We question Jeremy Sampson, director of Brand Finance Africa/The "Brandfather".

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

Six or so years ago I suggested to my wife that she buy PSG shares while I buy African Bank — we had just rebranded it. There was only one winner.

When and where are you happiest?

Sitting out in my garden on Sunday mornings with a mug of tea and reading the Financial Times Weekend and City Press, and hand-feeding the birds that visit.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Winston Churchill. I went to his memorial funeral service in Canterbury Cathedral — "Never, never, never give up."

What was your first job?

As a student, I worked as a postman at Christmas, sorting and delivering mail, and in summer I spent three holidays doing bus conducting. After my finals I had a summer job as a designer at The Observer on Fleet Street in London, and that became a full-time job.

What are you reading at the moment?

Am I Being too Subtle? by Sam Zell (on my iPad) and Shoe Dog by Nike co-founder Phil Knight (hard copy) — I used to run a bit.

What’s your biggest indulgence?

A good glass of wine in the evenings — no more long lunches.

Which phrase or word do you most overuse?

"Gotta stay relevant." As a person or a brand you have to keep your finger on the pulse of life at all times. Just look at how Nokia committed brandicide.

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

Exercise dissolves stress. It used to be a brisk run, but now a gentle walk will do. Or browsing a good art gallery, or cooking an uncomplicated meal.

Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

Alice in Wonderland. Life can be a Mad Hatter’s tea party! Keeping one’s sanity can be a challenge.

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

The airport in Salisbury, now Harare. The gateway to a country should be welcoming and efficiently run. First impressions count.

On what occasions do you lie?

Possibly when I am being lied to. SA is full of liars at the moment. We need to get back to some good old-fashioned integrity and treat each other with respect.

Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.

Probably Dubai. What it has achieved is amazing, and so it goes on.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

Tolerating rejection. Keep grinding it out.

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