The Story So Far...

“Through my life I have had to master reinvention, it is the spice of life.”

The Story So Far...

“Through my life I have had to master reinvention, it is the spice of life.”

Perspective Reinvention

I grew up in a middle class suburb in white South Africa. I went to the same primary and high school and lived the life of a young South African with little understanding of the devastating impact of Apartheid. After school I was conscripted for my two-year mandatory military service. I spend most of my time fighting the military rather than the so-called Russian ‘red threat’. 

After the army, I backpacked through Europe and spent time volunteering on a Kibbutz in Israel. It was incredible. Such an eye opener. I was exposed to young open minded people from all over the world. I love it and came alive. I started reading and talking about philosophy, politics and psychology. I discovered my brain and my curiosity.

This experience has led me down the path of many re-inventions in my life, from leaving South Africa and arriving in England with nothing and starting again.

Career Reinvention

In London, I worked as photo journalist and discovered my passion for teaching having completed my postgraduate degree in Facilitation. I did amazing work. I taught Sociology at a tough London borough and inner city college and it was these experiences that I took back to South Africa having spent 10 years living in exile. 

Career Expansion

In South Africa, I pivoted again building a career working in the business world. When I started I knew nothing about business and had never worn a suit. It was a steep curve and I learnt fast. Since then I have spent the last 21 years working with blue chip companies, government, NGOs and small businesses specialising in leadership, communication, service and organisational culture. 

Personal Reinvention

The most profound shift happened in my life when my youngest son, Michael, was born with Down Syndrome. At the time, I did not know what Down Syndrome was, nevermind how to parent a special child. Eleven years later I am blessed with an amazing child having learnt to be the parent that he needs.

Learning from Failures

After 15 years of face-to-face facilitation, I came up with an idea to develop a learning app. I partnered with a great entrepreneur who was the CEO of one of the largest e-learning businesses in Africa at the time.

We invested a lot of time and money over a three year period. We won international awards but did not secure the capital injection needed to take it to the next level.

The most valuable lesson, as expensive as it was, was the clarity of knowing what I enjoy and am good at. This led me to step back into face to face work with a new philosophy and a refreshed approach.

Pandemic inspiration

“Necessity is the mother of invention. This certainly true in my case. When South Africa went into lockdown, I had  three months’ work cancelled in a day. As a small business this was a bit hit.  

It took me a couple of days to process this new reality but I knew one thing, I needed to take action. I immediately schooled myself on how to use Zoom and Microsoft Teams and designed an online programme to help people make sense of the shock and adapt to their new situation. The first session I ran was stressful to say the least. Having always worked face to face, suddenly I was working through the use of technology and adjusting to this new way of connecting and engaging people not sitting in the same room. And yet, and here is the kicker, five months later I have reinvented my business and am getting traction. 

The moral of my story

I, like you, have experienced much change in my life. I have developed the ability not just to cope, but to embrace the experience and treat it as an adventure that is part of the rich tapestry we call life.