Nelson Mandela, PresidentIn the short term, it is politically functional to create low value mass employment job opportunities on community-based menial work projects. This is not a functional poverty elimination approach in the long term, though. It is simply a way of managing poverty, as well as buying time to contain the potential outward expression of anger and frustration by the poor as long as possible. Service delivery protests currently ravaging certain parts of South Africa may be a sign of things to come, though, when this kind of poverty management is exhausted, and no better alternatives are in the offing.

Society will in the long term gain by far from investing in high value job creation opportunities across the board. The seemingly relatively fewer thriving in high value jobs as entrepreneurs, innovators, and experts in various technological, as well as societal management skills not only drive the economy through higher purchasing power arising from higher available disposable income, they in turn create job opportunities of a higher value than community based low value mass employment ones. And, they pay tax. For example, I’ll postulate that, all things remaining equal, and assuming rational behaviour, as well as economic expenditure and saving patterns in a dynamic economy, R.30 000,-/ month paid to one junior-middle level professional creates more real social economic value than the same amount paid to sixty low value mass employment workers receiving R.500,-/ month each. The thought that there are working people still taking home a net of R.500,-/ month in South Africa in 2014 boggles my mind.

“Forget it, man, you can’t have R.400,-/ hour in South Africa for reflexology, massage, or whatever it is you do. It just can’t work. Not in South Africa. No ways. You cannot make half a million rand per annum with this. Impossible. How many feet is that you’ll have to massage? Well, if you say you’ve done this before wherever you say you come from, you’ll have to show me your annual business accounts statements audited by KPMG or somebody, to convince me” said one of the judges at an entrepreneurship competition a few months ago; crushing my business concept to pulp, thrashing my ego to pieces.

He continued, “And what’s this about philanthropy? It’s only very wealthy people who do philanthropy. They do this only for tax rebates reasons. That’s it. You, you can never be any wealthy at any rate. So, forget philanthropy in your business fantasies” My Good Samaritan heart bubble got punctured big time. I wondered as to the extent of Mother Theresa’s personal wealth in her lifetime. Poor Lady. Time to call Melinda Gates.

Another judge went on, “You would have to do some real hard convincing to get me to pay that kind of money for a massage. And, I am not poor, you know. People like you come to us with fancy words like philanthropy and charity, and think we’ll be impressed. Well, I’m not!” My entrepreneurial visions in South Africa went crashing against a brick wall. Head on. I’m shattered.

Given my age, my level of academic and professional training, as well as skills, including my vast international work and life experience over a 40 year period abroad, R.400,-/ hour is the absolute minimum I can allow myself to work for professionally in South Africa. Short of that, I’d rather drive a truck, or, Goodbye, Mzanzi fo sho. I have not come back home to be poor. When in my own way I fought for the liberation of South Africa, it was not only so I could drink tea and wine with White, green, pink, yellow, and maroon people freely. It was, most importantly, so that I could also enjoy fully the wealth and fruit of my land through being rewarded fairly for my labours as I work to contribute, in my own way, to the growth and development of my country. My academic and professional educations are of high value. It goes without saying, therefore, that my jobs and businesses will be high value based. I make people healthy and strong, so that they can be more effective and productive in all aspects of their lives. The people I teach my knowledge and skills to become high value workers and entrepreneurs in their own rights. They must be paid, and earn accordingly.

High value jobs inspire. All things remaining equal, high value jobs motivate people to want to grow to be the best person they can be, both professionally and socially. High value jobs people inspire and stimulate growth and development. High value jobs people are role models for the young and the youth. They ignite ambition, drive, passion, and the desire to succeed and achieve. More often than not, high value jobs people are also generous, kind, and empathic. They have varying degrees of social engagements and interests, helping the needy and less fortunate in society: Philanthropy. High value jobs make more social economics sense, therefore.

