“There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return.”  – Nelson Mandela

These words were the motivating force behind the joint effort between the Unique Speaker Bureau, Northern Business Review and Cosmo Radio teams for their Mandela Day Initiative. However, we wanted to take it one step further. It is easy to take one day per year and have a feel-good experience. We asked the question – how we could make this the start of a journey.

We gathered at the Cosmo Business Centre in Cosmo City to spend the morning with young entrepreneurs and business students where some of USB’s top speakers and sponsors took part in a lively and interactive conversation around life and business. Siphiwe Moyo used his delightful wit and charm as MC to warm the crowd and invite them into a conversation to take maximum value away with them after which each of the sponsors welcomed the group and share a little of their mission.

Each of the speakers took a few minutes to share from their own stories in life and business activating new ways of thinking and looking at the future.

Mummy Mthembu Fawkes shared her journey from White City in Soweto to the corporate boardroom to being a successful entrepreneur without the formal qualification normally associated with this success and how she found her “secret weapon” for success.

Bev Hancock shared how we can use the power of our words to speak our futures in being by creating a dominant vision that is not hampered by the constraints of our current situation – the ability to turn dreams into reality.

Ryan Hogarth gave practical advice for the journey and how it is necessary to focus on the things we would sometimes rather ignore. In doing this we deal with the things that often hold us back. Dr

Rutendo Hwindingwi shared about the importance of getting up after failure and taking a long-term view of success.

Siphiwe Moyo spoke of the importance of vision and making that vision a reality in our everyday lives.

Then it was time for conversation which is the hallmark of USB new way of activating interaction at their events. Each speaker spoke to their groups about their hopes and fears for the future and encouraged them to open their thinking to new possibility and then we asked each group to come up with one question for their speaker to answer to the group. We did this because learning to ask the right questions can be so much more powerful than simply absorbing information. The questions were deep and insightful and covered a wide range of enquiry with further input from the speakers.   The five questions raised where:

  • How do you start when you have so many ideas and once you’ve started how do you deal with the seasonality of business?
  • How do you deal with downfalls in business – dealing with business on the edge?
  • How do you make the transition from corporate to the entrepreneurial world?
  • Where do you want to be in 20 years’ time?
  • How do you remain true towards your dreams?

Because we want to make this the start of a conversation, Siphiwe and Brooke Rabe, Marketing and Communications Manager for USB, invited all the participants to connect on the USB and Northern Review Facebook pages. The questions above will be the start of an exciting new featured Coaching Column in the Northern Business Review where businesses are invited to submit their questions, which will be submitted to our panel of industry experts for their input.  As we celebrated the birth and legacy of a great leaders we hope that the work done will remind us all that:

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do”

An article by Unique Speaker Bureau, published in the Northern Business Review.


Photos from the Event


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