The Impact of Not Living Up to Your Title

Three decades ago people lived up to their titles, this was important in building future generations. The people had an idea of passing on knowledge verbally and through their actions, which gave children back then a “real role model”. In reading this there are mixed reactions, but important questions arise: Why do you say that and who are you referring to?

I will take you through a journey as a South African child. When I was a young boy policemen used to protect society and it was the most valued job in communities. Another one was being a nurse, but if you were a doctor it was even more valued. These were the most respectable jobs and still are, but the face of it as careers and valued ones has changed dramatically in South Africa.

Today we see the youth taking these jobs as fall backs. If they don’t get good results after matric or they can’t find jobs, then they think of going to a nurse college or applying for a police job. This is different from people that had drive and passion for these jobs. All of a sudden they think, “I cannot impress my parents. Let me get money so they see that I wasn’t wasting time in school.” This is a fundamental issue that surrounds the failure of SA economy and thus contribute to our lack of productivity.

From government, industries, companies, schools etc. the majority number of people are more experience-based, meaning they only study or get training for a field once they are working. It is shocking to know that people really don’t love their jobs, but only work to provide for their families or get money to keep them going in life. Presidents are today after blood money and protection, and not to serve their people — similar to government officials, who are only in the job for selfish reasons and benefiting themselves.

I look at a doctor smoking, a nurse having coffee, while we wait in a queue to be attended. I see a policeman accepting bribes or being unable to make an arrest at a crime scene and think this is contrary to what they stand for. What happened to nurses with compassion, doctors living a health-conscious life, and policemen with strong safety and societal values?

”People with no character can only do their jobs, but people of character live their jobs.”

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Where exactly is South Africans’ tax going?

It might not affect you right now but I have been out of tertiary for a while now and yes I do feel tax hitting me hard. Perhaps you don’t notice it but just to have an idea think about the money you spend daily only on lunch and deduct 14% from it.

For a lot of people it could be meaningless that they have tax on everything and it is ridiculously 14%. Well as part of the poor, or shall I modify it and say underprivileged class, I am very alert that progress is ten times harder for me than an average person. Let media not fool you, we have 25% of unemployment rate in South Africa. Yes all those people feel this tax thing a lot more than I do, but they are voiceless and they get mediocre services from government.

I will make examples about a lot of state-owned companies and organisations, just so you see that we are just fed whatever little we get. Firstly, let’s look at SABC, their programming isn’t compatible as compared to Multichoice’s DSTV. They have lost a lot of staff due to their strict rules but poor quality of programmes, now they even make reruns on things I watched as a 10 year old. I do not want to get into detail about their career section.

Schooling has been made free for all but the quality has been in doubt for many years now. The students have had to adjust to different kinds of syllabuses just to pass, hence limiting their chances to getting much needed tertiary education. I really think if government made more effort in paying teachers deserved amounts we wouldn’t have people trying to work for other people, instead we’d have people being creative and wanting to start their own businesses. This in a long run would create employment whilst decreasing the unemployment in South Africa.

Recently I read the Minister of Health saying private hospitals aren’t made to accommodate poor people, which is very true. Then I asked myself if people are paying so much money for their health, why isn’t the state paying on behalf of their people if they still make budget speeches every year. Where do all these billions go? I doubt anyone can show me a hospital that is new every year. I also discovered that elderly citizens don’t go to hospitals when they are sick. They say they fear that hospitals don’t help them, they die of cold or waiting for a doctor that will be available in 2 days later.

I wouldn’t trade South Africa for anything, but this country has made me fear for my time in school and tertiary because politics rule everything today. I would consider other opportunities globally because SA doesn’t need my talent and skills. If out of 50 million people about 18 million are employed then it means I have to be another sad statistic, which I cannot see myself being.

