ProVerb - From Branded Idle to Running Idols Akweni Uganda’s Babs Kaaga Female Project Management’s Afordofe Moving Ads Founder Zim’s Dr. Jacha Engineering CEO B RO UG H T TO YO U BY
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FIRST BLACK CEO OF AFRICA’S LARGEST RE-INSURER
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ProVerb - From Branded Idle to Running Idols Akweni Uganda’s Babs Kaaga Female Project Management’s Afordofe Moving Ads Founder Zim’s Dr. Jacha Engineering CEO BRO U G H T TO YO U BY
MAGA ZIN E
J.J. NGULUBE FIRST BLACK CEO OF AFRICA’S LARGEST RE-INSURER
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Cover Story: J.J. Ngulube, Munich Re CEO
Akweni Project Management’s A. Afordofe
ProVerb - From Branded Idle to Running Idols
Engineer Babs Kagga
How to save your loved ones grief
Book Review We Are Going To Kill Each Other Today
Travel - Around And About The U.K.
An Evening With The S.A. Home Affairs Minister
I Will Marry When I Want!
Dr. Rodwell Jacha - Chairman of Moving Ads
Sakutukwa: What’s In A Name?
Turas Turise - Soaring Entertainment Professional
Peprah: Seeing Beyond Our Differences
TAP Social Scene
EDITOR’S NOTE SHAKING HANDS
As advertised on
Africa’s richest men and leader of a country of over forty million people.
have had the pleasure of shaking hands with three of the four presidents of independent Kenya. The very first, Jomo Kenyatta, escaped my grasp by returning to his maker a year before my birth. My encounter with Daniel arap Moi was a brief one at O R Tambo International in 2001. He couldn’t have given the earring I was wearing a more disapproving look. A lacklustre Mwai Kibaki strolled lethargically into the Kenyan Embassy in SA in the winter of 2011, letting go of my palm as quickly as I had offered it to him. The same apathy applied to the rest of the interim officials of our local Diaspora association. The most memorable presidential greeting was from Uhuru Kenyatta. He took my hand, looked me in the eye and whispered, “Good job”. He was referring to my work as Master of Ceremonies during his meeting with Kenyans based in Johannesburg held in November 2013. An endorsement I take to heart coming from one of
A similar sentiment applies to the privilege I had of shaking the hand of John Junior Ngulube, our cover story in this issue. He is probably the kind of boss you would like to have, down to earth and a cool head in spite of sitting at the pinnacle of reinsurance in Africa. Also in this issue, we bring you a four page piece on Anthony Afordofe who began life in project management in the isolation that one corner of his sitting room provided. The progress made seven years on makes this a must read story. Take the time to hear from Dr. Rodwell Jacha, a theology graduate from Zimbabwe who pioneered the billboard on vehicles concept in Southern Africa while Babs Kaaga is also breaking new ground as one of very few black female engineers in a management position in SA. Proverb - the host and co-executive producer of popular show Idols and Planet Radio personality Turas are entertainment professionals also profiled in this issue alongside our regular contributors, book review, travel story and social pages. We hope you will enjoy this edition as you shake hands, embrace loved ones and share gifts this festive season. KC Rottok, CA (SA) Managing Editor Creative & Financial Journalism (Wits University) Twitter: @africankc
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â€œAfrica has come a long way from the days conflict erupted in Liberia and I was stuck on a business trip to Monrovia for three days wondering whether Ghana Airways will come back for us...â€?
FIRST BLACK CEO OF AFRICA’S LARGEST RE-INSURER, MUNICH RE AFRICA
f life had gone according to plan, John Junior Ngulube would be a farmer somewhere in Southern Zimbabwe today. But as fate would have it, he now sits on the second floor of Munich Re Johannesburg offices holding the position of Chief Executive Officer of the African operations of the world’s largest re-insurance company.
Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Agriculture. He joined Munich Re in Harare in 1987 at the age of 29 and has remained within its ranks ever since. “My initial plan was to get a bit of private sector experience before going out on my own to set up a commercial farm. But the company provided me with several opportunities for professional growth which have kept me here. I have held six different jobs within the same company and worked
lush fairways, boasting a commendable handicap of ten. He disputes the notion that when golf is good, business is bad. “It is all about good hand-eye co-ordination and staying calm when those inevitable errant shots occur,” he insists.
Andrew Davidson named him one of the “World’s Smartest 1000 CEO’s” in his book by the same title. Ngulube Munich Re had a global turnover of cites a reliable Executive Committee approximately 50 billion euro’s as at the team as key to the effective and efficient end of 2012. In Africa, the operations execution of the consist of Munich company strategy Reinsurance “Andrew Davidson named him one of the “World’s and his duties as Company of Africa Smartest 1000 CEO’s” in his book by the same chief executive. His which handles six own growth within Southern African title....” the company has countries while included various it’s Mauritius short courses on human resources and in several countries. That said, I intend registered subsidiary handles a further management. to retire on a farm someday.” 39 countries on the continent with liaison offices in Nairobi and Accra. His tenure has included re Ngulube has a relaxed demeanour Ngulube is CEO of Munich Re, Africa, insurance of a significant number about him and you cannot help but and Chairman of the subsidiary. of infrastructure projects that were get the impression that he takes the necessitated by South Africa’s hosting management of over 200 employees in The road to the top of the reof the 2010 FIFA World Cup. These his stride. He reveals that that a pastime insurance game was paved with included the construction of Africa’s taken up in his university days takes agricultural studies for Ngulube first speed-train the Gautrain, the some of the credit for this aspect of his who obtained his Bachelor’s R3 Billion rand renovation of FNB management style. degree from the University Stadium (then known as Soccer City) of Zimbabwe and a Masters and contingency cover for FIFA itself “I took up karate and improved to from Pennsylvania State for the event. the level of black belt. The art teaches University where he you to be aware of your surroundings graduated in 1986. Munich Re’s presence on the which can be taken into the business Between the continent dates back to 1964 when the environment where you get prepared two degrees company negotiated a contract with for even unpleasant eventualities. And he served a Nigerian based company, African when those happen, it is like taking br ief ly Alliance. Since then, the company a blow. You learn to fight through i n footprint has transcended a continent difficult circumstances and to be calm that Ngulube says he associates with when others are losing their heads.” hope for a great future. The father of three has since traded in his black belt and bare feet for golf clubs and
“Africa has come a long way from the days conflict erupted in Liberia and I was stuck on a business trip to Monrovia for three days wondering whether Ghana Airways will come back for us. Many say Africa is rising and are aware of this idea from a theoretic perspective. I have been fortunate to travel extensively and do business on the continent and have therefore experienced the undoubted growth and decisive feeling of economic progress.” Ngulube finds that both governance and the level of professionalism on the continent are improving which this interviewer asks him to define.
them every single day.”
“A professional is one who has a vocation, be they a lawyer or a surgeon. You need to understand your profession which often requires you to study it to the highest possible level. You should also give back to your profession wherever possible.”
He is also young at heart enjoying such books as Lee Child’s novels on the action hero Jack Reacher, which he reads in between more serious books on leadership, global economic trends and the like. He is also a big fan of jazz swearing by the musical prowess of the likes of Keb ‘Mo while the Signature restaurant in Morningside has long been his favourite dinner destination.
Part of giving back for Ngulube has been serving as President of the Insurance Institute of South Africa (I.I.S.A) for two terms starting from 2011, having just stepped down at the time of this interview. He draws inspiration from Africa’s most respected leader of all time. “I know it may be cliché to mention Nelson Mandela as an inspiration but I have my reasons for citing him as one having met him on several occasions. He had the ability to make you feel as though you were the great one, never interrupting you while you had a conversation. And he managed to remember people’s names and vocations in spite of meeting several of
If Mandela is known for his humility, Ngulube can be recognised for his modesty having not owned a personal car in seven years. “I kept my last personal car for six years and I now use the company one; material things are not a priority for me. I derive more satisfaction from making a difference in society and to others,” he states. J.J., as he has always been known to peers and colleagues, recently turned 55 but does not look a day over fortyfive.
