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“More Bulldust Part 5”
Extract from Summerhill Sires Brochure 2009-2010
A few years ago, on TV’s Business channel, we were asked how we measured the success of our business. Firstly, it’s the piece of wood that marks the end of 2200 metres on the First Saturday in July. Secondly, and just as importantly, it’s the homeruns of our people.
Take care of your people, and they’ll take care of the bottom line. We don’t give up on anybody; we believe in deathbed conversations. It’s part of the culture at Summerhill and it’s a policy that’s awarded thirty two scholarships to our people in the past thirteen years. To the best farms in the world.
It’s a policy that’s rewarded the energies of two young Zulu cooks in the Hartford kitchen, with national honours at cooking exhibitions in Zurich and Prague. And it’s a philosophy that’s made cultural ambassadors of our traditional dancers (all 35 of them) when they finished 3rd, then 2nd, at the World Traditional Dance Championships in Tokyo and Hong Kong. Second. In the whole darn world. We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give, and these are the things that get us up in the morning.
Africa is the next place, the last frontier of opportunity. Take your hats off, if you will, to the learned countries of the north for their financial systems and their industries, but the final gift, and perhaps the most precious of all, will come from Africa. The corridors of civilization have become increasingly crowded and belligerent, and there will be a premium on countries that offer space, tranquility, and critically, the human touch.
When it comes to humanity, for all its paradoxes, Africa stands alone. It is the final bastion of untapped creativity, the front which reconnects us to our roots. Travel the world and return to Africa, and you’ll know that deep, within you, there resides an understanding that this is where we all began.
Long ago, our upbringing deprived us of the human touch, trapping us into a lopsided worship of money, and belongings and a spiritual wasteland. Africa has the talent, nay the genius, to reintroduce us to our ourselves. Talent hits the target no-one else can hit; genius hits the target no-one else can.
So what’s this all about? In our case, it’s the recognition of another gift we’ve gained from Africa. The realisation that there’s an interdependence between ourselves and all the other inhabitants of this earth. The trees, the animals, the insects, the air itself.
When it comes to horses, the Zulus, who’ve been tending their herds for millennia in these valleys, will stand their ground with best in the world. In our book, they are the best in the world. And the generosity of our benefactors of the past 20 years, Dubai’s Rulers, is what will take them to the next level.
This time next year, the Al Maktoum School of Management Excellence will be a reality. The first of its kind in Africa, and in its own way, the first of its kind anywhere.
It’s what South Africa deserves, and it’s the legacy Their Highnesses want to leave.
The opportunity is here; the time is now.
Hope may well be the music of the future. Faith is the courage to dance to it.