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Ecological Farming It Makes Cents
e all have a relative or know of someone who survives by planting a variety of crops on one or two acres of land. Every now and again, you visit them with a car boot laden with niceties; they reciprocate by filling your own boot with fresh produce from the two acre family farm. This, for many, is part of our childhood. But have you ever considered how that two acre farm and your relatives contribute to the national economy? Well, here is how. The family farm that you just “raided” is not unique to you; in fact, farmers who practice small-scale farming produce 70% of the world’s food using only a quarter of the world’s land. These famers work on less than two hectares of arable land, grow mainly subsistence crops, with one or two cash crops in addition, and rely almost exclusively on family labour. While small scale farmers contribute to food security, they receive very little or no support from their own governments. Instead most African governments are drumming up support and funding for corporate or industrial agriculture.
The general argument is that industrial agriculture will address food insecurity and poverty on the continent. To this end, agribusiness corporations are aggressively pushing for the use of fertiliser and
“Farmers who practice small-scale farming produce 70% of the world’s food using only a quarter of the world’s land…” pesticides onto farmers especially those on the African continent. However, industrial agriculture is not sustainable – relying on pesticides and fertiliser will wear the soil out eventually. While most literature describes small scale farming as backward and a kind of practice for peasants, Greenpeace Africa chooses to carry an entire campaign titled Food For Life that focusses on the plight of small scale farmers. It is Greenpeace Africa’s firm belief that the African continent can peg its development needs on its 33 million small scale farmers, most
of whom are women. Through ecological faming, Greenpeace Africa promotes an alternative farming system that is grounded in the protection of livelihoods, biodiversity and the environment. Ecological farming uses locally available resources to increase resilience to climate change and encourages food production that is healthy for people and the planet. It also diversifies yields, keeps money in the local economy, and increases resilience to climate change. So, the next time you sit with your member of parliament, a government official, or a potential investor, spare a thought for that small scale farmer or better yet, remind them that those farmers that feed us need to get a share of the national cake; ask them to support the research and extension work necessary to scale up ecological farming. It starts with you! Note: This campaign will be launched in East Africa in the first quarter of 2015. Susan Nakacwa Life Communications Greenpeace Africa
– Food for Manager at
Volunteering The “in thing” Greenpeace Africa prides itself in having a dedicated team of volunteers from across the continent who are worth their weight in gold. They share their time, talents and energy without any compensation. They have decided to be the change they want to see. Greenpeace needs passionate, energetic people as these; people who are keen to make a difference. Here is what some of our volunteers had to say: Eugene Wankya (19)
I am Kenyan but grew up in SA. I started volunteering in February 2014 and I am currently an Offline Mobilisation Intern. I admire the efforts to fight against climate change as it could result in the death of over 180 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone by the end of the century. I have worked with communities in different townships, interacted with the locals when I was conducting a survey for a project, helped plant trees for Miss Earth and doing research for colleagues. Conserving the environment starts with the little things that one can do. You can start by recycling waste at your home or the plastic you use, cycling instead of driving or switching off appliances you are not using to save electricity. The change begins with me – volunteering has really changed my perspective as a young man. It actually interesting to see that many of my peers now admire me.
Nasreen Kahn (27)
I have been volunteering for about four years now and the journey has been incredible! For years I had been a fervent online Greenpeace supporter, so when I heard that GP Africa wanted to start a local group in Durban, I immediately jumped at the opportunity. My journey has granted me experiences that have far surpassed my humble expectations. Having the same goals and concerns, without creed or greed, is absolutely powerful and uplifting. Greenpeace invests and equips their volunteers with invaluable knowledge allowing them to be capable when managing projects. I was fortunate to be part of a ten day solar training workshop. We learnt varied ways of harnessing solar power and its incredible potential as a sustainable energy source for South Africa. I have learnt the influence that ordinary citizens have and their potential to make a change. My friends and family are proud to see me be the agent of change. So ‘become a Greenpeace activist today, it will be the rent you pay for living on this planet!’ Reatlegile Lekalakala (21)
well looked after and appreciated. The highlight has to be the school talks that I did during arbour week, together with the Green Beings team and fellow volunteers. This because for me it was not just us talking at the learners and making them feel horrible about kicking that tree on their way to school in the morning, to me it was us planting a seed that I believe if well-nourished will blossom into great leaders of tomorrow, leaders that are environmentally aware and determined to make a difference. Seeing the learners eager to listen to what I had to say to them got me ready to do more and made me realize that it was my responsibility to do all that I can to make sure that the world is aware of the environmental tragedies we are facing. That is why I feel imperious when I see my friends being supportive and asking how they can get involved. I am proud to be a part of an organization that is strong enough to make a difference but also smart enough to know that we cannot do it on our own. In informing the youth of SA, we are one step closer to living in the world where leaders know how to make right choices not only for economic and social development but for the environment too. So what are you waiting for? Sign up today, become a Greenpeace volunteer and support our work to protect our precious planet and find the solutions we need to our most important environmental issues. Visit our website for more information on how to get involved.
Volunteering has helped me get one step closer to doing what I believe in; to make sure that our planet is
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
6 Editorial 7
Briefs - Articles available on our website
17 Cover Story - Shepherd Shonhiwa 21 Dr Dan & Trudy Echun 25 Yaw Dwomoh - Ghanaian-Born Restaurateur 29 Steve Mululu - Dreambody Fitness Owner 32 Budiriroâ€™s Moyo
Award-winning journalist turned entrepreneur
34 Culture and identity
5 African proverbs for professionals
36 Book Review 38 TAP Immigration 39 Moneygram extends relationship with Standard Bank 40 SA hosts first professional services awards 41 Why you need a driver for your portfolio 42 TAP Torque - The New Jaguar XE 45 Work-life balance for professionals 46 Marriage - When Yaw when? 48 Think before you post 50 TAP Social Pages www.theafricanpro.com
AN EBOLA-FREE FESTIVE SEASON Available at
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beyond the continent cannot distinguish between the different parts of Africa means that the continent in general has taken a reputational hit. The disease is quite topical and the epidemic - which we hope will end soon - must serve as a lesson on the need for proper strategies for disease identification and control.
he festive season is upon us and as we take a break from a long year, that word Ebola must be the highlight of 2014 in Africa. The interview we conducted with Dr’s Trudi and Dan Echun in this magazine issue, really enlightened me as to the extent of the damage caused by the epidemic. An estimated 20% of doctors in Liberia are said to have lost their lives. Given that it takes close to a decade to train one of these, the loss of such critical skills is one that will be difficult to recover from. The Wall Street Journal reported that “Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have all been burning holes in their finances trying to curb the outbreak, and a dramatic downturn in trade— specifically timber and rubber—will compound those troubles.” The already fragile airline industry has taken a pounding as a result of massively reduced travel to and from West Africa. The fact that many people
Another topical subject continued from our previous issue is that of the environment. We stay with that theme in our interview of one of Africa’s unsung leadership heroes - Shepherd Shonhiwa of Egoli Gas, a company that offers a natural alternative to harmful energy sources. Also in this issue, we feature Yaw Dwomoh, a restaurateur who hails from Ghana and is now dedicating his time to educating other aspiring entrepreneurs on the do’s and don’ts of business. Be sure to read Steve Mululu’s profile and find out how a man who grew up in one of Africa’s most poverty-stricken slums ends up owning a fitness centre in the continent’s richest square mile. Our final profile is that of Peter Moyo, a recent winner of the CNN Multichoice Journalist of the year award who is now trying his hand in the hospitality industry. We cap this issue with our regular as well as new contributors. Please enjoy Issue 17 and from all of us at TAP, have a healthy and pleasant festive season. KC ROTTOK Twitter: @africankc
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Publisher: The Proud African Professional (Pty) Limited Reg. Number: 2010/012428/07 10 Madison Square, 195 President Fouche Drive, Randburg Republic of South Africa Tel: 011 251 6325 www.theafricanpro.com & www.expatriate.co.za Director: Carol Malonza – firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @mueni8 Managing Editor: KC Rottok – email@example.com Twitter: @africankc Deputy Editor & Content Advisor Leah Maina Publishing Executive Dumisani Hlatshwayo Edition Writers/Contributors Keith Kundai Wanjiru Waichigo Chioneso Sakutukwa Andreas Krensel Yaw Peprah Loveness Khunou Patrick Mpedzisi Shupikai Gwabuya Grant Bushby Hesta van der Westhuizen Grant Bushby Photography Mzu Nhlabati www.creativenation.co.za Design Mike Obrien firstname.lastname@example.org Website Drutech Media www.drutechmedia.co.za Advertising Enquiries email@example.com To subscribe or contribute an article, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org All rights reserved. Excerpts may be usedas long as this magazine is credited as the source. Longer versions of our content may only be used with the written permission of the Publisher. Neither the publisher nor the editor accept responsibility for any of the information from edition writers or contributors. Whilst we have taken care in preparing this publication, the publisher/editor does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. The editor retains the right to edit all contributions. Advertisers are responsible for their material.
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LIKE & FOLLOW SELECTED TWEETS TO THE EDITOR
@africankc (over 14 000 followers) Titus Glavee (@Torgbui) @africankc that’s what I am talking about! This is what we call #RoleModelsOfInspiration. Bring more of such please. @africankc They say delusion is the first sign of madness. Will Kagame every step down like Madiba? Never!
Dumi Jere (@Dumi_Jere) Not sure what’s my take on this --->> DISCOVERY’S GORE: WHY WE WILL INVEST IN CHINA BUT NOT AFRICA africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs/… via @ africankc Raphiri Makola (@RaphiriMakola) @ africankc Interesting statement, any particular reason?’
