BOOK: The Overcomers: Stories and Lessons from Entrepreneurs of a Resilient Nation by Alef Meulenberg
Launched this week, The Overcomers: Stories and Lessons from Entrepreneurs of a Resilient Nation (Tracey Macdonald Publishers) is an account of how ten entrepreneurs persevered in the aftermath of a devastating global pandemic and survived both the July 2021 riots that ravaged KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, and annihilating floods, with the help of #RevivingTownshipEconomies (#RTE). #RTE, the brainchild of social entrepreneur and philanthropist Alef Meulenberg, is a partnership with the Afrika Tikkun Foundation, Rhiza Babuyile and Township Fleva, formed to help small township and rural-based businesses rise from the ashes. In The Overcomers, Meulenberg offers first-hand entrepreneurship insights using the stories of these ten savvy business leaders – stories such as those of “Go-Getter” Zinhle Maphanga, owner of Zinhle’s All Things Sweet, and “Risk-Taker” Lance Ross, who built up his business again after devastation. In this introductory excerpt, Meulenberg tells of lessons from his Opa that inspired his ideas about resilience.
The rain was pouring outside; a typical autumn day in the Netherlands. The soothing sound of the rain splashing on the roof of the hundred-year-old farmhouse felt both familiar and comforting. It smelled musty inside my grandpa’s living room, located in a small village called Blijham in the northeast of the country.