Working from home during the lockdown

Working from home caught us off guard and I wasn’t surprised that my first week was horrible to say the least. None of my team members were fully abled to work and I happen to be the last person in the chain to release payments, which were due because it was month end of March after all.

Nonetheless I struggled along , managed the A-Z communication with our last batch of suppliers who needed the assurance that we will pull things off and I am glad that we succeeded at that.

Learning to be patient

I quickly learned that in order to succeed through the process I had to be patient , I normally have a gift of seeing things through , connecting the dots and having a clear path on what will be required by when . I also expected that everyone else would have figured this out and I was wrong.

This is where being caught of guard things come in . Nobody expects to one day be doing everything from home and communicating with team members . I had to accept that there is no manual on how to do things and I must be patient and open to learn new things. As a result we started off on some bad communication tip and I had to learn that I need to be very patient with both myself , my leaders and team.

So as soon as the necessary people were set up , I clarified expectations, I communicated what I was going to be able to do and I couldn’t be able to do. Most importantly every single task had a timeline assigned to it. I just believe that communication of expectations is the best way to get the team know what is needed from them. I also let them know that I too have never been in this situation before so if there’s any ideas , I am open to it. If I make mistakes they should let me know , if I am over communicating or under communicating they should let me know too.

Having two kids under age six and knowing that I had a full day teaching schedule plus cleaning and cooking , I did not want to assume that just because the team is at home this means everyone is logged in to their laptops the whole day . As I have come to learn , it has actually been a complete opposite for me.

Week 1 I was getting in about six working hours a day , schools were closed , I was one of two people able to work from home in my team and it worked. But lo and behold , week 2 things changed. At first I thought I would wake up early and do an hours work before starting with the teaching . But nope , that wasn’t to be. I got to bed so exhausted that an idea of a 6am was totally off the table.

So here is what I have managed to do consistently this far

After teaching my kids at 12:00 , I clean the house , prepare lunch , clean up some more . I am usually done by 2pm and this time is dedicated to logging in . I focus on the emails , tackle new tasks on my to do list , usually I am done by 4pm and then I am back to the kitchen to prepare supper. I got back to laptop on a need basis in between the kids eating and bath time.

What worked

What worked for me was getting my team fully resourced with data , airtime and laptops. I have no doubt that this will change how we do things going forward. Some of the team members have had to go to the office to process some work because they don’t have laptops. This has to change , technology is now our bread and butter issue.

I have been able to quickly leave the kids in class and attend to a Whatsup message from my boss , log in and send that report .

Knowing what was not a priority also helped . The due dates that could be let go such as the draft annual financial statements etc , accepting that we cannot access our ERP system from home wasn’t easy but getting to that acceptance helped to make my sanity work .

My overall reflection

Sources – @thrive

I came across this post from@thrive “ consider which parts of normal are worth rushing to”. And this has gotten my mind thinking 🤔

You know what , this lockdown reminded of the teaching they gave us in the pregnancy class. They said to mothers, most mommies resign after going back to work after maternity leave. Why?The joy and emotion of raising a child gives them so much purpose and direction and they start to question whether or not their jobs are worth their time.

And guess what , I am at this state of mind. Whilst I am grateful that the amount of pressure I have had is minimal and I was actually able to give time to my kids , especially with my husband working as an essential service , I am not sure if I want to go back to the same job and duties. And so there is a lot of thinking and praying awaiting me for the next 14 days .

For now we can just say – searching for a new place is not off the table . I want to spend more time with my kids and my husband. I want to drive less than 15 minutes to work and not an hour , I want to be home to see my kids by 3 or 4pm and not between 6-7pm as I currently do. I want to serve my family supper at 7 consistently and not 8or9pm. I want my freedom back and I want it now. I want to contribute in making a world a better place. I don’t want to sit and idle by.

I don’t know 🤷🏿‍♀️ right now, I am open to counseling after all this but I just need to add more quality into my life and right now my family is everything . My current job is more back end , last person , minimal input that gives me less drive and excitement, I am more a decision making person and financial reporting alone can remove that joy away from me at times. I don’t need any more confirmation. I just don’t know how to make the jump !

