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Alert! The programme for this year’s @OpenBookFest has been revealed! Click here to see it:

Daphna Horowitz Launches Courage to Lead: Leadership Lessons from Kilimanjaro

Daphna Horowitz

The Courage to LeadThe beautiful hall at Villa Arcadia on the Parktown ridge, once the Jewish Orphanage and now owned by the Hollard Group, was well filled for the recent launch of Daphna Horowitz’s debut, The Courage to Lead: Leadership Lessons from Kilimanjaro.

Former actuary, leadership coach and public speaker Horowitz was inspired by a client’s ambition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Although she admits she is not the sporty type, although she does try to keep in shape, Horowitz says she loves a challenge and decided that she would climb Kilimanjaro herself. The climb was challenging and difficult, but day by day she was struck by how the metaphors and symbolism the climb revealed resonated with real life, and on her return home she needed to stop, reflect on and derive meaning from her experience. Horowitz never planned on writing a book, but she kept a blog during her climb, which was the genesis for the project.

Horowitz began her launch with a slide show of the Kilimanjaro journey, which conveyed the feeling of camaraderie among the climbers and of course the wonderful views as they neared the summit, including an incredible photograph taken from high above the clouds.

The key message of Courage to Lead: Leadership Lessons from Kilimanjaro is that everyone is a leader, and that leadership can be made practical and simple – and that it can be learnt. We all know of great leaders we can learn from. Horowitz’s message of leadership does not only relate to business; there are four parts to this book: Doing, Being, Relating and Meaning. Each part tells a short story, followed by a leadership lesson with questions and exercises. The book challenges readers to take the lead in their own lives and to get to a level of fulfillment rather than just going with the flow. “Be conscious of the choices you make,” Horowitz says.

Horowitz shared an extract from her final, and favourite chapter, Meaning, which outlines her thoughts and reflections on her return from the Kilimanjaro. She mentioned that her book does not have to be read from beginning to end but can be read in any order, depending on the reader’s sphere of interest.

To achieve anything in life, one needs good preparation, the correct tools, the right people and faith. Good leaders also need courage, vulnerability and soul. Horowitz challenged the audience to find their Kilimanjaro and find out how to derive meaning from it. She described her biggest personal lesson as the “lesson of being slow”. Kilimanjaro contained so much peace, solitude and connectedness that she wanted to try and keep hold of those feelings when the climb was over. Horowitz says she only managed to hold onto the feelings for about a month, even driving well below the speed limit on Joburg’s busy roads, before the fast pace of life in the city claimed her back. Since returning , this driven woman has written a book and completed her master’s degree. As the first Mount Everest climber Edmund Hillary said, “It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”

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Riaan Manser en Vasti Geldenhuys gesels oor die roei en stoei New York toe

Vasti Geldenhuys het vir jare op haar drumpel gestaan en waai wanneer haar held Riaan Manser op nóg een van sy avonture gegaan het. Tot Manser eendag vir haar gesê het, “Kom ek gaan wys vir jou New York.”

Maar Geldenhuys moes toe geweet het, New York toe sou hulle beslis nie vlieg nie …

Hy het toe vir Geldenhuys saamgeneem Groot Appel toe – in ’n roeiboot.

Around Iceland on InspirationAround Madagascar on My KayakAround Africa On My Bicycle


Hanlie Retief het met hierdie avontuurlustige paartjie gesels oor hul reise in ‘n omvattende onderhoud vir Rapport waar hul dié staaltjie gedeel het.

Manser is die skrywer van Around Iceland on Inspiration, Around Madagascar on My Kayak en Around Africa On My Bicycle.

Die Amerikaners vra heeltyd: Was julle bang? Ja. Duh.

Maar nie bang jy breek jou voet nie, bang jy gaan dood.

“Ons het so ’n sêding gehad tussen ons: You gotta wanna. En as dinge sleg begin gaan, is dit verkort tot: You gotta.”

Sy’t nooit besef die Atlantiese Oseaan “is so woes nie, en heeltyd, dis nooit plat nie, net partykeer vir ’n paar dae, maar ander kere – vrek, dis erg! Gaan staan langs ’n gebou van so drie verdiepings – dís hoe hoog die golwe was. En as jy wil uitgaan, sê maar net om toilet toe te gaan, moet jy dit time – jy kan nie sommer die kajuitdeur oopmaak nie, want dan breek die golf dalk oor die boot, oorstroom die kajuit en dan sink ons.”


Chris and Mathilde Stuart: Frack the Karoo, But at What Cost?

National Parks and Nature ReservesYou only have to look at the “fracking fields” of Dakota, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico in America to know that fracking the Karoo for gas is a bad idea.

This according to Chris and Mathilde Stuart, wildlife scientists and authors of National Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field Guide.

The Stuarts ask whether the government and businesses have taken the environmental impact of fracking into consideration, along with alternative energy solutions.

‘In the national interest’ becomes a battle-cry for governments and their business partners. In the Karoo one can only wonder where the water will come from to aid this exploitation – no one has as yet explained this in any detail. And then of course what happens to the diminishing ground water sources when it starts to receive the fracking chemicals.

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Join Daphna Horowitz for the Launch of The Courage to Lead at the RCHCC, Houghton

The Courage to Lead: Leadership Lessons from KilimanjaroJacana Media and The Rabbi Cyril Harris are pleased to invite you to the launch of The Courage to Lead by Daphna Horowitz.

The event will take place at the Clive M Beck Auditorium at The Rabbi Cyril Harris Community Centre in Houghton at 6:30 PM. Author Daphna Horowitz will speak about the book, and a bit about her trek to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, drawing parallels between the climb and leadership.

Don’t miss it!

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Excerpt from Diving and Spearfishing in South Africa by Piet van Rooyen

Diving and Spearfishing in South AfricaNamibiana Buchdepot has shared an extract from Piet van Rooyen’s Diving and Spearfishing in South Africa.

The first publication of this book was in 1987. It became something of a seminal reference book for all things spearfishing. An updated version of the book, incorporating the authors wider experience, was released in 2012. This excerpt explains the purpose of the book and the many topics van Rooyen deals with in it.

Read the excerpt:

During my spearfishing career of more than 25 years, I have dived in various places and met a great number of divers, who taught me much. This book contains all of these experiences, tips and pieces of advice, mine and those of others, in the hope that they will aid you and provide valuable short cuts in your own progress towards better diving.

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National Parks and Nature Reserves Authors Chris and Mathilde Stuart Speak About Poaching

National Parks and Nature ReservesChris and Mathilde Stuart, wildlife scientists and authors of National Parks and Nature Reserves: A South African Field Guide are troubled by the increased demand for animal parts around the world.

The illicit trade in rhino horn, elephant ivory, and tiger bones has not been deterred by stricter regulation in participating countries, and animals are becoming more endangered every day.

Despite the resources poured into a park such as South Africa’s Kruger the rhinos are slaughtered piecemeal. In fact in that park the situation appears to be deteriorating as poachers from Mozambique run rampant and at least in some cases SANParks staff are involved. Of course the poachers only receive a small percentage of the end price for rhino horn but that often amounts to a year, or more, of honestly earned income back in the home country. Rumours are circulating that SANParks is set to move hundreds of rhino out of Kruger, to apparently safer locals.

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