DiscoverPURPOSE-LIVED, conversations with Gia Whitehead, TSIBA Co-Founder and Chair
PURPOSE-LIVED, conversations with Gia Whitehead, TSIBA Co-Founder and Chair
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PURPOSE-LIVED, conversations with Gia Whitehead, TSIBA Co-Founder and Chair

Author: TSIBA Business School

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PURPOSE-LIVED at TSIBA has always underpinned an approach to education as a catalyst for the best of what humans can be. When we dream and live to purpose we create a better world.The TSIBA Purpose-Lived conversation series explores diverse perspectives on this theme from remarkable humans. Each conversation is a discovery of a personal journey, providing a collection of profound perspectives from those who have been kind enough to share.
25 Episodes
As the democracy project in South Africa reaches the three-decade milestone, the conversation on building and rebuilding Nelson Mandela's dream for South Africa remains relevant and critical. Madiba's leadership and legacy cannot be lost to history. Is the Mandela project still alive, how do we move forward, and 'what now' emerge as key themes in a conversation with a panel of remarkable South Africans from diverse background and age perspectives. The conversation, hosted by TSIBA honours Mandela Month 2023.     
A truly beautiful conversation between Natalie and Gia reveals the reverse side of purpose - unapologetic courage, service to that which is bigger than ourselves,  and the need to actively challenge our collective propensity to design exclusive systems.  And if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far!About Dr Nathalie Jean-BabtistePrior to joining the Julius Baer Foundation, Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste (Nathalie) led an action research unit in East Africa for 4 years. Nathalie was a Marie Curie Global Fellow and worked for the last 15 years in research and project implementation. Nathalie is passionate about reducing inequalities, understanding urban vulnerabilities and leading positive urban transformation in the South. After graduating from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Nathalie obtained her Masters degree in Urban Studies from the Bauhaus University and a Doctorate in Urban Planning and waste management.Nathalie also has an extensive international background. Her work experience includes environmental education on organic waste management in Mexico and Australia; vulnerability assessment in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia and Tanzania; trans-disciplinary work in Germany as well as inequalities and urban transformation in Tanzania. Currently, Nathalie oversees 16 wealth inequality projects worldwide, she impulses social enterprises with a clear sense of purpose and she co-develops impactful projects in particular in Latin America and Africa.
A Farmer and  an Educator at heart with decades in school and tertiary education Dr Ayuk talks about teaching untraditionally, with authenticity, with abundance, with purpose, and beyond academic subject matter to enable young minds to find their own unique path.      About Dr Peter AyukWith significant experience in Higher Education Management, especially in private higher education, Dr Peter Ayuk has led projects in curriculum and instructional design, performance management and quality promotion. Peter completed PhD in Higher Education Management at the University of Johannesburg in 2017, with specific concentration on organisational analysis and improvement. Dr Ayuk is currently the Academi Dean of TSIBA Business School. 
A conversation on learning and leading with purpose’ in London. Hosted by communications professional Amanda Blair, a panel of remarkable leaders will explore the theme of Purpose-Lived as the principal leadership dimension needed for the realisation of social justice and the Global Sustainability Goals.
Passionate about sport since a young age, Zaid Omar is former NSL footballer, a qualified football coach,  Managing Director of Television Production house Showreel FX the founding president of FC Kapstadt Football Club.  Zaid has enjoyed interviews with some of the most iconic sports figures in the world including David Beckham, Sachin Tendulkar and Sir Alex Ferguson, all of whom are as passionate as Zaid about sport as they are its power to build a better world. 
From his ten-year old dreamer-self to building  numerous global business endeavours and businesses enterprises, Businessperson extraordinaire Adam Forste shares profound personal wisdom learned through a remarkable entrepreneurial and purpose-lived  journey.  Adam is a business person extraordinaire and long-time friend to TSIBA.  He is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Bay Grove where he is active in all day-to-day activities of the firm and responsible for investment decisions. Adam is also Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman of Lineage Logistics, the largest temperature-controlled warehousing and logistics REIT globally and one of the largest private REITs in the world. Lineage owns and operates more than 80mm sqft and more than 8.9mm pallets across 400+ warehouses in 20 countries around the world. Prior to co-founding Bay Grove, Adam worked at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (“KKR”), focusing on private equity transactions in the power, energy, retail, and consumer industries. His business career started with Morgan Stanley in its investment banking groups, both in New York and San Francisco, where he focused on M&A and covering financial sponsors. Adam is a Fulbright Fellow and a graduate of Dartmouth College and serves on the Boards of EmergentCold LatAm, the Global Cold Chain Foundation, and, a SAAS-based energy management company.
