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25 years of life.  I have been alive for a freakin’ quarter of a century.  For as long as I can remember, my biggest fear hasn’t been heights, clowns, or dentists.  My greatest fear has been getting old – and it’s finally coming true 😥 .  But you can’t fight fate or evade nature.  I haven’t a choice but to embrace the fact that I’m getting old.

But I look back at my life life with some sort of pride in the sort of man that I have turned or rather evolved into.  There are many individuals, men and women (some I’ve never & probably will never meet), that have shaped and molded my life into what it is and what it can be.  It’s no secret that my only goal in life is to remove the negative stigma around black men.  Seeing as this is my 25th birthday, I’m writing about the 25 black men I look up to and intend to achieve success similar to theirs.

No. 25. JOMO SONO/KAIZER MOTAUNG :- These footballing legends have not only carved their names in stone with their mesmerizing footballing ability, but with their ability to successfully transform two township football clubs into well-respected and easily recognizable brands that expand beyond the football pitch.  All this during South Africa’s most difficult time – apartheid.

No. 24. TYLER PERRY :- One of the most versatile actors/comedians.  Growing up poor and sexually abused did not stop him from becoming one of the wealthiest  film-makers in the world.

No. 23. NELSON MANDELA :-  Need I explain why..?  The name alone speaks deafening volumes.

No. 22. EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON :-  Talent accompanied by brains is an impenetrable shield against failure.  Magic Johnson possessed this shield.  He went from a magician in the basketball court to a magician in the boardroom.  From playing for the LA Lakers, to owning the LA Lakers. After selling his Lakers shares, he now owns part of the LA Dodgers (MLB baseball team). He’s ballin’… in more ways than one.

No. 21. ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU :-  A man not afraid to speak his mind.  He was at the forefront in rallying to have Mandela released during apartheid, and publicly admonished President Zuma for refusing The Dalai Lama enterance into South Africa. I hope to meet him some day.

No. 20. STEVE HARVEY :-  An “Original King of Comedy”.  He is a daytime talk-show host, has two radio talk-shows, has a New York Times best-selling book, and he has his own range of formal ties… HUSTLER!

No. 19. AKON :-  Born in Senegal but grew up in America.  After making millions from his successful music career, Akon didn’t forget where he came from, and built solar panels that will provide 600 million Africans (that’s half the continent) with electricity.

No. 18. DR. DRE :-  The first rapper to make a billion dollars.  All this began by him and his group rapping about the struggles of young black men in the ghetto.  But what I admire most about him is that his greatness is defined by the number of rappers he made successful.  50 Cent, Eminem, The Game, Kendrick Lamar, & Snoop Dogg.

No. 17. MZILIKAZI WA AFRIKA :-  A fearless freedom fighter and extraordinary investigative journalist who stood firm for what he believed was in the public interest.  And also excelled in music.  Author of “Nothing Left To Steal”.  A superb wordsmith.

No. 16. HAILE SELASSIE :-  Leader of Ethiopia and a great symbol of African independence against colonialism.  An outstanding leader during World War II, resisting to the invasion of the Italians.

No. 15. KOFI ANNAN :-  The first African to be named United Nations Secretary General (served tow terms).  His skills of great patience and diplomacy are things I admire about him.  Even after retiring from the UN,  he is still a pursuer of peace and security with his non-profit organization “Kofi Annan Foundation.”

No. 14. JOHN SINGLETON/SPIKE LEE :-  Probably the first movie directors to portray the true happenings of the ghetto in movies.  Great film-makers who showed that everyone, from whatever background, has a story to tell.

No. 13. MICHAEL JACKSON :-  A pioneer of music, dance and music videos.  Michael Jackson has been relevant for the past 50 years with his music.  Though he may have died heavily in debt, his relevance for half a century is a feat that I don’t think will ever be achieved again.

No. 12. OLIVER TAMBO :-  He led the fight against apartheid outside the South African borders while in exile.  The educated millions outside South Africa about apartheid and influenced them to fight for what’s just, right & moral.

No. 11. TIGER WOODS :-  A black man who broke boundaries with his brilliance in a sport dominated by whites.  Though controversy followed him, he was man enough to admit his mistakes and apologize for them.  Then made an incredible  comeback to the top of the world golf rankings.  His perseverance is thought-provoking.

No. 10. PELE :-  Coming from deep poverty to being regarded as the greatest and finest footballer of all time.  He had the utmost dedication and love for football. He’s now an advocate for overcoming poverty.

No. 9. AGGREY KLAASTE :-  Successfully pushed the “nation building” concept as the editor of Sowetan during the struggle years.  The first black South African journalist to achieve legendary status.

No. 8. CHINUA ACHEBE :-  The best-selling, greatest and widely read African novelist, poet and writer.  I want to achieve similar status as this legendary writer.  He has great praise that is borderline godly.

