Thabo Mbeki was right: There really are two South Africas. Most people jump to the conclusion that we’re a nation divided along racial lines. Others think it’s about the haves and the have-nots. The events of the past few days have made it abundantly clear that the real divide is between those who want law and order, and those who see the law only as a means to make themselves more powerful...

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If you google 'Gareth Cliff’, one of the first links that comes up is an article from November 2020 about an interview I did with David Icke, the well-known conspiracy theorist on my eNCA TV show, So What Now. The show was specifically created to "highlight diversity of thought and talk to people with different opinions - leaders, opinion makers, alternate voices and people who don’t think like you and me - because great minds don’t always think alike"...

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If you’ve ever heard a song and found that it resonates with you, you might start to question what that actually means. If you’ve ever heard someone sing out of tune or strike a horrible chord on a guitar, then you equally know what dissonance is. When people use the word “resonant” or talk about harmony, it isn’t obvious that they mean what you think they mean...

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Well, this is more of a blog than anything I’ve written for a while... Covid has come to CliffCentral. We like coming up with clever alliterative phrases for new ideas and divisions in the business - like CliffCentral Communications, CliffCentral Campus, CliffCentral Creative and CliffCentral Collaborations. Now we have CliffCentral Contagions...

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Not a week goes by where you don’t see two neanderthals abusing each other because they have a different point of view online. Do you wonder, like I do, if their anger and stupidity could be channeled into great arguments that might change minds and move us all forward, instead of making us dumber and more primitive?

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Sometimes you need to stop and take a breath. Perhaps last year’s pandemic and the resulting drastic lockdown measures gave many of us that opportunity. Armed with an excuse, some of us have used this time to appreciate the extraordinary changes in our lives. The most valuable businesses - like Amazon, Netflix, Google and Facebook  - didn’t exist 30 years ago, now they’re the ones we can’t live without...

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His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh died on Friday the 9th of April 2021, at the age of 99. I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was in my final year of high school. The headmasters, head boy and head girl of each of the schools in Pretoria were invited to a garden tea in honour of The Queen’s State Visit to South Africa and Nelson Mandela. Through family connections, I was invited along...

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The old aristocracy of Europe, the dying embers of which glow faintly in the monarchies of the West and whose blood dilutes itself in far-flung corners of old empires, used to pride itself on something called 'noblesse oblige’ - the idea that to those whom much is given, much is expected. The idea here was to protect, teach and give succour to those in your care: An accountability for others in exchange for the privileges that fell upon you. Many wicked men failed to live up to this, but a great many more tried, and succeeded - so much so that to be called noble or a gentleman became the highest aspiration of all...

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On Friday I became a trending topic on Twitter. Nothing unusual here – I’ve been used to this since social media became a big deal in South Africa, but it’s still never welcome news. Someone posted a tweet saying that when she and her friends were 15 (she’s 27 now), she met me at a nightclub and I bought them drinks and propositioned them. Needless to say it took off on Twitter and other fallacious titbits piled up about everything I’ve probably never done, including that I should be de-platformed for among other things, “He disputed the US election result”… as though I was Donald Trump himself and responsible for the insurrection on Capitol Hill.

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Maybe I’m getting old - or wise (I'll leave it to you to decide) - but I’m taking more and more pleasure in small rituals. Perhaps the relative monotony of lockdown is to blame, but I have discovered magic in unexpected places. If you’re about to give up on me, hold on. Let me explain by way of some examples, and this might convince you neither of us are going mad...

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