Caron speaks on puzzles to purpose, and the pieces filling the picture - poetry, passion and compassion, resilience, family, community and forgiveness,  time to discover our personal space, and consciously choosing hope. Caron Olivier is the Head of Administrator at Nu-Hope Funeral Fund. Caron is a youth ambassador at heart, and before joining Nu-Hope Funeral Fund, served for many years working and volunteering in the youth spaces such as a Lecturer at TSIBA, a facilitator at Chrysalis Academy, and a job search counselor at Salesian Life Choices and a Life Coach at Academy of Life Coaching. Caron holds a Degree in Business Administration from TSIBA Business School, is an accredited Facilitator with SETA, a Life Coach practitioner with SABP and recently obtained her Access Consciousness BARS Practitioner Certificate. As a purpose-driven leader, Caron is deeply empathetic and driven by her passion which is serving the community, working mostly in educational spaces to inspire youth to continue to dream and aspire to bigger goals. Her vision is to raise authentic awareness of herself and others.   
The ‘Spirit Chief', Rob Hersov speaks his mind on speaking truth to power, finding the courage to do so, the okayness of fragility, real friends and loved ones, and finding purpose in saving South Africa. Robert Hersov is an entrepreneur extraordinaire and private investor, currently based in Cape Town (after 30+ years in the US, Europe and mainly the United Kingdom). Rob currently serves as Chairman and Founder of Invest Africa, African Capital Investments, Alternative Capital, the S-Group, Lion Cage, is a non-Executive Director of AltVest and the Cape Town Stock Exchange as well as a senior advisor to the founder of VistaJet. Rob is also the co-founder of two blockchain-based companies – Momint and Starlined. Rob read for a Bachelor of Business Science at the University of Cape Town and a M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.Rob  is married to Dr. Kate “the Kiwi”, has four children, enjoys golf, has done podcast interviews with international leaders, politicians and celebrities, and is a regular public speaker. Rob is not politically correct. 
Marlene pays tribute to the people on whose shoulders she stands, her mother, grandmother, teachers of all kinds, and the community of Wellington in the Western Cape, and shares perspectives on healing and survival, discomfort to purpose and the value of kindness and opening doors. Marlene le Roux is the current Chief Executive Officer of Artscape in Cape Town. Her passion is to use Arts and Culture to empower and enable disadvantaged groups and to make a material difference in other human beings' lives. After completing a Bachelor of Music, a Bachelor of Education as well as a Higher Diploma in Education at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) Marlene continued to complete her Masters of Philosophy in Disability Studies from the University of Cape Town, and an Honorary Doctorate in Education from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.  As a human with enormous energy and drive Marlene has also completed a Diploma in Senior Management obtained at the University ofStellenbosch and won multiple awards including the Fair Saturday Award, awarded in Bilbao, Spain as an advocate for humanrights and the Commonwealth’s Point of Light Award, In recognition of exceptional service and promoting disability rights, awarded by Her Majesty, the Queen of England. 
Francois on rugby, wheeling and dealing, giants, MADness,  taking people’s breath away and dreaming (BIG) to purpose. Francois Pienaar, born and educated in Gauteng (previously the Transvaal) in South Africa is world-renowned for his depth of leadership expertise and many impressive accomplishments. Best known for leading South Africa to victory in the 1995 Rugby World Cup; a highly revered and successful businessman; renowned and respected television commentator and a passionate philanthropist, are some of the phrases synonymous with this South African icon.Francois holds law degrees from the University of Johannesburg as well as an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire.
Asavela, a lover at heart, singer, dancer and people person shares her story about humility, self-learning and belief, perseverance and how to save and strive to build an optimistic future for young leaders. Asavela has Bachelor of Business Administration from TSIBA Business School and a B Comm Honours (Economic Analysis of Financial Markets) from the University of Cape Town. Asavela combines ambition and drive with deep sensitivity and humility. What she lacks in age and experience she more than makes up for with enthusiasm, focus and discipline. 