Anyone else going through what I am feeling out there ?

Pain pass on purpose

Still inspired by the message “ I am carrying nations”

Your pain will give birth to your purpose(TDJ), so today I will be sharing with you in part my pain, passion and purpose.

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It always begins with a story . . . . . . . .

When I was 5 years old my mother told me I am going to big school, my imagination went as far as the cities and places I had never seen before, all I knew was my mind saw “transformation from poverty to well-being “my family becoming well, in each and every form, my community, my people  . . . I saw myself using whatever information, tools and knowledge to impact the community in a positive way . . . . . I knew right there on that day that I have a heart for community……. I felt it deep inside me, at the age of 5.

Amazing thing is this is here is what I also said verbally on the day “I am going to be rich and I am going to build my mother a house , I said this out loud, running and circling what was then a 3 rooms shack that we lived in as a family. . . . . this was  January 1989 right after my mother had registered me at Warden Primary School.

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My first pain – experiencing the kids who couldn’t catch up with the other kids at school with regards to grades. That gave me a lot of pain and I always tried to make a lot of effort throughout my school life to help, tutor. This is my area of pain that made me understand that my calling is a teacher. This is at the core of what I do to date . . . and placing people in the areas of their strength is what I thrive in as I manage teams and lead people. There are no slow people, people need their strengths to be better placed/utilized, so that all of us can excel and thrive . . .

My second pain – I observed that I was just one of a handful of students that went to University from my community. In my second year I expected another genius student to join me and when she didn’t I was in state of stress. I had constant headaches and I just couldn’t believe it. This made me wonder what more can we do to assist and it drove a deep desire in me to want change that and this gave birth to an NPO and helping other students get the same opportunities. Giving people access is my absolute passion and when you lead teams and manage people, you must create that bridge that allows people to cross . .  . it’s a life long journey

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These two pains that turned into passion and ultimately connecting to my purpose of “a well becoming society” have contributed to the person that I am today.

The environment continuously evolves but at the core these become my tools of service

I also know that God never puts any dream in a human being without guiding you through. The passion I have to teach my team members daily, to create opportunities for policies that enable continuous learning even in organizations continue to be at the center of my life. . . . . Why …. because I now have the authority to change things. This is why we get appointed into positions of power

 

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There is a lot that I can share on these two pain to help you connect the dots , but here is what Dr. Myles Munroe has to say

.” In life, purpose is defined by the thing that makes you angry. Martin Luther was angry; Mandela was angry; Mahatma Gandhi was angry; Mother Teresa was angry. If you are not angry, you do not have a ministry yet. Myles Munroe

“You will never change anything that you are willing to tolerate” Myles Munroe

 

Pay attention to your pain. Sometimes you can even find yourself lonely in that pain . The reason is God has given you the tools to turn the situation around and not everybody !!!!

Pay attention to the things that you are not willing to tolerate. Seek the gifts and ask the Lord to show you how to help change the situation

Your journey is always yours alone don’t doubt yourself !!!!

 

Connect the dots and serve the Lord and His people with your life !!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Missing my barista job – how to prevent it

Once upon a time a male white customer had told me that I was going to miss my barista job.

I remember thinking to myself “ uqalile ke umlungu akafuni umuntu omnyama aphumelele” Ingani I told him I’m studying phela towards a finance profession … I thought he was just being jealous yaaz

It took me days pondering on what he meant and sadly I didn’t have the courage at the time to ask him what he had meant by that

I was studying towards the National Diploma and was doing this job , I was now placed at Rosebank Mall and I honestly was loving what I was doing …..

