cashmere from its original source and works closely with Kashmiri craftsmen to meticulously weave each scarf and screenprint them delicately by hand. The government of Kashmir is the sole provider of authentic cashmere from Changthangi goats. Trebene, in turn, procures its cashmere directly from the government of Kashmir. Cashmere fibres are distributed only to registered crafters in Kashmir, which keeps procurement authentic and sustainable. All the steps of the production process involve fair wages and safe working conditions for the crafters, and Trebene invests a portion of its revenue back into weaving communities in Kashmir. Trebene is an ethical luxury label and each collection is made up of a small number of prints for a limited time, making each scarf a collector’s item. “Since only 0.1% of global world production of cashmere comes from Kashmir, Trebene scarves are highly exclusive. Each scarf is carefully handcrafted over 30 days, thus combining craftsmanship with stylish designs,” says Bashir. “Working between Africa and Asia, we are blessed to experience the richness of cultures, stories and people which almost always culminates in our scarf designs in one way or the other.” The social value lies at the epicentre of the brand. When you wear a Trebene scarf, you know that not only is it exclusive and ethically sourced, but you have also invested in the education of Kashmiri children. Shop the Trebene collections at www.trebene.com or call them on 083 678 6766.
CONSCIOUSLY CLOTHED F U NDU DZI BY C RA IG JACO B S BY DOMINIQUE WOLF
he idea that you should be the change you wish to see is what inspired fashion entrepreneur Craig Jacobs to form Fundudzi in 2004. As a label grown from the soil of Africa, Fundudzi has always been committed to helping grow the continent and celebrate its timehonoured traditions of handicraft. Craig strongly believes that clothing should be a reflection of your conscience and, as a result, everyone at Fundudzi is fully committed to sustainability, not only through the materials that they select and their approach to design but in every aspect of their work. The name Fundudzi is inspired by a body of water, Lake Fundudzi in Limpopo, which is one of Africa’s most precious ecological treasures as well as a sacred site for the Vhavenda people. Fundudzi provides a capsule wardrobe for free-spirited people who are still looking for a distinctive signature look. The idea for Craig’s latest men’s collection was to create garments that
form part of the urban landscape. His designs are modern but inimitably African. “We are passionate about exploring handiwork techniques and, in that way, we are helping to preserve handed-down traditions while empowering different co-ops that can now carve sustainable businesses out of their cultures,” he says. The brand works closely with communities in South Africa, Mozambique and Kenya and all the pieces are made in Africa. Wherever possible, Fundudzi incorporates ecologically sensitive and locally sourced materials, including cashmere or lamb’s wool through a project empowering African rural communities, and organic cotton sourced from Lesotho. The label actively supports sustainability through initiatives such as collaborating with crafters to highlight indigenous artisanal skills, upcycling projects, and philanthropy. Fundudzi by Craig Jacobs has shown in Paris, Stockholm, Maputo and Luanda and is a fixture at South African Fashion Week. In 2009, Fundudzi formed part of an international exhibition on sustainable design in Copenhagen, as part of the World Climate Summit. For more on Fundudzi visit www.fundudzi.com or interact on www.facebook.com/fundudzibycraigjacobs.
COTTON.WOOL.WOOD. NATURAL MATERIALS AND PLANET- AND PEOPLE-FRIENDLY MANUFACTURING IS THE WAY FORWARD FOR FASHION. BY DOMINIQUE WOLF
WOOL MAXHOSA BY LADUMA NGXOLO Laduma Ngxokolo was born in Port Elizabeth and his flair for knitwear design earned him a bursary from both Port Elizabethbased Cape Wools South Africa and Mohair South Africa, offered to him during his BTech studies at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in 2010. The same year Ngxokolo won the national leg of the Society of Dyers and Colourists (SDC) design competition, which earned him a trip to London, where he was also awarded the international first prize. The brand MaXhosa started with Laduma’s desire to explore knitwear designs that would be suitable for amakrwala (Xhosa initiates), who are prescribed by tradition to dress in new, dignified, formal clothing for six months after their initiation into manhood. Having undergone the ritual himself, he wanted to develop premium knitwear that celebrates traditional Xhosa aesthetics.
In 2017, Laduma partnered with Chivas Regal South Africa in an initiative aimed at empowering South African design entrepreneurs who had limited resources to grow their businesses. The aim was to empower people with the knowledge to grow their businesses faster, create employment opportunities and to confront the increasing unemployment challenge in South Africa. To cope with the challenges of the changing seasons, MaXhosa used mercerised cotton for its 2016 summer collection and a 70% linen and 30% viscose mix for the 2017 summer collection – all sourced internationally. For all the winter ranges, a locally sourced 80% merino wool and 20% mohair mix was used.
