Gareth Cliff

CliffHanger: Confessions of a Shock Jock | Gareth Cliff

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The launch of the Business Book Club was held last night at Skoobs Theatre of Books, Montecasino.   An idea developed by Jacques Velleman of Centred, the business book club aims to help people connect and discuss business in the South African context.  There are thousands of books available, filled with new and interesting (or tried and tested) material for those looking, but often provide information which might not suit our country’s environment.

The guest for the evening was Gareth Cliff – radio and television personality, and founder of Cliffcentral.com.  His second book, CliffHanger, was released in November 2016, after the completion of the Idols season.  It is a semi-autobiographical story looking at his early days in radio, his work in the television industry and finally, the creation of Cliffcentral.com and what he hopes the future will look like.  Mr Cliff is an extremely articulate and humorous speaker and a dedicated proponent of freedom of expression.  All of this comes with a healthy dose of integrity which in his words is ‘say what you think and do what you say’.  Being free means knowing that you can speak about what is important to you, but also means that you have to accept to listen to other people’s opinions.  He reminded us that taking offence is a voluntary act – it is a verb, not an adjective or noun and is a choice we make all the time.

He stated that the vision for CliffCentral.com was big, but that a big goal is what motivates him.  Part of the vision for CliffCentral.com is the creation of a content hub – podcasts accessible to anyone with access to the internet.  Crucial to this vision is his business partner, Rina Broomberg who, in his words, is ‘patient, sage and wise’ and together with the rest of the team, they are building a hybrid online streaming / podcast brand that has achieved recognition both locally and globally.  He feels that they are building something special by contributing positive dialogue to a wide range of topics. 

Mr Cliff says that he has probably been over-confident in some situations and this has caused some issues for him but that being under-confident kills dreams so this is not something he would change. After all, to NOT have started on this path would have been a tremendous personal failure.  However, he believes that he has the ability to forget the things that have not gone well for him and remains optimistic by firmly believing that now is the best time to be alive.  There are many positive things around and focus on them keeps him positive in his outlook.

Books have been central in his life from an early age – when he was little he wanted to know a little about everything but a lot about what he loved.  This is still true today.  Along with many other titbits about himself and his life, his final words were inspiring – everyone has what is needed to make their dreams manifest in reality.  Hold onto your vision and ensure you have a team that will stand with you through thick and thin, and you will succeed.

The Business Book Club will be asking its members to contribute books (or in any other way its members feel they can) to the Signature Library.  Musa Mbele-Radebe has a vision of creating a centre of learning for children and adults starting at the Kholwani Primary School.  A signature is the trademark and legacy of an individual.  The power of the signature has marked changes throughout history.  The vision for Signature Library includes it being a centre of communication for members of the community to discuss challenges and find solutions for the problems being experienced – a safe-zone for discussion and learning.  Each guest at the launch was asked to donate a book they had signed and many were collected.  The library has many needs, and all contributions are welcome.

4 April 2017

#NonFiction #Business #Event Review