Joburg Internet Cafe workshop postponed

Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton CityDue to unforeseen circumstances I’ve been forced to move the date of the next Internet Cafe workshop schedules for this Saturday. The primary reason for this is that I’ve been on a short break in Uitenhage and on Sunday missed my flight back to Johannesburg. My car has been parked at OR Tambo airport for 3 weeks and I have to drive directly to Rustenburg from Tuesday till Thursday to deliver 7 talks to parents, teachers and children at Selly Park Convent Primary School, Selly Park High School, Fields College Primary School. Fields College High School and Lebone II.

So the new date is Thursday, 18 March 9am-5pm. And the venue remains Sandton Library on Nelson Mandela Square. Any queries? Please post your questions below as comments. More updates will be posted on this announcement.

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PR 2.0 Blogging Workshop with Marlon Parker's Team

Tomorrow, I am training a team of loyal drug counsellors from Impact Direct Ministries on how to use blogging to get themselves onto television, radio, newspapers or magazines – all things I have done because of my blogging. They are learning fast and furiously about technology from Marlon Parker, senior lecturer at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Marlon is a Ph.D candidate who is doing his thesis on how technology can be used for social change and conflict management.

Marlon Parker personally trains recovered and reformed drug addicts from the Cape Flats on how to use technology like MXit to do a form of peer-counselling using South Africa’s #1 cellphone-based IM and social network. After meeting Brent Williams, one of the drug counsellors, who came to 3rd annual Digital Citizen Indaba and Highway Africa this year, I resolved to use all the resource to assist them.

Marlon Parker’s work is ground breaking in a global sense. However, the facts speak for themselves because he is doing this with ZERO budget! Yes, he is doing this with sheer willpower and determinations and no corporate or government funding! He is doing what the MXit (Pty) Ltd even with allmighty Naspers Ltd behind it, has not been able to deliver after two years of promises. This MXit/Facebook/cellphone-based online counselling project is helping hundreds of children from the Western Cape to find their way on their own personal hero’s journey.

With your assistance we can reach half of the approximately 9 million users by 2010. The more children we help, the more families we assist, the stronger the communities become in self reliance and mutual aid across South Africa.


Wanna start your own Internet Cafe in 2008?

First Internet Cafe Workshop Johannesburg 2007After many, many requests the next date for the 2008 Internet Cafe workshop has been set. Please note I only do ONE workshop every 6 months like this. The next one will be in Cape Town in November.

** All workshops have been postponed till 2009 **

Now I am proud to announce I have an excellent business trainer with me, Yusuf Mahomedy, who regularly writes for The Star Workplace and HR Future on employment and jobs. He will teach all the basics of moving from employment to self-employed and running a business that employs people. While I will focus on the Internet business strategies, computer hardware and networking equipment and software for time management and billing your Internet time. There is going to be an interactive Q&A section so write out all your questions before hand and we will answer them in detail. Also bring along any documentation like business plans or application forms for government funding.

What is this training worth to you? A 4-hour half-day workshops covering:

  • Small business basics
  • Bookkeeping, Tax, UIF, hiring employees
  • Government funding vs loans
  • Internet Cafe set-up (hardware/software)
  • Direct marketing strategies with flyer’s, SMS, etc
  • Ongoing training for you and your staff
  • Billing & Time management system to sell airtime
  • VOIP set-up and packages
  • Additional revenue streams
  • Business plan basics
  • Q&A about your situation, your location

You can save hundreds of hours of research because I have done that already for you. You will receive my recommendations on all equipment and what Internet connections to use because I have evaluated most of the options for the best price/performance ratios. Translated this could save you thousands of Rands, which can be better spent on your own training and marketing. You can get going quicker, and have more confidence of the success of your new small business venture: An Internet Cafe or to help you have more freedom, more cash flow and create jobs while uplifting your communities computer literacy and giving them access the world through email, VOIP and the Web.


Date: Saturday, 31 May 2008
Venue: Sandton Library (on Nelson Mandela Square)
Time: 8am-12h30pm (4 hours)
Cost: R300 per person or R500 for 2 people

RSVP: Cell. 082 9407137 with your # of people and your full contact details.