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PROJECT MANAGEMENT’S ANTHONY AFORDOFE
nthony Afordofe is a creative type of person. After completing his high school education in 1996, three career options appealed to him: food technology, marketing and architecture. Of the three, architecture was the choice his father considered a ‘real profession’ and so it was that he would pursue a three year diploma in this subject at Port Elizabeth Technikon before proceeding to Cape Town Technikon where he completed the BTech degree in 2000. “I still think I am applying all of the choices I had contemplated back then today,” he says to me as we sit in the boardroom of the Akweni offices in Killarney Mall Office Towers. “I work with architects everyday and I constantly participate in the marketing of Akweni. The food part I apply at home when cooking for my family.” He doesn’t strike me as a Jamie Oliver. Thankfully his wife and Akweni’s head of marketing, Molatelo (Latty), is in the meeting and I glance at her to query the claim. “Oh yes, he is a fantastic cook,” she affirms. Anthony was born in Ghana in 1977, the first child in a family of four children. The family moved to Mthatha
in 1988 when his father got a position in the job market of the then Transkei homeland. “After obtaining my degree, I joined Boogertman Krige Architects (BKA) in 2001 where I spent three years. I did not fancy the idea of being confined to a desk drawing so I joined
deliverables. I spent one intense year there working 15 hour days on various office developments in Gauteng. By the end of 2006, Akweni had been registered and Anthony was raring to take on the market on his own. There were many nay-sayers who did not believe he could make anything out of an industry that was dominated by large entities that had been in business for decades. “My self-belief was high and although I had a tough start, I was convinced I could make it work,”
ACSA in a project management role initially in Cape Town. I transferred to the Johannesburg office after a year where the main project I was involved in was the construction of the Sniffer Dog Facility and up to stage three of the central terminal of O R Tambo International.” In 2006, Anthony joined the property development company Abland. It was here that he began to grasp all aspects of the private property development and program management business having been entrusted with projects from inception to completion. “Unlike ACSA, this was more of a commercial role with different www.africanpro.co.za
Akweni initially comprised Anthony as receptionist, project manager and CEO positioned in a corner of his sitting room seeking new clients via cell phone. His first project was assisting a couple in the south of Johannesburg build a study as an extension to their main house. “The project budget was R18, 000 including my fees which were probably about four thousand rand. As I had to fill my car to drive down there every other day, there wasn’t much of a profit to report.” We had a collective hearty chuckle at the humility of the company’s beginnings. But the success of the firm seven years later is no laughing matter. Other than the significant office space occupied in Killarney Mall Office
Towers, Akweni has a second office in Anthony’s native Ghana. The company has grown to build up an impressive project portfolio in excess of four billion in both Southern and West Africa with a view to expanding to additional territories on the continent. “Our big break came in 2008 when we successfully pitched to participate in the construction of the SABC offices in Nelspruit. It was actually the job that enabled me to hire a few employees and to move out of my home to premises in this building.” 16
Through the Johannesburg Development Agency, Akweni is involved in the upgrade of the Noordt Taxi Station precinct, the refurbishment of the Johannesburg Library of Excellence Museum Africa, Norscot Manor and the Johannesburg Art Gallery. Akweni is currently working with various clients including Pareto, Sycom, Fountainhead – Redefine Properties, South West Gauteng College, Johannesburg Property
so much to the success of the business and that’s why I take good care of them as well.” In Ghana, Akweni has been responsible for the refurbishment of five Barclays branches in Accra and Kumasi. The Princetek Peregrine Group also engaged them in the construction of middle income homes.
Beyond the built environment, the company has diversified to technology through Kweni I.T. which offers software testing “We chuckle at the humility of the company’s and quality Subsequently, beginnings that comprised Anthony sitting by a assurance services, the company was I.T. hardware small desk in a corner of his sitting room seeking and able to put systems software new clients via cell phone. But seven years on, the resales, I.T. project in place to deliver professional results success of the firm is no laughing matter with a m a n a g e m e n t , for a growing portfolio of projects done & in progress in excess infrastructure and clientele. network setup of four billion rand in Southern and West Africa....” and I.T. business “We pride solutions. ourselves in service excellence and Company, University of Johannesburg, projecting a professional image. Our “We have also partnered with Metsimaholo Municipality and The strategy is to create value for vision for Enviroserv and Load Away to take Department of Public Works. It has all partners,” Anthony expounds. waste management solutions to been involved in a number of significant Ghana. Similarly we have a strategic residential projects including the On the back of the SABC project, partnership with Profica to manage Kafe Residential Development in Akweni participated in the construction projects on the continent.” Morningside, Foli in Olivedale and the of the E’ Mhluzi Mall in Middleburg, Koranteng Development in Dainfern. Mpumalanga. Akweni remain conscious of corporate social responsibility by The company has various industry “Our flagship project is the supporting Coach House, Hospivision registrations including SACPCMP, refurbishment of the Southgate Mall in and uThando la Bantwana charities SACAP, SAIAT, GBCSA, SAPOA, Mondeor. We have also been engaged through various supplies and help in SAIAT, ACPM, BENTLEY in the construction of the PSL standard such activities as refurbishment of SOFTWARE and SACSC. Fezile Dabi Stadium in Parys and we premises. The company also contributes are involved in the long-term project to the Rivers Church foundation where “Without the assistance of my that is the billion rand Legislature Anthony, Latty and their three year old amazing team of 15, Akweni would not Building in Bloemfontein.” daughter Edem are congregants. be where we are today. I applaud them for sharing and taking ownership of our KEITH KUNDAI vision to heart. They have contributed www.africanpro.co.za
AKWENI PROJECT MANAGEMENT Akweni Project Management was started in 2005. Operating out of Five Regional Offices in Southern Africa and in West Africa. The Regional Offices namely: Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga, Free State and West Africa, Ghana. The company’s strategy is to create a balanced portfolio across the built environment.
South Africa Head Office Suite 204 Killarney Mall, Office Towers 60 Riviera Road, Killarney Johannesburg 2193 Tel: + 27 11 486 3315 Fax: + 27 11 486 3314 Email: email@example.com Website: www.akweni.co.za Ghana Branch Property No.18 Martey Tsuru East Airport, Accra, Ghana Tel: +233 218 16820 Mobile: +233 206 404 848 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Akweni offers the following Services: • Program & Project Management • Construction Management • Property Development Management • Turnkey Property Developments • Tenant Coordination & Fit Outs • Property Asset Registry & Management • Research, Audits & Existing Facilities Management • New Building & Civil Construction ‘We create your vision when nothing else will do’- there is a methodology to every project from conception to completion, and obviously it will depend on the scope of the project. The environment upgrade is socially involved and requires a lot of investigations. Our initial output is to establish the client vision, clearly define the scope of works. Involve all stakeholders in the decision process and develop strategies and plans for all areas and aspects of the project. A client is king, we go beyond our limit for our clients. That is why we value our delivery model when it comes to our clients, we first look at our clients need identifications and analysis. Solution to proposal, solution implementation and lastly post implementation evaluation and aftercare. Our passion for people (clients & teams), service excellence and quality, made a difference in how we solved problems. This led us to acquire meaningful partnerships and associations within the construction industry as small as we are each project is all about the betterment of people and to the benefit of the client. Akweni does not only concentrate on the building and construction work, so we thought beyond vision and decided to give back to society. Akweni Cares (the CSI Arm of Akweni PM) is currently assisting Hospivision Oasis at the Tshwane District Hospital to attain food, goods and clothes and/or sponsorships. Similarly we support Coachouse and Uthando Labantwana. These items are for patients that are affected by HIV & AIDS, orphans, vulnerable children and their families. Let’s keep on giving to those in need.
