Building Capital by Muitheri Wahome

When Muitheri told me that she was writing a book, about two years ago, I was excited and intrigued. When she told me that it was about the history of asset management in South Africa, I thought two things – one, there is no better person that I can think of to write this book and two, I cannot wait to read it. I love the work I do – which also happens to be in the asset management industry in South Africa. I also love a good story, especially when it is historical. 

You can imagine my delight when I received an early copy of the book – all of those passions to be unpacked in 250 pages. I found a free weekend, and tucked in. My copy started with some acknowledgements – in keeping with Muitheri’s generous style of giving space and voice to the characters that leap off the pages. She observes that there is little documented history when it comes to South African Asset Management. That is a great pity, since our country has experienced a wealth of experience, a diversity of views and a plethora of highly skilled players in this space – most of whom are eminently qualified to string a few sentences together.  The author gives time for tellings that are “in their own words”. As I was reading, I wouldn’t have been surprised had some of the doyens walked from the offices and boardrooms into my room – it felt like they were that close. Muitheri’s style is engaging and inclusive and paints an accurate and vivid picture, and anyone with even a mild interest in the subject will find themselves drawn into this rich and thorough account.  (Who knows, perhaps even my long-suffering husband, who often despairs of my endless “industry chats” when he is at the table?)

Muitheri goes further however. Not only has this book been based on extensive interviews, but she has trawled through many data sources – from surveys to newspapers, financial publications, and even actuarial society journals – there are (a few) members among that profession who will attest to never having read a single one in full. All the research is placed in its proper historical context, and used to enhance the colourful characters. The story flows from the origins of the JSE, through the establishment of an insurance industry, and incorporates all the major thought leaders and developments – often pioneering ideas – that built the asset management industry. 

I’ve now got a beautiful hardcover version that will take pride of place on my shelf. I’m grateful to Muitheri for her labour of passion. This was a story that needed to be told, and Muitheri took the time and invested the energy to do so well. John Morley, the 1st Viscount Morley of Blackburn said It is not enough to do good; one must do it the right way”.Muitheri has led the way in doing just that, and I share her hope that there will be many more accounts written on this topic, from differing perspectives. 

Weekly Ten

The BIG news this week. Yes – they’re back together – with an ALBUM. On 5th November. It’s ABBA! Woohoo.

And sorry, I promise I wont do ten ABBA posts this week (although, sadly, I probably could). Here is the first single. I Still Have Faith in You. It’s lovely. And there was a nearly two hour streaming event for those die-hard fans, ( where they tell you all about the upcoming concert – which is them, and not them – i.e. eternally youthful avatar versions. So clever.

Ok, moving on. Here’s the Emirates woman on top of the world, from a few weeks back – I missed this somehow. Scary stuff.

This is funny. And it’s all in the timing – as these things usually are…

I had to watch this cat clip at least 5 times. Love it.

This is fabulous – maths and poetry… thanks Lisa.

Been thinking about this all week – “Good without God” – how church is better without the “magic”. How though, when we humans always mess up? Don’t we need a little grace, a little mercy, and from someone other than ourselves?

There’s a new Crosswalk – Cinderella – from James Corden. Always funny, these, except one day someone is really going to run someone over.

I love most things Helena Bonham Carter. Here’s a recent Vogue article (mostly pics). Enjoy.

We have to play out with my favourite ABBA song – As good as new. This version has old footage – most of which I hadn’t seen. It’s got everything – even the key change! Have an awesome weekend and an amazing week, people. Try not to sing Voulez Vous all week. Not sorry!

Weekly Ten

Morning peeps. It’s cold everywhere in SA today- even in Durbs. So I hope you have a cuppa something warm and are ready to have our weekly catch-up.

I’ve discovered Janey Godley. Love her accent. Love “we don’t even want to read your shite on Facebook”. There’s more (swearing) where that came from – be warned.

And, continuing the ranty, sweary vibe…

How cute is this pic from Twitter? After knowing each other 16y, together 11, engaged 4, they got married. Click the pic for another cute wedding story.

Oh, the irony… Kamala wears grey suits, the whole time, so as NOT to draw attention to her clothing, and here is the NYT, writing an article about that….sigh

This thread is great, especially the comment “deliver us from Noakes and lead us to slap chips”.

Again, the comments… particularly the “made by Apple?” Hilarious.

More SAns getting vaccinated, in style.

And our music clip, more Hamilton.

Ozzy Man Reviews has a cat video this week – who woulda thunk it? Cute.

Nando’s does it again.