To shop MaXhosa online go to www.maxhosa.co.za or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WOOD INDALO DECOR
Indalo is a multitalented industrial design and manufacturing company based in Tembisa. Its innovative and diverse team captures modern African style in every one of its custom pieces. The business was founded in 2012 by Inga Gubeka, who developed the range while studying interior design in Cape Town. Indalo’s flagship product is its wooden bag. It is manufactured from medium-density fibreboard – which in turn is made from hardwood or softwood offcuts. The wood is laser-cut into shape for accuracy and assembled by hand. Some of the bags are finished with leather and canvas. All the wood used for Indalo bags is treated and can be customised to be stained any colour. The leather is similarly hand-treated and dyed at Indalo. The company mixes its own leather tanning dyes to suit each creation. And naturally, all the leather comes from South African suppliers, which makes the bags 100% local in concept, design and production. Local craftsmen are rigorously trained by Gubeka himself and he oversees the final finishes of every single item. Gubeka’s designs include custom iPhone and iPad cases, lighting pieces, interior fittings and more. Each is inspired by a work of art. His creativity and innovative use of locally sourced and crafted materials have earned him international recognition, too: he was the first African to have a Glenfiddich premium single malt whisky named after him! To shop online go to www.indalodecor.com or email email@example.com.
Heather Chaplin, a former theatre designer, was determined to apply her design talent to prove that fashion could be harmless, that we can look good and treat people and the planet with respect at the same time. Knowing it would take time to establish production, and needing to be in a place she loved, Chaplin based her business in West Africa. She chose Burkina Faso after a research trip in 2009, where she visited all the organic cotton-producing countries in the region. Burkina Faso is rich in culture and has a history of courageous political activism but there are enormous challenges in working in one of the poorest countries on the African continent, which is landlocked and has very little infrastructure. But addressing crucial needs and building trust while making fashion harmless is also rewarding. Xoomba refuses to use conventional or GMO cotton. It is committed to using only local and organic cotton grown in Burkina Faso. it works with local artisans to transform regional resources into yarn, textiles and clothing, creating sustainable livelihoods in a depressed economy. Xoomba uses low-impact, fibre-reactive dyes and treat fabrics in waste water to avoid groundwater contamination. Xoomba’s fabrics are all handloomed using fair trade certified cotton, so buying an item gives you the opportunity to invest in sustainable development and the creation of dignified jobs in West Africa. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.xoomba.com.
EYES W I D E O P E N ECOTOURISM MEANS TRAVEL WITH AWARENESS – AND IT'S SO MUCH MORE REWARDING AS A RESULT, ARGUES KOJO BAFFOE. NOW YOU CAN COMBINE ECOTOURISM WITH ADVENTURE TRAVEL – HERE'S HOW...
Sani Pass, Mkhomazi Wilderness area
as a spectator, and sometimes it’s by submerging ourselves wholeheartedly. Immersing ourselves in the natural world around us, on its terms, is a rewarding type of travel. We embrace the beauty of the world while also discovering ourselves, our humanity, our character, our reason for being. As Henry Miller said, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing
things.” And in the words of Jack Kerouac, “…in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” Yet as humans encroach ever further on nature, it is important for us to find a balance between our desires and the planet that continues to serve as a home for us.
IMAGE Joseph Argus
hen it comes to travel, the words of former Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru put it best: “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” There are many ways of seeing this wonderful world of ours and appreciating its delights. Sometimes it’s from a distance
THE RISE OF ECOTOURISM
The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) defines ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the wellbeing of the local people, and involves interpretation and education”. TIES further states that this responsible travel needs to “adopt the following ecotourism principles”: • Minimise physical, social, behavioural, and psychological impacts. • Build environmental and cultural awareness and respect. • Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts. • Provide direct financial benefits for conservation. • Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry. • Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries' political, environmental, and social climates. • Design, construct and operate lowimpact facilities. • Recognise the rights and spiritual beliefs of the indigenous people in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment.
In its 2014 South Africa adventure industry survey, the adventure travel organisation Dirty Boots lists the following as the top 10 adventure activities by number of participants: boat trips, zipline tours, horse riding, boat-based whale watching, river rafting, shark cage diving, ziplines, quad biking, bungee jumping and Segway tours. Johan Radcliffe of Dirty Boots defines adventure travel as “any multiday tour or day trip that includes a physical activity and a small element of risk. Internationally the definition for adventure travel is a trip that includes a physical activity and interaction with nature and a cultural experience. Using this description 26% of all tourists are adventure travellers, and certainly most of the tourists coming to South Africa are.” South Africa’s adventure tourists are split between 45% international and 55% domestic tourists. The industry is healthy and the country has a great deal to offer.
SO LET’S GO ALREADY! When it comes to finding tours that are meant to educate, entertain, inspire and enrich, there are many tour operators and guides available across the country. While there tends to be an overlap, it simply means that one is never spoilt for choice. Below is a snapshot of what is available. It is time to book your next holiday and explore this beautiful continent of ours intimately and actively.
South Africa, and the rest of the continent, provides the perfect environment for ecotourism. I would include in that category adventure tourism, which in its own way is very much about engaging with the environment in a way that does not damage, raises environmental awareness, provides financial benefits to local people and private industry, and delivers memorable experiences.
