Maropeng means “returning to the place of origin” in Setswana

Hi I know it has been a while, I guess it is that time of year when our diaries fill up with school and work functions. We were lucky enough to take a one night break away this past weekend. I wanted to share the places we visited with you, as we sometimes feel that going on holiday means visiting another province or country, when visiting what’s on your door step can be just as fulfilling. Our kids are 6 and 9 and we have never been to this beautiful World Heritage Site which is only 55kms away from Johannesburg. Cayleigh who is in grade 3 has been learning about caves so we used this as the perfect opportunity to visit.

Our first stop was Sterkfontein Caves , we purchased a Combination ticket (Adults: R190 | Children (4-14): R125), this gave us entry to both the caves and Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind museum. I felt the prices to be reasonable as we had a guided tour through the caves which provided us with in-depth and relevant information. The guide kept us entertained and interested the whole way. You start off wearing protective hats and go through a waiting area filled with interesting facts and visuals of our evolution.

We were then met by our tour guide who welcomed us home, as it is said to be where humankind began. Just before entering the cave, we came across an amazing Sun dial, by placing the stick on the month of November, it was amazing to see the shadow fall on the time exactly as our watch reflected.  The kids were amazed.

After this we followed him into the cave. We were greeted with absolute beauty after the initial darkness. Alyssa my 6 year old got a bit anxious as we had to squeeze through tunnels and go down steep stairs, but she was easily calmed after getting her to pose for a few photos. It was a great experience for us all.

Next stop

THE EXHIBITION AT THE MAROPENG VISITOR CENTRE 

Our next stop was Maropeng, about 6kms away from the caves. The museum could not be built at the same site due to the dolomite land at the caves.

Maropeng was a great walk trough time experience. Everything in the exhibition was well thought of and very educational and entertaining. We got to experience an underground boat ride, where we experienced the elements earth, water, air, and fire. This was the highlight of the exhibition.

After our full day of adventure we made our way to Mount Grace for the night. We were welcomed with drinks and the kids were given activity bags filled with chips, juice, crayons, map of resort and activities. This was greatly appreciated as many resorts in Magaliesburg generally don’t allow kids under the age of 12.

We then got settled in to our room. We had a lovely private pool and a beautiful view of the garden.

Later that evening we had a lovely buffet dinner and turned in for the night. The next morning after breakfast the kids enjoyed some time at the kids club while hub and I got to relax by the pool side.

We tend to overlook sights that are nearby. I know of a few people who lived in Cape Town their whole life and never been up Table Mountain yet these quick weekends away helps to break the monotony and at the same time helps the kids explore and enjoy new experiences.

There are 8 World heritage sites in South Africa. How many have you been to?

Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa Sterkfontein
Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape Limpopo Province
Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape Northern Cape
Robben Island Table Bay
Cape Floral Region Protected Areas Western CapeEastern Cape
iSimangaliso Wetland Park KwaZulu-Natal
Vredefort Dome Vredefort
uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park KwaZulu-NatalLesotho
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Meet Lulu – Business Owner and Mrs. S.A Contestant

Like most people I am always looking for ways to better myself, lose weight and be healthy. I’m not super fit but try to get in at least 3 workout sessions a week. On my road to getting fitter I came across Body20 studios, an innovative concept using Electro Muscle Stimulation to train your body and work muscles you did not even know existed. I was fortunate enough to choose the Centurion branch and had the pleasure of meeting the owner Luandi Weppenaar better known as Lulu.

I featured Lulu as her story  is one that many women can relate to at some point in our lives.

Lulu is a small town girl who fell in love with the man of her dreams, got married and became a city girl, they are blessed with 2 beautiful children and runs her own business. It hasn’t been an easy road though and Lulu had to overcome her own battles to get to where she is today and shares her story with us.

Lulu opens up about how she used to be overweight for most of her life. Her words describing this period were strong “I really hated myself, to a point where I felt like I was a mistake. I despised the person staring back at me in the mirror. I had a very unhealthy lifestyle, drank way too much alcohol and did not take care of myself or others at all.”