That’s the ten. Hope you enjoyed it. Stay warm and have an awesome weekend.

Weekly Ten

Good morning everybody. As I type this, it’s morning, but I may not finish in time – I have to dash to Benoni, because I GOT A SLOT. If you, like me, are trying to renew your driver’s license you know what I mean. If you’re not, count yourself lucky. Anyhoo, it’s the weekend. And there’s time to catch up on all our favourite stuff.

Speaking of which, I loved the latest Ben Trovato post:

“Anyway. We all make mistakes. Nothing on the scale of Mkhize or Godongwana, obviously. But still. We are nothing if not a forgiving nation. The only thing our government has an unlimited supply of is second chances.”

I know the Olympics is over, but…

And this wow!

I hummed and ha’ed about this one. Some of the “times people flawlessly executed their ideas” are downright yucky. And weirdly fascinating. But in the end, the mask in the picture, tipped the balance. I would hate to see it in real life, but it’s quite funny in a picture.

This next article may just clear your palate. It’s quoted by James Clear – a convocation speech George Saunders (author of Lincoln in the Bardo) gave, entitled “Failures of Kindness”. I loved it. Click the pic for the article and the video link.

This was fabulous. Our very own galloping granny, Mavis Hutchison. There’s a story and a podcast. She’s inspirational. Enjoy.

This was fun – school and college pics of celebs. See if you can figure them out before you read their names. I recognized the girl on the left straightaway, and I’m really bad at this game.

Loved seeing so many of our 18-35s get so excited about getting vaccinated yesterday. Like this…

This tweet aligned with my sentiments, and I love how the doctor explains it all. Read the whole thread.

Which made me sing “My shot” the whole day yesterday. So we shall play out with “Aaron Burr, sir” and followed by “My shot” at about 2:40. From Hamilton, which reopened in the West End on Thursday. Love it.

That’s it, guys. See you all next week.

Weekly Ten

Good afternoon! Seems my lockdowned Saturday mornings have too much lying in and reading in them and it takes me a while to get to post all my favourite social media stuff. Anyhoo, here it is, starting with the best tweet I’ve seen for ages.

And then we move to James Corden. It’s been a while since I’ve found anything worth posting from the comedians, but I quite enjoyed the evolution of Steve’s jingle.

I’ve discovered Crazy Werrie – “Welcome to da boosh”. Enjoy.

And then for more South Effriken-ness, there’s the Russian Video. Don’t worry, I missed it too, but GoodThingsGuy catches us up.

Cameron Walker writes about motivation in the NY Times. Trouble is I run out of free articles on around the second of the month. So I’ve developed a skill at finding them in alternative places. Here is “How to get things done when you don’t want to do anything”. From the NYT, but also, not.

“Rummaging in his kitchen drawer, Freeman found the perfect tool: a sharp pick of the sort used to shear ice from large blocks. He knew his close colleague, surgeon James Watts, wouldn’t sanction his new approach, so he closed the office door and did his “ice-pick lobotomies” — more formally, transorbital lobotomies — without Watts’ knowledge.”

This book looks terrifying!

Where would we be without some household hacks? I confess I’ve seen most of them, but there are a few – like the peanut butter one – that I hadn’t.

Bucket list stuff – how awesome is this photo, by Deon Wessels? I found it on a Kruger FB group. And hiding behind that is a gorgeous tulip pic, if you haven’t seen enough of them yet. I never do.

We re-watched Bohemian Rhapsody this week on Netflix – what a classic. So is this post. Such legends they all are and were.

Can’t believe it’s been 7 years since we lost Robin Williams.

We are playing out with a classic. One of my favourite songs, and I just love this version.

Well, that’s all for this week, guys. Hope you found something you hadn’t seen yet. Enjoy the rest of the weekend and have an awesome week.

Weekly 10

I’ve been thinking about this a lot. Imagine your barrista in a coffee van, same time every morning – gosh I’d probably follow the truck the whole day! Maybe that’s why they don’t.

Hope you’ve got your cuppa as we catch up on my best posts of the week.

Yes, of course we are still milking the Tatjana moment. Besides, even though I saw this, I didn’t get a chance to watch this, which is one of the points of this post. There is so much joy in this clip.

We are a nation of buskers and beguilers adrift on a boat made of bullshit. Ben Trovato’s latest.

Such a clever series of images…I stole the moon.

Loved these – five minutes of symphonies per famous person. Beautiful.

You need to read the story here. Not just see the picture. Click.

That’s what I love about maths, there’s only one right answer. Except when it isn’t there. This freaked me out so much. Click the pic for the reactions.

