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The Face of Big Brother Africa 9 772218 757007
• Leroy Munetsi – M&F’s Man for Africa • Quartile Capital’s Modise Motloba • David Iraka – Head of Offshore Services, SA • African American at a Zulu Wedding • Jobs in Africa - backpage! 1 1 0 0 8> Issue 8
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eet Clara Masinde; a woman who has embraced a revolutionary lifestyle and literally ran with it. Clara had been overweight since turning 13 and struggled with her weight through her teenage years and beyond. She had attempted numerous fad diets - fruit only, protein only, juice diets, replacement meals, diet pills, you name it! All with very short lived results and yoyo weight gain that left her quite certain she would never shake the fat monkey off her back. Resigned to the fate of being the ‘big girl’, she was a plus-sized clothing guru and cleverly accessorized to shift focus off her weight. This in time became the famous pink elephant (with bright gold speckles) in the room that was neither discussed nor dealt with.
begun a search for an eating regimen that would help her achieve her ambitious goal. The search ended when she encountered and signed up for the Fat Loss Laboratory program. In just two months she had lost 17kilos and went on to attain her “35 by 35” in just under six months.
After a lot of introspection during the months leading up to her 34th birthday, she set some powerful personal goals for her future. One of these was dubbed “35 by 35” in other words to lose 35 kilograms by her 35th birthday. With her mind in the right place, she joined a gym after a fifteen year hiatus and cautiously
In a nutshell, Fat Loss Lab requires a set of blood tests which are read together with your medical history to determine an eating programme specifically for you and your blood diagnostics. This is in order to trigger a chemical reaction in your body that results in fat loss. Once the desired goal weight is achieved, the
“What attracted me to Fat Loss Lab was their approach,” she explains. “For the first time ever, I heard it acknowledged that the overweight and obese have metabolisms that don’t behave the same as thin people. Fat Loss Lab is based on the proven premise that hormonal imbalance results in weight gain. In people with weight problems, certain hormones that regulate metabolism are out of balance and sufferers constantly crave food and gain weight whether they eat a little or a lot. I had finally found an explanation for my frustration with food. Gone was the ‘Eat less and exercise more!’ adage underlying all the diets I had tried. Instead, here was a programme that dealt with me as an individual, a sheer hormonal masterpiece of creation.”
A Story of Reinvention next phases of the program are the re-feeding and lifestyle maintenance which reintroduce a wider variety of foods and teach an individual how to eat healthily for life as well as keep the weight off for good! “The outcomes of the programme have been life (and wardrobe) changing, far exceeding my expectations,” she beams. “I have the greatest sense of wellbeing, stable hunger levels and lots of energy to be an involved mum to my two young
sons. Following on this success and having recently relocated to South Africa with my mind and heart open to new possibilities, I decided to become a Fat Loss Lab agent here and in my home country Kenya to help other people along the journey of revealing their best selves. I am also a coach in training and aspire to become a certified life coach. I
the corporate world, having risen to the top of my game as a formidable call centre manager in the banking industry with ten years local and international experience. Whilst this was professionally satisfying, it did not resonate closely with my passion for helping people make the best of their present circumstances in order to live authentic lives. Running my Fat Loss Lab business is radically different and closely aligned to my purpose. I put love into what I do and strive to be a blessing to everyone I encounter.”
“I lost 17 kilos in just two months and went on to attain my goal of 35 kilo’s by my 35th birthday. The success convinced me to become a full-time Fat Loss Lab agent...”
previously thought myself cut out for
Clara Masinde | +27 79 860 7362 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.fatlosslab.co.za
Contents 8 Editorial 10 Inside Home Affairs: Here is the good news! 11 Expat-tivities 16 IK Osakioduwa - Face of Big Brother Africa 20 Leroy Munetsi - Mutual & Federal’s Man For Africa 25 Quartile Capital’s Modise Motloba 29 Delta Cab’s Emmanuel Omaruaye 32 Expat-towers - Tintswalo at Waterfall 36 Scholastica Kimaryo - Recent U.N Co-ordinator in SA 38 David Iraka - Head of Offshore Services (Africa), Standard Bank 40 African American at a Zulu Wedding 43 Senkubuge - Cupid’s Rubik’s Cube 44 Book Review - You are not a country Africa
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47 Know Your Envoy - Rwandan Ambassador 50 Hanging on with Hannington: Community service for Expats 52 The Last Word 53 Jobs in Africa
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NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
SPRING IS HERE! On a week in August, memories of Boston were evoked by a countrywide showing of snow so significant that a Johannesburg newspaper renamed the City “Sno’burg” in its headline the following day. But enough about the cold. Spring is here and we celebrate these brighter days by bringing you our eighth issue. Our cover personality epitomises the African professional beyond borders. Probably no other African entertainment personality is viewed by as many people each year than Big Brother’s I.K. from Nigeria and we are pleased to bring you his exclusive interview.
spent three months in Boston, USA in the winter season of 2009. It was also the first time I got to experience more snow than sunlight. I remember, on the first day, descending from the apartment my employers had rented for me into the City’s financial district and being confronted by a sea of white matter lining the sides of the road. That will probably go down as the coldest quarter of my life. In my attempts to keep warm, I purchased a woollen mask from a local clothing store. With only holes for my eyes and nose, it kept the rest of my head nice and warm. I however had to retire the apparel due to all the frightened reactions I got from the locals whenever they turned a corner and met this extra dark East African wearing a sock fit for a bank robber.
Another young achiever is Zimbabwean-born Leroy Munetsi who spearheads Mutual and Federal’s charge into the African market. Similarly, Ugandan-born David Iraka is the man responsible for offloading offshore products for Standard Bank on the continent. Read Modise Motloba’s story of over 100 billion rand in deals through his Quartile Capital brand and Nigerianborn Emmanuel Omaruaye’s bid to revolutionalise corporate travel in Sandton. We have another inspiring profile on Tanzanian-born Ms. Scholastica Kimaryo as well as our regular story categories – Tintswalo at Waterfall Hotel (“Expat-towers), African American at a Zulu Wedding (“Expattravel”), Rwandan Ambassador (“Know Your Envoy”) and You Are Not a Country, Africa (“Book Review”).
Publisher: The Expatriate Forum and Magazine (Pty) Limited Reg. Number: 2010/012428/07 P O Box 4935, Randburg, 2125 Tel: +27 11 7917484 www.expatriate.co.za Director: Carol Malonza – firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor: KC Rottok – email@example.com Deputy Editor and Content Advisor: Leah Maina – firstname.lastname@example.org Publishing Executive: Sheila Lynn Senkubuge Advertising and Event Enquiries email@example.com or 0822146421 Edition Writers: Keith Kundai, Hannington Kasirye, Yaw Peprah, Andreas Krensel, KC Rottok, Sheila Senkubuge, Carol Malonza Contributors: Wanjiru Waichigo, Juanita Nene Ceesay Art Direction, Design and Layout: Mike Obrien firstname.lastname@example.org Photography: Mzu Nhlabati www.creativenation.co.za Website: Drutech Media (0781121311) To subscribe or contribute an article, email us at email@example.com All rights reserved. Excerpts may be used as long as this magazine is credited as the source. Longer versions of our content may only be used with the written permission of the Publisher. Neither the publisher nor the editor accept responsibility for any of the information from edition writers or contributors. Whilst we have taken care in preparing this publication, the publisher/editor does not warrant its completeness or accuracy. The editor retains the right to edit all contributions. Advertisers are responsible for their material.
KC Rottok, CA (SA) Creative & Fin. Journalism (Wits University)
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Inside Home Affairs
Here is the good news! “We were also informed that a new permanent residence team was formed about six weeks ago. Before that, due to the enormous backlog of temporary residence applications (TRA’s), all resources were deployed to the processing of TRA’s....” recently commented on an article by Mr. Itumeleng Mahabane published in the Business Day on 25th of April 2012. In that article, he wrote about a personal experience and praised the Department of Home Affairs for world class service with regards to the issuing of passports. This resulted in an email exchange in which I pointed out all the shortcomings of the Department. He agreed with my view and concluded that he normally does not write about personal experiences because readers might have different ones. However, one should generally take advice from such a distinguished writer and despite my misgivings about the Department of Home Affairs, I decided to do exactly the same here and share with you some positive news about the Department in this issue. We recently travelled to Pretoria where we had an appointment with a senior adjudicator to submit copies of long overdue PR applications at Home Affairs Head Office. Normally the public is not allowed access to this building to avoid the officials from being “influenced”. However our intention was only to submit copies of about 25 applications, which we actually feared to be lost in the system. Most of them have been pending for at least 2 years and our numerous follow ups at the regional office, head office and the “Customer Service Centre” have yielded no results so far.
