Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cape Town, March 13, Day 10

March 19, 2018


Thanks go to Florentyne Garande who helped set up our visit. Jason Robinson, despite broken windows in his car, lead us through the description of the development, history, and future challenges of Mukuru, especially as related to operations in Africa. Personally I felt that this visit was one of the best in terms of exposure to challenges that were uniquely African. There are 3.2 million immigrants in South Africa, and additionally there are between 2-4 million people from Zimbabwe. The transfer of money among intra-African workers presents huge challenges, all of which require knowledge of local customs, cultures, and languages.

What did you most benefit from as a result of our visit with Mukuru?


The Bungalow

And finally we enjoyed a farewell dinner at the Bungalow, complete with a beautiful sunset and final thanks and good-byes.

Cape Town, March 12, Day 9

March 19, 2018

IMG_7235Springbok SA Rugby Museum

Today we headed to the SARU to meet up with Henrique Snyders, the Heritage Manager, who led us through the museum and through the history of Rugby in South Africa. It is a complex history, including the blending of White, Colored, and Bantu leagues. The history also included times when international pressure, unwillingness to play again South Africa in tournament, loss of sponsorship, and anti-apartheid sentiment affect Rugby in South Africa.

Myself, I was impressed by the jersey that was made by prisoners of war during WWII who created shirts, dyed with Springbok color, including green from the Russian Army uniforms and orange from the malaria pills. I was also shocked to see the tennis balls filled with broken glass, used to pelt the Springbok athletes. And I was inspired by the statues of Mandela and Francois, as they represent the victory in the world cup. What did you learn or what did you take away from this visit?


Robben Island

Our Robben Island tour began with Nandi, who described the history of the island, including the time it was a leper colony, a prison, and a landmark. The visit included a view of the location Robert Sobukwe’s house arrest, the lime quarry where political prisoners worked, the shore where political prisoners were assigned to pull kelp out of the water, and the village as it is today. We then met Vusumzi Mcongo who was an inmate at Robben Island, having been arrested in 1977 for his involvement with the Black Conscience Movement. Although his was not the most entertaining or articulate guide, I was impressed with his passion for the Black Conscience Movement, still today, with the same vision and fire that he had back in the 1970’s. His tour included visits to the general intake areas, recreation halls, work plazas, cells, study halls and showers & bathrooms. Most impactful for me personally was to see the garden area where Nelson Mandela hid his original manuscript of what later became his book, Long Road to Freedom. And my mind also recalled a scene from Invictus when François was in Mandela’s cell, spreading his arms to reach from one end to another, knowing that this was the prisoner’s space for nearly 20 years. What did you appreciate most from the visit to Robben Island?

Cape Town, March 10-11, Days 7&8

March 19, 2018

ORK_1825Heart Capital Village

Heart Capital means the people: Peter and Mandy, Sarina, Monet & Melissa, Ashwell, Rekai & Felicia, Valentine & Tandi, Sia, Didie, and the compost fillers: Agripa, James, Nimrod, Bheki, Johnny, Damon, and all the other! Heart Capital means brick work with Didiye, painting with Rekai, locks with Valentine, compost with Sia. Hear Capital means learning words in Shona for those from Zimbabwe, Xosa from those from Eastern Cape, and Afrikans from those from the Western Cape. Heart Capital means hearing Mandy’s story, Rekai’s background, and Valentine’s origins. Heart Capital means Leon’s shots and Sarina’s beer run. Heart Capital means Mike’s fire and Megan’s kitchen work.

Heart Capital means saying urisey “how are you?” and answering ndiribo “I am fine.” It means saying maitabosa for “thank you”, wiapano for “come here”, uribo “all’s good”, and ngatishgey for “let’s eat.” It’s also a chance to eat nyama “meat”, pop “grits”, and chacalaka “beans.”

Sarina finished things of with a request for acknowledgements, stand outs, and advancements. What were yours?

Cape Town, March 9, Day 6

March 19, 2018

DORK_1724elheim Winery

Nora and Victor are gracious hosts, and once again it was a delight to hear them talk about the future and past of Delheim Winery. Nora has a passion for people and Victor has a passion for wine. It makes for a splendid combination. They also provided details about the implementation of Black Economic Empowerment and the scorecards that are required from local government. As part of this, the wine tasting was led by their new intern Yonela. As an added bonus, the elders from Kaimundi were also in attendance.

Prodigy Financial

Cate Band organized a whole series of activities for us, all to introduce the mindset and vision of Prodigy Financial. We thank Auman Jawhar for his lecture from London, and Mitchell, Steven and Sam for leading the group activites to introduce UX – design thinking.


What did you learn today, as related to things specific to South Africa or the implementation of well-know concepts to South Africa?

Cape Town, March 8, Day 5

March 19, 2018

ORK_1615Today was a travel and tourism day. What were your first reactions to Cape Town, Chapman’s Peak, Hout Bay, Cape Point and Boulder’s Beach?