Life in South Africa is twice as expensive as compared to the US, where in other states there is absolutely no tax on food and clothes. I wish we just had a government that tries, other than having one that rubs it in our faces that they use our taxes for their personal gain. How do I own a Merc, while I pay tax for someone to buy a BMW 750i? How do I get out of the shack, while I pay tax for someone to upgrade an estate that’s worth over quarter of a billion?

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ABASA Camp of Excellence

ABASA+leadership+CampI have been to 3-day camps and full-week camps, but I’ve never experienced so much in a day and half. In December, the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of South Africa (ABASA) together with South African Institute of Chartered Accountancy (SAICA), gave me one of the most inspiring motivations in my life. The people who were motivating learners at the camp are black African chartered accountants and members of the ABASA Education Committee (AEC).

The theme of the camp was “I am an accountable citizen,” and that alone was actually inspiring. They took the top 10 students from five schools that are going to matric next year. I was asked to attend for my role in the success team I helped set up for St. Ansgar’s School. I wasn’t at the camp as a student, but I felt like one from the things the speakers shared. This was an opportunity for me to be informed as I enter the professional environment.

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Team-building was the core initiative, because all games and tasks were meant for teams. It was amazing how students who didn’t know each other ended up trusting each other and believing in everyone around them. Changing lives is hard but after this past weekend, I believe nothing is impossible. Shokkie, a manager at Deloitte, and Jabu, vice president of AEC, shared their backgrounds. One of the students said, “Never let your background put your back on the ground,” and to me that was an excellent quote.

We watched a lot of video clips and one of the highlights was by NIKE.  A guy is in the gym bouncing a basketball and gives a long list of excuses for not doing something. At the end we saw that he was on a wheelchair with a slogan ‘Just do it’. This gave me an idea that we complain a lot about things and make excuses  but we don’t want to just get started.

Abed, an accountant, spoke about a Diamond and a Coal. He asked the learners to choose to be just like starters of fire (coal) or to be bright and shining even if there is darkness and pressure.

SAICA representative Sibusiso shared something about how bad do you want success. That motivated and encouraged me on things I need to do in order to succeed. He said if you are not willing to sacrifice your sleep, friends, social networks and things that consume your time, then you don’t want to succeed. He made an example of an asthma patient: that nothing matters most in their lives than getting air when they cannot breathe. They forget about food, friends, money, and family because all that person wants is to get air. That is what you should be like when you want to succeed: Prioritise and use your time effectively.

Boston+Public+GardenEvery single one of the speakers was  truly inspiring and they dedicated their time on doing presentations, and offering to be mentors to almost all the children. I realize that I should be grateful for my mentor, because he is there to help me and will push me hard so that I can achieve things in life.

Thank you to the ABASA Education Committee for such an amazing time and experience. The camp helped me to realize the importance of my success and of my mentor. It helped me grow and the growth came just when I finished my tertiary years.

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ABASA LEader Camp dinner

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Nelson Mandela: A Legend

“When a man has helped his people and done his duties, then he must rest in peace.”

Source: biography.com

Source: biography.com

It came as a shock to the world when the South African president announced the death of Nelson Mandela on the 5th of December. His passing has been mourned by the whole world as we saw at his memorial service, and it truly showed that he was and still is a global icon.

After such a long term of illness, he must be resting in peace today at his childhood town of Qunu. When we saw his coffin at the grave site that image confirmed that the father of the nation is gone, and that has been heartfelt as social networks are buzzing with grieving messages.

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Mandela Memorial at FNB Stadium, Soweto

South Africa has been blessed to live under the shadow of a man of such stature, and at this very moment I’m left with a question, “What will SA be like when I wake up tomorrow?” At his memorial on a rainy Tuesday I witnessed how much the man was loved. Delegates, presidents, former presidents, kings, pastors, bishops from various countries came to the memorial of Madiba, and despite the weather many South Africans came out in numbers wearing T-shirts with his face.

