Paying it forward … #MaidenInspired #HellyHansen #FeelAlive #BeEmpowered


So, tomorrow we launch the 2018 Girls’ empowerment 10 month programme for the South African office. The programme aims to provide adolescent girls with financial education and life skills so that they can play active roles in their families, communities and economies. It involves team sports and a life skills curriculum based on four training modules focusing on health and hygiene, ‘Be Healthy’; communication skills, ‘Be Yourself’; confidence and life skills, ‘Be Empowered’; and financial literacy, ‘Be Money Savvy’.

I’ve always been scared of public speaking let alone mentoring, sure it’s nerve wrecking but the scary part of me is how the audience receives my words…will my message be misconstrued? What if I scar or derail a child with my words?  Those are typical thoughts that usually ring in my head before talking to the younger generation.

Today, I’m realising something else… that I need to be the Lungi that I needed growing up, be that relatable support system and listening ear for somebody else so they can blossom sooner and be braver in pursuit of their dreams.

I cannot imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have the support from my friends and family, my dreams probably would’ve suffocated me. But the reality is that while I was fortunate to have people listen to my crazy ideas and dreams, not everyone has that.

You don’t always have to give advice or share your journeys, sometimes it’s small things like listening that can give them the courage to soar. Many would not believe that I have never met Tracy Edwards or Abby Ehler for that matter but I’ve learnt so much from their journeys. With Abby, all it took was her replying to a tweet…just that action alone made all the difference when I started sailing.

Like Mom always says, kufanele uphe abantu uthando even in the way you greet a person, sometimes it makes all the difference.

“Sail beyond the horizon; fly higher than you ever thought possible; magnify your existence by helping others; be kind to people and animals of all shapes and sizes; be true to what you value most; shine your light on the world; and be the person you were born to be.”Blake Beattie


Indomitable Spirit – #LungiSails



I’ve always been quite an odd child with an innate sense of wonder. I still stop and pause when I see a bird fly above me; yes I sometimes envy how they flap their wings against the wind. They do it with so much ease and confidence.

I light up when I see a butterfly and chase it while chatting to it for a minute before remembering that somebody might call the mental institution on me *laughs*. I greet and talk to fishes when sailing, I’ve had photo shoots with unknowing seagulls by at anchorage telling them to strut their stuff.

Over the past 8 months, I’ve done things that I never even dreamed I would last year this time. Truth is I’m just as surprised at my decisions, thoughts and dreams as the next person. Usually something would spark an idea in my head followed by a mental “yes” and it’s done.

Deciding to sail was by far the bravest and the best decision I’ve ever made, it even beats buying a house lol. As I’ve said in my earlier posts, it showed a side of me that I didn’t know existed.

At the beginning, the plan to live the dream was simple…learn to sail, get to know my new fraternity, find a crew, sail, sail and sail. So I found SSB in Bretagne to learn, applied for the VOR OBR position as starting point to use my media skills whilst getting to know my new fraternity and perfecting my sailing art. I worked at it every single day and I’m still at it.

I always knew that there would be challenges; rejections and that didn’t phase me. If anything, it made me more determined. It was all okay until the OBR dream fell into a million pieces and by pieces, that rejection ripped me apart.  I realise now as I write this that I wanted it with all my might, it would’ve been the perfect meeting of two worlds (sailing and photography).

I had a series of breakdowns over a month; it took me a while to even tell people closest to me. I felt like such a failure….the odd and most profound thing was that amidst all the emotions, I would open my sailing theory books and study.

After a couple of weeks, it eventually became evident to me that even though the OBR dream may have not materialised, there was always a deeper yearning beyond VOR. It took me a while to remember that but I’m glad it happened when it did because it saved me from negative thoughts which were not helping at all.

I watched a lot of motivational clips during that time, Inky Johnson’s talk helped make sense of why I was waking up every other day and continued to study and cry later that same day. His father said these words to him whilst helping him train towards his NFL dream.

“Son, I want you to pull that other person outside of you. No matter how hard you work, there is somebody inside of you that works even harder. No matter how committed you are, there is somebody on the inside of that is more committed. You think commitment is “Yes, I’ll do it”. But commitment is staying true to what you said you would do long after the mood you have said it in has left meaning on the days when you don’t feel like it, you get up and do it anyway. That’s what builds character.”

That other person on the inside of me carried me…

I continue learning, the dream is still as vivid as before I took my first step towards it. On days like today, I’m reminded that I’m born from a family of warriors, that blood runs in my veins. I need to remember that in times of weakness 🙂

My heart is open to all lessons and wins…eternally gratefully to have these moments.

To my family and friends, thank you.

Living, Learning, Growing through #sailing

When I started this journey, it was solely for me so I saw no need to tell anyone except for Mom’s ofcourse who was surprisingly incredibly supportive considering she knew absolutely nothing about sailing.
I knew it was a foreign concept/sport to pursue especially to my immediate community and I didn’t want to deal with the question ‘Why sailing?’ because I wasn’t ready to answer that and to be honest I’m still not ready to answer the ‘why’ because it’s too deep to explain, I relate to Cousteau’s words perhaps I’m under a spell 😂😂😂.

“The sea, once it casts its spell , it holds one in its net of wonder forever.” — Jacques Yves Cousteau.

While I’m yet to answer the why question, I have shared pieces of my journey to a few. The reaction has been that of shock and eye-opening at the same time.

Shock, merely because it’s unheard of and the fear of the unknown sort of blinds people to see beyond their immediate environment. Eye-opening because it’s been a confirmation for many that we all have the ability to overcome our fears and live our dreams so people start re-looking at their lives and tell me stories of situations where they were crippled by fear hence the endless list of dreams deferred. So in way, it’s like, if Lungi can be this determined and daring so can I.

These reactions are exactly the same from my 12 year old niece to the elderly that I have conversed with.

Fast forward to a conversation I had this afternoon with a former business associate who said, it’s not fair to keep my journey a secret because it is a lesson and a revelation to many :

  • It’s okay to pursue your dreams, they don’t have to make sense to anyone but you.
  • Nothing is impossible
  • Make fear your motivation, don’t let it cripple you. Rather die trying than live with regret.

I suppose I was so focused on Lungi that I overlooked the possibility of inspiring others in their respective journeys by sharing. Funny because, besides my immediate community I served a global basketball fraternity in development where I actually have a big following and by sharing my new journey I indirectly unlock a stream of self-reflection thoughts which could essentially lead others to pursue their own dreams.

My basketball protege once said to me ‘Lungi your talent lies in your ability to bless others, sometimes it’s the few words you share that resonate with the people you interact with and other times it is through your actions that people question why they aren’t doing more either for themselves or their communities’. I am only beginning to understand what he meant, 5 years later.

Sailing is more than just a sport to me, it literally introduced me to a side of myself that I never knew existed. It feels like I’m getting to know myself and the world around me for the first time, with a new set of eyes. The lessons don’t end at sea. I keep learning every single day, I am thoroughly enjoying the journey as crazy & unheard of as it may be, it’s brought me that deep, quite kind of peace and longing.
Sure there have been moments of doubt, rejection but this time they don’t affect me as they used to, if anything they’ve made me more determined and have become my motivation to do better and perfect my art.

Kenneth – Narinan ES once said ‘In search of individuality I found the universe’ in his short film. I was almost in tears at the Sail In Festival Bilbao because those words hit home, that is exactly how I feel about sailing.