Being aware of these problems, Home Affairs allowed us a visit. We are not sure, how quickly these cases will be resolved now but only two weeks after our visit, some of the applicants have already received calls from officials about their applications. So somebody is now taking care of these applications. We were also informed that a new permanent residence team was formed about six weeks ago. Before that, due to the enormous backlog of temporary residence applications (TRA’s), all resources were deployed to the processing of TRA’s. The effect of this new team in expediting permanent residence applications will start to be seen in the near future.
I find these signs and results encouraging. It seems that it is possible to start turning around a Department which during the last years has not performed well. Of course there are still many areas which need significant improvement, for instance the swift repayment of repatriation fees, the non functioning appeals process or processing times with permanent residence to name only a few. But one should acknowledge the positive change and hope that it is a start for a permanent improvement in service delivery. Andreas Krensel is the owner and managing director of IBN Consulting in Cape Town. He is a qualified German attorney with an LLM from
In addition, we can confirm that the processing times for all temporary residence applications are being reduced drastically. In some cases we received results within two weeks. According to the Acting Chief Director Permitting who recently travelled throughout South Africa in order to engage with Immigration Attorneys and Immigration Practitioners, the backlog of over 46,000 applications has been substantially reduced to 16,669. The number of decision making officials has been increased and 1,100 new posts for permitting have been approved and will be filled in the coming months. Furthermore the Department will handle most of the application process electronically in order to avoid the current risks and delays caused by the sending of physical files. He even emphasised the strong role Immigration Practitioners should play in the future.
UCT and has been assisting foreign investors in South Africa for the past ten years. www. ibncapetown.com
Miss Uganda SA Busisiwe Juuko “I was born in SA in 1995 and speak Luganda, Sepedi, Xhosa and Zulu fluently. I am a high school student in Limpopo. I heard of Miss Uganda SA on Facebook and think the event was a success. I was very nervous and never did think I would win; I entered the competition for the experience. I was disappointed not to be given a car as advertised but winning the pageant was the biggest prize of all. Since winning my life has changed; I am not as shy as I used to be. I intend to partner up with Miss Uganda to form an organisation that will highlight the talent of Ugandan youth. My dream career is to be an air hostess as I love travelling and meeting new people.”
01 04 06
1 - Event organiser Stella Nankya 2 - Miss Popularity 3 - Aziz Azion 4 - Mr. Uganda SA winner Reagan Reanal 5 - Talent competition winner Lillian Kamwine 6 - From left – Car Winner Miss Teen Uganda SA Shameelah Mthupi, middle Miss Photogenic Winner Babirye Luzuka and right Facebook votes winner Faridah Nanyanzi 7 - Ugandan High Commissioner H.E. Kweronda Ruhemba 8 - Audience More pics available at www.facebook.com/expatmag
WINTER WOMENâ€™S BREAKFAST, ISSUE 7 LAUNCH
06 04 08
1- Pure Romance prize recipient Esther Munyi, 2- Sold Out! 130 women in attendance, 3 - CEO of Tara Hospital, Dr. Florence Otieno, 4 - Consolidated prize recipient Makgotso Maponya, 5 - Nigerian born publisher, Moky Makura, 6 - Programme Director, Sheila Lynn Senkubuge, 7- African American blogger Juanita Ceesay, 8 - Namibian born Olivia Nghaamwa, 9 - Quiz winners from left, Judy Odero, Esther Munyi, Makgotso Maponya and Wambui Gachago, 10 - CEO of Helen Joseph, Gladys Bogoshi 12
More pics available at www.facebook.com/expatmag
WINTER WOMEN’S BREAKFAST, ISSUE 7 LAUNCH
1 - Chair of Obaasima Ghanaian Women Social Club, Ophelia Akosah-Bempah, 2 - Dr. Dominique Stott of PPS, 3 - Accountant of Ugandan descent, Paula Kulubya, 4 - The Consolidated Financial Planning team, 5 - Tanzanian born Former U.N. Ambassador to SA, Scholastica Kimaryo, 6 - Zambian born proprietor of Ethnique Designs, Ezi Kilembe, 7 - From left, Anita Munetsi and Brunhilda Essoka, 8 - Mercy Mureithi of Pure Romance, 9 - Women’s Breakfast Quiz 10 - Evelyn Doubell of Consolidated giving her presentation, “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise” More pics available at www.facebook.com/expatmag
WINTER WOMEN’S BREAKFAST, ISSUE 7 LAUNCH
02 01 03
1 - Ugandan born veterinarian Dr. Agnes Ikatekit (right), 2 - NEPAD Head of Communications, Maureen Nkandu, Issue 7 cover personality, 3 - Sumptuous breakfast
KEDASA Hosts Kenya’s IEBC
1- Ambassador Yusuf Nzibo, IEBC Commissioner, 2- Kenya High Commissioner to SA, H.E. Tom Amolo, 3 - Programme Director Nanzala Mwaura, 4 - Lilian Mahiri-Zaja Vice Chair of IEBC, 5 - Meeting organiser Patrick Kabuya, 6 - KEDASA Chair Dr. Chomba Chuma, 7- Registrar of Political Parties, Lucy Ndung’u 14
VARIOUS OTHER EVENTS
02 04 05
1 - Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma hosting various African diaspora groups at her residence in May 2012, 2 - Ethnique Designs Zambia Night Fashion Show 3 - ZASA hosts Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation at Broadacres, Johannesburg, 4 - Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards – Africa Finalists – Lindsay Stradley (Kenya,first from left), Julienne Ingabire (Rwanda,fourth from left) and Nthabi Sibanda (SA, second from right), 5 - Annual General Meeting of AUPSA – New Officials – S. Twinoburyo (Chair), A. Mutono (Public Relations), J. Zake (Admin), E. Mukwaya (Finance), S. Ogema (Secretary), H. Kasirye (Marketing) and P. Mugisha (IT) Dr. A. Sekeito, Dr. F. Senkubuge & F. Katasi (Committee Members)
The Face of Big Brother Africa “I don’t just want to be the MVP; I want to own the game. Hosting is great, but it is those who put together the shows and sell content who make the real money...” 16
t is mid-July at the Balfour Park studios where the popular show Big Brother Africa (BBA) is shot. The Expatriate magazine team (Xpatr8) sits for an interview with the show’s presenter Ikponmwosa (I.K.) Osakioduwa at a cafeteria right next to the “Upville house” where a handful of Africans live under the watchful eye of millions across the continent.
and a half, many presenters who lived far from the station were unable to make it to work and I was called upon to present for 12 hours straight each day. This was my opportunity and I went crazy earning me a lot of fans and the nickname ‘The Wildchild’. As a result, I got the afternoon show and later moved up to the morning show.
Xpatr8: So your full name is actually Ikpoo...ah...hmmm
IK: My Head of Programmes at Rhythm, Femi Sowolu insisted that I take the day off and go for the Studio 53 audition in 2003. I wasn’t that keen on it but I didn’t want to annoy him so I went. There were close to 250 established TV faces there so I felt like it was an achievement to make the shortlist afterwards and even more pleased to get the part. After that I hosted other shows including Temptation Nigeria and Comedy Club Live in Lagos. In 2009, I went for the BBA auditions which were a disaster because I am used to free-styling the script but the director insisted on us mouthing it verbatim. Fortunately, they gave me a second chance with an interview where I was asked to describe the places I had been to. I killed it! I made everywhere sound so exotic!
IK: Don’t even bother pronouncing it. What kind of parents punish a child with such a long name? Even worse my surname sounds Japanese even though I am 100% Edo from Nigeria. Xpatr8: You actually don’t sound very Nigerian, did you grow up outside the country? IK: Not really but we travelled a lot within Nigeria when I was young because my dad was in the army. As a result of all the travelling, I ended up not learning any of the local languages and my parents spoke to their kids in English. Always being the new kid in the class, I learnt how to break the ice and adapt which has helped me a lot in my career.
