Coming up this week is Rotary International’s amazing initiative, The Rotary Family Health Days (RFHD). Rotary has formed a fantastic partnership with the Department of Health, Coca-Cola, the CDC and USAID in order to host a series of Health Days (across the world) from 9-11 May 2013. On the days the Department of Health will supply qualified people to do completely free testing, screenings and counselling. Rotary’s role is to give as much support and service as possible where needed during the three days. All Rotary Clubs in the world are taking part in this initiative during these three days.
What a pleasure it was to have my family down recently from Los Angeles. My uncle is a singer (see my write-up on him by clicking HERE) and the last time I saw him and the rest of my family living there was a staggering 8 years ago. I can’t believe how time flies. It was an absolute thrill to have them all down for a reunion as well as for performances he gave in both Johannesburg and in Port Elizabeth. In Joburg he performed at Tanz Cafe and in P.E. he performed at The Vodacom Ampitheatre at The Boardwalk. There was a good crowd who came out to support him at The Boardwalk on both nights, despite the rainy weather.
It was so special to see David & Sherri (my cousin) get up on stage after the interval for a duet.
After the shows everyone stayed behind to buy CDs and get autographs.
Below is a photo I took with my uncle and his producer in South Africa, Benjy Mudie. Benjy initially became famous for being the Marketing Director of Tusk Music and subsequently for being the producer of a very popular South African singing group Mango Groove. He is most recently well-known from being a guest judge on Idols, South Africa, and for being the Founder and Managing Director of Fresh Music since 1998. Below is a photo of Sherri also signing her autograph on the CD.
It was a really great weekend… David performed two nights in a row. While in Johannesburg he was also interviewed on various radio stations and also on television. He was interviewed one morning on Morning Live on SABC3:
He and my cousin had a lovely write-up in The Herald’s Weekend Post while they were here, which was great to see! Sherri cracked the front page, so naturally we took this snap while waiting at the traffic light:)
Something else I was invited to attend over the past week was “The King & Queen of Port Elizabeth” competition. It was held at the The Grand Hotel here in P.E. and was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. I attended it with my good friend Brandon Lorenzo, of MTV Base fame. It was very cute seeing the babies modelling… I managed to steal a snap with two of them after the show.
I attended another super event after that…. it was a talk given by Colin Cowie – events planner & lifestyle guru to the stars! He spoke here in Port Elizabeth at The Granary and a huge crowd came out to listen to him.
This guy has planned some of the most talked-about parties in the world… his clients include Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries, Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Hugh Hefner and many more…. So it was only fitting that I wore my highest pair of heels in honour of the occasion! Click HERE to view his website – it’s very interesting!
He was telling me how he’s missed biltong, smoked snoek, oxtail, tomato sauce and all the other South African products that aren’t available in the U.S. Finding out that he is from Selborne College in East London, here in SA, was so amazing. He said that he left South Africa at the age of 23 with nothing but a well-cut suit, a good tan and $400! His first client was Bruce Willis, when he was still young and had just got his first job on the series Moonlighting. Bruce asked him to do a barbeque on the beach and the rest is history. It was very inspiring to hear! It shows you that anything is possible. Here is a snap of him and I:
On another note, this past Saturday saw me giving a talk to a class of grade 10 students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University who are part of Engen’s Saturday School Programme.
I spoke to them about valuing yourself and using your God-given talents to achieve great things in life.They loved it when I did my range of accents for them! Afterwards we handed out dictionaries to the learners, which were sponsored by Rotary Algoa Bay. My mother is the President of Rotary Algoa Bay this year, so she was there to present the students with this generous donation! It was a beautiful experience! Giving back is very important.
- Become the change you want to see
- Everything you’ve ever done prepares you for all you can do
- How you spend your time defines who you are
- Giving yourself time to just be and not do is essential to fulfilling your mission as a human being
- The truth is that which feels right, good and loving
- Loving [on another] doesn’t hurt. It feels really good
- To know that people care about how you’re doing when the doings aren’t so good-that’s what love is
- Right now you’re one choice away from a new beginning
- The problems that make you shout ‘Mercy!’ will build your courage and determination
Looking through my notepad of good lessons I’ve jotted down, I came across some more from a very famous writer and poet whom I admire greatly, Maya Angelou:
- I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.
