Celebrate© November/ December 2005
The Official Newsletter of the Celebrating Humanity© Transformational Team building Program

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Assmang Managanese - Cato Ridge - KZn, South Africa.
Assmang Diversity Training Programme

Day 1 - Groups 3 & 4.
November 2005, Isithumba Conference Centre

This is the most inter-racial, cultural, class and position at work - workshop I have ever attended.

I learnt that we are all the same and we must respect each other.

I enjoyed Arthie’s explanation of the various cultures regarding food.

Most important of all was to converse with different kinds of people. Learning about cultural habits and understanding of other people’s cultures, religion
and beliefs.

I recommend this course because in this way all South Africans can understand each other.

I enjoyed learning about other cultures and getting to know my colleagues better, and learning that basically we all face the same challenges in life irrespective of colour.

I enjoyed the teamwork and life’s lessons. I Learnt Respect, Culture and more about myself.

I enjoyed the interaction with everyone and learning more about them in a fun way.

I learnt the meaning behind diversity and how we can use the knowledge of other cultures etc, to better understand and become friends with our peers.

This is an excellent course. Very well presented and very informative.

I learnt more about the different cultures, religion, groups of people and why they do something in a specific way.

There is no race, gender, colour of your skin differentiation in this programme.

You don’t often get a chance like this to learn about other people, culture and religions.

In enjoyed eing able to interact and communicate with different people. It was a relaxing atmosphere and the food was good.

It is open and relaxed, no finger pointing and prejudice.

It opens your eyes to other cultures and how simple things could be offensive to other people of different cultures.

I had my doubts prior to the programme but it has been a very great day full of learning and understanding.

I enjoyed the easy way our very diverse group came together as a team.

The interaction was great.

I learnt that every person is different irrespective of their cultures.

We need more people like you in this world.

I enjoyed Interaction with others. Getting to know some people better.

I enjoyed getting to know myself a bit better.

I enjoyed getting to work as a team, building team spirit. And knowing why certain cultures do things the way they do them.

Celebrating Humanity helps you to look past your own world and, not to walk about with blinkers, understanding others better.

It helps you to understand other cultures - that you all have different viewpoints.

It makes people realise that no matter what position you hold or what culture or creed you are, your problems and thinking are not unique.

I enjoyed the opportunity to not only communicate with a huge variation of diverse cultures but also the fact that the course candidates came from a vast variety of walks of life.

The day was well balanced between interaction and learning of people’s feelings, cultures and mannerisms.

I enjoyed the interaction of people’s different learning styles and how to categorise individuals and then how to communicate and react to these people. Knowing my own learning styles helps me to adjust my approach to people.

It is a known fact that all people do not know themselves or the people that work with them and this course certainly drives to achieving this harmony.

I enjoyed the learning styles and problem solving with different people. To be working as a team.

I enjoyed learning about other peoples cultures and way of life.

I enjoyed the assessment a person’s learning styles. And listening to other peoples’ opinion and advice.

I learnt that everyone is unique in his or her own way. Do not judge a person by his/ her looks and background.

This is a definite eye opener to those who have blinkers on. We all must learn to get along and work with each other.

I enjoyed understanding my learning style and knowing how I can make it better. In order not to be frustrated you ought to understand what’s important to you as an individual.

It is important to acknowledge others as a sign of Ubuntu and the only way to do that is to be able to understand all cultures to be able to get somewhere.

I enjoyed experiencing and observing people opening up to others and enjoying each others’ company.

I learnt cultural difference from people of the particular cultures and enjoyed sharing points of our backgrounds and cultures and learning to listen to others. And realising that there is so much common ground among us, in numerous areas in respect, belief’s, love, etc.

I recommend this course because we can now communicate with each other.

I enjoyed being relaxed and open.

I recommend this course because it allows people to express themselves freely and understand each other better.

I learnt to give respect to each person’s culture. “The universe rewards actions not thoughts”.

I enjoyed the manner in which it is run - like a play - highly informal and stress free.

I enjoyed the team participation and gentle competitiveness between groups. And the other people in the seminar, people are always great.

