Dance to the beat of life

Dance to the beat of life

Dance to the beat of life

avtor 31. marca, 2022

In Conversation with ….Verona Duwarkah, author of the book
Mastering the Art of Knowing the Difference between What You Can Control and
What You Must Let Go

I met Verona Duwarkah in 2013, at the Success Summit in Johannesburg, where various South African and international speakers, including Sir Richard Branson, inspired a crowd of five thousand people for three consecutive days. As it turned out, she was and still is, just as inspiring with an incredible life journey and a profound sense of self.

A journey that leads her to write her very own book called “SACRED SIMPLICITY – mastering the art of knowing the difference between what you can control and what you must let go.” From personal difficult moments in her life, Verona has decided to work hard and grow from strength to strength and after years of dedication and love for her work has climbed the corporate ladder within the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) by becoming the Group Executive and later taking over Urban Brew Studios as CEO – one of the largest TV production studios on the African continent.

Among many phenomenal projects she was part of, while at SABC, she has successfully project managed the broadcast of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and she also handled the broadcast of former president Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

But this was just one chapter of her life. Since then, Verona has embarked on a more spiritual journey by focusing on her well-being and the well-being of the people around her. Her new chapter is to be of service to people, by offering life and business coaching. As she says in this interview “ I work with them and help them to discover their inner wisdom and unearth the limitations they place on themselves.”

I am blessed to have a copy of Verona’s book SACRED SIMPLICITY, a book filled with personal stories and wisdom. A book with 19 outstanding chapters that can make us all think, give us a new perspective, guide us, and motivate us.

For this interview, I have chosen a few chapters from her book, which formed the basis of our conversation.


Growing up in a rural village in Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, you and your family lose your home due to a fire, suddenly, your life changes, poverty strikes …how did you and your family go through this ordeal?

It was extremely heart-breaking and shocking for all of us. In a few minutes, everything my parents had built for so many years, enduring many struggles and challenges was just gone… Our tears flowed freely as we watched. We could do nothing to save anything we owned without risking injury. So, we watched helplessly as all our belongings melted away into nothingness right before our eyes. How could have somebody been heartless enough to destroy our lives in an instant? All because of jealousy, greed, and hunger for power!

I was scared, hurt, angry, lost…I felt so many emotions.  We had nothing left – only the clothes that we were wearing. Suddenly, within a few minutes, we were homeless. Our memories remained only within ourselves as all our photographs and possessions were now just ashes. Living in a rural environment meant that insurance was not something anyone thought about, so it was not like we could quickly restore anything.

Emotionally, that fateful day remains etched in our memories—the shock, the disbelief, the anger, and the pain. We had never been wealthy, but we were comfortable. I was 14 years old, and my 6 siblings were all younger than me. We were then forced to adapt and persevere – we built strength and resilience during this time. These attributes would stand us in good stead for the rest of our lives.

I am sure it must have been very difficult for you and your family, even more so since we talk about living in Apartheid South Africa. Would you mind sharing a little bit about your childhood growing up in such an oppressive regime?

To be quite honest, I was quite oblivious to the situation until I left home when I was 18 and went to study in the city. I guess that growing up in a rural environment had its ‘benefits’ – we were kept in the dark about so many things – it was quite ‘normal’ for us that only ‘black people’ lived where we lived and ‘white people’ lived in a separate area, far away from us. I remember a time when my Dad’s boss came to visit us with his family – it was totally weird! My Dad told us that they were very important and that we should all behave. We were intrigued by them with their blond hair and beautiful blue eyes.

Since we did not have electricity in our homes, we watched very little television, and nobody explained any of this to us. At school, our history classes were about Hitler, Stalin, etc. So, when I went to study in Durban, I was quite surprised when I was told by security that I could not use certain public facilities. When I innocently asked, why not, I was told that I had to use the facilities for Black people. This was a ‘Whites only’ space. From there on, I experienced several incidences where apartheid showed its ugly head. I am grateful that our beautiful country was freed from this terrible situation in 1994.


You share about toxicity at work, about loving your work, about working long hours, and your final decision to move on after many years in a corporate environment.

I loved my work and I had always said that if the day came when I didn’t feel that way about work anymore, I would leave. Working long hours was my own doing – I was somewhat obsessed or addicted to work so I spent a lot of time at the office, not thinking about the consequences that would have on my family and my health.

In 2012, I was appointed in quite a senior role in the organization that I worked at. All went well until early 2016 things began to go wrong. The environment was no longer conducive to my well-being – it was intolerable. I realized that my spirit was broken, and my body started to give in…I became ill and by mid-2016, I decided that it would be best for me to resign from my job. I had spent almost 25 years in the company, working my way up the corporate ladder so it was a difficult decision for me to make. I felt so lost and alone, but I knew that it was the right choice. The time had come – I was not happy at work and forcing myself into working there would end badly for ME!

I walked away and, in the years, to come, I started over and as I reflect on that situation, I realize more and more each day that it was the biggest blessing for me – it led me to where I am in my personal growth today and I couldn’t be happier.


You write that we tend to nurture the academic or professional side of ourselves, but we forget about our inner self. Please illuminate us on this pearl of wisdom….

