JAMES AGUMA, NEW SABC CFO
S. Kana – PWC Africa CEO E. Mugwagwa – MCE Group CEO J. Ndiritu – The meditating professor M. Enyadike – The business of art More profiles & regular columns B RO UG H T TO YO U BY
MAGAZ I NE
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
6 Editorial 7
Briefs - Articles available on our website
16 Cover Story - James Aguma, SABC CFO 20 Suresh Kana - PWC Africa Leader 24 Efious Mugwagwa - MCE Group CEO 28 Ndiritu - The meditating professor 30 Mautsa - Award-winning Zim telepreneur 32 Miabo Enyadike - The business of art 36 Book Review 38 TAP Immigration 41 TAP-Torque 44 Chaitwa Mamoyo - Emasculation 46 Peprah - Je Suis Un Africain 48 Moneygram Regional CEO Anton Luttig 50 TAP - Social Pages
OPENING THE YEAR OPEN-MINDED Available at
n this issue, the CFO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) James Aguma reminds us that; “this is not the industrial age when Henry Ford knew everything; with the internet knowledge is widespread”. The CEO of PriceWaterhouse Coopers (PWC) in Africa Suresh Kana shares a similar sentiment stating that 80% of the people he manages have one or more university degrees and therefore it is imperative that he engages them effectively. “A culture of openness is important and quite frequently I wander into our staff canteen and have lunch with whomever is there – it’s how I keep in touch with our people and their opinions,” he adds. Efious Mugwagwa, owner of Mnjiya Consulting Engineers believes that even though he is aligned to a much respected field, success can be earned in less glamorous settings. “Even if you sell tomatoes and you do it in a professional
As advertised on
way, you can be successful and become a tomato-selling millionaire,” Mugwagwa declares. Listening to these sentiments, a clear theme of openmindedness seemed to be shared by our interviewees. It is the perfect backdrop to pitch our expectations against early in the year as we contemplate what 2015 will have in store for us. It is human nature to value and seek out the audience of those we consider at par or above us in stature in the belief that they will help propel our progress as individuals. But if the above sentiments are anything to go by, our best bet may reside in simple engagements. It may be more beneficial for a professional to listen to subordinates suggestions and worthwhile for an entrepreneur to respond to the email from a service-provider or job-seeker. Other profiles in this issue include Nigerian-born Miabo Enyadike who gives her testimony on the highs and lows of the business of art in Africa, and John Ndiritu - an engineering professor with an uncommon passion for meditation. We also feature Rino Mautsa, a young Zimbabwean entrepreneur whose call centre exploits have been recognised as far afield as India. Be sure to take in our regular columns with yet another vehicle feature in our TAP-Torque section, images of the Zimbabwe Achiever Awards in TAPSocial, analysis of Chinua Achebe’s last offering in our book review, a summary of our website stories in our briefs section and commentary from our regular contributors. KC ROTTOK Twitter: @africankc
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@africankc (over 15 000 followers) faith_mamphoka (@Just_Faith) Daphne Mashile-Nkosi - first SA woman to own manganese mine - the woman Iwant to become!!!! africanpro.co.za/ entrepreneurs/… via @africankc Milanoi (@MissMilanoi) KENYA AIRWAYS LAUNCHES INTERNET TIMETABLE APP - The African Professional™ africanpro.co.za/ technology/ite…via @africankc @DiazChrisAfrica good job :) Alex Court (@CourtA) Great read ~~> how @Caroline_Marsh went from cabin crew in Zambia to big property investor & mentor: bit.ly/1y ben muoki (@muokiben7) CRUCIAL LESSNS 4 BUDIN ENTREPRENEURS The African Professional™ africanpro. co.za/entrepreneurs/… via @africankc Very helpful OnlineBiz_Siyakhula (@SiyaKhula) @africankc Just maybe South Africans are ‘intelligently’ preparing themselves in advance to AVOID “Westgate IslamicBarbarism” terror attacks (Responding to the SA strict visa article) #FavoriteOf (@TheFavoriteOf @africankc Also one of Richard Branson’s favourite books #FoE2014 (@CDEMutondi) Getting schooled every time I read @africankc, Best publication on the continent. KNSP Africa (@KNSPAfrica) @africankc an amazing “good feeling” story mariam (@mrsmwela) @africankc entrepreneur ship also needs conducive
environments to survive, with the endemic corruption, it’s very difficult. Moyagabo Motshekga @meyabos @africankc @stella_adi it’s my current read and I would say yes all women should, I am 23 and not married but I must say I can already see (Responding to book review of ‘Secrets of Fascinating Womanhood) tshego@tshego78330499 @africankc @chiovictoria! And you wonder why, cause 1/2 if not 65% divorces rate! Are heard from such debacle! Interesting! Huh!!! (Reacting to survey on domestic violence article) Titus Glavee @Torgbui @africankc 3rd world is a miss-used terminology, (developing country“ies”) is much better. 3rd world means the 3rd way, ie; non-alligned.
(@JoanMNjeri) #ShepherdShonhiwa’s story on @africankc one thing stands out, “our education system produces technocrats but not enough business leaders.” Jody Roberts (@Jody_WP) sounds familiar SA? ‘I WAS OUSTED FOR FIGHTING CORRUPTION’, NIGERIA BANK HEAD CLAIMS - africanpro. co.za/professionals/… via @africankc Turning Point Coach™ (@TurnPointCoach) Cashflow is the business oxygen - without it you die! Miss QB (@CodeNameKaty) Go Girl! “@africankc: NIGERIAN 12 YEAR OLD GIRL, WORLD’S YOUNGEST FILMMAKER - The African Professional™ africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs/… “ The AfriZen (@TheAfriZen) @africankc We need a major overhaul of our education systems.
Thokozane Maloka (@tkmaloka) @africankc thank you for your inspiring stories.
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Recently thought the KFC Ad where the guy is walking on the street and the black community ask him is making fun of black people. It says we are beggars.... - Erick
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ARTICLES AVAILABLE ON THEAFRICANPRO.COM
“MOBILE MONEY THREATENING TRADITIONAL BANKING” Apparent in the number of visitors and quality of stands at last year’s AfricaCom event, business is booming in the telecommunications, ICT and digital media ecosystem. “Apple and Google are the biggest threat to the traditional banking industry. Apple already has over 600 million card payments details on their database” said Julian Kyula, CEO, Mode, who was a keynote speaker at AfricaCom’s Mobile Money stream, one of the topics that dominated last year’s event. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ technology
ZIM ACHIEVER AWARDS SA - ALL THE WINNERS
NIGERIAN-BORN GRADUATE’S BOLD MOVE AT WATERLOO STATION PAYS OFF A Nigerian-born graduate who impressed bosses by standing in a railway station handing out his CV has returned to the same spot to recruit workers to his new company. Determined Alfred Ajani was so sick of filling in job application forms and getting no reply, he took to the concourse of Waterloo station in London to come face-to-face with city highflyers. After he was snapped up by a recruitment firm, he has now returned to the same place where he once stood to advertise positions on his team. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/professionals
The inaugural Moneygram Zimbabwe Achiever Awards South Africa edition was held on 08 November 2014 at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand Johannesburg. The glittering black tie event saw performances from Motswako artiste HHP, Berita Khumalo, Nadia Nakai, joyous celebration choir member Mkhululi BheBhe and musical icon Oliver Mtukudzi. The event was cohosted by actor comedian Leroy Gopal and Radio 2000 host Bertha Charuma. There were speeches delivered on the night from Richard Moyo, the CEO of the awards, Conrad Mwanza, the Chairman and Founder of the awards, Zimbabwean Tourism Minister Dr Walter Mzembi, Moneygram Regional CEO Anton Luttig and lifetime achievement award recipient Dorothy Masuku. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ professionals
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DR. ADA IGONOH, THE PRAYING PROFESSIONAL WHO SURVIVED EBOLA
BUSINESS JOINS THE FIGHT AGAINST EBOLA
Business has a fundamental role to play in the fight against Ebola. This was the sentiment put forward by Dr Anuschka Coovadia, Head of Healthcare at KPMG in South Africa. Coovadia was speaking at a dialogue titled “Business response to the Ebola outbreak” hosted by KPMG in conjunction with the Mail and Guardian Africa, the Graça Machel Trust, AGH Capital and the Southern Africa Trust. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ professionals
AVOIDING COMMON BUSINESS MISTAKES IN 2015 A new year presents business owners with not only an opportunity to evaluate and set goals for the upcoming year, but also a chance to avoid some of the common business mistakes that are made during the year. This is according to Christo Botes, Executive Director of Business Partners Limited (BUSINESS/PARTNERS), who says that as entrepreneurs are often required to be a jack-ofall-trades, focusing on too many aspects of the business can result in costly mistakes occurring as it is impossible for one individual to oversee all the various roles within the business. Full story on www. africanpro.co.zaa/entrepreneurs
Dr Ada Igonoh is a physician in Lagos, Nigeria, who miraculously survived Ebola. She contracted the virus while helping care for Patrick Sawyer, the patient who introduced Ebola into Nigeria in July this year. When Sawyer was wheeled into the emergency room of the First Consultants Medical Centre, Obalende, Lagos, with complaints of fever and body weakness, no one suspected he had contracted Ebola. Mr. Sawyer was admitted into a private room and started on antimalarial drugs and analgesics. Soon after the disease spread killing many except Dr. Igonoh who describes her miraculous escape in this article. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/professionals
The stories of human suffering coming out of West Africa are staggering. Although characterised by the United Nations as microoutbreaks, the human cost of this disease is immense but the fall-out of the epidemic is not just health related – it’s also economic says KPMG Africa. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/professionals