You will receive a CD with audio, video resources on strategic planning, business building, marketing and sales. It also contains a sample Internet Cafe business plan. And 1-hour consultation (value R750) with me to discuss your needs in private. This may have to be done telephonically (at your cost) as I travel frequently across South Africa on lectures and talks.


Psychologies Workshop: Dr Marlene Wasserman aka Dr Eve on Sexuality

Dr Marlene Wasserman aka Dr EveDr Marlene Wasserman aka Dr Eve was the final speaker at this excellent workshop held by Psychologies Magazine at the beautiful Groot Constantia in Cape Town. The first thing Dr Ev made us do was to get up and dance or move around a little bit to the music in the hall. She was really trying to get people to get into their bodies after two very intellectually stimulating sessions. This really is the fundamental problem I believe in sexuality i.e. that people are trapped inside their heads and living with imaginary or real fantasies about their lovers instead of getting down and dirty. She focussed her initial opening on relating from the “We” to the “I” in relationships. Most couples become stuck to the hip metaphorically speaking. They cannot express their individuality and this is almost like a death knell in a long term relationship.

Her presentation included some terrific story telling and there was a lot of giggles all around. Remember this is a seminar room filled with older women and some of them are likely unhappy in their sexual relationships for various reasons. And what Dr Eve does so well is give people permission to see themselves as sexual beings. One thing was clear is that contentment in a relationship is a place of indifference. When the people who she counsels tells her they are happy and content, she immediately become suspicious. To me it could also mean they have basically stopped growing. And sadly it seems that in many relationships as the “We” becomes merged, the “I” is lost at the alter. This is part of the reason why so Valium has been consumed by women and alcohol by men.

Dr Marlene Wasserman aka Dr EveFrom the 1960s the sexual revolution started. Oral contraception emerged alongside feminism. The era of therapy and the emergence of the Me generation. Sexual and human rights form the basis of a healthy relationship and parts of this is protected by our Constitution. Love became taken seriously as a relationship value. The quality if life is very important to relationship happiness. Viagra gave permission for sexual satisfaction. Same sex relationships have become accepted and even legalised in South Africa. In South Africa there has been a lot of talk of late of prostitution or sex work being decriminalised. It has been reported 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men suffer from abuse. And it turns out that HIV/STDs is a consequence of intimate relating.

Lifestyle can increase stress which has a direct link in sexual performance. Religion, righteousness and rigidity become solutions for management of relationships. You must identify your core relationship values i.e. love, monogamy, fidelity, exclusiveness, respect, trust, honesty. There are 3 basic forms of relationships:

  1. Side by Side
  2. Joined at the Hip
  3. Intimate with Interdependence

What I really like about Dr Eve is how she can put people at easy when it comes to this subject matter, which is often so ridiculously complicated by society. There was so many excellent visuals in Dr Eve’s presentation, I would highly recommend anyone who has the opportunity of hearing her speak do so. You won’t regret it. Her new book, The Pillowbook, was on sale and I didn’t hesitate buying a copy and asking her to sign it for me. The message is truly encouraging for me because she thanked me in turn for my contributions with my online dating research. You can expect a review of it shortly. I must conclude with a recommendation of my two favourite books on sex and sexuality:


Psychologies Workshop: Dr Helgo Schomer on Stress Management

Dr Helgo SchomerDr Helgo Schomer was the 2nd speaker at the Psychologies Workshop I attended on Saturday, 28 July in Cape Town at Groot Constantia. The first time I met Dr Schomer was after hearing him on 702/Cape Talk when he was a regular on the Tim Modise show before Tim resigned to run communications for the 2010 Fifa Worldcup. I really liked his energy and direct approach to dealing with problems. Sometimes I perceived him almost confrontational like Dr Phil but Helgo is physically the antithesis of Dr Phil because he is a real fitness freak and in fact specialises in health psychology. For more on Dr Schomer remember to check out his profile on the UCT website.