SELECTED ONLINE COMMENTS Based on my experience, highly skilled people not only find jobs, but get several offers...the only problem comes when it is time to get a work permit. - S.K Ridiculous. Local qualified Chartered Accountants, Engineers, Teachers etc are unable to find permanent jobs in South Africa. I can refer you to several of them trying desperately to get employed. Cum Laude students cannot find jobs nor bursaries and you want to import foreigners?
smallwoodroad (@smallwoodroad) @africankc Your #digital mag bit. ly/1qgjEF9 is excellent keep up the good work. #ISSUU #africa #magazine #theafricanprofessional
Dr Mos Native Speaks (@The_ Mos_Native) “@africankc: #Zambian architect behind #SouthAfrica‘s most famous landmarks including #Greenpointstadium & #Gautrain” and #Nkandla. No?
Tom Robbins (@BaragwanathBiz) @ africankc why are there no Nigerian banks in South Africa? South Africa has banks from all over the world.
Aguil Lual Blunt (@AguilB) @africankc but that didn’t happen so maybe it’s time to update the piece? (Reappointment of Immigration Minister article)
(Reacting to Adcorp article on SA needing
Titus Glavee (@Torgbui) @africankc @sazinimojapelo #Ghanaian: ”If Educate a man u educate an individual, if u educate a woman, u #educate a Nation”by, Kwagyir Aggrey
Mi-Fone (@MiFone) Agreed, we need them...noW! RT @africankc: Fastjet CEO – why low cost no-frills airlines will work in #Africa bit.ly/1oMFgtm
- Joseph Howard Karamoja
Sdudla S’fabulous (@CurvyBelle01) @africankc Where can I get this copy? Someone just alerted me to it. pic. twitter.com/Pb65H0VjQq
I love the quote about leadership and execution... all other attributes do really become hollow.
- Utopian Indigent
One-77 (@TshenoloLobelo) Very true @africankc: InCaseYouMissedThis Read it now---> Opinion: 3 Reasons why B.E.E is killing entrepreneurship bit. ly/1hzqe2R” Simone Joye (@SimoneJoye) @africankc this is an awesome publication! Story on seychelles.. priceless! Thanks! Doy Arsene Sol (@doysol_) Eye opener “@africankc: InCaseYouMissedThis Read it now- Opinion: 3 Reasons why B.E.E is killing entrepreneurship bit. ly/1hzqe2R” Pam Dube(@PamieDube) @africankc wonderful. And this is how the world becomes a better place I believe
Where is this showing?
(Reacting to Dragons Den online article)
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- Michelle Zimvu RavennaGhanaLimited (@RavennaGhana) @africankc I think this exclusion of WOMEN in general decision making is causing many problems in the entire world. @sazinimojapelo @africankc true true KC it’s what has led to Hand in Hands success in changing peoples lives
(Reacting to the article on TEN VALUABLE LESSONS FROM ZIMBABWE’S BEST EVER FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR)
I love the blunt truth , someone’s gotta say it sometime. - Kiiru-kundu Hildabertha Love it eye opener.
Habib Bolaji Ibrahim (@greatkode) @africankc Correct and China will only give you a sheep and in return take an elephant back from you. A case of the deep red sea and devil. www.theafricanpro.com
- Masavah Vincent (Reacting to PORTFOLIO LIFE, MONEY, PRIORITIES AND BLOODY JONES blogpost)
ARTICLES AVAILABLE ON THEAFRICANPRO.COM
BEST YOUNG AFRICAN ENTREPRENEUR HONOURED AT ANZISHA PRIZE 2014 Alain Nteff (Cameroon), founder of Gifted Mom was announced as the grand prize winner of the 4th annual Anzisha Prize Award, receiving a $25 000 cash prize to support his social business. He leads a rising tide of West African youth entrepreneurs. Full story on www.africanpro. co.za/entrepreneurs
AFRICAN MARKETING CONFEDERATION HOSTS FIRST CONTINENTAL SUMMIT The African Marketing Confederation was set to host its first continental Summit from 15-18 October, at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. The event is co-hosted by one of the AMC’s founding members, the Marketers Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ), with the other five founding members in support: Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG); National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria (NIMN); Marketing Society of Kenya (MSK); Zambian Institute of Marketing (ZIM); and the Institute of marketing Management South Africa (IMM). It was postponed due to fear of the spread of the Ebola virus from West African visitors. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/organisation
ANNE AMUZU – GHANAIAN CO-FOUNDER OF NANDIMOBILE LTD Anne Amuzu is the Co-Founder of Nandimobile Ltd, a software company which focuses on serving the technological needs of businesses in Ghana. Its core business is leveraging mobile phones for communications between businesses and their customers. Nandimobile was founded in July 2010 by Amuzu and two fellow graduates of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology, a school in Ghana. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
ARTICLES AVAILABLE ON THEAFRICANPRO.COM
LEADERSHIP INSIGHTS FROM ZIM-BORN GROUP CEO OF MTN 10
ULWAZI GROUP CEO BONGANI MABIZELA We profile Bongani Mabizela, founder and Group CEO of Ulwazi Group, a multifunctional company which currently operates in seven South African provinces, and recently set up in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ulwazi translates to ‘knowledge’ in Zulu and was a fitting choice of name for Mabizela when he founded his engineering firm Ulwazi Development in 2006. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ entrepreneurs
Zimbabwean-born MTN Group President and CEO Sifiso Dabengwa shared some expedient leadership wisdom at Regenesys School of Business. In 2013 Dabengwa reportedly topped the list of the highest paid CEO in telecoms and technology. Full story on www. africanpro.co.zaa/professionals
CHINGONZO: 21 YEAR OLD WHO CHALLENGED OBAMA ON ZIM BUSINESS SANCTIONS Read about Takunda Ralph Michael Chingonzo, a 21 year old entrepreneur from Zimbabwe who recently spoke to US President Barack Obama at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Washington. Chingonzo revealed the challenges that he and his fellow young Zimbabwean entrepreneurs face in their attempt to get US based companies to do business with them due to Zimbabwe being under targeted sanctions. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ entrepreneurs
predators like lions away. the details of his riveting Ted Talk on www.africanpro.co.za/ entrepreneurs
DANGOTE: DRAGONS DEN SOUTH AFRICA LAUNCHES Dragons’ Den is a British television series based on the original Japanese series, which has been sold around the world. The programme has been produced by BBC Manchester since its inception and recently launched in South Africa on the Mzanzi Magic channel (DSTV 161) airing at 7pm every Tuesday. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
TURERE: TED TALK FROM MAASAI BOY INVENTOR Thirteen year old Richard Turere is the inventor of an apparatus called “lion lights,” a fence made using basic pieces (solar charging cells, flashlight parts), which can quickly scare
DANGOTE – JOBS THE SOLUTION TO BOKO HARAM Aliko Dangote is widely regarded as Nigeria and Africa’s richest man. He is the founder and chairman of the Dangote Group which is listed on Nigeria’s Stock Exchange with interests in cement, manufacturing, packing and distribution. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Dangote indicated that he believes the solution to the raging terrorism group Boko Haram lies in job creation. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
TEN VALUABLE LESSONS FROM NDHLUKULA, FOUNDER OF SECURICO ZIMBABWE Divine Ndhlukula is the Founder and Managing Director of Securico, a security company that is based in Zimbabwe. Ndhlukula founded her security company in 1999 on her kitchen table with limited resources. Speaking at the Anzisha prizegiving ceremony, she revealed that all she did was ‘to bridge the gap in the market’. It has grown to be a respectable profitable entity and the founder offered ten valuable lessons. Full story on www.africanpro. co.za/entrepreneurs
ARTICLES AVAILABLE ON THEAFRICANPRO.COM
AWARD WINNING DRC ‘RAPE DOCTOR’ Gynecologist Denis Mukwege from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) won the European Parliament’s Sakharov accolade for Freedom of Thought. The 59-year-old gynaecologist founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukavu in 1998, during a period of war in the DRC, where today he still treats victims of sexual violence who have sustained serious injuries. Full story on www.africanpro. co.za/professionals
AFRICA’S JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR It was the courage of a freelance journalist, Joseph Mathenge that gave Kenyans a sneak preview into what really happened on 21 September 2013 when terrorists attacked Westgate Mall. To this day, Mathenge’s photographs remain engrained in our memories and those images propelled him to win the CNN Multichoice Africa Journalist of the Year Award. Full story on www.africanpro. co.za/professionals
mFarm FOUNDERS: AWARD-WINNING FEMALE TRIO FROM KENYA Linda Kwamboka, Susan Oguya and Jamila Abass are cofounders of mFarm a software solution that connects Kenyan farmers. The trio has a strong background in IT. M-Farm, an award-winning software and agribusiness company has been in business for four years. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ technology
TWINOBURYO’S SCIMATICS SOLUTIONS SCOOPS 702 AWARD Stephen Twinoburyo, the founder of the Association of Ugandan Professionals in South Africa, runs Scimatics Solutions, where he teaches young people maths and science. He has been previously featured in The African Professional magazine and today we bring you yet another success story from this hard-working professional from Kampala. His company recently scooped a Radio 702 Small Business Award. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ entrepreneurs
YOUNG MAURITIAN ENTREPRENEUR WITH A THRIVING BREWERY Oscar Olsen (37) is one of the few brave entrepreneurs who have managed to turn passion into a thriving business. He owns a restaurant called “Flying Dodo”, a microbrewery and beer house in Mauritius. Flying Dodo Brewing Company is part of the ICE Ltd group and it opened Lambic beer imports and restaurant in 2009 and Flying Dodo Brewing Company later in 2012. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/entrepreneurs
HEADING ETHIOPIA’S FIRST WOMEN-OWNED BANK In 2013, about 11 women most of whom had already made a name for themselves, made a decision to launch a bank in Ethiopia. They founded Enat Bank the first women owned bank in Ethiopia. Full story on www.africanpro.co.za/ entrepreneurs
ARTICLES AVAILABLE ON THEAFRICANPRO.COM
ZIMBABWE ACHIEVER AWARDS NOMINEE FUNCTION 14
AFRICA’S 1st EDUCATION TABLET Thierry N’Doufou’s company Siregex Plc has introduced the very first tablet computer to replace textbooks. Learners in Ivory Coast can rest assured that their days of carrying cumbersome backpacks stuffed with textbooks are coming to an end. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/technology
The nominees for the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards were announced at a black tie event held at La Toscana in Monte Casino Johannesburg on Thursday 11th September 2014. The event included speeches from Richard Moyo, the CEO of the Awards, Zeb Manatse, the panel chair and Peter Mureu from the headline sponsors Moneygram. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/organisations
CENTUM’S MWORIA: PROFILE OF RECENT AFRICAN YOUNG BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR James Mworia began his career as an intern working in the Centum Investments filing room in 2001, while studying for his chartered financial analyst exams in the evenings. He worked diligently despite having two university degrees and several other financial and accounting diplomas and certificates. Today he is the CEO of the company and a recent winner of the African Young Business Leader of the year. Full story on www. africanpro.co.za/professionals
EGOLI GAS MANAGING DIRECTOR
eated in the boardroom of Egoli Gas in Auckland Park Johannesburg, I ask the company’s Managing Director, Shepherd Shonhiwa whether he is a jack of all trades and master of none – a potentially fitting description for a man who has been at the helm of various businesses in multiple industries including gas, media, franchising, brewing, sugar, motor vehicle, financial services and business consulting. “Business leadership is about putting together structures and policies and the ability to coordinate and motivate the various components of the business,” he responds. “It is about harnessing the five key resources of people, money, technical, product and IT in the appropriate ratios and making money out of it. So if today they ask me to go and run an airline, I will apply exactly the same principles and make money out of it.”
