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Next time you go to a conference or hire a consultant to be told, ‘We live in a VUCA [Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous] world,’ leave the room. You are wasting your time. In a world of fake news, deep-fakes, manipulated feeds of information and divisive social-media agendas, it’s easy to believe that our time is the most challenging in human history. It’s just not true.
It is a time of extraordinary opportunity. But only if you have the right mindset. Fear of the future breeds inaction and leads to strategic paralysis. We put off decisions until we can have certainty. We look for signals. We wait. And while we do that, the world moves on around us. Problem solvers thrive in chaotic and uncertain times because they act to change their future. Winners recognise that in a world of growing uncertainty, you need to resort to actions on things you can control. And the only things over which you have absolute control are your attitude and your mindset. These, in turn, determine the actions you will take and that will define your future.
A robust mindset is the one common characteristic Bruce Whitfield has identified in two decades of interrogating how South Africa’s billionaires and start-up mavericks think differently. They are not naive Polly-Annas. They don’t ignore risk or hope that problems will go away. They constantly measure, manage, consider and weigh up opportunities in a tumultuous sea of uncertainty and find ways around obstacles.
If, as Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller suggests, the stories we tell affect economic outcomes, then we need to tell different stories amidst the noise and haste of a rapidly evolving world.
Dr Joan Louwrens was always drawn to wild places, which were balm to her soul. When her husband died, leaving her alone with two small daughters to raise, she threw herself wholeheartedly into ‘adventure medicine’, seeking out the world’s most remote corners – on land and at sea – to practise her healing, both her own and others.
Working in wild places from the Kruger Park to the Australian Outback, the Atlantic Ocean islands, and both the south and north poles, ‘Doctor Joan’ dealt with a vast range of medical issues, from rabies to deep-vein thrombosis, childbirth to wisdom-tooth extraction, catatonia to depression.
Showing an eagerness to learn and a humility that isn’t always a given in her profession, and with a wry eye and a sympathetic outlook, Joan Louwrens has written a memoir that’s a poignant and often funny story of a life lived to the full
Connect: Writing For Online Audiences is a timeous guide for South Africans working in the digital space. It encapsulates the current digital landscape in South Africa, with its constraints and opportunities for reaching audiences via social media platforms, websites, blogs, apps and email. And it is designed to help students as well as industry decision-makers connect with audiences, whether as social media managers, search engine writers, digital analysts, copywriters, content marketing strategists or digital public relations executives.
Primarily, these are all online storytellers and this book aims to assist them in achieving their goals.
The book draws on reputable brands for best-practice examples. It uses South African examples of online campaigns alongside international names to provide a relevant yet globally situated experience for the South African reader. The contributing authors are all well-respected experts in their fields who share their invaluable experience in this book. Connect: Writing for Online Audiences is a must-have on the bookshelf (digital or physical) of every individual reaching out to an online readership.
What would you do if you discovered that the food you have been told is good for you is actually the cause of your ill health …?
In December 2010, Professor Tim Noakes was introduced to a way of eating that was contrary to everything he had been taught and was accepted as conventional nutrition ‘wisdom’. Having observed the benefits of the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) lifestyle first-hand, and after thorough and intensive research, Noakes enthusiastically revealed his findings to the South African public in 2012. The backlash from his colleagues in the medical establishment was as swift as it was brutal, and culminated in a misconduct inquiry launched by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). The subsequent hearing lasted well over a year, but Noakes ultimately triumphed, being found not guilty of unprofessional conduct in April 2017.
In Lore of Nutrition, he explains the science behind the LCHF/Banting diet, and why he champions this lifestyle despite the constant persecution and efforts to silence him. He also discusses at length what he has come to see as a medical and scientific code of silence that discourages anyone in the profession from speaking out against the current dietary guidelines. Experienced journalist Marika Sboros provides the full backstory to the HPCSA hearing, which reads like something out of a spy novel.
Written in an accessible style, Lore of Nutrition is informative, highly controversial and an eye-opener for anyone who cares about their health.
In this book, Adrian Koopman describes the complex relationship between birds, the Zulu language and Zulu culture. A number of chapters look at the underlying meaning of bird names, and here we will find that the Zulu name of the Goliath Heron means ‘what gives birth to baby crocodiles’, the dikkop (umbangaqhwa) means ‘what causes frost’, and the African Hoopoe is a party-goer who wears a colourful blanket.
The book goes further than just Zulu names, exploring the underlying meanings of bird names from other South African languages and languages from Central and East Africa. Here we find birds with names that translate as ‘cool-porridge’, ‘kiss-banana-flower’ and ‘waiter-at-the-end-of-the furrow’.