Xpatr8: And MNET?
Xpatr8: How was your first show? Xpatr8: How did you get into entertainment? IK: When I was about 21, I joined Rhythm 93.7 FM in Nigeria as an understudy on the afternoon drive show. The host didn’t like me and told me to sit in the corner and shut up. I have a fuel crisis to thank for bringing me to the limelight. For about a week
IK: Terrible! A live show is a different kettle of fish. Halfway through the show the director pulled me aside and insisted that I stick to the script as the crew was relying on certain key words to know what happens next. I had a problem with dyslexia when I was young, so following the auto cues was difficult. One ear
was plugged to the director and I couldn’t hear myself from the other as the crowd was screaming so hard. Consequently, I sounded like a retard! A wardrobe malfunction also meant that I was stuck with this ridiculous trench coat for the entire show which was trending afterwards on twitter. Ah men... I struggled for the entire first season; I actually would have fired me if I was in charge of the show. Xpatr8: And yet, here you are in your fourth season being watched by millions. How does it feel? IK: Amazing! It means that I am on a first name basis with millions of people. It gets me to a place of familiarity with people meaning that I don’t have to introduce myself. If I fly to Kenya for example, an immigration official would recognise me and that makes my life easier. There is a downside though – the constant scrutiny. If I am on my cell phone while driving it would be a radio topic in Nigeria all day and the media are almost always on my case. Xpatr8: Has anything untrue ever been written about you? IK: Are you kidding? All the time! Just recently I was quoted on taking a stand against the Nigerian government on some topic I had not even heard of. Look man, I am a retiring flirt so occasionally I may be seen being friendly with the ladies which magazines make a big deal of because I am a married man. Xpatr8: Retiring flirt huh, recovering alcoholic as well perhaps?
IK: I actually don’t drink or smoke, never really have. People do those things for three reasons. They either like the taste of alcohol or need alcohol to loosen up and be more confident or do it out of peer pressure to socialise. None of those apply to me. Xpatr8: Let’s get back to your being married. IK: I met my wife Olo while I was dating someone else who wanted me to quit my radio gig and get a ‘real job’. Olo was the only friend who seemed to get me and did not want to change me, but she was dating someone else. So I called her and told her that she seems like the kind of person I would be able to spend my life with and asked her to get in touch as soon as she had got rid of the guy! We named our son Osahar, Egyptian for ‘God hears me’. I was praying that he would arrive before I had to leave for SA for four months during the first season of BBA and he arrived three days before my departure. Our second child is a daughter called Micah. Xpatr8: Was leaving your new-born your hardest experience with the show? IK: It was hard but my mother’s passing this season was worse. I actually wanted to quit but my father wouldn’t allow me to because he knew she was the only one who believed I could have a career in entertainment. I found out she had passed three days after my birthday on Friday the 24th of May 2012. That same morning I flew to SA to do the
show on Sunday. Then a week later, they flew her body from Mexico where she was being treated for cancer and I had to receive her body at the airport then board a flight to SA for another show. That was very tough. Xpatr8: Do you fly in and out of SA for the show? IK: Yes I still have a show on Rhythm FM where I am also Head of Programmes and MC a lot of events in Lagos. Thank God for technology because I occasionally do my radio show over the internet from a quiet place in an airport and record the daily BBA shows from Nigeria which I email to SA. Xpatr8: Speaking of Nigeria, the M.D. of MNET Africa is Nigerian, the presenter is also Nigerian and the last three seasons of BBA were won by a Nigerian! IK: Pure coincidence. The voting platform is in no way skewed to favour Nigeria as each country gets one vote. In addition, a reputable audit firm with multinational clients that are a thousand times more important to them than BBA always checks the results. Xpatr8: Who is the voice of Big Brother? IK: There is an individual who is here almost 24 hours a day. His identity remains a secret as the producers reserve the right to change the person. But it is not about him because the concept is that the public is big brother as they are the
ones watching and determining who wins. Xpatr8: What is your view of this season, what will be its legacy given the two violent incidences between a guy and a girl resulting in all four people involved being eliminated? IK: What we are seeing is that the quality of housemates is changing as they now understand the dynamics of the show. No one has used as much profanity in any season as much as these housemates. They understand that to win the USD300,000 you have to get the cameras to follow you and that is why they are pushing their personalities to the limit where you find a girl provoking a guy to slap her in the hope that he gets eliminated. But next season’s housemates are watching this season so I predict that in as much as they will be crazy, they will be careful not to get eliminated by provoking violence. Xpatr8: Where to from here? Have you reached the pinnacle of your career by hosting BBA? IK: Not at all. I don’t just want to be the MVP (Most Valuable Player), I want to own the game. Hosting the show is great and has a lot of perks but it is the people who put shows together and sell the content that make the real money. One of my role models is Ryan Seacrest who not only has a radio show and is the presenter of American Idols but also owns a number of shows like Keeping up with the Kardashians. - Expatriate mag team
eRoy Munetsi’s father was a Seventh - day Adventist pastor and as a result, the family travelled quite often during his formative years. By the time he went to Anderson High School in Zimbabwe, LeRoy had lived in and visited a number of countries in North America, Europe, South-East Asia and other parts of Africa. Armed with a first degree in business administration (accounting major) from Andrews University in Michigan in the United States, he started his formal working career in June 1996 as a workshop costing clerk with Amtec Motors in Bulawayo. “I used to be the guy who checksin your car for service in the morning, making sure your jack and spanner are in the car, then spending the rest of the day tracking the progress of the job and finally calculating the charges for invoicing,” LeRoy recalled in an interview. “It was a humble start but I really enjoyed the experience... probably because I love cars” After a few months in the workshop, LeRoy was moved to the accounts department where shortly after, the Group Finance Director bought a division of the group and poached a couple of “bright sparks” including LeRoy from the department to join him at Elida Automotive. Elida was a smaller entity and LeRoy gained invaluable management accounting experience and developed a firm appreciation for both the challenges faced and opportunities available when growing your business from the ground up.
LeRoy then joined Innscor Africa as a Regional Financial Manager for their Fast Foods division in March 1999. Here he led a team of 18 and was given the opportunity to hone his skills in a larger organisation. “It was a great job and I was exposed to the ups and downs of management as I had a bigger team reporting to me. Soon after I joined the entity, the Zimbabwean economy started to take a turn for the worse which affected the company and my prospects. Fortunately, voluntary retrenchment packages were offered and I took mine and left for South Africa in October 2000.” After a few months of job hunting and burning into his “meagre Zim-dollar savings”, he got a contract financial manager job at the advertising agency Leo Burnett before joining Brunswick, an international corporate communications outfit as an analyst. “That was in 2001 and a number of interesting corporate case studies were playing out. As an analyst, the research involved was a good learning experience for me and helped me to gain a better understanding of the local business landscape. I later moved to Cadbury’s where I was a commercial accountant supporting the marketing and sales functions.” “After a short stint in the telecommunications industry with the MTN Group, I joined the Standard Bank Group in October 2003 and started my MBA at the Wits Business School in January 2004. By the time I left Standard Bank, I was essentially
the CFO for the group corporate entities which included Group Risk, Group Finance, Corporate Human Resources and Group Marketing to name a few. One of the highlights was my involvement in the multimillion rand rebranding exercise which took the bank from the legendary ‘simpler, better, faster’ to ‘inspired, motivated and involved’.” LeRoy moved to the Absa Group in August 2006 with the goal of moving away from ‘bean counting’ to a more business oriented role. In 2008, he moved to the Absa Life business unit as executive assistant to the Managing Director. Shortly after, he was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the unit and helped to drive a significant change program which involved a technology platform upgrade, process reengineering and the introduction of output based remuneration in the operations environment. His mandate also included playing a central role in the infusion of a more progressive culture into the business to support the changes going on with the operating model. In October 2011, he joined Mutual & Federal Insurance Company (M&F) as Executive: Africa & New Markets with responsibility for its interests in Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Swaziland and leading the expansion of the business into new territories. “Our overarching goal is to position M&F as a pan-African company with representation in more countries than we presently have and to participate in the
Mutual & Federal’s Man for Africa emergence of the continent. As a division, I believe we have the opportunity to grow faster than the South African business and expect that in the next five to ten years, our contribution to the group will be significantly more than it currently is. There is an immense opportunity for insurance on the continent, considering the level of socioeconomic development, coupled with the emergence of a significant middle class. Our vision is to ensure M&F is relevant in the jurisdictions we embark on rather than trying to copy and paste solutions wholesale. A range of successful African companies like Multichoice, Dangote and MTN are good examples of how this can be done.” M&F’s charge on the continent is aided by the fact that it is a member of the Old Mutual Group which has a wider footprint and greater experience on the continent. LeRoy believes that collaboration, relationships and innovation will be key to the success of his division. As an African expatriate, he also has a good appreciation for the multicultural aspects which are essential to doing business in different markets.