KINOTI: ASHLEY UYS- HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL UNDER 35 MEDICAL INVENTOR Ashley Uys is a young entrepreneur with a potent passion for what he is doing. He was only in his 20’s when he founded a company that develops affordable test kits for malaria, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS that are being used across the continent. He found a space where science and business meet, and exploited it to the fullest. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
THE BUSINESS IMPACT OF EBOLA
YOUNG KENYAN ENTREPRENEUR TO WATCH Eric Kinoti was born on 8th March 1984 in Mombasa and is the first born of four children. He grew up in Mombasa and Meru and attended St. Martins Boarding Primary School, Abothogochi Academy, Nkubu High School and earned a Diploma in Business Management from Tsavo Park Institute. Eric is now recognised as a leading entrepreneur: He has twice appeared in Business Daily’s ‘40 leading men under 40’ and in 2014 was featured in Forbes’ ‘30 most promising entrepreneurs from Africa’. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
WORLD’S YOUNGEST FILM-MAKER 12-year old Nigeria-born American, Zuriel Oduwole made history recently by becoming the youngest person in the world to show her work in a commercial movie theatre. This comes after she became the youngest person of African descent to be listed for 2013’s 100 Most Influential Africans alongside 3 Presidents as well the youngest person in the world to be profiled in Forbes Magazine at just 10. Against the backdrop of so much negative press, scantily dressed women on stage, and intentional putting down of women, especially women of colour, the Los Angeles school girl and Nigerian native showed her newest documentary titled A Promising Africa at the Film House Cinema chain in Lagos last November 2014. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ entrepreneurs
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HOW ARE GREAT LEADERS MADE Greatness in leaders begins with having a sense of purpose that spurs them to action and taking initiative. A sense of purpose is the driver that keeps leaders moving forward, regardless of their obstacles or perceived inadequacies. Jon Foster-Pedley, dean and director of Henley Business School Africa, believes that the road to leadership excellence involves both an inner journey of self-betterment and an outer journey of making a meaningful contribution to society. Full story on www.africanpro. co.za/contributors
HELGA BARKHUIZEN â€“ MODEL, ENTREPRENEUR AND SPEAKER Helga Barkhuizen is a South African entrepreneur, international model, motivational speaker and author. Born on 23 October 1984, she was raised in the Western Cape in South Africa. She represented South Africa at the highest beauty platform as Miss South Africa, during the Miss International pageant, hosted in Chicago in 2012. She also promotes humanitarian and nature conservancy causes. In December 2013, she was involved in a motor vehicle accident which sent shockwaves through the world, leaving her with an amputated left and shattered right leg. She has risen to the occasion with instant inspiration and motivation, walking with her third prosthetic, just 11 months following the horrific incident. Indeed, she is a force to be reckoned with. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
MISS MALAWI SA:
ASPIRING PROFESSIONAL CROWNED FIRST MISS MALAWI SA Miss Violet Thokozani Mwendera was crowned as the first Miss Malawi South Africa at a glittering ceremony held on 6th December 2014 at the five star OR Tambo Southern Sun Hotel. She is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Environmental Management at the University of Pretoria and also holds a BSc in Environmental Sciences from the University of Swaziland. She also completed an honours degree in Environmental Analysis and Management at the University of Pretoria. Her stellar performance earned her a scholarship from the Canon Collins Trust to do pursue her Masters degree. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/professionals
PORTFOLIO LIFE, MONEY, PRIORITIES AND THOSE BLOODY JONES’ Portfolio life was a term coined by the business guru Charles Handy in his book The Age of Unreason in 1989. Mr Handy explained the concept as “a portfolio of activities - some we do for money, some for interest, some for pleasure, some for a cause... the different bits fit together to form a balanced whole greater than the parts. Being unlimited is about having a role which suits your talents best, rather than somebody else’s job spec.” Full story on www.africanpro. co.za/kcs-blog
SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS Monica Kiwanuka, a PhD Scholar
at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, touched a nerve in South Africa when she, and co-author, Dr.Zaheera Jinnah presented to the South African public their draft research findings on: “Doing the dirty work: Foreign migrant labour and domestic work in South Africa”. The purpose was to seek comments and input from the public, civil servants and key stakeholders before finalization and dissemination of the study. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ professionals
all shuddering with fear or seething with anger, for the rest of our lives. In other communities however particularly squatter camps - mob justice rules. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/kcs-blog
MOB JUSTICE: KEEPING YOUR BUSINESS AFLOAT DURING THE FESTIVE SEASON
IS MOB JUSTICE JUSTIFIED? Crime is unbearable all over South Africa, but it is even worse in the slums or squatter camps where rates of rape, robbery and murder are highest. Some communities have put in place alternative security measures such as community policing forums. A lot has been said about what we should do or not do in order to lessen chances of being victims of crimes. But all tips prove futile whenever criminals pounce on us, rattle our homes and leave us
Businesses of all sizes and industries face end-of-year challenges, particularly in terms of productivity, staff shortages and absenteeism. Staffing issues become more complex during December and January when, according to expert estimates, up to 20% of the workforce is absent. Find out how to keep your business afloat during this periods. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ entrepreneurs
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Entries have opened for the 2014 Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism which will be presented for the 40th consecutive year in June 2015. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ professionals
MUHOZA: A LOOK-BACK AT NIGERIAN GIRLS WHO INVENTED URINEPOWERED GENERATOR 14
In case you missed this story when it first broke in 2012, we look back at the tale of four Nigerian teenagers who invented a peepowered generator that produces enough electricity to last six whole hours. Four teenage girls figured out a way to use a litre of urine as fuel to get six hours of electricity from their generator. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
SANLAM AFRICAN FINANCIAL JOURNALISM AWARDS OPEN FOR 2015
KGL’S MUHOZA SUCCESSFUL RWANDAN RESTAURATEUR Starting a business is a challenge for any individual. Many observers believe it is even harder when you’re young, even harder when you’re a woman and just a bit more difficult when you’re African. But that hasn’t stopped 25 year old Price Muhoza from taking the road less travelled in pursuing her restaurant dream. Full story on www.africanpro. co.za/entrepreneurs
SANGU DELLE, GHANAIAN ENTREPRENEUR WITH A HUMANITARIAN SPIRIT Sangu Delle (29) grew up in Ghana when civil war in neighbouring countries Sierra Leone and Liberia raged on. During those turbulent times Delle’s family risked their lives to shelter and hide refugees who had fled conflict back home. His family instilled in him a humanitarian spirit which led to the creation of CleanAcwa, a nonprofit organization which focuses on clean water and sanitation in his native country. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
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JAMES AGUMA, NEW SABC CFO
n deciding which career to pursue, a young James Aguma immersed himself in publications such as Fortune magazine. “I loved reading about the likes of Sam Walton and Bill Gates. Looking around Uganda, I thought this was the kind of place a pioneer entrepreneur could do well if they had the right idea. I became very keen on pursuing an MBA in the USA, at an Ivy League school like Wharton but it was not to be,” he recalled during an interview with TAP on the 28th floor of the SA Broadcasting Corporation Offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg.
of pursuing an MBA persisted and so I applied to the University of Cape Town for the course. Cost was once again a limiting factor as the degree required R30, 000 per year and I was earning a mere R1500 a month.” Whilst perusing South African newspapers, Aguma noticed that accountants were highly sought after,
Africa as a senior manager. The entity is ‘the supreme audit institution of the country mandated to audit and report on how the government is spending the South African taxpayers’ money’. As such the role of a senior manager was quite daunting and this interviewer asks Aguma to narrate what he considered to be his most demanding work day. “The worst day was when I had three meetings at three different locations in a single day. The last meeting was in Mmabatho, 380 kilometres from our Pretoria office at 7pm.
“During his time [as acting CFO] he has implemented changes which have already provided positive results. We believe with this appointment there will be continuity as we further stabilise and bring in more revenue for the organisation...”
The corner office has a breath-taking view of Milpark Hospital and its surroundings and is a be-fitting workstation for the finance head of one of Africa’s largest broadcasting operations. The high cost of tuition fees in the USA prevented the country from being the destination from which Aguma would further his studies after completing a BCom degree in Marketing at Makerere University in 1991.
