Living and Teaching Unity – Arthie and Brian Moore

Da Moores 2012 Arthie, Brian and Family‘Living and Teaching Unity’

An excerpt from: Golden Room.

Many cross cultural couples will readily include in their list of the benefits of being in a cross cultural relationship, the delight in being able to have two weddings that reflect their dual cultural heritage.But for Arthie and Brian Moore of South Africa, two weddings wasn’t quite enough to reflect, represent and celebrate this couple’s inspiring journey. They have in fact married each other seven times, and the second wedding was a surprise wedding!

Their story begins with a dream. The amazing and almost unbelievably accurate dream of a young girl in year seven at school, about the kind of man she wanted to marry. And the dream of a nation that it would one day be free from apartheid.Arthie grew up as a fourth generation Asian South African in a Hindu family classed as ‘Indian’..

Unusually her family came from divergent socio- economic backgrounds, with entrepreneurs on one side and fishermen and carpenters on the other side, her roots stemmed from indentured labourers from the Indian subcontinent.

From an early age Arthie’s family understood she was somewhat rebellious and determined, a person who knew exactly what she wanted and how to get it. For a school project Arthie wrote out her dreams where she described exactly who she would marry and what they would do with their lives together; her future husband would also be tall with blue eyes and blonde hair.

Perhaps her family only gave cursory attention to this detail. After all in the South Africa of this time White people and Asian, ‘Coloured’ and Black people had very little interaction. There were separate neighbourhoods, separate schools, separate churches, and separate sports leagues. In effect, just as the policy intended, -apartheid meaning separateness- the people of South Africa were separated in every conceivable way.

The ‘races’ of South Africa certainly did not intermarry. (more) via www.goldenroom.co.uk.

How to team build in a racially-culturally-and-personality-conflicted team – HR Pulse

Published on 15 Jan 2013 in HR PulseFor more articles relevant to the HR Community

Brian V Moore

In 2002, we were called in to Eskom by Bruce Moody, a high-level HR officer at Eskom. He said: “We have some heavy cultural clashes in a technical service centre in the Northern Province [now Limpopo].

Do you think that you can you do something to change the situation?”

“I am sure we can.” I responded. “What are the challenges?”

Bruce pondered for a while and said: “There are some heavy racial attitudes from all sides. In fact, I don’t really know why I am asking you! What are you, a white man and your Indian wife, going to do to make a difference? This is a bunch of tough hardliners. They have a long history of conflict and nothing that we have done has worked.

“Let’s get this clear: These are heavy workplace disputes!” said Bruce. “There is continuous backstabbing and gossiping. They complain that everything is wrong and nobody is to blame! They are totally unmotivated and their productivity is very low, which is resulting in poor customer service.”

Arthie, my wife and business partner, asked: “What do you think is causing this?”

Bruce gave Arthie a knowing look: “Well obviously there is very low morale among them because of the constant bickering. There is racism, prejudice, laziness, no ownership, no accountability and poor communication – and I mean REALLY poor!” He took a deep breath, shook his head, and continued: “This is a hugely conservative area where old attitudes die very hard. It could be the worst case that you could ever take on.”

I felt confident we could take on the challenge

We were almost overpowered by his statements, but I had no doubts. If I could work in areas, as a peacemaker, where bullets were flying, we could duck a few words.

“We can do this. When do you want us to start?” We were given two weeks to prepare.

We hit the ground running

We had to find ways to build relationships swiftly with groups of people who we had never before encountered in an area of the country where we had NO experience. We spent the time studying the history of the area, and the cultures and languages of the people in the team.

Arthie and I then put together the Celebrating Humanity Team Conflict Resolution programme for diverse teams. This fun, exciting, inclusive and enjoyable programme included celebrating diversity, diversity management, team building and a sustainable long-term team-managed code of conduct.

And so we set off to the town where the centre was located

As we drew closer to the centre, we passed a huge flock of vultures feeding on the carcass of a wild animal. I silently prayed that it was not an ominous sign!

When we arrived, Jan – the depot supervisor – greeted us. He then took us aside and pleaded: “You must just motivate them. They need it.” I looked at his stressed face and saw a man in pain. He was ready to explode. Another senior member of the team said: “If you guys mention racism, just once, we WILL walk out.”

We had to change the mood from the outset. We spent that night in the training room transforming the venue into one of celebration: Balloons, happy colours, hand-drawn posters and a very unique seating arrangement…

The next morning we found separated groups sitting together. They were grouped by colour, language and level. All in their own comfort zones. All spiritually, emotionally and physically apart. Some were obviously angry and others totally disinterested.

Then we began to help them to celebrate their humanity

Three days and 21 working hours later, the same people were sitting side by side at a family barbecue. Children played with children. Wives chatted to each other while the men cooked meat, spoke about cars, sport and laughed as they shared jokes.

They had experienced each other in a fun environment, shared wisdom, seen value in each other, worked as teams, cleared all of their past interpersonal baggage, committed to a code of positive behaviours and removing their negative actions from their lives.

15 months after the first intervention, Jan sent this feedback

“I had a group of 30 people from diverse cultures. They could not get on with each other:

There was continuous friction between the different race groups, and between people from the same race and cultural group. The people were negative and not satisfied with anything.

Complaints were the order of the day. This also placed our depot in a bad light with management.

We decided on Brian and Arthie’s training. The people were very negative about the programme initially.

As the course progressed, peoples’ attitudes changed from negative to positive.

Communication, respect and ownership improved from all sides by 100%. The respect between different race groups has been restored.

Some of the people who were negative have changed so much that they have been promoted to higher positions with greater responsibility.

The foundation of the entire course was so successful that the group is now going ahead with a leadership course.”

Now that was the change that we had been looking for!

via How to team build in a racially-culturally-and-personality-conflicted team – HR Pulse.

Racist name calling in South Africa.

