by Thabo Owen Mokwena

Publisher's Note

Ascend Mount Olympus and dine with the gods


When I grew up in the townships of Pretoria, the most popular pick-up line was “The Himalaya mountain, nobody can climb it, except me and you by means of love”, this was a statement that love conquers. Was this pick-up line ever successful? That is a subject for another day. When Sheldon from the famous ‘Big Bang Theory’ sitcom was offered the role of Professor Proton, he considered it an honour equivalent to ascending Mount Olympus to dine with the gods. Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece. According to Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is perceived as the seat of the gods.

The desire to achieve, to conquer, to innovate and engineer change in the advancement of human development and the greater good is a rather noble one. Therefore, the economic turnaround required to improve South Africa’s socio-economic conundrum requires nothing more than a burning desire to achieve and engineer change. Indeed, the desire on its own will not cut it, it has to be coupled with cutting-edge human capabilities and requisite leadership qualities.

The challenges of unemployment, inequality and poor economic performance are real and scary. This is a subject of debate every day, every hour, in every publication and broadcast, yet the results prove to be otherwise. The Global Competitiveness Report 2018 asserts: “Ensuring future economic growth will require solutions that are more creative than any we have seen so far.”

The job summit is behind us, the mid-term budget was another revelation about the state of the economy and the President’s investment conference is underway as I write this note. The Global Competitiveness Report has been published and has interesting reviews, which must be taken seriously.

South Africa needs creative and courageous pioneers reaching out to break new ground and to seek new solutions. The nation requires innovators who are fired by an unrelenting passion for shaping and unleashing new frontiers of development, through vision and execution par excellence.

The metaphor of Sheldon’s aspiration to dine with the gods is an illumination of human desire to achieve and reach greater heights. When driven by passion and good intent, no mountain is too high.

I, too, want to ascend Mount Olympus and dine with the gods.

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Issue 402


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