Even before I started perusing through the pages of this book, the cover signalled a story of success. Sylvester Chauke’s hairstyle on the front cover, which has recently been dubbed ‘the hairstyle of success’ by many South Africans, thanks to Siya Kolisi and Zozibini Tunzi, who both donned the hairstyle in their recent respective successes in the Rugby World Cup and Miss Universe pageant.
Chauke’s first offering simply titled Stand Against Bland is a clarion call to all South Africans of all races to always do good to the next person. In this memoir-type-style book Chauke, who like many South Africans I still find myself calling him the Nando’s guy thanks to his stint with the Chicken franchise, narrates his own journey into the professional and business world.
The scribe touches on so many socio-economic issues, which continue to be part of many black peoples’ lives across the townships and villages of South Africa. For all the themes, which he proposes in the book, I found myself nodding in agreement with his proposed solutions in dealing with the effects of apartheid spatial planning on black workers.
Many South Africans continue to live far from their places of employment. Many continue to lose jobs for being late thanks to long commute hours to and from work. In this info-educative book, Chauke projects practical ways in which both the employers and employees can adopt practical measures to tackle Hendrik Verwoerd’s plan of isolating the bulk South Africa’s working class from their workspaces.
The pages also serve as motivation, inspiration and education for the oppressed masses. Readers will appreciate how Sylvester had to navigate through poor conditions in Soweto to eventually craft a way to achieve his dreams.
The chapters are also very short, keeping the reader’s attention intact throughout. The language is simple and easy to grasp. The only drawback I picked throughout was how chapters are disorganised. Plenty of repetition throughout the chapters.
Overall, this is a book that I will encourage young professionals to read. I would also recommend it to employers, who might be oblivious to the socio-spatial challenges that many black professionals face on a daily basis.
Stand Against Bland is not only reflecting on Slyvester’s good humanitarian heart, but it is a clarion call to everyone to be an agent of change. A must-read for entrepreneurs to carry on their journey in transforming Corporate South Africa.