Name calling never helps.
In South Africa it is deemed hate speech to use the “k” word, particularly if the person saying it is not black. However, as previously stated I have heard on very rare occasions black people using it on each other. The word (kaffir), whatever its origins, is simply hurtful and hateful and not acceptable.
However many black people find it acceptable to call a white person Umlungu (Zulu), Ngamla (Sotho); and Afrikaaner is called “iBhunu” (Boer or farmer); a Muslim would be called a “iSulumani”; and person of Indian descent a “iKhula”. The latter comes from the term Coolie. Any of these names group people in a manner which makes it easier to “define”, or “hate” them. This is simply prejudice at work.
Our politicians – some of whom fought the “struggle” for peace against the Apartheid regime sing old struggle songs – such as “Kill the farmer.” This targets the white group in South Africa, in particular people of Afrikaans descent.
The challenge here is that everything else except the use of the “K” word are not seen as hate speech – by the perpetrators. They believe that they have the right to say and sing divisive and hateful things. Until we can build a nation where we can clearly state One South Africa, One Nation and “At the level of respect, all people are equal” we will still live in a land of “them and us.”
To add a few other dimensions even within, so-called similar races, there exist names for each other. English speaking South Africans are some-times called “Rooineks and Soutpiele” the first meaning rednecks – from the sunburnt appearance of the British soldiers fighting in the Anglo-Boer war. The second is a bit rough and I will not translate it here. Some English speakers call Afrikaners “Dutchmen.” None of which are acceptable.
Amongst Indian-speaking South Africans the word “Coolie” and it’s African language equivalents are not acceptable. Many of this group will call themselves “Charous” – very few however allow others to do so. There are further divisions amongst those who originate from North and South India, with the Hindi-speaking northerners being known as Roti-ous and the Tamil speaking as Porridge-ous. This is derived from the flat bread cooking of the Hindi speakers and the porridge used in prayer ceremonies by the Tamil speaking people. This has become a more fun way to describe each other.
The descriptions of other groups by South Africans of Indian descent – such as vet-ous (White people), Slam-ous (Muslim people) and Bruin-ous are some of the many colourful ways to single out members of other race and religious groups. (The word “ous” is Afrikaans slang for people.)
And then in Africa, tribalism enters into the equation. This is becoming more and more prevalent. We are occasionally called in to resolve team conflict where there are no white people. One of the main challenges listed is racism. Because the cultural beliefs and traditions are so different one group may describe the other as, “animals.”
We do not need to separate by group, this prevents us from knowing people as humans. The time has long come that we should respect each other and venture into other diverse circles to find out what makes us tick. Are we so different? Or are we a bunch of human beings from wonderfully different diversities that have been tainted by our histories. Sadly we are being poisoned by the new wave of political utterings, too.
Let us not make the mistakes of the past. Let us build the future together – based in respect.
Brian V Moore 14 June 2012

How we learn and teach

Learning Styles – Learning and Teaching methods
Understanding how people learn differently and must be taught differently!
We all have our natural and preferred learning style. Individual learning styles are made up of a combination of learning through seeing, doing, telling and listening.
Our dominant learning style normally determines our communication styles and can show us how best to teach and to learn. For example auditory learners normally teach through stories and lectures.
This brief article discusses the basic learning styles, how different learners learn best and how to adapt our teaching methods for great results.
When we teach a group of learners with all of the differing learning styles, it is critical that we involve them through all of the different techniques.
Who should know and understand learning and communication styles?
Parents, teachers, lecturers, speakers, trainers, facilitators, presenters, leaders, managers and anyone who uses communication on a daily basis. Yes, all of us!

Remember. There is no such thing as a stupid learner, there is only an communicator or  educator who has not YET found the key to sharing information with that person.
A Look at Visual Learners
Visual learners typically remember and grasp concepts through visualisation. They normally have a good sense of direction because they picture and memorise landmarks, maps and directions. 
·         Many prefer to see and read information in writing. They often find lectures to be boring. They like to doodle, draw and look out of the window.
·         Visual learners normally use sight words. See, look, show, picture, vision, view, perspective and sight are commonly used. They might say “Let me show you, so that you can get the picture.” 
·         They remember details including colours, faces, landmarks and spatial arrangements. 
How Visual Learners Learn best
They learn best by seeing what they are being taught. Visual learners typically prefer images, maps, graphs, and other visual representations over other forms of instruction. They will find that if they include images, mind maps, lists, and other visual techniques in their notes then they will have a better chance of remembering key information. 
Adapting Teaching Methods for Visual Learners
Include photographs, models, diagrams, mind maps, word webs, visuals to help visual learners to swiftly retain knowledge and understanding. Visual students should colour highlight key items, create mind maps and use flashcards when learning. 
Stay away from lecturing without visuals. Too many words will switch them off.
A Word about Auditory Learners

Auditory learners are sound-based, thus they learn best by listening and talking aloud. They typically notice and remember words and sounds. They remember what they hear. They are normally good with language. They often read to themselves as they study. 
Audio learners normally use sound words. Listen, hear, say, tell, whisper, mission, story, speak and understand are commonly used.   They might say “Let me tell you how it works, so that you can hear and understand.” 
They remember the details of conversations, arguments and lessons. They are can be very distracted by outside noise and sounds. 
How Auditory Learners Learn best
Auditory learners learn best through hearing the lessons. They often need to read the written word aloud to remember key points. Simply repeating over and over in their heads – is a key learning method. Audio mind maps – mind maps with words are great tools for Auditory learners. 
They love to learn through stories and memorable quotations. Verbal repetition is an effective means of study for auditory learners. 
Adapting Teaching Methods for Auditory Learners
Teach verbally and supply written instructions for assignments. Ask them to highlight key learning points, by underlining – or with a marker. Involve them through group discussion. Use videos to complement the written text. Allow time to question, discuss, read out loud and talk through problems. 
Record lessons on audio/ video and give them copies to listen to or watch in their own time. Use stories, quotations, proverbs and audio mind maps as a method to convey lessons and messages.
Getting a Feel for Kinesthetic Learners
 
Kinesthetic learners typically learn best by experiencing and doing. They are naturally good at physical activities like sports and dance. They are good with their hands and enjoy nads-on  learning. 
They typically like how-to guides and action-adventure stories. They might pace while on the phone or take breaks from studying to get up and move around. Some kinesthetic learners are fidgety and have a hard time sitting still. 

