20Q: Khaya Dlanga

Khaya Dlanga – Design Indaba Conference 2012 MC and senior communications manager of content excellence for Coca-Cola SA – says our stories make us who we are.
Posted 16 Apr 12 By Design Indaba Creative Economy Interviews / Q&A Comments

1.What would you like to have written in your obituary?

He always left people feeling better.

 2.How do you deal with failure?

Failure is only when you do not try. If I don’t learn from not achieving what I wanted to achieve then that is true failure. My assumption is that I am meant to learn something from failure and that I am not ready for what I want. Having said that, nobody wants to fail to learn a lesson, but sometimes life needs us to.

 3.    Who in the world, dead or alive, would you most like to have dinner with?

I’ll be boring and say Barack Obama. He is a powerful man, leading a powerful nation where some within his nation want him to fail. Above everything else, he leads a healthy family life.

 4.    What's one thing that you haven't done that you would still really like to do?

I don’t spend my life wishing I had done too many things because I do a lot of things I want to do. If I haven’t done it, it means that I don’t want to do it badly enough yet. There are things I want to do that I haven’t done yet, but obviously I haven’t wanted to do them badly enough yet.

 5.    What always makes you laugh out loud?

I’m an easy audience. I laugh very easily. There are many things that make me laugh out loud. I don’t know what my life would be life if I didn’t laugh out loud. Someone once said about me, “You hear Khaya’s laugh long before you see him.” There is a lot of truth to that. I just love laughing.

 6.    What's the one gadget that you can't live without?

It has to be the iPhone.

 7.    What is something that you have learnt in the past five years?

I have leant that things always work out. You may be driven a completely different path, but in the end, you will end up where you are meant to be. Being taken via a different path is what makes you wiser, stronger and leaves you with far better stories than if you had taken the path you imagined. And life is about stories. Our stories make us who we are.

8.    What items would you put in a time capsule?

Another time capsule.

 9.    What is the question you ask yourself the most?

Am I doing what I am meant to be doing in order to get where I am meant to be?

10. What is your favourite thing to cook? 

Anything that has great flavour. I love experimenting, so I can’t have one thing. That would kill me.

11. Are you proudly South African and why? 

I am proudly South African, because we are constantly punching above our weight, yet I know we can do so much better than we are at the moment. But my pride is not that blind patriotism.

12. What's your favourite film? 

I have favourite ones, not a favourite one. The Godfather (Part I), Annie Hall and Lawrence of Arabia.

13. What is your present state of mind? 

Content but not satisfied and forward looking.

14. What is something you know you do differently to most people? 

I don’t sing in the shower. I recite movie dialogue or monologues from favourite ads.

15. Which superhero do you most identify with? 

I don’t think I identify with any. Sadly.

16. What qualities do you most admire in others? 

The ability not to take oneself too seriously and not believing one’s own hype.  

17. Are you a morning person? 

Yep. I’m not an afternoon person.

18. What does water taste like? 

Like chicken.

19. What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done?

Living my life has been an adventure and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

20. Can design save the world?

Creativity is the only reason we keep improving the way we live our life. Of course.


The Design Indaba team would like to wish Khaya a very happy 34th birthday. We hope the year ahead is a continuation of your adventure.