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You(th) we need you to vote……

As citizens of this democracy, you are the rulers and the ruled, the law-givers and the law-abiding, the beginning and the end.
Adlai E. Stevenson
 
It is well documented in the history books that this liberation came at a cost of human life at worst. We were indeed liberated for a cause. A cause to honour freedom and all the responsibility that comes with it. One such responsibility is the duty to participate in democratic processes.

As the current year draws to a close, the coming year promises to be a fun in the political landscape. You might be aware that 2014 is the year in which we as a country will be electing a new leader, or a new ruling party. A leader who will take our South Africa to a path of prosperity, a path that will ensure that every human being concede equal citizenship no matter the abuse by those we seem to elect.

For the status quo to prevail someone with a powerful voice as yourself will need to take an apathetic stance and choose not to partake in this crucial activity bestowed by democracy and freedom. Within your inner being, therein lies a powerful force which can see a ruling party relinquishing its robes to that party you might have voted into government or (if you are happy with the ruling party you just keep the status quo and vote for it).

As one scroll down feeds on social networks, one gets a sense that those who are active on this platforms and also happens to be a large population of our country, the youth are not so much concerned about exercising the right that many people died for, the right to vote. Young fellows, lend me your ear, however disillusioned you are about the prevailing state of affairs in our country, deciding against voting is committing an error in judgement, an injustice if I may tell you.

As you head toward the ballot box next year, keep in mind many people who laid down their lives, so that me and you, can be able to exercise this democratic right called voting. Be an active citizen, vote well because the truth of the matter is that this is a privilege that most people in the world are deprived of. You could have been born in a country where absolute monarchy is still the order of the day….. just give it a thought?

Cometh the hour, put down your smartphones and vote. I have heard many people saying they will not be voting. Now saying that you will not be voting is tantamount to irresponsible utterances. I suggest that instead of abstaining altogether from voting, you rather spoil the ballot.

It seems sinister on the surface to spoil the ballot, but is equally powerful as electing a particular party or a particular individual. Spoiling the ballot for me in particular means that there is no alternative party that I trust with my cross. I can also argue that, by opting for this seemingly no-brainer exercise called spoiling the ballot, that seek to communicate to those in power that as much as I would like to vote, there is no party that speaks to my needs and I am quite discontented by the prevailing state of affairs.This too is a loud voice, it is louder than those vuvuzela at a soccer stadium between the two Soweto giants.

Therefore, young soldiers, it is an irresponsible thing to utter something as “I will not be voting”. the dangerous aspect of this talk is that your silence might hinder the change that a certain political party so desperately need.

Without your vote, our democracy is hollow. As a matter of fact, never discount the value that your single vote have. It remains a potent tool in our democratic state to effect change (…and in Justice Malala’s word) “and a new order which will make a real difference in your life”.

Until 2014, let freedom reign…!!!

 
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Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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We need to start taking NGOs a little bit serious

Not long ago, in 2011, I co-founded a company and named it Dynamic Dreamers. We later registered this company in terms of Companies Act 71 of 2008. Now, you thinking that I must be pretty comfortable in life because of this venture I started. Not really. In fact, I am as poor as a church mouse. No, the company we started is what is called an NPC (non-profit company). Neither their founders nor directors get the share of donors money other than what has been set aside as their salary as agreed by the parties involved.

A little bit about my company (if I can call it that way). We are a group of passionate young people who believe that behind the cracks of poverty lies a great potential, if nurtured can turn into a shining star. We operate in the education space with a mission of improving the quantity and quality of passes in the community in which this company operates. We want to empower the youth of this communities in a number of ways, with a long term view of making this young people responsible citizens of South Africa. We are in the process of achieving this amidst all the challenges we face in our endeavour.

As we sit and chart a strategy of how to make this NPC a leading company in this sector, we often confronted with amazing ideas, some ideal, some not so achievable. The challenges I encountered in this line of work taught me a great deal about people management, project management and more importantly crisis management. I have grown a great deal in the process, it gives me real pleasure.

One of the things that I dream for this company is that I wish to see it being a self-sustaining entity that can exist without any of its current founders and directors. I wish to see Dynamic Dreamers NPC being an entity that can at least employ about five people in the community in which it is based. If we do achieve that; five less people will be outside the joblessness trap. How idealistic is that? This is the question I asked my fellow co-founders and stakeholders in the company. We dwelled on how we can make this a reality. I will leave that for another day.

