BACKSTORY: Makole Group’s Ndavhe Mareda
We question Ndavhe Mareda, the chair of Makole Group
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
"Basically". Generally I want to bring all conversations to "basic 101" — no complicated stuff.
What are you reading at the moment?
Only Humans Need Apply: Winners and Losers in the Age of Smart Machines by Thomas Hayes Davenport and Julia Kirby.
What was your first job?
Distributing pamphlets at the robots in Arcadia, Pretoria, through a company called Studentwise. I’m not sure if it still exists.
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica. I was extremely disappointed because I was of the opinion that Jamaicans were really easy/cool people. The service I received from airport staff was terrible.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
How do you deal with stress?
I do a bit of yoga — breathing makes you realise that it is not the end of the world and gives you courage to confront your stress.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
A deal must make sense. It may sound basic, but I have seen so many deals in which I question what the motivation is. In any commercial transaction there must be morals and financial sense, and at the end all parties must feel like they’re a winner. I do not subscribe to the notion of "winner takes all" because once people feel like they lost in a deal they will usually not want to participate in future business.
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about?
Franschhoek and Paternoster in the Western Cape.
What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?
Poverty and suffering, because it strips people of human dignity and self-pride.
On what occasion do you lie?
When telling the truth would hurt others, but I have since learnt that the truth will liberate you, no matter how bad it is.
Which living person do you most admire?
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world
Road trips, especially in Africa. And the Stelvio Pass, a mountain pass in northern Italy bordering Switzerland.