My favourite booklist and playlist of 1st half of 2018


I love reading, even though I don’t read as much as I think I should.

With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most so far this year.

The following are some of my favorite books I have read since January this year [2018]:

  1. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  2. Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built by Duncan Clark
  3. Lead with Humility: 12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis by Jeffrey A. Krames
  4. Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life, Second Edition by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Milburn
  5. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
  6. Dark Continent my Black Arse by Sihle Khumalo
  7. Bold: How to go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler
  8. Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
  9. The Wizard Crow by Nguni wa Thiongo
  10. Golden Gate Bridge: History and Design of an Icon by Donald MacDonald and Ira Nadel
  11. The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo
  12. The Road to Character by David Brooks
  13. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
  14. Hacking Growth by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown
  15. The Shack: Where Tragedy confronts Eternity by Wm. Paul Young
  16. The Last Slave Market: The Incredible Story of John Kirk: The Man Who Ended the East African Slave Trade by Alastair Hazell
  17. Mafia: The Final Secrets by Bill Bonanno and Gary B. Abromovitz

My favorite songs since January 2018 to today:

  1. Kinda Blue Album by Miles Davis [All songs]
  2. Firebrand by Simphiwe Dana
  3. Ezinkalweni by Linda Sikhakhane
  4. Spirit by Kwesta
  5. Wakrazulwa by Thandiswa Mazwai
  6. Sobantu by Nduduzo Makhuthini
  7. Family Feud by Jay-Z [feat. Beyoncé]
  8. Trip to Lyon by Dj Black Coffee
  9. Waiting, Falling by Bokani Dyer
  10. My All by Kirk Whalum
  11. Let the Heavens Open by Kari Jobe
  12. Seven Days of Falling by Esbjörn Svensson Trio
  13. Cherry Pie by Sade
  14. Emazulwini by DJ Ganyani ft. Nomcebo

My Favourite Podcasts this year so far:

  1. Superlead by Maanda Tshifularo
  2. Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell
  3. Akimbo by Seth Godin
  4. The Tim Ferris Show by Tim Ferriss



Bitterness: A bit of the sun and moon in us


Everybody has a little bit of the sun and moon in them.

Everybody is courage and fear in them. The courage to fight when under attack and the fear to implement that idea and fail.

Everybody has a twin in them, the one that we get to see outside, the one that looks la-di-da, in charge and got it going on and the other twin that is scared, insecure, and needs external approval and validation.

Everybody has that little slow fusion jazz and a bit of hip hop in them.

Everybody has a bit of introversion and extrovert in them.

Everybody has a little bit of man, woman, and animal in them.

Darks and lights in them.

Everyone is part of a connected cosmic system.

Part earth and sea, wind and fire, with some salt and dust swimming in them.

We have a universe within ourselves that mimics the universe outside.

None of us are just black or white, or never wrong and always right.

No one.

No one exists without polarities.

Everybody has good and bad forces working with them, against them, and within them.

It is what we gravitate to a lot that shapes who we become.

Bitterness: An invisible prison


Bitterness consumes you, it eats you inside.

Bitterness is like drinking poison and waiting the other person to die.

It destroys you.

When you leave bitterness behind, it’s like a load off your shoulders, you stop hating, holding grudges, you stop wanting to prove a point.

Tom Drout puts it this way:

“We cannot live with bitterness because it will first manifest itself in our spirit, then in our emotions, and finally in our bodies.”

Resentment damages us, physically and emotionally.

Bitterness is its own prison, an invisible prison

I love what former President Nelson Mandela says:

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”


Bitterness: Memories thereof….


“I don’t like that guy,” she said.

“Why not,” I wondered…

It turns out that she had done some business with him years ago and it hadn’t gone well.

When pressed, though, she could not actually recall what the problem had been, or how much financial or project damage had been done.

All she remembered was that she did not like him.

That is the way it usually is.

You read those letters to the complaint columns in the paper or online, and the actual facts are often pretty trivial.