Ultimately, where does it lead, what does it give, say, a thousand adults who are on a low value work skills training programme, sweeping township streets all year round? The R.500,-/ month net they take home being paid out 2-3 months late in many cases? These people just ever wriggle deeper and deeper into poverty in the long term, becoming permanent slaves to township micro financing loan sharks, among many other ills. The circle of poverty is complete. Flamboyant, rebellious, and defiant young politicians form political parties purporting to champion the plight of the poor. Having nothing to lose, the poor fall for the populistic rhetoric, and join the parties. The ring of poverty is closed. The orgy of destruction begins. Vandalism becomes order of the day. Anarchy reigns. And the poor don’t understand why they remain poor all their lives. Enter NGOs. The poor’s begging bowls grow larger from year to year. Poverty sinks the beggars deeper and deeper down pits of misery and dejection. So very exotic this is. Poverty is big business for some. Dangerous.

Fortunately, I am in a position where I can set value on my knowledge and skills without the risk of getting shot down because I don’t need to go out, armed with a stick, and toyi-toyi against global capitalist exploiters and the system, with combat-armed police there to ensure law, order and peace prevail. High value jobs allow for greater degrees of individual freedom to choose where and how to work, and for whom. High value jobs contribute to peace and stability in society, therefore. High value jobs come with high value oriented systems of education. I am not so very sure if a 30% Matric pass certificate in South Africa, without mathematics in some cases, helps anybody in kindling high value jobs aspirations, though.

Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
August 18, 2014



Nelson Mandela, PresidentIn my mature age years, the one other ugly scar on my body bothers me only so very rarely. I see it every day, but I almost never notice it these days. My love in my 30s used to be fascinated by this scar, and loved caressing it with affection every so often. She would get confused when I expressed irritation at this, because it feels so very unpleasant when another person touches this scar.

Over the years, my enquiry as to how I got this scar has been answered dodgily by those for whom it would be natural to know how it happened. What I have gathered, though, is that, when I was barely 2 years old, while my parents were away on holiday, a man who had a xenophobia inspired hatred for my father struck me with a sharp object in an attempt to kill me. My resemblance to my father is very striking. I’m told that this man hated my father so much he meant that by killing me first would, naturally, make my father so angry that he, my father, would want to fight this xenophobic man. This way, the latter would then have a valid reason to kill my father also, claiming self-defence.

I do have some hazy visions of events prior to this point, but I like to set my initial world awareness juncture from my first conscious memory on my first school day when I was four and half years old. From then to about age ten, recollections of my life come to me in chunks of specific events in different times and situations. I will recall other things in occasional discussions with family and childhood friends also.

One of the things I recall very vividly from this stage of my life is the xenophobic man of hate mentioned above, making what I then considered to be a serious threat to kill me. It seems he didn’t have the guts to see things through because he attempted to kill himself first. He survived the cowardish suicide attempt because he went round the village announcing to everyone of his impending self-induced demise that particular evening. From this time till age fourteen, recollections of my life come in even larger chunks, and have more lively contents. If my memory serves me right, it must be about this time, soon after the death threat, I began to consciously wonder about things in a serious way.

I took my first sacrament at church about the same time too. The latter event may have played a decisive role as well, because I recall that, together with other children at the Catholic school I then attended in Lesotho, there was some preparatory work we were had to undergo. Whereas in the school classroom we were led by/ with “What?”, “Who?”, and “Where”, I remember coming across “Why?” and “How?” in the pre-sacrament preparatory lessons with the parish priest, as well as our very, very kind and warm school teachers, who were nuns.

From the teenage years to well into adulthood years, recollections of my life I can lump into years, seasons, months and weeks. These days, I can account for each and every day of my life. Such that should I die now, I will no doubt have, hopefully, satisfactory answers, if only for myself, to the (in any order) “How?”, “What?”, “Where?”, “Who?”, and “Why?” of my death. My soul will then rest in peace.

Had the xenophobic man who hated my father so intensely gotten to actually kill me when I was hardly 2 years old, a small child totally oblivious to the world and its ways, I imagine my soul would still be wondering erratically out in space, defiant to the earthly force of gravity. I imagine my soul would want to rather continue wondering and wondering in outer space till the end of time, not that time matters when dead, though. Who would want to return to a world that is so callous it kills cruelly, mercilessly, its children with the kind of gross impunity we see in our time? Spare me reincarnation stories, please. Tell it to holy cows somewhere.

