COVID-19 bringing South Africa together again.

COVID-19 bringing South Africa together again.

“These are indeed challenging, difficult and unprecedented times; and it’s important that we come together as South Africans as we have in the past.” Says business mogul Patrice Motsepe, who – true to his philanthropic form – has pledged R1 billion to help combat the COVID-19 epidemic in South Africa.

On the 28th of March, Mr Motsepe, together with Motsepe foundations co-founder Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe held a virtual meeting with Sanlam chief executive Ian Kirk and Johan van Zyl of African Rainbow Capital, announcing their contribution as well as urging other companies to lend a hand as well. In his speech, Mr Motsepe stresses the importance of solidarity and charity towards the less fortunate during this time and any other moment of crisis.

Today Mr Mostepe’s call proves to have not fallen on deaf ears because South Africa has heard and its people are responding. Since President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the Solidarity fund, many individuals, corporations and the government – which contributed the launching amount of R150 million – have contributed to this fund and have managed to raise a generous R500 million in the very first week of its operation. One of the larger contributions to the fund came from the Johannesburg based firm AMG (African Medallion Group), which donated R10 million to South Africa and $5 million to Zimbabwe. “This is our pledge to both Zimbabwe and South Africa as we are corporate citizens in both countries… We are committed to play a part in our own way and urge everyone to remain resolute whilst following measures set by authorities.” Says AMG chairperson Estee Maman.

In addition to the first billion, the Oppenheimer family has made a second staggering R1 billion donation to South Africa’s Solidarity fund. Mary Oppenheimer and her daughters chose to donate this money, separate from the one donated by the Oppenheimer brothers, to the Solidarity fund because it targets their concerns about the basic needs of South Africans such as food, medicine, general care and gender abuse. Other billionaires such as Johann Rupert and Koos Bekker have also donated R1 billion each towards fighting COVID-19.

This epidemic affects us all and has caused a myriad of inconveniences for South Africa and the world altogether; however it is important that we take note of the one ray of sunlight light amid this heavy cloud of darkness. South Africa has faced many challenges since the birth of its young democracy; we have seen violent outbreaks from its people, untrustworthy governance, self-service corporates and much many more dividing occurrences among our people. However while we are under lock down we are forced to re-evaluate our values as a country, with UBUNTU standing at the forefront of it all.

Companies and individuals across the nations are banding together the help the less fortunate, the government is paying due attentions to the vulnerable and the people are more sympathetic to one another. We face an enemy that has made us see the value in one another, finally the UBUNTU cry ‘I am because we are’ rings true to many.

We can only hope that after this virus has settled its business, we can hold on to this spirit of generosity and solidarity. That instead of fighting a virus, we can fight crime, poverty, abuse, and unemployment. That instead we can use this principle to build this country, because as the Tswana saying goes ‘To give away is to make provision for the future’

For those who want to contribute to the fight against COVID-19, there are a few charity organisations could use the helping hands.

1)  The Solidarity Response Fund

2)  Afrika Awake

3) Coronacare for South Africa

4)  GiftoftheGivers

5)  FeedSA

6)  UNICEF South Africa

7)  Angels Care Centre

8)  SPCA and PUG Rescue

Generosity is rooted within us we just need to tap into it. Lend a hand wherever you can, stay home and stay safe. Most importantly, use this time to learn something do new, to do something good, and to look at your country with a kind eye. 


Can we afford not to be Future-Fit ?

Can we afford not to be Future-Fit ?

 We have all, at some point or other, found ourselves reminiscent of the good old days, when things were simpler and moved at a steadier pace. These musings usually come when we struggle to understand a new technology or when it takes us time to adapt to a new filing system at work. We usually only adopt a new technology or skill when we have to, which in hindsight, does us a great disservice.

Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.- Albert Camus

The future is closer than we think. Can we really afford to leave it for later, or is there a hidden consequence counting down everytime we dont “Upgrade” ourselves? Can we survive in a future that we are not fit for? With the world constantly changing and becoming more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, one can only  wonder if the world’s population is ready for the future. The brightness of tomorrow depends on how much of ourselves we exert today. Are we “Future-Fit”? 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an epidemic that has taken the world by surprise and has drastically shifted the world’s dynamics. However, while it has many people feeling backed in a corner, it has allowed the advancement of technology to flaunt itself thus finally allowing us to ask the relevant questions; in the coming decade what are the skills of the future? and How can we upgrade the way we work?  

