Nelson Madela and Ubuntu

Nelson Mandela talks on the meaning of Ubuntu.
Many people, companies and government agencies talk about Ubuntu. Not as many as speak, actually practice it.

For training on Ubuntu email us, and visit our website for more information.

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

Team Conflict Resolution Options

The well-known Celebrating Humanity Team Conflict Resolution program has been designed to accommodate teams that are pressed for time and large organisations.
The Harvest program, with an initial 2.5 to 3 days session,  gives participants extra time to develop leadership, solutions to challenges and advanced communications skills.
The Mini Harvest program, with an initial 1.5 to 2 day session, is tightly adjusted to build the team in as short a time possible.
Both programs have the Values Circle Process to clear the past, get commitment and a peer-developed code of conduct – to guide the team into the future.
The follow-up processes and programs ensure long lasting and powerfully inclusive change.
Check out our website for more information. Or email Brian V Moore.
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

Team-building and Diversity Training – for Diverse Teams

A Lutheran Church in Namibia
One of the most exciting aspects of being nominated by our clients, as one of the top training companies in South Africa in 2006, is that we work in the much-maligned area of “Diversity Training“, Team-building  and Team Conflict Resolution.
When we started the Celebrating Humanity© programme, our main focus was

Fun diversity training

Enjoy Diversity Training!

on Diversity Training. And we perceived it as a huge opportunity, to transform teams and build organisations – through respect, understanding and unity.