Anyway he spoke at length about stress management. I purchased the 1st of the DVD series of the Schomer lectures, which is in fact the same talk. We live full lives and there is a constant drain because of stress and work. Just 15 years ago we didn’t have this constant demand. He told us a story of when he lost 60 days worth of work when his PC crashed. His head of department at UCT didn’t want to listen to him when he said that it was acting up. So when the crash happened he lost the plot, called his HOD, to tell him to look out the window as he throwing his computer out his window. We have more information at our fingertips then ever before, yet we have less knowledge.

Just a 100 years ago it used to take 2 weeks from Cape Town to Simon’s Town and you had a lot of time to think and contemplate your life with very little interruptions. Have you ever been to Joburg airport during Easter? It’s like a real mad house. He found himself in this situation and in a witty move attached himself to Desmond Tutu’s entourage so he managed to avoid all the delays and queues. Dr Schomer explained how just helping people can drain us when we cajoling family or massaging egos. If we are in love and driving in the traffic we are in a state of bliss and nothing can bother us. And in this state for about 3 to 9 months we live in the best emotions.

Now Dr Schomer has 3 daughters aged 20, 18 and 8 years old, so he understands women. The entire audience at this workshop was women except for myself and one other male delegate. An interesting analogy he made to determine your fitness level and stress levels, is to mimic a 2 year old; if you are a women for 3.5 hours or a man for 4.5 hours. Noise is another thing that drains us. Just thinking about how big humanity is can drain us. By comparison Pofadder has 1 STOP sign, 1 police station and what emerges is that we need space to cope. About 150 years there was only 1 billion people on earth and now we are approaching 7 billion. Is it possible to translate the negative into positive? There are just so many distractions we are dealing with. And how many times have you hit rock bottom?

Dr Helgo SchomerDr Schomer had a presentation with several slides from a model on stress management he has developed with some other researchers. So the problem comes in when we have a stresfull event which hits right through the exterior into our core concept – you can also say our identity. Now even communities like Khayelitsha , a township outside Cape Town, functions and the audience would be wise to go and stay in a bed & breakfast, to understand how things operate. There are different levels of stress that can be experienced: the first being light stress; and when experience a fender bender it increases to moderate stress; or when you go to collect your child at school and they are missing you may experience very quick increase to high stress levels.

Next he told us a hilarious story about cycling up Constantia neck. At the top of this road it’s mostly yield signs and therefore you are not obligated to stop. He was overtaken by a vegetable truck, which was being held together, with mercy, tow guys in front and two in the back. Next thing you know they were both being passed by a new BMW 7-series with tinted windows. This car has ABS breaks and stopped at the yield sign. The vegetable truck couldn’t stop in time and bumped into the back of the BMW. After this happened all the guys from the truck jumped out and ran into the bushes. Out of the BMW emerged a man, who was clearly high strung because he was waving a gun around. After about 10 to 15 minutes Dr Schomer managed to calm him down, to the point where he lowered the gun. It turns out he was going through a divorce, his kids didn’t want anything to do with him because he was having an affair and also problems at work.

Adaptation: What puts a smile on your face? In a team of 10 he normally splits it up with 6 women and 4 men to get the emotional intelligence of the group right.

Frustration: When you are swearing it’s a sign of frustration. He showed us an awesome photograph of a model who learned to sweep with a broom, at a very young age, to calm down. Men like to do things like climb mountains to get back to balance.

Deprivation: He talked about being a Buddhist Catholic and that he has a spiritual teacher whom he consults from time to time. Once a month he meets with another senior psychologist whom he talks to for 3 hours every month.

Nutrition: A primary area of expertise for Dr Schomer is health psychology. Healthy nutrition can reduce the drains from stress. Women make a common mistake by skipping breakfast because what happens after a 8 hours of sleep your body is starved for nutrition and needs to replenish it’s energy sources. If you skip breakfast your body starts to eat into it’s own muscle for energy and food eaten afterwards turns into fat. A a big lunch can cause the brain to shut down after skipping breakfast. For men 1 beer a day is healthy and for women 1 glass of wine. Smoking and specifically nicotine de-energises the body.