Just imagine how of a difference can NGOs make in addressing the issue of unemployment if the government and private sector took them a little more seriously? I am of the opinion that in addition to 1000 new businesses, a 1000 new NGO’s can also combat unemployment. Let me show you how NGO’s can help in eradicating poverty while creating employment. If the state could channel a certain amount of money to every NGO and this NGO’s ensure that they spend this money appropriately, the change that we wish to see can erupt.

If one NGO employ about five people, depending of course on personnel need and capacity, and there are about 2500 NGO’s for example, automatically about 12500 new jobs are created. These 12500 new employees are positively impacted by this and they can improve their skills and experience in their field of interest. As these NGO’s grow, more workforce is being added on, while the reliance of government funding decrease. This is achievable in number of ways; because the NGO is now developed and well-known, resource mobilisation will be pretty much easy.

There is no doubt that if Dynamic Dreamers is well known, and the impact of it is seen is the breadth and length of South Africa, its resource mobilisation will be difficult. When this happen, these NGOs can host round table debates on the issue of their interest and sell tickets to those interested in these debates. How much can be made assuming that whatever topic to be discussed is value-adding? Another way of making money and making these NGOs self-sustainable is by selling apparels bearing the name of the NGO. Instead of asking for R300 or R50, why don’t you make high quality hoodies, Golf-shirts, or Coffee mugs which can be bought by the public? Voila, another employment opportunity for a local woman or man who is a dressmaker. Another 2500 people who will depend on 2500 NGOs for survival are now economically emancipated. These extra 2500 people are service providers in these NGOs. In a short space of time, bearing my assumptions in mind, we already have created 15000 jobs in the NGO space alone. Is Progress inevitable?  

Lastly, private sector can also play a role in the creation of jobs in this sector. As far as my knowledge is concerned, I understand that companies need to adhere to triple bottom line reporting, that is profit, people and earth. If the Social responsibility department of each company adopt an NGO, sponsor it, while employing someone who will be based in that NGO representing the company in question as an officer while ensuring that the funds invested in this NGO are not being misappropriated and abused. If this can be a reality, In addition to that 15000 jobs, additional few hundred jobs are being added on to this figure.

We all have a role to play in making this rainbow nation a thriving one and the responsibility to create sustainable jobs cannot solely be left to government and big business. Good people NGOs are businesses, it is just that there is a lack of will, time and expertise to develop this NGOs into institute that can change the lives of our people in a profound way.

I am not naïve to think that what I have presented here is totally idealistic; in fact the possibility of this happening is as difficult as proverbial fly trying to push a dunghill. But spare a thought of its viability thereof?

It is for this reason and this ideal that make me think that we need to take NGOs a little bit seriously. Run them while adhering to code of corporate governance and sponsor them while checking from time to time that our money is being used for the purpose it is intended.  

I am a dreamer and a strategist and I am going to work hard in Dynamic Dreamers NPC to ensure that we do create 5 sustainable jobs in our community, while building it into a self-sustaining entity.

For more information on Dynamic Dreamers, please click here!

Contribute positively!

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Lack of sight, extra-ordinary vision and an absolute legend!

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I am one dude who greatly respect people and love listening to their stories and the way they view things. I like conversations. I like robust debates especially ones that will challenge me an expand my intellectual capital. To feed this hunger, I started listening to talk shows, speeches, and listening to motivational speakers. But let me tell you my perception about motivational speakers. I think they are bunch of enterprising people who have realized that a mankind is playing so small that it is prepared to pay them for being lazy. What an amazing business opportunity, don’t you think?

Even though, I listen to these people, I pay little attention to what they say. What I actually do is to observe how they deal with anxiety and how do they deliver their presentations, for I believe that one day I will stand before investors and convince them to buy in whatever weird idea I have in my mind.

He has skydived from a height of 10000 feet, he is a landspeed record holder at 322.5km/h, he is a Cape epic cyclist, an iron man racer, a marathon runner and a world  and he was a member of a cricket team that won a world cup in India in 2008. (something that the Proteas would envy)!

What if I told you that this man achieving all this remarkable things is blind?

