The Mazda DESTINY Forum kicked off with the sounds of beat boxer Cyber who also doubled as programme director.After enthralling the filled to capacity ballroom at the Hilton Sandton, the beat boxer called DESTINY MAN editor Kojo Baffoe to stage.
Baffoe welcomed the well-dressed crowd to the second DESTINY Forum and commented that they should not be surprised by the hip hop feel of the evening, “After all we are a business and lifestyle brand. So hip hop is us,” he said.
Baffoe wasted no time and called on MD of Ndalo Media, holding company of DESTINY, DESTINY MAN and related digital platforms, Khanyi Dhlomo.
Dhlomo thanked the attendants for having supported the brand since inception five years ago.
“We launched in a tough market, just as the recession started. It is through your support that we are here today,” she said.
Dhlomo said once again, the DESTINY brand was breaking the mould by bringing serial entrepreneur and co-founder of record label Def Jam, Russell Simmons.
“We are very honoured to have him here,” she said.
Dhlomo also thanked sponsor Mazda, media partners – Mnet, City Press and Kaya FM – and her team.
The Mazda DESTINY Forum took on a different format. Unlike the first, where each of the five speakers stood in front of the audience and spoke for 45 minutes, this one took on a live talk-show feel – where Baffoe interviewed Simmons before opening up the platform for the audience to ask Simmons questions.
Baffoe raised the hard questions first and asked the author of Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success about his involvement with drugs and gangs. Simmons was honest and did not duck and dive and spoke about how he dug himself out of that dark place.
Simmons said the secrets to success were timeless, “It is in the scriptures – it has been written over and over again,” he said.
About entrepreneurship, Simmons said it was about finding the white space, that hole in the market that hadn’t been filled. It was about bringing something new – about innovation.
But the recurring message was, “Success is about working your prayer,” he said, “Finding that single point of focus, that passion, like forgetting to breath when you are reading because it is that beautiful; or finding a melody that promotes all your happiness.”
A firm believer in daily meditation and yoga practise, Simmons said chasing after money would not equal success.
“Needing nothing is super rich, needing nothing attracts everything,” he said.
The gist of success according to Simmons is hard work, dedication, resilience and faith.
A performance by Tumi and the Volume closed off the proceedings.