Letter to 2017 – All I remember

I remember.

I remember you and I making a commitment. A commitment to giving it our all. I remember the “pursuit of the hall of fame.” No excuses, only results. 2017 would be on sale. Only the earliest (and smartest) bird would catch the fattest worm.

Do you remember? I told you I wanted to be in the hall of fame. I wanted to break the records. 2017 would be a year to remember. I would accept opportunities, embrace each challenge and of course, celebrate each achievement. I remember singing The Script‘s, “Hall of Fame” in good and trying times. I remember feeling rejuvenated afterwards.

Do you remember? I turned 21 and suddenly felt like I had become ‘the man.’ I remember receiving your beautiful messages and well wishes. I remember how I felt reading them. I remember how they shaped the rest of the year. Not so long after receiving them, I remember receiving two “job offers” Both opportunities would undoubtedly change my lifestyle. I remember trusting my 21-year -old gut. First opportunity accepted. A career in business development  and training was going to stretch Andrew in relating with the corporate world, and develop a more in-depth understanding of the training industry. JHJ Training offered me that opportunity.  Do you remember the “Business Development time” check – ins? That was me at work. I cherish the relationships I have built with some of the corporate leaders in HR, Training and Development in SA!

Do you remember? I ticked my Toastmasters goal leading the Centurion & Midrand clubs (Area A1) to becoming a the first Distinguished Area. I remember the feeling. A proud moment. I remember the men and women who were instrumental in this milestone.  I remember this milestone leading me to the Hall of Fame. Area Director of the Year 2017. I remember it being a big deal to me and a  select-few. For me, it was quite significant. Out of approximately 50 illustrious leaders (all older than me) in the whole of Southern Africa, i stood out. I had not disappointed those who had a hand in appointing me for that role. Shortly after that award, was a resounding and overwhelming election for the Division Director role, leading Pretoria, Centurion & Midrand – 26 branches in total! I remember the euphoria that broke in that tense room as the chairman declared my election. There are proud moments, but that was humbling and overwhelming, possibly my most memorable moment in my Toastmasters career. Lest we forget, not so long after, the Distinguished Toastmaster award finally came through. Do you remember the article published by the Centurion Rekord of this achievement? I remember that interview. Ever since then, my Toastmasters career has been fulfilling and rewarding.

Of all happenings in 2017, do you remember when brand, “Andrew Tsuro” came out of the box! I don’t. However, I remember some of the effects of this brand coming out. I remember MCing the heated FASSET AGM & Year End function. I remember speaking at the Southern Africa Administrators Forum Conference & the Remuneration Association of Educational Institution Conference. Large audiences and spectacular stage-time.  I remember the invitation to speak, MC and facilitate training/workshops at special events. I remember the wonderful reception and constructive feedback. Every moment on stage was like heaven on earth.

While I would love to have you remembering my achievements over the 2017 year, you may not recall the joy I had at that moment. I would, however, love to share more marvelous moments with you in 2018. In 2018, we will be standing in the Hall of Fame. The pursuit was successful. In this pursuit, there are a few unsung heroes that have been working behind the scenes:

  1. Michael Shackleton; for his unwavering support and unquestionable vote of confidence in me. Each time I heard of his kind words towards me, I remember feeling appreciated and celebrated.
  2.  Taffy Chifamuna; the one who has been an invaluable ear, supporter and helper. I remember every time he sent that greeting and that offer for help. It was unreal, but he showed up each time i needed help and he made it happen. Bless you.
  3. Raymond Schoonraad; some of the defining moments in my brand build up were from his reference, for that he is greatly appreciated.
  4. Barbra Muzata; the one who has been a strong fighter against the inner doubtful voice inside me. She gave me the guts. She made time for my development. She challenged me. She made me laugh, no doubt, I remember that, and I appreciate your contribution.
  5. Mduduzi Mthanti. The constant supporter and humble reference of what I do. I appreciate the humble but motivating chats that got me pushing – even when the going was tough. It was not often, but the few times we chatted, counted. May his hustle be blessed!
  6. Monde Mjila; the one who always sung praises, even though most of them sounded no different to flattery. I appreciate Monde for his appreciation of my work, my contribution and efforts. I felt like an asset to the events and circles we shared.
  7. Last but not least, Philip Combrinck. One reason I love my work is because i get to spend the day with a character that I admire. Philip is engaging, inviting and accommodating. While I learn a lot  from our conversations, i think I appreciate him more for putting up with me and 101 other commitments (even though he may not support them) I thank him for the admirable working relationship we share.

I remember. I remember that the above seven were not the only role players in my success. They were the most uncelebrated. I remember each one who crossed my path, left a breeze of new ideas, ways and paths. I remember.

Happy 2018!

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