THE ADVENTURE INDUSTRY
TOURS AFRICA www.toursafrica.co.za
Tours Africa operates as a one-stop booking platform for people looking for a wide array of tours throughout South Africa. While it does not provide the tours, you can book and pay through the site for a great selection of adventurous activities. Its aim is “to expose South Africa for the true adventure paradise it is, and introduce people to our wildlife, culture and hospitality.” Tours Africa’s criteria for tours it lists are that the company must be an accredited tour company and, most importantly, that there are no ethical concerns involved in its tours, such as hunting, for example. Favourite activities are dive tours (shark cage diving, snorkelling), mountain tours (mountain biking, abseiling, ziplining) and safari tours, which “proves that people are attracted to our country’s animals, landscapes and outdoors in general.”
ITS MOST POPULAR TOURS INCLUDE: TANDEM PARAGLIDING IN CAPE TOWN The flight takes off from Signal Hill or Lion’s Head and gives you a bird’s eye view of Cape Town, including Table Mountain and the City Bowl.
KAMIKAZE KANYON EXPERIENCE IN CAPE TOWN A full day guided tour that includes a 65m waterfall abseil, kloofing (canyoning) and hiking in the fynbos biome.
FULL-DAY BIG-5 COMBO SAFARI IN TOUWS RIVER A game drive as well as a safari on either horseback or quad bike.
SHARK CAGE DIVING IN GANSBAAI Guided by a marine biologist, you get a first-hand experience of great white sharks.
QUAD BIKE TRAIL IN HAZYVIEW A two-hour guided quad bike tour through the indigenous forests and blue gum plantations of Mpumalanga.
ECO MARINE SAFARI IN GANSBAAI A marine biologist-guided boat tour that takes you to the important bird area on Dyer Island, Geyser Rock with its Cape fur seal colony, “Shark Alley” and whale viewing hotspots.
EXCLUSIVE GETAWAYS www.exclusivegetaways.co.za
While Exclusive Getaways does not specialise in eco-travel packages, as a tour operator that focuses on luxury wildlife safaris and tailor-made holidays, it is very aware of the fact that “the luxury hospitality sector has become more finely attuned to environmental concerns, with more and more care taken across the board to protect natural resources and local communities.”
Other leading eco-lodges and hotels such as Hotel Verde, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve at Walker Bay, Gondwana Tented Eco Camp near Mossel Bay, Kosi Forest Lodge in Kosi Bay Nature Reserve, and Thonga Beach Lodge at Mabibi Bay form part of its offering. Serengeti, Tanzania
IMAGE Chen Hu
It can arrange hot-air balloon safaris, fishing holidays, guided tours on foot, at sea and on horseback of the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, tours of Bushmans Kloof and holidays at places such as Three Tree Hill Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, which is focused on sustainable tourism and community upliftment.
DIRTY BOOTS www.dirtyboots.co.za
First published 12 years ago as a annual printed guidebook (and web resource), Dirty Boots is a detailed guide to adventure holidays and outdoor adventure activities in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The site is extremely comprehensive giving you the capacity to search for specific activities broken down by town, region, and so on. Every listing has details on the tour, the capacity for enquiring on holidays/activities and the facility to contact the operators directly. When you email the operator to make a booking, it also mails Dirty Boots.
TOURS LISTED COVER EVERY ASPECT OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL THAT YOU CAN THINK OF, INCLUDING: MOUNT MOOROSI OFF-ROAD ADVENTURES Exploring parts of Lesotho on a motorcycle.
4 DAYS BAVIAANS CAMINO SLACKPACKING TRAIL Hiking or on horseback through Baviaanskloof mountains, the Kouga mountain range and Moordenaarskloof.
SWAZILAND XXL ADVENTURE Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Incorporating white-water river rafting or tubing/ abseiling, mountain bike safari, hiking and treetop canopy tour.
SOUL ADVENTURES www.souldadventures.co.za
At the heart of Soul Adventures’ ethos is to “conquer fear” and it provides adventure tours and activities across South Africa as well as the rest of the world. These range from caving in Gauteng, mountaineering any of the main peaks in the world such as Kilimanjaro, Acongagua, Elbrus and Everest, to scuba diving and rock climbing. Closer to home, sort of, is the gorilla trekking tour in the forests of Uganda and Rwanda.
IMAGE Sutirta Budiman & Shutterstock
To ensure that you have everything you need for your adventure, it also offers an online adventure store as well as a rental facility for hiking equipment such as sleeping bags, backpacks, clothing, tents and even cooking gear.
AFRICAN TRAVEL GATEWAY
The 19-day Desert Tracker Tour, which takes you through Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, is the perfect example of the detailed tours that Cape Xtreme provides. As part of the tour, there are dune climbs, walking, mokoro (dugout canoe) rides, deep sea fishing, skydiving, sandboarding, elephant back safaris, horse riding and bungee jumping, among other activities. Other packages include bungee jumping and ziplining on the Garden Route and a trip to Kenya and Uganda for a Maasai Mara tour which includes Nile river rafting, hiking, mountain biking, birdwatching and visits to see the mountain gorillas and visit the Batwa (pygmy) community to get insight into the way they live.
If you have something specific in mind for your holiday, African Travel Gateway tailor-makes safaris, holidays and adventures according to your desires and, most importantly, your budget. The focus is across southern and east Africa and, as a result, it offers countryspecific tours for Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zanzibar, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Namibia and Zanzibar. Depending on where you go, there are guided walking tours, game drives and canoe rides, all designed to share the best of Africa’s natural resources.
