In 2015 Thebe Investment Corporation launched the Thebe Esquire with much fanfare. After the launch, the Esquire movement partnered with Father A Nation’s Craig Wilkinson to roll out a series of sessions that covered topics that included, Principles of masculinity and mentorship.
More than ten sessions were conducted across the country where Thebe has a presence through subsidiary companies covering more than 100 Esquires in Gauteng, KZN, Western Cape and Mpumalanga. Other partners included Destiny Men and Kaya FM. A Committee consisting of Mish Mogale (Chairman), Deputy Chair (currently vacant), Kgaotsang Samore (General Secretary) and two Executives, of which George Mamaila is one has been tasked with ensuring that the Esquire Programme takes effect.
As an African company, we realise that our existence is directly related to how we live, work and play in our communities. The Thebe Esquire Forum is designed to be a platform where men in the Thebe Group gather and share ideas on issues affecting them in the world. It is a forum for men by men, where every voice is an equal and every suggestion is considered with respect and attentiveness.
The forum is meant to ensure men talk, discuss and share experiences that would benefit male development. Themes and areas to be tackled include:
- Community development initiatives,
- Masculinity, and
- Community leadership.
Some of the topics intended to be covered under community and leadership are:
- Acceptable behaviour,
- Absent fathers,
- Social challenges (drugs, rape, abuse, stress and addictions),
- Financial management (credit/debit handling, budgeting, investments, getting out of debt),
- Father-son/daughter relationships,
- Community investments,
- Role models,
- Masculinity, and
We intend that the Esquire Committee grows beyond the central committee to ensure Esquire initiatives are carried out at a regional level. We are proud to announce that Western Cape established an Esquire Committee at our last visit in August.
The 2017/2018 Esquire Programme saw the roll out of the Finance and Excellence themes as part of the Esquire series of events. This saw the address of the Gauteng Esquires by former Finance Minister and Thebe Resident Advisor, Dr Nhlanhla Nene, on the 24th of May. The topic Esquire Nene dealt with was “The impact of a sovereign rating downgrade and how to respond to it”. The session was held at the Sunnyside Park Hotel were more than 40 Esquires attended.
Esquire Nene indicated that ratings are all around us. “We use them every day,” he added. We often chose where to eat based on the rating of restaurants. We watch movies because they are rated highly by a reviewer we trust. Hotels and other places of accommodation are rated too.
All of these ratings have some methodology they use to give us a signal of what we might expect. The rating of government debt is also a signal to investors.
Esquire Nene mentioned the factors that rating agencies take into account in evaluating a country’s rating; of the many, he indicated the following: economic strength, institutional strength, fiscal strength and susceptibility to event risk.
He said, “we all know if we want to borrow money from a bank, or any lender for that matter, we must have the means to repay it. Those means to repay the money may become available sometime in the future, but the lender needs comfort that the loan will be repaid as per the terms and conditions. The same applies to a country that wants to borrow money from investors. That country must have the means, today and in the future to repay the debt.”
More sessions were held, in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga and Cape Town, Western Province, and more than 30 Esquires attended. These two sessions were addressed by Craig Wilkinson of Father A Nation, who has been part of the Thebe Esquire events since inception in 2015. The theme was around Esquire embracing Excellence. He started with a quote from Vince Lombardi:
“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour.”
Craig challenged every Esquire to live a life of excellence, to live to the fullest and reach the potential each Esquire has. He took Esquires through ten keys to achieving excellence. This includes dealing and changing your belief system around who you are, your potential and what you can achieve, negative thoughts and messages that as Esquires we have received in our life’s journey from a young age.
Esquires were open enough to share their own experiences on some of these beliefs that have hampered them from achieving excellence; topic ranged from being told they will never be good enough to self-doubt on possible career prospects.
Esquires also rated their level of excellence. This ensured that as Esquires we could identify gaps on the path to excellence, enabling us to put actions in place to close the gaps. The level of excellence assessment included rating yourself on physical wellbeing, family and finances.
The general feedback we received was very positive, and the staff is wanting to see more regular sessions for the year.