While undertaking a stint as a teacher, an acquaintance advised him to consider changing his teaching location to Lesotho as a gateway to South Africa. “I taught in Lesotho for three years and that period was important for me as it exposed me to a different culture and kick-started my assimilation to life in Southern Africa. My dream
with some earning as much as twenty times his current pay package. The cost of the accountant’s conversion course was also approximately a third of that of an MBA at UCT. In addition, he managed to secure a bursary for tuition fees from PriceWaterhouse Coopers (then Coopers and Lybrand), the big four firm he would later work for starting as a trainee accountant and rising to an assistant manager. Much of Aguma’s career has been spent at the Auditor General (AG) of South
It lasted until eleven and I had to drive back half-asleep to the capital because I had another meeting the following morning at 10 a.m. I arrived at five in the morning and only had a couple of hours rest before getting up again to go present my views to an audit committee in Gezina.”
After serving close to nine years at the AG’s office, Aguma assumed the position of general manager of strategic support in March 2013 at the SABC. Given his background in audit matters, he became an invitee to the Group’s Executive Committee where he frequently contributed his view of how the public broadcaster could improve on a financial and operational level. A year later, he was appointed the acting CFO of the corporation. The big news was reported locally and internationally including a report in The Observer daily newspaper
in his home country of Uganda. Stephen Twinoburyo, a former chairman of the Association for Ugandan Professionals in South Africa (Aupsa), described the appointment as a massive professional milestone for Aguma. “Aguma is a hard worker and very focused. He has that determination to rise higher. He is also meticulous in his work,” said Twinoburyo, who worked with Aguma at Aupsa, where the latter served as publicist. 18
posted a profit of R651 million in 2013/14,” Motsoeneng said. Aguma indicated that he believes further changes are necessary in the financial department of the SABC
can cope. We will also embark on a recruitment drive to bring on board a few highly qualified accountants.” He went on to say that he is not new to change management having assisted a number of organisations with the process during his time at the AG. He recognises that both leadership and management have been key issues in the past and said he doesn’t believe in a hierarchical structure.
“I believe I have a very open and inclusive leadership style. The person who should manage a task is the person with the most knowledge of that particular issue regardless of their position. This is not the industrial age when only the likes of Henry Ford knew everything; with the internet, knowledge is widespread...”
Another South Africabased Ugandan, David William Rukanshonga, described Aguma on social media as deserving of the position due to his character. “[I] have known him since school days - though he was a few classes ahead of me - as one hard-working, straightforward, smart, strict kind of guy and very intelligent but with a big heart,” Rukanshonga said. In January 2015, Aguma took over the CFO position on a permanent basis.
A report by the SA Press Association captured congratulatory remarks from SABC’s Chief Operating Officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng. “During his time [as acting CFO] he has implemented changes which have already provided positive results. We believe with this appointment there will be continuity as we further stabilise and bring in more revenue for the organisation, having
given that a poor control environment led to a recent qualified audit opinion. “It is not going to be business as usual,” Aguma asserted. “My main task at the moment is change management. We need to ensure that people with the right skills handle the right jobs. For those who are not performing, we will increase the training budget and for those who cannot cope, we will need to have frank discussions about re-deploying them to areas where they
“I believe I have a very open and inclusive leadership style. The person who should manage a task is the person with the most knowledge of that particular issue regardless of their position.
If we are talking about debtors for instance, you may find that the clerk who handles them is best placed to speak about who is likely to pay and who isn’t. This is not the industrial age when only the likes of Henry Ford knew everything; with the internet, knowledge is widespread.” KC ROTTOK
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DR. SURESH KANA –
TERRITORY SENIOR PARTNER OF PwC AFRICA & THE SA PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR
hat are your thoughts on being voted by a panel of your peers to be The South African Professional of the year 2014 at the South African Professional Services Awards (SAPSA)?
The good thing about SAPSA is that the recognition cuts across several professions and enables us to interact and recognise good work across the board.
The news was both humbling and surprising. This kind of recognition is unexpected, much like the two honorary doctorates that have been conferred upon me by the University of Johannesburg and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Integrity and ethics are the cornerstones
I wake up every morning striving to do my best as a professional and it is a great honour when that is recognised. Being that I was out of the country at the time attending to an international engagement, a PwC representative attended the function on my behalf.
How do you and the firm ensure that ethical behaviour is maintained?
with two representatives from the firm and two external members. On a personal note, I sat on the board of Transparency International - an agency dedicated to countering corruption globally - and as the former human capital leader at PwC, initiated the creation of a global code of conduct in 1999.
“As the first person of colour to be employed as a professional trainee at PwC South Africa in 1976, transformation has always been a passion of mine, particularly bringing more previously disadvantaged people into the firm and the profession......”
What is your impression of the initiative to recognise the best professionals and best professional services firms in South Africa? Having been a human capital leader at PwC, it’s always been clear that encouragement, support and recognition are critical to influencing productive human behaviour. The feedback from our PwC representative was that the event was successful and the news of the award has since been disseminated to our 9,000 employees across the continent.
of our business and we have made an effort to make this the fabric of what we do, rather than paying lip service to the concept. We have ongoing training on ethics and when an ethical dilemma arises in the firm, once resolved we often use it as an example during training sessions - obviously without mentioning the names of the parties involved. We have a ratio of one ethics officer for every 15 members of staff and one of our partners, Nezira Ayob, heads the division, with 30% of her portfolio dedicated to ethics. Furthermore, we have quarterly ethics board meetings
It was a difficult thing to do given that the firm is worldwide and there are different cultural norms. It’s now viewed as best practice and implemented throughout our global firm. In the audit business, the two most common ethical contraventions are “ghostticking” (documenting audit procedures as completed when they have in fact not been done) and misstatement of travel claims.
We tackle such matters harshly and it is not uncommon for us to dismiss employees found to be in contravention of our code of conduct. Furthermore, we have a whistle-blowers hot-line and I am informed of any calls within 24 hours so that swift action is taken thereafter. Briefly describe what you and your firm have done to contribute to the South African community in the recent past? We established a corporate responsibility (CR) programme in May 2001 which was not very common back then. The office is headed by Megan Naidoo and our initiatives focus on
education and upliftment. One of these is the Business Skills for Southern Africa foundation, which manages the Faranani Rural Women project, which imparts skills to rural women. PwC was involved in taking about 50 children from underprivileged schools across the country through the CIDA City Campus programme. The programme was later taken over by the University of Johannesburg and some of these learners have since become chartered accountants through the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) Thuthuka programme. We consistently do our best to uplift the community through our many CR projects. Even the small initiatives make a significant impact, such as our zoo days, where our Pretoria office staff take under-privileged children to the zoo for the day. Participants in our programme often define PwC as “People Who Care”. What would you say is your management and leadership style? My style is collaborative, as I don’t believe in hierarchies. Although management control is needed, we also need accountability at every level. 80% of the people I manage have two or more university degrees and therefore it is important to engage with them. A recent PwC Global People Survey found that we have an 84% engagement rate with our staff - I’m very pleased with this. A culture of openness is important and quite frequently I wander into our staff canteen and have lunch with whoever is there – it’s how
I keep in touch with our people and their opinions. Focus groups are also good for dealing with specific issues. In 2012, we set up an innovation challenge, where we offered R50, 000 to the person with the winning idea. Having worked internationally, the importance of being culturally sensitive is always a consideration. This is essential given the work that we do in other parts of Africa.
How is your firm achieving excellence in customer service? PwC has dedicated resources to research and produce thought leadership, to the extent that we are the ‘go to’ professionals for a number of industries. Top of the list is our CEO Survey, which helps us and the market understand what CEOs are saying about their respective industries, the economy and business in general.
How has your firm fared from a business perspective and what growth targets have been achieved? We find ourselves in an exceptional profession where, as the saying goes, no news is good news! Our brand health
We are currently on a drive to move many our offices on the continent to new premises, to create better working environments for our people and position ourselves as the market leader in the communities in which we operate. In Johannesburg, we are in the process of establishing a 26-storey building at Waterfall City, while our Cape Town office will move to the V&A Waterfront in 2016. Also in 2016, PwC Durban will be moving to a new flagship office in the Umhlanga Ridge business precinct on the Northern coast of KZN. Our Kenya office has already moved to an imposing new building in the prestigious Westlands area of Nairobi and in Nigeria “PwC Tower” is under construction on Victoria Island.
“We find ourselves in an exceptional profession where, as the saying goes, no news is good news! Our brand health and reputation are a good measure of how well we are doing. From a business perspective locally, we recently won the audits of Sasol and Vodacom – massive companies with significant fees.....”
A good example of our business leadership credentials is the fact that when African Bank experienced financial difficulties last year, PwC was selected as the preferred entity to see it through the business rescue. We also conduct family business surveys to better understand how we can support small and medium-sized enterprises. In 1988, we established a foundation aimed at imparting business skills to micro-entities in Southern Africa.
and reputation are a good measure of how well we are doing. From a business perspective locally, we recently won the audits of Sasol and Vodacom – massive companies with significant fees. In 2009, we set out to double the size of the firm’s revenue and by 2014 we had achieved that as a result of organic and inorganic growth. In terms of human capital, we have also increased our staff complement from some 5000 to 9000 on an Africa-wide basis and grown our partner base from 250 to 400.