Kinesthetic learners use touchy words such as feelings, felt, touched, sensed, safe and caring. They may ask, “What are your feelings about…?” Or, they may say, “I sense something strange in that person’s attitude.”
They are often sensitive and need to feel safe and protected. Stay away from stern reprimands, anger, violence and shouting as this disturbs them tremendously.
How Kinesthetic Learners Learn best:
Kinesthetic learners learn best through experience, such as making things, physically colouring in, manipulating items, simulations and role plays. It is critical to physically involve them in the learning process. 
They enjoy and learn well from experimenting and 1st hand experience. Movement and participation are critical to their learning. They learn best when activities are varied during the programme/ semester and during each class period. 
Adapting Teaching Methods for Kinesthetic Learners:
Vary instruction methods through lessons to retain their involvement. Build hands-on lessons into the curriculum. Use role-plays to build strong further understanding of key concepts. 
Give them opportunities to team up with small discussion and experimenting groups as they learn concepts and lessons. Plan field trip to reinforce multiple key concepts. Allow students to stretch partially and move to avoid them losing concentration. 
Never put them in embarrassing situations, or personally attack them.
South Africa.
Mobile: 079 643 4457
Arthie and Brian Moore
CelebratingHumanity International – Copyright
South Africa.
Email: info@africa-dreams.com
Website: www.africa-dreams.com
Mobile: +27 79 643 4457

How important is it to you to build relationships, with people who are different to you?

People are different.
Our biggest challenge to building our businesses, lives, opportunities and experiences is the human need for conformity.
And most of us want everyone else to conform to our norms, experience and upbringing.
So how important is it to you to build relationships, with people who are different to you? Are you prepared to learn more about yourself and others?

The programme

The afternoon sun hung low in the sky, as I stood talking to the two canoeists.  I could feel my hands shaking, uncontrollably, with fear.

“You look like you have had a huge shock. What’s up?” One of them asked.

“I have just come out of a full-blown political meeting, in that school.” I pointed up to the rural South African school, perched atop a nearby hill.

I could taste the bitter adrenalin from my intense fear. My mouth was still dry even after drinking copious amounts of water.

Down below us, the Umsundusi river wound, through the majestic Valley of a Thousand hills, on its way towards the Umgeni river. From the oft-mighty confluence, both rivers combine their powers and surge towards the Indian Ocean.

I felt strangely distant and removed from this magical scene.

In less than a month’s time, 800 canoeists would climb into their canoes and race between the Kwa-Zulu Natal provincial capital of Pietermaritzburg and the beautiful coastal city of Durban.

They would battle the mountains, the rivers and the rapids for 3 days over the 120km course. Barely 3 months later, South Africa would hold its first democratic election.

It was early 1994. We lived in scary times. People were free to move and yet were still separated by race and status. I was a societal oddity. There were comparatively few other white people who dared venture into rural South Africa on a social/ community liaison basis.

On one side of the river, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) exercised control, on the other the African National Congress (ANC). Some of the leaders and their people, were new to the concept of democracy and inter-party violence was the order of the day. Our media showed the violent scenes and pictures each day.

We had become accustomed to the terrible stories of these troubled times.

“Are you mad?”, asked the canoeist, as his partner nodded assent. “You certainly are braver than I am!” He laughed and shook his head in disbelief.

I was known as the “peacemaker” and had become what was then termed a “white Zulu”. Assimilated into their cultures and traditions and accepted amongst the Zulu people of Enkhambathini, I was beginning to believe that I was indeed at one with the amaZulu. Until now.

It had been over three hours, since I had left the meeting and a gnawing residual fear and emptiness reverberated in my chest. “What was it? I was safe now.” I began to re-live the events.

It was my responsibility to ensure the safety of the canoeists, through communication and initiating sponsorship of schools and clinics, in the poor riverside communities. Natal canoeing was the only sports body with a dedicated development fund for rural communities, and had been since 1982. I had been in the hot seat since 1990.

Wherever there was a clash between canoeists and the locals – I would meet the leaders and their communities, to find ways forward. I had even become a member of the Ngcolosi clan – near Inanda dam. I wore the traditional gear at weddings, funerals and ceremonies and truly felt that I was a “Zulu”.

My travels had taken me to many communities. I had met multitudes of rural people, in schools, halls and churches and had slowly become accepted.

My body language, my inflection, my perception of communities and communication was becoming more and more African each day.

A number of white canoeists had recently called to complain of youngsters throwing stones at them. I went to meet the perennially friendly and helpful Inkosi (Chief) Mlaba of KwaXimba and mentioned the problem. “No problem, Bhungane (my Zulu name),” he said, “come to our meeting on Sunday at 10am. All the people will be there.”

I felt comfortable with his invitation to talk to the local community. This was what I did so well.

So on that hot, humid January weekend I drove into the beautiful Valley of a Thousand Hills. I arrived at the school a little late – to compensate for rural time. I knew that people normally only leave their homes when they see the first cars arrive! And lo and behold, at 10.30 am I was still early!

A few formal looking people in suits, wandered around the deserted school. “Sanibonani,” I greeted. “Yebo! Sawubona.” they responded. “I have come to meet the Inkosi.” “Oh,” they said knowingly. “He will be here just now.”

I was ushered to a seat in a far corner of the schoolyard. The yard was closed in on three sides by lines of classrooms. It was a long way back to the only entrance. As the crowd slowly began to grow, I greeted people and was greeted in return.

An unusual spirit began to build.

This was no ordinary community meeting. Normally all of the older people would shuffle in first. Assisted, or with walking sticks. They would be joined by the Abazali (parents). The youngsters were seldom present. And yet the younger people were streaming in today. Dancing and hopping in the dance of unity and solidarity, they toyi-toyied into the area. (Toyi toyi is a form of political dancing – it often raises fear in those who do not understand it.)

A leader came past and said, “Inkosi Mlaba won’t be long now.” I respectfully responded “Ngiyabonga Baba.” (Thank you father.) And waited for long hours in the hot sun, whilst I thought of my speech.

Suddenly, and unexpectedly, buses began to arrive at the entrance. I could see ANC flags waving. Passengers chanted slogans. The buses rocked with humanity. People were hanging out of the windows and some even sat on top of the buses. “Oh no,” I thought in sudden terror, “I am in the middle of a major political meeting!”

People began to surge into the school. Their faces were shining with excitement. Jostling and sweating they toyi-toy’d their way in.

“Viva Mandela!” called out a leader. “Viva!”, responded thousands of voices.