PROVERB FROM BRANDED IDLE TO RUNNING IDOLS
They had a modest wedding coming at a time when funds were scarce for the aspiring musician. The rosier times had passed when he lived a life of privilege with a well-to-do doctor for a father and a professor for a mother. They cut him off for being a spoilt idler who refused to take his I.T. studies at Wits Technikon seriously.
hen I walk into the restaurant to meet and interview ProVerb, I find him pressing his right hand into a container filled with clay. A small crowd has gathered which includes the restaurant owner who plans on placing the rappers imprint on the eatery’s ‘hall of fame’. Soon after, a little boy - encouraged by his mother - shyly approaches to have his picture taken with the celebrity.
“My parents were highly educated and expected the same level of academic interest from me. In contrast, I ranked winning the first year talent competition as my most memorable achievement in tertiary education. But today my mother is my biggest f a n , calling me after every Idols show to comment on my performance.”
I suggest that he probably gets a little bit tired of all the attention. “Not at all. My career is based on support and it really costs you nothing to be nice. The only time I am hesitant is when I am with my family,” he qualifies. That family comprises wife Onalerona, daughter Ditshupo (seven) and son Kgosietsile (four). He speaks fondly of them, shuffling through his phone gallery to proudly show me their pictures. I ask him how he met his wife. “I saw her at a YFM function in town while I was working as a time-keeper for DJ Fresh. The following week I spotted her at another gig and stepped forward with the lamest of pick-up lines: ‘Hey, are you that chick from Gandhi Square?’ She smiled and the rest is history.”
Although he sees no wrong in pursuing his passion, ProVerb regrets his early sense of entitlement. “When my parents cut me off, that’s when reality set in that one has to make their own way. I do my best to teach my kids that today,” he states. Another life changing episode for the thirty-two year old was taking part in the reality TV show Survivor South Africa on the Santa Carolina Island off the Mozambican coast. He puts it thus: “Your life is brought into perspective when it is taken from you.”
ProVerb Tidbits: Favourite African Holiday Destination: Mozambique Nickname Growing Up: ‘Steak’ (initially T-Bone from Tebogo) His One Word Description of Idols Judges: Randall “Knowledgeable” Gareth “Objective” Unathi “Fair” Dream Car: “Not a car guy, ask me about a dream holiday home in Durban” Personal Mantra: My Day Will Come. Idols is great but it’s not the end, I have more to offer
The days spent on the island were difficult. The contestants took part in tough physical challenges and lived with limited food and camp-level shelter. But the most difficult experience for ProVerb was being away from his family.
his career. Despite this, ProVerb insists that there is much more to come. “My mantra is ‘my day will come’.
stage name for a rapper with equally creative titles to his four albums to date: Book of Proverb, Manuscript (My new script), Write of Passage and Fourthwrite. I mention that the spiritual track “Blessed and Highly Favoured”, a collaboration with The Soil is my favourite of his songs. He smiles and explains that God is the centre of everything he does.
“I missed seeing my son crawl for the first time,” he says with tears welling in his eyes. “While I was away, my wife taught him how to say ‘Papa’ which he uttered when I returned. My heart melted.”
ProVerb is well travelled on the continent which he describes as raw “not only in materials but also in skills and talent”. He has collaborated with various African artists including Mode 9, Naeto C and Manifest. Expecting the name of one of the famous American rappers, I ask who he dreams of collaborating with.
On Survivor, ProVerb was representing a children’s home in Kimberly where he was born and raised. Although he finished third in the competition, the vigour with which he pursued life after the show is second to none. “I came back focused. While I was walking around MNET offices, I heard that they were looking for a co-host for Idols. I immediately signed up for the auditions and went home to practice in front of the mirror. I was so determined to get that job, the rest should not even have bothered turning up for the auditions.” He describes hosting Idols coupled with being a co-executive producer with a stake in the production company - Sic Entertainment, as the best gig of
I do not believe that I have reached my peak because the day you tell yourself that is the day you stop growing. Idols is great, it has expanded the audience for my music and fuelled my momentum but I still believe that there is much more I have to offer.” Born Tebogo Thekisho, he adopted the name ProVerb - which is defined as a short saying that states the truth – because he wants to be “a PROfessional at VERBalising the truth”. A creative www.africanpro.co.za
“Definitely Mister Incredible (M.I.) of Nigeria. I would much rather link up with an African artist because there is substance to their music and they have real stories to share.” We end our interview as he is late for a motor-cycle riding lesson. He walks out of the restaurant taking brief pauses to acknowledge and thank Idols fans as he departs. KC ROTTOK
Article pics courtesy of ProVerb/Callback Dreams
“Another life changing episode for the thirty-two year old was taking part in the reality TV show Survivor South Africa on the Santa Carolina Island off the Mozambican coast. He puts it thus: “Your life is brought into perspective when it is taken from you.” 21
DIRECTOR AT KAGGA & PARTNERS ENGINEERS
eet Babirye “Babs” Kagga, a petite picture of management in heels. She is a South Africa based director of the Pan African engineering group, Kagga and Partners. On a sunny afternoon at one of the firm’s offices in Pretoria, she sat down with The African Professional magazine for the following interview.
them a run for their brains. Why did you decide to move to South Africa and what work did you do prior to joining Kagga and Partners?
engineer although it gets disturbing on the odd occasion when they make unprofessional advances.