With this came many years of of self hatred, low self esteem, depression and rejection which really took a toll on her.  Her breakthrough came through prayer and God, Lulu built up the will and determination to lose 34kgs through vigorous exercise and a healthy eating plan and in turn learned to love herself again. It wasn’t an easy road, there were lots of temptations, cravings for sugar and pain during this 5 year journey with lots of tears too. Lulu was strong willed and refused to lose weight through ‘magic pills’ and medication, she knew she had to keep fighting for what she wanted and refused to give up. It eventually paid off. 

Having gone through all this, Lulu entered the Mrs. South Africa pageant earlier this year to give hope to the women that are going through the same struggles that she faced and to be a motivator to others. Although Lulu did not make it as a finalist, she spoke fondly of her experience and the friends made and even if she helped at least one person through that journey would have made it worthwhile.

Just as her fitness and weight goals were coming together another door opened and it felt like God was answering all her prayers at once, an amazing business opportunity at Body20 presented itself and it was exactly what she and her husband Kobus wanted. It was a business that Lulu could relate to and would help her to help others with their struggles when it comes to fitness and weight. Lulu also gets to spend her days and weekends with her husband at the business and although she sometimes feels guilty and would love to spend more time with the kids, Lulu knows the hours put into the business now will pay off and allow her family to lead a better life in future.

During our discussions, I could see that Lulu is extremely spiritual and is always thankful to God for the impact and presence in her life. 

I am blessed beyond measure and living proof that with God ANYTHING is possible and that he WILL make a way where there is no way. He will ALWAYS do what he promises and we will NEVER be alone”, says Lulu. 


In closing we asked Lulu these quick fire questions:
Your goals for the future

“To be a motivational speaker one day and inspire others.

Any motivating words?

“We are all created to be extraordinary – it is time that we learn to love taking care of ourselves and become the woman we were created to be.”

Your favourite celebrity

“I actually don’t follow any celebrities, however I do admire the way Karlien van Jaarsveldt has handled herself in the public and the way she glorifies God in what she does.”

I found speaking to Lulu really lifted my spirits, I love her tenacity to reach her goals, She is definitely a person with strong beliefs and with the power of her faith has many more amazing things coming her way.

 

 

Kiron Diamond #HireKiron

For my very first Everyday People feature I had the great pleasure of interviewing Kiron Diamond. I came across a Facebook post which his beautiful wife shared. It was a video of Kiron expressing his passion for Adidas and wanting to work there. The video post had an intriguing hashtag #HireKiron…

Once I clicked on it, it blew me away. The video is catchy, impactful and filled with Kiron’s enthusiasm.

Kiron explains his admiration for the adidas brand but equally admires the company’s vision to make the world a better place through sport. He openly talks about how it’s his dream to work for them one day soon. This is what prompted him to make the video with the hope that someone high up within adidas would take note of his passion and offer him an opportunity to be part of their incredible organisation.

After watching the video I knew I wanted to feature him in my blog. I made contact and he was equally excited to work with me. We had deep personal conversations about challenges and hardships he has faced his life, and how he came out the other end of it stronger and more positive with the help of martial arts, which gave him a strong body, mind and spirit, driven by a heart filled with un-extinguishable perseverance. “Sometimes in life unfair things happen to you despite all of the good you do, and you can either see yourself as a victim of violent crime and grow bitter, or you can step up and choose to grow stronger and see yourself as a survivor rather.”

I asked Kiron a number of questions and got a feel of who he is. Kiron is 30 years old and has been with Edyta for 11 years and married for  four years. He grew up in Pretoria and relocated to Johannesburg to be closer to work. Kiron is a big supporter of animal welfare causes,  so much so that Kiron and his wife have 4 rescued dogs that they have taken into their home.

kiron dogs

I was curious to understand where Kiron works, as  you will see in the video, his current employer has really good things to say and support his quest to get a job at adidas.

My thoughts were that they either really want to get rid of him or it’s a truly incredible organisation that supports their employees and would help them realise their dreams even if it means losing them to another company. I knew then he must work for an awesome company and I was right.