People came skidding out of the crowd in dance. They began to giya (a war-like dance movement.) They ululated and delighted in their moment. “Viva Samora Machel!” called the leader. “Viva!” roared the people.
“Viva Joe Slovo!” Bellowed the leader. “Viva!”
“Viva ANC!” … “Viva!”
“Viva SACP!” … “Viva!” came the powerful responses, one after the other.

And I was trapped. Between me and the exit were thousands of over-excited and politically-roused Zulus. Freedom and political power was a hop, a skip and a jump away for them. And we all knew it.

This was a new energy.It was exciting and yet it was scary! Gasps of terror rapidly kneaded my heart.

My oneness with the Zulu people seemed to have deserted me. I began to feel very lonely and very white. My mouth was very dry and my heart palpitated at high revs. Colonel Custer, at Little Big Horn, must have felt like I did. “But,” I thought, “at least he didn’t die alone.” I stood out like a lighthouse on a dark night.

And yet someone would come by, every so often, to let me know that the Inkosi would be here soon. And I respectfully greeted all who looked my way. I knew that a few weeks earlier and just a few hundred metres away, bullets had been fired in anger across the river. I knew that many of the people here had been divorced from mainstream society for decades, if not centuries. I knew that they all had many reasons to be angry with people who looked just like me.

I was in turmoil. My mind was screaming, “Go! Go!” But my intellectual resolve was telling me to complete what I had started. Deep fears came rushing up. They burst through my humanness, into my new-found Zulu-ness.

Fear attacked my reptilian brain. It was fight or flight. All reason deserted me, leaving me unmoving, in pure survival mode. And strangely the people around showed me the greatest respect.

A full 3½ terrifying hours after my arrival, the Inkosi appeared. I found out later that he was also the chairman of the Midlands ANC. A very high local political position.

The crowd erupted into an ear-splitting frenzy. All that had passed, paled into insignificance as the crowd surged, danced, viva’d and ululated.

He came to the front. After a lot of excited, passionate chanting, they sang “Inkosi sikelele Afrika.” God bless Africa. Their right fists clenched and held up in solidarity. I can still feel the thrill of their voices, raised in unison. It surged through my physical being. It was unforgettable. An experience to be relished and enjoyed. I stood and sang along, and for a moment I felt safe.

The Inkosi called the meeting to order and said, “There is someone here who is different to us.” The crowd made a sound that would have curdled a Jedi Knight’s blood… “Wooooh!” As silence eased its way back into three thousand throats, he said, “It is Mthimkhulu (my other local name) and he has a few things to say.”

A few people began to call out the praise names of the Mthimkhulu clan. “Mthimkhulu! Bhungane! Makhulukhulu…!”

He waved me forward to speak, and on boneless legs, I ghosted forward. A cold sweat raced across my skin. My face was pale and my rubbery cheeks did not recognise the touch of my fingers. I was a dead man walking.

People reached out in excitement and touched me as I passed. “Bhungane,” they joyfully called. I nodded, greeted and went to stand beside the Inkosi.

I can’t remember much of what I said that day. I know that I spoke Zulu and I know that I sang out the praises of the Inkosi. I asked the people to allow safe and free passage to the canoeists. My carefully planned speech was cut short by fear and I closed with, “The Inkosi knows all about it. He will tell you more. Thank you Ndabezita. Thank you everybody”.

Some delighted ladies ran out and danced a few steps around me. They giya’d! Jabbing at me with their walking sticks and umbrellas and laughed their way back into the crowd. Someone called out “Viva, Bhungane!” And the delighted crowd responded, “Viva”. That was my very own viva! “Long live me?” I doubted it and received the praise from a very scared place, and weakly acknowledged the crowd.

I headed for the hills. For freedom. It was less than 100 metres to my car. Yet it was a very, very long walk that day. As I passed though the crowd, I could feel all manner of imaginary daggers and spears piercing my flesh. Some people smiled, some queried my name and some just stared. All were respectful. I was safe but I was almost petrified with fear.

Much later as I drove away from the canoeists, I asked myself, “Why, when all the signs showed that I was safe, did I have all the physical and mental signs of an impending violent attack? What was it that made me scared when I was so well protected and looked after?

Why? I am a respected member of this community. I am a “white Zulu”. I contribute to this community. I have attended a multitude of meetings. Why was I so scared today”

As I allowed the questions to filter into me, slowly the answers came.

For the greater part of my life, I had read newspapers, watched TV and listened to the radio. Much of what was represented was the “bad” side of various political groups. I had seen black people rampaging through streets and stadiums.

Much earlier, as a seventeen year old, I had been a conscript in the South African Citizen Force. We were told that we were there to protect our families against terrorism, communism, the “blacks” and the ANC. We were the saviours and “they” were the danger.

Suddenly, it came to me. “I had been programmed at a deep level.”

The programme was so powerful that it overrode all of the circumstances. I had been treated with care and respect. I was recognised and announced by the leader of the area and a huge political party. That leader was and is a peace-maker. The people had sung my praises. They had called out “Viva Bhungane!”

I was totally safe!

But the programme spoke differently. It took over my body and clouded my thoughts and actions. It made me shake with fear. It opened up the flood-gates in my adrenaline gland and my unreasonable and illogical fear destroyed my opportunity to speak and enjoy the moment.

The greatest mind authorities bear witness to the fact that the brain merely needs to imagine something for it to appear real. The very graphic displays of violence on TV and the printed media were mentally real experiences.

It was real to me at the deepest level of my being. “When black people toyi-toyi, chant slogans or gather in masses, they are dangerous.” So no matter how well I was treated, my tainted spirit said, “You are going to die. Right here. Right now!” All of the logical signs were swept way by the “program.”

I began to re-evaluate all of my values and actions against this program. And I was shocked. I wasn’t a white Zulu – I was a big white boy from the city, who upon occasion wore skins and spoke Zulu. Many of my past decisions had been made on the basis of colour, race, religion.

On that day in 1994, I had taken my first steps towards true freedom.

Freedom from politics, religious dogma, racism and xenophobia. On the path to experiencing all people as human beings and respecting them for their uniqueness. It is a long road and a welcome one.

We are all programmed in some way. Anyone who was born in South Africa before 1994, is a victim of Apartheid. Until they recognise their particular programmes they will continue to be so.

Anyone born anywhere in the world where there is pro-us and anti-them propaganda is equally a victim. Until they recognise it.

