Themba Msimango is a student of life who is deeply driven by philosophy. The Tembisa born is fascinated by perennial wisdom of how to live and die, human nature and power. “ I chose Stoicism philosophy as my operating system of life. Stoicism is an ancient philosophy that teaches the principles of knowing what is in your control and not in your control. On a lighter note, I am a simple and humble guy who enjoys learning from everyone. Lastly, I am a Public Relations Consultant at FNB,” he tells The Olifants News.
He says growing up in Tembisa (Xubeni section) was a mix bag of experiences that shaped him to become a better person. “I have never spoken publicly, but I was raised in a one room backroom. My grandmother and late grandfather were kind enough to build us this backroom. I lived in this one room with my mother Joanah Lubisi and my younger brother Jabulane Msimango. I will forever be grateful to them for this. This room was filled with warm love, dreams, support and striving to be a better person,” he recalls.
“I started working in primary school for a tuckshop called KwaThwala (no longer operating). The tuckshop was known for making the best kotas and my job was to peel potatoes. I was one of the fastest people who can peel a potato quicker and I eventually graduated to making kotas,” he continues.
He was faced with a dilemma of going to university or taking care of his sick mother and he chose the latter. “I chose to take care of my mother because she means the world to me. She did every odd job you can think off to raise me and my brother,” he says.
Msimango is the cofounder of Readers Minds, an initiative to promote reading. “According to the South African Book Development Council, at the time in 2016, only five percent of South African parents read to their children. With 14 percent of the population being active book-readers,” says Msimango.
He says life living in lockdown has been very eye opening for him. “I now have more time to focus on the things that matter to me such as writing for my blog, reading and connecting with family and friends,” he explains. When he is not writing or reading, he is listening to Gareth Cliff’s podcasts.
He considers Ryan Holiday as one of the great philosophers and strategic thinkers. “His writing introduced me to Stoicism, how to shape my character and live my life, timeless wisdom, strategy, media and marketing.”
Connect with Themba on Twitter: @TheMicMsimango @ ReadersMinds Blog: thembamsimango.wordpress.com