Hat tip for Bekker
Former Naspers CEO Koos Bekker was the reluctant recipient of an elaborate industry hat tip in Cape Town on Friday. Described by Forbes Magazine as a “South African media tycoon and self-made billionaire”, Bekker (61) shuns the limelight – hence his infamous love of blend-in beige attire.
But at the Artscape theatre on Friday, he was the toast of the town – or the global media village – as Naspers nonexecutive chairman Ton Vosloo handed him the coveted Phil Weber Award, the company’s highest accolade.
The function followed the media conglomerate’s 100th annual general meeting.
“It gives me goose bumps to hand this award to Koos, who I had to drag here kicking and screaming,” said Vosloo.
Meanwhile, colleagues and family divulged some lesser-known details about him, including that Bekker is prone to sitting on his spectacles – he has “hundreds” of pairs – that he has a penchant for shimmery high heels – on women – and loves musicals.
Bekker cited a recent Times of London article that aimed to reduce happiness to its principal constituents.
“It said there are two aspects to happiness: purpose and pleasure,” he said, thanking his family and colleagues for giving him both.
“I trained as a lawyer, but when I went to court I hated everything, from the manila folders to the blood smears,” he said. So he gravitated towards media, which he loved.
Bekker wore a pumpkin-hued tie – a good match for the plums and mealies stacked on his table; a nod to his habit of rewarding staff with punnets of fruit and vegetables from his farms. At his side was his wife, Karen Roos; radio presenter daughter Cato; digital entrepreneur son Niel; and Doeda Mathidza, who has worked at the family’s Gardens home for the past 30 years.
Mathidza’s Joburg-based children – Wilson, Sundu and Gloria – flew to Cape Town for the bash.
Gloria, who also works in the media,
Bekker, flanked by his wife, Karen Roos, receives the coveted Phil Weber Award from Naspers chairman Ton Vosloo
Cato Bekker, Doeda Mathidza and Doreen Morris
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