Also on the downside, one particular occurrence comes to mind. I was undertaking a project in rural My work experience between the Mpumalanga working with 210 casual two degrees was here in South Africa. labourers who we paid on a weekly In England, the built environment has basis. On one particular week, their reached its peak and most work there is wages were delayed due to the client to maintain what is already in existence. Briefly tell us about your academic not making the remittances in time. I therefore returned after my studies background We were holding a meeting on site I pursued my “I am a person who likes a challenge; engineering when hundreds ‘O’ level studies is a difficult subject and a male dominated field. I of them drove up at Gayaza High School in Kampala wanted to dare myself to give them a run for their and disrupted the gathering. They before joining Red brains....” were inebriated Maids School in and started banging Bristol, England sticks on the ground demanding that I because of the level of construction for a two year ‘A’ level programme pay them. The technical manager and activity both here and around the from 1995. I then joined Birmingham other senior staff were beaten up and continent. I found this to be a suitable University for a Bachelors degree in they took my vehicle with my laptop hub from which to identify and work on civil engineering after which I got and house keys. It was a very scary engineering projects around Africa. some work experience with the biggest experience but thankfully I escaped engineering firm in the world, AECOM unharmed and I managed to recover my I worked with an engineering firm which was then known as BKS. I vehicle and possessions with the help of known as Ninham Shand. My most subsequently obtained a Masters local police. significant position at the firm was that in Engineering from Southampton of resident engineer on The Vaal River University which included spending Tell us more about Kagga and partners Eastern Sub system Augmentation six months in India working on a and the work undertaken thus far. Programme. I worked there for three dissertation. years before joining Kagga. My father started the firm 40 Why did you choose to study years ago in Uganda. The company What are the challenges you have engineering? has successfully executed several experienced working as an engineer assignments in East, Central and in South Africa? I am the daughter of an engineer, Southern Africa and we have offices Abdu Kagga who founded Kagga and in Uganda, South Africa, South Sudan, No profession is easy; if there Partners in Uganda in 1974. I am also Swaziland and Mozambique. We have is one then it must be very boring. the first born in a family of six children, delivered projects funded by local There are pros and cons for a female five of who are engineers so you could and national governments as well as black engineer. Right now in South say it runs in the family. Beyond that I international organisations such as the Africa, affirmative action favours am a person who likes a challenge; it is IFC, DANIDA, CIDA, USAID, DFID the previously disadvantaged. Male a difficult subject and a male dominated and UNIDO. Other major private clients are more attentive to a female career. I wanted to dare myself to give
I think professionalism is all about What is your view of clients have been in the oil and gas how you use what you have to benefit entrepreneurship and professionalism sector i.e. Tullow, Total and CNOOC. yourself and others. It goes beyond in Africa? The projects include markets, hospitals, academic qualifications; you need to colleges, embassies, office blocks, marry that with your skills. You need Going by my personal experiences, schools, dams, railways, roads, to be flexible and bridges, water “We were holding a meeting on site when hundreds apply yourself to supply, sanitation, hydro power and of inebriated casual labourers disrupted the different situations using what you infrastructure asset gathering. They started banging sticks on the have been given management. In ground demanding that I pay them....” to produce a better South Africa, we product rather than have undertaken being a robot that rigidly applies what entrepreneurship is exciting. There is a 14 sanitation projects in Mpumalanga, you have learnt. certain thrill in pursuing opportunities 1000 km of road in North West and you either get them or you don’t. It Province, 900km of road in Rustenburg, When I think of Africa, I think we can be challenging because sometimes 5 km project in Madibeng, a landfill have moved from being described as a there is not much work coming site in the Dr. J.S. Moroka Municipality dark continent to being seen as a basket your way and you need to keep your as well as an infrastructure asset of opportunity. It is exciting. You have employees motivated. Thankfully, management project. to get involved in Africa today in the being a digital world, our staff is able exploration of those opportunities; you to assist colleagues in our other offices cannot afford to be left behind. with their projects from their computers right here. KEITH KUNDAI
TIPS ON HOW TO SAVE YOUR LOVED ONES GRIEF 2. Explain in your will if you want to be cremated or buried. This is one of the first issues that your family will have to deal with – like in the first hour after your death, and if they don’t know, they cannot arrange your funeral.
3. Make sure your will is updated. Even if nothing has changed from when you last updated it, check on an annual basis that it is still valid. Issues to attend to are assets mentioned in your will that you do not own anymore, beneficiaries that are deceased, or bequests to a testamentary trust that is not necessary anymore.
4. If during your lifetime you cash in an investment, for whatever reason, make a big note on the documentation that you have cashed it in, or shred the documents. Otherwise your family might think they are inheriting a lot more than what they actually will be or waste a lot of time searching for investments or policies that do not exist anymore. 5. One of the most important things that you need to do for your loved ones, is to make sure their first thoughts are not about how they are going to survive financially or how they are going to pay for the funeral. Sort your affairs out so that this is not an issue and then tell your spouse what he or she can expect.
began writing this article with a somewhat more upbeat topic in mind. However, I just had a And very important for expatriates phone call from a family member of a – make sure that the assets you still client who passed away this morning have in your home country, have been with unfinished business. He was an expatriate like most 6. Make sure your of you with assets Get your affairs in order, as if tomorrow might be loved ones have and children living your last day. And then live every day as if it were your financial in another country. planner’s contact And I again realised your first. (Paul Coelho) details – after the how important it is doctor and minister, that your loved ones know what your this is the next phone call they will be dealt with, either in your South African wishes are when you pass on. If they making. will or an ‘offshore’ will that tells an are left in the dark, it just adds so much executor what should happen to those more to their grief of losing you. So get your affairs in order, as if assets. Your loved ones will be even tomorrow might be your last day. And more stressed if they need to deal Here are a few things that you need then live every day as if it were your with a foreign government through an to sort out: first. (Paul Coelho). embassy here to find out what should happen to those assets because you did 1. Tell a close relative or friend not leave any instructions. Of course, Hesta van der Westhuizen CFP® where to find your important documents. CFP® (BCom, Adv Post Grad diploma in if you die without a will, this becomes This should be somebody other than Financial Planning Law) even more of an issue as your family your spouse in the event both of you die *** Consolidated is a national financial planning practice with offices in Western might need to get advice from experts in the same accident. If you are scared Cape, Johannesburg, Tshwane, Eastern in other countries with regard to people that the content of documents like your Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Hesta van der dying without a will in that country. Last Will and Testament will become Westhuizen is based in Johannesburg. For more information please visit: This could be both difficult to get and known, keep it safe with your bank’s www.consolidated.co.za costly. trust company for example. If you also have important documents in another country, tell somebody in both places.
WE ARE GOING TO KILL EACH OTHER TODAY The Marikana Story
t has been termed one of the bloodiest police operations in postapartheid South Africa. Local and international media networks played and replayed scenes of the South African police opening fire on mine workers (some of whom were armed with spears, sticks, inculas and pangas), in Marikana on the 16th of August 2012. Newspapers ran various dramatic headlines on the incident; the president cut short his visit to Mozambique and rushed back to South Africa; trade unions had their battles and stories to get straight; the police force had their own justifications and explanations; and journalists had incredible news. The world was shocked by the images.
images accompanying them are equally vivid. When I first saw the book on the shelves of my favourite bookshop, I was drawn to it by the cover which has a man in a green blanket tied with a huge knot around his shoulders.
But what really happened before the shooting, and what were the consequences? How were lives affected? Journalists call it the story behind the headlines. We are going to kill each other today: The Marikana Story attempts to answer such questions. The book was officially released on the 16th of August 2013, coinciding with the memorial of the strike and the killings. Six journalists decided to make it their responsibility to look for the stories behind the story. Their spellbinding accounts are well edited, and the 30
In his left hand he is holding two metal spears, his right hand is raised in a fist, and he seems to be loudly addressing a large group of men seated around him.
I immediately decided to buy the book, not because of the title (I did not even bother reading the synopsis), I just wanted to know more about this man in a green blanket. I stared at the cover for a long time; a picture sometimes says more than a thousand words.
See, even though he is holding two spears, the image vividly captures something calm and passionate about him. He is troubled, frustrated, but at the same time, seems gentle and calm. His thoughts appear burdensome. He comes across as a man who takes time to articulate his ideas, and weighs his words carefully. His mouth is wide open, but he seems endearing not antagonistic, drawing in the men around him. I felt that there is something about him that presented the two spears in his hand in a manner less violent and aggressive. What makes the photo even more captivating is that it was not staged; it is simply a genuine and powerful moment in time. Na誰ve or not, I needed to read his story.
The stories recorded in the book are from different perspectives and some are more engaging than others. Nonetheless, it is a page-turner, and I literary did not put it down till I flipped the last page. There is a lot of repetition, which is sometimes necessary and at Shutterstock.com
other times irritating, but the beauty of the stories is never lost.
man with the green blanket, I knew his story, where he was born, his family, his dreams, his hobbies and how he came to be where he was.
of the miners as a single homogeneous body and the miners as independent individuals, depicting how public and private politics are interconnected.
