Becoming a Somebody – an Invitation.


Much has been written about what you would like other people to say about you; when you turn 21; when you get married; when you retire; when your eulogy is read out!

For most it comes down to a few simple, but profound, words “I’d like to be recognised as someone who has made a positive differnce to the lives of others, I’d like to be remembered for the legacy I created”.

Or as Siseko Ntondini says in the movie Beyond the River “I’d like to be remembered ‘as a somebody’.

We all want that!

Below is an Invitation worth considering.

It’s about how you and your business can become ‘a somebody’ – Steuart Pennington


Beyond Painting Classrooms Conference creates opportunities for dialogue and engagement in the employee volunteering community

Piers Cruickshanks, author of Confluence Beyond the River with Siseko Ntondini (the story on which the recent movie, Beyond the River, is based) and Siseko Ntondini will be two of the guest speakers at this year’s Beyond Painting Classrooms Conference.

Beyond Painting Classrooms (BPC), being held for the third time, is a unique opportunity for people who are passionate about corporate employee volunteering to come together to learn more about good practices in the field, share success stories, discuss challenges and build knowledge. Beyond Painting Classrooms was first established by FirstRand in 2012 with the support of Charities Aid Foundation South Africa (CAFSA), an NGO which promotes philanthropy, volunteering and corporate social investment in South Africa.

The conference is being held at the Wanderer’s Club in Johannesburg on 13 and 14 September 2017. Those who should ideally be attending the conference includes NGOs (including faith based organisations, youth organisations and CBOs, government, schools, institutions of higher learning as well as corporates, particularly CEOs, board members, CSI, EVP and HR practitioners, marketing and communication specialists and social and ethics committee members.

Confluence is the story about how Piers Cruickshanks and Siseko Ntondini together won gold in the 2014 Dusi canoe marathon, a story of triumph of the human spirit.

Cruickshanks, a seasoned multiple gold medal winning paddler, along with Ntondini, a paddler from the Soweto Canoe Club, started training towards their goal of winning gold but in so doing needed to overcome many cultural, personal and physical challenges. The book was released at the same time as Beyond the River, a movie based loosely on this story, which has received rave reviews.

Apart from Piers Cruickshanks and Siseko Ntondini, there will be a host of interesting speakers during the two-day conference, with seasoned investigative journalist Mandy Weiner as MC.

Feedback from previous conferences included 90% of delegates agreeing that they had gained a new understanding about the connection between employee volunteering and sustainable community development, with 100% of delegates agreeing that the conference report could help them strengthen their approach to employee volunteering.

“The Beyond Painting Classrooms initiative is very important in that it bring together NGOs and companies’ CSI and corporate volunteer practitioners to share ideas and best practice on the issues that confront us as we try to ensure mutual benefit for communities and companies through volunteerism,” says Sizwe Nxasana – Chairman, FirstRand Foundation.

By showcasing inspiring examples of employee volunteering, Beyond Painting Classrooms hopes to inspire more organisations and South Africans to get involved in employee volunteering, and to contribute to creating lasting social change
Beyond Painting Classrooms 2017 will also include the announcement of the winners in the inaugural National Employee Volunteer Programme Awards, an initiative to recognise employee volunteering that creates real value for business, employee volunteers, NPOs and communities at large.

Delegates interested in attending the conference can register at

For more information please email .