They should be as lucky,Brian in Mission Rapid - Day 1 Dusi 1992 as I was, to experience one of my programs, at first hand. And to step forward on the road to freedom and humanness.

Brian Moore © 10/12/2002 Durban, South Africa. trainers@africa-dreams.com
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I am a lucky man!

I am a very lucky man!

After a very long time as a very self-sufficient bachelor, a beautiful lady came into my life and in a moment I was married to her. I was notoriously slow and fearful in matters of love. Arthie, bless her active spirit, arranged a birthday party for me on my 45th birthday, bought a ring and on bended knee proposed to me! She then waited for me to set the date for the wedding.

After a brief time she asked me for some time on Valentine’s day – her birthday. I was hoping to take her on a helicopter, a yacht and a train ride on the day. I knew Arthie did not particularly like being up early – so I jokingly said, “Ok. How about 2 hours, between 7 am and 9 am. On the 13th we both participated in a fire walk, once more proving the resilience of our relationship. 
That evening Arthie sent me to the local pub, for a business meeting. Lo and behold, all of my friends were there and I began to put 2 and 2 together! It was my stag party! I felt a an amazing rush of excitement – I was getting married the next day!
We arrived early the next morning, at the beautiful Botanic Gardens. I was guided down to the tranquil bird-filled, tree-lined lake to await my beautiful bride. About 30 members of the family and our friends had gathered to witness our wedding. Arthie had arranged for the ceremony to be officiated by a marriage officer. He in turn had gathered as many hymn books as possible and handed them out to our pre-dominantly Hindi guests. 

My heart skipped a beat as my beautifully smiling bride appeared, flanked by her family. She glided stunningly towards me in her beautiful white wedding gown. Her image was reflected on the walkway in the pools of rainwater, as she stepped into my life and into my spirit. 

The ceremony was incredible and many scenes stand out for me. My mother sang “The best things in life are free.” The marriage officer, as a lay pastor, decided to carry out a full Christian ceremony. He even had our Hindu families and friends singing Christian hymns! I later found out that he was unsure that I would agree to this “surprise” wedding! 

I remember the beautiful birds gliding across the lake and a tiny one-legged bird scrounging for insects as we took our vows. In terms of South African law we had to sign the registration forms under a roof and we all squeezed tightly into a tiny office at the garden’s restaurant to do so. 

4 yr old Lliam & Dad in London

I will always take with me the special love and beauty of my incredible friend, guide and wife – Arthie. She is so much to me and to our little boy Lliam. She is a nurturer and a leader. She is a doer and designer. She is humble, yet she is strong. She is firm and yet she is sensitive. She is loving and forgiving.

 

And on top of all this she is a great daughter and daughter-in-law, a marvellous business person, an excellent sister and friend, a teacher and a listener, a shining star and a forward-focused wunderkind who lives in the now, whilst building her legacy for the future! 

One of the greatest leadership lessons that I have learnt from Arthie is that of standing back. I am a very strong person and often I take over when something needs to be done. My way gets results but no-one learns from it. Arthie takes a different tack, she shares some wisdom and leaves others to do complete the task. In this way the work gets done and someone else grows. A prime example is our son Lliam. 

When he first began to totter around our home, I went onto Daddy standby. The moment he stumbled, I would rush to catch him. My cool and calm guide said, “ He learns by falling. Let him fall.” I struggled against my protecting nature. And now Lliam falls, dusts himself off and carries on at full tilt into his next adventure. When he really hurts himself Arthie is always there for him, but she knows the difference between falling and hurting. 

When Lliam picked up a sharp knife, I nearly had a heart attack and Arthie showed him how to use it. When he made a mess, Arthie bought him a small broom and a mop. “I am not going to raise a man so that I have to clean up after him.” He is now 2 years and 8 months old and is an accomplished sweeper and mopper and even makes his own peanut butter sandwiches! 

Making sandwiches at his age may sound like a great achievement but that is not the half of it. The peanut butter and syrup are on a shelf more than two metres above the ground. The butter is high up in the fridge. Lliam pushes a bar stool to the high places, takes what he needs and makes a perfect sandwich! To top it all he returns each item to it’s rightful place! 

And two weeks ago he suddenly began washing the dishes. He kneels on his bar stool at the sink and washes away quite merrily. He then stacks the clean items in the correct places. This all started by being allowed to experience life without being affected by a bigger person taking over the task or by the unreasonable fears of a parent. “Get down! You will hurt yourself.” or, “Don’t touch that knife! You will cut yourself.” 

Standing back takes a lot of courage and selflessness. It is often selfish to take over when helping people and it takes bravery to allow a child to walk down stairs for the first time! Arthie has taught me that managers create controlled and limited results and that leaders create leaders who create brilliant results.Our little boy is fast becoming a leader who comfortably speaks English and Zulu and greets in 12 languages.

Lliam climbed into his gran’s car recently, released the brake, took it out of gear and  “drove” it down our gently inclined driveway until it came to a stop. Arthie and I arrived at the car at the same time. Arthie gently asked, “What are you doing Lliam?” Our little boy firmly stated, “I drive my car!” And we smiled and kept quiet. 

 Later he told, all who would listen, how he had parked “his” car. Indeed he had! He then asked for the car keys so that he could reverse the car back to where it came from. We didn’t give him the keys. Sometimes a leader understands when his student is just too short to reach the pedals or to see over the dashboard! 

Lliam is also offered choices. If he is doing something that we are not comfortable with he is offered a choice of other activities. Instead of wresting a knife out of his hand he may be offered a ride on his pushbike, or a paintbrush and paper. No attention is drawn to the knife, which he hands over without fuss, as Arthie draws attention to a fun and safe activity. I was raised with a strong focus on what I did wrong. Arthie always focusses our son on good activities and praises him on what he does well. Within 1 week of moving out of the diaper stage, Lliam was getting out of bed saying, “Look mommy, I am dry! Yeah! Yeahhhh!” Within a few weeks he is a “dry” baby, who notifies us when he needs the toilet. Arthie’s praise had created pride and she was rewarded with good behaviour – another great lesson for leaders.

