We question Brian Jakins, Africa regional vice-president of sales at Intelsat.

What is your biggest regret?

I don’t really believe in regrets, but if I had the opportunity to rewind my career path, I might have selected one in the area of sports management. Growing up I was pretty good at rugby and several other sports. Unfortunately, our country was not part of the international sports arena at that time, so opportunities to pursue sports as a career were limited.

What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?

I really wish I had been taught about investing into tech shares, like MTN or Naspers which are all home-grown companies that have done incredibly well in the international arena.

What was your first job?

I did a trade in tool and die making. As a youngster growing up we were always told to do something with our hands because you can always fall back on it when life throws you a curve ball.

What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?

Killing Kebble by Mandy Wiener was really thought-provoking and hits close to home in that the underworld setting operates in plain sight around our daily lives. I also think Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership by Andrew Roberts is a good read — very interesting contrast in leadership styles ... or not!

What’s your biggest indulgence?

Cheesecake or a Whippy chocolate bar.

Which phrase or word do you most overuse?

"When I was growing up."

How do you handle stress? What are your top tips for dealing with stress?

This is easier said than done. It affects all of us differently as we apply our trades in business and daily family life. I would advocate perspective in all things and have comfort in the knowledge that nothing negative lasts forever. In time, it will pass.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Joe and Frank in the Hardy Boys books by Franklin W Dixon.

What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?

Depends on the time of day but JFK and Lagos Airport have equally high sour points in my book and I travel quite a bit.

Tell us about a hidden gem in Jo’burg/Cape Town/Durban that not many people know about.

You have to try The Pot Luck Club in Cape Town.

Nominate your 8th wonder of the world?

I work in the space technology industry and have experienced a rocket launch taking two of our satellites into space. That had to be right up there as the 8th Wonder of the World as it really is "rocket science". That ... and Mexican beer!

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

To obey or be obedient.

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