The writers seem to agree on a common theme, the valorisation of the The case of the Marikana murders More than simply telling stories, underdogs. is still ongoing, and there are new books create spaces for readers to relate It is fair to say that they haven’t challenges and fears arising in the narratives with the realities of life comprised truth in the process. We process, but those are informed that who survived the killing of the “The case of the Marikana murders is still ongoing, have gone back miners started and there are new challenges and fears arising in to work, the dead way before the police shootings. the process, but those who survived have gone back were buried, and platinum still Miners ruthlessly to work, the dead were buried, and platinum still continues to be killed fellow continues to be mined. However, the book adds to mined. However, miners suspected of threatening the necessary documentation and archiving of the the book adds the “success” of history and narratives of violence in South Africa to the necessary documentation the strike. It’s and Africa.....” and archiving of therefore not a the history and simple clean-cut narratives of violence in South Africa and engage with social, political and story of police shooting miners, there and Africa. economic issues. Because it is based on are twists and turns, and as a reader, true stories, it is easy for the reader to I had to negotiate the blurred lines make such associations with this book. between right and wrong. Even so, the WANJIRU WAICHIGO There is reference to the burden of a voice and the plight of the mineworkers Wanjiru Waichigo is an MA (Literature) black mine worker, the migrant worker, remain fundamental. graduate from the University of masculinity, solidarity, love, family. Witwatersrand. She currently works with CIET in Southern Africa as a researcher Traditions seem to have played a huge There is an attempt to establish and programme manager. role in the strike, the spears and pangas an intimate connection between the they carried, the sheets and blankets journalist writers, the readers and the their leaders wore, and the rituals they miners in the story. The fear felt by performed to protect themselves, were the journalists and their determination all very important to the men. It defined to capture the story despite the risks their identity as men and leaders involved is intriguing. Their connection negotiating and fighting for what they with the mineworkers is felt throughout wanted. the book. The names of the miners whose stories are told are articulated, The book further makes public the as if to say, they are not just miners they politics between the police and the two are humans; they have an identity. I had competing mine workers unions. We watched the news unfold one year ago, learn of the boardroom battles and how but after reading the book I decided they led to the firing of the bullets and to revisit the clips on YouTube. My the loss of lives in the fields. There is a viewership experience was different. delicate balance between the movement I now not only knew the name of the www.africanpro.co.za
An Identity Embraced, An Ideal Personified. SO YOU NOTICED THIS PAGE, HUH? SO DID THOUSANDS OF OTHERS WHO READ THIS MAGAZINE. Advertise your business here at very affordable rates Email us at email@example.com for further information www.africanpro.co.za
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AROUND AND ABOUT THE UNITED KINGDOM
he UK Airport and Underground – Efficiency wears a frown Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away. - Hilary Cooper I have just landed at London Heathrow. Although the customs officials are very polite, you would be forgiven for thinking that they have just returned from God’s funeral or that the employment policy carries a severe fine for any semblance of a smile. Joy continues to abound when I mount the underground to London Kings Cross. It is eight am and so those who are on the train are on their way to work. A young chap races past an old lady to grab the only available space on the crowded train. Everyone is either vigorously searching through their IPod for their favourite track or shuffling through the free Metro newspaper for something vaguely interesting. The machine operates like clockwork. A pocket map is handy even for the visitor like myself to know what line to follow and the station sequence misses no beat. “Mind the gap, the next station is Hatton Cross.” And it certainly is. No surprises; perhaps that is the source of the prevailing air of unparalleled boredom. Everything works, everything is so predictable. Then the train stops suddenly. Finally, some anomaly me-thinks. Then the driver comes on the loudspeaker and
explains he is waiting for two minutes for the next train to move off. And as though there is some alarm that jolts the damn thing into motion, exactly two minutes later we are rolling on. Contrast that with Africa where traffic lights frequently disappoint, where the minivan driver will invent a new way each day of disregarding the law, where you have to debate how much change is due or tap and shout when your station comes up. The commotion encourages human interaction and the solving of problems creates some sensation of common achievement once things eventually get going. I may regret this one day but it is my submission, this morning at least, that I miss the helter-skelter of the African transport system. Inefficient in many parts but at least we acknowledge the existence of both service provider and fellow passenger in the midst of that mayhem. Maybe that’s why blacks are always late, but we are probably fashionably so if we at least get moments to crack a smile rather than bearing faces that are pinched by the purge of punctuality. My Leeds Relatives – Being treated like the villagers I mistreated “If you’re really a mean person you’re going to come back as a fly and eat poop.” - Kurt Cobain I grew up in the capital city and whenever the villagers visited, I could swear a certain aromatic waft would let you know they have arrived. The smell was palpable from gate to door. They spoke with a certain pastoral www.africanpro.co.za
accent and it took me quite a while to understand what exactly they were saying. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they would progress to deep vernacular at which point I would give up and go out to play. The dreaded instruction from my mother would follow - that I should take the visiting community younglings with me. It was a painful countdown to the date of their departure. My elitism carried on to the day I went to a national high school. I was notorious for cracking up whenever the kids from villages around the country mispronounced things. The first taste of my own medicine was when I was admitted to higher education in Pretoria, South Africa. I maintained the class clown tag, only that this time the kids were laughing at me rather than with me. This East African discovered that there is a difference in the way you pronounce the words Heart, Hat, Hut and Hurt. My first comedic act was mentioning that economics is useful for “banks” which I apparently let out as “bunks”. Fast forward to my ongoing visit to Leeds, United Kingdom. I am battling to understand my sisters British born kids and can’t help but notice the way they look at us when we break into Swahili. Then the Yorkshire accent! It is hard to believe that we are speaking the same language. I can see the effort the ten year old boy puts into breaking down his words so that this ex-bundu uncle can get what he is saying. But I still try and interact with the lad, asking him to break out his video games for us to play.
He unleashes the latest version of FIFA and is not amused when I mention that the last time I played the game, Robert Pires was featuring prominently for Arsenal. In any event, I attempt to engage him in a match and six or seven unreplied goals later, he is now moving the pad with one hand while having a hearty conversation with his little sister. Meanwhile, I am grimacing from the blisters that are in the early stages of germination on both hands.
All that said, some fundamental contact points remain. The kids are still happy to receive gifts “from Africa”, love it when their uncle turns into the tickle-monster, beg for a turn when it is time to swing them round by their arms and are saddened when it is our time to depart. That is also a pleasant memory for me from my days as a kid with the rurals. True family love knows no class. SCOTLAND: A HISTORIAN’S DREAM “The Scottish sun, shocked by having its usual cloudy underpinnings stripped away, shone feverishly, embarrassed by its nakedness.” Stuart Haddon We land at Edinburgh airport and it is a one hour drive to my wife’s cousin’s home in St. Andrews. The drive exposes us to the green countryside that stretches from the road to the distant mountains. We subsequently learn that this is a University town with very conservative values; buildings are not allowed to go past a certain height, franchises such as McDonalds are not allowed to set up shop as their food is
considered unhealthy and bars cannot sell alcohol past a certain hour. The university is considered Scotland’s best and amongst the top in the world. It is where Prince William met his wife Kate and we get to dine in the little cafe where they had their first date- a terribly tiny and cramped joint with wooden chairs and tables that probably belong in a kindergarten. The service lives up to my low expectations, half the menu is unavailable and there is absolutely nothing exciting in what is eventually served. As a struggling golfer, I live up to my sporting duty to visit the Old Course which many believe is the birth place of the game. It is the “home of golf” as the idea of hammering a tiny white ball from tee to hole was conceived on the “Links” of this town in the early 1400’s. It is virtually impossible to get a game on this course but we walk around and take pictures by the famous Swilcan Bridge which was built over 700 years ago by shepherds. We observe the 18th hole which has had thousands of top golfers and celebrities strike a putt over the years. It is a short walk to the Martyrs monument erected in honour of men murdered for spreading religious beliefs, a pillar erected in 1842. Another interesting site is The Witches Lake where men and women suspected of witchcraft were tossed. Those who were innocent were expected to survive and those who were guilty would undoubtedly drown. Hmmm, and these were the same colonialists who found Africans primitive. www.africanpro.co.za
We check out St. Andrews Castle, a site of “violent sieges, medieval murders and devious plots”. Kudos to the people who constructed this structure in the 16th century, not many buildings today will still be standing centuries later. If I was impressed by St. Andrews Castle, then Edinburgh Castle undoubtedly blew me away. A massive fortress built on a rock that dominates the city’s skyline that I understand was the site of many conflicts including the Independence War in the 14th Century. History was one of my favourite subjects in school and Scotland is a historian’s dream. SIGHTS AND SOUNDS OF CHELSEA’S STAMFORD BRIDGE “The reason women don’t play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.” Phyllis Diller I am no fan of Chelsea Football Club; my allegiance is to Leeds United up north. But a Champions League game at their Stamford Bridge stadium would probably be worth the 35 pounds charged for the ticket. They have an impressive lineup of expensive world-class stars playing a fairly modest Basel side from Switzerland so I expect a feast of goals from the home side. It starts out that way; a flurry of activity surrounds the Basel goalkeeper’s area with the Chelsea goal-keeper Petr Cech reduced to a spectator with a mildly better view than those of us in the nose-bleed section. But in spite of all the pressure, no
ball has been collected from either net with close to three-quarters of an hour having passed. Then as the less die-hard fans try to escape the queues to the bathrooms and refreshments by leaving their seats a few minutes before half-time, the ever impressive Oscar slides one in for Chelsea. After the break, Oscar is back to his pre-half tricks, shattering the cross bar with a neatly curled long range one. Then the unexpected happens, the Swiss side equalizes. Suddenly the cheering becomes less audible. There is a hush. The only ones still excited and clicking their cameras away are a bunch of Japanese tourists seating not too far from me.