before joining the team at McDonalds South Africa when the international fast food chain was setting up its first 43 stores in the country.” As one of few highly qualified and experienced black business leaders at the time, Shonhiwa was frequently head hunted and well rewarded by each new
associates in setting up Gateway Business Consultants, a company in which he remained a shareholder and non-executive director when he took over the Managing Director position at Egoli Gas in April 2012. “I was brought in to manage the business when the subsidiary of Reatile Group in which I have an interest was looking to increase its shareholding from 25% to 100%.Reatile is a black owned investment holding company formed in 2003 to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the economic transformation in industrial sectors of the South African economy.”
“I think our education system is producing a lot of technocrats but not nearly enough business leaders. A lack of business leaders in Africa makes us unable to harness the opportunities that are available to us....”
Shonhiwa pursued a social sciences degree in the 70’s at what was then the University of Rhodesia in his native Zimbabwe. He subsequently completed an MBA at the same university in the course of his working career which includes stints at Triangle Sugar Estates, Amalgamated Motor Corporation and Ford Swaziland. “In 1994, I relocated to South Africa as a management consultant during the inception of the Minerals and Energy Policy Centre tasked with policy research to advise the Mandela government. I was only there for a year
entity for his skills. He was appointed the Chief Operating Officer of Times Media Limited where he worked for three and a half years before joining the Thebe Investment Corporation. “I was appointed CEO of their petroleum company and was involved in negotiating the integration into Shell as their BEE partner. I subsequently served as the Regional CEO of Shell LPG Southern Africa better known at the time for the Easigas brand.” In 2009, Shonhiwa left the company to join up with a few of his business
Egoli Gas (Pty) Ltd is a natural gas reticulator based in Johannesburg and servicing more than 7, 500 domestic, central water heating, commercial and industrial businesses in the Johannesburg area. Its origins date back to 1892, when a 30 metre gas pipeline was first installed in President Street for street lighting purposes. Johannesburg has remained the only South African city with piped gas infrastructure and the company has 1200 kilometres of underground pipelines. “Natural gas is harvested in Mozambique and imported to the country by Sasol. We are one of the reticulators who acquire that gas and supply various businesses. We pride ourselves in being a natural energy source and a green alternative to other energy sources. As you know going green is very topical at the moment, it is today what I.T. was ten years ago.”
I return the conversation to Shonhiwa himself and ask him what his leadership and management style is given that he has been the head of several major corporations to date.
idea but if left to implement it, he may behave like a bull in a china shop and destroy it by devolving to the lowest common denominator. That is where a business leader comes in.”
“Management to me represents the here and now while leadership involves focusing on the future. That is how I view the two. You could call my style participative as I like to involve the team while leading from the front being careful to correct mistakes when made.”
Shonhiwa still maintains ties to his native Zimbabwe which he visits at least once a month. “I have business interests there. Thankfully the hyperinflation situation is now past us but doing business there is quite expensive as a result of low manufacturing capacity which leads us to import most of our inputs.”
“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do....”
He goes on to say that he has a passion for growing businesses which in turn results in growing the quality of workers and society at large by providing a needed product at a price that is within their reach.
“I am at a stage in my career where I am focusing on mentorship using the experience I have gathered in various industries. I think our education system is producing a lot of technocrats but not nearly enough business leaders. A lack of business leaders in Africa makes us unable to harness the opportunities that are available to us.” The business leader role is one that Shonhiwa embraces as opposed to terming himself as an entrepreneur. “An entrepreneur is a person who has a bright spark. He comes up with a good
When he reveals that he has authored two books “Signposts to Service Excellence” and “The Effective Cross-
Cultural Manager – A Guide for African Business Leaders” – I ask him where on earth he finds the time given his busy schedule. He concludes our interview with this quote from Lucille Ball.
“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.”
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DR DANIEL & TRUDI ECHUN
AFRICAN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS LOOKING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
n seeing the suffering of many people from sickle cell anaemia in his native Uganda, Dr Daniel Echun decided that he would pursue medicine with a view to finding a cure to this debilitating disease. It helped that his father was an excellent veterinary doctor who was credited in the history of the science with discovering a strain of a livestock disease. The Echun’s found themselves in exile in Kenya having been smuggled across the border under the guise of being part of a soccer team. He recalled in an interview with TAP that his father was targeted for execution by the then ruler Idi Amin.
of studying just one thing. We did all manner of things from caesarean sections to post-mortems. You literally had to be everything to everyone.” Echun lamented that Africans sometimes tend to look down at the value and potential of African training
invited to Stellenbosch Tygerberg Hospital and their eyes were opened to the clash between first world facilities and third world needs. “We visited Cape Town, Durban and finally Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. We realized that we could do more in South Africa than Scotland. The ability to reach our full potential was more of a reality here and we were also attracted to the fact that the focus on research was quite strong.”
“In the 40 years prior to my arrival in Scotland, no one had ever written the full examinations and passed them all in one sitting. I credit most of that success to the medical studies I received in Zambia…”
“I later got placement at a college in Wales to study for an International Baccalaureate diploma and in 1980 I moved to Zambia to pursue tropical medicine - a branch of health studies that focuses on diseases that are common to tropical regions,” he said. It was at the University of Zambia that he found love when he met Trudi who was in the same medical college. She is a physician by profession, his wife and business partner. Throughout his medical studies, Echun considered himself a pioneer. “I spearheaded the Physician for Social Responsibility programme which pioneered the dispatch of medical information across third world countries. At the time there were only about 250 doctors in the whole of Zambia so we did not have the luxury
institutions. We sometimes believe that you can only get quality education and treatment from abroad. “I pursued my undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Zambia. I only went to Scotland to pursue a fellowship armed with the training I had received in Africa. In the 40 years prior to my arrival, no one had ever written the full examinations and passed them all in one sitting. In fact, most academics believed it was impossible to pass all the exams without failing but I managed to conquer all three examinations in my first attempt. I credit most of that success to the medical training I received in Zambia.” Soon after Nelson Mandela was released from prison, the Echuns were
Although he was a trained surgeon, Dr Dan was required to work in the administration and transformation of the hospital. In 1999, as head of the burn unit at Baragwanath, he was involved in pioneering the Burn Centre - a first of its kind - through a private public partnership. The model was so successful that it informed the establishment of the renal, paediatric hematology and cardiology centres at the hospital. In 2003, the Echuns founded Nkhwazi Healthcare, a company aimed at improving the lives of Africans through innovative strategies. “We asked ourselves, as professionals what have you done to elevate the status of your profession, not just in your individual practice but for the community at large. We believe we have to move out our silos; it is a moral imperative which we owe to our profession and to the people who have enabled us to be where we are like the people who helped my family when I was a refugee in Kenya.” Through Nkhwazi, the Echuns visited
“In Uganda, Dr. Lukwiya was one of the heroes who diagnosed Ebola and took quick measures to have it contained, losing his life in the process. Other African medical professionals have not played a similar role in sketching a plan and setting the agenda for prevention…”
Uganda and found that in Kalangala district, expectant mothers could not continue living on the island because there was no mode of transport to ferry them across to the mainland to give birth. Consequently, they developed and pioneered a boat ambulance which will serve the islands on Lake Victoria.
near Lanseria. In 2003, we visited the area and were shocked when we found people overwhelmed by disease. We joined forces with a missionary Sr Jean Stuart and set up a small clinic with funding support from USAID which has transformed the area,” recounted Dr Trudi.
