A Southern Girl in South Africa

A Southern Girl in South Africa

The Chronicles of a Southern Girl's Adventures of Living, Loving, Learning, and Traveling in Africa

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Russell Simmons comes to Jo’burg!

October 17, 2012 , , , , , , , , ,

As I shared in my last post (which I know has been a long time ago), I started writing for Destiny Magazine, a monthly women’s lifestyle publication, as a part-time contributor in March 2012. The men’s version of the magazine is called Destiny Man.  Each year, Destiny Man organises a Destiny Man Forum.  They usually have a special guest and this year’s speaker was Russell Simmons.  For those that don’t know Russell Simmons is an American business magnate. He and Rick Rubin founded the pioneering hip-hop label Def Jam. Some of the past and present artists on Def Jam are LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Rihanna, Kanye West, and Jay-Z.  Simmons also created the clothing fashion lines Phat Farm, Baby Phat, Argyleculture, and American Classics. (source: http://www.wikipedia.org)

For this year’s Destiny Man Forum, they decided to host the event in a more intimate setting and they also decided to have the Destiny Man editor, Kojo Baffoe, interview Russell.  First off, the event was packed.  It was wall-to-wall beautiful people and a very chill vibe.  The fact that so many people came out to hear Russell speaks to the impact that America and hip-hop has in South Africa.

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This is the first time I’ve ever heard Russell speak and I was surprised at how deep he is.  His spirituality plays a huge role in his life and he talked about that at length during the interview.  Even though he’s quite deep, he’s also very real and he was willing to talk about some of the lows (e.g. drug use) in his life.  It was nice to hear someone who has so much but the stuff doesn’t “have “him.

I can sum up the night with 2 ideas: 1) life is about giving, not getting and 2) have and execute a great vision for your life.  What Russell (and Khanyi, Managing Director of Ndalo Media, company that owns Destiny and Destiny Man) said really resonated with me because 1) my prayer is that I can be blessed so that I can be a blessing to others just as others have blessed me and 2) I came to South Africa so that I could have the opportunity to do something that no one else has done here.  Hearing Russell and Khanyi speak truly reenergized me and reminded me of  what’s important to me.

I’m going to end this post with my Top 10 most memorable quotes from the evening.

1. Good givers are great getters.

2. When we go up, we do not rise alone. (Khanyi Dhlomo, )

3. I built what I had to in order to get my ideas across.  You don’t want to do what’s already been done. (This is something I should share with all the celebrities that are still coming out with fashion and make-up lines 🙂

4. If you’re thinking about the money when you’re making a record, you’re making a bad record.

5. It’s nice to play with toys but be willing to let them go.

6. No matter how big your house is, you can only sit your a.. in one seat.

7. Business guys are good at managing your business, entrepreneurs have a vision.

8. You can have control over the work but you need to detach from the results. Detach from the fruit.

9. The only thing promised is change.

10. Having alot of stuff will create neediness.  Neediness is the cause of all suffering.

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Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share this blog with your friends and family. I want to share my amazing experience in Africa with as many people as I possibly can!


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Carice, great post! What a neat opportunity, and yea! By writing for Destiny, you are getting to do something different from your life in the States. Russell and Kyanyi did share some great words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing.


October 17, 2012

Thanks Ashley for reading my blog! I’m definitely hoping and praying to do more!


October 18, 2012

Truth is easily recognized when you’re looking for it. Nice to know that Mr. Simmons is a truth-teller. I’ve not read many of his interviews, but I’ve always felt he was “deep and real”. How nice to get refreshed for the next leg of your journey!

I completely agree! Thanks Aunt Debra for checking out the blog!


October 18, 2012

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November 20, 2013

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