I learnt that people are generally the same, they just have different ways of doing things. There has to be and is strength in diverse and union.

The presenters were a joy.

I recommend this course so that we can all develop a practical understanding of the diverse cultures and acceptance of them. This can play a huge part in one’s success - personal, professional and country basis.

I think the most interesting part of this workshop was interacting with different people.

I am now starting to understand the difference between cultures.

I no longer need to feel reluctant in interacting, conversing or discussing issues with anybody.

It was great to forget about my own personal problems and to know every person at this course also has problems.

I enjoyed solving the problem in a group with team spirit and the desire to win.

There are excellent group interactions, team spirit and a lot to take home and test on wife and children.

I learnt to respect different cultures and how to communicate with different people.

I learn to respect the people I work with.

This programme taught me a lot about how to live with different people.

I sincerely hope that this spirit can be carried over, not only to the workplace but also throughout society.

I recommend the Celebrating Humanity programme because it builds very important bridges necessary for this country to grow as a unified nation.

I enjoyed being a part of the group and taking part in the event. I enjoyed talking to other people, the camaraderie of us together and most of all I had fun.

Day 2 - Groups 3 & 4. November 2005, Isithumba Conference Centre

The participation is very good and stories make you really think of the positive and the future not only for us but our children.

How people see you and what you can do to make people feel wanted, happy and valuable.

I thank you for this opportunity of learning and look forward to taking this knowledge back to my family.

It is important that we make an effort to learn about the diverse nation around us so that we can build a better nation for our children.

I learnt to change my whole overview of different perceptions i.e, to be myself, to be stronger and to respect the views of others.

I enjoyed the openness of discussion.

Understanding the cultures of the different races that make up our nation.

I enjoyed the understanding that all people are different with different cultures but at the end of the day all are human beings without colour.

I learned to understand myself. To understand the mistakes we made in the past. To treat everyone and everybody with respect.

I enjoyed the harmonious interaction within our groups. Learning about other members in the group.

We need more people with your knowledge and belief’s to educate the rest of the world.

I enjoyed the participation of sharing, participation and interactions.

To have consultants like Brian and Arthie who know what they are talking about. It was a good experience indeed.

I recommend the programme because it teaches you respect for others as well as yourself.

I realised how little I know about the various people that make up our country.

The whole day was fantastic. Keep it up. This country has a great future of us being one great nation.

I enjoyed the full and frank inter personal discussions with all the other people on me and them.

The course really helps you understand the way others act and how to work towards better unity.

Brian and Arthie, you are brilliant, talented, good, strong and friendly people.

I learnt to be open to my fellow colleagues even if they are your superior and to tell them what you need and can give them in return.

I recommend this programme because it is needed in the new South Africa for every person to understand his neighbours and colleagues.

I enjoyed listening to our leader’s story (Mr Mthimkhulu) and how it helped us to learn and feel free within ourselves.

I learned that everyone was suffering here in South Africa not the Africans only.

I learned that change starts from us as an individual because of the attitudes we carry.

I recommend the programme because It is a fun way to learn about our diverse cultures in South Africa. It also helps us to appreciate the people we work with.
I learnt that, in order to respect, start by respecting yourself. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

I found many ideas where I can make adjustments in order to better my relationship in the community.

I recommend this programme because it is desperately needed to impact this nation in terms of change that we so desire.

There is nothing that I did not enjoy. This day seemed to pass so quickly. I enjoyed the reinforcement of, we are all equal, and that we just do the things differently.

It is actually easy to see the positive in people, reinforcing this is likely to reduce the negatives.

I enjoyed the commitment of all parties. Everybody shows respect to each other.

It was informative and filled with fun. I enjoyed the way we all enjoyed ourselves.

I’ve learnt that without respect nothing that you say or do will have impact.

Today demonstrated that we can all have fun together as one, not looking out for stupid self esteems but let loose as we should always do.

I enjoyed the interaction shared by all of the candidates through many various topics and activities. And the opportunity to share feelings and thoughts with candidates.

I learnt to understand that whilst we are all different, have various cultures and upbringing, we are all good human beings who deserve to share our lives equally.

