Category Archives: Newsletters

April 2017: 8 stories in 6 publications

In the mood for a holiday? This month’s travel news explores the busy streets of Nairobi and, further off the African coast, the vibrant cultures of Zanzibar. Staying in the region, Colin Murray talks about how One Horizon is using travel experiences to fund humanitarian programs.

Speaking of people making a difference, Zaid Philander shares his quest to change the world through ethical fashion at I Scream & Red. And in music news, Matthew Wild of Cape Town Opera talks about his love for the stage while Neyla Pekarek of The Lumineers opens up about touring the globe.

This month’s Edgars Club Magazine columns feature the best drinks for April and why the only thing worse than being uninsured is going through the pain of filing an insurance claim. And speaking of stressful events, even though we’re only a third of the way through the year, you might be feeling the effects of job burnout and in desperate need of a break.

Khoja Mosque in Nairobi (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

What if you can’t get away? Zen Habits has five tips for when you have too much to do while Headspace has six ways to shorten your to-do list. The key is to work deliberately instead of reactively so that you only do what matters. All the rest can wait, assuming you know how to procrastinate like a pro.

So don’t be afraid to understand the psychological importance of wasting time or to discover why being lazy makes you more successful. And don’t be afraid to embrace the idea that, as much as it’s often useful to squeeze the most out of each moment, there are ways that time management might be ruining our lives.

The solution is balance. As captured well in this feature on how Darwin was a slacker and why you should be too: “Even in today’s 24/7, always-on world, we can blend work and rest together in ways that make us smarter, more creative, and happier.”

It’s all up to you.

March 2017: 10 stories in 8 publications

Summer is almost over for those of us in the southern hemisphere but there’s still time to enjoy the sunshine. So take a sip on Sxollie Cider or join Motherland Brewers at Cape Town’s brand new craft beer bar. And while we’re on the subject of good food and drinks, Andrea Mullineux talks about winning an award for winemaker of the year, Scot Kirton is serving up something special at his new Foxcroft restaurant, and my latest Edgars Club column highlights the best drinks for March.

In music news, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is presenting four great concerts in its autumn symphony season, while Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers opens up about his ten-year journey to overnight success. And while we’re speaking about overcoming obstacles, Grant Lottering is getting ready to ride in a cycle race that almost cost him his life, while a team of medical experts have tips on fighting the rise of workplace depression and suicide.

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra at City Hall (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

Yesterday was my 31st birthday, which means that it’s now been ten years since I learned some life lessons from turning 21. Indeed, I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately and have come across several great articles that take a look at our relationship with time.

If you can’t believe that we’re already three months into the year, you might be wondering why there’s never enough time. You might even be guilty of sending one of these funny responses to overdue emails. Fortunately, there’s a great TED Talk offering guidance on how to gain control of your free time and an article showing you how to get more done by tracking your time.

Whatever might be happening in your life, it’s good to remember that the busier you are, the more you need quiet time. It’s also good to remember that all of us have the same amount of time – around 100 ten-minute blocks a day – and it’s up to us to make the most of them.

As Leo Babauta writes in Zen Habits, right now could be the moment you’ve been waiting for: “What if we stopped working for something later, and instead started paying full attention to right now? What if we stopped thinking happiness is coming soon, and tried to see what was in front of us, and find happiness in that? What if this were the moment we’ve been waiting for all along?”

It’s about time.

February 2017: 20 stories in 12 publications

It’s the month of love and there’s a lot to love about this month’s newsletter!

In the world of drinks, the Cape Wine Auction is supporting education initiatives in the winelands, Andrea Mullineux wins a Winemaker of the Year award, and my first monthly column for the Edgars Club Magazine features six drinks for Valentine’s Day. In food news, former investment banker Lentswe Bhengu is happy to be following his passion for cuisine while Giles Edwards of La Tête is proud to be included in CNN’s list of best new restaurants in the world.

Speaking of the world, there’s a lot to discover with this month’s travel stories. DJ Black Coffee opens up about how spinning the globe has changed his life, VoiceMap is offering authentic self-guided tours with its innovative app, Ghana is sharing its vibrant culture, and Mamre is giving visitors to the West Coast a taste of a town untouched by time. All you need to do is follow the traveller’s guide to luggage, pack your bags, and get ready to go!