“In South Africa we have opened a clinic in Refilwe, a squatter camp
The company has embarked on customized healthcare solutions such as mobile clinics in partnership with corporate entities like Samsung. Beyond Nkhwazi, Dr Dan is a director with Circle Healthcare, a company which provides subacute healthcare through rehabilitation clinics. The couple is also involved in commercial property investments and IT communication technology. Before Voice Over Internet Protocol like Skype, they partnered with an American company to bring in a call back system. Dr Dan still practices as a surgeon in both public and private hospitals and was involved in setting up the very first Casualty at Lesedi Hospital. Dr Trudi
is also practicing family medicine but the couple has scaled down their medical services to dedicate more efforts towards collaborative efforts to expand their innovative solutions to the rest of the continent. Speaking of the continent, when asked about Ebola, Dr Dan said that it is sad that the epidemic has been allowed to continue to spread. “It is an unnecessary tragedy; we should have learnt from the lessons of the past. We have had four Ebola outbreaks in Uganda and others in DRC in the past but we did not learn from that. In Uganda, Dr Lukwiya was one of the heroes who diagnosed the disease and took quick measures to have it contained, losing his life in the process. African medical professionals did not play a similar role in sketching a plan and setting the agenda for prevention. We instead blamed our authorities and the West for not intervening, yet we should have been at the forefront of putting the relevant measures in place.” DUMISANI HLATSHWAYO
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GHANAIAN-BORN RESTAURATEUR AND BUSINESS COACH
aw Dwomoh is a Ghanaian born entrepreneur who came to South Africa in the early 90’s with barely anything to his name. In an interview with TAP at his restaurant, he is quick to reveal his passion for sharing his experience and knowledge with budding entrepreneurs. “What I have come to realize about small business owners is, they need consultative help but can’t afford the service. I have ended up mentoring and coaching small businesses out of my own pocket.” Dwomoh was born in Accra 43 years ago to a family that hails from the mining town of Kumasi in the inland part of Ghana. “After I completed my A levels in 1990, I moved to Holland and stayed there for a few months. On my return to Ghana, I found out that my father lost his job as a senior security officer at the Obuasi Mine. As he was the main breadwinner, this meant that we were strained financially and I was taken in by a family friend in Obuasi.” Without a clear career path in his home country, Dwomoh took a chance and applied for a visa to South Africa which to his surprise was granted within a few weeks. He flew to Johannesburg where he stayed with the Shakoane family who were familiar to his hosts in Obuasi. “They were based in Randfontein and I got a temporary job at Plascon Paints whose Johannesburg offices were not too far from where I was staying. It was a three month stint in the HR Department where I was meant to assist in the absence of one of the workers
who was on maternity leave. Towards the end of my contract, my boss Paul Hutchinson said he was impressed with my hard work and asked me to stay on.” In addition to extending his contract, Hutchinson encouraged Dwomoh to study part time. The latter completed a two year diploma in HR and subsequently an MBA through distance learning with a Dutch-based institution.
“I will never forget one incident in particular where we went to issue retrenchment letters to staff in Polokwane. One lady was so shocked by the news, she looked me dead in the eye and said ‘but you are just as young as my son, how can you do this to me?’ Then she collapsed and had to be taken away by an ambulance. We left her retrenchment letter and continued with our assignment. Such was the somewhat heartless nature of the task.”
“As an entrepreneur, I don’t want other people to go through what I went through when I first went into business. I have mentored a lot of people as I do not want the knowledge I have gained to go to waste....” In 1999, Dwomoh started looking for a new challenge and secured a HR Manager role at Edcon’s Johannesburg credit office. He was hired at a time when Edcon was restructuring and was incorporated to what he calls ‘Edcon’s consolidation team.’ This rare opportunity exposed Dwomoh to varying degrees of staff interaction which also meant that he was occasionally the bearer of bad news.
Dwomoh continued to rise within Edcon eventually holding a senior position within the transformation department. They modelled the idea of granting previously disadvantaged store owners 49% ownership of the store which got underway after a few internal challenges in getting the stores handed to the programme. In 2006, entrepreneurship came calling in the form of a hair distribution business. “It was a dismal failure. People say that it didn’t work out because I was in the hair business and yet I don’t have any!”
His entrepreneurial ambition was not deterred by this disappointment. He dusted himself off and started looking around for another business opportunity. “I met the owner of this premises in 2007 who was interested in selling. I always thought it would be cool to own a bar and restaurant and I was under the impression that it was a very financially rewarding industry. But like one out of ten budding entrepreneurs, I went into an industry that I knew very little about.” In spite of being
regularly full, Mammas Shebeen failed to make money when he took over. A member of Dwomoh’s management team managed to sustain a successful fraudulent operation consisting of ghost waiters and voiding of transactions. The experience forced the new owner to dedicate time to understand the business and become more hands on.
“The more I learnt, the more passionate I became about it. I can write a thesis on this business. It had a predictable trading cycle until recently when this strip became a bit over-traded, and rejuvenation of other parts of the city have led to competition. But it remains about service, quality and value for money [and] hygiene. It is also very technical process that starts with buying raw material and ends with you converting it into cash.” The restaurant is authentically South African with a rustic feel to it. Art pieces make up the décor including paintings of legends like Bob Marley, Che Guevara and Jimmy Hendricks. “It is important to our regulars that they connect with the place. People make or break the establishment including the 21 members of staff that we have here. It is a daily challenge ensuring your customers are happy even in difficult situations such as when they differ on what games we should screen on our dual-view decoders.” Having failed as an entrepreneur and persevering through difficult periods - some of which could have been avoided - Dwomoh recently set up DAK Consulting, a company aimed at training aspiring entrepreneurs.
“I don’t want other people to go through what I went through. I have mentored a lot of people as I do not want the knowledge I have gained to go to waste. I have begun conversations with the [relevant] government agencies to come up with programmes that can reach wannabe businesspeople and train them on such aspects as emotional intelligence – the ability to monitor the emotional investment you have in your business.”
Pic by George Proxenos
DREAMBODY FITNESS OWNER
he odds are completely stacked against you when you are born into a polygamous family in rural Kenya, with over fifty siblings and never experience the luxury of going beyond primary school. It is therefore not surprising that Steve Mululu found himself forced to eke out a life of squalor in East Africa’s largest slum, Kibera. Today he is, astonishingly, the owner of a prestigious gym within the richest square mile in Africa. “I moved to Kenya’s capital city at the age of sixteen and stayed in the slum,” he recalled in an interview with TAP. “I went to get a job at a government factory but I decided against it when I spotted a man who had been there for 40 years looking completely hunched with his nose touching the floor. I decided that was not going to be my future.”
with only USD100 to his name. His first stop was Small Street in the Central Business District where he booked himself into a cheap hotel and went around looking for a gym. “Some three guys jumped out of an alley ready to mug me. Instinctively, I threw a jab which floored one of them and the others took off to call reinforcements.
and didn’t have much money. It turned out he was an estate agent with a number of empty apartments.” The American let Mululu stay at an unoccupied flat for a full year asking nothing in return other than the duo training together. In addition, Mululu ended up working at the gym for over a decade, initially as a salaried employee before becoming a rent-paying trainer with private clients. He occasionally took up bodyguard roles for visiting celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Naomi Campbell.
“Mululu has come a very long way from the rough slum life in Kenya. He left us with this quote that he lives by: Never give up on your dreams. Live them in your head, then live them later.....”
Mululu became a young entrepreneur, buying clothes from a second-hand market and walking across town to hawk to middle-class buyers. In the evenings, he would spend his time at a local boxing gym because this is where the “influential guys in the neighbourhood would hang out”. With a natural athletic build, he was called upon to train others in fitness which became a rewarding occupation to the point that he abandoned his hawking activities altogether. In the late nineties, a friend who had moved to South Africa sent word home that there were plenty of opportunities in Johannesburg. Mululu flew down
I managed to run back to the hotel but the hotel security manager told me I couldn’t stay there any longer because I now had a target on my back. He instructed a taxi to take me to Sandton.” Mululu asked the taxi driver to take him to a gym. He was dropped off outside Health and Racquet Morningside (now Virgin Active) and he walked in to look for a job. “At the entrance, this American guy greeted me warmly asking me where I had been since he last saw me. He confused me for somebody else but I carried on with the conversation. He asked me where I was staying and I told him I was at a cheap hotel
In 2011, he decided it was time to fly his own flag. He approached many of his top corporate personal training clients for funding but they all declined to help. “I was very surprised. Some of these guys could spend over a million rand buying their kids their first cars; what I was asking for was minimal in comparison. I realised it was a control issue. They were very happy to spend say R100, 000 on me to take me on holiday but were unwilling to spend that same amount investing in a business idea that would empower me.” He had decided on the Sunninghill area having established that there were approximately 35 large companies employing 70,000 corporates in the area. A gym at The Core building had just closed down and he approached the landlady for the space. Without the necessary down payment, she was not receptive to the idea of leasing space to him. “For eight weeks, I emailed the sales
director of Life Fitness equipment in the US about the potential of increasing their market share in Africa. I never received a response. Then out of the blue, he called me saying that he is in Johannesburg. I brought him to the facility and sold him the idea of using this space as an exhibition area.” The conversation led to Mululu securing preferential payment terms for the equipment. He used that to secure over a hundred pre-sales of gym contracts in the area which gave him the necessary funding to set up shop in the building. 30
“I used inexpensive marketing tools like distributing discount vouchers, giving out T-shirts, writing articles and visiting corporate entities with promotional healthy lunch packs.” With over 80% female membership, Dreambody Fitness differs from other gyms as it has a strong focus “on human energy rather than short-term fitness”. Mululu explained that many people have a goal of losing weight for a particular reason such as fitting into one’s wedding dress when they come to the gym. “Once they lose weight for the set purpose, they go back to gaining it when they leave the gym. We have a goal-oriented 12 week programme which focuses on addressing why people gain weight in the first place. It involves educating you on how your body works and
its relationship to food. Most people who visit gyms have no clue about their body and just jump onto equipment and think they are working out.”