Children don’t choose their parents; they don’t choose, when, where and how they will be born. The worth of humanity is not in how many children they breed, but how many they protect as they guide and help them to grow up to be responsible and value adding members of the global community; this, as a non-revertible human decency and moral obligation imperative.

I can’t help wondering as to how many millions of lost souls of our heartlessly murdered children are roaming the universe at this very moment. Do they even know they are dead, in the first place? Would pictures of disembowelled, charred, beheaded, limbless children’s corpses make any sense to them? How can anybody win freedom, or practice the right to self-defence and/ or self-determination at the expense of truly innocent children genuinely unknowing of the world and its ways? What do religions, what does politics of the world say of the inherent nature innocence of children? Forgive them, Father, for they don’t know what they do can never apply here, surely. There has to be other ways of solving all the major territorial and/ religious conflicts in the world today than through wars. Even if there may be places to hide when the missiles come, children just cannot run.


Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 30, 2014


Epitome of Education?

Nelson Mandela, PresidentThe elegance of MBA programmes all over the world lies, among other things, in the fact that they are designed, marketed, and taught by great storytellers, super orators, impressive performers; illusionists par excellence. In a wonderfully crafted way, they sell to millions for millions the world over, the idea that, with an MBA from an internationally accredited university, you can snap a finger here, snap a finger there, and the earth will dance under your feet. Works for some. Disastrous for many. MBA programmes can produce boundless visionaries, eternal dreamers. And that may be as far as it goes for many.

In a pre-MBA course I got into a lifetime ago, I learnt that in much the same way Doctors- and Lawyers-to-be are trained, MBA education is about teaching the candidates information management towards sound, effective, and, ultimately, profitable critical decision making in business, big or small, i.e., where to find information, how to identify useful and relevant information, which parts of the information are relevant for which decision making processes at which level and when, how to distribute information according to intended audience or recipient/ -s, how to store information relevant to its value in the organization, how to discard no longer useful information.

I guess the super enthusiasm and passion many an MBA professor will exhibit during the teaching of the various prescribed courses during the programme may be based on the assumption that the candidates are either highly educated from before, and/ or are very intelligent. If that’s not the case, then, they will graduate with their prestigious MBA degrees very highly educated, and extremely intelligent business leaders and technocrats, ready to rule the world. However, many an overly ambitious, petty ego driven MBA graduate misses the plot; and fails to make any significant impact as practical, result-oriented business leaders, or entrepreneurs. They will, of course, see and understand how things work. They will be top experts at drawing and writing superlative business plans and all that goes with it. They will sell their illusions to non-suspecting potential business partners held in awe of the apparent superior knowledge and skills of the MBA graduate with, in a lot of cases, international exposure and experience. But they will always fail to get things off the ground, thereby disappointing many people who would have been promised lifetime riches, success, and influence in both big business and society in general. Many would have invested either or both large amounts of money and vast amounts of own time in the formation of the new business, which will in the end fail to be realized, leaving everyone with loads of paper and broken dreams of wealth and fame. Many an MBA graduate lacks real world people skills.

During the often intense and demanding studies during the programme, involving much compulsory reading and group work, it seems many an MBA candidate forgets that the real world of real entrepreneurs, big or small, does not comprise of regulated tutorial groups. In the real world, real people’s behaviour can be extremely difficult to influence, direct, and control in line with an MBA study group recommended text prescriptions. Here, the loser MBA graduate demonstrates that they have not understood the essence of education.

Education is not about how many university degrees a supposedly learned person has attained through so many years of hard work at university. Degrees simply confirm that we have read and written about this and that at a certain level of knowledge, skill, competency, and expertise, as well as academic sophistication and excellence. Congratulations on a job well done!