Yes! I am a lucky man. Not only has Arthie helped our child to grow, she does that for everyone, including myself. She has taught me that I can “unite or be right.” A great lesson for those of us who have “all the answers”, or who try to manage every situation. Often when we over control, we lose control and break relationships. She has taught me that very few situations require my input. That I have greater value by allowing people to be and to do.
She is a great speaker and a guiding light in our transformational team-building business, where our focus is on uniting diverse people through their uniquenesses and their actions. She always intuitively knows when to move on to a new process. And if the group needs something special or something different, she knows and makes the change in pace and direction. Arthie is in tune with herself and with people and has saved many failing relationships, with her ability to listen and  gently help people move from being victims to becoming leaders.
She has taught me the value of giving and the sheer freedom in personal forgiveness. She has taught me that humanness far out-weighs “winning”. She has taught me about the power of “us” and the value of family. She has taught me that the world rewards action and not thought.
And she is so incredibly beautiful in every possible way! Yes! I am indeed a very lucky man!
Brian V Moore©
Durban – South Africa. 3 November 2003
Update
I am still a lucky man
Sitting here this morning in September 2006 and reflecting upon where we were, when I wrote the first part of our story makes me smile. 
Our little business was struggling, we owed hundreds of thousands – to banks and suppliers.
In reality we were in deep trouble, financially and our fledgling business was on it knees. The luckiest man in the world was days away from losing his home. And yet I had never felt so lucky! Days after sending out the Lucky Man newsletter, work came pouring in. 
Within 8 months we had cleared our debt. Our business took its first leaps into surrounding countries. We spent time at the beautiful Lake Kariba, – bordering Zambia and Zimbabwe.
And now we are firmly a strongly and international company. Our program – Celebrating Humanity© – changes lives and the world in wonderful and positive ways. Our life’s work will take us to Namibia, Tanzania, Ghana and Mocambique in the near future. And hopefully – the USA and the UK.
But more importantly – Arthie is still a wonderful loving wife and mother, a wonderful friend and an incredible agent for universal transformation.
Lliam is now a wonderful big brother! 
2 yr old Kailash, in Namibia

Young Kailash is 2 months old. He is cute, happy, bubbly and smiley. He is a reflection of his family’s love and contentment. He bubbles with joy when his 5 year old brother burps him, baths him or holds him.

We are now 4. And I am still the luckiest and happiest man in the world. What a wonderful journey life can be, if we simply choose to focus on our happiness.
Brian Moore – September 2006.Update

Kailash, Myself, Lliam & Arthie
On our smallholding – 2010

My beautiful gift Arthie, has delivered 2 beautiful, loving, intelligent and of course naughty boys into our lives. I would not trade any of them for anything!

Young, bright and fun Kailash, is now almost 5 years old and has started school. He bakes with me and cooks with his mother and he is an absolute delight!

Lliam has moved from home school to a public school. He is excelling and is showing his genius at every turn. He too is brilliant in the kitchen and technically. And has upgraded to a vacuum cleaner!

Arthie and I have been married to each other 7 different ways now! Including a Hindu weddng, a Shamanic wedding in the Drakensburg mountains, a Scottish wedding in Gretna Green – in Scotland, a Las Vegas wedding and we retook our vows in a hot air balloon over the Magaliesberg mountains of South Africa.
Our journey has taken us to Namibia, USA, UK, Europe, Zambia and Hong Kong where we have delivered talks, presentations, team building, team conflict resolution and diversity training. Without the wonderful impact of Arthie on my life none of this would have been possible.
I will always be lucky and always be in awe of her incredible care, brilliance, humanness and laughter.
April 2011
Brian MooreThe luckiest man in the World!
Durban – South Africa.
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or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457

Mphephetha’s Wedding – Great lessons cushioned in a culture shock!

Joko laughed at my patent nervousness as he lead me into the traditional Zulu gear stalls at Dalton Hostel – in Durban, South Africa.
Animal skins lay around willy-nilly as did drums, umbadada (car tyre sandals) and empty Juba cartons. There was a lot of movement of people entering and leaving the hostel. A number of drunken men lazed in the sun and indolently observed as this big white man entered their own almost tribal  domain.

One of them staggered to his feet and aggressively expelling his boozy breath, he demanded to know, “Ufunani umlungu!? (What do you want, white man?). I responded with equal power, “Ufunani umuntu!?” (What do you want Zulu person!?). The inactive audience suddenly burst into surprised and delighted fits of laughter. My interrogator laughed meekly and stumbled towards his friends.

As we entered the dark shops the crafters’ art became apparent. Magnificent Zulu shields, beads, headgear and other finely detailed items of traditional imivunulo (warriors attire) were on display.

Joko greeted everyone, “Sawubona lekhaya! Ngiyahamba no uMthimkhulu!”, and thus was I introduced by my Zulu name, to a chorus of disbelief from the shop owners.

It was mid-year 1993 – a year before South Africa’s independence from the Apartheid government. Prejudice was deep and attitudes ranged from hate to fear in many previously isolated race groups.

Joko – a jovial Zulu man – and I had met a few days earlier at the Pick and Shovel restaurant. I told him of my desire to purchase a traditional Zulu outfit. “No problem.” he said. “We just need to go to Dalton.” “Do you mean the hostel, where there is so much violence.” I asked. He said, “Don’t worry you will be safe, I am taking you.” And here we were.

There was much laughter at my size as we moved from shop to shop. Each one selling a different component. Here shields and there amabeshu (hides shaped to cover behinds). Each craftsperson was skilled in the manufacture of a certain part of the imivunulo. There were fighting sticks, walking sticks, spears and knock down sticks. Head, chest, elbow, leg and waist gear hung from the walls and ceilings.

A few men lay about the place, sleeping off hangovers. Their neighbours sold on their behalf. Every now and again a sleeper’s eye would open. He would grunt his satisfaction and drift back into dreamland.

Slowly compatible pieces were gathered to form my very own outfit. A black and white cowskin shield contrasted well with the light tan impala skin ibeshu that hung over my behind. The beautiful sewn and twisted izinjobo covered the sides of my legs up to the isinene, which covered the front.

There was much laughter when the enthralled shopkeepers showed me a straw thimble, known as iqoyi. This they giggled, would save any man from embarrassment….

Inkosi (Chief) Bhekisisa Bhengu, had become a friend in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, through my peace making and rural development work with the Natal Canoe Union. He was young and very wise, an interesting mixture of modern and traditional. He has travelled to Washington DC – USA and Zimbabwe and is well educated in development and local government issues. He longed for development in his area and was very involved in the traditional respect system.