The layout and content of the gym differs from other similar facilities in that it includes items such as an old truck tyre for people to hammer and the replica of a well. Mululu revealed this is inspired by the fact that people in traditional environments who chop wood and fetch water from wells have strong cores. Three years in, the gym is a resounding success thriving on the back of a throbbing referral system from people whose lives have been changed by signing up. Mululu also credits his pet dog Osama who has become a recognisable mascot on all billboard advertising the company undertakes. He indicates that he has had a number of franchise offers but would like to focus on strengthening his systems before going that route. That said, plans are underway to open a second gym in Fourways. Mululu has come a very long way from the rough slum life in Kenya. He left us with this quote that he lives by. “Never give up on your dreams. Live them in your head, then live them later.” KC ROTTOK
AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST TURNED LEISURE ENTREPRENEUR
eter Moyo began practicing his future profession at school by winning story writing competitions, initiating a writer’s club and contributing to newspapers. He was born in Zimbabwe and spent part of his formative years frolicking in his grandfather’s farm in Madziwa before the family moved to Zvishavane, a mining town in Midlands Province of Zimbabwe.
It also meant moving from a beautiful two bedroomed flat overlooking the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to student accommodation in Brixton Johannesburg.” In 2004, Moyo got another job with DSTV as their online writer which was only a six month stint. His employers had the option of renewing the contract, depending on how they felt about his
ETV as a publicist. During a diary meeting, he impressed the host of the channel’s investigative offering 3rd Degree – Ms. Debora Patta. “I ended up also contributing a story because I am a very good researcher. After the meeting, Debora approached me to join her team. That was how I ended up being trained to be one of first black producers working for the highly reputable show.”
“I was coming from the night shift and was squeezed in a taxi with other passengers when it was pulled to the side by the police. My darker complexion sold me out and I ended up detained at the Lindela Repatriation Centre and with that the contract renewal opportunity went begging….”
“I was an avid reader at school - I think I covered the entire library,” he gleefully recalled in an interview with TAP at his guesthouse in Randburg. Among writers who inspired Moyo greatly are Dambudzo Marechera, the renowned Zimbabwean author of The House of Hunger. After failing to secure a job with his country’s national broadcaster, Moyo joined The Standard newspaper where he was responsible for features. His brilliant reporting skills were soon recognized; first in 2002 when he was named arts and entertainment writer of the year, and the following year when he was named arts and entertainment editor of the year. “Zimbabwe was becoming a small place for me to do that I wanted. I met with Sandile Memela, when he was still editor of Sowetan SundayWorld and the newspaper offered me a freelance position. It was a big move, from an arts and entertainment editor to an occasional writer with no title.
performance but his hopes were dashed by events outside the workplace. “I was coming from the night shift and was squeezed in a taxi with other passengers when it was pulled to the side by the police. My darker complexion sold me out and I ended up detained at the Lindela Repatriation Centre and with that, the contract renewal opportunity went begging.” Moyo however kept his head held high and secured a position at
During his tenure at ETV, Moyo did a story called Root of All Evil, which was about a pyramid scheme that started at a church west of Johannesburg. It was an organized network that conned people out of more than 75 million rand. The piece led to Moyo winning a television features prize at the prestigious CNN Africa Journalist of the Year awards.
“I have a very fidgety nature, I just can’t stay at the same place for a long period of time. I left ETV to join SABC’s Special Assignment. I intended to only stay there for two years but have remained there on a part time basis as I pursue business interests on the side.” The business Moyo refers to is a collection of two to four star guest houses under the banner of Budiriro Leisure Resorts, christened after the Shona word for ‘prosperity’ which is also his nick-name. “We opened our first guest house in 2009. I changed my parents’ house
into a guesthouse and marketed it very well as a sanctuary for tourists visiting during the FIFA Soccer World Cup in 2010. The success of this first guest house led to opening other several guest houses which also became a resounding success.” Today Budiriro Leisure Resorts includes four guest houses, spa, banqueting and conference facilities.
farm less than ten minutes from the Modimolle/Nylstroom town which offers six self-contained two bedroom chalets, three one bedroom cottages and more than six en suite bedrooms. Moyo concluded the interview by pointing out his reasons for pursuing entrepreneurship.
“Randburg Cottages offers excellent self-catering accommodation in Randburg, Johannesburg, in three cottages each fully furnished and sleeping up to four guests. We also have 3 bedrooms, all en suite, with access to lounge, dining and kitchen, should you need self-catering. The cottages are set on one property in a large garden and feature a private entrance, a fully equipped kitchen with a microwave, stove, fridge and cooking utensils, as well as a lounge area equipped with satellite television.”
“I can only endure doing the same thing over and over again if I am doing it for myself. I cannot continue working for someone forever otherwise I will be taking the risk of being declared redundant.”
The second property is the Mohlware Lodge. Located in the North Riding Nature Reserve in Johannesburg, it offers accommodation less than two kilometres from The Coca Cola Dome and Northgate Shopping Centre. Set in rich bushland area, it offers glimpses of African wildlife such as the Springbok, Zebra and Impala.
“Further afield is the Mossel Bay Beach House located within walking distance of the Mossel Bay beach. It is a four bedroomed, all en suite accommodation, a thatched home nestled in the fynbos at the tranquil Springerbaai Eco Coastal Estate near Boggomsbaai.” Finally, there is the Kransvley Farm Resort in Limpopo, a 136 hectare
CULTURE AND IDENTITY 5 AFRICAN PROVERBS FOR AFRICAN PROFESSIONALS
ave you ever wondered why some people appear unauthentic and fail to grasp the concept of professionalism in an African sense? Or have you ever been confused as to why some consider professionalism a synonym for western values or traits? What are the tenets of African professionalism?
Image from istockphoto.com
As with most other regions, it begins with knowing oneself and gleaning the positive attributes of your identity. Using simple and familiar language and techniques, we are better able to understand ourselves and determine what and how to borrow and learn from others in order to improve ourselves. Over some time mitupo.org
has compiled resources that enable us better understand our environment and bring out the best of who we are. This article serves to demonstrate how the use of something simple as traditional African proverbs can illustrate that we have always had professionalism and a strong work ethic.
NGU MA TIRA OZONYUTJI, OUTJI KEN A KURYA (HERERO) The literal meaning of the proverb is, one who is afraid of bees never gets to eat honey. In order for one to access the honey, they inevitably have to get past the bees which will seek to sting them. The proverb highlights the linkage between a peril/risk and opportunity. It advises that one may never achieve anything if they are unwilling to take the risk. It is similar to the English saying no pain, no gain. KUBAYA TANGE HAMA KUTI VATORWA VAKUTYE (SHONA) Explained literally, this proverb means that if one is to kill/stab someone, they must start with their relatives so that strangers may fear them. This is based on the practice of chiefs who, in enforcing the rules of the land, would first ensure that all those close to them abided by those rules.
proverb observes that it is the antelope that reacts late (or slowest) that is most likely be caught and killed. In this way the proverb underscores the importance of not being left behind by moving early with the rest of the pack. When opportunities present themselves, not all of us are able to see and act on them to our advantage. The key lesson here is that as professionals we must always be alert and act promptly lest our gains are endangered or an opportunity is lost due to late response. OKWATIRA KWA PHENZI SAOPA KUNG’AMINA (CHICHEWA) Loosely translated, the proverb means that one who gets married to lightening must then not fear light. This relates to people who court danger or trouble - they should be ready to face the
of this is that one must bury their pride and do what may be laughable to others but is necessary for their survival. People often develop a certain pride and fear being mocked yet such mocking does not kill them. In the event that they lose out on the key gains, they stand to face greater humiliation. Simply put it is better to be laughed at than to die. These randomly selected proverbs from an ever-growing bank of more than 300 proverbs demonstrate, the level of insight our ancestors had over different areas of life. We have for years underestimated our history and traditions and have unintentionally sabotaged the dynamism within ourselves. We have for a long time undervalued ourselves and always come second best by emulating values and principles that are sometimes alien to us, when there is an opportunity to be best. Proverbs are just one example.
“One who is afraid of bees never gets to eat honey....”
Once people notice that, even the relatives and close relatives are subject to those rules, they begin to respect the leader. The central lesson is that one earns respect as an impartial superior when their followers get to know that even close associates are expected to follow the same rules. EVUKA MUVA IBANJWA YIZINJA (NDEBELE)
In its literal sense the proverb means dogs will catch the animal that rises late. Based on the hunting expeditions of our ancestors where dogs would be let loose on small antelopes, the
consequences as they arise. In much the same way, as professionals we should be responsible for the consequences of our actions. Inversely that means we should not court danger unnecessarily. The English equivalent of this one is as you make your bed, so must you lay in it. GUTHEKERERWO NI ANDU TI KURIRIRWO NI HITI (KIKUYU) Literally this proverb means that being laughed at by other people is not like being wept for by hyenas. The meaning
We had philosophers, folklore and fables, etc. that shaped or socioeconomic systems and political systems. The challenge for African professionals is to be symbols of authenticity that can embrace modernity through inspiration from their identity and culture. PATRICK MPEDZISI & SHUPIKAI GWABUYA FOR MITUPO.ORG
ZIMBABWEAN LITERATURE: THE BOY NEXT DOOR BY IRENE SABATINI Since gaining its independence in 1980 most writers in Zimbabwe have been preoccupied with documenting the grand narrative. This is not something unique to Zimbabwe. The grand narrative is the narrative of African nationalistic aesthetic, and has been historically depicted as the preoccupation of canon literature in academia.
For instance, it has been a constant feature in the works of popular African writers such as Ngugi wa Thiongo, Wole Soyinka, and Chinua Achebe among others. In earlier years, the “pioneers” of African literature were concerned with documenting precolonial and colonial histories while romanticizing the struggle for the national liberation of all colonized African states. This was then followed b y
a critical analysis of the development of post-independent African states, and unfortunately such literature was rightfully loaded with concerns and criticisms. The history of Zimbabwean literature follows the same script.
which is where the novel is also set. She goes into great detail articulating the country’s geography, detailing the history of the land and the violence that stains its soil. Don’t be fooled by the hackneyed title.
