Backstory

PEPE MARAIS

Financial Mail - - CROSSWORD CRYPTIC 8 - Found­ing part­ner, chief creative of­fi­cer, Joe Pub­lic

Which his­tor­i­cal fig­ure do you most iden­tify with?

The Scot­tish knight Wil­liam Wal­lace. I be­lieve in lead­ing from the front, from the trenches of the bat­tle against mediocrity. I also be­lieve in free­dom, in all its as­pects.

What’s your one top tip for do­ing a deal? Don’t ever do it for the money; you will for­ever be poorer for it.

What is the one in­vest­ment you wish you had made, or made ear­lier?

The most valu­able in­vest­ment is into your own per­sonal growth. I started back in 2007 and it has been com­pound­ing ever since. I wish I had started ear­lier.

Nom­i­nate your eighth won­der of the world. Veganism.

What was your first job?

I was a news­pa­per de­liv­ery boy at the age of 12. What is your big­gest re­gret? Giv­ing up pi­ano lessons when I was eight. I am now learn­ing to play again.

How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips in han­dling stress?

I go to gym ev­ery morn­ing at 5am, six times a week.

What’s the most in­ter­est­ing thing about you that peo­ple don’t know?

I used to go out wear­ing dresses. It gave me quite a kick, not to men­tion a sense of free­dom.

Which phrase or word do you most overuse? Great.

What’s the worst air­port you’ve been in? Coronel FAP Fran­cisco Secada Vignetta air­port, fly­ing in from Cusco, Peru to Iquitos in the Ama­zon. But I am not sure whether it was the fa­cil­ity, the heat, or both.

Tell us about a hid­den gem in SA that not many peo­ple know about.

Wil­low Creek on the Vaal, a small es­tate on 12km of pri­vate water.

Which liv­ing per­son do you most ad­mire? My wife. She is to­tally un­touched and un­tainted by money.

What do you con­sider the most over­rated virtue?

Hope. Too many peo­ple live in the hope of some­thing bet­ter. Ac­tion is the first step to­wards a bet­ter re­al­ity.

On what oc­ca­sion do you lie? When it is not harm­ful to oth­ers, on those oc­ca­sions when the truth will hurt too much.

What do you re­gard as the low­est depth of mis­ery?

Los­ing a child.

Which tal­ent would you most like to have? In­flu­ence.

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