Self-Perception: What he wants is for you to avoid going into therapy. You have tell yourself constantly “I like myself” to boost your self-image. Avoid physical, emotional or mental abuse – which is to big to cover. Praise yourself whenever you can.

Anxious Reactivity: You can experience a worst case scenario when you constantly antagonising yourself and people around you. So he concluded with some important questions you have to ask yourself:

  1. Is your life meaningful?
  2. ?Do your emotions rule you or do you rule them?
  3. Is your life energy constantly kaput? Constantly drained?

Overall Dr Helgo Schomer is an exceptional speaker with high energy. And when you realise he is very physically active, swimming, surfing, jogging, cycling it’s understandable. He told me when we first met he developed a reputation among models and I can only imagine the stories from his private practise. So you may be interested in purchasing the Schomer Lectures DVD series please call his office in Cape Town on 021 4385308 and tell him I sent you.


Psychologies Workshop: Marc Kahn on Emotional Intelligence

Marc KahnThis past Saturday I attended the first ever Psychologies Magazine Readers’ Workshop at the beautiful and picturesque Groot Constantia. I had only picked up one copy of this magazine and enjoyed most of it. It’s exactly my cup of tea. One thing bothered me though was that this magazine is aimed at women. And I quickly sent off an email to the editor. Only to find out that there was letter from another man published asking the same question. Why this is a magazine for women because many men are interested in psychology. For god’s sake Freud and Jung were both men!

Anyway Marc Kahn was the first speaker and dazzled the stage with no presentation. I’m still in two minds about when to use a presentation and when not. He used a very simple structure for his talk on emotional intelligence and the word picture were vivid. There was also a lot of audience participation which is always wonderful to observe and participate in.

So the key question Marc began with is whether emotions are good or bad. In fact this is a common misconception he said as he proceeded to outline how perceived negative emotions can have very practical and useful benefits indeed. Emotions have thousands of textures and at the core are mad, sad, glad, bad and fear.

So now we can proceed to unpack them…

  1. Mad: you feel upset, anger or even pissed off. The colour frequently associated with it is Red. You feel hot inside like there is a rise in the energy-in-motion (e-motion). Your heart beat increases; your muscles tightens and the word that comes to mind is “No” or “Stop” and so it allows you to set boundaries. When you have poor discretion anger becomes destructive and you can experience Intermittent Explosive Disorder.
  2. Sad: When you are sad you withdraw into a place of comfort. You go inside to attend to yourself and to heal. When you hold back, you build up the baggage inside. So allow sadness to run through you because it’s nature’s way of healing you. The colour associated with sadness is most often Blue/Grey. Like with all emotions there are different shades of this one. One of the tragedies is that boys and adult men are not able to experience sadness as it should be experienced. It’s the old adage: boys don’t cry that leads to a tremendous amount of emotional baggage built up in grown men, and more often that not the anger that emerges is directed at their fathers. In women anger is often blocked because it’s considered, again contrary to what’s healthy emotional response, not ladylike to express anger.
  3. Glad: You feel happy, excited about life and like you want to celebrate. The colour associated with this emotion is Yellow. Think of the sun shining and wanting to jump for joy. The word associated with this emotion is “Yes” because you always give yourself permission to feel glad. The opposite is where you feel miserable – you don’t get excited and you feel afraid.
  4. Fear: This emotion makes you feel like running away. You can experience an adrenaline rush because you sense danger. It warns you to be careful. People who ignore fear take many risks and live dangerous lives. Living in fear leads to paralysis and that’s not good either. (Ramon’s own comment: someone gave me this excellent definition of fear once: False Evidence Appearing Real) Capitalise on fear by challenging those feelings. The colour most often associated with it is White.
  5. Bad: This where you feel guilt or shame. The colour associated with this emotion is often Black. Marc proceeded to deal with guilt and shame separately:
    • Guilt: This is when you feel what you have done is wrong. When you feel no guilt you become sociopath and you live out of line with what’s considered socially acceptable in human behaviour. When you are riddled with guilt this leads to neurotic behaviour.
    • Shame: You feel embarrassed about yourself and is often a reflection on how you see your self image. When you never feel share you become arrogant or a narcissist. Use discretion especially in what you say when you talk yourself. That little voice inside your head is always talking.