Richtersveld World Heritage Site, South Africa
AFRICAN BUDGET SAFARIS
IMAGE Tony Camacho & Ken Treloar
Through its relationships with various tour operators, (though it does not provide tours itself) African Budget Safaris positions itself as a provider of decently costed tours, with a focus on safaris. The business was born out of an enthusiasm for travel across the continent. On the site, an extensive range of packages primarily in southern and east Africa as well as
the island of Madagascar are listed, such as the 11-day Madagascar Luxury Kayaking Adventure. On this tour, you kayak through the Sante Luce Reserve as well as hike through the rainforests and snorkel in the village Manafiafy, which is on the southeast coast of the island. If you are about that life on two wheels, there is its 6-Day Guided Cape Town
Cycle Tour, which takes you from Cape Town to Hermanus, past Franschhoek, to Worcester and back to Cape Town through Stellenbosch. Prefer not to power your way through that? Then opt instead for the 10-day South Africa Motorcycle Tour, which begins in Cape Town and ends in Kimberley, taking you through the Western and Northern Cape.
PROPERTY Steyn City
MOST OF US DON'T THINK BEYOND OUR GARDEN GATES. WATER AND ELECTRICITY APPEAR AT THE TURN OF A TAP OR THE PUSH OF A BUTTON, AND – ONCE WE'VE FLUSHED THE LOO, OR PUT THE WHEELIE BIN IN THE STREET – ALL "THAT" BECOMES … SOMEBODY ELSE'S PROBLEM! BY JENNIFER STERN, ESTATE LIVING
aste, particularly, is a Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) issue, but so is water and power. We don’t think about where they come from, and we don’t consider the environmental and social cost of production. We have relinquished control over our access to water and power, and turned a blind eye to the management of effluent and solid waste. But – as we are starting to realise – the organisations we depend on for water, electricity and waste management are not doing a very good job. So the concept of “getting off the grid” and taking control of our lives is very attractive, but how practical is it, really? That depends on a number of factors, but the bottom line is that it is possible to substantially decrease our dependence on municipalities, even, in some cases, to become totally independent, but it requires careful planning – preferably before a single brick has been laid or a single spade of earth has been turned. Actually, it’s best to start before your architect has drawn a single line. Retro-fitting is possible, and it’s a good thing for existing homes and/ or developments, but integrated bottom-up planning is so much cheaper and allows for much more creative solutions. So, here’s a quick overview of the main issues – energy, water and waste.
While Europe, and even the OPEC nations (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) are moving away from nuclear and/or fossil fuels and towards renewable energy, in South Africa government is still hell-bent on coal and nuclear. The good news, though, is that domestic-scale and particularly community-scale renewable energy is becoming increasingly more viable. But, in order to plan properly, you need to know what you want. If you want total
independence from the grid for ideological reasons, it’s possible but probably very expensive. If you want to reduce your dependence on “them”, but you don’t have a mission to reinvent the wheel, you can – with knowledgeable assistance – find that sweet spot that is cost-effective, and that ensures you continuity of supply even if Eskom does a wobbly for a day or two. Sunlight energy can be captured and used as heat or electricity, and, in sunny South Africa it’s a no-brainer. Solar water heaters have been around for decades, and they are efficient and cost-effective, but there are some residential estates with aesthetic guidelines that prohibit them. Seriously! Sustainable solutions consultant Pete Lucas describes how he had to build a parapet on the roof to hide the solar panels he installed in a house in a residential estate in Cape Town. And, yes, the same estate allows visible satellite dishes, so there is some education work to be done within the residential community. Sunlight can be transformed into electricity in broadly two ways – with photo-voltaic cells (PVCs), or thermally. On a community scale, solar thermal (or heat) power is very viable if you have enough space and, depending on scale, it can produce a good percentage of the power used on the estate – including in individual homes. If you don’t have that much space or budget, the roofs of the communal buildings – offices, bomas, shaded parking – can be used for PVCs to power lighting, security, and offices, etc. In a single-dwelling situation, the familiar PVC solar panels are the most efficient – for now. Wind generators work fabulously, but with some limitations. There are two basic designs – vertical or horizontal axis turbines, respectively VAWT and HAWT. The traditional HAWT models are not very efficient in built-up environments because they need a constant laminar air-flow, which is why they work so well on gentle
PROPERTY Stonehurst Estate
centuries. In a drought-prone country like ours, rainwater harvesting is a no-brainer, but – because rain does not arrive in neat, regular parcels – we need to handle storm water too. slopes with no buildings. So, if you have a few hectares of communal land available, a small forest of HAWTs is a great idea. In winds of variable direction and speed, VAWTs are more efficient so they are very viable for domestic or small communityscale use, but they are less cost-effective than PVCs. Of course, it’s great to have both if you’re in an area where sunny days are interspersed with cloudy, windy days. Nuke lobbyists have consistently poohpoohed renewable energy because “‘it only works when the sun is shining or the wind is blowing”. But thanks to Elon Musk, that argument is now so much hot air as large-scale high-tech battery technology is becoming increasingly efficient and affordable. And if you’re lucky enough to have a river – or even a stream – you can build a small-scale hydro generator that can be surprisingly effective, and keep running even on calm, windless nights.
