Every end of year since 2013, I have endeavoured to acknowledge and celebrate the most inspiring people I get to meet or interact with, virtually or in person during the course of the year or season that are magnanimous or making a difference in their own unique ways in different spaces and spheres of life.
The #Timspirational25 is a platform that seeks to acknowledge and celebrate this amazing individuals who are all together inspiring in their own unique ways. This year’s faculty draws from people from diverse backgrounds and professions – from people I met on the streets like my inspiring friend Sipho who runs a Taxify business to corporate, social and creative spaces.
Aviwe – Aviwe is one of those amazing souls you meet in the wilderness. Something about her spirit so full of kindness spoke through the gentleness of her voice at the end of the line. Though we never met in person I could tell she is such a sweet and thoughtful person with a kind heart. We need more kindness in our world and you are a shining light. I just want you to know that that I believe in you and that the best is yet to come. Hold on to hope, better things lay ahead for you.
- Renata Fester – Such a blessing to connect with this old time associate who I met virtually during my life coaching days. Meeting her in person this year was such a joy. Renata is such an amazing individual very passionate in particular about empowering women. She runs self defence sessions for women and those who would like to learn self defence for their own protection. I was completely blown away seeing you in action, equipping others. You are one heck of a super ninja and so proud of all you are doing.
- Carolyne – Such a curious mind I met during Discipleship Evenings at church covering the book of Ephesians (this immediately became my favourite book in the whole Bible!). I’m often surprised that I tend to ask too many questions especially in places of learning, Carolyne made me feel normal as she is such a curious boffin that wanted to find out about everything in the Bible. Salut fellow curious mind… viva to people like us in 2020 and beyond!
Nomfundo – The point of introduction was a loud laugh… At a place where we were supposed to be doing silent reading. I guess laughter is one of those things that can escape even in the most fortified of places. Nomfundo has such a beautiful mind, so full of creativity and crazy beautiful ideas. She is also a talented artist who does such amazing painting work and headlined her own gallery show case in Jozi this past month. She is definitely a rising star and an amazing talent to look out for in 2020 and beyond.
Cheering you on, you are a whole vibe with all your creativity and ideas.
- Luyanda Mngadi – We met at one of the PwC mentor forums and such a joy to connect with another who is passionate about empowering and enabling others – especially young women. Luyanda is downright inspiring, a remarkable individual that will definitely make an impact in the world. I certainly look forward to connecting with you again soon.
- Anoka Balram – I’m forever grateful to have met Anoka just as I was Joining PwC. She is someone who instinctively stood out to me and later understood why. So grateful to have you as my mentor and cheerleader. You have been such a great source of inspiration and perspective in this period of transition and I’m forever grateful that our paths ever crossed. Thank you so much for all you are. You are a gem to the world and yes let’s keep spreading the light 🚦
- Greg Epstein – You may never know what you did, but in every way showed what it meant to believe in another person and what being a leader means. It is rare to have an individual of your calibre these days, especially in professional circles who are genuinely helpful and accessible. Thank you so much for everything, really appreciate all you did for me. Wishing you a brilliant year ahead full of pleasurable and pleasant surprises.
- Zibu – God has a way of bringing people that just bring the right perspective. Zibu is unmistakably that person who helps you get the wool out of your eyes and see clearly. Equally such a kind and compassionate person, she is someone who earns your trust immediately. Thank you Zibu for all you are, may you continue to influence and Impact others so personally and profoundly in 2020 and beyond.
Tiyani (aka TeY) – You did it! #MadeItToCornellUNI So proud of you…. And this just the beginning. You are the one you’ve been seeking, the one to stand up for and believe in. Hey Tey, you are the stuff dreams are made of because you don’t wait, you pounce and indeed you have remained true and consistent ever since we met. I have cherished seeing you on your journey and I could never be prouder as a mentor.
Can’t wait to see you conquer New York and the world. You are just getting started and will be here to witness it. Cheering you on as you take NYC by storm!
Nkateko Masinga – You are a trailblazer and was absolutely inspired by our brief interaction. You are the definition of what is possible and the power in believing in ourselves and our unique ideas. Your Ted Talk of pursuing multiple passions totally resonated with me and I believe with so many others who identify as such. I reckon you only getting started even with so much that you have achieved at such a young age. All I can say – keep trailblazing you are shaping the world and inspiring others while at it. Wishing you the very best in the year ahead and beyond.
Zanele (ZWH) – No year is complete without celebrating one of my favourite mentees, who has kept on pushing frontiers and boundaries. It was such a proud moment see you with the She is Me Girls on TV with a one on one wit the President of the Republic. This is a sign of things to come as we have always confessed. As ever, will be out here cheering you on as you shape and impact the world, the Girls you are raising are icons to be reckoned with that will shift the dial in critical areas of our society. Keep Trailblazin!
- Bongi – To another the eclectic and eponymous mentee of mine whose wings have open this year and who continues to step into new frontiers. I cant wait what 2020 has for you, I cant wait to see your great initiatives and projects manifest. I celebrate you for being as discerning and as intuitive, I celebrate you for being a champion and a cheerleader. You have birthed many a destiny, enabled many a dream and can only see soaring stars from here. So proud of you. I always cherish the personal touch in our conversations. I celebrate you.