In the early 1980’s Dambudzo Marechera creatively described Zimbabwe in his avant-garde works of literature such as the “house of hunger”, capturing the sense of national disillusionment and deprivation that continues to haunt Zimbabwe.
The author cleverly develops Zimbabwe’s political and economic history against the background of a love story between a mixed race “coloured” girl called Lindiwe and a white Rhodesian man named Ian.
“The book won the Orange Prize for New Writers. The author cleverly develops Zimbabwe’s political and economic history against the background of a love story between a mixed race “coloured” girl called Lindiwe and a white Rhodesian man named Ian….”
We all know something of the sufferings of Zimbabweans: social, economic and political. The country’s current state has been a concern for many human rights activists, and the international community has not shied away from condemning the “dictatorial regime that continues to hold the country hostage”. Diaspora literature authors, such as Irene Sabatini, remind us of Rhodesia and Zimbabwe’s annals.
Irene Sabatini’s debut novel, The Boy next Door, which won the Orange Prize for New Writers, provides an interesting lesson in Zimbabwean history. It details an account of the gradual collapse of the country and the disenchantment of its people. The author was born and raised in Bulawayo Zimbabwe,
The story starts with a white woman, Ms Mckenzie being burned to death in her home.
Her stepson Ian is accused of the murder and is held in prison for two years securing his release with good behaviour. Lindiwe – Ian’s neighbour - is gradually drawn to him and even becomes slightly obsessed with him. She even chooses to hide a lighter, which she assumes Ian used to set Ms Mckenzie alight, in order to protect him from the police and the law. The two develop what at first seems to be an awkward friendship. Ian is brash and has a fiery temper, whilst Lindiwe is sensitive, calm and withdrawn. The book follows Lindiwe’s life from adolescence through her transformation into a woman, andImage Ian’scourtesy transformation of N. Nkosi
TAP Book Review
The Second part captures Lindiwe as a young woman in the early nineties negotiating school, family and her identity.
of the narrative of the nation, but approaches it from a different perspective by infusing it into it a love story of two individuals who struggle to develop their relationship in an already complicated “collapsing” Zimbabwe. Hence merging the public with the personal, and ultimately manages to centralize the narrative of the nation without sacrificing the subaltern. Writers of the so-called “serious literature” emphasized the importance of maintaining what was considered to be African in African literature.
Her relationship with Ian develops into something deeper. Part three and four captures the struggles of the characters and the country, and is loaded with tension, violence and uncertainty.
Sabatini further subtly complicates what it means to be African in post war Zimbabwe and in the 21st century, by unpacking issues of identity, race and popular culture in Southern Africa.
from a Rhodesian into an African. Their love is tested time and again by secrets and influences from their dysfunctional families.
As said in the introduction, postcolonial literature in Africa was initially concerned with the valorisation of the national identity and the protection of
The book is divided into four parts. The first part captures Lindiwe and Ian’s childhoods and is set in the 1980’s just after the war ended in Zimbabwe.
Unlike Yvonne Vera who tends avoids nationalistic memory and speaks for the unrecognized, unimagined commune of women, Irene Sabatini attempts to weave the nationalistic memory with that of women’s social and cultural experiences in post-independence Zimbabwe. She not only captures Lindiwe’s movement from childhood to adulthood, she also narrates the country’s transition from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe.
cultural authenticity. Naturally such narratives were loaded with patriarchal influences, marginalizing the narrative of the woman and presenting it as something separate and of lesser importance. Sabatini acknowledges the importance
Granted, it is a long read, and one feels like it could have done with a little trimming. The plot is also uncomplicated and the pace slacks in some areas. Nonetheless, it is an excellent easy read that could prove to be a useful companion during the festive season, as a casual tool for engagement and exercise the mind while relaxing.
ARE FOREIGN INVESTORS AND FOREIGN EMPLOYEES STILL WANTED IN SOUTH AFRICA?
uring the past three months I have had several opportunities to present the changes of the new law to international chambers, business networks and a local chamber of commerce. The major feedback received during such events can be summarized in the following questions: Does Home Affairs not want foreign investment and foreign investors in South Africa? What are the reasons for the most recent changes in the law?
in the new critical skills list. This is crucial to enable such foreigners to apply for a critical skills visa. In August, only a handful of professional bodies complied with their new role, however by the end of October, a considerable number of various professions can now hope to apply for a critical skills visa. Welders, Engineers, Architects, IT, Business Managers, BPO sector and various other professions can now be registered.
Some of the implementation problems have been resolved or are at least being addressed. To my knowledge all missions are applying the new law now. It was September when the last missions started making use of the new law - more than three months after it was passed. Although we are still far from a consistent application of the new law among all missions, we are witnessing an improvement. More and more professional bodies have begun assisting the registration of foreigners who possess the critical s k i l l s outlined
Unfortunately, many practical issues are yet to be addressed; the processing times are increasing (at least six to eight weeks now); the appeal process takes at least three months; the Department of Labour will take at least thirty to forty working days to write a recommendation for a general work visa; internal emails between DTI or Labour on the one hand and Home Affairs on the other are probably not attended to; life-partners could wait for their compulsory home visit for up to nine months; Zimbabwe citizens need a police clearance certificate from South Africa in order to apply for the Zimbabwean Special Dispensation permit; it is unclear where to submit applications to rectify wrongly issued visa... and I could go on. I have my doubts the situation will improve given the attitude to service delivery and to foreigners. Listening to many high ranking officials of Home Affairs during several occasions during the past months, I very much doubt that there is any genuine appreciation of how a good immigration policy coupled with effective implementation of such policy can contribute to higher foreign direct
investment and that highly qualified foreigners create jobs in an economy and are therefore desirable. Although we are officially assured this is the case, the actions and behaviour of many -but most certainly not all - higher ranking officials tells us otherwise. For the Department, national security always was and still is the key consideration. I am not suggesting that it shouldnâ€™t, but it should not be the sole consideration. Our local processing times are long, and our immigration system usually complex compared to most of our neighbours - applying for an out-ofquota work permit in Mozambique for instance is also a rather daunting task. In particular, the consistent application of rules across all missions is something other African countries often do better than South Africa. The pressure on Minister Gigaba is however increasing. The DA, foreign chambers of commerce and media houses are all pushing for changes. Iâ€™m unsure whether they will be successful though. I am not even sure that legislative changes are the answer. In my opinion the majority of problems stem from a lack of both leadership and accountability within the Department. To change this - if possible at all â€“ will take time and tremendous effort. I am sure that Mr. Gigaba has other plans for his political future than to spend the coming 9 years as the Minister of Home Affairs. ANDREAS KRENSEL from IBN Immigration Consultants www.ibn.co.za
MONEYGRAM EXTENDS RELATIONSHIP WITH STANDARD BANK
OHANNESBURG, South Africa (Nov. 6, 2014) –– MoneyGram (NASDAQ: MGI), a leading global money transfer company, has extended its relationship with Standard Bank, Africa’s leading financial services organization by assets. MoneyGram’s services are available at over 500 Standard Bank locations in South Africa and across 11 Southern and Eastern African countries. The agreement was signed today during an event at Standard Bank’s offices in Rosebank, Johannesburg by Pamela H. Patsley, MoneyGram’s chairman and CEO, and Sim Tshabalala, group chief executive of Standard Bank Group. “MoneyGram is focused on growing our presence in Africa through strategic relationships with companies like Standard Bank,” said Patsley. “This renewed agreement is a key milestone in our business that will enable us to increase our presence across the continent and provide consumers with fast and secure money transfers. Remittances are a very important part of economic growth and financial inclusion across Africa, and we look forward to supporting the region’s development.” “As Africa continues to position itself as an exciting market for growth, the provision of sound, safe and relevant
financial services is imperative to ensure that the continent continues its rapid development. Remittances are a vital part of everyday life in Africa and, in many countries, make an important contribution to economic growth and household wellbeing. Standard Bank is very pleased to renew our strategic relationship with MoneyGram. We will work together to sustain and strengthen Africa’s financial linkages,” said Tshabalala.
South Africa is a key driver of economic development across Africa. According to the World Bank, $1.2 billion in remittances flowed from the country in 2013. About MoneyGram International, Inc. :
MoneyGram, a leading money transfer company, provides essential services to consumers who are not fully served by traditional financial institutions. MoneyGram offers worldwide money transfer services in more than 200 countries and territories through a global
network of 347,000 agent locations, including retailers, international post offices and banks. MoneyGram also offers bill payment services, issues money orders and processes official checks in select markets. About Standard Bank of South Africa:
Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets. Our strategy is to build the leading African-focused financial services organisation using all our competitive advantages to the full. We will focus on delivering superior sustainable shareholder value by serving the needs of our customers through first-class, onthe-ground operations in chosen countries in Africa. We will also connect other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other, applying our sector expertise, particularly in natural resources, globally. We operate in 20 countries on the African continent, including South Africa. Media Contact: Grant Bushby, JAG Communications email@example.com
SA HOSTS FIRST SOUTH AFRICAN PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AWARDS
lobally there are a number of successful awards ceremonies to honour professional services firms and their professionals. This year, on the evening of the 30th of October, South Africa hosted the first South African Professional Services Awards (SAPSA) to recognise various players within a variety of industries for
40 From left Sibusiso Gule (Chairman) and Riza Moosa (Head of banking and finance) holding trophies awarded to the firm on the night: Law Firm of the year, Overall Professional Services Firm of the year and a lifetime achievement award for excellence in labour law awarded for Sibusiso Gule.