Port Elizabeth, March 7, Day 4

March 19, 2018

DSC_0841Waverly Farms

Thanks to Russell for introducing us to their new plant and the description of it’s operation that includes the export of naval oranges, Valencia oranges and lemons to US, Canada, Europe, Middle East, and Russia. What stood out to me was their sense of community, the policy to pay farmers 15% upfront and the balance after sale, the 3 year process to convert a farm to organic, the color coding for containers. We then continued on to Bob Maske’s farm where I learned that the round lemons and the oblong lemons actually come from the same tree!


Coega Harbour Complex, SAFPRO. Mark Jensen introduced us to the export process, containerization, specific market requirements and specialized cooling. I was especially impressed with the competitive advantages of shipping from Port Elizabeth, and their desire to gain clients who currently use Cape Town. I was also impressed with the challenge to maintain employees full time in an industry that is specific to lemon and orange harvest times.


I might also add that our visit to Addo was pretty spectacular, given the short amount of time that we were in the park. In less than 2 hours we saw more elephants than many people do all day!


What were your take-aways from this day?

Port Elizabeth, March 6, Day 3

March 19, 2018

IMG_7093SAB Brewery

Thanks for to Bryan (Plant Manager), Conrad (Distribution), Brent (Quality Manager) and well as Meo and Samatha.

The culture of safety was enlightening, including the safety induction, video from the President, Ricardo Tadeu, comments on alcohol testing, drugs, compliance, permits to work, and food safety. The beer tasting seemed to cover the spectrum of beer flavors. It was unexpected to learn that it takes 2.5 liters of water to may 1 liter of beer. Equally unexpected was the fact that 100% of the production is consumed in the East Cape area and none is exported beyond the region.


We then entered the Kwazakhele and New Brighton townships, including a visit toto Eric’s Township Tavern called Kwekwe’s. Among the lunch menu items, Boerewors sausages are traditional South African. And it never hurts to have a chance to play a little Marimba, learning from Mjuju, Dudu, an Baru! I personally enjoyed learning from Mark’s comments about his military service in the Township, and observations about funeral services, beauty salon’s, street pharmaceutical services, and “smilies” within the Township. This is also where I learned of the soccer team called the Orlando Pirates, information that became significant over and over again.


And what did you most take away from the visit to SAB and the Township?

Port Elizabeth, March 5 Day 2

March 19, 2018


Thanks go to Anita Palmer, Grant Minnie and Wayne Oosthuisen for putting us in contact with all those at propella who have creative ideas from making your won battery to chips in mouthpieces that mesure impact and concussions. It was the first company visit experience from our trip. Now that we are back what stands out about that visit.

Nelson Mandela University.

Thanks go to the Director of the Business School, Randal Jones and to Kobus Jonker for his lecture ‘Globalization in Africa” and Margie Cullen for her lecture “Social Entrepreneurship. Thanks also go to all of the NMU students and alumni who joined us for lunch. My own takeaways from Prof. Jonker: It is unfair to compare export of diversified countries (Mauritius , Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa) with those where 80% of all exports are dependent on oil, which mostly goes to China. Issues of poverty are counterbalanced with issues of inequality. Issues of corruption are counterbalanced with issues of the difficulty of compliance. Ubunta – a traditional value where who one is ties to the virtue of others.

From Prof. Cullen’s remarks, my takeaways are that when looking at the bottom of the pyramid (BOT), value needs to be created for “many” not for “money.” Reduce by only provided desired services (e.g., unlike Gold’s Gym model of a large number of unused services. These ideas come from assessing desirability, feasibility, viability. Painpoints can be assessed via AEIOU: Activities, Environment, Interactions, Objects, Users.

And you, what did you most benefit from in our visit to Nelson Mandela University.


PS New names included Ryan (Xolile – relaxed), Heath (Qiqa – always on the go, on his toes), John (Xolela – be forgiving). Names given by Sigqibo (meaning, conclusion, end, decision).

Port Elizabeth, Day 1

March 5, 2018


It’s a long flight, but everyone is here!  Welcome to Port Elizabeth.  So, what are your first impressions?  What things fit with your expectations and what things already break your pre-departure vision of South Africa and Port Elizabeth?



South Africa 2017

September 2, 2016

Here we go. Welcome to our blog for McCombs Global Connections 2017, with our trip to South Africa.  I’m Orlando Kelm and our GRA this year will be Funda Sarilar. The staff member to accompany us on the trip will be Rebecca Gavillet.

So let’s start with some decision.  Many of our visits are already scheduled, but others we wanted to wait to get your preferences.

First, we would like to take you on a winery tour, including visits with business content.  Here are two wineries that we are considering.  When we have our first meeting, we’d like to get your feedback on which one you prefer:

1. Spier ( is one of the bigger wineries and has a strong sustainability focus and community outreach program. They produce a sustainability report, engage community stakeholders and have an environmental tilt. They grow a wide variety, and have global distribution. 

2. Delheim ( the other hand is one of the few wineries that is still family owned and gives a taste (no pun intended), of the old vineyard culture transitioning for modern demand. It’s into the hills of Stellenbosch with great views. 

Second, we hope to take you on a visit that has a marketing/advertising focus.  Here are 4 options that we have been looking at.  We’d like to get your feedback on preferences:

  1.  Publicis Machine

2.  Red Bull Amaphiko

3.  Derrick Advertising

4.  GD Industries