Trueman Goba is the chairman of Hatch Africa (Pty) Ltd, part of Hatch Ltd, the global group of multidisciplinary professionals in the fields of consulting engineering and construction management. Trueman was born in Durban, lived in townships at Chesterville, Clermont and Inanda where he attended schools before completing high school at Pholela near Bulwer, in Kwazulu Natal midlands. He obtained a survey technician’s diploma in Seshego, Pietersburg and became the first black person to complete studies in civil engineering in 1979 at the then University of Natal in Durban.  Subsequently he completed a Master of Engineering degree at Cornell University, worked for consulting engineers Whitman Requardt and Associates in Baltimore, MD in USA and founded his company in 1993 after his return to SA. He led GOBA Pty Ltd from 2002, the latter becoming part of the Hatch group through a merger with Hatch Africa in 2013.   Trueman became President of the SA Institution of Civil Engineers (SAICE) in 2002, then President of the Engineering Council (ECSA) from 2007 to 2009 and later was elected President of the  SA Academy of Engineering (SAAE) in 2016, until 2019. He has received several awards, has served on various boards as Director and was a was appointed by the President as member of the National Planning Commission between 2010 and  2015. Trueman is a Fellow of SAICE and received a Gold Medal. Also he received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Engineering from the South African Professional Services Awards (SAPSA). He received Honorary Doctorates in Engineering from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and from Stellenbosch University in Western Cape, and the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa.   Most recently he became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
With a deep sense of empathy and purpose, Matsi speaks to ‘swopping glamorous Sandton employment’ for  entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship activism, embracing curiosity, the unknown, never settling, leading with heart, how words land,  and constantly asking “how can we do more” .  Maktub, it is written.   Matsi Modise is the founding CEO of Furaha Afrika Holdings, a Pan-African company with subsidiaries including Furaha Solutions (a partnership with Workforce Holdings, listed AltX-JSE company), Furaha Enterprise Development and Furaha Advisory. Matsi's experience ranges through Investment Banking, Enterprise Development and higher learning.  Incredibly, Matsi is also the Vice Chairperson of SiMODiSA, a South African entrepreneurship industry association. She currently sits on the Agri-Vie Private Equity Fund; The Gauteng Gambling Board, The Innovation Hub as a Non-Executive Director and Orange Corners, an incubation initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and is a subcommittee member of the South African Venture Capital/ Private Equity Association (SAVCA) and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) Innovation Management committee. In 2016, Matsi was selected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of the Top 50 Global Shapers to attend the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland and was named one of the Top 30 African leaders in technology, business, art, science, politics, design and media by Quartz Media Africa. She has won numerous awards and global recognition and was named one of the Top 100 Young Independent Disruptors by Independent Day Media, and the Coca –Cola Young Achiever of the year award at the Women In Leadership – Africa Summit.
“I am the author of my life” shares Melanie in this conversation as she speaks to the chapters of deep humility, honesty to self, losing everything, rebuilding with the responsibility of motherhood, Madiba’s inspiration to service to community, and doing so with God’s plan to hope, purpose and expanding our limits. Melanie is a recognised strategic manager with a progressive track record of achieving outstanding business results through people and team development. Over 20 years’ experience in Fundraising, has given Melanie the necessary tools to ensure successful outcomes for partnered projects.  Uniq Foundation (Pty) Limited is her most recent achievement, founded in 2018 in support of her passion for bringing change to the many communities covering the Western Cape.  As the founder of this company, she is partnered with over 13 organisations, impacting over 200 000 children, youth and women through her fundraising efforts.   To date Melanie has raised over R100 million for the different non-profit organisations she has been affiliated with. Prior to founding Uniq Foundation, Melanie owned Tri Link Logistics cc and was nominated as one of the top women in business by Top 300. Melanie is absolutely passionate about seeking innovative ways of attracting corporate sponsorship to social justice programmes and building community around the numerous projects she supports”.
Ethel Mkonto is a proud TSIBA Alumni and currently, works as Recruitment lead for TSIBA Business School. During her studies at TSIBA Ethel was recognised as a leader and role model among her peers - in part for her work through Enactus and multiple pay it forward initiatives.   Ethel's passion and commitment to making a difference in education have led her to a role where she can directly impact the lives of young people.  Ethel's dream is to be a social entrepreneur to better the lives of people. 
