Once you stop growing, you are dying or you are dead!
The cessation of growth means that you are either dying or you are dead. Companies release financial results every year and, in the case of South Africa, it's in March every year. Amongst the various factors that CEOs, Boards, shareholders or financial editors look for are growth in profits, growth in cash flow, growth in turnover and growth in volumes or units and this is done on a year on year basis – in a manner that is comparative. All these factors, whether up or down, have a bearing on the health of the company, or lack thereof.
Various other external factors come into play like interest rates, exchange rates and the rate of inflation, amongst others, and ultimately, these have a huge bearing on the bigger picture or the bottom line, whichever way you look at it. To get things right, it has to be a balancing or juggling act.
We started this magazine primarily for two reasons: to preserve the legacy of struggle stalwarts and to cover business activities within the uMgungundlovu District. It then became apparent that we needed to go provincial and, before we knew it, other provinces were screaming out and demanding that they be incorporated into this ground-breaking legacy initiative that is soon becoming a repository of information of yesteryear anti-apartheid icon history.
As a result, we have had to learn how to walk before we could crawl properly. As we have had to realign ourselves from being a district business and legacy publication to being a provincial one, we are on top of things in terms of our expansion strategy so that we can take this ground-breaking publication national.
With June being Youth Month, we have featured two youth figures in the late Skhumbuzo Ngwenya and Thabani Zulu. Ngwenya was a youth leader who paid the ultimate price for the liberation of this country, so that injustices are addressed and redressed for a non-discriminatory country. While his sacrifice is commendable and honourable, like with all struggle icons, it is such a pity that he could not reap the fruit he had sown. On the other hand, Zulu was amongst the youngest prisoners on Robben Island and, since the liberation of this country, has come through the ranks as an exemplary case study of members of the youth who has come full circle. We also have an article on how KwaZulu-Natal youth are helping other youth reach for their dreams through start-up support.
Last year, we were lucky to have been involved in the organisation of the inaugural Mandela Day Marathon, organised by uMgungundlovu District Municipality in Pietermaritzburg and this year, with the event being a qualifier for the Comrades Marathon, the event continues as it seeks to grow in stature. July 18 also marks the 95 birthday of our first post-apartheid president Nelson Mandela. As I write this piece, Mandela is fighting for his life in a Gauteng hospital following another lung infection and the Rainbow Nation is keeping him our prayers and thoughts.
There are debates about whether or not Mandela was the one that named Anton Xaba as “Mfenendala” but, be that as it may, we do want to acknowledge that these two struggle icons' paths did cross and each had an impact on the others life. Having met and spent time engaging and debating in Pietermaritzburg in the early 1960s, the two met again on Robben Island upon their imprisonment. Actually, Mandela found Mfenendala on the island as the latter served 28 years in jail, a year more than Mandela – a fact that is little know.
With Mandela having been released from jail aged at over 70 years, we are very lucky to have been granted time with him for more than 20 years after his release – let alone that he even served a term as president. Here is a man that spent more time serving his country than his family, something we will always be grateful for. Ume njeTata, uThixo ukubusisile! Amandla, Power To The People!