Meet the Speaker Stephen McGown is from Johannesburg, South Africa. He obtained his degree in Finance and worked in some of the large South African banks. In order to expand his career, Stephen went across to the UK and worked in London for 7 years. While in London, Stephen met his wife, Catherine, who shared […]
Meet the Speaker Stephen McGown is from Johannesburg, South Africa. He obtained his degree in Finance and worked in some of the large South African banks. In order to expand his career, Stephen went across to the UK and worked in London for 7 years.
While in London, Stephen met his wife, Catherine, who shared the same desire to return to South Africa; start a family and manage his family’s farming business.
It was this farming business that inspired a passion for the outdoors and planted the seed in Stephen for adventure from a young age. At the age of 11 he learnt to ride a small motorcycle on the farm. The freedom he felt from riding in the eastern Free State, near Lesotho, ignited his desire to ride a motorcycle through Africa, with home being the final destination.
An unexpected turn of events crushed his life long dream. En route home, Stephen was abducted by Al Qaeda and held hostage in Mali for almost 6 years.
Stephen McGown was kidnapped from Timbuktu, along with a Dutch and Swedish national on 25 November 2011.
He was 36 at the time of the kidnapping.
My friends and family who said I had a story that needed to be told.
I enjoy interacting with people, I like the honesty of it and seeing emotion on people’s faces, from tears to their eyes being shiny with life. I like the “realness” of the interaction.
Why have you succeeded in a field where many have failed? (public speaking)
I find it fascinating that through my experience I have become one of the most sought after public speakers in South Africa in my genre.
I grew up in Johannesburg in South Africa although I did spend much of my childhood on our farm knee deep in mud.
I studied my degree and post grad through UNISA
Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Commerce Honours in Marketing, Finance and Risk
It was Meg Ryan
I enjoy series’s, comedies, and movies based on actual events
I began working in investment banking before deciding to move into farming.
I would like to impact as many people as possible with my story, I enjoy the feeling of touching peoples lives. I have done over 200 talks in South Africa and abroad in the past three years. I would like to get a greater hold on the international audience.
I want to keep a balanced life and spend time doing what I enjoy.
Go for a walk with my wife and our dogs.
birdwatching, fishing, mountain biking, running, motorcycling.
When people say “I can’t help it”. If we aren’t in control of our own lives, who is? “I can’t help it” is taking the easy way out.
Dr David Livingstone (what an incredible life he must have had exploring Africa, he must have some amazing stories), Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu (he was an amazing man and involved in trying to get me out the desert. I wanted to reach out to him and regret that I did not before he passed away). My mom (She passed away while I was in the desert. I would just love to have a chat with her).
Tell us three things about you that nobody would guess.
I stutter, I was kidnapped, I like milkshakes
Band of Brothers
Saturate yourself in what you enjoy.
You have everything you need to overcome every challenge, right inside you.
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