Despite any differences the countries are having amongst each other, to see them all in one venue was truly the wish of Nelson Mandela. The South African government as well as the Mandela family had sleepless nights planning proper ways in honouring the freedom fighter, and it showed because his body was at the Nelson Mandela Theatre for three days for public viewing. That is the same place he was inaugurated as the first black South African president, so the location had a special place in his heart and for all those who were there.

On Saturday 14th of December the African National Congress (ANC) gave him the last memorial service of his life in Gauteng, as he was later airlifted to his hometown Qunu where the funeral took place. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela became president of the ANC party in 1991, just a year after being released from prison in Robben Island, and became president of South Africa in 1994. He is the only leader in South Africa to decline the presidency position for the second term just to stay with his family in 1999. He was married 3 times and divorced twice, with 6 children but 2 died and has 18 grandchildren with 12 great grandchildren.

“I have fought against white domination, I have fought against black domination. I have cherished a dream of an equal country.”

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Source: biography.com

This proves why this man was so loved worldwide because he came out of prison after 27 years with an aim to make peace with his enemies, and that still leaves me in awe because I know he broke the law fighting for the liberation of South Africa. He was arrested mainly for his force to always fight against any kind of oppression, because he was selfless about it hence his greatness is above a lot of people that ever lived.

He is gone but his legacy will forever be in the hearts of millions that knew him. Rest in peace Tata!

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Not every shake-up yields positive results

If you have been reading a lot of my writing, you have seen that I always explain an aspect that is specific. But today I’m focusing on the most important issue that we take lightly.

It happens almost every day that somewhere a boss is removed and another one is employed, but we don’t have a problem unless the person replaced had been closely related to staff. There are a lot of costly shake-ups that companies do without thinking of the end result of the organisation.

In corporate businesses they change bosses every now and then because they are hardly at office or have close relation to staff, and this doesn’t affect company performance. Then you find a scenario like Apple firing Steve Jobs, who was a ‘hands on’ type of boss. As a result the company’s revenue decreased and they rehired him to rescue and stir it back to the top.

SABC logoThis is the worst thing an organisation can do, because it really has an impact on the shareholders and sponsors. The South African Broadcast Corporation(SABC) in the past five years has changed CEOs almost every year. Because of that the company has struggled to live up to the standard of its viewers and as a result viewership has dropped. Multichoice has bypassed  SABC, taking their key personnel and also sourcing the Premier Soccer League, its highest income generator.

boston media logoInstitutions also make changes, but I didn’t know that it causes so much pressure on lecturers. Recently my college, Boston Media House, has taken both the principal and vice principal out. This is what I call self-destructive, because these were active people in the creation of promotional Open Days and the day-to-day running of the campus.

A lot of people at school turn a blind eye on it, but to me it’s all making sense why we’re not having ‘hell week’ — when Radio 3 students do their own radio station for a week that runs 24 hours and is for course marks. It’s been a tradition over the past years. This year we are given one day to do it, which is in all aspects redundant because we have to all find and demonstrate our strengths in radio and that cannot happen in one day. So that was the worst-ever move by the Boston Business College corporation to lose both the king and queen on their chess board at Media House.

Countries often do this at times, especially in African countries where there is a lot of unrest. We saw in Libya they killed Muammar Gaddhafi and since then, the country is still unable to recover because they had no strategy there after the shake-up. Look at Zimbabwe when they got rid of white farmers: everything just went downhill. Even though the current president is rich, think of the state of the country. It doesn’t have currency and it’s unable to help its citizens, hence they get attacked in neighbouring states like Botswana and South Africa. There’s a saying that ‘if it’s not broken, don’t fix it’. People in these countries forgot about the bigger picture and focused on their own interests, so now they have destroyed the country.

Chelsea footballSport is the wealthiest enterprise right now and if you see a coach being fired, two things will happen. It’s either we continue or we keep losing. When Jose Mourinho moved from Chelsea football club in 2007, they struggled to win any major trophy until 2011.