I got paid R10 rands an hour , I mean that is a whole of cash for a student 👍🏾

But the thought of me being an educated unhappy somebody scared me. So I started finding out if there was anything special about my current job that I would miss

And I needed to understand the difference between my barista job and my destined job and if perhaps there’s a character or personality or gift limiting factors that the new , hoped for job would do to me

This led me to be pay attention to the “work” of a barista. One thing I wasn’t always good at was small talk , but the boys at the shop hated it even more , so we had a deal, that I will manage the till and do the “small talk” with the customers whilst they do coffee ( the boys)

Unbeknown to me I was such a natural at it . I actually stopped asking customers what would they like with their coffee and offered them the many options we had instead

In the mornings I started to sell bagels, muffins , healthy wraps , sandwiches and quiches… mid day I went for short breads and florentines and the afternoon brownies and cheese cakes were my go to stock. I started cleaning the fridges almost daily , I used my inventory theories I was learning at Wits Tech to do first in first out. I noticed that putting our coffee mugs directly into the washer didn’t remove all the stains , so I’d soak each cup before I wash it and our cups looked better.

When customers said our counters smell like babies bums because we used baby oil, I found a way to keep them clean and shiny without compromising the look and feel of the shop

We had positions A=till , B= coffee and C= tables

I found out that I pushed my ques very quickly and then I would go about to interact some more with customers on the other side of the till and spend time on position C …. this is usually a Managers role … but I had the luxury of time and talking advantage 🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️

I paid attention that the people selling and delivering stock were a Joe next door and a stay at home mom who did quality products for the franchise. I understood the direct costs involved in the running of a coffee shop and was able to interpret profit margins – using the textbook knowledge I was getting at Wits Tech

Suddenly our inventory was moving fast and we didn’t have left over stock to take home with no more … our tips box was amazing and none of us ever used our wages for transportation…. the energy in the shop changed . It’s like we were all placed within our strength and we all loved it and we worked well

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I was never a permanent member of the team because I could only manage a limited number of shifts. My full time priority was always my academic commitment. But because of this work ethic , I suddenly was given a key to open the shop on the days of my shift ( if you own anything you’d understand how much of a trust issue this is). When my boss had lazy days ( meaning when he didn’t show up an hour before closing ) I knew I can cash up and lock everything up in the safe and his job would be to do cross checks and balances

My shift supervisor suddenly started calling me to offer me more shifts. I worked at Rosebank Mall and never begged for a shift in my entire stay at that shop

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So what was I going to miss that I would have taken for granted ……

PEOPLE

INFLUENCE

CONVERSATIONS

These are simple things in life for me. So as a result I made sure that I carried these traits with me in all my future positions. I kept people at the center of my job , both my colleagues and customers alike. I used my influence ( even when I wasn’t a manager ) to inspire people for the greater good for ourselves and the organization. I engaged in intentional conversations with my teams and supervisors alike.

These three things were strengthened out of fear of getting bored in my professional career and the fear of missing selling coffee and bagels

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This Rosebank experience made me understand that as a people we thrive when we are placed in the right positions that complement our personalities. That’s a gift never to be taken for granted

It also taught me that my work ethic make people want me in their team because I add value ….. I just get things done … finish and klaar

I also benefited from the relationship with the manager at this shop because I recommended many more people who started their jobs there. So sometimes it’s not that people hate you and your friends or family , perhaps they just don’t like your work ethic 🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️in my case my work ethic worked for me

So I literally applied what Shayna taught me and what I observed from Debbie and the fear of not knowing what I was going to miss. I yielded a good return

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The gentleman was right …. the stresses of corporate life can have you wondering and asking and praying. And yes there are days when you don’t know whether you going or coming …..

But these three things have kept my feet on a solid ground …. they made me know what’s in it for me …. people are in it for me

In life … you will have everything that you asked for , wished for and prayed for …. the question will remain … then what ???? I think there is a direct correlation to the matters above to purpose

So What’s in it for you ???

Could I stay and be a barista for ever – the answer is absolutely yes !!! And can I stay in my current role forever , it’s a yes again , why ? I get to use my gifts to have conversations that influence people to become the best that they can be . I am finally connecting the dots …. my job must improve lives and must make people feel seen …. and must yield a positive return at the end of it all

Short sweet simple

As long as these three things remain …. ngi grand

Tame 🙏

Letting go of a job to focus on studies

Smoke break reflections are good for the soul I tell you !!!!

So back to my coffee shop stories …… today I just want to say my gratitude for the connections I made through the coffee shop ….

