Skip to main content

On the Autumn side of life

April 12, 2022

It’s always hard to let go of summer, but what makes that goodbye a little easier is the fact that autumn is on the other side, ready to embrace us with open, jersey-clad arms. After the fun-filled craze of summer, autumn is a time to slow down, get cosy, and take a deep breath. Each season has its novelties and delicacies, but the autumn months are a carnival for the senses. Aside from the autumn holidays, there are crisp breezes and even crisper apples, golden light and painted trees.

We have reached the end of a tumultuous quarter that has seen the world go mad. War in Europe (my British marine grandfather must be turning in his grave), ridiculous petrol prices, lengthy electricity cuts, violence at the Oscars and that dreaded albatross around South Africa’s neck, high levels of unemployment.

And lest we forget, the pandemic is still around.

Those who remain full of hope and even patriotic towards our beloved land are often accused of wearing rose-tinted glasses, but let’s take a breath and focus on some of the more uplifting events that have happened of late.

Yes, we will continue to wear masks, but hey, after 750 days, the National State of Disaster was lifted. It is an absolute privilege to watch my son play rugby again on weekends, and a trip to Ellis Park to watch the Lions is now in the calendar.

Black Coffee became the first African to win a Grammy award in the category, Best Dance/Electronic Album for his album, Subconsciously.

“The main reason I do what I do is to carry the flag of my country. To be recognised in this way outside of a ‘World Music’ category makes all of the hard work worth it,” said Black Coffee. Now he wants to use his music, which he describes as “home-brewed but future-focused”, to help more African musicians get recognition on the global stage.

Both the South African women’s and men’s national cricket teams have entertained us over the last few weeks. Despite the ongoing challenges that this sport faces in our country, we continue to defy the odds and produce some incredible performances.

On the business front, one can only applaud the rise of Roelof Botha.

The son of the Minister of Foreign Affairs from way back when, Botha has blazed a trail in Silicone Valley and has been on Forbes’ list of best venture capital investors no fewer than 13 times. On 5 July, he will take over as Senior Steward (lead partner in our parlance) of the world’s most celebrated private equity firm, Sequoia Capital. What I find more endearing is that he is not known for outrageous tweets, opinionated podcasts or anything that draws unnecessary attention to himself.

Botha studied actuarial science at the University of Cape Town, becoming South Africa’s youngest licensed actuary at 22. He moved to the US with McKinsey and enrolled at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he met Elon Musk. He famously declined Musk’s invitation to join PayPal’s finance team, not once, but twice, before relenting and agreeing to join the firm in March 2000. (As an aside, he also declined the CFO role at Facebook in the early 2000s).

There is no doubt that the next few months will be as eventful and concerning as the last three, but we will leave you with a thought to ponder over as the evenings become cooler,
“There is something so special in the early leaves drifting from the trees–as if we are all to be allowed a chance to peel, to refresh, to start again.” – Ruth Ahmed

Enjoy the Easter break!

Article written by