COVID-19 to date has tested every country’s  healthcare & education system, economy and media. Global collaboration and coordination amongst leaders has been mediocre at best when coming to deal with this pandemic.The only thing that has been prepared for the Corona virus is technology. Technology has allowed human beings to stay in touch, work from home and detect and predict where COVID-19 will hit next. Technology is at the forefront of helping us humans survive this pandemic and it will be the reason we beat it, and we have taken note of its importance.

We can no longer afford to be apathetic about what is sure to come, we have to be more ambitious about  updating or upgrading ourselves with technology. This pandemic will change the way we work, how we show respect & affection for one another and it will require us to embed technology and science in every cultural fabric of society.

If COVID-19 sticks around, can we adapt ? 

Here are the 5 skills that need to converge and will become the skills of the future. 

  1. Fashion design, pathology and climatology.

Clothing has always been an indication of how sophisticated a civilisation is. No matter what industrial age we are in, clothing has always and will always be an essential need for humans. We have seen all over the world how the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has affected our doctors, nurses and police. In the future civilians may need PPE to go to work! Wearing gloves and masks will become a norm and sometimes a necessity for people, the fashion industry needs to be prepared for that eventuality. With global warming still an issue our globe still has to face, our fashionista’s will have to rethink the future of clothing. 

More on this topic: Best Smart Clothes 

  1. Interior design, architecture, and civil engineering.

Humans will always need shelter. Whether it be on the moon, in harsh environments on earth or just in a normal suburb. The shelter of the future needs to consider the external environments and needs to be adaptable by them. The Internet of Things will play a big role here as we will use buildings to help us fight off pandemics in the future and help our homes be more energy efficient. We are looking at a future where shelter is no longer just a roof over our heads, but is also a user and environment friendly system that helps improve our quality of living or working.

  1. Agriculture, climatology, and engineering.

Food security is the world’s number one priority. The next generation of farmers need to be the most technologically advanced and will have a great understanding of potential future environments and how that can affect food supply. Drone technology will play a huge role in monitoring crops but we need more technological sophistication to ensure that the yield always matches the global demand, no matter what crisis the world is facing.  

More on this topic: The Fourth Industrial Revolution and its Potential Applications in Agriculture in Africa

  1. Teaching & theatre performance.

We all know that education needs disruption and I believe COVID-19 disrupted the education sector and it will never be the same. The adoption of online learning and personalised education has ramped up over this quarter and puts teachers in a place where they need to be comfortable in front of the camera. I believe educators are finally going to receive the pay they deserve but society needs to put them on the same pedestal as hollywood actors. Virtual learning is a niche that educators can exploit in the future. 

  1. Data Science & journalism. 

The world is moving faster and more efficiently than ever before. As technology developments happen at an exponential rate, governments and companies will take advantage of this and we need journalists who understand Big Data to follow trails and protect our democracy. Every transaction in the future will have a digital print and we need all our protectors of democracy to understand how to use technology to prove crimes or misuse of technology. 

The 3 sectors that will be important I believe will be Psychology, we will use behavior rather than financial analysis to determine markets in the future. Content creators will be responsible in shaping perception in the future and it will not be left just to big media or news companies. Health care will always remain important as long as humans remain on this planet. 

No matter if you are a student or a high level executive, you need to be constantly reskilling yourself. In the 4th industrial revolution you cannot survive with only a commerce understanding of things, you need at least two schools of thought working simultaneously in your head. If you are in medicine, pick up short courses in commerce. If you are in the arts, pick up an understanding in engineering. You do not need a formal qualification, you just need to feel comfortable in that field and you should be able to converge what you know to help build solutions or progress in your career. Free learning management systems such as Edx, Coursera and Udemy are all you need but you must complete the course! 

A famous Zulu saying goes “Nala kungekho Qhude liyasa,” directly translated the saying is ‘even where there is no rooster, the sun rises.’ This proverb teaches us that change will come whether or not we are prepared for it. It is wise to prepare for the future and wiser still to pioneer change.

e-Mfundi is a future-fitness company that is in the business of changing mindsets. Using immersive learning, technology and design, e-Mfundi prepares communities and organisations to be future-fit so that they can not only be sustainable but can also thrive in a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) world. If you would like more insights on how to become Future- Fit please follow us social media on all platforms.