When meeting Anna Ngarachu for the first time in an online meeting, it was like meeting someone who you have known for the longest time. I was greeted by her warm smile and beautiful personality. I was meeting Anna to learn about her journey and more importantly learning about her book 10 000 Steps Towards Me.
10 000 Steps Towards Me is a guide to your personal development journey which Anna wrote during lockdown. Being on a self-development journey of my own over more than a year now, I knew that I needed to read this book. This is not another self-help book, but rather one where Anna shares a leaf from her life in each chapter. I love how Anna humbly and gracefully shares her story of her upbringing. Anna shares lessons she has learned along the way in her journey and prompts the reader to reflect where they are and to use the tools mentioned in the book to make changes in their lives.
The title of each chapter has a creative spin encompassing the general theme as well as sections to write your own reflections. This book has come at a time in my life and journey as a form of support. Chapters like ‘Going Against the Tide’ and ‘Hidden Figures’ are some of my favourite to name a few. Anna touches on the impact that your environment has on you, how the choices we make will impact who we are and to wake up and dream. If you are in life coaching sessions then I believe that this book will deepen or support your journey further. While reading this book, I was reflecting on my own journey and couldn’t believe the power of perfect timing.
Without giving too much away, 10 000 Steps Towards Me is light and fun to read with short, impactful chapters. It is aimed at those who are ready to make changes in their lives and are needing direction or the know how on how to make those changes. Why live a mediocre life when you can live the one of your dreams? Why settle when you can live your best life? If you would like to purchase a copy, you can do so on Amazon and for a signed copy, you can fill in this form. For more on Anna and her journey, you can read my interview with her.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it!”
This is the motto of how impact storyteller Anna Ngarachu, chooses to live her life and she has uttered it to everyone around her so that they know that they too can create a life they choose…not a life of default but a truly intentional life and an unconventional one.
Anna is one of eight musketeers (siblings) and hails from Kenya. She has been in South Africa for about 15 years. Not much can be said about those early days, but the photos tell us that she was a photogenic child…always near a microphone or drawing something but not particularly keen to eat her food. Even as a child, she was a true adventurer and artist. Her favourite thing was hanging out with her siblings and her book reflects some of those interesting stories.
Anna and her family moved to Uganda for three years, which was utter bliss, and a chance to discover life in another African country. When she was 16, they moved to South Africa which came with its challenges of navigating a new culture, but it became home and still is. Anna went on to study Economics at the University of Witwatersrand; although looking back, she imagines that she should have studied writing, literature, or something along those lines. Currently, Anna is navigating adult life with the support of her best friend and partner Grant. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Anna is the creator of Impact Storyteller, which she started in July 2021 off the back of publishing her book 10,000 Steps Towards Me. “I realised that other people were bursting to write a book; either to leave a legacy or to build their brands but were too busy with their endeavours. Having written my book whilst pursuing a consulting career; I realised the demands behind it but having walked that path, I wanted to make it a reality for others too.”
With Impact Storyteller Anna aims to do two things: Ghost-writing and co-writing services. This is for anyone who wants to write a book (that aims to make an impact) but has no time or skill. This is catered to those that are looking to BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND (as a business owner or professional) or share their LIFE STORY. She believes that by telling your story through a book you attain credibility in your networks. This can be in the form of a personal development book or a Life Story (Memoir).
On a personal level, publishing her book has given Anna the courage to offer Personal Development Coaching and Personal Development Retreats where she gives talks to high school and university students and professionals on the aspects that she covers in her book. Here Anna assists to uncover their stories and try to steer them to find answers or question things from their authentic viewpoints.
All of this is in the backdrop of her consulting career. Anna works as an economic consultant for a boutique consulting firm in Johannesburg. She is a seasoned senior economic researcher with five years’ experience in the development sector, having been involved in several regional and continental projects in recent years.
Please tell us about your podcast impact storyteller and what exactly is an impact storyteller. An impact storyteller aims to share stories that make an impact for an individual, a cause, or a situation. The aim is to change mindsets so that we can move towards acting and living more authentically and boldly. I believe stories should inspire and challenge us for the better.
The Impact Storyteller Show is a YouTube Show. It assists me in building content and getting exposure. It’s a show that gets down to real talk with a selective calibre of guests, focusing on personal development and self-discovery. This is for people who want to consume fast, and impactful insights – to raise awareness of how important personal development is and the importance of talking about issues that go unsaid. It aims to allow people to reflect on whether they are growing as an individual or not. Basically, I provide a platform for people to be vulnerable, share their stories and that allows people to ask themselves some real hard questions and reflect on that. It is when we start having conversations with ourselves and making authentic choices do we live boldly. Otherwise, we continue to live on autopilot, and we all know that doesn’t do anyone any good.
How has writing 10 000 Steps Towards Me helped you grow as an individual? Writing my book allowed me to put my creations out in the world…the utmost expression of vulnerability. I have understood that vulnerability isn’t something to fear to behold as it is a reflection of bravery and that is something I want to teach others. It has helped me come to terms with who I am and celebrate that with all flaws and great values together.