With minutes to the end of the game, Basel sends in a second one and are looking dominant Gary Lineker said “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.” Well German is one of the official languages of neighbouring Switzerland and the game ends 2 – 1 to the Swiss team. A disappointing display from the home team but an enjoyable experience nonetheless, the long wait for the underground to take us away notwithstanding. KC ROTTOK
An evening with SA Home Affairs Minister 2009, and special categories that were of national economic importance. The aim is an eight month processing period for all new PR applications. This all sounded promising and well thought through. However what the Minister did not mention was that in order to succeed in this huge task, she would have to move many reliable staff members from the temporary to the permanent residence section.
ecently, I had the pleasure of meeting the South African Minister of Home Affairs, Mrs. Naledi Pandor, at a function hosted by the German Southern African Chamber of Commerce in Cape Town. With her witty humour, she related to us her recent experience at the airport in Frankfurt where she was made to stand in a corner waiting for the supervisor of immigration control - owing to the fact that she did not have a visa. She claimed that she was the holder of a diplomatic passport – an argument that the German border control officer was not impressed by. Clearing the Permanent Residence backlog Getting to the more serious topic at hand, Minister Pandor shared with the audience that she had, indeed, inherited the backlog of 23 945 Permanent Residence applications. Minister Pandor committed in Parliament to clearing this backlog by the end of December 2013. The Department would focus on two things, namely older applications first, some dating back to the year
“Processing times have reduced but the department has received a qualified audit...” Beside the technical black out of the reference system in June 2013, this might be a major reason why we are presently witnessing longer processing times again for temporary residence applications. At the beginning of 2013, on average, it would usually take between fifteen to forty days to process a temporary residence application. By the middle of October 2013 the average processing time had increased to between 70 and 90 days. Other important news is that the Department has - according to its 2013 annual report - received a qualified audit for the second year in a row. In 2011, the Department of Home Affairs received its first unqualified audit opinion in 16 years under the leadership of (then) Minister Nkosazana DlaminiZuma. It is therefore clear that Ms. Pandor still has a long way to go to implement an efficient administration. www.africanpro.co.za
Interviews required for life partners who wish to apply for temporary residence Lastly, but most importantly, we wish to bring to the readers’ attention that the Department is now conducting interviews with life partners even when submitting applications for temporary residence. It was always the procedure that a personal interview will be conducted when a spouse or permanent life partner of a South African citizen or permanent residence holder applies for permanent residence in South Africa. Before an application for temporary residence can be lodged, the spouses will be interviewed separately from each other which means both individuals must be in the country. They will then be required to wait a further two to three weeks for a physical inspection to be done at the residential premises where they reside, in order to prove that the cohabitation indeed exists. The downfall is that these inspections will result in time delays, especially for those applying for authorization to work, study or conduct their own business. Once the physical inspection is completed, the immigration officer will issue a report. An application for a spousal permit can then only be lodged once the report has been issued and included in the temporary residence application. The interview process has already started at Cape Town Home Affairs and is confirmed as a direct instruction from the Director-General of Home Affairs. ANDREAS KRENSEL
Andreas Krensel is the owner and managing director of IBN Consulting in Cape Town. He is a qualified German attorney with an LLM from UCT and has been assisting foreign investors in South Africa for the past ten years. www.ibncapetown.com
I Will Marry When I Want
nce a woman celebrates ‘the birthday’ that pushes her over the socially acceptable age of being single, everything in her life is viewed under the lens of husband and children. Overnight, a life once perceived as accomplished is considered incomplete. Admiration is replaced by pity. A young woman recently commented to me: ‘Although I am also single and ‘old’, anytime I meet a woman in the same situation, I instinctively wonder what is wrong with her? Why can’t she find and keep a man?’
This conversation alerted me to the abundance of advice to women on how to ‘find and keep a man’ which advice – albeit arguably useful - largely advocates changing who you are so as to join the ‘highly sought after’ community of couples. Women are ‘encouraged’ to invest a great deal of time and effort in being ‘perfect’ for some abstract man and be ever grateful when he ‘rescues her from the shame... nay, the unmitigated horror, of being single’- whilst all he has to do is show up and pick her. In the event that a woman opts to focus on her career, she is dismissed as being ‘one of those women – too selfish and immature to settle down and think they are men.’ People feel duty bound to advise said woman to re-evaluate her ‘high standards’. “You are after all not getting any younger – once you are past a certain age, what you want is irrelevant, you need to settle for whoever (or whatever) will have you”. Being a well accomplished 30 something year old woman who happens to be single is something to be incredibly ashamed of and ‘fixed’ at all Shutterstock.com
costs while an averagely accomplished 30 something year old man earns the badge of eligible bachelor. If a woman to express a desire to settle down, she is chastised for being desperate and trying too hard - never mind that she is independent and that companionship is a basic human need. Her male peer expressing a desire to marry is usually congratulated.
“Being a well accomplished single 30 something year old woman is ‘shameful’ while being an average 30 something year old man makes you an ‘eligible bachelor’.....” In a recent conversation, I was ‘informed’ that no matter what a woman accomplishes in her life, if she is unable to ‘keep a man’ and have children, she is nothing. In his view, Mother Teresa (controversy aside) accomplished nothing because she died unmarried and childless. Obviously or maybe not so obviously – I was irked and shocked. I fundamentally take offence to the idea that in an age where an inordinate amount of money is spent on ‘mainstreaming gender issues’, educating the girl child and fighting violence against women, a woman
is required to temper her ambition with the fact that her achievements MUST be validated by the existence of a husband. Her defining goal must always be to be married with children. How else are you as a woman to get any societal validation if you are not adorning the arm of some man...any man really. Single women ‘over a certain age’ are not a homogenous group; some prefer singlehood whilst others can’t stand it; some have had traumatising experiences, whilst others are just not in a hurry to get married – they don’t consider being single the disaster some seem to think it is. As for me, yes I do look forward to being a wife and mother one day. It is however not the defining force in my life. I choose not to settle for whichever man comes along purely because my existence and success are more palatable to society if I am Mrs so and so. My biological clock (that many seem so worried about) and I are quite happy as we are. In the words of Ngugi wa Thiongo, Ngahika Ndeenda - I will marry when I want. AMANI BARASA
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DR RODWELL JACHA CHAIRMAN OF MOVING-ADS
r. Rodwell Jacha began his career in the 80’s working in print media. He indicates in an interview with The African Professional magazine that he was responsible for the marketing of two weekly and three daily newspapers at a Harare based Media Group.