What is your contribution to technical excellence?
I was the National Technical partner of PwC from 1986 to 1998 and during that time co-authored - with Professor Geoff Everingham - “Corporate Reporting”, a leading textbook in financial reporting. The book is now in its ninth edition. At PwC we believe that quality is nonnegotiable, and we come out tops in all our internal and external quality reviews. What is your personal approach and participation in mentorship? How is your firm participating in the upliftment of young professionals? My passion is youth development; this led
to the formation of PwC’s Business School, which comprises eleven centres of excellence. The Chairman of the Business School is governance champion Mervyn King. We invest some 500,000 hours in learning and development annually and also have a bursary fund of R100 million. We believe in the old adage of teaching people to fish rather than handing the fish to them. PwC’s Business Schools have since been established in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania and another one is set to open in Ghana at a ceremony to be attended by the State President. At a local firm level, 22% of chartered accountants in South Africa train through PwC.
The average age of our employees is about 27 and the benefits of working with and mentoring young people are immense. Of our recent annual intake of over 300 trainees, 52% of them are of colour and we have achieved a AAA rating from Empowerdex. We are a level 2
Scholarship Committee for several Southern African countries, trustee of the Constitutional Court Trust, Chairman of SAICA, and a member of the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa. Further roles related to the profession include membership of the Financial Reporting Standards Council, a statutory body in South Africa setting accounting standards, as well as acting trustee on the board governing SAICA’s Thuthuka Bursary Fund, aimed at transforming the profession through supporting black students.
“My passion is youth development; this led to the formation of PwC’s Business School, which comprises eleven centres of excellence...”
On a personal level, I participate in an initiative that requires me to meet with young children on weekends and give them leadership lessons and mentoring on life and careers. I mentor and train them over a number of months and thereafter take them to Base Camp Everest in the Himalayas. How has your firm contributed to transformation? As the first person of colour to be employed as a professional trainee at PwC South Africa in 1976, transformation has always been a passion of mine, particularly bringing more previously disadvantaged people into the firm and the profession. It is part of the reason that I have stayed with the firm for four decades despite several offers over that time to move.
contributor according to the BBBEE ratings. PwC’s Talent Management Council analyses our staff by race and gender and gauges transformation in the firm. Over the past seven years, the firm has developed over 1 300 black chartered accountants. On a light note, please narrate an account of your worst working day? I’m a people person and enjoy getting out of the office and interacting with others. Of course there are always work pressures as well, the occasional difficult client and times of concern, but these are outweighed by the pleasure I get from my work. What roles do you play outside of work and how do you contribute to your profession? I hold a number of external roles, including Chairman of the Rhodes
Previous roles include being a member of the International Auditing and Accounting Standards Board (IAASB) where I served for nine years and deputy chair of the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA) which was a ministerial appointment. I was also appointed by the Minister of Finance as a member of the Boards of Appeal for the Stock Exchange Control Act, Pension Funds Act and the Unit Trust Control Act. What are your future plans and what leisure activities interest you? I’m an avid high altitude trekker and mountaineer. Having recently turned 60, I’m set to retire in June this year, with Hein Boegman set to take the reigns as PwC Africa Territory Senior Partner. Future roles include being a nonexecutive director on certain boards. KC ROTTOK
EFIOUS MUGWAGWA – MCE GROUP CEO
fious Mugwagwa’s decision to pursue mechanical engineering at the University of Zimbabwe was inspired by some sound advice received from his cousin Wonder Mutebuka who insisted his strength in mathematics would enable him to do well.
engineering while in Buhera. All people were talking about was accounting thinking this was the only discipline that would enable one to be successful. We didn’t know that success is not aligned to a particular field; even if you sell tomatoes and you do it in a professional way, you can be successful and become a tomato-selling millionaire.”
That conversation happened in Harare in the mid-nineties shortly after Mugwagwa had moved to the Zimbabwean capital city from his rural home of Buhera. “I hadn’t even heard of
After graduating in 1998, Mugwagwa spent a few months as a draftsman at Byco Technologies before moving to Craster International where he quickly rose to the position of quality superintendent at the age of 26, supervising people who were much older than him. “I learnt a valuable lesson in leadership – being careful about stepping on people’s toes. I recall clashing with one employee who was quite close to the CEO. As the latter couldn’t fire me, he instead gave me a repetitive task doing two months of testing inside an uncomfortable tank. It led me to resign,” Mugwagwa laughed.
He spent a further two years as a CAD engineer at Pearce McComish Tarabuku where he remembers receiving great experience. In 2003, he left Zimbabwe having been “pushed out by the economic hardships in the country”. After short stints with a couple of consulting engineering companies, he joined Emzansi where he received valuable mentorship in mechanical engineering from Riaan van Staaden. “Emzansi was not about the money but about developing my career; a year of learning and building the foundation of what I am doing today.
“It is quite rigorous and time-consuming to get the certification but well worth it as it indicates that we are capable of executing assignments beyond our borders. Our way of doing things is acceptable internationally and we are visited frequently by the inspectors to check that we are maintaining the certification.”
running to World Cup related projects which is testament to our dedication to serving our everyday client.” Mugwagwa’s contribution to his profession includes his role as a board member of the Consulting Engineers of South Africa (CESA) where he also chairs the Quality and Risk Committee. He additionally serves as a council member in the construction portfolio of the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University, is an elder at his local church, and sits on the board of a mining entity in his country of origin.
“Success is not aligned to a particular field; even if you sell tomatoes and you do it in a professional way, you can be successful and become a tomatoselling millionaire....”
I would advise young professionals not to chase money when evaluating opportunities but rather pursue career growth.” In 2006, while working for Khatima Engineers, Mugwagwa and a colleague, Echols Mkhabele, registered Mnjiya Consulting Engineers (MCE). The decision was inspired by their belief that they could set up an organisation and run it with more professionalism than they had previously experienced in the industry.
“Initially, I was the only full-time employee [and worked] from a house in Noordwyk. Our first project was with the Department of Public Works for which we received a payment of about a quarter of a million rand. The day that money came in was like winning the lotto, it changed everything!” The company has since moved up and operates from its own building in Midrand. MCE is ISO 9001 and 18001 certified which indicates compliance with the highest international standards.
The Public Works project related to the Atteridgeville prison in Pretoria. Other clients include the Gauteng Province, Department of Infrastructure Development (DID), Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA), Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and Growthpoint. “What makes us different is the value we add to our clients. We have a continual relationship and focus on adding value rather than looking to make money. Many engineers made a lot of money in the build up to 2010 due to the spring of infrastructure and after doing so exited the market but we are still here. We also continued to do traditional projects when everybody else was
The company also makes a contribution to the community by way of a corporate social responsibility programme that sponsors the children of the Thembisa Children’s Home. “We are a 100% black owned company but there is something I have learnt in this industry; you start of as trading as black for a couple of years but at some point you stop punting that aspect and get business solely on the basis of the value that you add to your clients and your profession. Black empowerment is good but not at the expense of quality.” Mugwagwa believes it is more beneficial to set up your own shop regardless of it being smaller than working within a larger corporation and rising within its ranks. “You become a master of your own destiny, create a legacy and design policies and a sequence for others to follow. We have about forty members of staff and have laid down our way of doing things such that they do not require constant supervision. They run
projects on their own and meet predefined deadlines.” MCE’s Group CEO went on to say that their vision is to make the company a good training ground for young black engineers and professionals to ensure that once an engineer passes through the company, they emerge as a professional with integrity and ethics.
“Mentorship is very important to us. Engineering has changed over the years and it concerns me that where I am from, students are still using outdated learning methods. I believe in bringing people along with you in your success rather than leaving the population behind as you succeed. Organisations need to solve the problems people have meeting their needs as you progress as an organisation.” The company’s mentorship programme includes bringing in university students for a few weeks in order to gain a practical understanding of engineering. Mugwagwa also indicated that they occasionally provide services at cost where those services are of benefit to the community. KEITH KUNDAI
“At some point you stop punting the fact that you are a black company and begin to get business solely on the basis of the value that you add to your clients and your profession. Black empowerment is good but not at the expense of quality...”
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PROFESSOR JOHN NDIRITU. Engineering lecturer with a passion for meditation
ohn Ndiritu was born in central Kenya fifty years ago. Having a headmaster for a father meant that education was an obvious priority.
physics; I love reasoning things out and solving problems. I did not do so well with the subjects that just required you to memorize things.”
