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A DECADE LATER

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GROWING UP IN TEN YEARS

It is not as if much has changed since I entered the afternoon phase of my life. In my younger, less restrained rock and roll days, going out to a party meant, amongst others, getting told that I talked too much, too loud. Getting laid would also come as a matter of course, although not necessarily as a must; just a cool endeavour to engage in to seal yet another successful party night out.

Simon Chilembo

©Simon Chilembo, Author, President 2017

On the afternoon of Friday, July 27, 2007, I embarked on a cross-border trip from Oslo, Norway, into Sweden. The destination was a recreational cottage village on the outskirts of the south-western city of Gothenburg. I know now that I really had not been keen on doing that trip. But I had to: duty called; business. I was exhausted after a hectic two weeks’ business tour across much of South Africa, from which I had arrived in Oslo the previous day.

There was also a distant, yet distinct enough, uneasy feeling about the double-events calling for the visit: a business partner’s birthday celebration on the day. The following day, July 28, it was scheduled the inaugural shareholders’ meeting for our newly-registered trading company.

I had had a theoretically substantiated notion that, despite the negative vibe I felt, everything would end up well. I couldn’t help but see the millions of dollars we were going to make as we went on to transform and dominate the Scandinavian health foods market. On my part, I already saw how I’d use my share of the millions to help even more of my needy South African relatives’ children acquire decent education. The poverty levels of some of these people sear my heart ever so too much for comfort on any day.

Apart from a few new dark suits, a new Mercedes, and a new apartment in Oslo, I really had no reason to blow the monies on any more of my vanity needs. I already had my gold Rolex. So, I was cool.

As, on the morning of Saturday, July 28, 2007, I found myself driving my former business partner’s car on some unfamiliar country road, I immediately understood that something terribly wrong had happened. I wanted to believe that I was seeing myself in a nightmare, up until an almost frontal collision with an oncoming vehicle. Things had terribly gone wrong, alright. But, how?

Nothing made much sense to me. Alcohol consumption during dinner the previous night did not make me feel any fresher. As usual, I got scolded for being too loud and taking too much space. The slowly-healing scar after a major abdominal operation three months earlier was sore. I didn’t get laid, which was just as well under the circumstances. To this day, I still haven’t figured out how and where I found the car keys, scaled over an at least 1.2m high gate to get into the car, and drove off, through a never used rocky and difficult terrain, to get to normal roads.

When I lost control of the car and drove off the road, I knew that things were moving from “terribly wrong” to “serious trouble”. Realizing that crashing into a roadside ditch was unavoidable, the situation degenerated from “serious trouble” to “things fall apart”. Things happening real fast now, I recall not worrying about injuries, or worse. But, in an instant, I saw my millions flying out of the window; and, through the windscreen, I thought I saw my business partner dancing, saying to me, “See, you are not as hot as you think you are. Let’s see how you come out of this one!”

As the car rammed into the ditch, I recall acknowledging to myself that, yes, the unthinkable had just happened: my world had just fallen apart. I was finished, then. Getting out of the car stuck in the ditch, I concluded that the solution to all the inescapable impending challenges arising from this involuntary misadventure lay in me staying calm and strong throughout. I resolved that que sera sera. I’d pay my dues with dignity and honour, even if I’d have to lay my life on the line.

Such began my steep fall from economic might and glory. Little did I know that the blow would reverberate throughout about all the most decisive aspects of my being; changing the course of my life in ways I could never before envisage even in my worst nightmares.

Ten years on, I’ve yet to recover; having lost everything symbolic of economic success in life. I’m officially insolvent, and haven’t had any source of income since the first half of 2013. Prior to that, I had to endure near debilitating punitive actions arising from the car accident, both in terms of financial and legal imperatives. Seeing my business collapse in front of my eyes, and, subsequently closing down my clinic and training centre in Oslo, remain some of the most unsettling moments during that time.

Through it all, however, my staying strong resolve has never been an option. My senses of dignity and honour are still intact. Solid as a rock, I’m standing tall. The worst is over. I feel and see, like I used to before the fateful July 27-28, 2007 night and day, the pulse of my fate in my hands. I’m here. I live. I love. Again. I’ll soon return to my world in Oslo, Norway, and continue from where I left; stronger and wiser than ever before.

To mark the 10th year anniversary of my fall in opulent society, I offer the electronic version of my first book, When the Mighty Fall – Rise Again Mindgames for free. In the book, the story leading up to, and after July 27-28, 2007, plays itself out. The free offer shall be from Thursday, July 27 to Monday, July 31, 2017. Order, read with an open mind, enjoy, and be inspired.

 

Simon Chilembo
Welkom
South Africa
Tel.: +27 626 218 288
July 24, 2017
Order Simon Chilembo books here.

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