Firstly the SCO ….. because through it I met Vulindlela my shayna who gave me a job at the coffees shop ……………………………………

Through the coffee shop I interacted with Francois a qualified CA((SA) and an executive at Alexander Forbes. I told him about my career aspirations of becoming a proffessional accountant. Francois offered me a training contract in one of his private companies down in Marshall Town. I left the coffee shop and I worked for Habitat for Humanity , an organization founded by Jimmy Carter , the former president of the USA. Francois took me with when he went to do spot checks for high stock levels in one of the largest steel companies in SA. This was 2002 and I was only 19 years old … wooow I just was blown away

Few months in I realized that I shouldn’t rush myself to get a job , I was missing my campus life and I just had this strong conviction that I will be okay when I graduate. Plus balancing the class movements and work was overwhelming for me.

I was a second year student and felt this is absolutely unnecessary

I could hear very clearly the voice of the Lord telling me to understand my time and that time was for my studies and growth in student leadership. And that influenced my next step ….

So I did the next best thing …. spoke with Francois and told him about a dear sister in Christ who had graduated but was unemployed and I explained to him that I have huge opportunity to learn in student leadership and that’s where I wanted to put my focus for now . My dear sister took the job and stayed there for years !

I forfeited the monthly R2400 salary and I missed standing by the campus atm from 23:45 before pay day just to withdraw cash and go enjoy the vending machine ….. I also could no longer afford a plate yadi ribs every Thursday Eish Eish Eish monate oo gone

But what I was learning at school and my 3-5 days shift at a coffee at R10 per hour were worth far more than that

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I went back to be a casual worker at a coffee shop whilst also focusing on my studies.

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Fast forward ….. There was a time in my life when I was retrenched and three months pregnant with our first daughter and had no idea how we were going to make ends meet

That lady who had taken that job in 2002 , remembered me in 2013 ….. 11 years later . My last working day in Morning-side was June 2013 and on 22 July 2013 I started a job and I stayed there for almost six years

I found favor in her eyes and she has been to date , a gift that keeps on giving and for this I am grateful

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Morale of the story. It is true that you must help other people , because indeed you might have helped Jesus who will one day come rescue you in times of need ……..

Give ——- always think from a mind of abundance and not limited resources. The first opportunity you get doesn’t mean it the only one coming your way

Get very clear about the time of your life and what you want. Don’t be ambiguous about your goals. When you are clear stick to it !!!!

I also advise students to try understand first things first . If you want to study , focus on that first and the rest will follow. Easier said than done when there’s a high unemployment rate for graduates I know. There’s more than books and academic knowledge to be learned in campus – take advantage of that !!!!

There is time for everything. Stay in the moment. If you are committing to something stick to it and focus on it. Complete what you started and you will grow your discipline muscle

The skills I learned in the coffee shop through speaking with business men , employees , YFM crew who was just down the side from the shop and campus are what’s sustaining my career to today. I saw the founders of of small businesses meeting to brainstorm at the shop and I interacted with the people who ones the stalls in the mall and learned how they made money

I loved serving the Italian ladies who owned a notifiers shop and marveled at the culture and how they dressed , talked and carried themselves

I also read books for FREE!!!! Exclusive Bookshop was our neighbour and we could grab a book read and take it back . My world and perspective opened up in a huge and amazing way !!!!!

Sometimes in life you need perspective and so we must avoid getting to stuff prematurely. Even if yes the money can go a long way to balance you and your family …… it might cost you the first thing you needed and that’s your qualification. Deep end or not …. understand your time and priorities

I still studied and had a bit of cash from the coffee shop to help me afford the basics and that was enough at the time ……

Ungahaji——- first things first

Tame 🙏

I need to smoke some more 😂

Debbie – ownership

Once upon a time I was a barista for Seattle Coffee shop, this was around the time that I was a student at Wits Tech.