No. 7. JOHN KANI :-  A brilliant stage actor and playwright.  He has received countless international accolades and appeared in many international productions.  He even has a theatre named after him.  Not forgetting his incredible wisdom.

No. 6. BOB MARLEY :-  He showed it was okay to be different.  He put Rastafarianism on the map.  He was also a social commentator for the emancipation of black people from slave mentality.

No. 5. NKOSI JOHNSON :-  He may have died at aged 11, but he was more of a man than most men in today’s world.  Probably the first relevant HIV/AIDS activist.  Made billions around the world understand what AIDS truly is.

No. 4. THABO MBEKI :-  Mandela’s chosen successor.  He personified the word intelligence.  A true believer in African Renaissance and quiet diplomacy.  One of the very few dignified African leaders.

No. 3. MOHAMMED ALI :-  The only boxer to ever defeat his opponents before setting a foot in the ring.  He showed all you need to conquer your enemies is to defeat their minds.

No. 2. JOHNNY KLAAS (My Father) :-  A man that would rather starve than see his child have nothing to eat.  A man who’d rather go shirtless that see his child wear rags.  The kindest man I’ve known.  Also a man I’ve never seen back down from a fight.  I smile with pride everytime I hear someone say “You look exactly like your dad.”

No. 1. KHANYILE KLAAS (My Brother) :-  From ward councilor (driving a Mazda 3), to being unemployed (& no car), to then being the deputy mayor (& driving a Mercedes Benz).  He proves that once you fall from great heights, get up and climb to greater heights than before…  And HUSTLE NIGGA HUSTLE!

I plan to emulate these great black gentleman and hope to inspire the same sort of greatness in others like they have inspired me.  Laziness is the hindrance of potential, and complacency the hindrance of an intelligent mind.  So I plan to never waste my potential and never be complacent and rest on my laurels should I achieve my desired goals.  I suggest you follow my lead.

‘Till Next Time Peeps, BHA-BHAYINI!

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Helloweeni Peeps!


Is there a criteria for success or to being a successful individual?  Maybe you have to be a man or a woman, black or white, or perhaps grow up with wealth (be a member of a wealthy family.)  Well there is a criteria to being successful, and there’s only one requirement needed.  The only thing you need to be the best you you can be is a free mind.

I will share my opinion as a black South African man.  I am tired of seeing teenagers in the township dropping out of high school to go work for peanuts, when they possess an I.Q. equaling that of an educated professional, and have the potential for greatness.  I find parents that say they need some financial support from their child very selfish.  And saying you come from a poor background is no excuse; thinking and making the right decisions doesn’t cost a cent.  Education for your child is the best investment any parent can make.  Diminishing their intellect so they can fulfill your responsibilities as the family provider quite sickens me.  Coz what’s the point of sending your child to high school if they are gonna drop out and get the same employment as someone who never even bothered going to school?  Believing in who your child is and who they want to become gives them the pride and confidence to make a success of their lives and be the provider you needed.  With a bit of patience and confidence in their ability, parents will enjoy the fruits of their investments. Let’s move away from being slaves of the past; let’s stop being the slaves of our narrow minds.

bob marley

Legendary reggae artist, Bob Marley‘s lyrics from Redemption Song went: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds.”

Nothing could be closer to the truth. Let’s free ourselves from the idea that you should be a man or be affiliated with men to be successful.  Let’s free ourselves from the idea that white people have the advantage in the journey to success.  And let’s free ourselves from the idea that your poor background is an indestructible wall or barrier that blocks your path to achieving success.  These ideas do nothing but build boundaries that limit our abilities, and a limited mind is a dead mind.

mzwakhe mbuli

Mzwakhe Mbuli, a South African revolutionary poet, once said: “A perishing mind, is of a perishing person; A perishing person, is of  perishing family; A perishing family, is of a perishing community; A perishing community, is the DEATH OF A NATION.”

So I plead with the parents of our Black Nation not to limit their children’s minds for that is the death of the black nation.  The only thing we cannot do is the thing we are yet to thing of doing.  To my young black brothers and sisters, being full of knowledge and having ambition is nothing to be ashamed of.  Coz it’s the only thing no one can take away from us.  Aren’t we tired of being stereotyped as potential criminals? Aren’t we tired of seeing many black men and black women using sinister means to succeed?  Isn’t it time we start succeeding in something else apart from entertainment or the sports arena?  To succeed in something that requires more intellectual capability?  Coz we are more than capable of achieving that.

Nothing’s wrong with working and providing for a parent or guardian that is unable to do such, but do it with a goal of achieving your own career in future.  The only thing that is hindering your path to success is a negative state of mind.  So free yourselves by knowing where you come from, realizing where you are, and then determining where you’re going and where you’ll be.


‘Till Next Time Peeps, STAY GOODEST!  [twitter – @kingyobho; fb – King Yolanda Klaas III]

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Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


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