Recently in South Africa, customers have taken to billboards to complain about poor customer service they received from various service providers. A customer paid for a billboard complaining about Cell C (Cellphone provider), another customer did the same against FNB (First National Bank).

Patrons at restaurants complain about racist behaviour from the manager.

Years after these complaints, these customers will not remember the finer details of what caused their bitterness, but they will remember how they felt.

What we remember is not the financial hit, we remember the injustice, the disrespect, the way we felt at the time.

Your accountant might care about the facts. You, the entrepreneur, need to care about the conversations and the memories.

Public Speaking: The TEDx Way Masterclass

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LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in partnership with Gamatong Brand Consultancy and TEDxJohannesburg brings you the surprising power of the humble talk: Public Speaking: The TEDx Way Masterclass.

Everyone knows that a compelling talk can illuminate, persuade, and transform an audience.

What is rarely mentioned is how a leader’s vision, or a business’ strategy, or a brand’s essence, can be so effectively captured and canonized into something as simple, cost effective, and easily transmittable as a humble talk.

Conceived and delivered well, a talk can do the following:

  • Improve understanding;
  • Make complex ideas more accessible;
  • Help us feel emotions that move us into action; and
  • Help us conceptualise the future.

In the hands of leaders, great talks become inspirational guides that help us navigate the future.

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We have taken this epiphany to its logical end.

TEDxJohannesburg has combined the considerable speaker coaching experience of the team—drawn from organising more than 30 TEDx events and preparing over 300 speakers for the TEDx stage—with their combined 35 years of brand development expertise, and 12 years of entrepreneurial development, to help leaders, businesses, and brands, tell strategy-aligned, memorable stories that strike meaningful connections with their audiences, in a masterclass named Public Speaking: The TEDx Way.


This masterclass blends the theory of effective public speaking, with the practical skills needed to put together and deliverTEDx-like talks.

TEDxJohannesburg will conduct a masterclass called Public Speaking: The TEDx Way. –
Public Speaking: The TEDx Way blends the theory of effective public speaking, with the practical skills needed to put together and deliver TEDx-like talks that inspire, inform, and entertain.

Public Speaking: The TEDx Way is designed to be interactive and multi-sensory, combining talk, video, Q&A, worksheets, and practical exercises.



Preview key elements of effective public speaking.


Use Simon Sinek’s Why/How/What questions to find your big idea.


Weave the throughline that ties together your big idea, key points, supports and examples.


Find a fitting structure, create an opening that grabs attention, incorporate essential tools of communication, and generate a powerful ending.


Apply key design principles to create slides people will remember.


Address public speaking apprehension, understand voice projection techniques, learn how to control your breathing, set your talk for oral delivery, structure your gestures, and plan your on-stage movement.

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Session 1 | 1 hour

Orientation: Preview key elements of effective public speaking.

Idea: Use Simon Sinek’s Why/How/What questions to find your big idea.

Throughline: Weave the throughline that ties together your big idea, key points, supports and examples.

Session 2 | 1 hour

Write: Find a fitting structure, create an opening that grabs attention, generate a powerful ending, incorporate essential tools of communication.

Session 3 | 1 hour

Design: Apply key design principles to create slides people will remember.

Perform: Address public speaking apprehension, understand voice projection techniques, learn how to control your breathing, set your talk for oral delivery, structure your gestures, and plan your on- stage movement.


R600 includes refreshments, and class notes.


Saturday, 07 July 2018, 09:00 to 13:00


Midrand [3 Tybalt Place, Waterfall Office Park, Bekker Road, Vorna Valley, Midrand. [there is secured parking]

To RSVP and Pay

Send an email to Roche at [only 15 seat available]


We recently conducted Public Speaking: The TEDx Way with executives from Bain Academy, Anglo American, Transnet, and the South African Reserve Bank.

This is what they had to say about the course

“Tools delivered in an absolutely interesting manner using lots of video clips, including those of South Africans that we know and identify with.”

“Great presentation. Useful and out-of-the- box thinking.”

“Ithateng was excellent and held my attention all the way. His ideas are innovative and exciting, and also practical and easy to apply.”