- I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.
- I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life.
- I’ve learned that making a ‘living’ is not the same thing as ‘making a life.
- I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.
- I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back…
- I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.
- I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one.
- I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug or just a friendly pat on the back…
- I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn.
Other famous icons
I like reading the more in-depth interviews that Oprah’s had with famous figures over in the US, such as Joan Brackwell who is a TV Presenter, journalist and broadcaster. Joan’s message is “Accept the Chaos” – she explains that everything takes longer than we think it will….shopping, phoning home, growing up, getting pregnant and being happy.
The Dalai Lama has another message about what he ‘knows for sure’. He tells us to “Weigh up the Consequences” – he says before we act we should always consider the whole situation and conduct it holistically. He stresses that something he’s learnt is to consider the consequences and implications of our actions before we do them, and appreciate that sometimes it’s wise to undergo a small suffering if doing so will allay a greater pain.
Car Honore is interviewed in one of her magazines and he says he’s an advocate of the “Slow Movement”. His message is to “Find Your Inner Tortoise”. I especially liked this one because it reminded me of myself and my sometimes overwhelming lifestyle. Between Facebook, Instant messaging, Twitter, Instagram, Blogging, e-mailing and Skyping, we are over-stimulated with technology and it can sometimes leave you feeling breathless and scattered. I even ask myself often; “Woah, what’s the rush?” He recalls the story of The Hare and the Tortoise and how everyone today seems to have forgotten that it’s the tortoise who wins. He says that like the tortoise, we should slow down and simply take our time with some things. “It’s not slacking; it’s taking the time to do what you do well, and not feeling guilty about having a little ‘me-time’.” He says stop believing that you need to ‘have it all now’ because that’s just a recipe for hurrying. He asks us to consider letting go of the clutter – the project at work that doesn’t really need our input, or the party we might say yes to because we don’t want to miss out. He wants us to slow down because we can be more creative when we do things more ‘deeply’.
Finally, Arja Salafranca is a female journalist and poet in the U.S who also has a say in the matter. What she knows for sure is that rejoicing in everyday pleasures is the key to staying young. “Tell me I am going on a Danube cruise this year and I am delirious with joy. Show me a review with my byline and I am as thrilled as the first time I saw my name in print.” She says not to lose our enthusiasm for ordinary, everyday pleasures as well as mundane realities because in the long run we’ll be surprised at how youthful we can keep.
My friends’ advice
- Nothing is ever how it seems
- The closest ones to you will always hurt you the worst and you’ll forgive them
- I’ve done my job with the precious time I have if I leave the world in a better place than I found it
- Follow your dreams and do what motivates you, not others. Because when people are passionate about something they love no matter if it’s in business or personal growth, they will perform and achieve greater things than if they follow someone else’s dreams
- You haven’t lived until you’ve found something worth dying for
- Things are never what they seem; there is always a bigger picture or something behind what you see
- What I know for sure is that you can never be sure of something
- Being with the person you love will destroy the strength you thought was real and give you strength you never realised was possible
- It’s not what you say but how you say it and likewise it’s not what you do, but how you do it
- Every action has a reaction
- You will definitely burn if you stay in the sun too long
- I know for sure God lives and that the spiritual realm is more alive than people can believe. If more people could endeavour to become stronger in the spirits, they would overcome life’s circumstances with a different view; a God view
- Life is not fair, but it also holds no grudges. And, like chess, you can win from any position on the board
- Your gut is always right… Trust it
- Life is full of many uncertainties; highs and lows, confusion and possibilities for anything! The only thing I know for sure is that with God’s direction and guard, life can be EXACTLY what He intended, with the intended peace of mind!
My personal favourite
People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
For best viewing quality, make sure to set the viewing settings to 1080p HD by clicking on the cog at the bottom right-hand corner of the video.
Doing a video profile for my business Skybok at The Two Oceans Aquarium here in Cape Town was so much fun. I think the last time I went to the aquarium was when I was around 10 years old! It’s at the V & A Waterfront. Go to their website to check out more – http://www.aquarium.co.za/
I have just returned from a book launch here in Cape Town at this awesome venue, where the guest speaker for the evening was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. What an incredible experience. As you may or may not know, Desmond Tutu is a world-famous South African activist and retired Anglican bishop who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.