“I remember that some of our neighbours used to come to our house to do homework,” Ndiritu recalled during an interview with TAP. In high school, he discovered that the sciences were his stable. “I was quite good in mathematics and
He related his story gently in a polite tone that was maintained throughout our interview. Having completed his A level studies in 1982, he joined the University of Nairobi after spending a year as an untrained teacher and graduated with a first class honours degree in Civil Engineering in 1987. “After obtaining the degree, I joined a consulting firm called HP Gauff working in the water section; one of the projects I was working on was a flood relief program for the city of Nairobi. I worked there as a designing engineer and as time progressed I found the job quite monotonous.” The monotony pushed Ndiritu back to the University of Nairobi as a tutorial fellow after only one year with HP Gauff. While working as a tutorial fellow he did his MSc on storageyield-reliability analysis methods. In 1993, he was awarded an MSc in Water Resources Engineering which included research on reservoir storage-yield analysis. “Soon after receiving my master’s degree, I was promoted to the position of lecturer. This was followed by being granted a scholarship from the Australian government to study for my PhD. It was around the same time my spiritual journey as a spiritual practitioner began.” Pic by George Proxenos
Ndiritu shared with TAP how absorbing and hectic university life became. He revealed that he used to question himself a lot about what was happening around the world and noted that the root cause of chaos around the world was the way people used their minds. He decided to take up meditation defined as a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realise some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content. In 1992, he completed his first five day meditation course. “While I was carrying on with my engineering, my spiritual world was moving along in sync. The more I meditated, the more I experienced spiritual wisdom. And it was not only spiritual wisdom I was experiencing, but it was the reality of humanity that stood from a certain perspective.”
at the time which meant that my job was not secure.” The situation prompted Ndiritu to move to Technikon East London. “I started a meditation centre in the town. The classes were free as I believe meditation is a free community service
meditation centre. The one that suited me best on my arrival in Johannesburg was the one in Soweto. I relocated to Pimville where I met a man by the name of Mxolisi who ran the Brahma Kumaris Soweto Meditation Centre.”
“While I was carrying on with my engineering, my spiritual world was moving along in sync. The more I meditated, the more I experienced spiritual wisdom. And it was not only spiritual wisdom I was experiencing, but it was the reality of humanity that stood from a certain perspective….”
Ndiritu completed his PhD on the improvement of genetic algorithms for automatic calibration of hydrological models in 1997 at the University of Adelaide. On the same year, he moved to South Africa following a request from the University of Durban Westville to join as a lecturer.
“After a month I started communing with my fellow meditators not very far from university. The university was ok, teaching was also quite fine, but there were issues around the viability of the faculty of engineering that were arising
and there is an understanding that you can derive a benefit other than money. God says you get what you give.” He landed a job at The University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in 2002 as a senior lecturer. “As a spiritual being wherever I relocate to, the first thing I do is to search for a
Ndiritu stayed in Pimville until 2009. He indicated that he finds the township clean and quiet although he struggled with the language barrier after he unsuccessfully tried to learn Zulu. Today Brahma Kumaris has a bigger establishment in Diepkloof extension which is part of Soweto. “Part of the spiritual journey is to get tests because they say if you don’t get tests how would you know whether you have grown spiritually? Challenges do come, the serious ones are those that are deeper and have to do with my own limitations, but not the ones that I get out there.” Professionally, Ndiritu has been a scientific adviser of the Stockholmbased International Foundation for Science since 2007and spends a lot of time examining masters and doctoral students.
He is also a peer reviewer of international journals and consults with the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation. DUMISANI HLATSHWAYO
INDIAN GOVERNMENT RECOGNIZES MAUTSA FOR ZIM CALL CENTRE PIONEERING
he Indian Government recently recognized the contribution of Zimbabwean call centre expert Mr Rinos Mautsa to the growth of Zimbabwe’s call centre industry by granting him the Young Visionaries Fellowship Award.
The Award is a unique initiative by the Indian government to identify top young entrepreneurs and achievers from both India and Africa which seeks to encourage the cross-fertilisation of ideas and a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities of doing business in the two geographies. Award partners include the Ministry of External Affairs, IdeaWorks, Indian Angel Network and Villgro Innovations.
in a number of ICT and call centre projects in Zimbabwe and in the region. The award also acknowledged his involvement in the formation of the CCAZ. The CCAZ believes that the local call centre industry can create over 50 000 jobs within the next 5 years if all the fundamentals are in place. In recognition of Mautsa’s efforts and
and contribute to the national economic activities through outsourcing and value added services,” said Kundishora. “Mr Mautsa’s expansion into other countries in the region is testimony that Zimbabwe has potential to become an ICT services hub in the region and beyond.” The awards ceremony was held at the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry in India - the leading global call centre destination, employing over 200 000 people - and was graced by the Indian Minister of State -External Affairs General V K Singh who was the guest of honour.
The winners were selected from a pool of over 10 000 young achievers across India and Africa who have made a remarkable difference in their countries and whose projects have the potential to turn around local and global economies. Winners hailed from Ghana, Nigeria, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe as well as the Indian cities of Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Orissa.
international accolade, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services Dr Sam Kundishora said:
Commenting on receiving the award Mr Mautsa said the moment was a “priceless” one: “Receiving an award from the government of India which is the leading global call centre destination and tech hub was a priceless moment for me. It revived my dreams of seeing Zimbabwe as a global call centre destination. This award is a great challenge for me to work even harder to develop the Zimbabwean call centre industry, to tap into the opportunities created by the growing use of mobile and internet in the country,” he said.
Mr Mautsa – who is currently the secretary-general of the Call Centre Association of Zimbabwe (CCAZ) - becomes the first Zimbabwean to receive the internationally-recognized award. The Indian Government presented the award in recognition of the establishment of his company, Africcs (Pvt) Ltd, which sets up calls centres and is currently involved
“Zimbabwe has a high literacy rate and is strategically located in terms of time zones from Beijing in the East to New York - USA in the West. Because of this unique natural and geographic advantage, the Ministry has followed Mr Mautsa’s progress with interest from the time we identified the Call Centre business as a critical ICT subsector with potential to create employment
A powerhouse in the local call centre industry, Mr Mautsa has presented in various conferences on the subject of call centre development in the USA, Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and is presently working with various stakeholders in Government and NGOs to establish a National Agricultural Call Centre. He is also part of the technical committee team comprised of
experts from various countries which is working to establish the Pan-African Contact Centre Association for the continent.
Management and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers among others. He is the holder of a B Com (Honours)
fellow Chartered Customer Service Practitioner (CIS), and Masters in Business Administration (MSU). Additionally, he is currently studying for a PHD with research focus on customer engagement.
“The winners were selected from a pool of over 10 000 young achievers across India and Africa who have made a remarkable difference in their countries and whose projects have the potential to turn around local and global economies....”
In addition to sitting on the board of the CCAZ, Mr Mautsa is the board chairman of Proctor and Associates, a risk, fraud and forensic auditing firm in Zimbabwe, chairman of Zimbabwe Youth Housing Association which is working with various government departments to build low cost housing units in Zimbabwe.
He is also a board member of the Zambian Institute of Customer
Marketing Management Degree (MSU), Graduate Diploma in Customer Service Management (RAU), Diploma in Digital media and branding (CIMUK), Call Centre Certificate-SA,
MIABO ENYADIKE –
ART THE WAY I SEE IT… Tell us a bit about your background and how you got into art I hail from Port Harcourt in River State Nigeria and hold a degree in fine and applied arts which I obtained in 1992. For the layman, fine art includes paintings and sculptures. This is art produced or intended primarily for beauty rather than utility. Applied art on the other hand is art that also serves some practical function. It is the application of design and decoration to everyday objects to make them aesthetically appealing like say decorating a cup. I do a bit of both. You have been an artist for 22 years, what have been the highs and lows?
result. It is sometimes difficult to sell your work because artists are generally too attached to their work. They spend a lot of time focusing on their work and keeping it to themselves rather than taking it out there for people to see. I have learnt that you need to use every method available to expose your art to potential buyers.
office that have been thrown away. I have taken a liking of taking what has been discarded and rejected and reviving it into something useful through art. For instance, with the wine bottles, you will find that I have painted them and clothed them with old lace fabric from Nigerian blouses.
“I have owned three art galleries and I still have one I run currently in Lagos. I read a lot particularly newspapers and I follow the news. Since I travel quite often, I want to keep my audience informed about events around the world and to keep my art fresh and relevant…”
I have owned three art galleries and I still have one I run currently in Lagos. I travel back and forth between South Africa and Nigeria. As my husband works here, I have to be here most of the time but go back to check on my gallery from time to time.