Education is about how we bring, and apply knowledge to life: Wisdom. It is about how, in co-existence with others, we can harness forces in our never ending pursuit of making life and living better for all on earth. The personal state of an educated person is about being able to see and appreciate relationships between and among things. From this, an educated person can predict behaviour and, therefore, likely outcomes. A more educated person will go beyond this level, wanting to study more closely the nature of the outcomes, as well as their components. How do these components behave in different conditions, for example? It is a sign of even higher level of education to enquire about what the behaviour of these components tell us about how they can be applied to existing knowledge in order to improve existing methods of performing certain processes leading to certain outcomes: Innovation. Subsequent enquiry into the nature of things beyond this level will be a reflection of an even more refined higher level of education. E.g., how does the new knowledge affect the established order of things? What are the consequences over the broader ecology? Will this be the new norm for doing things, a paradigm shift, then? Is it sustainable? Will/ does it have global acceptability? Affordability? Who gains, who loses what, to what extent? What next? Repeatable?

People skills is, therefore, related to education since it is also about the ability to answer hard questions from those you aspire to work with, lead, and inspire. The real world is bigger than any academic or professional training manual or text by far. It, as such, goes without saying that a delusional MBA degree holder’s prospective business partners will ask questions outside the book. An educated mind is trained to see connections and relationships between and among things, the structure and logic of things. Herein lie many answers. Herein lie the secrets of success for many a leader, with or without an MBA, in business, politics, and other areas of human endeavour. As given concepts, wealth, influence, power, as well as fame, are only what they are as they are as per their respective linguistic definitions. In practice, however, they may mean different things to different people. That being so, different things and different approaches will motivate different people in different ways with respect to whether or not they will want to be part of a business venture, new or established and running. Deal with it, Mr MBA.


Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 28, 2014





WARRIOR NATIONS: Kamikaze v/s Knowledge


Many a warrior nation takes pride in their apparently major preoccupation of endless churning out of Kamikaze-like Warriors solely focused on dying for their own causes, sacrificing others of their own people in the process. Indeed, justifiable causes, in many cases.

Nelson Mandela, PresidentOther nations will on the one hand do the same also, while on the other, they devote some of their time, energy, and resources to doing and making other things that contribute to the progress of, not only their own nations in isolation, but humanity as a whole. By investing in R&D projects seeking to find answers to the ever-challenging questions of how to improve the quality of life in all aspects of living for all on earth, these countries add to the knowledge bank of humanity with respect to understanding how the natural world functions, in order that life on earth can be sustained and propagated in more effective ways. These knowledge based Warrior nations also allow for growth, perpetuation, and sustenance of culture of thought around the non-material existential questions of humanity as well. Knowledge based Warrior nations add value to global society, therefore.

Even a cursory look at contemporary history will show that in times of, often unequal, international conflicts culminating in serious and sustained wars, global society, in a lot of cases led by leading and dominant knowledge based Warrior nations, will tend to be lenient towards fellow value adding nations. Doing only perfunctory humanitarian and diplomatic acts to fulfill institutionalized international diplomacy protocols, as well as treaties and obligations in relation to the weaker, non-value-adding Kamikaze-like Warrior only nations. The latter nations, nobody really cares about. More so if they also are not endowed with any natural resource/ -s the former value and need to feed their knowledge, technology, industrial, and economic needs.

Those Kamikaze-like Warrior nations neither attractive nor exciting to global capital are doomed to losing any, in the eyes of, knowledge Warrior nations, war against the latter. It’s not about fairness; it’s not about justice for either side. It’s simply about survival of the fittest all the way. Understanding skewed stalemates in some ongoing major wars in certain parts of the world today may be understood in this light, therefore.

So, which kind of Warrior are you? Which kind of Warrior nation is yours? Last time I heard that knowledge was power.


Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 27, 2014





The Side I Take

In a perfect world, and according to Gospel Chilembo, all intelligent, thinking, reasoning, rational, and knowledgeable human beings ought to know that WAR IS WAR.