The former home of Governor Simon van der Stel in Mamre (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

In theatre news, the three leads of West Side Story talk about their journeys to the stage while Sandra Prinsloo and John Kani  are set to appear in a local adaptation of Driving Miss Daisy. And speaking of things to get excited about, entrepreneur Zibu Masotobe is proud to be included in President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative.

Other business news covers the importance of strategic alliances when building a brand, the rise of African MBAs in business schools across the continent, the growth of fintech in the banking sector, and the risk of workplace suicide among overworked employees. Clearly, it doesn’t matter if you need expert advice for every stage of your relationship or a guide to finding your passion; remember to take care of yourself.

We all deserve a little love.

January 2017: 9 stories in 6 publications

It’s a new year and for many people that means getting back to work. In business news, Gary Joseph of the South African Supplier Diversity Council is on a mission to transform corporate supply chains. And in music news, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Cape Town Concert Series are starting 2017 on a high note with a range of repertoire.

If you’re still on holiday, why not visit one of the top Airbnbs in South Africa, get immersed in local culture with an authentic travel experience from Tour2.0, or enjoy one of the six luxury lifestyle trends for 2017? Speaking of the finer things, get ready to celebrate International Brandy Alexander Day, savour one of the most memorable meals around the world, or feast on the bounty of Bushmans Kloof.

Breakfast at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

So, what do you have planned for the year? The Simple Dollar has a great guide on how to create and succeed at personal and financial goals, The Guardian has tips on how to change your habits to change your life, and The Art of Manliness is making a call for a new strenuous age.

No matter what your goals are, trust your future self. To do that, the Harvard Business Review has five steps to recover from a setback so that you don’t get caught up in the past. And Seth Godin encourages you to look ahead to the future: “When we wonder about the future, we get a chance to begin again, to set new goals, and envision bold plans.”

What will YOU do with today, tomorrow, and beyond?

December 2016: 7 stories in 6 publications

As another year comes to an end, it’s a good idea to learn how to make better decisions for your time. If you’re eating out, consider how to split a restaurant bill. And if you’re eating in? Savour the flavours from across the continent in the television series Africa on a Plate.

Speaking of travel, treat yourself to a stay at the InterContinental O.R. Tambo Airport Hotel in Johannesburg, which is the perfect prelude to luxury life at Diamonds La Gemma dell’Est Resort in Zanzibar. You could also find some inspiration from DJ Black Coffee as he shares his love for spinning the globe or from VoiceMap telling stories around the world through its innovative app.

Diamonds La Gemma dell’Est Resort in Zanzibar (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

December can also be a time of stress. Fortunately, Headspace has advice to help you avoid the slippery slope of breaking your routine, as well as a few quick tips if you’re panicking and five tips for avoiding holiday burnout.

There’s more great guidance from The Simple Dollar on the eight little things to always remember when you’re shopping, from Raptitude on how to eat less junk during the holidays, and from The Economist on why sugar is bad for you. (True story.)

Wherever you are right now, take some time to disconnect. Seth Godin has valuable recommendations on how to use your phone so that your phone doesn’t use you, while The Economist reflects on the power and meaning of silence: “[Just] as there can be inner tumult in silence, so there can be tranquillity in the thrum of activity.”

I wish you all nothing but peace.

November 2016: 15 stories in 10 publications

In arts news this month, the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg is hosting Air: Inspiration – Expiration, the final instalment in a series inspired by the four elements of the natural world. And in music news, soprano Pretty Yende is making her mark on opera stages around the world while Catherine Lückhoff of NicheStreem is connecting artists and fans with an innovative streaming app.

In business news, Robert Cialdini has six scientific strategies to unlock the power of persuasion, which might come in handy if you want to know how to be a tenderprenuer. You can also take inspiration from Vanessa Jacobs of Sow Delicious, winner of a recent Entrepreneur of the Year Award, or Neill Anthony, star of reality television show Private Chef.

Zebra crossing at Welgevonden Game Reserve (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

In the world of drinks, the new Black Cellar Club is spreading wine knowledge across Africa, David Donde shares the secret blend of success at TRUTH Coffee, and Charles Hopkins reflects on his career as cellar master at De Grendel Wine Estate. And if you’re looking for a top restaurant in South Africa, here’s the latest list from the Eat Out Awards.

