Chief Executive Officer, Dimension Data
It has been a difficult and emotional two years and it goes without saying that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed our lives forever.
All of us have in some way, either directly or indirectly, experienced the devastation and loss caused by Covid-19. It has impacted the way we work, our economy, the ability to travel, to see loved ones and to ‘function normally’ in society, without fear. But through difficult times we see the strength and the resilience of our communities and of all South Africans.
With the vaccine process well under way in South Africa, I wanted to hear why my colleagues in the organisation chose to get the Covid-19 vaccine. I share their reasons here, but first, let me share mine:
Personally, it's been an emotional rollercoaster of a year! On the one hand, I'm grateful to be healthy and to have my wife and three children by my side, and on the other, I've had to deal with the grief of losing loved ones very close to my heart.
This year my father passed away due to Covid. My mother lost her husband of 50 years and my two brothers and I lost our father.
I also lost one of my best friends and his wife. They had two children under the age of six, who are now orphaned. If they had been vaccinated, they would have had a 94% chance of still being with us today.
After travelling to Dubai recently I witnessed the stark contrast in economic activity between South Africa and Dubai, and it is clear that vaccination rates have a significant impact on economic activity.
So, as soon as the Covid-19 vaccines became available I did not hesitate to get vaccinated. I felt hopeful knowing that I could protect myself and those around me.
We need more people to get vaccinated in South Africa to stem job losses and to create new employment opportunities.
I hope these stories will inspire you to get vaccinated, because we all deserve to return to a healthy, prosperous and optimistic 2022.
Nompumelelo Mokou, Dimension Data Southern Africa Managing Director
My decision to get vaccinated emanated from understanding that this decision is beyond my personal preferences as it impacts many people. I chose to be vaccinated to protect my fellow colleagues, my family, many of whom are above 60, and my friends who are still wary of going out.
I chose to be vaccinated so that we (as South Africans) can get back to some type of ‘normal’, restoring economic activity and society. I also wanted to be able to travel and to see everyone else traveling to boost our tourism industry and economy.
I am grateful that none of my family members and loved ones lost their lives to this pandemic, so I chose to be vaccinated to keep it that way, that is #MyWhy.
Jay Reddy, Chief Digital Officer
On the 5th of December last year, my son was diagnosed with Covid-19. He had gone out with some international colleagues to a restaurant but was the only one that contracted the Covid-19 virus. By the 16th of December, his condition deteriorated drastically. He could not walk or stand up due to shortness of breath and fatigue and was transferred to hospital the same day. After 14 days in hospital, he was discharged and returned home to his wife and one year old child. During his stay in hospital, no one could visit him at all which was incredibly hard and unsettling! The entire experience was frightening, his condition during his stay went from stable to critical and back a few times, but we are thankful and grateful that he made it through.
We didn’t think twice about getting the vaccine. Anything we can do to stop this pandemic and ensure that no one else has to go through the trauma and anxiety that we went through, is an absolute must, and it’s #MyWhy.
Craig Stewart, Principal Head: Gauteng
When it was my turn to get the vaccination, I was flooded with memories of the past 18 months. The human spirit is truly incredible in that we quickly forget the adversity that we have individually and collectively faced and how we have come together in support of each other.
The first memory I have of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown was saying goodbye to my parents on the evening prior to the start of lockdown, not knowing whether I would see them again. Unlike many of my friends and colleagues, I am fortunate to say that my parents and family made it through this pandemic, and we are all proudly vaccinated and can look forward to many more memories and special moments together.
#MyWhy is for my family and knowing that life is precious and can be taken from us at any moment. #MyWhy is also a responsibility, towards our communities, towards rebuilding our economy and towards South Africa. It starts with being vaccinated and getting all South Africans back to work and being a productive member of our beautiful country.
Finally, #MyWhy is the small things that make life enjoyable. It’s the braais with friends on weekends, it’s the celebration drinks after closing a deal with colleagues, it’s the hugs and high-fives and more facetime – together in person.
What is your why?