BACKSTORY: Joe Public’s Pepe Marais
We question the founding partner and chief creative officer at Joe Public Pepe Marais
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
The Scottish knight William Wallace. I believe in leading from the front, from the trenches of the battle against mediocrity. I also believe in freedom, in all its aspects.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Don’t ever do it for the money; you will forever be poorer for it.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
The most valuable investment is into your own personal growth. I started back in 2007 and it has been compounding ever since. I wish I had started earlier.
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world.
What was your first job?
I was a newspaper delivery boy at the age of 12.
What is your biggest regret?
Giving up piano lessons when I was eight. I am now learning to play again.
How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips in handling stress?
I go to gym every morning at 5am, six times a week.
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I used to go out wearing dresses. It gave me quite a kick, not to mention a sense of freedom.
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
Coronel FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta airport, flying in from Cusco, Peru to Iquitos in the Amazon. But I am not sure whether it was the facility, the heat, or both.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
Willow Creek on the Vaal, a small estate on 12km of private water.
Which living person do you most admire?
My wife. She is totally untouched and untainted by money.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Hope. Too many people live in the hope of something better. Action is the first step towards a better reality.
On what occasion do you lie?
When it is not harmful to others, on those occasions when the truth will hurt too much.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Losing a child.
Which talent would you most like to have?