Slice of life: The power of integrity



It was the middle of a workday when I got a call from my old editor. She was now a director at a nonprofit and asked if I wouldn’t mind coming round for a “chat” that day.

This not being my first time round the block, I was pretty sure what that meant. But, either way, I couldn’t just walk out of my job and go to an interview. Thankfully, she agreed for me to swing by after working hours.

Before, in past interviews, I would panic. This time I didn’t. Something was different.

I had been giving a lot of thought to integrity and how others perceive me. Wholeness, I had come to learn, was a key part of the etymology of integrity. We could only hope to be truly honest with ourselves and those around us if we portrayed our complete being.

With that in mind, I had begun to be nothing but myself, for better or worse, in all my interpersonal dealings. If I meet you and we get along, then great, that could be the start of a beautiful friendship. If we’re at odds then that’s also fine: we can go our separate ways and both be better for it.

Perhaps it was this understanding that washed away the nerves during the interview. I talked freely and comfortably. It didn’t feel as though I was in the crosshairs of my prospective bosses or that they were trying to pick me apart to reveal my flaws. This was just me, after all — a person I had grown rather comfortable with.

Looking back on that day — from the seat of my new job

— I’m grateful for the simplest of choices made: to just go with it. — Kibo Ngowi, communications and marketing co-ordinator at Accountability Lab, as told to Luke Feltham

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Luke Feltham

Luke Feltham runs the Mail & Guardian's sports desk. He was previously the online day editor.

Related stories


Subscribers only

Pandemic cripples learners’ futures

South African schools have yet to open for the 2021 academic year and experts are sounding the alarm over lost learning time, especially in the crucial grades one and 12

Q&A Sessions: George Euvrard, the brains behind our cryptic crossword

George Euvrard spoke to Athandiwe Saba about his passion for education, clues on how to solve his crosswords and the importance of celebrating South Africa.

More top stories

Power shift at Luthuli House

Ace Magashule’s move to distance himself from Carl Niehaus signals a rebalancing of influence and authority at the top of the ANC

Trump slinks off world stage, leaving others to put out...

What his supporters and assorted right-wingers will do now in a climate that is less friendly to them is anyone’s guess

The US once again has something  Africa wants: competent leaders

Africa must use its best minds to negotiate a mutually beneficial economic relationship

Stern warning against Covid greets Mthembu’s death

The ANC has slammed conspiracy theorists and cautioned against showing complacency towards the deadly virus

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…