My Favourite Mistakes
How three men became stronger through adversity

December 20, 2013

own up to your mistakes

How three men became stronger through adversity


Siv Ngesi, actor, on overcoming physical difficulties:
The biggest setback I ever came across in my career has to be teenage acne. I started working in front of the camera at the age of six, but in my teens I had craters growing out my face. This stopped my career like a train hitting a wall. As a performer your face is part of your instrument and mine was out of commission for years. This could have killed the dream but it made me want the dream even more. I met my drama teacher who told me I was good enough and gave me the chance to work on my theatre craft. I was able to have a very “stable” high school career without the travelling and media exposure. Because of those little things I am a more well-rounded performer.


ProVerb, rapper, on dealing with rejection:
In school, I was never academic and I squandered a lot of opportunities after school. I dropped out of everything and basically failed at everything I attempted. It was only when my folks finally gave up on me I realised that there was more to life. Since then I use all my earlier failures in life as fuel for everything I do. I don’t live in regrets but I am forever mindful of my earlier blunders, and these always serve as reminders never to be repeated.


Prof Tim Noakes, sports scientist, on publishing false information:
I’ve mislead people who read The Lore of Running. I’m really angry because I was being mislead. I just passed on information, and that’s the danger of received wisdom. I had to experience it myself and get pre-diabetes to see it. So then I started digging and I started to realise that we’ve been completely misinformed. But it took me to get the disease to understand what to do.