My story of the week – the 94 year old lady who finally got to wear a wedding dress.

Such a good commentary on balancing risks, and thinking through vaccination. Have a read.

Scared to shop online? Here are some epic fails that may help you choose wisely. Or you may never shop online again.

My favourite Olympic moment of the week… we watched athletics and the men’s high jump was riveting. It ended with both Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi taking gold medals. Here’s how it happened.

And then, Italian Marcel Jacobs won the 100m (spot the South African – Simbine who finished fourth). What a moment!

That’s all for this week. Have an awesome weekend.

Weekly Ten

Good morning everyone. What a day to wake up to. I hope you’re all healthy and happy, have a cuppa handy and are settled in to catch up on the best of social media feeds today.

It’s Tatjana Schoenmaker day. Maybe the whole weekend. One of the few reasons this post is later than usual today is that it took me this long to find a video of her amazing, world record breaking performance. There are many that say they are, but they’re not. And then it was so well hidden on the DSTV site. Why? Never mind, here it is. Watch it, yes, again. I’m on time 7 or so, and I’m sure it’s not the last time. The end is the best. As Ryk Neethling said – it’s the moment of the Olympics, the first world record to be smashed this year. By our very own Tatjana. Yay! Click the pic for the link to the video.

Penny Heyns called it – article from April this year…

And Simone Biles showed us true Olympian courage – putting her physical and mental health first. Behind the picture is a facebook article showing what happens when young gymnasts aren’t able to stand up for themselves.

This is one I would have shared a while ago, had I been doing this regularly – the parenting memo, by Glennon Doyle.

My good friend Natalie got COVID, and she blogged about it – it’s great writing and an interesting read. Enjoy.

They found it!

Loved this – a young doctor’s sad reflections…

There are two South African authors and their books in the Bookers.

We love Taylor Tomlinson. Here are her life lessons.

Let’s play out with a golden oldie – my favourite rendition of the Journey classic – Don’t stop believin’. Have an awesome weekend and a wonderful week.

Weekly Ten

Hello everyone. Well my timelines are still chock full of stuff to share (the quote above was on Phumzile van Damme’s Twitter feed, not sure the original source), so here we are again for some more. Grab a cup of your favourite brew, and let’s see what made it into my top ten his week.

We’ll start with Ben Trovato, shall we? Here he unpacks the violence in “Well, that was a weird atttempted coup.”

Rebecca Davis wrote this for Mandela Day. I really enjoyed it.

Anyone seen the sofa?

I’m still not sure about this “brutally open letter” to squirrel…what do you think?

A member of the South African Police Services (SAPS) searches for looters inside the Gold Spot Shopping Centre in Vosloorus, southeast of Johannesburg, on July 12, 2021. Photographer: Guillem Sartorio/AFP/Getty Images

I know there’s a lot this week on the aftermath of the looting, but this was good, Mark Gevisser – “A dream deferred”.

Let’s move abroad, shall we? This is the offensive post this week – skip it if you don’t like profanity. I didn’t watch or read much about the new space race between the wealthy members of the patriarchy, because – well actually I’m not going to explain it. This was funny, though.

Here’s some good written words about it. The headline is the FT – which is behind a paywall, but the link will take you to an article by Luke Savage.

Some good news – we Gautengers may not be able to visit Umhlanga, but soon (after our second jabs) we can go to France – oui? Oui.

And the music – found this version of Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran, which is not at all bad.

This is sad – Dr. Brytney Cobia telling patients it’s too late for the vaccine.

Twitter feed – “Only in Britain would a road look like this”. South Africans.. “Hold my beer”. Read the comments, they’re hilarious.

We are on about 12/10, and you’re still here. Waiting for the cute pets post ? Here it is.

Ok, I’m done – last one is how cold it was in Gauteng this week. And SA, actually. The link is to the Twitter post where the weather service warned us IN CAPS. With exclamation points. Loved Robyn Porteous’s take on it.

That’s really all for today. Have a great weekend everybody, and keep the content coming.

Ten of the Best

Yes, it’s me. We’ve had such a bad few weeks in SA. And somewhat counter-intuitvely (or maybe not so much, maybe because of it) there have been so many many lovely posts from all of my beautiful friends – to cheer me up, no doubt, but also just because we human beans are good at spreading hope when sadness, anger, pain and anxiety abound.

So it behooves me to revert to what I did many years ago, in the spirit of Mufasa and Ubuntu, to share the social media love. Below are ten links that I came across – some to read, some to watch, some to listen. All I found uplifting, interesting, funny or even relevant in some way. They connected me to friends, to the good side of humanity out there and made this journey better.

