What does it take to have been on the boards of the likes of the English Tourist Board and the Victoria and Albert Museum? Or, to have been appointed the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to tourism? Penny, Viscountess Cobham knows this all too well as this is just part of the extraordinary life she lives. Gareth got the opportunity to chat to her while she’s under lockdown in Cape Town, to get insight into some of the lessons that have shaped her life so far.

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How does an award-winning British broadcaster, newspaper columnist, barrister and former politician end up being in lockdown in South Africa? David Mellor QC chats to Gareth Cliff about how his holiday in South Africa was extended to ‘lockdown’. Having had an illustrious career in politics serving in the Cabinets of Margaret Thatcher and John Major, how does David Mellor QC feel world leaders havefaired since the onset of Covid-19? Never shy of an opinion, he is unreserved about where the blame for this pandemic lies. And with his love of the arts, music and football, how does he fill his days during the lockdown?

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Being one of Africa’s greatest singers ever, how does a legend deal with not being able to sing for her adoring fans? Has the ministry been helping artists in South Africa during lockdown? On a personal level, are there any skills she’s developing? How has she embraced online meetings? Record labels and artists in South Africa need to have an earnest conversation about fair pay, is this the time to come to the table? How can the wealthy help the vulnerable?

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Cosmic infinity and feeling free go hand in hand. What is it like for one of the leading astronomers on Earth to be confined by law to his home? Can he find inspiration in solitude? Technology allows us to chronicle our lives like never before, the professor has an app suggestion which will improve your camera skills in no time. Can sanity be found in the stars above?

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Though his letter of employment says extinguished, he is quite the opposite. The distinguished Professor Jonathan Jansen is a prolific author and educator, and lockdown for him has meant more marking of postgraduate papers and finishing manuscripts for his next book… same old, same old really. The scholar and avid Blue Bulls fan has interesting observations about the possibility of state authoritarianism becoming a tool of continued terror post lockdown – especially against the vulnerable. As an educator, he lays out ideas of how South Africa’s largely underprivileged schoolchildren can catch up a lost syllabus year. How do the idiosyncrasies of South Africa’s economic inequality affect how we should govern the lockdown? He’s happy to wash his hands, but not to sing Happy Birthday… find out why.

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”The title doesn’t do the job…” feels like a line Peter Matlare might deliver daily to employees and executive colleagues. Covid-19’s enforced worldwide lockdown means that for the first time in global history, commerce and a pandemic are unilaterally at loggerheads and affecting every citizen on Earth – regardless of your nationality, age or economic class. How will global commerce and service delivery evolve to survive? Peter details why a strict regimen is vital to his continuing role at work as a global leader in his sector. Never up later than 6AM, Africa and the world at large can rest assured that this titan of industry is ready for the challenge post-coronavirus, and his optimism can be seen in action, not just words!

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The old adage is, “Pain can either hurt you or change you”… and ProVerb believes that only those who adapt will survive in business after the coronavirus lockdown ends. Mindset is the building block for everything else. A creature of routine, luckily for him his kids are old enough to entertain themselves and he can do his radio show from home. He’s so old school he still keeps a physical diary, but this gives him the structure to be a success in life. He even diarises his relaxing time! One thing is certain – there is no going back, whether that’s good or bad is up to you.

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Lockdown for most people has been a chance to work from home and maybe take the foot off the gas slightly… but not for Gavin Koppel. His son Danny K has had him working flat out on shout4masks.co.za to produce and distribute face masks at cost for health workers. This is done through donations and public engagement on the website. The generosity of ordinary people has been incredible to see, and the legendary radio DJ could not be more grateful. Oh by the way, his comments on service staff are brilliant!

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For a Christian network to have a pandemic lockdown around Easter is a real kick in the teeth. However when you have dynamic, driven humans they will do what they must to ensure that technology and the good word can unite and be delivered to the faithful globally – without disruptions. Streamed sermons may become the new normal. Loyiso details the rigours of being a singer in South Africa, and how the music business was struggling anyway and may be crippled by the pandemic. Blessed to be with family in lockdown, the pop star and Masters student believes religious institutions will be doing some deep reflection about their form and function post Covid-19.

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Now living in France, Flip van der Merwe has stayed in touch with South Africa by listening to CliffCentral. Being a mountain of a man is hard enough at the best of times… now imagine being nearly 2 metres tall and having to be in lockdown in those tiny houses in France. How is life with his new partner in lockdown, and has he been able to connect with people back home? Basic human relations may need to evolve post Covid-19. Retirement was a no brainer for the former Springbok, and lockdown has been a time of solemn reflection for him.

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