“I have a passion for the continent and am keen to build the “Africa” brand wherever and whenever I can. At work, I have a ritual of wearing an Africa themed t-shirt every Friday and look forward to this becoming a trend across the company.” LeRoy is married to Lee-Ann, who is the founder of Germinate Consulting, a market research consultancy. Together they have two children; daughter Lenhle (8) and son Luhle (6).
- Keith Kundai
“There is an immense opportunity for insurance on the continent, considering the level of social and economic development, coupled with the emergence of a significant middle class. Our vision is to ensure M&F is relevant in the jurisdictions we embark on rather than trying to copy and paste solutions wholesale. A range of successful African companies like Multichoice, Dangote and MTN are good examples of how this can be done...”
ZIMBABWEAN ART GENIUS he winner of the second FNB Art Prize of R100,000 is Kudzanai Chiurai. Born in 1981 in Zimbabwe, he is an internationally acclaimed young artist now living and working in SA. Chiurai has participated in a number of local and international group exhibitions, including the Dakar Biennale, Senegal; Africa Now, a travelling exhibition in Scandinavia; as well as New Painting, a local travelling exhibition in 2006. The Goodman Gallery has exhibited his work at Paris Photo 2009, the 2010 Armory fair in New York, and Art
Basel Miami Beach 2009 and 2010. His work featured on two major international exhibitions in 2011: Figures & Fictions: Contemporary
South African Photography at the Victoria and Albert Museum in
London and Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, which has recently acquired Chiurai’s work for their collection. Despite his art hanging on the walls of New York’s Museum of Modern Art and in Elton John and Richard Branson’s homes, Chiurai remains unaffected: a cut-off observer, clearly speaking his truth. His only future agenda is to return home to Zimbabwe to teach kids about art. The 2012 FNB Joburg Art Fair takes place 7 – 9 September, Sandton Convention Centre. - Story by artlogic.co.za
Modise Motloba Quartile Capital’s Quest for R2 BillionValue By 2017 odise Motloba grew up and undertook his early education in Soweto before being admitted to Wits University where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1990. He spent a couple of years applying his computer science knowledge at Coopers and Lybrand and subsequently at Argus Newspapers prior to joining Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) as an investment banking trainee. “Joining RMB and investment banking was quite accidental as I was looking for a job and heard that the bank was looking to train black graduates,” he says as we sit in the boardroom at the Quartile Capital offices in Illovo. “But I was quite elated as this new career exposed me to multiple sectors and broadened my mind as opposed to computing which was not much more than a support role for an organisation.” Modise spent five years at RMB which included a stint with Goldman Sachs in New York in 1995. He joined African Merchant Bank in 1998 where he was the domestic treasurer responsible for compliance and liquidity matters. In 2000, he moved on to African Harvest managers in Cape Town where he was a portfolio manager. “It was a different kettle of fish working in Cape Town; there is certainly some truth to the notion that things are much more relaxed there. But it was a good two years for my personal development to learn that I could be successful and at the
same time enjoy life. I returned to Johannesburg briefly before resigning and I have been an entrepreneur ever since.” Modise and partner Sandile Njilo were behind the early years of Africa Vukani Investment Management Services, an entity whose core service lines were wealth management and corporate advisory. Modise was responsible for the latter and was also the company’s chief executive. “In 2008, the corporate advisory business was separated from Africa Vukani and the new subsidiary renamed Quartile Capital (QC). W e chose t h e name
‘Quartile’ as we aspire to be at the upper most quartile of the investment arena and as the term is frequently used in global financial circles, it would remain relevant once we expanded internationally.” QC has a proud record of being involved in deals
of over 100 billion rand to date. Their signature deals include advising the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) regarding their restructuring of their equity stake in MTN. “The transaction was in excess of R25 billion rand and took about three years from 2004 to 2007. As a result, significant value was unlocked for the PIC, fellow shareholders Transnet and the management and staff of MTN. Another milestone deal was advising Eyesizwe Mining in the merger of its core assets with the assets of Anglo American and subsequent formation and listing of Kumba Iron Ore and Exxaro.” Across the border, QC was involved in treasury related work when they advised Bank of Namibia regarding restructuring its portfolio and managing rand denominated funds. Their assistance involved putting in place systems, policies and procedures as well as providing training to bank staff on portfolio management. “Other work includes assisting the Development Bank of Southern Africa reposition t h e i r
treasury from a cost centre to a profit centre. This involved addressing issues around their strategy and aligning their policies to move into a profit making space. We were also transaction advisors to the PIC regarding the structuring of the 16 billion rand BEE transaction at Holcim (now Afrisam). More recently we assisted the national treasury in their efforts to raise two billion dollars which involved working with various local and international banks. Beyond that we have done significant consulting work with Transnet.” QC has a vision of achieving a company valuation of two billion rand by 2017 which it intends to do by focusing on achieving returns in four areas: investment, fund management, wealth management and advisory services. “We believe our target is achievable given that the company is 12 years old and we have learnt a number of lessons that will enable us to maximise on opportunities. We also have strategic advantages over our competitors including the fact that we are owner managed which allows us to be flexible and requires us to be dependent on creating value for our clients. This impacts the fee that we generate. QC provides
integrated service solutions that cut across a number of service areas that talk to each other while most other companies provide only one or two of these services. As a predominantly black entity, we fare well in transformation transactions as it is something we believe in rather than just a compliance issue.” Modise says that the company’s model will be replicated across the continent with an imminent acquisition of a Zambian finance and insurance outfit. The company is also in the process of acquiring equity stakes in various entities in South Africa where they believe they can add value and obtain credible returns. They recently acquired a 51% stake in Megarom, a video gaming distribution company. The company recently appointed Dinao Lerutla as CEO with Modise assuming the role of Executive Chairman. There are two other non-executive directors and an executive committee is responsible for executing the board’s strategy. All in all the company has a staff complement of 23 people consisting mainly of professionals. This structure works well given that Modise has other roles to play outside of the company including serving as a director at Harmony Mining and was recently a director at Land Bank, RMB Structured Insurance and Deutsche Bank. He has also served as president of the Association of Black Securities and
Investment Professionals (ABSIP). Modise credits his belief in God and dedication to his personal vision for his success. “I am dedicated to the vision of my own financial, intellectual and social freedom. I think the harder you work and the more focused you are on your vision, the ‘luckier’ you become. I also see this company as a resource for my family, members of staff and the community.” QC’s only other external shareholder is the Soweto-based Phutanang Youth Trust who are the company’s CSI (Corporate Social Investment) beneficiaries. Some of their members work at the company and receive lifestyles training help. “I think the only way to bridge the gap is by going back to the basics. I see this with these community structures that are to a large extent better organised than we the professionals. I wish to extend a challenge to all African professionals to seek platforms that encourage effective interaction irrespective of their origin. We can succeed if we embrace unity in our diversity and create mega companies using the knowledge obtained from our different backgrounds.” Modise is married to Rakgadi who is also an entrepreneur running her own events and decor company called RPM. Together they have two children – daughter Mamokete who is 13 and three year old son Obakeng. - Keith Kundai
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mmanuel Omaruaye was born in 1975 in Delta State, Nigeria and moved to South Africa in 2002 to pursue a private pilot licence at the Johannesburg School of Flying in Germiston, Johannesburg. “I had to travel quite a long distance to the school every day in old taxis. This gave me the opportunity to study Johannesburg’s transport system. I found it interesting that a world class city would be in such obvious need of a proper transport infrastructure and this convinced me that there were opportunities in this sector,” Emmanuel explained in an interview at his company offices in Rivonia. His move to pursue flying was inspired by his mother’s desire to have a son who was a pilot but Emmanuel knew from the outset that he was not cut out to work in the aviation industry. “I just couldn’t see myself working for somebody else who paid me to fly a plane from one point to another. Eight months into the course, I obtained a certified log book and returned to Nigeria to re-join the family company. But I