Hein Wagner graced us with his presence at the Aweness camp at Stellenbosch University one Saturday morning. You know, I am not one for motivational speakers, but hey, Hein is a true motivator, he is an absolute legend. Despite his difficult handicap, he is able to achieve all these things I never knew that they existed as adventures. What’s extra cool is that he plans to raise about R10 million for his organisation. He says he is going to that by piloting a boeing 747-400 from London to Cape Town.

His talk was incredibly moving and he presented it with tremendous sense of humour. He was interesting to listen to, except that he leaves one with great guilt that you are actually playing small in your life.

What I found profound were some of the words he said during his talk. He said the following:

“I’ve never seen so many beautiful looking people in an audience before, you all look amazing!”

 – “I see I’m running out of time so I’ll finish up now.”

 “The feeling I had walking off the field after we had just secured the World Cup, is something I would never ever exchange, even, the ability to be able to see.”

I guess, this is what the first year needed to kick-start their academic career.

In closing, he said, “I am blind, What is your excuse?”

Peruse his website at http://heinwagner.co.za

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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What’s your story?

Within each one of us, there is an amazing story to tell. Every individual is unique. Set of skills, character, personality and values distinguishes us from the rest of the animal in the human kingdom.

I am probably breaking the rules here. What encourages me to do this is one question that was posed to me when I went to an interview in one of the leading accounting firms in South Africa. The question was “When is the right time to bend the rules?” At that moment in time, I was confused, I did not know what to say, I wanted to impress the prospective sponsor. The first answer that came to mind was “under no circumstances, should anyone bend the rules. It is wrong. It unacceptable” obviously I was lying. The truth is with every rule, there is an exception.

I am narrating this because I have just bent the rules. In no way am I an official blogger for the camp I am currently attending. I am so inspired I cannot resist the urge to write a blog.

This camp is called Aweness Camp, and is organised by the University of Stellenbosch for its first generation students. This camp attracts many people from different background, with unique skills, talents and stories. How often have you looked at a person and judged based on how they appear? I did, and I am guilty as charged.

What I learnt in this camp is that there is a fundamental error in looking at a single side of a story. Each individual is unique (I am repeating this for the umpteenth time now), and they have an amazing story to tell. The sweetness of that story can only be tasted if we allow our egoistical self to listen to other people.

I also realised that people who have achieved a great deal in life is those who have seen CRAP in their lives. I am using the acronym CRAP here to define Criticism, Rejection, Asshole and Pressure.  They have failed in life; they have got rejected while pursuing their wildest dream. They only achieved whatever they set out to do, because they have persevered, they were bold enough to follow their dreams through. These are individuals that inspires the living CRAP out of me!

All In all, it takes boldness, bravery and courage to talk about shit you experience in this amazing journey you call LIFE.

What is your story? What defines you? Let’s chat.

 

Be inspirational…….

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The inventor of birth control pill, the science of menstruation, and cancer

One Wednesday morning (12 December 2012), I wrote a Facebook status that read as follows:

“Okay it seems that everyone is updating something about 12-12-12. Like what’s the fuss about? Or ya, and henceforth we will never have anything like 13-13-13 and etc etc until the next century.

 

lemme rather update about something I found rather interesting from the book penned by Malcolm Gladwell. Having not a prior exposure to Biology in my life, this was interesting thesis to indulge in. After reading the chapter about John Rock (The inventor of birth control AKA oral contraceptive), I now understand Why women experience abdominal pains, mood swings and other complications during menstruation and why women who have many kids( 3 or more) have less chances of suffering from cancer?”

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Of which, this status was received with more curiosity from two ladies insisting that I share more about this, with more emphasis on Menstruation and Cancer.

Take note that I have never written a book review or a chapter review before, and what you are about to read is what might be describe as a “dry rhetoric”. Bear with me as I try to give an account on how I understood Malcolm Gladwell in that Chapter on John Rock and how he erred in inventing the birth control pill.

I Consider Malcolm Gladwell one of true genius when it comes to letter writing, so much so that I have read all the books he penned from the famous ‘outliers’ to ‘what the dog saw’ including some of the article he wrote for ‘The New Yorker’.  Malcolm Gladwell in What the Dog Saw in the Chapter about John Rock, the inventor of birth control makes moving account and an interesting perspective about women’s health, the pill inventor, religious perspective (the pill and the pope), cancer and the science of menstruation. I will dwelleth on the latter two on instruction of the aforementioned Facebook friends.