The high of being an artist is getting patrons to buy your work. When someone prominent buys your work, you get good exposure to his or her circle of friends which results in continued patronage. The lows have to be being broke as an artist. It is horrible when a good artist doesn’t have money. You might have the passion but if you do not have the business sense this is the inevitable
What type of art do you do? Every three years I try to change my art. Recently I have been focusing on recycling. I recycle a lot of things; I work with plastic like empty milk containers. I usually go around the stores and charity organisations looking for old bottles or if I am at a restaurant, I ask the manager if I could have the empty wine bottles. My husband also picks up interesting things for me from his
I work with plaster of Paris to get it on. I would describe my art as art the way I see it, in fact I have written a book with that exact title. So for instance where people only see a blouse, for me I see how art can be applied. Let’s talk about some of the pieces you have to get an understanding of your art, tell us about ‘The flower in the vase’
‘The flower in the vase’ is an abstract impressionism, and it is all about ink. What I did was I used ink on it to get different types of flower and the flower inside the vase is actually a tulip. I made it seem like it’s in a coloured vase and gave it the look of being in a garden. How about ‘the woman of Sudan’? This piece is done on old newspapers and particularly on the stock exchange part of the paper. The reason I used that part specifically is because most of the problems in this world including wars or rape and all kinds of horrible situations are linked to finance, either the lack of it or trying to obtain it. In Sudan, the issues
seem to be related to oil. So based on that how do you decide what piece to do? Do you for instance watch TV and when you see problems in Sudan, you decide to paint about it? I read a lot particularly newspapers and I follow the news. And that’s because I want to be informed and keep my art fresh and relevant. Since I travel q u i t e of ten,
I want to keep my audience informed about events around the world. I belong to a lot of art groups around the world so I get invited to various exhibitions. Actually the months of May and June are usually very busy for artists due to a number of gatherings globally. Tell us about your other pieces “The Boy”, “Anatomy” and “Fashionista”? The boy is something that I did from the inside. I didn’t see anything that sparked my interest in drawing it, I just drew it from within because there’s so much going wrong now with little boys. He has an expression on his face that is rather sad that indicates it would be better if I was somewhere else rather than where I am right now. Anatomy refers to the inside, it ‘s just a rib. I wanted to touch on the many medical problems we encounter these days and sometimes we do
not know where they come from. Many people are frustrated going to hospital and they keep checking for the reason for the illness and fail to diagnose. The rib is a good illustration from an X-Ray and also quite a number of infections are around the chest area. For instance Ebola which has ravaged West Africa, the main symptoms are coughing and fever which affects the chest area. Fashionista is a mixed media art piece. A fashionista is someone who lives, breathes and talks fashion like Kim Kardashian. The reason I made that piece is that they will go to any extent to put themselves out there. It is social commentary and I used pieces of magazines to make the piece. The woman is also half naked which illustrates the attentionseeking nature of a fashionista.
Where can we find out more about your art? On my website www.artmiabo.com or on facebook.com/myartmiabo. KEITH KUNDAI
“The woman of Sudan”
REMEMBERING CHINUA ACHEBE: A book review of ‘There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra’
n the recent past it has been difficult to talk about, Nigeria, West Africa or even Africa without making reference to Boko Haram and their terrorist activities in Nigeria and its neighbouring states. Boko Haram is a terrorist organization that promotes a version of Islam, which makes it “haram”, (which means illegal) for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with the Western society. This includes wearing what is considered Western clothing, participating in politics, or receiving non-religious education.
So you may be wondering what’s the relationship between Boko Haram and Chinua Achebe’s most recent (and unfortunately last) book, There Was A Country; A Personal History of Biafra. It has been
rumoured that some of Boko Haram’s key members have called for an outright ban of the book. One can even go as far as to argue that the book is Achebe’s response to Boko Haram’s “philosophies”. Nigeria has been known to produce some of Africa’s most brilliant minds: Christopher Okigbo, Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi, Okonjo-Iweala, Aliko Dangote and Mosunmola Abudu (popularly known as Mo Abudu) among many others, but it is also a country whose citizens continue to bear the heavy burden of corruption and leadership without accountability. Over the years, Achebe made it his mission to address the plight and potential of Nigeria through his novels and essays. Achebe’s writings represent the reality of not only Nigeria or Africa, but also of humanity.
the Eastern part breaking away to form the Republic of Biafra.
“Economic deprivation and corruption produce and exacerbate financial and social inequalities in population, which in turn fuel political instability. Within this environment extremists of all kinds- particularly religious zealots and other political mischief makersfind a foothold…How do we begin to solve the problems of Nigeria, where the structures are present but there is no accountability?”
There Was A Country traces the history of Biafra, Nigeria and the author’s relationship to the development of both states. The book is divided into four parts and is dotted with poetry that gives depth to the narrative.
If one is interested in learning the political history of Nigeria, this book provides an excellent summary. He teases out the different arguments of Nigerian tribal relationships and manages to highlight how fuzzy the line between tribal and state politics is in Nigeria (and many African States).
In the first part, Achebe describes his early childhood and the role both formal and traditional education played in his growth into a novelist, cultural activist and intellectual. He builds an image of the potential Nigeria had soon after independence, before describing the conflict that saw the country divide along tribal lines and eventually led to
In the other three parts of the book, Achebe traces his role and that of his colleagues during the Biafra civil war, hinting on the thinking behind the different political and military strategies employed by both armies. He narrates how he and his family survived by moving from one village to another, seeking shelter from friends
TAP Book Review
and sometimes living in makeshift houses in the forest. He further explains his personal relationship with the leadership of Biafra, including Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, the leader of the breakaway Republic of Biafra from 1967 to 1970. General Ojukwu is known to have given Achebe important roles in Biafra and often sent him on various missions abroad to talk on behalf of the people of Biafra. His writing is heavily influenced by the political position of the country, divulging an intimate relationship between the author and Nigeria. When Achebe sadly died on the 21st of March 2013. J. P Clark and Wole Soyinka issued a moving statement capturing Achebe’s connection with the pen, paper, society and humanity. They wrote, “We cannot help wondering if the recent insensate massacre of Chinua’s people in Kano, only a few days ago, hastened the fatal undermining of that resilient will that had sustained him so many years after his crippling accident.”
of storytelling, and revelations from the depths of the human subconscious are one. The event of a new work by Chinua Achebe is always extraordinary; this one exceeds all expectation.” He subtly engages in various literary
‘Very few writers have the ability to narrate heavy issues with such simplicity and lightness without compromising on the seriousness of the topic (s). However, one complex question remains unanswered: Why did it take Achebe 42 years to write/ publish this book?’
The title There Was A Country is deliberately confusing, encouraging the reader to think deeper. Is he making reference to the fact that Nigeria had/ has the possibility of being a unified stable country without civil war?
debates, and is not modest about stating his position. For instance, in the first part of the book he touches on the politics of language and the important role English plays in African culture, history and identity.
Or he is making reference to Biafra, a state for which he travelled the globe to garner its international recognition and support? His ability to question, push limits and encourage debate was characteristic of the man as a scholar and author. Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer writes, “Achebe has created here a new genre of literature in which politico-historical evidence, the power
One is quickly reminded of Ngugi wa Thiongo’s popular collection of essays that calls for linguistic decolonization and celebrates those who wrote/write in African languages. Achebe also seems to be cynical of more recent theorizations of art and literature, such as those that embrace the notion of art for arts’ sake. Gender and feminist scholars on the other hand would be
critical of Achebe’s valorisation of the androcentric nature of nationalism. Unlike his earlier books such as No Longer at Ease, Man of the People and The Trouble with Nigeria, this book ends with a sense of hope. The author strives to spell out strategies and changes that can be employed by Nigeria’s leadership and its citizens to improve its present condition. Very few writers have the ability to narrate heavy issues with such simplicity and lightness without compromising on the seriousness of the topic (s). However, one complex question remains unanswered: Why did it take Achebe 42 years to write/publish this book? WANJIRU WAICHIGO-NJOGU
PERMIT WOES AND REPATRIATION DEPOSITS
his year I really hope we get more legal certainty on a number of pressing immigration issues. Not just because of the new legislation, but also because of the practical interpretation and daily implementation that has made obtaining permits difficult.
With regards to the new general work visa, my fear that involving the Department of Labour will slow down the process, has become a reality. We have many cases that are taking longer than four months for them to process. The Department of Labour certificate is required for applicants to submit their application at either VFS or the mission abroad meaning that a general work visa takes now six months on average to be processed. Who will wait that long to employ a foreigner? But perhaps this is the political intention. Mr. Mangosuthu Buthelezi, South Africa’s former Minister of Home Affairs (1994 –2004), seems to agree in his online opinion piece that the new process is not
working. In another interesting development, the Department of Home Affairs has published a notification regarding repatriation deposits. Since the implementation of the Immigration Amendment Act, 2011 on 26 May 2014, foreigners can travel to South Africa without paying a repatriation deposit as a guarantee of their return. In line with the new regulation the Department of Home Affairs has decided to lapse deposits to the State as unclaimed, if the refund is not claimed by the deadline which is 28th February 2015. All granted South African permanent residency holders need to submit their claim in South Africa before the cut-off date to avoid losing it. The deposit will also be forfeited if an applicant applied for change of status before 26th May 2014 and has not applied for a refund of the repatriation deposit before the deadline. Those who changed their visa status from within South Africa and lodged the deposit when applying for the permit, are eligible to apply for the refund. This includes foreigners who entered on a Visitor´s Visa and then received a Study, Work or Own Business Permit. You may also apply for a refund if you have changed your status from Traveller, Study, Work Permit to Scarce Skill/ Critical Skill Permit and the new expiry date is beyond the deadline. The Deadline is however not applicable for foreign students. They will not forfeit their funds if their permits are still valid and can claim them from the embassy where the application was lodged on completion of their studies. Similarly
retirement permit applicants will not lose their repatriation deposit if they do not claim it before 28th February 2015. Their permit conditions are still valid and effective until the permit expires, they apply for a change of status or have been granted permanent residence status. It is important to note that there is no requirement for people to fly back home to claim their refund from their country of origin. Travellers with valid permits with expiry dates beyond 28th February 2015 and who apply for their refunds before the deadline will not forfeit their deposits. Those who have overstayed their permit are not qualified for a refund, because of the violation of the terms and conditions of their temporary residence permit. The following documents are required for the claimant: • Completed application form • Original passport (not a copy) • Original receipt of the deposit • Proof of banking details/ warrant vouchers (cheques) • Reason for the refund, example: 1. Proof of final departure from South Africa on or before the expiry of the temporary residence permit for which a condition of a deposit was attached, or 2. Proof of permanent residence permit
ANDREAS KRENSEL from IBN Immigration Consultants www.ibn.co.za
We are a boutique private equity firm specializing in acute, sub acute and primary healthcare investments in South Africa. www.rhmanagers.com RH Managers (Pty) Ltd is a licensed discretionary fund manager. It currently manages the R1.6bn Bophelo Healthcare Fund (the â€œBHFâ€?). The BHF focuses on investing in healthcare infrastructure, providing accessible and a ffordable quality healthcare t o the greater population of South Africa. RH Managers aspires to increase its healthcare funds under management to R5bn in the medium term and champion the improvement of healthcare in Africa.
