My Father, Our Father

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“You cannot change the past for, I dare say, you might learn something from it” -Alice Through the Looking Glass

This is a post that is kind of an extension of my What I’m About page. I’m always tweeting about “Never forget your WHY”. Afterall, your Why, in my opinion, is what makes or breaks your brand. This post includes a little of my Why, as well as my a bit of How & Who.

My earthly father is my biggest role model other than Jesus. It is from him I have learnt my ambition and entrepreneurship. Without completing school my dad started his own business, manufacturing and selling safes, strong room doors, gun safes etc. Ā He set a goal to provide each of his children a fully paid for home upon his death. He drove our beautiful South Africa, Ā selling door-to-door in the 70’s-80’s. Many a story he tells of travelling long distances through the rural Eastern Cape (then Transkei) and Kwazulu-Natal (Then Natal); I think he passed on his love for roadtrips to me also.

In 1980 he bought a plot on Chapmanā€™s Peak Mountain in Hout Bay, Cape Town for R8000 and built our family home bit-by-bit, selling it near 20 years later, around the same time asĀ his business. Now he ā€œflips propertiesā€, buying, fixing himself, selling; along with everything else, he is an efficient and versatile handyman and Ā the ever-consistent entrepreneur.

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Perhaps one day I will live this dream too, only the Father knows the plan

Over the years I lived in many places. I have lived on the breadline and in the heart of townships & ganglands. I have earned excellent commission and squandered my riches.Ā I have worked for minimum wage and lived beyond my means. I have studied to earn better and climbed to corporate ladder. I think all these experiences have taught me so much about real people, realĀ culture, real wonderful South Africa.

And so this brings me to my new home, the place I have found freedom and complete peace, in Bulwer, KwazuluNatal.Ā I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I have such a love for this province., even as I type this I tear up (odd I know). So yes, my dad paid for this ā€œfixer-upperā€ home, I am so privileged, blessed, loved.

However, I am not and never have been a spoilt-rich-kid. My dad taught us to work for our pocket money from a very young age. Over the years he offered incentives for jobs at home and his office, which increased with inflation.

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Forgiven so that I can Forgive. Unashamed because of Mercy

Unlocking and opening his work gate 5 times Ā week while on school holiday earned R5.00. Washing his VW panel vanĀ (the commercial kind with only front windows) paid R20 ā€“ R40. Adding up his work ledger was sometimes a paying job, other times I did it for fun, I love numbers.

And one on my favourite jobs was eradicating houseĀ flies, at R0.50 – R2 a fly. The buddingĀ entrepreneur in me defrosted meat on the windowsill or in the microwave to draw every fly in the neighbourhood (I am proud to say that I have retained my skills, swatting: level expert). How many afternoons were a flurry of anticipation at my fatherā€™s homecoming. I would wait for him to finish supper before proudly presenting him with haul for payment.

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Focus on the good things

The entrepreneur in me has continued to evolve, studying, working, studying while working. But it has never been about money. I am the kind of person that becomes my brand; I commit wholeheartedly to the care of that brand, hence my progression to corporate Public Relations and subsequent study.

And it is also from that part of my character that this journey began. I realised that I could never maintain giving 100% to someone elseā€™s brand, the personal cost was too great.

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The Father’s Freedom

There are many uncertaintiesĀ in this journey of faith; limited reserve fund, facingĀ my past, and of course self doubt. But despite all this, I know in my heart Iā€™m on the right track.

I recently learned that my fatherĀ has told my new Bulwer community that this is my house, and IĀ have made my own money in my life. When I heard this I was in awe of the humility of this man. He has come from nothing and has given everything to provide for his family, achieving andĀ surpassing his initial goal. He is true role model and indeed a precious gift from my Heavenly Father.

The writing my autobiography has shifted slightly out of focus, likeĀ what often happens with plans, they evolve. I now find myself exploring yet another talent: photography. So much so that I’ve justĀ made an investment in a Canon 80dĀ camera body plusĀ kit lense 18-135mm, and done a beginners workshop with My Photo School in Durban, KZN.

This ties in perfectly with my love of sharing beautiful our Fatherā€™s breath-taking creation and I am learning and loving ā€œphotography tourism/journalismā€. Add this to my PR and Social Media knowledge and I realise (over and over) that I am I have been given so much.

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Changes a foot

Every single blessing, talent, ability and gift I have received: It has only been given to me to be used.Ā  So use it I shall; for the love of my country, the honour of my earthly fatherā€™s dedication, and the fulfillment my Heavenly Fatherā€™s plan.

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