1997 AND GRAUATION IN 1998
I think it would be safe to say that 1997, my third year at US was the least eventful of my four at varsity. I did manage to put my head down and pass all but one of my subjects...which meant that my final year would only entail one full year subject and two semester courses in order to achieve my B COMM.
1997 was another tough year for the South African economy and I remember my mother and father, having moved from PE to Cape Town earlier that year visitng me at varsity and taking me out to the world famous restaurant VOLKSKOMBUIS. It was the moment I saw anxiety and stress on my fathers face for the first time as he revealed the fact that he had to sell his retail tile business which he had started about 15 years earlier due to the economic climate at the time. While this was big news, considering I was doing my BComm in order to join and eventually take over my fathers business, I had complete peace with it and reassured both my mother and father that I would be fine creating my own path for myself.
It was also aggravated when my father revealed that he was not sure if he could afford my accommodation and varsity fees for my final year. My parents had done everything in their power to ensure I did not have to sit with a student loan to pay off once I had started my first job. Again, I assured them both that this was NOT going to be a problem at all. As it works out, I did not have to apply for a student loan as they both managed to keep things afloat financially once the company was sold...and my father - being the epitome of an entrepreneur manage to fund and establish the mosaic wholesale business that I joined him and my mother in 2000 - having worked 18 months working at Old Mutual.
Last point about our dinner at Volkskombuis...this is the moment my father changed my thinking in life forever and was the inspiration behind me starting up ORIGIN8 and educ8.AFRICA. His words to me were simple enough but proved to be profound :
BUSINESS IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLE. IT IS NOT ABOUT PRODUCT OR PRICE....IT IS ABOUT PEOPLE.
Many years later, we reminisced about this conversation and I let him know how it impacted me....but I changed the message a bit. I said to him that indeed LIFE (and not only Business) IS ALL ABOUT PEOPLE. He nodded and smiled at me.
MORE MEMORABLE MOMENTS...
1. ATTEMPTING FINREK 3
Ok...so by now you will know that in my fourth year, all I had to do was complete 2 x 6 month courses and the final year of EKONOMIE (as one of my majors) in order to complete my degree.
So, in January, while signing up for me 3 courses needed, I got ARROGANT ! Remember that I really battled in my first year to pass accounts 101 taught in Afrikaans. (PLEASE SEE MY UNIVERSITY HOME PAGE TO LEARN MORE)
My two majors were going to be ONDERNEMINGSBESTUUR (Business management) and EKONOMIE (obviously Economics) My thoughts were then - for the past three years, I had completed at least 10 courses per year and I might get bored in 1998, as I only had 3 subjects to complete.
In other words, why not major in three subjects ???
WHY INDEED ! I signed up for FIN REK 3 (Financial Accounts) and boy was this a mistake !
Long story short here...the first semester test, my lecturer called me in one day to chat ! HUH...never a good sign.
His words were both sincere and understanding but also very clear. DO NOT COME BACK FOR ANOTHER LECTURE...YOU DONT NEED THIS SUBJECT AND I DONT HAVE TIME TO PUSH YOU TO MAKE IT.
Then he handed me my paper : 3 out of 50 OUCH....but then he took it back and told me that he needed to shred the paper as he had given me 3 marks for having the balls to actually put my real name on the paper.....
2. PRIMARIUS : LIBERTAS
After an exhilarating year on the Libertas Private House committee in 1997, I stood for the committee again in 1998...and was overjoyed to be elected as as Prim (Head of house)
I think that the experience was invaluable although I did battle managing a few personalities in the committee. In hindsight, I think some of the issues may have been with me as I really wanted to prove a success as a leader.
None the less, we had a very successful year and again - great lessons learnt and awesome friendships established for life.
3. KOSHUIS RUGBY WINNERS
There is no question that, with Rugby taking centre stage at Stellenbosch, as a Matie, the KOSHUIS rugby trophy was a big as it got for any student not competing at a higher level. The team that was assembled in 1998 was HUGELY impressive and had to take on the might of the main rugby koshuis of the 1990s - the exceptionally strong men of DAGBREEK.
While I served little more than waterboy to this team, it takes more than a squad of 21 players to win the trophy - and Shiny Bright needs to take a bow here as he organised the most incredible bunch of ''SOUTIES'' - and made my tenure as prim seem like a breeze, which it wasnt !
4. CROWDED HOUSE
My fourth year was challenging for some many different reasons but having the privelege of having free accomodation offered in the form of a university house on capus AND getting a small salary from the university to take control of the LIBERTAS PRIVAATWYK was a definate bonus. I stayed in the house with Marius, Div, Shiny and Tubs - and incribly enjoyable year with a real diverse bunch of lads. The house was nicknamed CROWDED HOUSE by a bunch of legends who stayed there the year before, so I took it upon myself to go through the correct channels to OFFICIALLY change the name of the house - a proud moment was getting the university approval and putting the sign up on our front door....
A moment etched in my mind forever was, when on certain Monday morning, when TUBS decided to take his mattress to the front lawn in and armed little more than a bottle of wine and a AUSSIE OUTBACK ( with dangling corks to distract flies) HAT he would TOAST and COMPLIMENT the poor first year engineering students for their incredible dedication and commitment while on their way to the Ingenieurswese (Engineering) building to attend an 8 am lecture !
(Small note : TUBS was known as a professional student - I am pretty sure he spent at least 10 years loading up a student loan that would break a few records. To his credit, once he joined the REAL WORLD, he had what it took to climb the corporate ladders very fast and paid off the student loan in an impressively short time period !)
5. ENTER JAX....
I will speak more about this incredible woman later on, but in June 1998, having met a few years earlier in CT, she officially became a part of my life.
As the years past...she became someone who did nothing but encourage me as I ADJusted my morals and values to become the person I am today.