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LAND ROVER LAUNCHES A YEAR OF DEFENDER CELEBRATIONS
and Rover has gone back to the place where it all began to start a year-long celebration of the iconic Defender. A unique 1km sand drawing at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey, UK, marks the launch of two exclusive limited edition models and the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the Defender story. As UK production of the current Defender enters its final phase, Land Rover will use 2015 to celebrate its global automotive icon and look ahead to an all-new family of Defenders. Land Rover Vehicle Line Director Nick Rogers explains the significance of recreating one of the world’s most iconic vehicles: “Passion and enthusiasm surround everything we do with Defender, and that will never change. With a history stretching back 68 years, this is a Land Rover that has thrived for decades on its unquestionable capability and iconic shape.
The unique image is a tribute to the moment in 1947 when the engineering director of Rover, Maurice Wilks, first sketched the shape for the original Land Rover in the sand of Red Wharf Bay and proposed the idea to his brother Spencer, Rover’s managing director. “My father met his brother on the beach at Red Wharf Bay and made a drawing in the sand of how he thought
Maurice wanted a versatile vehicle that could double as a light tractor and offroader. His forward-thinking design was christened the ‘Land Rover’, the outline of which we now recognise as the Defender. Creating the giant piece of temporary artwork at Red Wharf Bay required a fleet of six Land Rovers, each towing a 3.6m agricultural harrow to draw the unmistakable outline of the Defender in the sand. The vehicles chosen for the race against the Anglesey tides chart the evolution of the Defender from its introduction in 1948 to the present day.
“Passion and enthusiasm surround everything we do with Defender, and that will never change. With a history stretching back 68 years, this is a Land Rover that has thrived for decades on its unquestionable capability and iconic shape. I am now lucky enough to be one of the many enthusiasts at Land Rover committed to creating a fitting successor to the legendary Defender.”
I am now lucky enough to be one of the many enthusiasts at Land Rover committed to creating a fitting successor to the legendary Defender.” To mark the announcement Land Rover has created the largest sand drawing ever produced in the UK. A Defender outline measuring a staggering 1km across was drawn on the beach at Red Wharf Bay in Anglesey using a fleet of six Land Rovers.
the Land Rover could be made,” said Stephen Wilks, son of Maurice. “That was the start of it all, the conception of Land Rover.” The Wilks family owned land on the Welsh island and
A Land Rover Series I, II and III were joined on the beach by a Ninety from the eighties, a Defender 90 Hard Top, and a Defender 110 Station Wagon. The immaculate Series II once belonged to the Wilks family and in memory of the moment originally enacted by their fathers, cousins Stephen and Nick Wilks, the sons of Maurice and Spencer Wilks respectively, were on hand to take part. They helped to draw the continuous 4.52km line – the length of 1 118 Defender 90 Station Wagons – into the sand with just minutes to spare before it was erased by the incoming tide.
The event witnessed the debut of the Defender Celebration Series; two exciting new limited edition models which each celebrate a different element
of Defender’s unique history. The Heritage and Adventure are all powered by Land Rover’s proven 2.2-litre diesel engine. Limited Edition Defenders The Heritage Edition is inspired by early Land Rover models and mixes nostalgic design cues with modern creature comforts. It is identified by
distinctive Grasmere Green paintwork and a contrasting white roof. A heritage grille and HUE 166 graphics, recalling the registration plate of the first ever pre-production Land Rover nicknamed ‘Huey’, also identify the Heritage model. The exciting new Adventure Edition is aimed at Land Rover customers who relish the great outdoors and embrace the Defender’s ‘go anywhere, do anything’ attitude. It
comes fitted with additional underbody protection and Goodyear MT/R tyres to boost the Defender’s already classleading all-terrain capability. Unique decals and a leather-trimmed cabin ensure the Adventure Edition stands out from the Defender crowd.
Words and Images courtesy of Meropa Communications
IS SOCIETY CONSPIRING TO EMASCULATE MEN?
love the Big Bang Theory. I watch re-runs of the show every chance I get. In one episode, a young husband, while trying to garner sympathy from his wife, says, “I am sad because I am trying to be a man in a world where it’s increasing difficult to be one.” Of course, his wife had short shrift for that excuse, much to the audience’s delight, and the episode continued…
Sometime later, what he said came back to me and I wondered whether he was on to something. Was he right that? P re - fe m i n i s m and equality, it was the man’s duty to provide in every sense, especially materially. The man had to kill the buck otherwise the women folk would go without meat or clothes. After the cave man era, men went out to work and the women stayed at home. The women bore children and raised them while the father was out toiling to ensure there was food on the table and money to clothe the children. Women got married young to older men who could provide for them. While some women worked at the beginning of their married life, they certainly had to stop and look after the children full-time when
they arrived. After all, wasn’t their true calling to nurture while men answered their true calling to provide? Seems rather clear-cut doesn’t it. Now, things are dramatically different. Women no longer have to aspire to marriage. Instead, they can aspire to do
and be anything that men can. Feminism and the advent of constitutional rights have shaken the very foundation of what was a man’s role in the past. We now live in a world where a woman can bring to the table the same salary or more than her husband earns. A woman can be her husband’s superior in the office. A woman can clothe the children with or without his help. A woman can vote. A woman can and often does have strong opinions. A woman can, for all intents and purposes, be all that a man can be. Should a man find himself wed to such a woman, is he then justified in feeling emasculated? Coupled with the
scene from the Big Bang Theory was a post on Linda Ikeji’s blog (Yes. I go there sometimes. Shocking! I know.) where the following scenario, which I have paraphrased was presented… “My husband and I are recently married and work for the same company. I earn R700 000 per annum and my husband earns R300 000 per annum. The Company policy dictates that married couples cannot work for the company therefore one of us must resign. There is no way of telling how long it will be before the one of us who resigns will get a new job. We can survive on my salary for a while but the budget will be a lot tighter if we live on his salary alone. Which one of us should resign?” After reading this, I thought the answer was rather obvious but to my surprise I was not in the majority. I read through most of the hundreds of comments from men and women alike and most of them sounded something like this: “If you want to stay married, you (the woman) had better resign. A man is a man after all.” “Of course the woman must resign! It is the man’s job to be the provider.” “If you want peace in that home you should resign. The Bible says
the man is the head of the home.” “How can you expect the man to sit at home while you earn. Chai! Women of today. resign oooo!”
to the woman he is with financially?” Is it not a greater showing of strength
competition is on equal footing? Is it harder for men to adapt to a society in which a woman can be and should be an equal?
“The minority agreed with my view that whether or not the guy was the head of the home, the bills would still need to be paid and common sense would suggest that the one earning less should resign.”
The minority agreed with my view that whether or not the guy was the head of the home, the bills would still need to be paid and common sense would suggest that the one earning less should resign. On the basis that the man in question agrees with the majority, I suppose the question at the root of all of this for me is, “Is a man’s manhood tied into whether or not he feels superior
to resign for the greater good of the family? How is it being a good head of home to make the family survive on less to protect your manhood (read ego). Is it harder to be a man when the
Does the oft quoted biblical submission of the woman extend to holding back from outdoing the man? I may not know the answers but I sincerely hope not. Perhaps, the question I should be asking is - Is society conspiring to emasculate its men? Could it be that in empowering women, we forgot to empower men to deal with it? CHAITWA MAMOYO
JE SUIS UN AFRICAIN
t the risk of sounding crass and insincere, who is Charlie? They put out a weekly magazine that is sometimes offensive, other times not. They understand the risks yet they continue to make potentially offensive commentary and profit from it. I believe strongly in freedom of speech, but there is a fine line though between that and being provocatively offensive.
What happened on the 7th January was however unacceptable. That day has brought forward a few realities to me and to many others I’m sure.