It’s almost time for the holidays, which means it’s time to get away. If you’re in the mood for a luxury safari, escape to Mhondoro Game Lodge in Limpopo or Founders Lodge in the Eastern Cape. Or pick one of the top travel destinations for 2017. In the words of DJ Black Coffee: “Save money, book a flight, find a hotel, and go to a place you’ve never been. It’s such an eye-opener. You always come back a different person. And the more you do it, the more you learn.”

October 2016: 10 stories in 9 publications

In cultural news this month, the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg is hosting Air: Inspiration – Expiration, the final instalment in a series inspired by the four elements of the natural world, while the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra is performing its series of symphony concerts for spring.

Speaking of classical music, soprano Noluvuyiso Mpofu talks about winning big at the 35th International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition. And in business news, Heike le Cordeur is creating innovative floral designs with Fleur le Cordeur, while Thuleka Duze’s ATG EKASI Handbags and Clothing is spreading African fashion around the world.

Bois Cheri Tea Factory in Mauritius (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)
Bois Cheri Tea plantation in Mauritius (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

If you’re ready to go global, savour the cultures and cuisines of Delicious Mauritius. You could also discovery a new generation of South Africa’s wine talent with the Cape Winemakers Guild Protégé Programme or take a bite of DV Artisan Chocolate, the country’s first bean-to-bar chocolatier.

No matter what you have planned for the rest of the year, take the time to do it well. One of my lessons from two years of CrossFit is that we’re capable of so much more than we think. And one of my lessons from a day with fire-fighters is that we can always bring an element of bravery into our work. The world expects better of you. And you should demand better of yourself too.

September 2016: 14 stories in 10 publications

The seasons are changing (achoo!) and there are plenty of ways to celebrate spring in Stellenbosch. Vanessa Jacobs of Sow Delicious has all you need to grow organic vegetables at home, Greg Zeleny of [spasie] shares the secret of underground dining, and Andy Watts reflects on his career transition from professional cricketer to Distell’s Global Head of Whisky.

In business news, Nick Caripis of BNC Technology is designing smart homes of the future. And if you’d like to some inspiration for your own business, follow the seven steps for conjuring up ingenious business ideas. In arts news, Idols finalist and chiropractor Kyle Deutsch is juggling music and medicine, while DJ Black Coffee is making a name for himself in his travels around the world.

Exploring street art in Woodstock, Cape Town (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)
Exploring street art in Woodstock, Cape Town (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

In the mood for some travel tales? Grant Lottering successfully completed his third major cycling tour after a serious accident almost killed him a few years ago; Chris Bertish is preparing to stand-up paddle board across the entire Atlantic Ocean; and Emmanuel de Merode continues to save a slice of Africa in his work as director and chief warden of Virunga National Park.

Perhaps now’s a good time to start planning your own holiday. You could go kayaking in Paternoster or travel to any of the ten winning countries in Africa’s Travel Olympics. But for now, there’s work to do. One of my lessons learned from a day with fire-fighters is that we can all be heroes in our work. The world expects better of you. And you should demand better of yourself.

August 2016: 14 stories in 9 publications

In cultural news this month, the Cape Town Concert Series presents its second season of the country’s best chamber music, while the Matisse exhibit at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg draws to a close. In food news, Simon Widdison and Wesley Randles speak about opening The Shortmarket Club restaurant in partnership with Luke Dale-Roberts of The Test Kitchen, while celebrity chef Neill Anthony talks about his journey to becoming a television star.

Staying in the culinary world, Ntsiki Biyela of Stellekaya Wines shares what it took to become South Africa’s first black female winemaker, while the fourth annual Inter Hotel Challenge crowns a new generation of hospitality industry talent. And staying in the travel world, Emmanuel de Merode of Virunga National Park opens up about saving mountain gorillas in the DRC, while Adrian Landry of the Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra offers insight into why Ghana is a country going for gold.

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park in Accra, Ghana (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

In business news, economist Francois Stofberg explains how to fight the effect of rising interest rates, while Denise Dogon of Dogon Group Properties reflects on building one of the country’s top real estate companies. More entrepreneurship news comes from The Department of Trade and Industry, which continues to empower small businesses, and inspiring start-ups like Bumka Scooter Rentals and I Scream & Red, both changing the world in their own ways.

Feeling inspired? Perhaps it’s time for you to start something new. No matter how many times you win or lose, it’s always important to learn from failure and success: “If we learn from our mistakes, we can use them as lessons to guide us forward. And as long as we constantly strive to better ourselves, no failure will be for nothing.”