A focus on Zulu traditional oral literature details the roles birds have played in Zulu praise poetry (including the praise poems of certain birds themselves) and in proverbs, riddles and children’s games. Also considered is traditional bird lore, examining the role played by various species as omens and portents, as indicators of bad luck and evil, as forecasters of rain and storm, and as harbingers of the seasons. Here we see that the Bateleur Eagle (ingqungqulu) is linked to war, the Southern Ground Hornbill (insingizi) to thunder and heavy rain, the Red-chested Cuckoo (uphezukokhono) to the start of the ploughing season, and the Jacobin Cuckoo (inkanku) to the start of summer.
Zulu Bird Names and Bird Lore discusses the Zulu Bird Name Project, a series of Zulu bird name workshops held between 2013 and 2017 with Zulu-speaking bird guides designed to confirm (or otherwise) all previously recorded Zulu names for birds, while at the same time devising new names for those without previously recorded names. The result has been a list of species-specific names for all birds in the Zulu-speaking region. Finally, the book turns to the role such new bird names can play in conservation education and in avi-tourism.
In the second volume of the four-part textbook series on Media Studies the emphasis is again on the relationship between media and society. While further exploring media as an institution, this volume also introduces the topics of media regulation and content.
Volume 2 is guided in part by the question: How do we control and manage the media? Communications policy is explained, with overviews of how the Southern African media is externally and internally regulated to ensure a well-organised and disciplined modern media system. Strategic ways of managing the media are discussed. The book deals with the concept of media representation: How does the media reflect and represent reality or its aspects? Is the news that is presented an accurate portrayal of reality? How does the media deal with identity, race, gender, sexual orientation, the environment, AIDS, violence and terrorism?
This section thus critically analyses questions about how the media depicts people, topics, organisations and issues.
This up-to-date, comprehensive, user-friendly and accessible series has been written by key thinkers in Media Studies locally and from abroad.
Media Studies encompasses the systematic, critical and analytical study of the media, in all its forms, and sees the media as one of the most important generators and disseminators of meaning in contemporary society. Media Studies investigates who owns the media, who produces the media, media content and the users of the media. It investigates the power relationships between the media and politics, culture, economy, society, and above all, the relationship between the media and democracy.
There is a complex interaction between public relations and journalism, and students of these subjects need to know about both. Dynamics of public relations and journalism fourth edition unravels and explores these two worlds to enhance the journalistic skills of public relations students, at the same time providing students of media studies with invaluable insights into the complex, multidisciplinary field of public relations. This book highlights the interdependency of the two professions and explains - clearly, simply and succinctly - the need for their smooth synergy. In this fourth edition, chapters have been updated to help readers stay abreast of current trends in public relations and journalism. The advent of social media and its growing role in these areas has been one of the most significant changes since the publication of the previous edition of this book. Here, the authors discuss the influences, roles, functions and appropriate application of social media. In addition, a new chapter on corporate social media introduces social media as a public relations function, describing the attributes of social media engagement and the popular social networks that may be used in the corporate arena. The authors draw on their considerable academic and practical experience to give clear, concise guidelines for enhancing media relations through effective public relations practice.
Jonathan Jansen doesn’t regard the achievements he has made in academia and his contributions to public intellectual life as his own – rather, he sees these accomplishments as a product of the hard work and sacrifices of family, friends, teachers, colleagues and mentors around him.
Jansen recounts, in his indomitable way, how the people in his life invested love, direction, encouragement (and even money) to make his journey possible – in the hope that his story may give inspiration and direction to generations of young people taking their first steps in adult life.
Basetsana Kumalo shot to fame as a fresh-faced Miss South Africa in 1994 and soon became the face of South Africa’s new democracy. As the first black presenter of the glamorous lifestyle TV show Top Billing, she travelled the world and interviewed superstars like Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jackson, Jon Bon Jovi, Will Smith, the Bee Gees, Gloria Estefan and Luther Vandross. After a successful career in television, Bassie’s drive and ambition took her into the world of business. The street savvy that her entrepreneurial mother gave her stood her in good stead as she built a media empire. When she married the handsome businessman Romeo Kumalo in a fairytale wedding, they became South Africa’s sweethearts and ‘it’ couple.
Bassie: My Journey Of Hope recounts the stories of Bassie’s life as a celebrity, including her relationships with mentors like Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela- Mandela and Graηa Machel. She also shares the secrets of her success and all the lessons she’s learnt along the way, and opens up about the pressures of her high-profile marriage to Romeo, their heartbreaking struggle to have a family, and how they made sure that their loving and respectful union has lasted two decades.
Bassie also talks frankly about the domestic abuse she suffered at the hands of boxer Dingaan Thobela and the legal battles she had to fight to protect her name and her brand over the years. She gives her account of the stalker who harassed her for decades, and the nonexistent ‘sex-tape’ allegation that rocked her family and career, leading to painful experiences of cyber-bullying. It is an intimate, inspiring and entertaining account of a remarkable life.
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