their excellence. The inaugural awards ceremony took place at Emperors Palace where companies within the fields of legal, accounting, finance, management consulting, actuarial science, engineering and the built environment were in attendance. PPS, the financial services provider focused on graduate professionals, sponsored the prestigious event. Mike Jackson, CEO of PPS, says the company was eager to support the event, which recognises professional firms and persons for their best practices and exceptional work within their respective industries. “At PPS we believe that it is important to honour professionals who have done remarkable work within their distinct industries, as it is these individuals who are in many ways the driving force behind the development of the economy.” KC Rottok, Project Manager
of SAPSA, says the rationale behind the awards ceremony was to bring all the professionals who provide professional services together in order to network, further explore best practices, as well as to recognise companies and individuals who have excelled within the industry. The main award winners: The Overall Professional Services Firm of the Year Award was awarded to Norton Rose Fulbright. The award was given on the basis of the following accomplishments: outstanding contribution to the profession over the past three years; commitment to ethics; contributing towards the South African community; excellence in customer service; achievement of business and growth targets; and contributing to transformation for the benefit of the previously disadvantaged. Suresh Kana, the PwC South Africa CEO was announced as the Overall Professional of the Year. Kana started his career in 1976 and was promoted to the position of Senior Partner for PwC Africa in July 2012. The Overall Woman Professional of the Year was presented to Sindi Zilwa, the CEO and co-founder of Nkonki. Zilwa has more than 20 years of experience in the field of auditing following her qualification as a Chartered Accountant. She currently serves on the audit committees for various JSE listed companies. Adele Lombard, Structural Engineer at GIBB Engineering, was awarded the Investec Award for Young Professional of the Year. Lombard joined GIBB Engineering five years ago as a Cum Laude student from Stellenbosch University and has since been involved in and leading up various complicated and successful projects. “We would like to congratulate all the winners
and nominees of the 2014 SAPSA awards and we look forward to another successful event next year,” concludes Jackson. The full list of winners is:
• Management Consulting Professional of the Year: Asher Bohbot from EOH • Management Consulting Professional Services Firm of the Year: Accenture • Woman Professional of the Year: Legal & Finance category: Sindi Zilwa from Nkonki • Young Professional of the Year: Adele Lombard from GIBB Engineering • Lifetime Achievement Award: Law Firms: Robert Legh from Bowman Gilfilan • Lifetime Achievement Award: Law Firms: Attie Pretorius from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr • Lifetime Achievement Award: Law Firms: Sbu Gule, Chairman of Norton Rose Fulbright • Legal Firm of the Year: Norton Rose Fulbright • Audit/ Accounting Professional of the Year: Suresh Kana from PwC • Audit /Accounting Firm of the Year: Grant Thornton • Lifetime Achievement Award: Audit / Accounting Firms: Brian Eaton from RSM Betty & Dickson Lifetime Achievement Award: Audit / Accounting Firms: Nonkululeko Gobodo from SizweNtsalubaGobodo • Quantity Survey/ Project Management Firm of the Year: Akweni Project Management • Lifetime Achievement Award: Engineering Firms: Stanford Mkhacane from Nyeleti Consulting • Lifetime Achievement Award: Engineering Firms: Trueman Goba from Hatch Goba • Engineering Firm of the Year: GIBB Engineering • Engineering/ Built Environment Woman Professional of the Year: Danai Magugumela from Bosch Stemele Engineering • Architectural Firm of the Year: GAPP Architects • Lifetime Achievement: Architecture: Rodney Grosskopff • Lifetime Achievement: Architecture: Louis Karol • Overall Professional Services Firm of the Year Award: Norton Rose Fulbright • Overall Professional of the Year: Suresh Kana from PwC • Overall Woman Professional of the Year: Sindi Zilwa from Nkonki
WHY YOU NEED A DRIVER FOR YOUR INVESTMENT PORTFOLIO
s patients we sometimes go for a second opinion if we are not completely satisfied with a diagnosis from a doctor. However, we will never appoint a second doctor to say take our appendix out, just in case the first doctor doesn’t do it properly. Imagine them both standing over your body in the operating theatre, arguing about the best method to cut into your innards. We would also not appoint two architects to simultaneously build our dream house – the result would probably be the weird house on the corner, rather than one featured in Architect Digest for its brilliant design. We may consult with more than one architect to see which one interprets our vision best, but in the end will only appoint one to drive the implementation of that dream.
are driverless, or we assume the driver position ourselves. As professional people we are experts in the fields for which we have studied. We then need to appoint professionals in other areas where we do not have the expertise. Doctors would usually not attempt to do their own books or taxes, or design their own houses. Yet we still attempt to be our own financial planners. The advantages of appointing an expert financial planner to drive your investment portfolio are manifold: •
Why then when it comes to our investment portfolios do we put two, three or sometimes up to a dozen experts in charge of our financial plan? We may have an advisor with one financial institution, a broker who sold us a policy from another financial institution, a share investment which we bought online and a long list of retirement annuities from different product providers. This is like having a gynaecologist, a heart surgeon and a GP all looking for the inflamed appendix in your body, at the same time. In order to make sure all your investments arrive at the same time at the same goal (for example retirement), you will need a coach or team leader to drive them to the same end point. But most of the time our portfolios
The field of financial planning has become so complex, it now requires experts to make sure people’s money is managed in the best way to sustain their lifestyle. Keeping up with changes in legislation can be a mine field – there are approximately 22 Acts of law which have an impact on financial planning, from the taxes affecting the return on investment to the rules of who will get your assets in the event of death. Certified Financial Planners® now go through a ‘clerkship’ similar to that of auditors before they are able to offer advice on any financial planning issues – and also have to pass a board exam to be counted as a professional. A financial planner is like the architect of your financial life and would be best placed to give an independent view of the most effective way to achieve your financial goals. A financial planner will drive your investment portfolio by designing a focused investment strategy and then fitting together the different
parts (unit trusts, retirement annuities, the right proportion of shares versus bonds, etc.) to get your investment vehicle moving in the right direction, at the right pace towards your goal. Financial planners these days are like coaches of investors and are able to help you sift through both the bull markets and the bear markets – research has shown time and again that investors by themselves are still inclined to sell out when they should be investing and buying when they should be selling.
A professional will guide you through your financial journey and give you professional advice along the way.
HESTA VAN DER WESTHUIZEN CFP® Financial Planner at Consolidated Financial Planning Consolidated is a national financial planning practice with offices in Western Cape, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Hesta is based in Gauteng. For more information please visit: www.consolidated.co.za
THE NEW JAGUAR XE
aguar XE redefines the concept of the sports saloon and will be the driver’s car of choice in its class. Its lightweight construction, streamlined styling, luxurious interior and outstanding ride and handling are testament to company founder Sir William
Lyons’ vision: ‘The car is the closest thing we will ever create to something that is alive’ This rear-drive XE is the only vehicle in its class to use an aluminium-intensive monocoque. This extremely robust yet light structure, together with double wishbone
front suspension and an Integral Link rear axle, is fundamental to the XE’s innovative benchmark vehicle dynamics. Jaguar’s world-leading expertise in aluminium structure engineering enables exceptional fuel consumption and emissions figures: with the new Ingenium
diesel engines, the XE can achieve 3.8 litres/100km and 109g/km CO2 – the most efficient Jaguar ever. Powered by the supercharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine from the acclaimed Jaguar F-TYPE, the XE S is capable of 0-100km/h in just 5.1 seconds. “The XE’s driving behaviour fully matches the promise of its seductive looks, and the emotional appeal is supported by state of-the-art approaches to efficiency, from aerodynamics to the advanced Ingenium engine family.”
XE is the first model developed from Jaguar Land Rover’s new modular vehicle architecture. The long 2,835mm wheelbase
levels of spaciousness.
Kevin Stride, Vehicle Line Director, Jaguar XE. The aluminium-intensive Jaguar
The cabin offers outstanding
Exquisite materials and finishes combined with Jaguar craftsmanship make this a class-beating interior that’s unlike anything else in the segment.
“The XE’s driving behaviour fully matches the promise of its seductive looks, and the emotional appeal is supported by state of-the-art approaches to efficiency, from aerodynamics to the advanced Ingenium engine family.” and low seating position enable perfect proportions and a streamlined profile.
Jaguar’s new InControl Touch infotainment system takes centre stage: its innovative 8-inch touchscreen brings fast, intuitive access to all features and functions – and iOS and Android smartphone apps. The XE has some of the most advanced driver assistance systems available.
All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), developed through decades of Jaguar Land Rover experience in off-road traction
systems, can electronically gain traction in seconds and is ideal for use on low-grip surfaces, such as snow-covered roads. Laser projection technology enables the XEâ€™s head-up display (HUD) to generate sharp, high-contrast colour graphics (such as vehicle speed and navigation) from a module smaller and almost a third lighter than existing systems, retaining clarity even in direct sunlight.
A stereo camera is mounted behind the front windscreen to give the XE a 3D view of the road ahead: the highly accurate data it produces supports other functions including autonomous emergency braking and a lane departure warning system.
tuned to provide exceptional responsiveness and feel but with lower energy consumption than hydraulic systems. The XE also boasts the lowest cost of ownership and most environmentally sustainable credentials of all Jaguar models.
The XE is the stiffest, most aerodynamic Jaguar saloon car ever built. It is also the first Jaguar to be equipped with electric power steering,
The XE now completes the Jaguar saloon car range, sitting below the XF and XJ model lines.
