delights delegates with meerkat charm and wisdom




Indaba 2016 was, just like its predecessors, the right medicine to encourage NWU staff to stay on top of their game and revive their enthusiasm.


The Institutional Quality Office hosted their fifth successful Indaba  in November 2016 at the Synod Hall in Potchefstroom, energising staff to start 2017 with renewed enthusiasm, commitment and aspirations.

Johanna Müller, quality manager for support services and organiser of this annual event, says the many positive responses received afterwards confirmed the value of such an event.


Prof Johannes Froneman, strategic communication advisor in the office of the vice-chancellor, was the introductory speaker of the day and spoke about turning points, positive attitudes and leadership.



After a challenging year in the higher education sector that left many staff members feeling demoralised and deflated, an inspirational and motivational Indaba was just what the doctor ordered.


Success – meerkat style

Award-winning international motivational speaker and alumnus of the former Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, Estienne de Beer, thrilled the audience with his presentation on success in the workplace – meerkat style. Estienne is a leadership development specialist with extensive corporate experience.


He draws his inspiration from the shy meerkat’s five explicit behavioural patterns. “These same patterns are either positively evident or detrimentally lacking in the corporate workplace,” says Estienne. He explains that meerkats are extremely diligent when it comes to implementation and execution. They spend every day digging and can shift 50 times their own weight in a single morning.


They also believe in non-stop personal development. They coach and mentor each other continually, passing on what they know through mutual teaching and training.


Their greatest attributes include resilience and courage. "Meerkats may be small, but they are tough. Their commitment to each other encourages them to rally to repel opponents far bigger than themselves. You just have to watch meerkats working together to realise that they excel through teamwork. For the sake of survival, they understand how important it is to constantly validate and reinforce their relationships with each other," Estienne said.


They can be commended for their inspiring leadership. Meerkats shine in an opportunity-based system. Their clans are led by the most seasoned and skilled member, with the rest of the members hot on their leader’s heels, Estienne said. “They have mastered the art of working as a winning team.”