Women should know their place … as leaders

Women shouldCasually typing the words “women should” into my Google Chrome browser yields some very interesting predictive text results: 1. women shouldn’t  2. women should not vote 3. women should not work 4.women should stay at home 5. women shouldn’t vote 6. women should be seen not heard. Thinking this is probably due to some saved cookies in my browser or something else I asked my wife, Otae, to type the some words into her browser and yes you guessed it, it yielded the exact same results. Typing “men should” left me with no predictive results. I could only conclude that not many people are searching for ways to boss men around. However, I am not going to get into Google’s algorithm of sexism or gender bias, I will leave that to the “women should ads”. What I wish to share is the place I feel women can take in society from my experience in various roles.

While, I don’t necessarily believe we need more women in leadership, in whatever spheres of society, what we do need is good leadership regardless of gender: Leadership that has the vision to see a better world and the discipline and resilience to inspire us to get there. There should be no place for winner-take-all views when it comes to the gender debate because everyone takes opposing views depending on where they stand in relation to the status quo. What is important is individual talent and how it can enrich the corporate structures we work in.

What has society lost while the gender debate has raged on? It seems in my view that even when oppressive policies like slavery or apartheid were in place, both black and white men oppressed women at work and at home, which brings us to what goes on in a marriage since it is a common institution. Many men still want to assert some unfounded authority (over women) even if they lack the skills to make certain decisions. So the talents and experience women bring into a marriage become wasted assets as men let their egos get in the way of mutual success.

When I started ES Capital Partners, I did it because I realised that any success in an artistic career depends on a strong corporate structure. But a few years into trying to run my own company and grow as an artist I started spreading myself too thin until Otae joined me. Within six months of working together it became clear that our company and my career as a singer-songwriter would grow faster if she took the reins of the company. I could have been stereotypical and opposed to the fact that my wife is the best person for the job but that would not have taken us anywhere especially when she is wired for leadership and her skill-set and experience position her to be the best person to realise our company’s vision.

A case in point is when she presented a workshop specially for me last Saturday on writing white papers as part of our consultancy offering to organisations and corporates. She was so well prepared and professional it didn’t matter that I was the only one present or that I am her husband. I was highly impressed by her content and presentation style. Since our personalities go to work with us, I believe that the place of my #SmartWoman is right here by side and if she has the desire, skills and determination to lead, then that’s her place.

Till the next time, 
MOONGA

Reposted from www.escp.co.za

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Let it rain

Moonga performs at The Fringe, Joburg Theatre on 14 November 2013
Moonga performs at The Fringe, Joburg Theatre on 14 November 2013

Last week was a high pressure week. It started with my first television interview and performances on SABC’s Morning Live and then moved to another radio interview on Channel Africa’s Gateway to Africa on Wednesday. Thursday the 14th of November was the book launch and my first concert. Looking back after all the nerves, I can smile at all that I have learnt and what I looked forward to bringing to my future shows. It all feels like sweet rain that has come to wash the old away and bring in a new start. When you have walked in faith for a long time, the road’s ups and downs can be tiresome. This week I want to share with you a lyric from my book, Where to Now and its accompanying story. I feel it best describes all the emotions that the past two weeks have brought. Enjoy.

Till the next time,
MOONGA

Pula

There comes a time in a nation’s life,
When the healing must begin.
There comes a time in a people’s strife,
When the chains are too hard to bear.
We feel the dawn beyond the clouds,
As the wheel of time spins round and round.

There comes a time, to celebrate.
Forget the past and elevate
The truth that comes from the light within,
As we embrace the winds of change.

Pula, Pula,
Let the river of life
Refresh our land.

Pula,
Let it rain,
Let new life spring forth.

There’s a light that shines on me
Telling me I can be free.
There’s a brother and a sister near
Whose call I cannot ignore,
’Cause I feel the dawn beyond the clouds
And I smell amazing rain.

Pula, Pula,
Let the river of life
Refresh our land.

Pula,
Let it rain.
Let new life spring forth

Pula

There comes a time, to celebrate
The truth that comes from the light within.

Pula

Forget the past and elevate
As we embrace the winds of change.

***

In 2007, I shared a flat with a total stranger who became a close friend and support through our shared space. His name was Brian Mangare, an all-round hustler; one of the most enterprising people I have ever met. His rough exterior masked the fact that he too was an artist, a painter, and he encouraged my song writing. I tested my songs on him and his many guests and he always told me the truth. It wasn’t uncommon for Brian to wake me up at 3am to introduce me to one of his visitors which often turned into some sort of concert.

On one such occasion I was introduced to a band I had never heard of called C-Mon & Kypski. They were visiting South Africa from The Netherlands for the Oppikoppi Festival. After hearing my songs, they encouraged me to explore some of the negative emotions I felt; my songs were too sweet at the time. I started to think about my frustrations and a big one was knowing that I was South African by descent but not feeling like I was part of the citizenry. I resolved to accept – my heritage and it stirred in me a sense of nationalism – the good and bad of South Africa was mine to deal with. For the first time, I did not see myself as an immigrant but as a South African. Pula,which means rain in Setswana is a song about healing and a fresh start. Pula was a metaphor for the healing I needed in my own life and the newness I experienced by embracing my South African identity. Thank you Brian.

Where to now? The Journey continues

In the winter of 2013, twentieth May to be exact, I took delivery of 3000 copies of my first book “Where to now?” and it was a wonderful moment. As I drove to meet the couriers at the warehouse, I wondered what the book would look like and how the next few months would unfold. When I finally held the first copies I was humbled by the memory of the process that had brought this magical moment about. Every decision about each aspect of the book was a learning experience. I brought the books home and the pride and joy on my wife Otae’s face was even more wonderful; we had done it. The new author and his project editor – a moment I will always cherish.

Winter is now giving way to the spring with exciting plans in the works. Anticipating the book is different from actually holding it. I watch people respond to the book and I become even more eager to take its message to the world. The past two months have seen a great development in my work life as we plan for the book’s launch with a live concert on 14 November 2013 at The Fringe, Joburg theatre.

The book has developed an even stronger partnership with Otae who is now working with me at our company ES Capital Partners on a full time basis. Watching her develop our marketing strategy, I am left amazed at how brilliant she is. With a good ear for music, she helped me produce the first single “Lie lie lie” which is the first song in the print version of the book and the seventh in the ebook version and we are now planning the first album.

Before that though, I’ll be promoting the book’s message about building your life on talent at a local school or youth group on The Talent Tour.

Till the next time,
MOONGA