Getting this job exposed me to the most amazing people in the world and also amazingly set me up for major success

Today I want to talk about my experience as in-house barista at Alexander Forbes . My dear brother Vulindlela held my hand and said shayna I want you to work with me

He created an opportunity for me to get this job and we worked at Alexander Forbes serving coffee, muffins and bagels 🥯

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My brother introduced me to everyone he knew and made sure I understand the C-suite well, mainly because as part of my responsibility I was to deliver coffee every day to the CEO at 7:15 am

There was this executive lady by the name of Debbie. I don’t know what were her responsibilities but shayna told me that she was the decision maker and being in Debbies good books was very important for the employees of Alexander Forbes

Shayna told me to make sure I greet Debbie whenever I see her and present myself to her. Even though I never got to present myself eventually, I observed and interacted with Debbie almost on a daily basis

She would walk through that door daily with her chest out and head held up high. She laughed out loud and made everyone felt seen. During the day she would walk again past the cubicles and observed financial advisers interacting with clients. She would fix the banners standing the switchboard area, she would touch the pot plants to check if everything was in order and remove anything not ideal.

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Debbie would interact with the switchboard ladies and coach them here and there. Each time she would approach client sitting by the reception area to find out if they had been assisted.

She made it a point to stand by the large reception and look up the multiples of floors going up high …. I would assume she was checking if all was in order

She wore heels and stalkings on a daily basis. No matter how high the sound of my blender in the coffee shop …. I always could hear the sound of Debbies heels clicking the tiles of the passage as she walked towards the lift up to her office

Shayna always said me “ Shayna I want you to be like Debbie one day”

He propelled me to dream bigger and pointed me to the people that would shape the idea of who I can become

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As I put on this dress today , I remembered that I have seen this look before and this is how Debbie looked liked most of her days

So today I want to give gratitude to Shayna for his belief in me and for giving me opportunity to work as a barista at Alexander Forbes . I thank God for Vulindlela Lloyd Ginindza for encouraging me that I have potential to manage people and lead organisations to success

This environment grew my creativity and help me shape the person that I could become

And a big thank you to Debbie , who was a humble Executive and showed me that true leadership includes….

OWNERSHIP!!!!

She was an Executive who cared about the organization and not just her profile. She knew she had power , influence and authority and she used that daily for the greater good of the organization

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Own your space , take responsibility, be accountable , no matter the size and zeros on your payslip , people come first and ownership of your business environment and people’s well being is critical.

It is a fact that you become who you surround yourself with and it is important to have people who whisper you into greatness that you could become 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏 it is equally important to keep in mind the images of people who inspire you and those that you can learn from …..

You do become what you have seen ….. literally five years later , 10th floor Sandton Office Towers , I heard a colleague comment that they can hear the sound of my heel from afar and I knew this …. I have seen that before … Debbie in my mind and I am grateful!!!!

2019 Resolution

In 2017 I made a resolution to do something different, find a new habit that will bring excitement to my life

I was concerned about my mental health . Worried about what I was observing in myself and people around me and I decided I need to find ways to take It easy ….. or in the words of present over perfect “ I wanted to lay low “

I decided that I will make the time to have a cup of coffee ☕️ every morning…. this was a new thing for me and before I committed I made peace that it could mean I lead with stained teeth 🦷….. if you know me … you would know that I pay attention to amazinyo nam angaz why 🤔🤔🤔ewabantu futhi ukuthi amhlophe kangakanani and I would gage ewam after theirs ….. very wrong but keee 🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️🤷🏿‍♀️

This in part was a journey of letting go of perfectionism as an attribute or something of value …. to try lead life from a degree of relaxed state of mind and to try reduce my workaholic habits

I wanted to change the habit of storming in to the office and be clicking on emails and getting right on to it

I wanted to be at ease …. take a walk to say hello to my team and colleagues

There was even a time I wished I smoked because that would force me to step out at least four times a day 🙇🏽‍♀️

Needless to say I attempted it and todate I am making choices that will enable a much more better inner human being and a better state of mind

I am finding that a new job is an even better platform to introduce new habits for me . Most importantly to teach my new environment about my new pace and as much as I try , somedays I still fail dismally , but I am going to keep try until I get it right