I have learned that not everything has to be going well for you to achieve your dream, even in lockdown, I managed to launch my book. I understand now that I need to live my dream daily and it needs to be an active manifestation. I have procrastinated for so long to complete this book and I’m glad it came to fruition! It has allowed me to learn how action conquers fear. It has helped me set up a writing business, which I had never even imagined before and to have the courage to get out there and showcase it. Above all, it has taught me how much I love creative writing and that this is what I am meant to be doing.
Who do you hope is helped in reading this book? Those that dare to change…
I intend to help people know who they are, know what they want, and help guide them towards their true north (and the best version of themselves). Those who dare to change are the people I hope to help. Anyone that wants to see a significant shift in their lives or has a lot of questions as to why they feel/felt stagnant. I aim to help them realise their worth and help them reflect on their own life and look at what needs to change and what needs to be celebrated.
What is next for Anna? Currently, I am doing a memoir writing course as I’m working on my memoir which is an exciting task.
Look out for more books down the line! My aim is to make a career out of writing, so I am currently working with some clients to get that set up nicely. The rest I will leave as a mystery, intertwined with some interesting characters and adventures to come.
If you would like to get in touch with Anna you can visit her website, or by sending an email to email@example.com or by booking a discovery call with her here. Connect with Anna on Instagram and LinkedIn.
After several years of conceptualising, Quinton van der Burgh has collaborated with celebrity photographer John Russo to release 100 Making a Difference. The coffee table book celebrates philanthropic individuals and organizations on a global scale and will aid charity.
Published by the author’s own publishing company, Quinton van der Burgh Media, 100 Making a Difference highlights the most impactful social champions in the world, from activists to celebrities totalling 143 charities from around the world. The book features a collection of incredible photographs of passionate human beings who are dedicated to improving the lives of others through their tireless charitable work and the organizations they support.
“Many people around the world are in dire situations and 100 Making a Difference is a book that will, hopefully, remind people of how helping humanity should be at the forefront of your daily thoughts and actions,” explains van der Burgh.
100 Making a Difference features photographs of celebrities such as Christy Turlington, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Oprah, Pharrel, Usher, Elton John, Eva Longoria, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Tommy Hilfiger, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Quinton himself.
Also featured in this book is world-renowned US actress and musician, Eve, alongside her husband – the founder & CEO of Gumball 3000 Entertainment Ltd, Maximillion Cooper.
“It’s great to be part of the 100 Making a Difference initiative, and we’re dedicated to make sure that the Gumball 3000 Foundation will continue to give underprivileged youth greater opportunities in life, ensuring that future generations are invested in and presented with every occasion to be the best version of themselves,” shares Cooper.
Working with world-renowned photographer Russo was something van der Burgh wanted to materialize since van der Burgh first met John on the set of his Men’s Fitness cover shoot in Las Vegas a few years ago. “John is undoubtedly the number one celebrity photographer in the world and I knew that 100 Making a Difference needed backing for it to see the light of day. Philanthropy work is close to my heart and showcasing others who are also trying to make a difference in the world is very important to me. This book will not only raise money for the charities in the book but will also give the people photographed an opportunity to be recognised for their philanthropy away from their usual celebrity status,” says van der Burgh.
In 2018, van der Burgh launched the QVDB Foundation and the #PayMyBills campaign to help South African residents who are drowning in debt. This initiative focuses solely on alleviating families’ financial burdens and providing individuals with skills they need to join the workforce. He says the 100 Making a Difference initiative is a compilation of such an incredible body of work, and it is something he is “proud to be a part of.”
“I’m not just wanting to change someone’s life for a day but wanting to change someone’s life forever. Life is not defined by what you can accumulate, but by what you can give back; and I have made it my life’s mission to raise awareness and help others in support of global change and impact,” he adds.
The book is available for sale on www.100makingadifference.com, with proceeds being donated to all the organizations listed within the beautifully designed hardcover book.
“All monies from the sale of the 100 Making a Difference book will be divided equally between the foundations in the book. I have further partnered with AXIA Capital bank and we have set up a Covid Relief fund that aims to help foundations around the world during these incredibly tough times. This will be the first global initiative of many that I plan to roll out in the years ahead,” says van der Burgh.
AXIA has committed to donate $10,000,000 USD worth of AXIA, in today’s value, that will be distributed evenly across all organisations to show support and appreciation for the efforts of each worthy cause. The project will assist further by donating an additional extra 6% for each book sold to the foundations in 100 Making a Difference.
The publication features the work of celebrity photographer John Russo.
Paris, the capital of France is known for it’s rich history, art, architecture and historic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower. It’s mostly known as the city of love too. Some of you have already had a chance to visit this beautiful city and others, (such as myself) have Paris down on our travel bucket list to visit one day. In the mean time why don’t we live vicariously through an inspiring book filled with stories based all in Paris. Grab a cup of something to drink and let’s take a trip to Paris for One.