In this Graduation address to the TSIBA Class of 2022,  Dr Sooliman inspires listeners of this Podcast deeply to the true meaning of spirituality - through working to reverse desperate poverty, serving all people, all races, all religions, all colours, classes and cultures, and doing so unconditionally, with nothing expected in return. Dr Imtiaz Sooliman gave up his career as a medical doctor to pursue the field of humanitarian aid, which for him transcends the boundaries of race, religion, culture, class and geography. Alongside his studies and his medical work and throughout his life, Sooliman has been involved in several associations, religious organisations and school-governing bodies progressively as a student, medical doctor and an active member of civil society.In 1992, he founded the Gift of the Givers Foundation, and has since then delivered more than R160 million in a 13-year period to 22 countries, including South Africa. The organisation is impartial and apolitical, and aims to serve with compassion, kindness and mercy.The Gift of the Givers Foundation is the largest disaster response non-governmental organisation of African origin on the African continent. In a 15-year period, the organisation has developed into one of the most respected international humanitarian agencies, being the first such agency to be accredited by Proudly South African.This was his address to the 2022 graduates of TSIBA Business School.
In just “1 minute with Ruth” you feel a passion for hard work to personal independence and a strong sense of community contributing to others dreams. Ruth also speaks to intentional interactions to leaving a mark on others and using investment language to measure humanness. Ruth’s wisdom, realism, clarity on life and understanding of who she is, is captivating. Ruth is a TSIBA Business School graduate who is currently completing postgraduates in Education and Training (PGCE). In her professional capacity Ruth serves as Investment Operations Officer for a financial services and asset management organisation. Ruth has a passion for leadership, empowerment, and community development and participates in several social projects where she facilitates and manages people and funding towards project completion and significant social impact. One of these was the Impact1000 project, the objective of which was to provide 1000 children with toiletry gift packs and a message of hope in the Manenberg community in 2020. More recently, in 2021 Ruth founded  the “1 Minute with Ruth Stoffberg” designed and targeted to educate, inform and empower people of colour on the processes of development. Ruth also offers her time In Youth Ministry and Tutoring to assist the youth with Spiritual Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, reading, and life skills.
From a mining-town childhood before decades spent in the education of young people, Rudi has learned that actually, unlocking the potential of the real diamonds in the world- people -  is the answer. To get there, and to do great things we need to be a little bit crazy, unclutter our minds when we can and ask how we make every day count when all we have is 86400 seconds in each one. Living consciously and mindfully permeates through this beautiful purpose-lived conversation.   Dr Riedwaan (Rudi) Kimmie is the Chief Executive Officer of TSIBA Business School. Rudi holds a PhD in Leadership Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Following over two decades of experience at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) prior to joining TSIBA Dr Kimmie brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in teaching and academic development. With seats on multiple other boards including Durban Green Corridors, Iqraa Trust, Education Solutions, Datachem and the TSIBA Ignition Academy, Dr Kimmie drives a passion for forging impactful partnerships between academia and business, both locally and internationally.
From the Cape Flats to Harvard and more, Shirley’s journey from impossible to possible teaches and inspires to the greatness that lives within us. This conversation provides a remarkable  map to dance to a unique and remarkable life.    Dr. Shirley Zinn hails from Cape Town's 'Cape Flats' and started her career as a secondary school teacher of English before moving to the University of the Western Cape where she lectured in Teacher Education. Dr Zinn serves as Executive Director on the Board of Boston Consulting Group and is a coach, mentor, and entrepreneur who serves and has served on the boards of several major companies, trusts, charities, and universities. Shirley also heads her own company, Shirley Zinn Consulting, that provides consulting and advisory services in HR, transformation, leadership, and education. In 2015, Shirley published her autobiography, “Swimming Upstream.”Since the launch of her book, she has done several “Swimming Upstream” talks nationally at corporates, schools, universities, and charities, with the hope of motivating and inspiring especially disadvantaged youth and women.
A  ‘naive optimist’, Dr Janine Haendel speaks about glasses half hull, loving Mondays,  loving challenges and doing so through a life committed to humanitarian care and  the importance of finding people’s unique strengths to sustainable empowerment.  Dr. Janine Haendel is the Chief Executive Officer of the Roger Federer Foundation. Janine joined the Roger Federer Foundation in 2010, seven years after its inception. She describes the Foundation as a learning organization, which is still only at the beginning of its journey. Through her leadership and professional approach, the Foundation has transformed itself from a straightforward donation charity to an ambitious impact oriented and professional and systemic operation close to its heart. Janine describes herself as a “naïve optimist”, believing that things can be changed for the better, and has devoted her professional life to humanitarian causes across the world.
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