This is an excellent mechanism to spread the word that in respect all are equal.

I’ve learnt that all the people are same and they are equal.

I enjoyed the learning techniques, different kinds of people and their personalities.

Verbal Feedback - after Day 1

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I feel diversity is very important within a company.

I think it is very good.

It opens you up so you can communicate with the next person.

It teaches you all about the personality types and you have to respect it as well.

You showed us a lot of diversity and how to respect - you can actually communicate openly with that respect.

A lot of team building has actually starting between us. I feel more apart of the team now.

I feel more confident. Now that I know the people I work with I can actually communicate respectfully.

The positive part of the course is that if you keep it up you will feel much better.

The interaction and the mix was quite good and knowing more people.

Now that I have spoke to people that I did not know at work, I am feeling a bit different.

It taught me to respect other people and their opinions more. I have got a lot out of it.

Made me understand that although all people are different, deep down inside we are all the same because all that counts is the personality of the person.

Now that I know the differences I now understand how he is and how to live together and he understands me better now.

From what I learnt here, I really enjoyed it. I accept everybody the way they are, not that I am disrespectful, but by his culture and his individuality.

The course has taught us that there is unity in diversity once we learn to respect each others cultures. It’s been a good learning for me.

My biggest learning point was the different cultures. I think that if you understand peoples cultures you tend to understand people more.

I really enjoyed it. It’s given me more confidence and the respect of everybody else.

I really enjoyed it. Now at work you respect other people’s cultures and you know more about them that we didn’t even know.

When I came here on Monday I didn’t know where this taxi was taking me to, but at least I understand now and I am glad. I think the more we understand each other the better.


Contact Brian

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Understanding Diversity

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Diversity Training & Teambuilding

Apologies to Heal the Soul


About us..

Mthimkhulu International, provider of the Celebrating Humanity© series of programmes, is focused on creating a better world for all of its citizens. Through the development of respect and understanding in the workplace and at home.

Mthimkhulu International is a Proudly South African, BEE Empowered organisation which offers its services in South Africa, Africa and the USA.

Celebrating Humanity ©

A series of Workplace programmes that build unity, respect, teamwork, understanding, communication & accountability within diverse teams, companies, groups and organisation's.

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For more info on our services, and other resources, please visit our web site

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Celebrate© Newsletters & Celebrating Humanity© programmes
are purely focused on creating a better world for all people.

Agents for Change.

At the close of each of our Celebrating Humanity programs, we ask our delegates if they would like to join us as Agents for Positive Change.

We know that World change comes through the actions of a few strongly committed people. We also know that we cannot expect others, including Government, to make changes on our behalf.

Their responses are invariably positive. Each person in this country, and in the world, has a right to be respected and to belong. And in order to achieve respect one simply has to show respect.

This means that we no longer describe people in any way that will bring them down.

Agents of Positive Change totally commit to stop:-
Telling religious, sexual, racist, blonde, fat, old and sexist jokes.
Belittling people by group or description, and stop
describing people by colour, gender, religion or race.
(Unless of course it is necessary to find someone or meet someone that you do not know and a description is absolutely necessary.)

Of course this will get our regular article watchers up in arms. They will cry out:-

"What about affirmative action? What about company attendance registers? What about the people who pick on me?"

It is our belief that anything that honestly and properly addresses past injustices will have to be accepted, for some time to come. And it is a fact that the change in others is always quite a long way behind our own committed and permanent change. We simply cannot change other people. We can only change our own behaviours.

Although this is a simple process, it does take a lot of commitment to change the way that we have always acted. We have been programmed.

The interesting and uplifting thing, is that we were all born free. Free of language, racism, religion, and human agreements on age, colour, gender...

And if we were born free then we merely have to become more childlike. More open. More accepting. More human.

The sad part of growing up is that we were all infected, in come way, by the poisons of adult prejudice. Yes, p
rejudice is an adult's disease. The story that follows is intended to throw some light on the subject...

I met a man in the USA. Let us call him John. He is an absolutely wonderful human with incredible dreams, power and accomplishments, he is descendant of Africa and the USA.