wanted to have my own thing hence my relocation to SA in 2005 to set up Deltaland Logistics Solutions T/A Deltacab named after my state of origin.” Emmanuel’s entrepreneurial spirit was cultivated in the Omaruaye household where his late father ran a successful concrete and trucking business in Delta state. From the age of 16, he would drive trucks and assist in other aspects of the business which his brothers run today. He co-founded Deltaland with his business and life partner Nomvula. They started off with only one Toyota Avanza and a small office in Rivonia and Emmanuel was the company’s only employee. It was not an easy process as they had to acquire shuttle service permits for the company, amongst many other challenges. “It was also a challenge to get corporate clients. We initially had to make do with servicing private individuals in need of cab services from shopping centres and clubs. But we persevered, grew thick skinned and managed to crack the corporate market, which is where we have
always wanted to position ourselves as we had identified this as a lucrative niche market. I now believe that when a company tells you NO, that is an abbreviation for the ‘next one’ and from moving on with your head held high you find that a YES is around the corner.” From a single Avanza, Deltacab today has five brand new Toyota Corollas and one Hyundai H1 Bus and at the time of this interview, the company was close to securing an assignment that would require a fleet of about 36 vehicles. The company is a cut above the rest using advanced technology to track and assign vehicles thus allowing them to achieve a superior level of efficiency. They also provide free WIFI service in their vehicles. “I estimate that close to 90% of our operations are paperless. Each driver has a device with which they can accept jobs. The device immediately acts as a navigation system to where the customer is. We on the other hand can track the progress of the assignment in real time from our systems at head office. This tool also provides an accurate record of each trip which we provide
to customers when invoicing them.” Deltacab is a member of the Sandton Tourism Association and some of their high profile clients include Deloitte & Touche, Anglo American, Bain & Company and the Courtyard Hotel. Emmanuel said their aim is to provide a professional, executive and corporate shuttle service as they do not want to compete with the “taxi on the street”. “We are in a saturated industry because people think that the taxi industry is as easy as purchasing a vehicle and expecting people to jump in for a fee. This impacts pricing as most operators are willing to accept very low amounts as they do not have to consider expenses like office rent and other overhead costs.”
And DeltaCab is beginning to get noticed. In 2011, the company was a finalist in the service category of the Randburg Chamber of Commerce Industry /FNB Business Excellence awards. Emmanuel attributed the nomination to the firm’s culture amongst the body of eight staff members of putting the client first. He cited his wife Nomvula (with whom he has a new born son Langa), his mother and his successful entrepreneur mother-in-law as his sources of inspiration. He said he aspires to establish a transport empire that includes haulage and executive jets services with active operations that stretch as far as his country of origin Nigeria. - Keith Kundai
Tintswalo at Waterfall A walk across a stable
“Tint” and “swallow” are words in the English language, but Tintswalo couldn’t be further from the European tongue. It is native Shangaan for “the intangible feeling of love, gratitude and peace bestowed upon someone offering you a meaningful and worthy gift”. And so it is that I take a walk through the five star Tintswalo at Waterfall Hotel in the Sunninghill area of Johannesburg. The entrance sets the scene for what to expect
as my vehicle sits upon a wooden plank bridge above a man-made river that acts as an aquatic border to the outside world.
The petite Kirsty Coetzee cuts a hospitable figure standing between two large wood-fire cauldrons at the main door. We proceed via the ten metre high timber and steel doors inviting you to enter the automatic glass door and I immediately spot a legendary endorsement in the form of the framed picture of Nelson Mandela with the hotel staff taken at this very venue.
get an aerial perspective to the various rooms. The opposite of a rock and a hard place must be a dam and a polo field – the two aesthetic choices available as a view to each room.
We skip past the lounge which elicits a homely feel with comfortable
The architect who designed this place must have grown up in a barn. Every door looks like the opening to a horses stall in a stable with a number and name surrounding a horse shoe label. Kirsty informs me that each room is individually named after a breed of horse.
couches positioned around a fireplace. The equestrian theme is clear; the artwork and miniature statues consist mainly of multiple horses. We walk up the wooden steps and
“There are sixteen suites,” she explains, “individually decorated to the colours and characteristics of specific horse breeds. They are spacious and en-suite, leading on to
a quaint balcony and all have airconditioning, under-floor heating, flat screen TV, mini bar, wireless connectivity and extra length king size or twin beds.”
and the top of this mini-tower offers a compelling view of the northern suburbs of the city. This roof-top setting is occasionally used for private functions.
Still on the first floor, on the opposite side of the building, is the Vital Source Spa which offers a variety of treatments. As we walk across to the north end of the building, the stable feel is compounded by the timber boards that line the corridor. Adjacent to the building, we encounter a pebble-stone tower in the shape of a lighthouse. The steps to the top of the structure attach beautifully to it like a vine wrapped around a rainforest tree
“A number of wedding proposals have been done right here,” Kirsty informs me as we descend and reenter the main building from the restaurant. In keeping with the theme, it is called the Feedroom but thankfully the menu indicates that the cuisine is far from fodder. Guests can enjoy life à la carte on an eatery that extends to a covered patio by the water and dine against a countryside backdrop of singing birds and floating ducks.
To cap it all, Tintswalo at Waterfall has boardroom facilities that cater for groups of up to 45. Certainly the ultimate ‘out of town’ experience for seminars, corporate breakaways and special occasions. The tour was certainly a meaningful gift and with peace and gratitude already bestowed, I leave with a promise to myself that I will return one day soon for an extended stay. - KC ROTTOK
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– Recent U.N. Representative to SA arly this quarter, The Expatriate magazine met with and interviewed Scholastica Kimaryo, the former coordinator of the United Nations system in SA who now heads her own leadership institute.
threatened to ex-communicate him that he allowed me to go to grade five. I was aware that I should not let myself or other women down and as a result my career has been centred on supporting women, children and poor people.
Tell us about your early upbringing.
How did you end up working for the United Nations and in what positions did you serve?
I was raised on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro where I was the first girl to go beyond primary school. My father actually refused to “waste his coffee money on a girl who would end up getting pregnant or mess up in some other way”. It was only after the priest
My first degree was in home economics at the then University of East Africa in Nairobi. During my studies I wrote articles f o r
various publications and joined the newspapers thereafter whilst pursuing a post-graduate qualification in journalism. In 1977, I was appointed the first executive secretary of the Tanzanian Commission for children funded by UNICEF. Although I had written many articles/journals prior to that appointment, this was the first organisation where my writing was used to make a difference. UNICEF is a multi-lateral agency that researches child-related issues, sources funding and develops programs that improve people’s lives. I stayed on and progressed to be Head of Country and thereafter worked for various UN Agencies mainly in Southern Africa. After 23 years I was promoted to be the UNDP Representative to SA, effectively responsible for the UN here as this agency coordinates the organisation’s system in the country. What were the highlights of your career at the U.N.? There are several in every country that I have worked. In Tanzania, UNICEF helped to significantly reduce child mortality so much so that it was common to find children named ‘UNICEF’ there. In Botswana, we highlighted the plight of the pastoral communities who experienced a lack of access to food. In SA, our work focused on supporting the emerging democracy in incorporating the rights of children into the new constitution. Also during my time as the UNICEF representative here, our office managed to bring the
Duchess of Kent for a tour which resulted in her raising five million dollars for the local cause. Similarly, during my tenure in Liberia which happened to have been during its civil war, we facilitated a tour by ‘the Oprah of Japan’ Tetsuko Kuroyanagi who raised a million dollars to help our programmes there. Did you experience any difficulties in your work while at the U.N? The organisation is an international platform with significant resources to make a difference and where all nations have a voice. My long period of service opened up my eyes to the realities of the world including the fact that how much money we were able to raise often depended on the political priorities of donor nations. It was also not easy to reach certain communities without their ‘gate-keepers’ making it possible. Finally, most of the senior employees only stay in one station for four to five years which affects continuity in the programmes that they initiate.
