‘It was at that moment back in 1988 that I reached a crossroad in my life. I had the choice either to accept my fate and let cancer kill me, or I had to fight back and give myself a real chance at living again. And with that realisation I made myself a pledge: I was going to beat the disease and chase my dream.’
Mark Pilgrim had wanted to ‘be on radio’ since he was thirteen years old, yet it always seemed like an unobtainable dream. It took a life-threatening illness to motivate him to pursue his passion.
At the age of eighteen his radio dream was on the back burner. Mark had just completed the first year of a B.Com degree at university and had secured a bursary to complete his studies. Things were looking good. Then the blow fell: he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After surgery and throughout months of chemotherapy his initial despair was transformed into determination. He found the inner strength to fight the illness, change his career direction, and to make his lifelong dream a reality.
Beyond the Baldness is a personal account of Mark’s journey of determination, following every opportunity to audition for radio and television. From the humble beginnings of living in a trailer park, today Mark is one of South Africa’s best-known and most recognisable personalities, having deejayed on South Africa’s biggest radio stations and hosted some of the most memorable television shows like ‘Big Brother’ and SA’s biggest ever game show ‘The Power of 10’. His voice is also used in countless radio and television commercials.
As a motivational speaker, Mark spends a lot of his time engaging with delegates at conferences, chatting about his experience with cancer as well as the sudden heart attack he had at the age of 38.
His positive approach to life is inspirational and it will encourage everyone who reads this book to chase their dreams!
Turning a TV advert into a real business, the lessons learned.
Many South Africans became familiar with the phrase, ‘Ooh Vuyo – he’s such a big big dreamer’ from the TV beer commercial that told a rags-to-riches story about an entrepreneur who starts a business selling boerewors rolls and grows it into a successful multinational business.
Wondering whether it was a true tale, Miles Kubheka did some research. When he discovered that Vuyo was a fictitious character, he saw a gap in the market for developing an exciting business model.
Moving from his solid IT background into the food business was a major change for Miles, but he took the plunge into an industry he knew nothing about. One step at a time, building on experience often learned from past failures, and with more than a little flair, he created a successful food business.
He told his story to anyone who would listen and in time found himself being asked to give motivational talks, initially to groups of students. But the word spread, people were inspired by his story. Before he knew it, Miles was sharing his insights at global platforms such as TEDx and to large audiences at corporate conferences.
This book is not a ‘recipe for success’. It is rather many recipes which Miles shares with an enthusiasm that will encourage and inspire budding young entrepreneurs to achieve their own dreams of business success.
Brutally dragged 780 metres beneath a taxi – a young woman’s inspiring story of survival, courage, and the will to live.
‘13 September 2011. The story would shock thousands and be remembered by many for years to come. It would be plastered all over the papers and continue to attract interest well after the shock factor of what happened had passed. Reports and articles would be written, and “facts”, as given to reporters by some of those involved and willing to be interviewed, would be recounted and repeated in all forms of public media over the months and even years that followed. And although these versions would generate widespread outrage, none was entirely accurate.The stories were about me. I was there.
I am Kim McCusker, “the girl who was dragged by a taxi”.’
The deliberate and malicious act of one man would impact and change Kim McCusker’s life forever. This single act would also impact the lives of the people who were close to her – her family and friends. It would go far beyond that too, and impact the lives of people she may never meet or know. This single act was the senseless attack on her by a man with his taxi full of passengers and one which most people wouldn’t survive.
Kim’s life may have been compromised but she is stronger and more determined than ever before. Scarred – But Not For Life is not only about what happened one day in September in 2011. That is the part of Kim that many already know. This book is about much more than that. Her story is not about being a victim or about being a consequence of another person’s choice. It is about making choices for yourself with what is available to you, taking control and surviving and thriving in life despite what comes your way.
Kim’s overarching message is: That which seems impossible, hopeless or overwhelming is never bigger than you are.
‘I am not recovering. I am recovered. You, too, can be a recovered addict.’
Imagine going from schoolboy experimentation with drugs to being so addicted that you begin planning your parents’ murder so that you can get money (for more drugs) from your inheritance! Sadly Marco’s story is not an isolated one.
Marco Broccardo was an ordinary boy from an ordinary family. He had parents who loved him and provided him with a safe and caring home. He had older sisters who doted on their little brother. He had friends and he played sport at school. When he experimented with weed and then with coke and ecstasy, he was no different from the circle he socialised with and partied with at weekends. Drugs made him feel great. What was the harm?
The trouble came when supply and demand were out of balance and a harmless joint and a couple of pills no longer did the trick. Marco needed cash – more and more of it. He became a runner for the dealers who operated in the clubs where Joburg teenagers went to party. He had money and he had drugs. Life seemed good. Then two things happened: he found he was consuming more of the druglords’ stock than he was selling, and he discovered crack cocaine. The moment of choice came in no more than a heartbeat. For him it was a no brainer. Marco chose rocks.
From that moment on he cast everything and everyone aside in his ruthless pursuit of his next high. He took his family to the brink of financial ruin and emotional despair; he lied his way through rehabs and halfway houses; he used every genuine offer of help as opportunities to plan his next spectacular relapse; and he dismissed several close calls with death as signs that he just needed to be more careful next time. He didn’t care. Chasing the high was his only mission in life, no matter who or what he destroyed in the process.
Until the day he made the dramatic and life-altering decision to change. How he did it and what he has done with his life since then are nothing short of miraculous.
This is Marco’s story.