July 2016: 19 stories in 13 publications

In this month’s food news, Sabi Sabharwal of the Bukhara Restaurant Group talks about his journey from particle physicist to Punjabi restaurateur, while Pieter de Villiers of DV Artisan Chocolate reflects on the switch from control engineer to chocolatier. In other career profiles, Colin Sapire shares his story of creating the famous NutriBullet, Alex Okosi speaks of his job as head of Viacom International Media Networks Africa, and Maira Koutsoudakis brings luxury design to the hospitality world with LIFE Group.

Speaking of the finer things, Giuliana Abrahamse of Profumi D’Italia is giving South Africans a taste of premium Italian sparkling wine with Bottega, while Federico Freschi from the University of Johannesburg offers an insight into the Matisse exhibit now on at the Standard Bank Gallery. In other design news, Olivia Kennaway and Alice Heusser are making an impact with luxury African fashion and lifestyle brand Lalesso, while Zaid Philander of I Scream & Red is on a mission to save the planet (and empower people with disabilities) on stitch at a time.

A morning in Matjiesfontein with Rovos Rail luxury train (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)
A morning in Matjiesfontein with Rovos Rail luxury train (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

In the travel world, organisations like Calabash Trust are showing why responsible tourism is good for business. At the same time, achievers like Masood Sadulla of the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa and ice swimmer Ryan Stramrood are showing the power of having (or being) a mentor or coach.

In other travel news, take a luxury train journey with Rovos Rail or, if you’re looking for an oasis in Oudtshoorn, stop over at Surval Boutique Olive Estate. Wherever the journey takes you, remember to take the time to disconnect. One of my lessons learned from missing a train is that it’s far worse to be missing out on everything else.

June 2016: 11 stories in 9 publications

In this month’s business news, Nick Cairpis of BNC Technology talks about the future of home automation and career coach Ben Fanning offers alternatives to quitting your job. And in entertainment news, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra presents its Winter Symphony Season, while WP Rugby is offering fans a chance to experience rugby games in style.

So why not raise a glass to Kleine Zalze as the Stellenbosch estate celebrates two decades of award-winning wine? And another one to the riel dancing troupes of Bushmans Kloof as they continue to win top awards on the international stage?

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The “We Are Africa” luxury travel expo at Cape Town Stadium (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

Speaking of celebrations, Masood Sadulla of the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa wins Concierge of the Year from Red Carnations Hotel , while Ryan Sandes is making his mark in trail runs and ultra-marathons across the globe. And in other travel news, Daniel Adidwa of Tour2.0 is a firm believer that the growth in community tourism will benefit tourists and trade, while Aaron Yeboah Jr. is using photography to tell authentic African stories through African Lens.

So no matter what you’re doing or where you are, take a minute to disconnect from technology and appreciate the outside world. One of my lessons learned from missing a train is that it’s far worse to be missing out on everything else.

May 2016: 15 stories in 9 publications

In this month’s business news, Monique Rissen-Harrisberg of The Voice Clinic offers four ways to improve your public speaking skills, Nick Caripis of BNC Technology talks about building smart homes of the future, and Lumko Mphande of Bumka Scooters wins a top entrepreneurship award from Three Ships Whisky.

Speaking of achievements, Bosman Family Vineyards is reaping the rewards for its ethical initiatives, wineries in Stellenbosch are celebrating the Kingdom of Cabernet, and South African neuroscientists launch the world’s first NeuroWine.

Staying in the world of cuisine, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen of Restaurant JAN reflects on his journey to becoming South Africa’s first Michelin-starred chef, while Jessica Bonin, who gave up her job in advertising to create Lady Bonin’s Tea, launches South Africa’s first dedicated Tea Bar.

Ancient rock art at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat (Copyright: Eugene Yiga)

There are more achievements in the world of travel. Masood Sadulla of the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa is inducted into a prestigious international society for top concierges, while Ryan Sandes is making his mark in trail runs and ultra-marathons across the globe.

In other travel news, you can spend a night at the Menlyn Boutique Hotel in Pretoria, which is the perfect choice ahead of a luxury train trip with Rovos Rail. And if you want even more luxury in the Western Cape, escape to Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat, where it’s clear that responsible tourism works.

As general manager James Basson says: “There is something about the Cederberg that is spiritual and calming. It might sound like a cliché but you become one with nature here and you realise what is important to you in life.”