After the review of the 5 core emotions Marc took some questions and discussed briefly Depression. This is something which hits home for me because I’ve experienced it twice in my life and managed to overcome it. As Marc described it I realised how accurate that was: Basically it’s a complete suppression of emotions both “positive” or “negative” ones. And it often leads to feeling fatigue and your mental state becomes numb or empty. You feel flat. Freud called it the frozen fear because you are afraid of the consequence of allowing yourself to feel anything. So emotions are an entire landscape which to draw from. Most of use receive at least 12 years of education about using our minds but very little education about our emotions. Remember your emotions are like a tap and with education and with practise you can learn to open the tap slowly and close it fast when needed.


Summary of the first Internet Cafe workshop

First Internet Cafe Workshop JohannesburgThank you very much for attending our first workshop on Saturday, 24th March. This e-mail is a summary of what was discussed and some suggestions on the next steps for you to consider.

If you have your deposit and a venue contact Terry to place your order on (011) 8346755 contact Ramon Thomas.

The aim of these workshops is to set the scene for those of you who have considered running and Internet Cafe as a small business. This is not yet a franchise business but we are considering that option. The main points we discussed is as follows:

  1. The infrastructure components of the Internet Cafe
  2. The benefits and advantages of this type of small business
  3. Revenue sources
  4. Background on the Internet industry
  5. Background on Ramon Thomas (NETucation) / Terry Mohlala (Terry Computers)
  6. Basic Costs Breakdown + Income Estimations
  7. Internet Cafe Industry Portal

To download the Powerpoint Presentation click here. If you have problems downloading the presentation please reply to this e-mail and I’ll send it to you. I’ve decided not to attach the presentation to make this e-mail as small as possible.

Get Your Copy of the Workshop DVD

Ramon Thomas explaining Revenue SourcesAs you may know a recording was made of the workshop including the Q&A and this is available on DVD. To purchase this DVD simply call Terry on (011) 8346755.

Business Plan and Financing

The first problem most people face in starting a business is financing the business. The starting point when seeking financing is to have a business plan. So I’m sending you a sample business plan – also attached. This needs some work from your part to rewrite with your own details and work through some of the numbers. Again through the Business Place you can access experts that will help you writing your business plan. Please contact them via their website here: or call them on (011) 836 9000.

Marketing Research

If you have some uncertainties about your market size, your competition and you feel like you need some research to be more sure about setting up an Internet Cafe contact me directly on 082 9407137. I am happy to meet with you at your earliest convenience to take this further…

Some Resources


Invitation to Internet Cafe workshop

At iWeek 2004 I delivered a ground breaking presentation: “The State of the Internet Cafe industry in South Africa.” Since that time I’ve received numerous queries from people who want to set-up cyber cafes and I’ve not always had my ducks in a row. However, I’ve continued to gather information on this topic and consulted here and there with some clients who set-up cafe’s from scratch.

One of the outcomes is which is still in beta – so your feedback is welcome.

Recently I met an amazing young black guy, Terrence Mohlala, who has a Internet cafe business offering and I’m helping him to develop this further into a more complete solution. Hey mainly sells computer hardware and does some basic end-user training from his own Internet cafe in Joburg.

Today we had agreed on a joint venture where I will offer research and marketing to his clients and I will refer all the queries to him from the iWeek presentation mentioned above. Our aim here is to bring this to the widest possible audience i.e. the Internet cafe as a viable small business.

I’ve always believed the more Internet cafes means more Internet users, which leads to more economic growth over the medium term. Professor Hans Rosling produces evidence for a direct link between Internet access and economic success in his 2006 presentation at TED.

So on Saturday, 24 March @9am we’re hosting an open workshop for people interested in starting Internet Cafe’s at the following venue: 2nd Floor, 58 Marshall Street, 3rd Floor, Johannesburg

Its easy to book your seat for these workshops by calling 082 9407137.