Khaya Dlanga has a way with words. A former copywriter and strategist, he’s worked on brands like FNB and won a prestigious Cannes Gold Lion for Nando’s. An erstwhile YouTube sensation, his monologues – halted two years ago – have amassed over 6.5 million views. A weekly columnist, he shares his political – and other – opinions in two major newspapers. A self-confessed Twitter addict, he has gathered over 120 000 followers. A Senior Communications Manager: Content Excellence, he works for the world’s biggest soft drink company. And, in person, he’s an engaging conversationalist with a warm, genuine laugh.
Stafford Masie is sitting on a stage, the last in a long row of panellists at a technology conference. It’s finally his turn to speak, but his microphone’s broken – because he’s dismantled it.
“I hadn’t seen one of those lapel mics before and I completely ripped it apart just to see what it looked like inside,” he grins. “So many people just utilise technology and they don’t understand the power of what’s in their hands.”
Rosette Mogomotsi is everything you’d expect from a supermodel – beautiful, elegant, refined – with one notable exception. She’s no diva. Instead you get humility, warmth, and generosity.
“I get it from my upbringing,” she bubbles. “I was taught to appreciate what I have, and to really love people, so I’ve never really looked down on anyone or felt that I should be bigger than anyone else.
For Ty Keogh, 2013 is a year of change. He’s seen the sun set on M-Net series ‘The Wild’. He’s said goodbye to Jack van Reenen, the character he played for two years. He’s moved back to Cape Town. He’s returned to the world of film production. He’s cleansed his life.
“When I finished ‘The Wild’ and left Johannesburg, I went through a purge period where I got rid of everything that wasn’t completely necessary in my life – a lot of clothes, magazines and books, and stuff I didn’t really need,” the 31-year-old reveals.
Family first. A simple philosophy, sure, but one that makes perfects sense if your professional life’s as packed as ProVerb’s, the rapper/’Idols SA’ host and co-producer/TV presenter/voice over artist/radio DJ/master of ceremonies/amateur cap collector.
“I have no problem turning down a job completely because I need to be with my family. I think you have to be able to draw that line – it’s impossible to balance the two equally,” says Ona’s husband and Ditshupo and Kgosietsile’s dad.
You might expect Fabiani’s brand director to have a tuxedo collection to rival George Clooney’s. You’d be wrong though.
‘To be honest, I don’t have that much clothing. I have really good core basics that I just kind of move around,’ says Arie Fabian, looking dapper in a navy, double-vented, two-button Fabiani suit. ‘Contrary to what most people may assume, I don’t really think about what I’m going to wear. I just put something together because it feels right. I can dress it up, dress it down, mix it up – it makes no difference. For example, I may wear a tux jacket with a T-shirt, jeans and a pair of sandals. It’s a bit of a juxtaposition but I prefer thinking of it in terms of “imperfection is perfection”.’
Reuben Riffel – chef, author, restaurateur – was born to cook. He just didn’t know it. But the signs were always there.
Even though he did not eat out until his mid-teens, Reuben and his 12 siblings grew up in a family where his grandmother, mother and aunts spent hours preparing ‘good but simple food’, such as tomato bredie, using ingredients grown by his grandfather. His mom brought home richer flavours, such as rotisserie lamb off-cuts or crème caramel, from the Franschhoek restaurants she worked at.
Candice Heyns is hooked on music.
‘When I search for music on the net, I’m like an addict – I can literally sit for hours,’ she laughs. ‘I’m constantly looking for new artists and new sounds.’ It’s not surprising, then, that Candice has forged a career in the music industry, first working behind the scenes in promotion and management before she launched her career as a solo DJ, one half of electronic duo Blush n Bass, a radio and TV presenter, and a budding businesswoman.
Like all the best ideas, Ludwick Marishane’s was a simple one. Why bath if you can rub cleansing lotion on your body instead?
But, like all the best ideas, the simplicity ended there. It took him four years to develop the world’s first germicidal bath-substituting gel, DryBath – a task he juggled while completing matric and a business science degree. As a result, he’s been named one of the 12 brightest young minds in the world by Google, was judged the best student entrepreneur on the planet at the Global Student Entrepreneur awards, and is South Africa’s youngest patent holder.
Spend an hour with Katlego Maboe and you want to be him. Well, except perhaps the part where you have to get up for work at 3.30am.
But he’s a man who knows what he wants (“Whatever I do, I want to be the best at it”), then gets it (hosting breakfast TV, joining a top South African boy band, establishing his own events company, graduating with a B.Com, scoring provincial colours in two sports – all before the age of 26).