I drove out to see him, with my new imivunulo in my car. He was as impressed as I was delighted and said, “You must wear this on Saturday at Inkosi Gwala’s wedding.” A thrill of fear and excitement ran through me. It was a year before the first free elections and KwaZulu Natal was racked with political violence. Putting aside my natural trepidation, I agreed to meet him at 10 am on the day of the wedding.

My niece Jean, and I drove down into the valley and arrived at his Emshazi home, across the road from the tribal court. He seemed surprised to see me so early and we hung around and chatted. Every so often he would look at his watch and shake his head and say, “Hayi Bhungane – I don’t know where these people are”. I think he was just trying to settle my western rush to do things, so I relaxed into the day and whatever it was to bring.

After a while Mrs Bhengu fed us. Then we waited and watched the goats and chickens wander around his yard. An old man drove his old van into the yard and opened up the bonnet. We then had a conversation on all things mechanical. Around about 1.30pm Inkosi Bhengu decided it was time. “When is the wedding?” I asked. “It is on now,” he said, “in fact it has been going on all day. Let us get dressed.”,  he said.

He called his young son in to help. We, two men from two different worlds, prepared to culturally meet. I am sure my ancestors in Ireland and Scotland were rolling in their graves, as I learnt how to put on my skins. I learnt how to hold my shield and how a warrior should walk and stand. Little bits of string held each component to my body and I felt very exposed in my underpants.

Inkosi Bhengu looked splendid in his imitation leopard skins and I stood proud on my car-tyre sandals, as my unclad parts shone brightly in the African sun. The journey was about to begin. We drove down the hill to Shabalala’s store and he then began to dress. When he was ready, we moved onto Mathowuli’s place. His name comes from the fact that he always has a towel wrapped around his head, like a turban.

Up the hill, on steeply angled red clay roads, to another Bhengu. There was much shouting across the lands from homestead to homestead. The Inkosi was going to the wedding and he was with an umlungu in skins! An incredible excitement seem to hold the valley in its grip.

Baba Bhengu complained of how his imivunulo no longer covered the fullness of his body. He called his young son and asked him to shine his legs with vaseline. “Would you like some?”, he asked as he offered me the jar. “Thank you,” I laughingly answered, “but I already shine far too much!”

The procession gathered people and cars and we met up with Induna Cele who had an impressive python’s skin for his ‘beshu.

The young maidens were now gathering and bounced down the hills towards us. They blew dance whistles, beat on drums and ululated as they jumped into the cars. “Wozani,” the Inkosi called inviting them into his car. “Thank you Inkosi,” they said. “We will go with him.” Girls piled into my car and somehow the Inkosi ended up with me, as well.

The Inkosi and I led his people down the dusty roads, alongside the beautiful dam, to eMaphephethweni. The young maidens still shouted, whistled and ululated with delight to all who would listen!

“Slow down, Bhungane.” said the Inkosi as I hit 40kms per hour. “There is no rush”. At 2.30 pm we cruised into the area. The bride and groom were in traditional Christian outfits as they had just completed the church wedding. Little people in beautiful suits and dresses wandered around the church. Car alarms had been re-wired to run continuously to let the people know that their Inkosi was getting married!

Our own group wound on past the church to the tribal court. At which point my confidence took a temporary and almost traumatic beating. As I stepped from the car, the excited people began to ululate and shout. Many ran toward me. Even little old ladies raised their umbrellas and advanced upon me in a threatening and laughingly aggressive way. I later found out that it was an expression of joy and fun.

The Inkosi walked coolly amongst the people with a tiny smile upon his face. I just smiled, greeted everybody and ducked the “attacking” matriarchs.  And stuck like glue to the Inkosi. My petrified niece was as close to me!

“Who is it” A man asked. “Juluka (a famous white Zulu singer/ dancer)? “Maybe,” said another.  “but if it is him, he has got very fat!” Later an old man asked me when I was going to sing. I looked at him quizzically, and he said to anyone who would listen,”He doesn’t understand me. He can’t speak Zulu.”

We were lead up the hill towards the homestead. Inkosi Bhengu’s traditionally-clad followers gathered and walked at our sides in a protective and energised squad. We were taken to the VIP hut where we were treated to Zulu hospitality. Jean was led away to be with the women, and I to the amabhuto (the Inkosi’s regiment.). The AmaNgcolosi gathered around their Chief and began to beat their sticks against their shields. A powerful rhythmic noise filled the rolling hills.

Young men would suddenly leap out, dance and spin away, beating their shields and presenting a fearful face to the gathering crowds. Ladies, young and old, began to dance and ululate near the group. Dance whistles blew, drums were beaten and horns were sounded. As the warriors’s passion grew d they continued to “‘giya” with more energy, to the obvious delight of the wedding guests.

We marched down the hill towards the kraal. Singing songs and beating our shields. I was still a little fearful but was becoming more a warrior than a man from the city. The  Inkosi showed me how to hold my shield again. I was at one with Africa for perhaps the first time in my life.

The wedding processes went by in a blur. A delighted Inkosi Gwala danced for his bride. She was now dressed in her traditional gear and he in his imivunulo. Gifts were traded back and forth and families were united through the bride and groom.

The young groom “ ‘giya’d” for his people. He danced and showed his masculinity for the appreciative guests to see. He marched with his amabhuto and I ended up in the cattle kraal with them. The names of his ancestors were called by his praise singer and respect for his line was shown.

Later we ate and shared Zulu beer. It is milky in colour and far less alcoholic than western beers. We sat in a huge crowded hut, as the amabhuto sang and danced. The place vibrated and reverberated with energy. Huge cracks opened in the concrete floor from their stamping feet. Globes of sweat ran down their glistening and muscular bodies. The songs were unlike anything that I had ever heard. It was an amazing place to be, in an amazing country, amongst an incredible people.

The sun had set long before we left. Our car lights pierced the darkness of an electricity free Umgeni valley. We reached home after 9 that night. A roadside newspaper seller was shocked to see this “white” Zulu reach out to buy the early edition of the Sunday paper.

With me forever will be other special moments. The image of the amabhutos running, as one, from the surrounding homesteads.  The view into the valley of a thousand hills. The smells of the skins. The man who said I should not wear anything beneath my Zulu “kilt”. The maidens running down the hill and Bhengu and his vaseline. The Induna in his python suit. The energy, fear and the acceptance.