My intention is to ensure that I do not overcommit myself ….. pressure to impress …. pressure to do well to excel etc etc I am now grown and maturing enough to know that Rome wasn’t built overnight. I can’t do it alone , no matter the passion, commitment and excitement . I must rely on a team and I never ever want to over commit because I will be setting myself up for depression and failure… But most importantly I have nothing to prove …. I am excellent at what I do and I have the grace and favor of God by my side

The most amazing fact that I am accepting is I am willing to fail outwardly i.e career than to fail at my soul , my marriage and raising my kids

In 2018 I made a simple resolution…. which was to not go for a proffessional photo shoot 🤳🏾yeeeah I am a photojunkie and thankfully I won …. I was curious to know if I would be able to say no to myself …. nam angazi but sengajwayela ukuhlala ngizitesta for discipline into yasenkonzweni …. ukuzithiba 🙇🏽‍♀️🙇🏽‍♀️🙇🏽‍♀️

I think with pregnancies and all I was accustomed to at least 3 x sessions a year and exploring with different service providers … I consoled myself with the fact that we were having a wedding and there will be plenty of click click for me

Coincidentally I started gardening as a habit and I am loving it so far

2019 I have a simple quest …. I want to cook gourmet dishes !!!! I am a foodie and an explorer and this year if it can be eaten…. I want to know how to cook it 😬😬😬🥗

I want to excel in baking cookies that hold a lot of memories for me… my moms baskeydas and sis Kate’s cookies 🍪

Keeping my life simple helps me invent a better me and the person that I am meant to be

2019 sekangaqala ke manje

Reflections

I am here today to allow God to intervene in my insecurities

I am here opening up for Him to create in me a clean heart

I am here for His will to be done

Today we invent the one He created

We open up to the direction of the Holiest one

The One and Only God and Creator of heaven and earth

The past years have been about healing the child in me . Child you are healed

Now we invent the person you were truly meant to be

Here’s to leading your best life

Here’s to owning the pain

Here’s to loving the scars

Here’s to the sweet voices and soft kisses

Here’s to love ❤️

Loving yourself through this journey and loving God your creator

I am here to serve

Friday 18 Jan 19

I have decided to make every Friday Africa Day!!!!

This makes me look forward to Friday and I start Monday’s with a unique form of excitement

Monate waiketsetsa

So here’s to my 2nd Friday in a new job 😬😬😬😬

# farmstothepresidency

What’s my sentence

Following a brief interview from Mr Pink , I have decided to write down my sentence

This has been burning like fire in my bones

Dear Lord I give myself away so you can use me .

What’s my sentence?

 I want to use my influence to be of service, to disrupt poverty, inequality and unemployment 

       Passion 

 To show passion, fire and commitment to what I do, no matter whom I am doing it with and what I am doing it for 

Action 

 To get the job done!!!! No matter the size or challenge or the time it takes me. See it through! Signed, sealed and delivered!

Vulnerability 

 Allow my true self to be seen, deeply seen and known. Have the courage to say ï don’t know” and be willing to learn. Always be honest about how I feel, even if it is not exciting or even if it’s unpopular. Ask when I need help and cry when I feel like doing so’. 


Excellence 

 Prioritise excellence over perfection.


“Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.” 
 Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

Excellence is not a set level of quality or perfectionism. It’s an ever-changing dynamic in both our personal journey and the collective journey of our teams.

It’s about growth and maturity. Excellence should be a moving target of sorts. The quality of your craft and serving today should not be the same as the quality of your serving yesterday. It should be increasing and moving forward, not stagnating!”Matt – Hillsong.com blogger

Purpose statement: To pave the way for those coming behind me and those ahead to gain access to more seats at the table 

Measure: Top 100 most influential people in South Africa by year xxxx

Justice must be served for all South Africans and all those who live in it

New office new look

Everyone who knows me knows I love open plans

People are at the center of what I do daily and sharing that energy keeps me high

In 2019 I am learning that maybe it’s okay to accept an office and adapt

I made a decision to bring a bit of my personality and a bit of style within the space and color that I have been given

I love the progress and I will post the final view in few weeks to come