The Team

Roche Mamabolo

Roche is a founder and director of LORA Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He is an entrepreneur, academic, and business mentor. He is also curator of TEDxGaborone and part of the TEDxJohannesburg Team. Roche has attended TEDGlobal in Arusha, Tanzania in 2017.

Kelo Kubu

Kelo is co-founder of the design and branding consultancy Gamatong, and co-host of TEDGlobal 2017. She has been a regular at TED since 2007. Formerly with TEDxSoweto, she holds the license for TEDxJohannesburg, is a senior TEDxAmbassador for Africa, and is a TED Fellow. She is a 2018 Skoll World Forum Fellow.

Ithateng Mokgoro

Ithateng is co-founder of the design and branding consultancy Gamatong. Formerly with TEDxSoweto, he is co-organiser and curator for TEDxJohannesburg. A graphic designer by profession, he recently added speaker coaching and conference curation to his list of superpowers.

Where there is hurt, there is healing


“Love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer.” — Matthew 5:43-45, MSG

We have all been hurt at some point, likely by someone we hold in high esteem. And though forgiving can be easy, forgetting is the harder part.

So how do we overcome this?

In attempt to answer that question, let’s think about it in terms of wounds and scars.

Those “hurts” in our lives are like scars. At one time, that scar was an open wound. In time (and with the help of a healing aid), the wound healed. However, the scar remains.

We can choose to let that scar be a bitter reminder of the past wound or hurt. Or we can ultimately view the scar as a reminder of the healing that took place, only through the aid of our Healer.

In leadership [and in life], there will be hurt. There will be wounds. There will enemies who inflict these hurts and wounds.

Ultimately, there may even be scars. But our response should reflect the wisdom found in those passages from Matthew…

  1. Love your enemies.
  2. Let them bring out the best in you.
  3. Respond with prayer for them.

I’m not sure that we will ever “forget” the particular hurt caused by someone in our past. But the path to overcoming the hurt involves continuing to pray [unselfishly] for those who hurt us, trusting that God will give us a new compassion and love for them.

I don’t believe in vengeful prayer, I believe in a reaching out and saving your enemy prayer.

Instead of praying for evil and curse on my enemy, I pray for God’s love and light on them.

Prayer should be about love, not hate.

The greatest leaders are not vengeful. Rather, they let their enemies bring out the best in them.

There is no hurt so great that love cannot heal.

You heal when you love, not when you hate.


Joy of Missing Out [JOMO]: Joy and FOMO


Somewhere, right this very moment, someone is having more fun than you.

Making more money than you.

Doing something more important, with better friends, and a happier ending, than you. Or possibly just better at Words with Friends than you are.

You are missing out.

And somewhere, right now, something in your universe is not right. There is something happening that will affect you, annoy you, make things not “all right.”

A crisis is looming.

Of course joy is hard to find, even with all the leverage, assets and privileges we have got.

We have set ourselves up to avoid it at every turn. Electronic media profits from connecting us, sure, but mostly it profits from amplifying emotions we don’t want in the long run.

FOMO is the fear of missing out.

It always existed of course, ever since we were in high school. As newcomers, we knew that some cool kid was at some party that we could have gone to, but didn’t.

We have taken this far beyond a story told the next day over lunch, though.

The supercomputer in our pocket, amplified by your choice of social media, brings FOMO right to you, wherever you are, with a mere vibration.

At the same time…

The fear-based brain cannot rest until it knows that everyone likes us, that no one is offended, that all graphs are ticking up and to the right and the future is assured.

But of course, the future (and the present) is not perfect. It can’t be.

The combination of the two, the reverse schadenfreude of FOMO (the pain we may feel from others having good fortune) and the insatiable yet unreachable need for everything to be fine, conspire to make us distracted, unhappy and most of all, somewhere else.

I’m not talking about the dissatisfaction of the artist who wants to challenge herself and to reach new heights.

That is an internal discussion, not one that’s measured against the instant updates of the world’s population.

The only place joy can be found is right here and right now. Everyone who is selling you dissatisfaction is working for their own selfish ends.