Kiron is a Strategic Project Manager at a company called Missing Link. The company solves a range of problems for SA’s top corporate clients. He manages presentations and video projects and he does this well as it’s evident in the #HireKiron video. How he landed his current job position is equally as interesting: “I showed up one day un-announced at Missing Link, equipped with a CV and a rap song I wrote and recorded a song called ‘Gimme one chance,’ and said, hey I’m here for an interview.” “With who?” I was asked. I responded with, ” Anybody who will listen.”  “They listened and were blown away, and here I am.”

He says “Where I work is no normal place. The owner of the business is Rich Mulholland, and he is a Scottish, tattooed, loud, motorcycle riding world famous public speaker and businessman, he is a really stand-up,super intelligent and great guy”.

When Kiron mentioned to Rich his idea about the video and his passion to work for adidas Head Quarters in Germany, Rich was fully supportive and asked what position it is for, Kiron being the adidas fanatic he is ,retorted in a heartbeat “I will mow lawns and clean toilets if I have to, but I think I am good at other stuff too”. They laughed about it and high-fived, and that was that.

Kiron with the help of his work colleagues Tyrone and Coenie brainstormed, planned and executed the video. Like his video says he wanted to think outside the box because you can’t put him in a box. His vibrant personality is aptly reflected in the video.

Kiron was definitely on to something when he thought about doing this video.

It shows that in life if you really want something you got to go out there and get it. A lot of people wait for the right moment or for something to become available, NOT Kiron. He knows what he wants and is willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Let us show the world how great South Africans are and how we can use social media to make our dreams come true.

 Click here to watch the #hirekiron video

Click the share button below and let’s help Kiron’s video go viral.

Don’t forget the hashtags…. #HireKiron #adidascareers #adidas

We’re keen to do a follow up post to see how Kiron’s journey pans out. From an outsiders perspective, adidas should snap him up before somebody else does, you can’t buy passion and this sort of thinking.

The story behind my profile picture.

everyday profile picHeya,

Noticed my hand drawn logo on my profile pic?

I know it’s not perfect and I could have used my PC to design something more “professional” but this blog is not about perfection, it’s about showing that we can be great and unique by just being ourselves. (So expect some spelling and grammatical errors from time to time).

I’m definately no artist but I love doodling and the feel of a pen when it dances across a page, left to right slowly making its mark. It’s sort of therapeutic and helps me day dream and reminds me of my school days. So while doodling around and conjuring up this blog I came up with this logo. It’s personal, it’s mine and it’s NOT perfect.

It’s supposed to symbolize you and me. We can not be flawless, made by others or copied. We are unique, perfect in an imperfect way, we create our own happiness and we are the canvas to the beautiful drawings in our lives.

During the coming weeks we will showcase everyday South Africans, telling their story. It could just be you!

XOXO

What’s different about the blog?

Hello Everyday People

I’m a bit nervous, this is my first blog post and probably the first thing you will read before you follow my blog and my pages. They say first impressions last so I want to make a good one. It would be great if you could tell me how I did, Ok?

I probably follow and like every Blog, Facebook page and Instagram account out there. See I’m a bit of a social butterfly behind my PC and Phone. One thing I find so amazing is the people. I see fabulous people living even more fabulous lives. I see company’s doing amazing things. I see people just being themselves. Recently one of my Facebook friends started working out and sharing her new lifestyle. I thought wow, she is amazing. I want to tell all my friends about her. I want to share her journey and stories.

Ah ha, light bulb moment. Since I wanted to really give blogging a go, I thought let me do things differently. Instead of only blogging about me (there will be a fair share of that), I thought let me do blog posts on Everyday People doing what they need to do, to succeed, accomplish goals and be awesome. So to sum it up Everyday People Everyday Greatness. I wanted a blog that celebrates Everyday People! I love talking to people and I know everyone has a story to tell. In South Africa I think we are all somehow connected. We meet the same people, use the same products and even go to the same places. I want to share my thoughts, lifestyle, happiness and sadness, all while sharing you, the Everyday People.

I want to use this blog to talk to people. Talk about what they getting up to. What are their must have products and who motivates them. So let’s get it started. If you want to be featured in my blog as an Everyday People. Comment below and leave your email address and let’s get talking.

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite songs by Arrested Development – Everyday People

XOXO Everyday Greatness