“Why should they care if we don’t really care about us? So quickly we jump onto the ‘Charlie’ bandwagon, but a few hundred/ thousand of our own die and it’s ‘oh shame’, but it’s in a Nigerian village. And therein lies most of our issues as a continent” I’m a Christian, but you don’t see me wanting to stone my brothers because we are ‘unequally yoked’. Believe it or not there are many good Muslims who personify peace and humanity. Many an atrocity has been committed on the basis of this Bible of mine apartheid, the KKK, the Crusades to name but a few - but has this religion and its people ever been branded terrorists? Well not to my knowledge. Iraq is bombed pursuing imaginary weapons of mass destruction: none were ever found. Now ISIS is born and the world shrugs and blames Islam. Libya, and once again the people just shrug, thousands died and more continue to perish senselessly, yet no terrorist branding. Some might argue the Quran in some verses preaches violence such as this verse Quran (2:191-193) – Talks about killing of unbelievers wherever you find them But wait; read below…
(Deuteronomy 13:6-11) – Tells us to put to death anyone even our family who does not worship the same God as you. It’s insane that when a person/persons of a certain religion (which has over 1.6billion followers) perpetrate heinous crimes, the whole religion is branded as terrorist. A Palestinian fires a rocket into Israel - rockets, which are more often than not intercepted by the Iron dome - they are terrorists. The Israeli government flattens half a city, it‘s called retaliation. Could these so called terrorists perhaps also be retaliating against what they believe to be occupation or the denial of having a recognized state? It’s all about perspective - but let me stop there before I am branded an antiSemite. On countless occasions we have crazed individuals bombing abortion clinics in the name of a Christian God, yet they are not terrorists?! And then there is fox (no capitals because I have no respect for that channel) happily airing its bigoted views (In my humble
The Last Word
opinion of course). Stupid people do stupid things. And that’s the bottom line. Part 2: On 7th January 2015 a dozen people were killed in Paris. On the same day a few hundred people (maybe thousands) are massacred in a little known town called Baga, Nigeria. A dozen people killed gets the world’s citizens, presidents (Africans included) and social media all up in arms, “Je suis Charlie” they say and condemn the violent attack.
is the voice of the AU? Let me ask another more pertinent question, what exactly is the AU’s use? If we don’t know how, can we not learn how? Can we not send our troops for proper
eloquently put it. Even WE, value western lives more than our own. I could be wrong, but we have a few dollar millionaires and billionaires on this continent, countries with raw minerals aplenty, yet we’re held to ransom by diseases such as Ebola, malaria, cholera, etc. until Bill Gates or Bono come and ‘pay the ransom’. Why do we hate our own?
“They understand the risks yet they continue to make potentially offensive commentary and profit from it. I believe strongly in freedom of speech, but there is a fine line though between that and being provocatively offensive.”
The world however is silent on the Africans who were shot or burnt alive in most cases by a similar fundamentalist group. We have all known for a while that not all lives in this world are equal, let’s not even get into the recent police killings in America. My agitation though, lies right here on this damn continent. In 2013, Africa had a population of 1.11bn, America 316.1mil and Europe 742.5mil. So we have resources. We have Boko Haram and Al Shabaab running amok in certain parts of this continent. But why are they being allowed to? Nigeria has people, money and means. It’s the largest producer of oil on this continent, thus plenty dollar bills! Now the actions of both Boko Haram and Al Shabab are deplorable in my humble opinion, but equally deplorable is the silence from the continent’s leaders, as well as the inaction. Where
training in the US, Soviet Union or China? Those countries are benefiting from our mineral wealth I’m sure they’d want for us to be ‘safe’ so they can continue to benefit? Part3: The western media ignores ‘our’ story and all of a sudden, Africans think we’re Michael Jackson and at the top of our voices we shout “They don’t really care about us” but my response to that is, SHUT UP! Why should they care if we don’t really care about us? So quickly we jump onto the ‘Charlie’ bandwagon, but a few hundred/thousand of our own die and it’s ‘oh shame’, but it’s in a Nigerian village. And therein lies most of our issues as a continent. We’re yet to be emancipated from mental slavery as Bob Marley so
I’ve lived in South Africa for 31years, my parents have educated many (and still do), uncles and aunts healed more, yet we go to a restaurant, Moyo Melrose Arch, query a legitimate error and the manager has the nerve to mutter, go back to your country. Now, say it was a German patron, would Reuben, the manager’s response be the same? That mentality is what holds us back from being great. I look at Cape Town’s beach front area, and then I look at Accra’s. The beach front of one is a sight to behold and the other, not so much, why? Someone decided to do something! Some might argue that’s because Accra has bigger fish to fry, and I will answer, but even those ‘bigger fish’ aren’t being fried! OUR OWN inaction, silence, inability to fend for ourselves - not because we can’t but because we choose not to – is the reason they don’t really care about us.
YAW PEPRAH Twitter - @yawzie
ANTON LUTTIG –
MONEYGRAM SOUTH EAST AFRICA REGIONAL DIRECTOR
riefly describe your background before taking up your current position? I started off my career in the telecommunications industry and this is my first job outside of the sector. My last job was in the supervised public payphone industry which is where I was first exposed to money transfers. My first mobile money transfer project was with a company called MIFA in Casablanca. Unfortunately our solution was technically not sound at that stage and we managed later to have much more success in Kenya. I travelled extensively in Southern Africa and learned a lot about how to successfully manage relationships with our agents in this region before I joined MoneyGram. Somehow, I’ve always ended up managing the most difficult agents / customers in my previous roles and I believe that this prepared me well to manage this region. Relationship management is a life skill that does not start and end at work. It applies to all areas of our lives. What does your job description entail – what do you do from day to day and which territories do you cover? I joined MoneyGram three years ago as a Business Development Manager and with the help of my Business Development Executive, we managed to sign 44 new contracts within nine months. Three years ago, we were worse off from a network perspective compared to Western Union. Today, we have surpassed their networks in five key markets and are also ahead of them across our entire regional network.
Currently I have the responsibility of driving growth in the eighteen countries that make up the South East Africa region. This region comprises
over 100 agent partnerships and over 6,000 locations. What are your thoughts on your employer and the brand promise that the organisation seeks to deliver to its customers? Our mission is to connect family, friends and loved ones through reliable, tenminute funds transfers. We help people send money to their families to cover expenses ranging from the everyday to emergencies, and everything in between. MoneyGram can be used for anything from sending a birthday surprise, starting a business, dealing with an emergency or paying for life’s everyday essentials. What has been the highlight of your career? In my capacity as Regional Director, I have driven the growth of MoneyGram’s business by making a new country live for MoneyGram namely Angola, and also introducing the first mobile and ATM service in Africa with First National Bank for both send and receive transactions.
What do you believe is your management and leadership style? I don’t follow one specific leadership style but rather adopt the style that meets the needs of the moment. My leadership challenge will always be to create positive change within my environment. This is and will never be easy and as a leader, I am still a work in progress. In fact, I firmly believe that my team will cease to grow if I don’t grow. In order to do so, I read as much as possible and love reading books on leadership. It is said that one’s success as a leader can only truly be judged once you leave the organization because we will be judged by how well the people we invested in perform after we are gone. You will have to find out from my staff how well I am doing so far. Who do you look up to / who inspires you? My mother was undoubtedly the biggest influence in my life. She passed on when I was only ten years old, but even today, I meet people who only have good things to say about her. Secondly, I love John Maxwell’s leadership books. He has been a huge influence in my life even though I’ve only met him once at a leadership conference in Cape Town. What do you do outside of work? I love photography, hiking and playing the handyman at home. KEITH KUNDAI Image courtesy of MoneyGram
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ZIMBABWE ACHIEVER AWARDS 1 - Berita Khumalo 2 - Event MCâ€™s Leroy Gopal and Bertha Charuma 3 - Representative of business of the year - Mail & Guardian Newspapers 4 - Female entrepreneur of the year Dr. Samukeliso Dube-Molokele 5 - Geoffrey Masuta - professional of the year 6 - David Tayler (centre) - male entrepreneur of the year
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ZIMBABWE ACHIEVER AWARDS 1 - Conrad Mwanza - ZAA Founder and Chairman 2 - Mkhululi Bhebhe - Music artist of the year 3 - Walter Mzembi - Minister for Tourism 4 - Lifetime Outstanding Contribution Award - Dorothy Masuku 5 - Performance from HHP 6 - Lawrence Dube receiving a trophy on behalf of the Friends of SA Award winner - Home Affairs SA
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ZIMBABWE ACHIEVER AWARDS 1 - Trophy received on behalf of the Sports Personality of the year - Tendai â€œBeastâ€? Mtawarira 2 - Media personality of the year - Simba Mhere (passed on in 2015 in a tragic car accident) 3 - Personality of the year - Barry Hilton 4 - Oliver Mtukudzi 5 - Trophy received on behalf of the Peoples Choice Award winner - Tonderai Mupamhanga 6 - ZAA - SA CEO Richard Moyo
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Published on Mar 5, 2015
Featuring SABC CFO James Aguma, PWC Africa CEO Suresh Kana, Fine Artist Miabo Enyadike and many other profiles, stories and contributions.