inhibited creativity. This is beginning to change although the media rarely focuses on this positive angle.Another problem is that people are taught to fear their leaders which prevents the kind of interaction that can lead to mentoring and intergenerational beneficiation. For instance I learn quite a lot from my children and grand-children. I am 63 now and a lot has changed since my childhood when women on the continent could only be teachers or nurses. Now they can be anything and the African Union is pushing the idea of
space and a hunger for success. It is the last hope that we have to get our act together and provide a platform for a dynamic Africa. I currently serve on the boards of many international organisations and about a decade ago I founded the Tanzanian Women in Gauteng (TWIGA). After witnessing the toll that stress in the workplace takes on individuals, I made a promise to God that when I retire I would learn to be a principlecentred leader who promotes balanced living for people to be healthy in mind, body and spirit. I retired in 2009 and went to the Chopra Centre University in California to learn about spiritual health. I subsequently founded the Maadili Conscious Leadership & Healthy Lifestyles Coaching Institute. Using Ayurvedic techniques, I help individuals in the work place and elsewhere identify their natural mind body constitution and to understand their behaviour patterns when they are in and out of balance. On this basis, I share with them knowledge that enables them to access their potential towards the attainment of mind body balance through mindful awareness and conscious choice making. This helps tap into the healer within all of us and supports the fulfilment of our purpose in life. - Carol Malonza
“I was raised on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro where I was the first girl to go beyond primary school. My father initially refused to “waste his coffee money on a girl who would end up getting pregnant or mess up in some other way”. I was aware that I should not let myself or other women down and as a result my career has been centred on supporting women, children and poor people.....”
Given how well you have travelled on the continent, what is your view of its prospects? I think the biggest disservice modernisation has had is to teach people to be compliant which has
gender equality. This, amongst other things, makes me truly believe that an African renaissance is underway. Why have you settled in SA and what line of work are you involved in? This is the only country where I served for two different periods. I really believe that God brought me here for a reason. After independence, Tanzania’s founding father Mwalimu Nyerere said that the continent would not be free unless the other countries including SA were freed. Similarly, I think that in the success or failure of SA lies the hopes and aspirations of the African people. Here, I find vibrancy, a democratic
DAVID IRAKA avid Iraka was born in Kampala in 1972 and was the first born in a family of four children. As Uganda was politically volatile in the early eighties, his father decided to relocate the family to the Transkei homeland of SA in 1983 where he worked at Umtata General Hospital as a specialist Paediatrician. In 1990, soon after David matriculated from St. Andrews College in Grahamstown, Dr Iraka got a position at Pretoria’s Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA). The family drove up to the country’s capital looking forward to life in the big city unprepared for the rude shock that awaited them as people there were not as hospitable as they expected. “Pretoria was still very much the seat of the old regime,” David recalled at an interview in his new Hyde Park office. “We were turned away by one of the hotels who claimed that they had no rooms for us and we ended up living in a “matchbox house” in Ga-Rankuwa, a township north of Pretoria. Eventually, we found our feet and moved to the Pretoria East suburb of Newlands where we established a family home that we still have to this day.”
“In just 18 months, he doubled his portfolio’s assets from three billion to six billion...”
Dr Iraka was determined to “hand over his stethoscope” to David and encouraged him to study medicine at university. He joined Medunsa to study for a Bachelor of Science degree but six months into the course, he was accepted at Indiana State University for a Pre-med Degree and thus relocated to the U.S.A.
HEAD OF OFFSHORE SERVICES, AFRICA AT STANDARD BANK “I spent a few years in the U.S., first at Indiana State University then later I transferred to Georgia State University. I majored in psychology and worked part time as a Mental Health Counsellor at various hospitals in Atlanta. One of my highlights was working as a security guard during the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and watching the events for free.”
One of the highlights of David’s career was when he doubled his portfolio’s “assets under management” at Stanlib from three to six billion rand in the span of only eighteen months.
different role for me which was to head offshore sales for 14 countries in Africa. After a series of interviews, I got the position and commenced work at the beginning of August 2012.”
In 2009, he decided to start his own brokerage firm which he christened Ancestry Capital.
David eventually got admitted to Medical School but when the class began to cut up and analyse cadavers, he realised that medicine was not for him and dropped out of the course much to his father’s disappointment. In 1999, David returned to SA and decided to redesign his career path to focus on Financial Services. His first opportunity was as a call centre agent at Momentum Life where he enjoyed serving clients while earning commission. Simultaneously, he aggressively pursued and obtained various qualifications in the financial services Industry. In 2003, he Joined Absa Private Bank as a Financial Planner where he had great success in attracting young doctors from Medunsa as clients.
“Unfortunately, I started Ancestry during the height of the global recession and hence business did not pick up as well as I would have liked. That same year, I was approached by Nedbank (Wealth) and subsequently accepted an offer as an Area Manager supervising a team of senior financial planners in the Private Bank & BOE Private Clients divisions. After just a year at Nedbank, I was selected to attend an Executive Program at the prestigious INSEAD School of business in Fontainebleau, France.”
An excited David has taken up Portuguese and French lessons (to add to his fluency in Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu and Ankole) to be more effective in the countries that speak these languages. Offshore services offer a range of products; from hard currency bank deposits, to capitalprotected structured products, funds and offshore trusts.
“After a year and a half, I was promoted to the role of assistant regional leader within the bank and tasked with the mandate of recruiting and developing young black financial planners. Then in 2006, I was head hunted by Stanlib to take up a position as the head of retail sales in the Africa division; I was responsible for business development and distribution in Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.”
The INSEAD programme was a great networking opportunity as David interacted with some of the best financial minds from across the globe. The course focused on “Channel Distribution” and on completion, he implemented a process whereby the head office began providing financial planning services to its employees/staff for a subsidised fee which became an additional revenue stream for the bank. “I needed a new challenge afterwards and I came across an advert in the newspapers by Standard Bank for a role I thought I could fulfil. When I applied, they suggested a
“Our aim is to create and preserve wealth for our clients through innovative tax and estate planning solutions as well as diversification across different geographies. The bank’s presence in the tax havens of the Isle of Man, Jersey and Mauritius combined with highly skilled resources in stock-broking , asset management and fiduciary services make our proposal “a must have” for any high net worth individual.” He concluded by confidently predicting that he will not reach but surpass his initial sales target of 25 million british pounds (approx. R310 million) worth of business. David is married to Dana, an African American he met in 1998. They have two (2) sons; Amani, 13, and Khaya, 10.
- Keith Kundai
AFRICAN AMERICAN AT A ZULU WEDDING arlier in the year, I set off to pursue one of my life long missions; to live and work in Africa. And so it was that I, Juanita Nene Ceesay, a girl born in America to African parents, left the confines of my secure life in New York to venture into the unknown world with only two suitcases to my name. I sometimes wonder how I ever convinced myself to make such a bold career and personal move. My conclusion so far is simple really, “I want to participate in the change which I envision for the African continent”. Walking the walk and not just talking the talk has always been a saying that resonated with me strongly. Therefore, when
the opportunity arose for me to undertake professional work which would positively impact communities and countries across Africa, I signed off on my acceptance letter and haven’t looked back ever since. I can say without a doubt that this has been one of the best decisions I ever made. Living and working in Africa is beautiful in every way imaginable and I cannot emphasize enough how refreshing it feels to live in an environment that appreciates the importance of having a good work and life balance. A recent trip out of Johannesburg illustrates how revitalizing the wealth of culture here is.