Without water we will die, but – with too much water – we may also die. So water management is both about ensuring a reliable supply, and controlling run-off. At both domestic and community levels, storage tanks and underground cisterns are cost-effective, and have been used for
The simplest way to minimise excessive run-off is through permeable paving. Rather than tar or cement, use specially designed permeable bricks that are laid into the earth with holes for grass or other ground cover to grow through. These are not as smooth as tarred roads, but most estates have a speed limit anyway. And landscapers can make effective use of ponds and wetlands to store and clean water naturally through biological processes before returning it to streams or groundwater. And attractive swales – areas of planted raised earth that create little hollows – can be created as aesthetic features on slopes to slow down run-off.
The best way to take control of waste is to realise that everything is a resource. By planning from inception to creatively utilise waste – and building waste management protocols into any estate’s Code of Conduct – communities can dramatically decrease emissions, and also dependence on municipalities. With buy-in from the whole community, waste can be separated at source, and divided into compostable, recyclable, repurposeable, unsalvageable, and toxic – and dealt with appropriately.
Very few communities will manage to be totally independent from municipal waste management, and toxic waste – batteries, e-waste, paint and light bulbs – need to be responsibly disposed of. Communal composting is significantly more efficient than domestic, and recycling can be income-generating or at least cost-neutral. With a lick of paint or the careful curating of material, repurposing is a win-win game – beautiful, cheap and sustainable. And the NIMBY stuff we don’t like to talk about – sewerage – can also be a resource. Biodigesters can effectively clean sewerage to the extent that the water can safely be released into streams, allowed to go back to groundwater, or even to irrigate landscaped areas. And – best – the methane produced can be used to fuel stoves or heaters. Yet, another win-win.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
We’ve only just scraped the surface but, with some creative and lateral thinking, it’s amazing what levels of environmental – and financial – sustainability are possible. There are a number of sustainability consultants out there. We had useful input from Pete Lucas of Natural Wonder at email@example.com or 082 419 5250.
N ATURAL ATTRA C T I O N S THERE ARE LOTS OF ADVANTAGES TO LIVING IN A RESIDENTIAL ESTATE, WITH ECONOMIES OF SCALE BEING ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT. AND THAT DOES NOT JUST REFER TO THE FINANCIAL SAVINGS IN BUYING AND BUILDING IN BULK â€“ IT ALSO EXTENDS TO LAND USE. AND THAT'S WHERE IT GETS EXCITING. BY JENNIFER STERN, ESTATE LIVING
Pezula Private Estate
ay, for example, you have – or are thinking of buying – a big, beautiful piece of land along the coast, in the bush, or in the mountains with lots of fynbos. If money is no issue, you can leave it as it is for the birds and the bees and the bokkies, but most of us need to get some kind of return on our investment. So what are the options – mining it, farming it, building a hotel or cutting it up into thousands of residential and/or commercial plots? Some 30–40 years ago, most developers would have looked only at the (single) bottom line, but as we start to realise the effects of climate change, the necessity of conserving water catchment areas, and the importance of biodiversity, priorities have changed. By carefully planning land use you can cluster all the housing in one corner – or a few discreet corners – and that way offer all residents a level of proximity to communal services like restaurants and sports facilities. But, in costing each unit, you would take into account the land that is not – and never will be – developed. And also, of course, the cost of maintaining it. And, while it is a cost, it’s also a very big asset because that “undeveloped” land is likely to be one of the main selling points of the estate – and it will become more valuable as time goes by. And, of course, just like when buying a suburban house, who the neighbours are and what is on your doorstep also make a big difference. Take, for example, Marloth Park. Dating back to way in the previous century, this affordable bushveld estate’s main attraction is its position on the banks of the Crocodile River and its view into the Kruger National Park. While there are many permanent residents, many homeowners stay only for holidays, and there is a wide range of tourist accommodation as well – from backpackers and caravan parks to rental units. As well as offering a good view into Kruger, and close access to Crocodile Bridge and Malelane gates, Marloth has a large population of antelope, zebras and other small animals that roam freely through the estate, and a fenced reserve – Lionspruit – with lions, buffalo and other big game. Except for Lionspruit, residents and guests can walk, cycle or drive throughout the estate, and watch the animals in Kruger across the river. www.marlothpark.com
Not far from Marloth – but at the other end of the price spectrum – is the still-in-development Elephant Point. On the banks of the Sabie River, this estate has two residential cores, and a luxury hotel is planned. Again, it’s all about the bush, the views into Kruger across the Sabie, and the animals and birds. www.elephantpoint.co.za
Still on the wildlife and bush theme, Gondwana Game Reserve and Wildlife Estate is far from the bushveld – way down on the Garden Route in the Western Cape. Being in a fynbos area, Pezula Private Estate