Bruce Isdale – It was such a delight to meet you and be inspired by your perspective on several topics in the field of human psychology and leadership. You are definitely one of the most fascinating conversations for 2019 for me. I look forward to connecting with you again and learning all about your ventures in Unlocking potential in others. Best wishes to you for the year ahead.
- Itumeleng – Such a pleasure meeting with you even though briefly. I was inspired by your entrepreneurial mindset and I have no doubt you’ll make an impact on society in your endeavours. Thank you again for meeting me and best wishes for the season ahead.
- Mbali Xaba – Thank you Mbali for being that reassuring voice to many. It was certainly a delight to connect with you this year. There is lots more to uncover in the field of human potential and talent as we head to 2020 and beyond. I look forward to connecting again soon. Many blessings for the season ahead.
- Busi – A truth teller. Straight up and simple. I meant every word. You have all it takes to be a brand and make things happen at scale. I have no doubt your enthusiasm and passion will translate and open doors for you. Meanwhile please get writing, that’s our deal for 2020. Let’s rough up the status quo!
- Sipho – You sir are an example of what pure inspiration is. I only had less than 15 minutes to be impacted by you as you picked me from Sandton and dropped me home. I learnt customer service and generosity through what you bought and shared with me, your story and ventures gave me hope. You are definitely a motivational speaker and person of influence. Cheering you forward great man!
- Collins (aka Coach Collins ) – Glad to have met you even though not in the most ideal of circumstances. You definitely one of the people I would like to spend time with in 2020, you are officially my coach and yes, the dare challenge for you to launch a local league of tae-kwo-ndo / or was it judo.. cant tell the difference🙂 locally to mentor young people. You definitely have lots to teach our young stars given your prolific experiences and knowledge.
- Mishelle – You are our resident mayor, a true servant of the community. Our neighbourhood is blessed and richer to have you. Thank you for all you are and for being an Unrelenting voice in the pursuit of what true, right and just. I celebrate your heart to serve and your example on servant leadership. You know you already have my vote even though you ain’t on the ballot. Thanks indeed for all you do Mishelle.
- Pinky Konyana – So grateful that we were paired as mentor and mentee – and such a blessing to be your mentor. Its been such a joy to see you grow. You have all it takes to be great and thankfully you are aware and stepping boldly and in stride in that direction. I can’t wait to see you take up space in society as Zozi eloquently put it. You are a natural born leader and I know that you are a leader to your generation. I know that you will impact so many in society in the seasons ahead.
- Tryphina Madiba – I’ll admit I don’t know much about you in person but the sense I got in this short time is that you are everything that your generation seeks to bring. Intensity. Intransigence. Ambition. Ambiguity And Action! I know it’s not an ideal place to be, but it is all you need. I have no doubt you’ll rise to the challenge, even when it is not convenient or don’t feel like it. I’ll be out here cheering you on as you make your mark on the universe.
- BrunHilda – Thank you for being an affirming voice, a voice of encouragement and faith. We spoke only briefly and what you said was strength to my bones. Thank you for your magnanimity. You are a trailblazer and an example to many, certainly can’t wait to link up and catch up in the New Year.
- Sibongile – You are one of a kind. Thank you for genuinely believing in me and saying so. I thank God for you and the opportunity to work with you even though so briefly. My sincere best wishes to you in the season ahead and that you may continue to encourage and inspire others.
Luvuyo Madasa – Always a pleasure connecting with this brother of mine who is a passionate advocate for change and healing of our society through Ubuntu. I certainly was inspired by your recent interview challenging all of us to get involved wherever we are and be agents of change and embrace Ubuntu. Thank you for being a voice to this generation and for calling others to action.
It’s our time to be ‘that great’ generation as Madiba urged us to be:
The Real MxO – Such a pleasure connecting and chatting with you brother at the CoCa forum in Melrose Arch. Funny how it felt like we have known each other for a life time and even funnier that I didn’t know who the heck you were! Until you had to tell me….. Even then I didn’t get it till I listened to some of your music later. Didn’t know you were such a big deal bro! You are a genius bro! Totally love your sound and look forward to what you’ll be up to in 2020 and beyond!
Craig Kanyemba – You are one hell of an interesting and funny guy!
I was also inspired by your ambition to write several books within such a short period of time and be among the new generation of prolific African writers. Way to go bro…. You are the millennial Chinua Achebe and Ngugi Wa Thiongo cheering you on as you make this happen.
You made my evening with your opening line quoted below:
If you are smart but not open minded,
It becomes a problem,
It’s always better if you are open minded…
Craig Kanyemba, Author, Shepherd and the Lost Sheep
- Ntsikelelo Mzibomvu – You sir are a visionary, and though we didn’t get the chance to speak in detail about the CoCa platform you created, must say you have something really cool cooking that allow young people to connect, share art and ideas and effect change through conversation. I’d definitely do another stop over at CoCa in the New Year and catch up on some of your aspirations for the seasons ahead. Keep it up bro and look forward to seeing you soon at CoCa!
- Fr Munekani – I was so blessed to meet you this year and was really both touched and inspired by the work you do in the community and the level of devotion required. I have always had regard for men of the clothe even though they are often misunderstood. Speaking with you enriched my perspective even further and I can say well done and keep it up. Yours is a tough calling for the service of