As previously mentioned, I was a workaholic – my life revolved around my jobs and most of my time was spent in that space. In doing that, I spent very little time on personal development and nurturing my spirit. While I did attend various seminars and training in this realm, it was not consistent. I used to love this space though – I guess that when there is a ‘calling’, one sometimes must be put through the trials and tribulations to realize their true purpose. As I look back over the years, all the learnings that I received during the interactions in this space culminated in my path right now.

Meditation, prayer, and yoga are now a daily part of my life. These are times that are pure bliss. I also study various modalities in healing in addition to my coaching studies. This supports me in my quest to assist those who I serve to find the balance of the academic and spiritual/inner Self before a crisis forces them to do so.


Tragedy, unfortunately, strikes again, while on a business trip in Australia you receive sad news. The Magnificent 7, as your dad affectionately called you and your siblings, suddenly are 6. Willing to share what happened?

Another defining moment for me – the most painful by far! I received a call late at night on 27 May 2004 – my brothers were involved in a bad car accident, and I was asked to go to the accident scene. On arriving there, the emergency services told me that one of them was in a critical condition and had to be taken admitted to intensive care immediately. That was just the beginning of the 9- week nightmare that we endured. The doctors assured us though that my brother would heal in time and that he would be okay. He was only 27 years old and to me, he was more like my child than my brother.

With that understanding, I left on a business trip that took me to Australia and then on to India. A few days after I arrived in Australia, I heard from my family that my brother’s situation had taken a turn for the worst. We still hoped that he would recover – we could not just give up on him. But, on the morning of July 29, 2004, he decided that he needed to journey onward. I noticed a few missed calls as I left a meeting and my stomach turned, my heart was racing – still I didn’t envisage that this was it – the end – just like that. When I received the confirmation that he was gone, my knees went weak, and I found a nearby space to sit as I just cried. Thankfully, my colleagues offered the support I needed at the time. I left Sydney to make the dreaded, long journey home.

Everything changed from then on – we were no longer the Magnificent 7. Each one of us dealt with the pain in our way. For me, the loss of my young brother was a catalyst for my journey in spirituality and healing as I was trying to understand death and why it hurts so bad…I am yet to find the answers, but I have found peace in the process…


Making always others a priority, now it comes the time for Verona to take care of Verona….this discovery leads you to ……?

Scheduling time for me. No negotiation! My time for prayer and meditation is a must and is understood by my loved ones. I must take the time to ‘fill me up’ – fill my cup. I am a better Human Being when I am as whole as possible – I can then give more and be of service in a kind, loving, and generous way.


You talk about being the comfort zone type of person…. but then…..

I spent almost 25 years working in one company. Even though I held various roles, I was quite comfortable there and probably would have retired there had it not been for the signs from the Higher Powers that I had a greater purpose in this life. Even though it was extremely painful at the time, I know now that my destiny is very different from the life I had then. I feel fulfilled and at peace with where I am on my journey now – it is certainly not an easy path but it is what feels right and for once I am following my heart and my intuition.


We don’t have the luxury of time, time is so precious …how do you view TIME?

When one starts to lose loved ones, the realization dawns that Life should be lived as fully as possible each day, each moment!

We spend too much time worrying about what went wrong yesterday and what may go wrong tomorrow – as the saying goes: where attention goes, energy flows, and the result shows. So, when we place our focus on all the negativity, we attract negative vibrations in our energy field. The more we do this, the more things go against our wishes.

We must turn our attention to what works in our lives – even if it is something small – appreciate, value, and love whatever makes your heart sing and brings a smile to your face. Let your heart fill with gratitude for the immense blessings that you receive daily.

Do it while you have the time….


Please describe with your words what the title means to you …

Love, Laugh, Liveenjoy each heartbeat and dance to the beat of life every time the opportunity presents itself


Tell us about the FREQUENCY COACHING, what it is, what is that you do, teach?

I provide a holistic perspective to coaching – very academic with tools and techniques (Business Coaching) on the one hand and very soft and introspective on the other (Life Coaching). Every client, whether I am working with an individual, a group, a business leader/owner has a story and a belief system that shapes their thoughts, attitudes, and decision-making processes – in their personal and business lives. I work with them to discover their inner wisdom and unearth the limitations they place on themselves by using various techniques. We then implement changes to their lives based on their learnings – this could be in their personal or business lives or both. I also provide sessions in Breathwork, Hypnotherapy, Crystal Healing, Reiki, and other modalities to support them during their journey.


If you would give a piece of motivational or supportive advice to all the readers of “Inspire me”, that are going through a tough time, what would it be?

When life throws challenge after challenge your way, you have to make a decision – a decision that is birthed within yourself. What can I do to change the energy in my space, no matter how small the action may seem, make a start – one can choose to feel sorry for one’s self or choose to take things a moment, an hour, a day…at a time. These tiny steps can start with self-care. Short periods of meditation, prayer, walks in nature., be kind. Take time to reflect on what you want for yourself – outside of all the judgment – what makes you truly happy. When you feel your heart flutter, your intuition is letting you know that you’re on the right track.

It may take time – patience is key! You will get tested multiple times, but you must persevere. Some call it your ‘Why’ – that reason that keeps you going, no matter what. With introspection, you embark on a journey to figuring that out and once you find that burning desire deep in the core of You, this will drive you when times get tough.


Spletni portal pripravlja in ureja Insights d.o.o., družba za odkrivanje in razvoj potencialov

Foto/Images: Verona’s Private Collection. Website:


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