botanical biodiversity is a given, but it’s also a free-roaming Big Five reserve with some really interesting endemics like bontebok and Cape mountain zebra. Like Marloth and Elephant Point, it offers homeowners the option of living there or holidaying there, and there is also a significant tourist component with a tented camp and a game lodge. And, of course, it’s on the Garden Route, so it’s malariafree and the sea is close by. www.gondwanagr.co.za
Not far from Gondwana, on the sea cliffs to the east of Knysna, Pezula Private Estate commands high prices based almost exclusively on its low density, biodiversity and incredible views. Once a commercial eucalyptus and pine plantation, the natural fynbos has been reestablished, and the land rehabilitated. The views across the Noetzie River, to Noetzie Beach and into the rugged Indian Ocean, are unparalleled. There are animals like small antelope, caracal and – of course – lots of birds including bright, colourful sunbirds. The views don’t extend to the Knysna Lagoon, which you can see from the adjacent but separate Pezula Golf Estate, but the fact that this spectacular lagoon and natural harbour is just a short drive away is an added bonus. www.pezulaprivateestate.co.za
Pezula Private Estate
The astonishingly beautiful and environmentally fragile Knysna Lagoon, which forms part of the Garden Route National Park, is one of the biggest estuaries in South Africa. Once an important harbour, mainly for the export of timber, the lagoon has had a slightly grubby industrial history – particularly Thesen Island, which was a lumber mill for the better part of the 20th century. In the 1990s, the island was earmarked for development and rehabilitation, and one of the first things the developers did was to enlist the aid of local divers to capture and relocate as many as possible of the weird, cute, endemic and very endangered Knysna seahorses before dredging and resculpting the area into 19 linked artificial islands to create Thesen Islands residential estate. Almost all homes have waterfront access, and extensive areas have been left as wetland where birds, otters, fish and other animals thrive. The opportunity to “muck about in boats” is a big part of the attraction of living here, and residents have jetties and/or moorings from which they can explore the lagoon in anything from a canoe to an ocean-going yacht. As well as the huge but relatively placid lagoon, skilled skippers with ocean-worthy craft can head out into the ocean through the beautiful but somewhat tricky Knysna Heads. Close by, and also part of the Garden Route National Park, the deep, green, tangled Knysna Forest, with its spectacular hikes and mountain-bike trails from mild to flipping hectic, is an added attraction. www.thesenislands.co.za
It works both ways, see. As developers realise the value of biodiversity and nature in their marketing initiatives, they also have to realise that sometimes it means they have to change their plans. And it’s a smart developer who can gracefully forego a commercial opportunity to preserve … a butterfly, a frog, a seahorse. It’s all about attitude and values, and it may well pay off in the long term.
IMAGES CMAI & Chris Daly
And, just across the lagoon from Thesen Islands, are the two Brenton settlements: Brenton-on-Lake and Brenton-on-Sea. In the 1990s, a small development was planned on an expanse of beautiful seaview land – until it was pointed out that this pretty spot was the last remaining habitat of one of the rarest butterflies on earth. It wasn’t all plain sailing, but the butterfly prevailed, and the area is now a small and very low-key, but very beautiful special nature reserve called the Brenton Blue Butterfly Reserve.
TECHNOLOGY THAT SAVES BY KOJO BAFFOE
LG INSTAVIEW DOOR-INDOOR FRIDGE Were you that child? Or do you have that child? The one who stands in front of the fridge with the door open, hoping that something that wasn’t there 20 minutes before will materialise? LG’s InstaView fridge enables you to look inside the fridge without opening the barrier that lets out the air. It’s called a transparent ColdSaver Panel: open the front door, knock on the mirrored glass panel and it lights itself up for you to look in, without letting the cold air out. It’s also great for when you’re putting together your grocery list. The InstaView is A+ energy rated, has a 601-litre capacity, a wine rack, an in-door ice maker, comes in a black stainless steel finish, and you can also download the LG SmartThinQ app for Android or iOS, so you can control your fridge remotely. Price still to be confirmed but for more information visit www.lg.com/za.
GOAL ZERO VENTURE 30 SOLAR/USB RECHARCHING KIT With demands running high on our smartphones and other mobile devices, we tend to run down the batteries quickly during the course of the day. The Goal Zero Venture 30 Solar Recharging Kit is ideal for when you need power for day-to-day activities and even more so when you're going to be away from a power source for extended periods, like when you go camping or hiking. You can charge any USB device including a smartphone and tablet, GoPro or other similar camera and GPS units, two at a time. Because the last thing you need is to be somewhere out in the bush and losing your way because your GPS has run out of power. The kit consists of a Venture 30 portable battery pack, which is water-resistant, weighs 707g and has integrated cables and a 7 800mAh, 3.6V battery, as well as a Nomad 7 solar panel, which can collect enough energy from the sun to recharge the battery pack in 16 hours or less. You can plug your battery pack or devices straight into the Nomad 7 and you can also recharge the battery pack in five hours with AC or DC power using USB connection. Available online at www.mantality and www.futurama.co.za from R2 800.