Click, or scroll past, and then come back to check out the rest. [Editing note – I really hope the links work, it’s been such a long time, and everything has changed, and technology has always been challenging…I’ll double check once I’ve posted.]

Steve Hall felt similarly to me – so he wrote a poem. He has many “What’s going on, Dad” versions – he’s done this before. They’re all good, this one is just so relevant.

The second is from MTN’s CEO, Godfrey Motswa. I have no more words, he says. And that is the only lie in the article. He does. And they’re beautiful.

Looting started in Cape Town, was the headline – and my heart sank. But it shouldn’t have, because it didn’t really, of course…

This story made me smile – it was on WhatsApp, so I’ve just copied it here.

South Africa might be under assault from protesters, looters, and criminals right now, and the army might be deployed – but all is not lost, it seems… People are standing together as never before.

A friend of ours just had the following experience at a small supermarket in Schoemansville, Hartbeespoort. She is a generally apprehensive person and prefers to limit risk and to stay away from danger as far as possible.

She had to buy some items and went to the Supermarket. As she approached the Supermarket, she saw a Taxi behind her. She thought nothing of it. As she stopped in the parking area, however, she just saw a whole line of taxis pull up opposite the road. With no easy escape, she decided to stay in her vehicle, to lock the doors, and to “sit it out” with her heart beating with anticipation. She had no idea what the sudden presence of all the taxis meant.

A man came to her window and knocked on the glass. “Mam. You can go to the shop. WE are all here to protect you. Come. I will go with you. Please don’t be afraid. My name is Tsepo, and I am from the Taxi Association. Come.” She was led into the store and back out with the Taxi Drivers around, escorted by Tsepo from the Taxi Association, to the shop and back to her car, where he saw her on her way, safely.

Thank you to our Taxi Association and its members for proving to us that racism is not a real problem any longer, it is only a political tool. Thank you to Tsepo and our Taxi Drivers for keeping our friend safe, for reassuring her, and for ensuring that she, and others, can shop and move freely, without fear.

This is the South Africa I want to live in. The one I am proud of. The one that is within reach, if only we can stand together!

FROM A whatsapp group

We’ve seen some innovation – click the picture of the taxis – our new defense force – for the next video.

You guys must know Ozzy Man? If you do, there is probably no need for a language warning. but if you don’t, then you should probably give this a skip – it’s worse than usual, and that is saying a lot.

The picture of the moment…and if you click on it, Robyn Vorster shares her thoughts, which are always poignant, and she lists a few ways you can help.

We love music – this was also from a WhatsApp group, and the words are beautiful. Matthew West – Take Heart

The other thing we love is dogs and cats – dogs were the original love, but cats have taken over, I’m afraid to say. So here’s the cutest cat video you’ve ever seen.

And on twitter, of course, there are loads of 35-39 vaccineerers. I love you all, and I’m so excited for you. For the hesitant, this is what’s in the vaccine. (No link here, just a pic).

Thanks all of you for reading. And thanks to all my friends who brought me so much laughter and joy and love and hope.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Exit by Belinda Bauer

How lucky was I to get an advance copy of this book? Since there are no more Belinda Bauer books out there that I haven’t read, because I devoured each and every one, from Blacklands, through Rubbernecker, The Shut Eye, The Facts of Life and Death, The Beautiful Dead – and those are just the ones I remember offhand. Oh and the unforgettable Snap! about the three children in the car – how could I forget?

So it is fair to say that Belinda Bauer is one of my favourite authors. There is always mystery, suspense, and the best of all – surprise. After all those titles, you’d be forgiven for thinking that I cannot be surprised and intrigued anymore. You’d be wrong about that.

Exit is a book that should not be mentioned in too much detail before reading. The less you know, the better. So if you’ve read my reviews before, and you trust me, just go and get it and lose yourself for a day or two.

Oh, you’re still here. Well then, what you need to know is that Felix needs to keep a dying man company and he arrives at his house to do just that, and next thing he is on the run, hoping not to be accused of a heinous crime.

It’s full of humour, suspense, quirky characters, and it is written in such an engaging, original style. If this is your first Belinda Bauer, I’m a little jealous – you are in for such a treat! Oh I should mention – some of her novels are a little dark. For me that just makes them better, and this one is less shadowy than some of her others, but do be warned.

5 stars to a lovable cast, a pacy plot and a package that always impresses.

ISBN: 1787630951