As we have said, many times over, companies embarking upon a “diversity training initiative,” stand at the crossroads of danger and opportunity. Our Guide to Selecting Teambuilding Providers clearly states, that the opportunity lies in uniting the teams and the greatest danger, in the separation of team members by their “differences.”
Our main guiding principles, are:-
  • ·         “At the level of respect, all people are equal.”
  • ·         “We add to each other.”
  • ·         “There is only one race – the human race.”
Why Diversity Training/ Team building?
Normally a “diversity training/ team building” initiative, is based in the need to reduce at least one of the following:- 
  • Negativity and Arguing.
  • Incessant Gossiping and Backbiting.
  • Cross-cultural Clashes.
  • Personality Conflicts.
  • Silly Time-wasting Workplace Disputes.
  • Frustrating time spent in Dispute Mediation, and at the CCMA.
  • Unnecessary Labour Lawyers’ fees.
  • Misunderstandings and Mis-communications.
  • Inability to communicate with diverse clients and colleagues.
  • A lack of Professionalism and Accountability.
  • Excessive Absenteeism.
  • Racism and Prejudice.
  • Rankism and Departmentalism.
  • and/ or to lay the groundwork for improving the (Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) rating of the company/ organisation.
Everyone needs to feel safe.
Whatever the reason for the programme, it is essential that it is based in fun and respect, and is totally non-threatening, inclusive and motivational.
Everybody wants their place in the sun.
One of the biggest challenges with traditional team-building exercises, is that the focus is often on the needs, talents and abilities, of a core group, within a team. The less young, educated, physically talented, or fit the team member – the more they have to rely upon the “cool group.” And the less they enjoy the experience.
These results are often short term and limited.
Involving Diverse Teams
When working with a very diverse group of people, it is critical that the facilitators involve EVERYONE, in a way that is individually important to them, and their existence on the earth. This ensures that each person can, and does contribute.
In the Celebrating Humanity© – Transformational Team-building programmes, processes are fun, exciting, non-threatening and most importantly, everyone participates.
Each person adds value to their teams in some way. The process and methodology must show the value of everybody, in the group. Processes need to show at least some of the knowledge, skills and abilities of each person.
We all add to each other
In a public session, a partially literate Zulu-speaking housekeeper, maKhumalo – sat in a team comprising highly-qualified HR professionals. In the same team – was Kevin Turner, who was raised on a rural Midlands farm and who spoke excellent Zulu.
He and maKhumalo happily shared and communicated their knowledge on culture and tradition to the team. maKhumalo was the expert on Zulu culture, proverbs, ancestry. She brought great value, as did her team members. And similarly Kevin added to the team with his knowledge of Zulu and his warm humanness.
At the point where the team was asked to put together a Kwaito dance, maKhumalo suddenly stood out head-and-shoulders, above her more skilled and reserved team mates. It was delightful to watch her lead them. And they put on a wonderful 2 minute show, for the other teams.
Here was a wonderful lady, from the depths of rural KwaZulu Natal, and she was the stand-out leader for a group of University-educated Human Resources specialists! The exercise demonstrated, that we are all leaders, that we all bring value, and that we all need to respect and value each other.
Teams that understand, that we add to each other, will be far more secure. Through Transformational Team-building, they will know and experience, that the more diverse the team members, the more chances we have to win – through greater knowledge, skills, wisdom and understanding.
Some ways to involve people.
Some of the ways that we involve our delegates, are through their:- 
  • Workplace Knowledge.
  • History and experience
  • Background. 
  • Artistic ability.
  • Joke-telling skills.
  • Dancing skills.
  • Language and greetings.
  • Proverbs.
  • Body language.
  • Cultural knowledge.
  • Beliefs.
  • Religion.
  • Music.
  • Traditions.
· Other relevant Skills and Talents.
Diversity does not only mean culture and religion.
At Lake Kariba, we took the top executives of the Bank of Zambia, through a transformational team-build.
Now Zambians have, since the inauguration of Kenneth Kaunda, believed that they are all “Zambians.” “One Zambia, One nation”, was the clarion cry of former President Kaunda’s government. And it has worked!
The Zambians all stood as one. Not black, or white, Barotse, Ngoni, BaBemba, Nyanja, Batonga or as speakers of any of the over 69 dialects, just Zambians.
The World, South Africa, companies and organisations could learn a lot from the people of this beautiful country.
Thus, in Zambia – there was no desire to bring “cultural diversity” to the team-build. So we found out about the various skills and abilities of the team members, and involved them all in, in that way. They soon knew, just how much, they added to each other.
And one of the most brilliant dancers, in that small section of the programme, was wheelchair-based. He really made that wheelchair dance!
You never know just how your team members add to you, until you experience them as humans.
Skills Development
Any team-building/ diversity training programme that does not develop skills, is not worth the investment.
Transformational Team-building programmes are intended to improve the lives of delegates, by building their personal skills, communication and relationship skills – socially, at the office and at home.
The Celebrating Humanity courses, are now so much in demand, for the wonderful outcomes, that we are regularly asked to run public courses.
Some of the skills would include:-
  • How to learn more easily for your unique Learning Style.
  • How your unique Learning Style shapes your Communications Style.
  • How to assess the Learning Type of the person/s you are communicating with and get  stunningly better results, in your communications.
  • The impact of your Communications Style on your relations in all areas of your life.
  • Simple and easy, non-judgemental and team-based Personality assessment skills and how to get better results by adjusting your own behaviour.
  • Understanding body language from different cultural groups. Making adjustments for far better results, with clients and team members.
In a recent chat, with one of our Celebrating Humanity© facilitator’s wife – she said, “Fazal was amazing in the Free State. He greeted the local people in Sesotho and through body language showed his respect. The people were simply amazing to us.”
We know Fazal well and are certain that he would have used his other, easy-to-use communication skills, to further build the relationships, as he went along on his fishing tour.
Sustainability
It is critical to make sure that the team-build is not a once off injection in the spirit of the team! The programme has to include in-house follow up, initially guided by the teambuilding organisation. The Harvest programme ensures sustainability.
Ownership
Another great opportunity to add to this “diversity training,” (now “grown-up” to be Transformational Team-building,) is to ensure that your team owns the change.
In this way, managers and their teams, can drastically reduce the interpersonal war stresses, that once seemed inevitable within teams.
One of the big challenges to “managing” teams, as opposed to “leading” teams, is that most traditional managers still manage people, as if they are their children.
The moment that there is conflict, the traditional parent pulls the kids apart. “Stop that Mary! Go to your room Sipho. If you do that again Bavika, I will punish you!
The only difference is that you cannot fire your kids!
Managers/ leaders that spend all of their time “managing diversity,” are in a boiling pot. They will never be able to focus on their time on doing what they are paid to do and will suffer the consequences of unnecessary stress, both physically, emotionally and in their relationships.
The only way to reduce this stress on businesses, clients, teams and their families is to get all team members managing their own behaviour.
All people are leaders.
This is a fact ignored in most teams.
I was in a local hardware store, a number of years ago, and chatting to a “Shelf packer.” As we were speaking happily, in Zulu, his supervisor marched up and arrogantly demanded that his “underling” go and do his other work. With suppressed anger, my friend bid me farewell and went off, to do his “superiors” bidding.
Little did the young supervisor know, that this same elderly gentleman was the chairman of a number of multi-million Rand development contracts, in his rural village. He could have learnt a lot from him, with a little more respect.
Perhaps this is an extreme example, so let’s take our Kwaito dancer – maKhumalo.
She runs her own home in the beautiful City of Durban. She manages the cleaning, laundry, cooking and kids in a suburban home. She runs a home in far-away Mahlabathini, where she is building a new home and she educates her 3 children. She is not only a “Dance leader,” she is an every day leader.
So why not place the leadership of workplace relationships, in the hands of your team members. They may even guide you, as is the example with our young supervisor. He certainly could have used some gentle guidance!
Increase the Ownership and Accountability
A true Transformational Team-build, with the correct amount of time allocated to the process, will dramatically reduce stress through increasing the ownership, accountability and responsibility of each and every team member!
Once your team decides how they will behave around each other, and what is not acceptable behaviour – they own it and can manage it.
With the right clearing processes, constitution and a 1 hour monthly meeting, this peer-driven process ensures that relationship management – is no longer the responsibility of the managers/ supervisors or the board members.
Transformational Team-building – with the commitment, and full participation, of all management and leadership – has the power to transform teams. And we have the evidence to prove it!
Challenges to successful outcomes
Some possible challenges to your team-build for diverse teams:-
  • Leadership/ management sending only “them,” because “we” don’t need it.
  • Not involving your greater team in the decision-making process. This can lead to poor attendance.
  • Leaving critical negotiations in the hands of inexperienced and under-qualified team members ( a properly facilitated transformational teambuild will positively change the very way in which your organisation functions.)
  • Not having good committed project leaders.
  • Trying to cut costs by:-
  1. Going for the shortest possible intervention. Always dedicate the time to change.
  2. Paying for a once-off intervention. Transformation is a process, not a brief happening.
  3. Saving on the venue. “Let’s do it in the board room.”
    1. The programme will be interrupted, by “emergency situations. If a team members are not available, the emergency is always resolved quite easily, in their absence.
    2. People do not feel respected if the company is cheap, and not prepared to pay for an upmarket venue.
    3. Attendance will be poor and no team-build can be successful, without the team.
  4.  Cutting down on the quality and diversity of food and refreshments.
    1. Many diabetics, vegans, vegetarians, followers of Shembe, Judaism, Islam, certain branches of Christianity, Hindus  and numerous others – are often not properly catered for, during outings or training sessions.
  5. Utilising “cheaper” service providers who do not dedicate extensive time to understanding your people, your company and your country.
We hope that this story and these guidelines, will help you to select your next team building organisation, with great care.
And we will be delighted to hear from you, or just learn how the diversity training/  team-build worked for your team.