One of the best ways to enjoy Africa’s vibrancy is by attending a traditional African Wedding. Electrifying, emotional, spellbinding, beautiful, dramatic are amongst the many adjectives I would use to describe what goes on. Last weekend I had the great privilege of accompanying my friend Trixie Koki, to her cousins’ traditional Zulu wedding in the township of Kroonstad, South Africa. We left the city of Johannesburg in the early hours of the morning and set off for our three hour road trip to the township. Since arriving in South Africa, this was my first time visiting the rural part of the country, so needless to say, I was pretty excited. Kroonstad is a cosy little place with the most amazingly hospitable people. Upon arriving in the town, I felt right at home. However as is common with rural
communities in Africa, you could immediately tell that the village was taking a hit from rapid urbanization. In other words, most of the able members of the community had left in search of greener pastures in the cities. Everywhere you looked, you could see the signs of a disproportionate amount of older folks and young children. However, for those who have remained in Kroonstad, life is one happy, laid back and content affair. From the moment I arrived at the wedding hall, I knew I was in for a treat. Like a typical girl, I was mesmerized by the colourful and fabulous attire of the guests in attendance, evidenced in my photos which focused on the dressing. The ceremony was absolutely breath-taking. African culture and traditions are truly a sight to behold. The chants, singing, and music gave me goose bumps and the insanely
talented dancing made me get on YouTube right away in a quest to learn the moves.
Juanita Nene Ceesay
All in all, my first Zulu wedding experience convinced me that when I do get married, I am definitely doing so in Africa. - Juanita Nene Ceesay
â€œOne of the best ways to enjoy Africaâ€™s vibrancy is by attending a traditional African Wedding. Electrifying, emotional, spellbinding, beautiful, dramatic are amongst the many adjectives I would use to describe what goes on....â€?
CUPID’S RUBIK’S CUBE hen I sat with a close friend recently for an “intellectual conversation”, anyone listening would have concluded that Socrates himself couldn’t have thoughts that delve so deep. The discussion centred on how well we know ourselves and our best and worst attributes. I boasted that one of my best attributes must be my unlimited ability to love. To which my “fellow philosopher” replied “what is love?” And though in my mind and heart I know exactly what it is, putting into words was near impossible.
achievements and it has no cost. Ironically, all material things can very easily disappear and the only things that are irreplaceable in this life are the people that are around us. Why then measure the irreplaceable with replaceable things? Looks fade, money comes and goes, status and prestige are unpredictable. And when this happens a ‘loving one’ leaves claiming that this is not what they signed up for. That said, certain logical decisions have to be made, regardless of how deeply
me to say what love is. It happens spontaneously and doesn’t involve dishonesty. It is unconditional, nothing that anyone says can waver your emotion towards that particular person. It is steadfast, trusting, having an unwavering faith in someone and builds both people in the relationship. It involves mutual respect, protecting one another and is completely selfless. Perhaps most frightening of all is that it is a risk because you take what is most precious to you and hold it out to someone else in the hope that they will treasure it as much as you do.
“Looks fade, money comes and goes, I may not status and prestige are unpredict- have the insight The love able. And when this happens a ‘lov- of the greatest between lovers philosophers of all ing one’ leaves claiming that this is something time (yet), but of that has become is not what they signed up for....” this one thing I am so multifaceted that every individual has their own opinion about it. Areas that used to be black or white have now become grey areas. A woman thinks: “the man is financially stable, his looks are fair and he seems to have a bright future ahead of him.” She then positions herself next to the man claiming to love him. A man thinks: “she is beautiful, intelligent (not overwhelmingly so) and has a career that earns enough for her to contribute.” Society approves the match, and off they waltz down the aisle and declare their love for one another. Welcome to love in 2012. When did price tags become a pre-requisite for our hearts to experience an emotion that is supposed to be pure? Love is not an emotion that is based on
you love someone. When a penniless pastoral student wanted to marry a young girl, his father asked “What are you going to eat? Prayers?” I am not saying that people shouldn’t plan for a comfortable life but I think making material things a predictor about how you are going to feel about someone is a grave mistake. True love is not a premeditated emotion, it doesn’t include calculating, planning and scheming. If one schemes and gets the one they’re after, I can confidently say, that what they have found is definitely not love, and sooner or later the cracks begin to show.
sure…I know what love is. Putting it in words may be a challenge but I know love is real and tangible. When it comes my way, I will grab onto it with both hands and never let it go. If we could all do a little more of this, that in my philosophy would be good enough! - SHEILA LYNN SENKUBUGE
So, having said everything love isn’t, it’s much easier for
You are not a country,
Africa he 21st century is characterised by the disintegration of the geographical boundaries that initially constrained people and culture. Investors are trading on the New York Stock Exchange in the comfort of their homes in Eastern Cape, South Africa. There are Africans who are more passionate about the English Premier League than the English themselves. Twitter has enabled a Syrian activist to connect with a Zimbabwean strategist. So, what does it mean to be African these days? What does Africa mean to you? Pius Adesami’s latest creative non-fiction flirts with such questions. You are not a country Africa is Adesami’s autobiography of ideas. It is a collection of essays which highlights the complexities of Africa and of being African. Born in Nigeria
and currently working in Canada as a professor of English, Adesami writes of his physical, emotional and intellectual movements in Africa and in Euro-America as an African. His
book helps one understand African culture and everyday history as well as the manifestations of modern African identities. As African expatriates in South Africa, many have encountered infamous questions such as, “Where are you from?”, “How do you pronounce your name?”, “That’s an interesting accent?” or “What tribe do you belong to?” These questions force us to engage with the politics of identity. For that split of a second we reflect on who we are as defined either by our accent, that small dictatorial booklet called the passport, or the tiny thing referred to as the “identity” card. You are not a country Africa articulates and politicizes everyday living while embracing the different identities of Africa and Africans.
Adesami’s title borrows from a line in Abioseh Nicol’s poem, The Meaning of Africa. The line describes Africa as unique to its billions of inhabitants and complicates the African narrative. Remember while reading the book that the authors choice of words describe his perceptions, hence the very fitting title. Every African whether in Africa or in diaspora has unique experiences and meanings of Africa and this, according to the poet and author, is what defines Africa and what makes one African. Reiterating Chimamanda Adichie’s thoughts on the danger of a single African story, the author unravels what Africa means to him and by extension to all those who populate this continent of extremes. He tells of Africa the beautiful, Africa the powerful, Africa the intellectual, Africa the corrupt, Africa the complicated, Africa the poor and Africa the xenophobic. There are references to his country Nigeria but he makes an effort to relate it to other countries in the continent and beyond. The book
corroborates the various meanings of Africa that are shared regionally (in Africa) and internationally. The author’s experiences evoke in the reader episodes of self-reflection, laughter, and mmmhhhh, aaahhhh, I-know-that-feeling moments. The reader feels as if they were in their local bar listening to the experiences of an old honest friend, philosophising the most mundane activities and having passionate constructive debates.
Africa (ns). It gives useful pointers to the conversation of culture and the verbiage will undoubtedly tickle those who hunger for new words. - Wanjiru Waichigo is an MA (Literature) graduate from the University of Witwatersrand. She currently works with CIET in Southern Africa as a researcher and programme manager.
From a feminist perspective one can’t help but notice his reference to African culture, history and the traditional literary canon, all of which are highly patriarchal. There are a few pages dotted with feminist talks, but one gets the feeling that it is an unsuccessful attempt to silence gender critics. On the other hand, it has always been complicated when a male author takes it upon himself to tell herstory. Overall, it is a book that can be enjoyed by anyone interested in a fresh perspective of the good old debate of distorted and sorted images and representations of
“Many have encountered questions that make you engage in the politics of identity such as, “Where are you from?” or “How do you pronounce your name?” You are not a country Africa articulates and politicizes everyday living while embracing the different identities of Africa and Africans....” WWW.EXPATRIATE.CO.ZA
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H.E. Vincent Karega Rwandan Ambassador to SA Describe your career path leading up to your appointment. I have had a career spanning 22 years which includes five years in the private sector spent in the DRC and here in SA. I joined the Rwandan government as a civil servant working as a director then as permanent secretary in various ministries. In 2006, I was appointed a cabinet minister initially as the minister responsible for industry and investment before a brief stint as mining and environment minister. Prior to my appointment as the Ambassador to SA, I served as the minister responsible for Rwandaâ€™s infrastructure. How did you receive the news of your appointment? I am a cadre of the Rwanda Patriotic Front headed by President Paul Kagame. As a cadre you are required to serve where the country needs you most so we are not in a position to question whether each position is higher than the
other. I leave it up to the party and government that I have joined to decide for me where it is suitable for me to serve. But I must say that I have been quite fortunate in the appointments accorded to me. It pleases me to be in positions where I can contribute to the ongoing transformation of my country. We have one of the cleanest cities in the world and the incredibly fast rate at which we are developing in many sectors is being described by many as a miracle. How does working as an envoy differ from working as a government minister? I think it is good to be a minister when one has already been in government as I have participated in the formulation of the policies of my government and can therefore communicate these abroad with much authority. I can also link up people here with the appropriate person in our government quite easily.