Images and words courtesy of Meropa Communications
WORK-LIFE BALANCE AS PROFESSIONALS
n July 2014 I came across an article in a magazine which spoke about extraordinary people being professionals who don’t have a worklife balance and shouldn’t be expected to have it either! This stood out for me because I am a professional and I am considered extraordinary by my employer – and yet I do want to have balance in my life. I was one of those without balance because I love my job and want to continue to be a high flyer! When I got married in 2011, I took a decision not to take work home but still attended to work emails via my phone to please my employer. I thought this was balancing work and family time but two years down the line this started being a problem and I could not give my family their 100% which they solely deserved. I then found out I was pregnant in July 2013 and again decided I would no longer take work home. I removed work emails from my phone and requested not to work long hours. As the year progressed, this worked fine but now and again I had to put in long hours at the office. I wondered to myself how I would cope when my baby comes. I love the company I work for and what I do but I needed balance. My husband’s way of telling me that I lacked balance was “love, you do not rest! You must take it easy. ” The only solution I found at the time was to get out of finance and find
another line of employment. However, I still questioned whether this drastic move would have the desired result if I didn’t have balance from the start? Despite committing not to work when the baby came, I found myself working during the first three months of my maternity leave as we had a major project which required my input which I could not get away from. Being allowed additional months off for maternity leave as recompense gave me some comfort but every night I would question how balanced my lifestyle was. I constantly pondered - How do other professional working moms find balance? My secondment outside the country came to an end in May 2014 and I relocated back to South Africa. I moved departments and my new female boss introduced me to the concept of work balance. She is a mother of two and opts to start work before 7am so that she can leave the office at 3pm. She told me that she switches her mind off
from work and focuses on her family as it is their time and she does not believe in overtime. She does not compromise on this and understands that time lost will never be regained. Having a boss that understands the importance of having a good work-life balance gave me comfort that it is achievable and hope that I will eventually get that balance right. I decided to adopt her work ethic and attitude and so far so good. I get to work before 7am and leave work at 3pm which gives my ample time to play with my child, cook and spend quality time with my hubby. Bottom line is, having good worklife balance is a choice and we as professionals need to strive for this! Time lost will never be regained. We can be extraordinary professionals who have balance if we commit to achieving it. Know what really matters and treasure that. We need to be extraordinary both at work and at home. LOVENESS KHUNOU
MARRIAGE: WHEN YAW WHEN?
ociety’ has fed me the rosiness of this marriage institution, yet I question. I am inching ever closer to my 39th year and although my existence is by no means perfect, currently, it is perfectly mine. I am concerned however that the committed relationships I have with my passport, laptop, couch and remote supersede any desire I may have for companionship. Below are a few factors that I think contribute to the current state of many like me:
1. The influence of parents and the community
not amount to more than attending the wedding, a child naming, a few phone calls, etc., i.e. next to ZERO support or accountability. Secondly, dating a Ghanaian means dating the whole Ghanaian community.
married last year. Uncle and aunt are in Vegas renewing their vows after 25 years. They found their person. However, they seem to be amongst the minority in this selfish, world we currently find ourselves in. Nowadays, the roles of men and women in my mind, are the same. It’s not like in the old days when pops made more money than ma and was the ‘head ‘of the house. Nowadays we are all kings of the castle.
“Dating a Ghanaian means dating the whole Ghanaian community. Unnecessary pressure. The ‘prescriptive elders’ mean well but their efforts are counterproductive....”
We tend to have ‘prescriptive elders’ (parents, uncles, aunts, etc.) who insist on their children settling with ‘their own’. That argument makes some sense. Relationships are hard work. Add to that the complexities of different cultures, religions, ethnicities and you could potentially create yourself a minefield to navigate.
Although there are some Ghanaians amongst us whose only desire is to settle with another Ghanaian, I personally have no innate desire to settle with a Ghanaian. If it happens great, but were I to do such now, it would be to appease the ‘prescriptive elders’. Senseless I’d say, because if one day marriage becomes me, I’m in it 24/7 and the ‘prescr iptive e l d e r s ’ influence may
Unnecessary pressure. The ‘prescriptive elders’ mean well but their efforts are counterproductive. Thirdly, these ‘prescriptive elders’ preach marrying ‘at home’ yet some of their homes resemble a freezer. Two people merely co-existing. If this is what I have to look forward to, perhaps the passport, couch and remote aren’t such a bad option are they? There are no guarantees in life. I strongly believe that as long as you find someone who you believe is ‘your person’, in mind, body and soul, and you are both committed to making it work, that’s the best base to build on. But what do I know? 2. Marriage as an institution My parents have been married for 41 years!! Friends are getting married monthly. My youngest brother got
Fidelity. Stepping out of bounds seems the norm nowadays. What I want to know though, is why bother ‘committing’ to someone if you are keen to step out when an opportunity presents itself? Why not just stay single and save your partner the heartache and yourself the headache? Applies equally to men and women. So I ask you, how relevant is marriage as an institution nowadays? Add to that the fact that it’s “Till death us do part”. Is marriage natural? 3. General Last week I was having a conversation with a lady (single, educated, with a good job), trying to gain some info for my article. Her exact words fail me, but she was adamant that her man must have money and provide for her. I tend to find that many of my ‘sisters’ that I converse with are about ‘what he can do for me’ and not what we can do together. I find that quite sad. Cash like beauty - can fade, but the soul of a person is more lasting. If what attracts you to a person is cash/looks, if and when it fades, the probability of your
The Last Word
relationship surviving tends towards zero. We also tend to have a few preconditions and expectations then we get into it and realize it is hard work - not quite what you had in mind, off to the court we go fighting for half! Perhaps some of us also go into it for the wrong reasons. Donâ€™t get it twisted, go in with eyes wide open and know that itâ€™s DAMN HARD WORK! YAW PEPRAH Twitter - @yawzie
THINK BEFORE YOU POST
ith social media, information is disseminated faster, more efficiently and very widely. In innumerable ways, this has revolutionized the world for the better. As with all great new inventions we are learning, by trial and error, what we can and cannot do with our great and shiny new toy. The truth in Erin Bury’s words “don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it,” cannot be overemphasized. It is especially relevant in light of the increased propensity of people lately to leak private information and/or photographs onto the internet as an act of revenge, pure malice or “just for fun”: the gross violation of fundamental human rights made easy. While each jurisdiction in the world is slowly working out how to police social media, with the UK allowing social media clauses to be included in prenuptial agreements, South Africa has started
post was this paragraph: “I wonder too what happened to the person who I counted as a best friend for 15 years, and how this behaviour is justified. Remember I see the broken hearted faces of your girls every day. Should we blame the alcohol, the drugs, the church, or are they more reasons to not have to take responsibility for the consequences of your own behaviour? But mostly I wonder whether, when you look in the mirror in your drunken testosterone haze, do you still see a man?” The learned Judge summarized succinctly the issues raised by the conflict of rights in social media as follows: “We have ancient, common law
establishing its rules as evidence in a recent judgment by the South Gauteng High Court where the plaintiff sued the defendant for alleged defamatory remarks on Facebook. Included in the
rights both to privacy and to freedom of expression. These rights have been enshrined in our Constitution. The social media, of which Facebook is a component, have created tensions for these rights in ways that could not have been foreseen by the Roman Emperor Justinian’s legal team, the learned Dutch legal writers of the seventeenth century (the ‘old authorities’) or the founders of our Constitution. It is the duty of the courts harmoniously to develop the common law in accordance
with the principles enshrined in our Constitution” While one might think that “truth” is a defence for publishing information on social media, the court held that this is simply not enough. Such information must also be to the public benefit or it must be in the public interest that the information be published. The court drew a distinction between “what is interesting to the public” and “what it is in the public interest to make known.” The latter being acceptable, the former not. One may also argue that the post was “fair comment.” The court held that if that is the route one chooses, they bear the burden or onus of proving that the comment is indeed fair. In this case, the court found the respondent failed to prove that the post was in the public interest or for public benefit or to satisfy the burden of proving that it was a fair comment. This was especially so given malice and improper motive also, in the eyes of the court, defeat the defence of fair comment.
“The truth in Erin Bury’s words “don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it,” cannot be overemphasized....”
The court ruled in favour of the plaintiff, granting the interdict and ordering the defendant to take down all existing posts. In addition to specific performance, the offended party may claim damages to the extent that they have been harmed. It is clear that social media activities may have grave and far reaching consequences and one must apply their mind a little more carefully to what they wish to make public. The price of doing so may be a little bit more than you can afford. CHIONESO SAKUTUKWA Twitter: @chiovictoria
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4TH ANNUAL AFRICAN PROFESSIONAL DINNER 1 - Regular contributor Yaw Peprah arrives for the event 2 - Featured personality Semeyi Zake (in bow-tie) with his entourage 3 - Publishing executive Dumisani Hlatshwayo 4 - Event MC Laureen Rwatirera 5 - Key Note Address from Richard Malcolm, Western Union Regional CEO 6 - Featured personality Nathi Nkosi, CEO of Xuma Technologies
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4TH ANNUAL AFRICAN PROFESSIONAL DINNER 1 - Representative from Greenpeace 2 - Featured personality Sazini Mojapelo from Hand in Hand Southern Africa 3 - Featured personality Steve Ajulu from Dajo Technologies 4 - Featured personality Walter Penfold from Everlytic 5 - Tawanda Mutsopotsi from Eurodollar, Western Union partner 6 - Rosemary Adogo - Kenya Airways Regional Director
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4TH ANNUAL AFRICAN PROFESSIONAL DINNER 1 - Barbara Benhura from All-danquah 2 - Hans Kroll from IBN Immigration Consultants 3 - Traditional dress on show 4 - Massages from Touch of Passion 5 - Leah Maina, Deputy Editor with the vote of thanks 6 - After-party
NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR THE 2ND ANNUAL CEREMONY WHY TAKE PART? Measure your performance • Gain highly valuable media and PR Exposure Impress potential new clients •Raise your profile and create awareness Network with fellow professionals •Recognise your professional staff Attract top talent • Promote your profession and its values
All South African engineers, architects/project managers, accountants and lawyers are invited to participate. Visit www.saproawards.co.za for further information or contact us on 011 251 6325.
Published on Nov 30, 2014