And most of all my assimilation into a tribe of Zulu warriors. Into the Bhengus, the AmaNgcolosi of Ndwedwe. My life was forever changed. (I later was part of the clan that met Princess Anne of England.)

Brian V Moore © 24 11 2002. Durban – South Africa.

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Our Own New York Taxi Driver!

All people are looking for, is a little respect and recognition; 4 steps to getting more from life.

Our Los Angeles shuttle driver looked bemused, after we had greeted and thanked our hotel porter, in Spanish.
“I thought you guys were from South Africa. Where did you learn Mexican?” He asked.
“Right here, in LA.” I answered.
“How long have you been here”, he asked.
“Two days”, I answered.
“Well, that is incredible! I’ve been here 45 years, and you know more than I do.” He shook his head in amazement, as we set off towards Hollywood Boulevard.

As we traveled down the road, we spoke of our journey through the USA, and how a little respect had built some great friendships. When we arrived in New York, we were guided to Pennsylvania station by a lady – suitcases loaded with South African wine. She was incredibly gracious and kind.

At Penn. station we boarded our first unmarked taxi, to our first rather scary Manhattan hotel. We asked the taxi driver where he was from and what his name was. “Hamid” – he responded, “and I am from Morocco. Where you from?”

“As salaamu alaikum Hamid.”
“Wailakum as salaamu.” he responded.

We greeted and found out how each other were, as we travelled through the busy New York traffic. We found out how long he had been in New York, where his family was and lots of other really human info. We told him that we ran team-building in South Africa. As we chatted, we asked if we could get his phone number, so that we could call him when we needed him. At the end of our journey, he gave us his number and we paid him for the trip.

The next morning, Arthie phoned him. “Ah, the South Africans, he said. And he was perfectly on time, outside our hotel. Off we went to Macy’s. Upon our arrival, we asked what the fee was.
“Twenty dullah,” he said, “You are on vacation.”

Hamid became our friend, our guide and on every occasion – bar the trip to the airport – charged us $20. He would be there at night and in the morning. He was our saviour. We respected him and he respected us. We learnt so much about this very private man from our conversations, and he about us. How many other people have had their own private New York Taxi driver?

Pat, our Irish American, taxi driver nodded and shook his head. He had never heard of that before – “New York taxi drivers are renowned for their focus on money, not on people. That is amazing!”
“And there is more ,” I told Pat. “When we were in Las Vegas, we had a taxi driver as our witness at our wedding!” We looked at each other and laughed, at the wonderful memory.

“No way!” said Pat, “tell me about it,” laughed the big, jovial 3rd generation American. (His grandfather had emigrated to the USA from Ireland, as a young man.)

Arthie took up the story, “As we left Flamingo Casino, we decided to find a chapel and get married again. (This is our 6th wedding to each other.)”
“Never divorced?”
“No, we just love to celebrate our love for each other through weddings and re-affirming our vows.” She continued, “As we stepped out of the hotel, the Concierge stepped up, and asked if we needed a taxi, and where we were going to. He was quite shocked when we told him that we needed to find a chapel, to get married. He asked the taxi driver, if he could do it. The taxi driver nodded, and we climbed in.”

Pat laughed, “And then you asked all about him, didn’t you?

Arthie laughed, “How’d ya know? How’d ya know?” He laughed and settled back to listen to her.

“So, Jahed – who was from Iraq – called his controller on the radio. “You know that chapel downtown, you told me about? I need the address.” After a little time and some strong words, with the controller, Jahed said. “I got it.”

A short while later, we arrived at the Stained Glass Wedding Chapel. Jahed switched off the taxi meter, for the duration of the wedding. Within about 15minutes – we were set and ready for our wedding – dressed in our denims and sneakers. The organisers tried to hire a wedding dress and tuxedo – for about $200 dollars each – but we wanted a quick wedding, without finery!

A short while later a little old lady, in a wig arrived. She was the minister. 5 minutes later, and with some very beautiful words, that we had repeated to each other – we were wed! And Jahed was our witness.”

Pat laughed, his deep Irish laugh and shook his head!

I carried on, “And we got his phone number too. But never needed to use his services again. We had tried another taxi driver – from Ethiopia, but he was really rude. He got the standard tip, and complained bitterly about it. A little respect goes a long way! And disrespect takes you nowhere.”

Pat looked at us in the mirror, and said, “You guys are a true example to us all. You will never want for anything.” We thanked him.

As we drove Pat spoke of his life, the recent death of his father – and how he was handling that. As we drew near Hollywood, he asked us where we wanted to be dropped off. We told him that we had just attended an amazing conference, on building our team-building company, and internet businesses.

“Wherever the red tourist buses are based”, said Arthie. “Oh look, there is one now.”

Our new friend, swung into action and chased the bus. When it came to a halt, he bounded out and asked the driver how we could get on! He was helping his new friends out and was going to do everything that it took to get us on that bus.

And indeed, that is what happened. We wished Pat well, “The top of the morning to you, Pat!” And he hung his head a little, and said, “You speak more Irish than I do.”

Arthie and I have built friendships and relationships, around the World, simply by respecting other people.

4 simple tips to get more from your life.

1) Care More – Life is not only about you. Start to greet people, and treat people, in the way that they want to be greeted and treated. Learn their languages – do not demand to hear yours. Ask about them, talk far less of your self.

2) Give More – Don’t be afraid to help others, be it by listening, caring and even sharing. Don’t always go with the “standard tip.” Look for ways that you can give, rather than seek ways to get. And you shall receive!

3) Love More – You are perfect as you are, however Life rewards action and not thought. When you really begin to like and accept who you are, in every way, then you are able to be more loving. When you love more – you are loved more.

4) Thank More – Live in a permanent state of gratitude. Be thankful for each breath that you take. Be grateful for your family and your friends – AND tell them. Thank people for every thing that they do. Humbly thank people for their compliments. Develop an “attitude of gratitude”, and the world will reward your thankfulness.

Arthie Moore and Brian V Moore
Teambuilding -in South Africa and Diversity Training in South Africa
“At the level of respect, all people are equal.”
Durban, South Africa. 30th April 2008

Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
or email: brian@africa-dreams.com
or call +27 79 643 4457