So some changes are never good for one party, but do benefit the other party. Hence we say one’s loss is someone’s treasure.

Shaking up doesn’t always mean you will get great result. It’s a risk that at the end of the day you have to take.

Reflecting on My 67 Minutes for Mandela

In 2009, the United Nations declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day, recognising his dedication to the service of humanity. By devoting 67 minutes of their time – one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service – people can make a small gesture of solidarity with humanity and a step towards global movement for good.

— Source: SouthAfrica.info

WeAreSuccess Team

It took me more than two months to prepare what I would do for the South African icon Nelson Mandela, and at the end of it all my 67 minutes was well spent with people with a belief of success.

St. Ansgars School+Johannesburg+Lanseria+South AfricaIt is 3 years since my matric at St. Ansgar’s school in Lanseria, and back then I thought I didn’t have someone to motivate me that I could relate to. So the idea came of just grouping all my mates from 2010 matric to come help our little brothers and sisters. I was the idea generator, but it took the whole team to buy into my idea. So they did and we went to our former high school to motivate the students that are in matric.

The initial plan was that I wasn’t going to do anything but plan and make sure that the event takes place, because I hate the spotlight. But unfortunately my co-organiser said I should be the MC. It was the most awkward decision I’ve ever made but I ended up having fun because the responses were great. Even my team started to engage with the students as I wanted it to be.

For us it wasn’t to change the whole matric class, but even if we reached one student it would make a difference. Fortunately they took all the tertiary application papers and needed more, which made me realize that we truly did something.

It was a special day for me because St. Ansgar’s school is my second home, and being there again seeing my ageing teachers made it extra special. Almost half of the team I haven’t seen them since our final exam, but on that day it was like a family reunion.

The WeAreSuccess team in their farm school of rough diamonds!

The WeAreSuccess team in their farm school of rough diamonds!

In everything I do I always ask God to take ownership and he showed it because the day we went to motivate them, it was the day they got their results and we were already told a lot of them didn’t do so well. So we had to motivate them for believing in themselves despite the current results, and the main motivation which was about life after matric.

St-As-Students1I learned a lot about my team because we shared some stories that we never told each other and it was great. For example, we all live in townships and in shacks with the students. One student knew me and where I stay, because it’s the smallest township with shacks next to the road. It makes sense to say  ’if he made it beyond the circumstance, then we also can’.

Team1

The theme was to make it fun but still educational and informative. We shared a few jokes and stories with some quizzes and competitions, so we had fun. And at the end of my day, I was proud that the team completed 2 hours and 30 minutes with the students. Some of the students are coming with us next year because we are given permission to make it every year.

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St. Ansgar's School+Johannesburg

Places and Activities I Enjoyed in Boston

In my 13 days stay in the US, I can recommend some of the best activities to do in the historical city of Boston. The best-ever thing is the view of the whole city from the top of the Prudential building. It also has almost all sort of information relating to the city history, sports and entertainment.

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The second thing I enjoyed is the New England Aquarium. It was recently reopened after reconstruction of the main tank. This was amazing that divers could get in at the top of the tank and feed their diverse ocean species. But unfortunately for me they didn’t have bigger sharks.

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Boston+aquarium+tank

Boston+harborThere is a saying that “if in Rome, do what the Romans do,” so I took that as a potential Bostonian. I went on and got myself something with a B, which represent their city’s baseball team, the Red Sox. Everywhere I went people had Boston stuff. It really did make me feel small that it was easier to be spotted that I wasn’t from there, so as soon as I got the cap I was a real Bostonian. Even people thought I was one of the American celebrities!

Mtu fountain

The beauty of water is my biggest fascination, so I went to the beach and the river in the city and just to feel how cold the ocean is down there. It was really hot there, 35C, but the water wasn’t the same as the weather. Instead it was truly the opposite, but people there enjoyed themselves. I guess they don’t really realize how cold the water is because its always cold there.

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Mtu boat

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