What do you view as your priorities as envoy to SA? My role is to ensure bilateral relations are strengthened between the two countries. We need to attract investment to Rwanda while seizing the opportunities presented to us by SA. As it is the foremost economic powerhouse on the continent, there is a lot of knowledge to be acquired from here. The mission also acts as a conduit given that there are a number of South Africans who have invested in Rwanda and we also have a number of Rwandan businessmen in SA as well as a significant number of students. We host a number of gatherings for the Rwandan diaspora here and try and help them as much as we can when they have difficulties. Describe the state of the relationship between Rwanda and SA. They are very good and the interaction between the two countries is continuously increasing. Flights to Rwanda are frequently full and a good number of the passengers
WWW.EXPATRIATE.CO.ZA 10:49 AM
are South African. Rwandans also frequent SA freely; a number of our high ranking government officials travel here in their capacities, business people visit for meetings and other individuals come here for purposes such as medical treatment or private tours. In spite of SA having accorded a few dissidents political asylum, the relationship between our two governments is good; our president was here for the centenary celebrations of the ANC. What would you describe as the highlights of your career? As an official in the Gender Ministry I took part in the empowerment of the women of Rwanda such that today they make up 56% of parliamentarians and the proportion of women in our cabinet is the highest in the world. I also participated in the development of poverty alleviation programmes; today we celebrate every five years lifting millions
Tell us more about yourself, your family, your hobbies and future plans. I am married with two daughters. I participate in sports to keep fit and I enjoy reading and sightseeing. I also have an interest in different cultures and learning new languages. I leave my future to God as I am not the kind of person who dreams of being this or the other but because I am very passionate about my country I intend to retire in Rwanda when my career comes to an end. We note that both you and President Kagame are on twitter which is quite unique for politicians/diplomats, what is your view of the role of social media? We are not a bureaucratic establishment like most governments. We are looking to be as close as possible to people and to the world and therefore use social
â€œAs a civil servant, I participated in various landmark programmes like gender equality and today 56% of our parliamentarians are women. We also have one of the cleanest cities in the world and the incredibly fast rate at which we are developing in many sectors is being described by many as a miracle.....â€? of our people from poverty. I am also proud of my role in increasing both domestic and international investment and working with other cadres in establishing key infrastructure agencies. 48
media to communicate what is going on and to reach out to people. These tools are also useful in marketing our country. - Carol Malonza
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Hanging on with Hannington
ONE YEAR COMPULSORY COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR EXPATS recent experience has me convinced that expats should do one year of community service in the townships before being granted work permits. A little over seven months ago, a friend of mine called Emmy Muzamil
must have known that this was an opportunity to have me stabbed to death. Working in a black township like Diepsloot is a task would engulf any foreigner with anxiety. That said, people there are good natured even when conditions and circumstances programme them to hate foreigners. This desolate but dense slum is 30kms in the west of Pretoria and lines the route that stretches to the capital of debauchery - Sandton City. You can spot the rich in tinted shiny SUVs speeding to important meetings past this township. Many call tinned shacks their homes and these make up a squatter colony far removed from what we commonly view as civilization. It’s a sea of poverty, degradation and humiliation that I know many white collar expats have never experienced. One morning, after I alighted from a taxi, I saw a group of children standing in a heap of refuse playing with the carcass of a dead cat. One rugged boy continued to flog the carcass until the insides were spewing everywhere! Not too far from them were elderly women sifting through rubbish pits for used cans. Their companions were stray dogs feasting on rotting food while flies buzzed around all of them in some kind of symphonic orchestra.
of Asur Civil Engineers, offered me an opportunity to be murdered in a township. He tasked me with managing a government low-cost housing project in the Diepsloot West township of Johannesburg.
Having handled all sorts of construction projects in predominantly black areas, this progressive SA educated engineer
Under these conditions, the residents of Diepsloot are understandably angry as many have died waiting for decades for the government to deliver its promise of a better life. It is easy for them to hate foreigners which the same government may be seen to be affording that better life. Hence my discomfort at the fact that they could
easily identify me as a foreigner as I look somewhat different, speak only English and don’t eat chicken feet. I am thankful that I never got stabbed to death during my stint at the township. The point of this missive is that I think African expats need to integrate with poor locals. We easily forget that most of us are also the products of some poverty and become mere voyeurs of misery once we get a work permit and settle in the suburbs. It would be a fantastic idea for the SA government to force expats to do some community service as a pre-requisite to getting a work permit. Locals would see us as a positive contributor and many expats would learn to be grateful for their circumstances. While this is not a statutory requirement, I urge expats to volunteer some time and make a difference. You could volunteer at the local clinics or schools that are massively understaffed or do something as simple as donating old clothes. It is a sad thing if your answer is “nothing” to the question: “What did you do for your 67 minutes on Nelson Mandela’s birthday?”
- HANNINGTON KASIRYE
“Township residents are understandably angry as they feel like they are missing out on the promise of a better life which government seems to deliver to foreigners.....”
The Last Word
TEXTBOOKS AND TRADITION
“NASA sent a probe to Mars yet the SA government can’t send textbooks to Limpopo.” Textbooks… uring the last quarter Ghana lost her president, Juju continues to go from “kill for” Zuma to ‘kill’ Zuma, we had our first double amputee compete in the able bodied Olympics, Jackie Selebi unsurprisingly was granted medical parole and it snowed in Joburg. But most notably, NASA sent a probe to Mars yet the SA government cannot send textbooks to Limpopo. In August 2012, some students still hadn’t got textbooks and some blind students had received books meant for full sighted children. What grates my cheese though is the fact that people are just dumping these books in velds or burning them instead of delivering them to those in need. When we were at school we had hand me downs with books returned by the outgoing students for use by the new class each year. Doesn’t the system work like that anymore? Other than heads rolling, what needs to happen is an honest review aimed at taking lasting steps to ensure that this never happens again. We should not play the blame game; I heard the president blamed Verwoerd for the mess. Well then this should have been an issue since 1994 then and not just in 2012!
Tradition… A few weekends ago, I was involved in the traditional wedding of my youngest brother Nana and his fiancée Aso. Having been born in Accra but raised in the Transkei, I have little knowledge of my roots hence this was educational.
Ghanaians follow a maternal line, which makes sense, because there could always be doubt about who the father is but there is never any question about who the mother of a child is. We approached this in the knowledge that my mother’s bloodline is linked to that of royalty in some shape or form. The process began with my father doing the “knocking”. He sourced an elder who took gifts to my in-laws and initiated a conversation along the lines of “if you see my son walking in the streets with your daughter, do not be alarmed.” The bride’s family sent a list of requirements which included alcohol, cloth, cash, a ring, a Bible and other odds and ends. We arrived at their home in Maritzburg dressed in Ghanaian attire with these items wrapped in beautiful baskets. The two families sat on opposite sides of the room each with a chief negotiator. We are offered water to drink because whenever anyone knocks on your door, you offer them water. Once their thirst has been quenched, you ask them what their business is and then the fun negotiations begin. It was a light hearted and enjoyable process albeit time consuming, but that’s all part of the experience. Once most of the gifts and
negotiations had been done, we were then asked to go and fetch my brother so that they can ‘inspect’ him to see whether he is a fitting match for their daughter. He was ushered in to much voice and fanfare, inspected, interrogated and then allowed to sit. An aunt then ‘extorted’ more money from us “to buy sunglasses for the bride to be and for taxi fare to go and fetch her.” Finally, with music blazing in the background, she danced her way in. She was asked whether this is the man that she had chosen and once she replied in the affirmative, a pastor performed a ceremony which concluded with a ring being placed on her finger. We then ate, drank and played out a weekend of sheer merriment. Yaw Peprah is a self employed entrepreneur pursuing interests in business advisory, consultancy and commodity brokering. www.asitissoitis. blogspot.com
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Published on Sep 9, 2012