GREENTESTECO4 Nitrates and nitrites are produced by our bodies, are produced naturally in vegetables and fruits, are also added to processed meats as a preservative, colourant and taste enhancer, and have even been found in drinking water in some areas. There is some debate around the effect that they have on our bodies and, from a negative perspective, are believed to cause cancer under certain conditions. The biggest problem is that cooking especially meats under high heat conditions can cause nitrosamines to form, and these are known to be carcinogenic. If you're looking to monitor your daily nitrate intake to make better dietary decisions, Alvarita has developed the GreenTestEco4 which can be used to determine nitrate levels in “64 of the most commonly consumed fruits, vegetables and meats”. It is a 2-in-1 device that can also detect levels of radiation in any environment within three seconds. Available at www.alvarita.co.za for R2 500.
MUST GO TO WASTE BEFORE YOU BUY THAT LATEST SMARTPHONE, STOP AND ASK YOURSELF: HOW CAN YOU DISPOSE OF YOUR E-WASTE RESPONSIBLY? BY KOJO BAFFOE
hen Bill Gates established Microsoft, its mission was “a computer on every desk and in every home”. It could be argued that he attained this goal, by and large, but of course the goalposts also shifted with the advent of mobile computing, coupled with the exponential innovation in personal computing over the last 15 years. Add the Internet of Things (IoT, a term for all the smart devices we own that can store and exchange data), with an estimated 30 billion objects being added to the network by 2020, and our drawers, cupboards, garages, and so on are becoming tech graveyards as we acquire, use and then discard devices. According to the UN’s Step Initiative, “E-waste includes almost any household or business item containing circuitry or electrical components with either power or battery supply. Although e-waste is a general term, it can be considered to denote items such as TV appliances, computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, white goods – for example, fridges, washing machines, dryers – home entertainment and stereo systems, toys, toasters and kettles.” In a speech in 2015, Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa said
“E-waste makes up 5% to 8% of municipal solid waste in South Africa and is growing at a rate three times faster than any other form of waste. “The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), for example, forecasts that obsolete computers, both in China and in South Africa, will rise by 500% by 2020 compared to their 2007 levels.“ The e-Waste Association of South Africa (eWasa) was formally registered in 2008 by Keith Anderson because, at the time, no-one was talking about e-waste in the country, which is of concern. It has been established as an industry association with the intention of developing standards, conducting audits and educating individuals on recycling. Existing equipment manufacturers such as Samsung or Canon, which manufacturer, import and distribute technology, and retailers such as Pick n Pay and Massmart, as well as dismantlers, refurbishers and collectors make up the membership of eWasa. So where should you take your electronic waste and what happens to it? Anderson says, “eWasa has about 1 000 collection
and drop-off points around the country. We are looking to increase that to 6 000 as part of our contribution to rapid economic transformation. It provides employment and helps build small business.” He adds that what happens to the waste depends on the item. It is first tested to see if it – or parts of it – are still functional. Refurbishers may take the working parts for use in other items. End-of-life items are processed through an accredited eWasa recycler. Anderson acknowledges that “we aren’t able to recycle everything but we are working to get to that point. This ties back to legislation. The minister has called for industry waste management plans, including electronic waste. Once these have been submitted, the minister will choose a plan, it will be gazetted and then it will be mandatory.” With this, we will all hopefully recycle our e-waste more efficiently. If we don’t, it will have immensely adverse effects on our environment. We all need to start thinking about what we do with our devices. For details on eWasa and the collection points around the country, check out www.ewasa.org.
STANDARD IN MOTORING, LUXURY AND SUSTAINABILITY ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE CONCEPTS. DAMIAN MURPHY EXPLAINS WHY.
n case you have been living under a rock for the last decade, South African-born entrepreneur and Pretoria Boysâ€™ High School alumnus Elon Musk is taking the world by storm. Musk owns companies in different industries, and he says his primary goal with each firm
is to challenge the status quo so that we can live in a better world with a better future. Musk is planning manned missions to Mars, rockets that can be launched more than once and supersonic air travel so that we can get you across the world in under an hour for less than the price of a current economy class plane ticket.
MOTORING But where Musk is perhaps making the greatest impact on the world is through his Tesla Motors. Tesla is not making advancements in electric engine technology, it is changing the technology. It’s leading the way and leaving the world’s top manufacturers in its dust. Recently Tesla launched the prototype of its second sports car, the Tesla Roadster. The Tesla Roadster is an all-electric, battery-powered, four-seater sports car prototype that Tesla says will be in production from 2020. The Roadster is said to be capable of going from 0 to 100 km/h in under 2 seconds, which is faster than any street-legal production car on the market. The Bugatti Veyron, the Veyron Super Sport, the Porsche 911 Turbo S (991) and the Lamborghini Huracán can all reach the same speed in around 2.5 seconds. Part of the reason Musk does what he does is to make the impossible seem possible to more people. Whether the Roadster will ever be available for sale in South Africa is yet to be seen, but it is due to cost in the region of R2 700 000 each, which is considerably less than the R5 115 000 the Lamborghini starts at, or the Bugatti’s R23-million price tag. Such is the impact Tesla is making, you would struggle to find a single luxury car manufacturer today that isn’t racing to develop its own electric sports car to future-proof its brand. The LaFerrari and the MacLaren P1 are both exceptional supercars, but are not fully electric and run on hybrid technology, which is an amalgamation of petrol and electric power. Established brands such as Renault, BMW, Mercedes Benz and Porsche are racing to produce fully electric sports cars which they hope will take them to the top of the podium in the clean supercar race. But they face stiff competition from lesser-known brands like Rimac, NIO and Vanda, that have all set their sights on that elusive prize. If it is luxury you are after, then rest easy as the race for an electric cruiser is a lot closer than the supercar equivalent. Rolls Royce plans on skipping the hybrid route and going straight to fully electric. Maybach, Audi, Bentley and Aston Martin also have concrete plans to produce business cruisers that tick all the boxes for the discerning motorist, while delivering world-leading electric performance.