We have experience in Africa and other parts of the World – Such as the Namibia, Zambia, Swaziland, USA, UK and China.
Brian V Moore© Celebrating Humanity International,

Mobile: +27 79 643 4457

Email: trainers@africa-dreams.com / brian@africa-dreams.com
Projects Site: www.celebrating-humanity-projects.com
Main Site: www.africa-dreams.com
http://www.diversitytraininginsouthafrica.com
Request a Team Building, Diversity Training
or Team Conflict Resolution proposal –
on http://www.teambuildinginsouthafrica.com
or http://www.diversitytraininginsouthafrica.com
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.

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

Always give more than you get!

The most important principle, of our Celebrating Humanity International team, is to give more than we receive.

This essentially means that we do, what we do best, for free for deserving organizations – or organizations that impact the lives of others.

On 2 October 2009, we will honor the giving of the Johannesburg Hospice by running a free team building program, for their staff.

If we all took some time to support the givers, and those who do not have, the World will be a much better place.

There are so many of us who sell our time for money – and passionately talk of “making a difference” in the World. Yet when there is free, unbooked and unpaid for time – do we all look for ways to make a difference, at our own cost?

We do. And we will keep on doing so!

Here is a little about Hospice…

Enjoy,

Brian V Moore

The Hospice Concept:

Hospice is a concept of caring derived from medieval times, symbolizing a place where travelers, pilgrims and the sick, wounded or dying could find rest and comfort. The contemporary hospice offers a comprehensive program of care to patients and families facing a life threatening illness. Hospice is primarily a concept of care, not a specific place of care.

Hospice emphasizes palliative rather than curative treatment; quality rather than quantity of life.”

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

Making the World a little better – through Giving.


Give a little bit!

One of the most important principles of our Celebrating Humanity International team, is to give more than we receive.

This essentially means that we do, what we do best, for free for deserving organizations – or organizations that impact the lives of others.

On 2 October 2009, we will honor the giving of the Johannesburg Hospice by running a free team building program, for their staff.

If we all took some time to support the givers, and those who do not have, the World will be a much better place.

There are so many of us who sell our time for money – and passionately talk of “making a difference” in the World. Yet when there is free, unbooked and unpaid for time – do we all loook for ways to make a difference, at our own cost?

We do. And we will keep on doing so!

Here is a little about Hospice…

Enjoy,

Brian V Moore

The Hospice Concept:

Hospice is a concept of caring derived from medieval times, symbolizing a place where travelers, pilgrims and the sick, wounded or dying could find rest and comfort. The contemporary hospice offers a comprehensive program of care to patients and families facing a life threatening illness. Hospice is primarily a concept of care, not a specific place of care.

Hospice emphasizes palliative rather than curative treatment; quality rather than quantity of life.”