The ideal which the inventor of the birth control pill sought to achieve was to curb unwanted pregnancy. However, his ideals were undermined by the church he religiously followed. Although, this was met with much criticism, the birth control pill is widely used today and unfortunately John Rock died not having witnessed the efficiency of the pill he invented. Although the pill is widely used today, it appeared to Gladwell that John Rock did not know (or rather he was not conscious) about women’s health. 

I do not know much about women’s health in general and about the science of menstruation in particular, however Gladwell wrote that “…a women of childbearing age has a menstrual cycle of about 28 days, determined of course by the cascades of hormones released by her ovaries.” It is said that a combination of oestrogen and progestin floods the uterus, of which its lining becomes thick and swollen in preparation of the implantation of a fertilised egg, and failure of which will cause the lining – ‘the endometrium’ – “to be sloughed off in a menstrual bleed”.  In fact one of the respondents to the Facebook status, Queen (not her real name for the sake of anonymity) asked me if I am suggesting that birth control pills cause abdominal pains. No, Queen that is not the case. In actual fact, apparently John Rock knew that the effect of the Pill’s hormones on the endometrium could make women not to menstruate because the pill suppresses ovulation and the oestrogen and progestin decrease the chances of the lining of the uterus.

Another interesting account I picked up from the book is the story about a young scientist name Beverly Strassman who took a voyage to Africa to live with the Dogon Tribe of Mali, with an attempt to understand the reproductive profile of the women in that tribe, and the nature of the biology during times that precedes the modern age, especially owing the fact that the said women never used contraceptives. She (Strassman) also did a study on when and how many times did the Dogon women menstruate during their lifetime if they lived to eight decades or so. She found that on average Dogon women menstruated about hundredth times as opposed to Western women who menstruated somewhere between three hundred and four hundred times.

Strassman further found that the number of menses is not greatly affected by differences in diet, method of subsistence and culture as many people would make us believe. Gladwell wrote that to Strassman and others in the field of evolutionary medicine, this shift from a hundred to four hundred menses is enormously significant.

The writer of the book, Is menstruation obsolete?, the authors Drs Elsimar Coutinho and Sheldon S Segal – leaders in contraceptive researchers – argues that incessant ovulation has become a problem for women’s health. They further said that it does not mean that women are better off the less they menstruate. In fact, there are times where women have to raise eyebrows if they aren’t menstruating.

Apparently, in obese women, a failure to menstruate can signal an increased risk of uterine cancer. In female athletes, a failure to menstruate can signal an increased risk of osteoporosis. Gladwell wrote. For most women, Coutinho and Segal say, incessant ovulation serves no purpose except to increase the occurrence of abdominal pains, mood shifts, migraines, endometriosis, fibroids and anemia. However, the serious of all is the greatly increased risk of some cancers. In no way did these two researchers suggest that incessant ovulation causes cancer, but by the mere occurrence that whenever a woman ovulates, an egg burst through the wall of her ovaries and to heal that  puncture, the cells of the ovary will have to divide and reproduce. After all, cancer occurs because as cells divide and reproduce they sometimes make mistake that cripples the cells’ defence against runaway growth.  

 What I found interesting as I read this chapter was the fact that every time a woman falls pregnant and bears a child, her lifetime risk of ovarian cancer drops 10 percent because apparently, between nine months of pregnancy and the suppression of ovulation associated with breast-feeding, she stops ovulating for twelve months – and saves her ovarian walls from twelve bouts of cell divisions.

It is true that reading gives you intellectual bling bling and more swag than you can ever imagine. Many short stories that Malcolm Gladwell narrates in this book are something that a person my age wouldn’t know, and dare I tell you it will make me an interesting person in the company of uninteresting goats!

Dumirocks

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Education through the lense of Richard Branson…………..

Richard Branson, an author of numerous books, especially on business and in life, is a Britain entrepreneur and a founder of a Virgin group. The following note you are about to read is entirely his, and not that of Dumirocks.

Richard Branson

Education is a wonderful thing. I am fortunate that at this stage of my career, I have the opportunity to learn about many new subjects, ranging from the impact of climate change to the possibility of colonizing Mars. I am also lucky in that I meet so many interesting people and have the opportunity to exchange ideas with them—everyone from former leaders such as Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela and Mary Robinson to scientist and environmentalist James Lovelock to Burt Rutan, the engineer leading our Virgin Galactic project.