...HIS PRIMARY GOAL WITH EACH FIRM IS TO CHALLENGE THE STATUS QUO SO THAT WE CAN LIVE IN A BETTER WORLD WITH A BETTER FUTURE. The challenge we face in Africa and most of the developing world is access to reliable power and the facility to charge these electric cars. Although more and more charging stations are continually being added to the grid, there is still not nearly a large enough base to handle an electric revolution. If you are looking for something to drive now that is futureproofed for the short term, then the Volvo XC90 T8 or the BMW i8 are probably your best bets. Neither are fully electric, but both have incredible hybrid technology which delivers economy and performance, packaged in a gorgeous body to suit all tastes. The Volvo XC90 T8 has a twin engine that creates the power you might expect from a V8, but with just four cylinders and an electric motor. The result gives you 300kW of power with fuel consumption and CO2 emissions far lower than most cars in this segment. The XC90 continues to bring in awards locally and internationally, winning the 2016 SAGMJ South African Car of the Year, as well as Best SUV in the UK’s Car of the Year competition, and, maybe most importantly of all the XC90’s 50+ awards, it won the best in class safety award for a large off-road vehicle in the overall category from the Euro NCAP. Swedish driving luxury will cost you between R1 151 000 and R1 580 000 depending on specs. The future may seem far away, but it really is around the corner. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for fast, fancy or family. The luxury electric car market is making massive leaps every day, to ensure there is a tomorrow for all of us.
SECURING OUR FUTURE A D R O P AT A T I M E THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF WATER-INTRIQUE SERVICES (WIS) GROUP IS PASSIONATE ABOUT WATER CONSERVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN AFRICA. BY KOJO BAFFOE
Where is home?
economic impact by employing community members.
I was born and bred in Mabopane township, in the north of Pretoria. I’m the third of four siblings and grew up in a vibrant and energetic home.
Some say in the future we will fight wars for water. Are you optimistic or more of a pessimist? By 2030, water demand will outweigh supply by 17%. In simple terms, there will not be enough water for all of us. Cape Town is a perfect example; the demand has surpassed supply. We are very optimistic about the future because companies like WIS exist to solve these challenges. Our focus is on making sure that we innovate to conserve the resource, to improve the infrastructure, to reuse and recycle water before it goes to a waste-water treatment plant, and to educate users.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A lawyer. I was intrigued by what they did. And, since I could argue anything and reason my way out of any situation, I was labelled the lawyer at home.
What did you study? A Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Accounting at the University of Cape Town. I wanted to study something that would challenge me. My late father also influenced my decision. He was an accountant and entrepreneur and always told me that if I studied finance, I would always be relevant in any sector of the economy, and that I should always focus on relevance.
When and why did you establish WIS Group? Living and working in other African countries, such as Malawi, CongoBrazzaville and Nigeria, I came to appreciate how scarce water is. Economic disparities, climate change, increasing demand and ageing infrastructure make water a very expensive and scarce resource. After extensive research, WIS was established in 2012 to invest in innovative technologies to manage and secure water.
What are the biggest lessons you have learnt from entrepreneurship? Creating something takes time, and creating a globally relevant brand also
takes resources, passion, patience and love. I have learnt to give of myself, to be decisive, to be innovative, to be radical, to be humble but never to lose focus on the goal. It is very rewarding to see a vision that was only on paper come to life.
What are the greatest challenges we face when it comes to water conservation? A lack of user education. If we truly understood how scarce water is, we would all treat it differently. We need to teach our children to conserve and respect water. That is our goal as WIS – to make the users understand so they can invest in alternative and innovative ways to secure and conserve this precious resource.
What project are you most proud of? Deploying packaged waste-water treatment plants in rural clinics. We not only improve people’s lives with dignified sanitation solutions but we also have an
How does the ordinary person conserve water? There are basic principles that you can implement in your home, including: harvesting rain water for irrigation; investing in grey water recycling systems for the shower, laundry and basin water; using grey water for flushing toilets; and having an alternative water source by drilling a borehole.
How do you stay motivated? I am a creative at heart, I get pleasure from trying out new things and exploring my environment. My goals keep me motivated and I engage with people and things that keep my energy frequency positive. I operate from a very positive atmosphere.
What excites you? My passion is to build something that will outlive me. To live out my full purpose on earth and have an impact on the lives of Africans, both economically and socially, to improve livelihoods.
For too long, we have been at the bottom end of the food chain and many of us continue to live in survival mode. This is why, for those of u...
Published on Mar 8, 2018
For too long, we have been at the bottom end of the food chain and many of us continue to live in survival mode. This is why, for those of u...