What An Inspirational Experience | My Night At #GlenlivetLegacyTalk Event

The Glenlivet hosted the second edition of its exclusive Legacy Talks with an evening of inspiration featuring entrepreneurs Herman Mashaba and Sbusisso Ngwenya on Thursday, 8 October 2015 in Johannesburg. I had the honour of being invited and was changed by the experience.  

The Glenlivet Legacy Talks Series, a platform for living legends and legends-in-the-making to tell their stories, has had a huge impact in the minds (and hopefully lives) of those who have had the privilege to be part of. 

I can now count myself as one of those who went to the event and left feeling that my hard-work, hardships and the strides I have made in my life and career are validated. Getting to hear how Herman Mashaba grew up in rural North West, had to drop out of school and somehow managed to become a successful black entrepreneur, at a time when black were not afforded such opportunities by the apartheid regime, was inspirational. 

I sat in the audience in awe of the resilience of the man — who possible rubs a lot of people the wrong way with his unfiltered views and unapologetic stance of being a capitalist. I sat and heard a voice in my head saying; this man is telling my story. 

Of course I did not grow up during apartheid and my path was less tumultuous than his. However, the parallels are; we both grew up in rural South Africa, raised by our single mothers, didn't get to have a tertiary education but strived to create careers ourself independent of handouts.

I felt my journey being validated by getting to hear Mr Mashaba tell his story. I knew that I am destined for more great things. If he can make it so can I... yeah sounds cliché but the power of words can change the world. 

I do not agree with most of Mr Mashaba's capitalistic views and his contempt for collective vision. In his words he said on stage at the event; 
"Leave me out of the collective. I am an individual and want to rely on myself" 
Strong words but personally I believe in the power of the collective to change our society and uplift our people. Those of us who "make it" have a responsibility to share our knowledge and resources, when we can, with those who may not be afforded the same opportunities. 

I have a career and am able to aim higher because someone had the collective sense to help this ambitious boy without a qualifications. Now I am in this industry I love and hope to extend the same courtesy to someone someday. 

Sharing the platform with Herman Mashaba, was young businessman Sibusiso Ngwenya, who owns Skinny Sbu Socks brand. Let me prefix this part by admitting to my own bias in a way.

While Mr Mashaba's in your face approach to life and business was interesting. I found myself put off by Mr Ngwenya's overt sense of self importance. I somehow felt it being a bit arrogant at times. I guess when you are of a certain age you are allowed to be blunt but when you are a peer we view your bluntness as arrogance. Guilty.

Hey don't judge me... I am just being honest. I admire Sbu for his tenacity and drive but I found myself expecting a little more humility from the guy. I don't know, perhaps when you are younger one feels like there is a lot more room for you to stumble along the way, so you ought to be less brusque about their new found success than someone who has made his millions and is now enjoying the freedom of not having to worry about failure or future. 

Again, I am not dogging on the Sbu, he is a true inspiration and I wish him well. I always try and be honest, it gets me into trouble but I hope you guys appreciate my honesty. Humility is very important to me because it welcomes people in. 

Anyway, the evening was a huge inspiration for me. I can not wait to attend another, if invited in future. We need to be exposed to more stories of people like those two gentlemen. There are many stories like this but we are unlikely to know about them because of our celebrity obsessed society. 

Thanks to The Glenlivet for creating moments of inspiration through platforms such as The Glenlivet Legacy Talks.  

PS; I didnt get to  savour the single malt that started it all because I was doing a live tweet report via my Twitter page but my friend enjoyed it. Eish mara next time neh? Then I will tell you guys all about it.

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