But when I was young, school wasn’t easy. I was not a great student, partly because of my dyslexia (which was not diagnosed until later) and partly because of my restless nature. I found it hard to concentrate in class and spent much of my time in school dreaming up and setting up new businesses. The first few businesses I created—including one focused on growing Christmas trees—did not succeed, but those experiences did give me a taste for business and a knowledge of the all-important art of delegation.

By the time I was 16, I was ready to leave school, but my father, Edward Branson, was reluctant to approve my decision. One weekend he came to visit my boarding school and tried to persuade me to continue my studies. He hoped I’d become a lawyer like him. I reluctantly agreed; he drove home to explain “our” decision to my mother, Eve. She was not happy! She told him to make the long drive back immediately, to reassure me that it was OK to leave. He did, and I left school that summer. I never once looked back, first setting up Student magazine and, a few years later, the Virgin record stores. My father sometimes jokes that the second return trip was the “best drive of his life”.

However, my story is a very personal one; my strategy will not work for everyone. A diploma can be very useful, since it shows that you have gained the skills and other building blocks required to start your career. But obtaining a diploma is only a first step, and in no way guarantees success. You’ll need a great work ethic and determination to make it—both in business and life. You also need your fair share of good luck. I would advise tackling your studies with a positive attitude—try to enjoy your time at university. Try a few new things while you are there, and maybe even start a business, if this is where your interests lie.

In Johannesburg, we have set up the Branson School of Entrepreneurship to help foster budding entrepreneurs and their fledgling companies. Most of our students are young men and women, determined to study hard and build their businesses. One of the most important things we impart to them is the importance of enjoying your work. This is one of the enduring lessons of my career. I have always tried to have fun in all ventures and adventures, as I feel this is the best way to go through life. So when you’re setting up your first business, make sure both the business and entrepreneurship itself are things that you enjoy.

When you reach the launch stage, don’t be afraid to make that first leap.

Most entrepreneurs’ first ventures fail—I know, because mine did—but the lessons you learn from failure are invaluable and will help you with your next attempts. You have to be very determined and accept that the early stages of launching any business are mostly about just surviving. Turning an idea into reality is a key step that all entrepreneurs have to master. Try to see your ideas through your customers’ eyes—it’ll help you determine which ideas have a chance of succeeding.

The high-speed service offered by Virgin Trains’ West Coast line in the UK is a classic example.

When we were bidding for our franchise in 1996, we saw that rail passengers were fed up with our future competitors, since their trains were slow, crowded and uncomfortable. They wanted faster trains, airline-style seats, entertainment services and good food. We designed our train service to fit this bill and introduced modern trains—recently with wireless Internet access.

There were some delays, mostly caused by a need to upgrade the tracks for our tilting trains, but I’m proud to say that our record has greatly improved and our passenger numbers are growing quickly.

Good luck, If you complete your education, throw everything into your studies and remember, whether you’re working for a company or setting up your own business, to work hard, persevere and smile, you will be on the road to success.

Source: New York Times. (click here to read more of his thoughts)

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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The parables of blogging

Those who know that the only way to exercise you intellectual muscles is by reading and writing your thoughts out will agree with the assertion that reading gives you more swag and intellectual bling bling than you can ever imagine. So is blogging, the platform offers one to exercise their freedom of speech and that of expression, and boy intellectual rigour gets polished. By blogging you undress your thoughts to the public like when the ladies of the night perform their trade. You get grossly criticized for thoughts not well formulated; it is too late when you rectify your rather ill-informed submissions. Blog platforms is where hundred flowers of faculties bloom, it is where hundred schools of thoughts contend.

Sometimes you will need to defend the indefensible, your faculty of reasoning expand, and you are able to close loopholes in any debates, rambles or heated conversations. Later you realise that you are not a pseudo-intellectual, you are an intellect of rare quality. Beauty!

When all is said and done, I will keep writing for if the writing is genuine it cannot be separated from its author.

 Voila!!!

 NB: The author of this article grants you full rights and privileges to re-publish this on your blog. The price of this article is just grant credit where is due.

 
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Posted by on July 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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