In a previous Wingtip, we introduced you to Taiji intern, Lebo Nkhahle. As you may recall, Lebo is from Lesotho, a country close to Africa’s southeastern tip. “Why”, you might ask, “has he come all the way to Vancouver Island’s southeastern tip for a creative internship?” We posed that question to him, plus a few more in a candid interview.
Hello Lebohang and welcome to Taiji Brand Group! Why on earth have you come all the way to Vancouver Island’s southeastern tip for a creative internship?
Hello! It is nice to be here, I am very grateful to Taiji Brand Group for having me here. I have a marketing and communications company back in Lesotho called PennyLoveCreate that does graphics design, photography and advertising. I wanted a place where I could learn more and that is how the idea of TBG and Canada was born. My business partner, Hana Taiji works for the company and suggested the idea. I started the process of trying to come here a year ago and here I am now!
Can you tell us a bit about Lesotho?
Kingdom of Lesotho is a landlocked country completely surrounded by South Africa. It is just over 30,000 km2 (11,583 sq. mi) in size and has a population slightly over two million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name Lesotho translates roughly into “the land of the people who speak Sesotho”. About 40% of the population lives below the international poverty line on approximately $1.25 US a day.
“kaofela re chabana sa khomo” – Loosely translated, this refers to how we intermarried and became one nation by paying for brides with cattle.
What are you looking forward to most during your six month stay here?
Learning about the cultural differences, how to be a lumberjack with Wayne and how to be nice and polite like Canadians. I want to experience geocaching, Tofino, Saltspring Market, hiking Cobble Hill Mountain, Granville Island, the Grouse Grind (maybe!), Canada Day, Women’s World Cup matches, kayaking in Maple Bay, Butchart Gardens, fly fishing, the raptors in Duncan, making presentations about my home country and anything that might come up.
In your opinion, what global company (besides Taiji Brand Group) has the best brand identity?
There are a couple of them, Apple, Staples, Monocle, The Hundreds, New Balance, Herschel Supply Company and Global Minimum, just to mention a few.
Do you know what a loaded question is? If so, who is the real leader at Taiji Brand Group, Wayne, Caroll or Patti?
Uh yes, Patti. She is the central processing unit of the company, if you know what I mean.
Experts say that the best apps have yet to be developed. If you could develop one, what would it be?
An app that will work as a platform for the youth back in Africa that links them with coaches, entrepreneurs, creatives, angel investors, career guidance experts, professionals from major industries that can help them with coaching, advice, tips, funding and everything they need to tackle the problems that Africa is faced with.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Helping the youth in Lesotho by equipping them with the right skills, training, material, equipment, networks and connections to enable them to be the future leaders of my country.
One last one: It’s been rumoured that the Cowichan Capitals are lacking forechecking depth amongst their senior forwards. What advice would you give coach Bob Beatty in this regard?
Try changing your line-ups and move your top scorer from the first line to the second line. Go for a trade to get a top scorer, you may need to give up some talent to structure the deal. Also, have their forwards do extra training at overtimeskills.com facility. They should use the RapidShot training system to hone their shooting skills. After further analysis they could also get better results if their power forwards spend more time in front of their goalie to screen him or to deflect shots from the blue line. Regarding forechecking, they should put more pressure on the defence coming out of their zone by putting two men on them. Take away the pass up to the short boards and make sure there are no other options to get past their own blue line. I like man-to-man coverage if they get out of their zone. If they do get into the Capitals end, make sure the forwards take away the shooting lanes. Whenever possible try to block shots as well by sacrificing their bodies.