I saw two pictures on a wall in his home, one of Nelson Mandela with Martin Luther King, and another of a young girl walking in the centre of 4 big men in suits. The men were Federal agents and the girl’s name is Ruby Bridges.

Normally an incredibly powerful and motivated man, John was very angry when it came to white people. Whenever he spoke of them, his feelings would slip out. A lot of his energy and power was devoured by this deep-rooted and, some may say, “justified” attitude.

I asked him what the 2 pictures meant to him. And he said, “They are a reminder of the past and what was really bad in this country. They show what "they" did to "our" people! You will never know what it was like!”

The story of the young girl is internationally known. In 1960, Ruby was sent to the William Frantz Elementary School to start first grade. On Ruby’s first day of school, crowds of angry white citizens gathered outside the school to protest.

US President Eisenhower ordered federal marshals to accompany Ruby to and from school each day. Each day she paused for a few moments to pray for the angry crowd. The jeering mobs of segregationists, threatened her and held aloft a small coffin with a black doll inside.

Ruby was the only child to attend school at the William Frantz Elementary School for much of that year and was one of 5 African American children ordered to attend a “white” school in 1960.

It wasn't just the first day that was difficult and strange for the little girl. Bridges was lonely that year in school, because most white people pulled their children out of the William Frantz to protest against integration. For a while the young girl was the only child in her first-grade class.

When she initially met her instructor, Barbara Henry, Bridges must have felt apprehensive. "I had never seen a white teacher before," she said, "but Mrs. Henry was the nicest teacher I ever had. Her beloved teacher upbraided the principal, threatening to report him for supporting the white parents' boycott.

One day soon after that, other children came to school. But no one would play with her. Bridges recalled, "One boy said to me, 'My mom said not to play with you because you're a nigger.' Then I finally understood. I finally knew it was about me and the color of my skin. But I was never angry with that boy. In my mind, he was just explaining to me why he couldn't play with me."

It is over 40 years since Ruby took the brave steps of a child and started the USA, and the World, on a path of freedom from prejudice.

My friend was still living in the pain of those years. He had been 9 years old when Ruby walked her brave walk. He had lived through the same years. He had been burnt deep within his soul. As a little child he had faced the raging, uncontrolled fires of adult hatred and prejudice. And yet he too, like you and I, had been born free.

On that day, I turned to John and said, “I see those pictures very differently, my friend.”

He asked, “Why? What do you see?”

I replied. “I see the seeds of freedom being planted. Those 3 very special people, have sacrificed much for the freedom that is here and the freedom that is growing every day. For it is only in darkness that light can be seen.”

John thought about it for a while and said, “You could be right.”

There was an immediate change in him as the realisation began to sink in.

My research since that day has shown that the three principle characters agree...

Ruby Bridges has since said, "Each and every one of us, is born with a clean heart. Our babies know nothing about hate or racism. But soon they begin to learn - and only from us. We keep racism alive. We pass it on to our children. I think that is very sad.”

Dr Martin Luther King, assassinated Civil Rights hero, said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive our hate: only love can do that.”

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela said,
"I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die."

Whilst so many of us focus on the darkness, my friend’s heroes and his "reminders" are all focussed on the LIGHT.

What are you and I prepared to do to nurture those seeds of freedom and ensure that they are not planted in harsh, aggressive conditions and infertile soil? And that the seeds of prejudice are not planted and nurtured in the fertile minds of our children.

Can we look past the hurt and pain of past experiences, to the teachings that they have brought to us?

Can we begin to appreciate what we have and break away from where we were? an we all begin to create a world in which all are born and reamin free?

Can we start to be one human race?

Not separated as black, coloured, white, Indian, Afrikaans, Muslim, Christian, German, Dutch or Jewish - or any other group. Because within one human race there is no racism. There is no prejudice. There is no sexism.

And finally, what Seeds of Freedom are you and I prepared to plant, to nurture and to protect our children and their futures? Are we willing to give up stop nurturing the seeds of hatred and division.

And are you too, willing to be an Agent of Positive Change?

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