“I was head-hunted by the Zimbabwean Broadcasting Corporation where I worked for two years from 1987 in a similar role. I subsequently left to form my own firm christened Solid Pack. It was the first black owned Zimbabwean advertising agency,” he informs.
Towards the turn of the century, changes at board level impacted the company and they decided to dissolve the entity. Rodwell formed Image of Africa, an agency looking to spread its wings across the continent doing brand activations, brand building, media buying etc
A solid pack is frequently used to describe the collection of dogs that race in the snow.
“We undertook work beyond Zimbabwean borders and in doing so I met a Frenchman who was also in the advertising business. He invited me to a factory in Brest, France where I got to witness first-hand the modification of trucks to allow a three poster display of images. The images are displayed in a programmed slideshow while the truck is moving and also when stationary. There was nothing like this back home and I was excited to introduce it to Southern Africa.”
“They work well together, have a lot of tenacity and are very efficient. We had the same vision for the company and set out to make a mark servicing the local market. We received a creative print media award in 1990 and went on to grow from three employees to well over one hundred staffers.”
Rodwell indicates that the concept was an instant success attracting commercial giants like Cocacola and Unilever while also drawing interest from non
profit institutions like the World Health Organisation and a number of agencies of The United Nations.
“In rural areas for instance, many advertisers rely on radio but this depends on people purchasing the device and tuning in and even then there are such issues as lack of electricity. We take the message directly to the intended recipient and one has to literally close their eyes to evade us.”
In 2007, Moving Ads (the brand name given to the mobile truck advertising offering) moved its base from Zimbabwe to South Africa. The move was inspired by several reasons including the fact that this is where their inputs were imported from.
“Our social work included conducting voter education campaigns in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia. We were also heavily involved in the child protection campaign for UNICEF which resulted “In rural areas for instance, many advertisers rely in my being appointed a on radio but this depends on people purchasing the child ambassador by this UN agency.” device and tuning in and even then there are such
“There was also the problem of the av a i l a b i l i t y and cost of fuel in issues as lack of electricity. We take the message Z i m b a b w e He expounds that it directly to the intended recipient and one has to w h i c h is an advertising medium presented a of choice particularly for literally close their eyes to evade us.....” significant hard to reach areas as challenge for a business reliant on there is no cost to the target audience in transit media. We had teething accessing the advertised material. problems when we got here; it is never easy in a new environment and as a foreigner you have to work much harder than those who
are local to establish yourself in a particular country.” Despite the early challenges, the company has grown to attract large multi-nationals and has a growing fleet that currently stands at eight trucks. Rodwell has since moved into a nonexecutive chairman position with the day to day operations left in the hands of his son Tinashe who is Director of Operations, and the Managing Director Richard Moyo.
Dr. Jacha’s undergraduate degree is in marketing and he has a PhD in Theology which he completed via correspondence with an Ohio based university. Most of his time is spent preaching in Pretoria where he lives, and writing inspirational material. He has published three books namely ‘Dimensions of Faith’, ‘Spirit of a Champion’ and ‘It’s as If’. “I am also pursuing business interests in Zimbabwe having invested in a coal mine in Matabeleland South. The dollarization of that economy has stabilised
things there with even a number of South African businesses now hedging their currency risks through dollar based instruments in the country. The Zimbabwe you see in the media is not the reality on the ground. It is painted as a place to avoid and yet it is the place to be.” Rodwell believes that the continent has been the victim of inaccurate reporting and therefore plans to pursue publishing efforts aimed at highlighting the positive side.
â€œIf you look anywhere north of Limpopo, the growth rates are exponential. It is exciting and now is not the time for Africans to compete with each other but rather the time to complement each other in achieving our common goals.â€? KEITH KUNDAI
Article pics courtesy of Moving Ads
What’s in a Name?
IDEAL VERSUS REALITY
he scene from Romeo & Juliet in which the star-crossed lovers secretly meet in the Capulet garden recently popped into my mind. Yes, I randomly remember dialogue from Shakespeare. I’m strange like that. But I digress... in this particular conversation Juliet, distressed by the fact that she could not be with her lover because of nothing more than his name, declares, “What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name! What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet...”
How romantic! But was she right? Is a name nothing more than a label to be distinguished from the substance? I shall dare to disagree with Shakespeare the Great and instead agree with the relatively unknown Gianni Eugenio Marco who says “Bestowing a name captures the spirit of a being. And through this holy and dangerous ability wisdom sometimes moves imperfectly like a misstep in a beautiful dance. We never name ourselves, this activity belongs to others who either bless or curse us with their designations.” “Bless or curse.” Such an interesting turn of phrase. Growing up in Zimbabwe, it was pretty common place for people to give their children both a vernacular name and an English name. I grew up in the Catholic Church, and if your parents neglected to give you an English name at birth (as my mother did - a rookie mistake, but one for which she could be forgiven for since I was her first born child) they certainly had no choice but to give you one on your baptism. I never thought
much of some of the English names my peers had until I left Zimbabwe to study. In one instance, while I was in varsity, a fellow student from a different country asked me a question that changed my perception forever. “Why do Zimbabwean parents give their children such strange names?” Not one “strange” name popped into my head. So she helped me and listed a few: Liberty; Freedom; Evidence; Freeman;
“If a rose was called something else it would still smell just as sweet but why do Zimbabwean parents give their children such strange names?” Lovejoy. At that point, the pattern struck me for the first time having not noted it by being too close to it. My mother named me Victoria and my sister Isabel - rather tame names so she is certainly no use to me in my effort to try and work out the answer to my varsity friend’s question. The truth is I don’t know why so many of my fellow Zimbabweans have such unusual names. I can only imagine that no parent, who isn’t a Hollywood celebrity, would willingly subject their child to a name that they imagine would be a curse to that child in the future. That means they must have applied their minds and despite the seeming lack of logic, there’s an answer buried somewhere. www.africanpro.co.za
Perhaps Goodman’s parents wanted a name that embodied the kind of man they hoped to raise. Maybe Moreblessing’s parents considered her an additional blessing to the family. It could be that Rejoice’s parents could think of no better way to capture their feeling at the birth of the first child. Just maybe, Liberty’s name was an obvious choice given he was born a mere two years after Zimbabwe gained its independence. Evidence could have been born after a long struggle to conceive; evidence of their eventual victory. Perhaps, it was never their intention that strangers would take photos of her name tag every time they dine at the restaurant at which she works. I could keep going but Microsoft Word keeps auto-correcting what it thinks are just nouns and verbs but which to me are names to be respected and capped. CHIONESU SAKUTUKWA Twitter: @chiovictoria
Soil Child Clothing
SOARING ENTERTAINMENT PROFESSIONAL
lex Kwesi Crassie, better known as “TuRas TuRise” was born in Ghana in the late seventies and grew up in a large family of seven brothers and a single sister.
taking part in a number of collaborations with fellow artists. His music career has however faced a number of challenges including disagreements with the production house he was affiliated to.
“It wasn’t a smooth ride,” he remembered in an interview in Johannesburg. “I needed to compete with my siblings for family resources. When I completed high school and joined University of Ghana, my dream of earning a degree was short-lived due to financial difficulties.”
