To celebrate Rotary Awareness Month, our club meeting was turned into an exciting talk show! Our Hot Seat contestants this week were none other than the lovely President Nadine, and PE Thomas. Hot seat contestant were asked to answer a series of questions prepared by the host and members of the club. Contestant were given no time to practice or prepare, resulting in: real, fresh and funny responses. 


This meeting was inspiring, motivating, refreshing and exciting all the same time.. All members learnt about their leadership and were thrilled to get an insight into each one of them. 

Take a look at Tom's responses first! 



Q: Why did you join Rotary?

A: Entirely for my personal benefit. I wanted to meet more people who can afford to eat at my restaurants and sleep in my hotel. 3 1/2 years later I have fellow Rotarians who raise funds for my kids' education so my original plan worked. Now they have even made me president, which makes it easier for me to run my own agenda. Seriously? Like with so many things in Rotary I did not really have a big say but got appointed, not to say summoned. My host was PDG Hatim Karimjee - clearly somebody you do not contradict. He invited me to a few meetings, and I have never looked back.

In retrospect, the decisive factor for me to enjoy my club and Rotary at large were the people I met. Very diverse yet so like-minded. Many of them I would not have met had it not been for Rotary. A bunch of self-motivated, enthusiastic and generous people. Generosity is the opposite of selfishness. We are privileged as Rotarians because we can afford to be generous. It is this spirit of generosity which convinced me that becoming a Rotarian was the right thing to do. I have not regretted it for a minute.

Q: what are your plans as future president?

A: I want to carry out a tiny, little, friendly revolution. A facelift for the way we do things. Modernizing some of our proceedings while maintaining the traditions that give us our identity as Rotarians and as a club. Secondly, I will try to focus on friendship. Friendship is a key element in being successful as an organisation. It has been said before and I will repeat it here: an individual, no matter how enthusiastic or generous, will always be limited in what he or she can achieve. A group of people has more resources and more strength. If this group of people is a group of friends then they can achieve even greater results.

Our club is growing in membership. This growth poses a challenge to our internal cohesion, to the friendship among members. We all have to make an effort to get to know each other, to be friends. This means attending meetings, social events, service projects. Personally, I have developed friendships with several of my fellow Rotarians that affect my life outside of Rotary. This is something I encourage all members to try and do as well.

As the president together with the board it is our task to make our meetings, our social events and our service projects attractive. This will motivate members to attend and as a result we will strengthen the ties amongst each other and become a stronger club doing bolder things.

Q: What are your hobbies? 

A: If hobbies are activities you spend time with and actually enjoy it then my hobbies are:

1. my job

2. my family

3. my Rotarian activities

4. football active & passive

5. drinking beer & talking rubbish with my friends.

If the ranking is in positive correlation to the amount of time spent on the activity then some will argue that drinking beer & talking rubbish should be all the way up there. I will not rule in my own case.

Q: How do you define success?

A: It always seems impossible until it’s done.

Q: Your favourite holiday destination? Why?

A: Before I ended up permanently in Tanzania I travelled around the world for 18 months. Pretty much everywhere. The itinerary is tattooed onto my arm. Now, the destination that interests me most is space. Not too far out - maybe moon. I would love to see the earth from space. If space proves too ambitious then it's Lubumbashi.