Paris for One
When Nell is stood up by her boyfriend at the train station she feels like her whole world has fallen apart. With hopes that he will join her later, she hops onto the Eurostar to Paris and so her adventure Begins. Alone in the city of love and lights, Nell finds herself at the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Exhibition. This is where she meets the charismatic, charming waiter and struggling writer Fabien.
What started out as a disappointing Paris getaway, turns into the best 48 hours of Nell and Fabien’s lives. Together they rediscover what it means to truly live and be happy. When all the adventure and excitement of the past 48 hours is over, what will happen with these two star crossed lovers? Will they go back to their own lives like nothing ever happened? Will Nell go back to her unappreciative boyfriend? The only way to find out is if you read this book yourself.
And Other Stories
After Paris for One the rest of the book is a collection of short stories, which all take Place in Paris. Each story does not start and end in one chapter, but rather continues in one or two chapters later in the book. This was cleverly done by Author Jojo Moyes, as this leaves you intrigued as to how that story will end. Jojo Moyes leaves you anxiously anticipating the ending and in some cases the ending is not what you would have expected it to be.
About the Author
Jojo Moyes is an English journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She is one of only a few authors to have twice won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists’ Association, and has been been translated into twenty-eight languages. Her number 1 best selling novel Me Before You which was later made into a huge film, staring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clark was released in summer 2016. Novels that followed include The One plus One, After You, and most recently Still Me.
I thoroughly enjoyed Paris for One and Other Stories. I am not a complete romantic at heart when it comes to novels, but this book definitely stole my heart. Jojo Moyes leaves the imagination running wild with her beautiful descriptions of Paris. You cannot help but feel you are in the city of love yourself, experiencing all the events that are happening while you read the book. You do not have to be a hopeless romantic to read this book, as its enjoyable light reading makes it hard to put the book down. So if you want to get lost in Paris just for a while, get yourself a copy of Paris for One and Other Stories. Who knows if you haven’t already, one day you might just be experiencing this beautiful place for yourself.
The festive season is here and it’s time to kick back and relax. Whether you are going away on holiday or having a stacation at home, nothing beats some down time with a good book and a glass of wine or a good cuppa. Today I will be reviewing two books that will inspire to get the creative juices flowing and get you ready for 2018. So sit back, relax and enjoy.
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso
What started out as a simple eBay store as Nasty Gal (which later moved to its own website), from a single laptop in a small apartment in San Francisco filled with vintage clothing, became an overnight success with an estimated $300 million in sales 10 years later. #Girlboss is based on the hard work and rise of Nasty Gal, told by none other than the CEO and founder herself Sophia Amoruso.
Amoruso speaks about her journey with Nasty Gal and what it took to make it the phenomenon it is today.
#Girlboss focuses on entrepreneurship skills and what it takes to start a business. My favourite chapter in this book is “Money looks better in the Bank than on your Feet” which focuses on money matters when it comes to starting and running a business. Learning to manage your money is one of the most important things you can do. Amoruso emphasizes to make smart money decisions now to avoid stupid ones later.
You can’t act like you have arrived when you’re only just receiving the invitation. – Sophia Amoruso
At the end of each chapter is “Portrait of a #Girlboss” which is a short story or testimonial from a successful woman in business.
Even though Nasty Gal filed for bankruptcy in 2016, and was purchased by the British-Owned BooHoo group in 2017, this book carries great motivation and inspiration to believe in yourself and follow your dreams. Sophia Amoruso keeps you entertained while learning from her journey. If you are looking to start your own business, or need some inspiration to improve and grow your business then this book is for you. This book is for #Girlbosses and #Dudebosses, introverts and extroverts alike.
Sisterhood Charter is a book aimed at fostering a spirit of sisterhood amongst women. This book focuses on issues such as women retracting their claws and dealing with issues in a civilised manner. I loved the fact that there was a lot of focus drawn to being content with yourself and finding your purpose. If a woman is comfortable with who she is and her purpose, the temptation to hurt or compete with another person becomes a futile exploit. By doing so you will not feel threatened by another woman’s success. There is great focus in knowing that what was meant for you will always be for you, so run your own race and wish everyone else well.
When you know your purpose, life is an everyday win. – Pontsho Manzi
About the Author
Pontsho Manzi is an award winning business woman, motivational speaker, coach, image consultant and author of:
Diary for Fabulous You
Journal for Fabulous You
Journal for Fabulous Wife
Publisher of Fabulous Woman Magazine
Pontsho draws on personal experience through dealing with many women from all walks of life. This is one of the reasons why she wrote this book.
I enjoyed reading this book as it reminded me how important it is to love yourself first, a notion we all seem to forget. I love how this book promotes unity and support amongst women of every age, race and gender. As far as reading goes I found it to be easy, light reading which is perfect for this festive season. There is no heaviness and a lot of positivity. So if you are looking for some inspiration going into the new year, or looking for a gift for a special woman in your life, then I think this gift will look great under the Christmas tree.
As this is my last post for the year I would like to wish everyone a happy and joyous festive season. Please be safe on the roads and lets start 2018 with renewed energy to achieve our goals and dreams.