“SA is a great teacher in the school of life; it will humble you, drain you, tear you apart and beat you down until you cannot take it anymore. But if you take it in your stride, it will reward you...”
Having dropped out of university, Turas made the decision to pursue creative arts and he set his sights on moving to South Africa. “Coming here was the best decision I have ever made. SA is a great teacher in the school of life; it will humble you, drain you, tear you apart and beat you down until you cannot take it anymore. But if you take it in your stride, it will reward you.” Turas compiled two solo albums in quick succession TTI and The Black Shaolin Monks in addition to
His breakthrough came when he landed the lead role in a Guinness advertisement. “This opened me up to different art forms including acting and presenting. I have also been the recipient of a whole lot of voice over work for a number of recordings played on international TV stations like Sky News, CNN and BBC.” The popularity gained on the small screen transformed Turas into a much sought after
master of ceremonies for a variety of occasions from corporate events to fan park gigs. “His comic attitude, stage presence and appealing baritone voice enable him to set each stage ablaze,” explained his manager Mavis Anim of May May Productions. The name Turise is appropriate for Turas given that he has begun to soar in the world of entertainment. After presenting on invitation from time to time on Planet Radio, he was granted his own radio show “The Check-in Time” on Africa’s first indigenous owned Radio TV station of the same name. “It is an infotainment show streamed all over the world via the internet and on DSTV/GoTV Channel 73. I am also one of the hosts of “Hello Motherland”, a lifestyle magazine production which airs on the Africa Magic Channel,” explained Turas. But perhaps what makes Turas face familiar to viewers on the continent is his role as co-host of the Good Morning Africa TV show alongside Sheila Pires. It is a prime-time breakfast show run by a company called Planet Image who awarded Turas the best employee award in 2012. He concluded our interview by attributing his success to his maker. “I believe that the Lord is a fair and just God who rewards all who are determined to work and better their lives.” KEITH KUNDAI
Pic courtesy of M. Anim
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SEEING BEYOND OUR DIFFERENCES
ecently, I was fortunate to attend a festival in the middle of the Nevada desert called Burning Man. I debated attending but was reminded of a dear friend who passed almost two years ago, and his words “One Life”, so I said what the hell booked and left a day later. Great decision! It’s an environment where people are just human. Everyone greets, people engage in meaningful ways sometimes not so meaningful when the person you’re talking to is as high as a kite, but it was such a pleasure. People accept each other as they are irrespective of their differences. For that week we were one, we were all Burners. To me that‘s the essence of the human spirit – for instance, the guys in a camp across the way from us would wake up every morning and make oatmeal for whoever came with a bowl. In the afternoon they’d offer hot dogs whilst others would give booze, bandannas, lights etc. Beautiful! My time there was peaceful; a time to stop and reflect. One of the things I reflected on was the fact that the world I live in is angry and getting angrier! How as humans in my little world, we are quick to judge others based on their differences rather than to embrace them. Just the other day, I was having a conversation with a good friend when she exclaimed “Yaw I would so marry you if you weren’t black”. Not that I want to marry her but in my head I thought SHAME, how sorry I feel for you in your limited world! Earlier, I was having a yarn with one of my oldest friends. A few years ago, he saw the light and became born again - I am not there yet regarding my
Christianity. Note that I say Christianity and not spirituality, because I do believe in my God, but I also respect all other religions. I even spent some time investigating Islam once upon a time - yes she was a lovely woman, but that’s beside the point. I spent a lot of time with Muslims and they’re really good people to each other and to those around. They weren’t about judging others but more about ‘this is us and what we do.’ Full stop. That’s one thing that I struggle with regarding some Christians.
“A good friend exclaimed ‘Yaw I would so marry you if you weren’t black’...”
The Last Word
Why must we use our differences to define us? Why can’t we use our differences to build us? There’s more than enough space in this world for all of us to live a rich and fulfilled life! What’s wrong with my neighbour being a white, gay, Muslim? Does that make my life any worse off? Will it change how I wake up, do my daily thing and go back to sleep? Like we even know who our neighbours are nowadays, but God forbid we find out they are not ‘like’ us!! Here’s a thought, let’s get over ourselves and run our own race. How the next person chooses to live his or her life should be of little concern to us. In the end only the God we serve can and should judge us! YAW PEPRAH
Anyway back to my mate, whilst chatting he labels me a heathen. A HEATHEN! I was stunned and I thought to myself, my God - who in my mind is the same Christian God he follows - isn’t one to look down on others, but in my unenlightened mind, is one who would want me to help others reach a level of enlightenment through observing how I conduct myself with respect to others and myself. Not through shunning others who aren’t like me. It brings me to the point of those heinous murders in Kenya and Nigeria all in the name of religion. God never asked you to kill those people. Your demented mind chose to do that. Christians are the same if not worse. The Crusades, the Ku Klux Klan and apartheid are all tied to some form of religious fundamentalism.
Yaw Peprah is a self employed entrepreneur pursuing interests in business advisory, consultancy and commodity brokering. www.asitissoitis.blogspot.com Twitter - @yawzie
THE AFRICAN PROFESSIONAL 3RD ANNUAL DINNER 1 - Ushers on the night, Queenie (left) and Jessie (right) 2 - Event MC, Metro FM’s Kgopedi Oa Namane 3 - Reading of the Editor’s Note for Issue 12 – KC Rottok 4 - Judyth Oduor-Engels from the event sponsor Western Union 5 - Arkein International CEO Donovan Chimhandamba
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TAP Social 1 - Facilitation Africa’s Isaac Nkama 2 - Sterling Afrika’s Stella Ogema 3 - Obaasima Ghanaian Club Chair Ophelia Akosah-Bempah 4 - Dr. Binnas Lubega of Baana Ba Kintu Uganda 5 - Zimbabwean Author Sue Nyathi
TAP Social 1 - Baraka Bora’s Harold Olukune 2 - Louis Karol Senior Partner Kelly Kalumba 3 - Accenture Director Monica Rubombora 4 - Computek’s Ken Msuku 5 - Kaya FM’s George Munetsi 6 - Sasol GM – Development & Production John Sichinga
TAP Social 1 - Sankofa Insurance Founder William Ayim-Yeboah 2 - All Danquah Founder Kwabena Danquah 3 - Dinner entertainment from Les Duo Rossignols 4 - Sumptuous feast from the Carvery 5 - Vote of thanks from Deputy Editor Leah Maina 6 - DJ Paps on the decks 7 - Getting down at the after party
VISIT OF KENYAN PRESIDENT TO JOHANNESBURG
1 - Vote of thanks from Global Crisis Solutions Director David Mwaniki 2 - Presentation of gifts from KEDASA, from left, Mary Maina, Maryam Abdi Mohamed and Nanzala Mwaura 3 - Pamoja Capital CEO Charles Mwaura 4 - President Uhuru Kenyatta 5 - Baringo County Senator Gideon Moi 6 - Nairobi Womenâ€™s Representative Rachel Shebesh 7 - Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko
TAP Social 1 - Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Amina Mohamed 2 - Khanya African Institute for Driven Development Director Peter Ochola 3 - Afroes CEO Anne Shongwe 4 - Leading Entrepreneur and Economist Dr.Peter Karungu 5 - Ambassador Patrick Wamoto 6 - KEDASA Interim Chairman Chomba Chuma 7 - Event MC, KC Rottok
BEST AIRLINE IN AFRICA. AS JUDGED BY THE EXPERTS. OUR PASSENGERS. And they should know – they travel with us every day. So when they vote us Best Airline in Africa for the 11th year running, it says we’re doing something right, and inspires us to carry on doing it.
BRINGING THE WORLD TO AFRICA, TAKING AFRICA TO THE WORLD.
Published on Dec 2, 2013