The sole purpose, role, function, and intention of war are to kill. Annihilate the enemy. As true as death is the ultimate outcome of living, the first most likely to go in all wars are the most vulnerable, the least protected, and yet some of the most innocent of beings: Children, mothers that are, mothers to be, the sick, the weak, the poor, animals. These days, even world travellers, sitting enclosed in aeroplanes, and, in that environment, seemingly as innocent and unknowing of the ways of the world as children in mothers’ wombs, get shot down like birds of game in the sky. That is the nature of war. Sick.

Round negotiation and bargaining tables, nobody dies. There are no children here, there are no weak and vulnerable here; there are no poor mothers that are, mothers to be. Those who die, if at all, round negotiation tables, are simply those who are unfit and unhealthy from before.

Nelson Mandela, PresidentRound negotiation tables, it is the firepower of brains that reigns. Rules are set, and are acknowledged and respected by all parties concerned: The aggrieved, the mediators, the moderators, as well as the facilitators. Sides shall give, and sides shall take to mutual satisfaction. Stalemates shall necessitate time-outs, reassessments, revaluations, including modifications of strategies and demands. Concessions shall be made till mutually satisfactory agreements and settlements are made. Reconciliation terms discussed, and agreed upon; sign mutually binding treaties. Shake hands, kiss and hug. Peace. Simple as that, surely. Easier said than done? Doable! Repeat process as long as necessary, sharpen all’s negotiation skills, respect and acknowledge one another’s reasons for demands, as well as raison d’être (history, resources, identity, faith religion), no matter how outlandish all this may seem to either aggrieved party.

Hear, acknowledge, and respect the voice of the global community. Worked in South Africa. Global institutions have been established to help unify mankind towards common goals of peace, development, and progress for all beings on earth. These institutions were established out of the humble realization that no single nation, no single human interest group on earth can tackle alone in an effective way the overwhelmingly huge challenges of survival, as well as propagation of the species on earth.

I conclude: Warmongers in/ of the world have no love for women and children. Women are women, and children are children anywhere in the world. In wars, both the aggressor and the oppressor use the same bullets, the same bombs, and the very same chemicals of mass destruction to kill innocent children and women. So, fuck wars! That’s the side I take. What say ye, God Almighty?

Recommended reading on alienation of war, breaking down the toughest of the tough, cream of the crop –  Sayed Kashua: Why I have to leave Israel.

Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 20, 2014




Simon Chilembo, Chief Executive President

©Simon Chilembo, 2014

We all have
Our own
Golden Ages
Enjoy it
While you last
Gold shall glitter
With or without you
Diamonds are forever
I’m here
I live
I love
Beauty everywhere
Let The Platinum Age begin

©Simon Chilembo, 16/ 07- 2014

Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 16, 2014


1-Year Anniversary: The Truth

Simon Chilembo, Pres/ CEO, Empire Chilembo ©Simon Chilembo, 2014

In search of myself, I came forward to the roots in the land of my birth exactly a year ago today. I’m here; I live, I love. I’m poor. My sanity is intact. Symbols of my profane world wealth are standing firm on solid ground. I have no choice but to rise and stand tall. My life is good. One discovered shocking truth about my life could have wrecked it all had it not been for the presence of the other truth.

It is true that I am a man much humbled by the truth that I have people around me, far and wide, who love and care much about me. In my darkest hours, when it rudely emerged that in my world in the land of my birth, sometimes what you see is not what you get, these people reached out (like they always do in my hours of darkness, as if they were Mother Mary) to light up my world, lightening my burdens till time dissipates them.

I want to express my deepest and most sincere gratitude to all those who have given me unconditional support, mentoring, coaching, counselling, advice, and guidance, as well as prayed for me, during this past year. A third truth in this regard is that your loyalty to, including your belief and faith in, me I could never thank you enough for. My Karate Kids of all ages all over the world, you make me want to sing, What Am I Living For? I don’t know what my Karate teacher sings, but his presence fuels my desire to want to sing. Always.

Land of my manhood calls, “Back to the roots, son!” I’ll be back …


Simon Chilembo
South Africa
Tel.: +27 717 454 115
July 02, 2014



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