Yeah, I know. It’s crazy to divulge personal information on public spaces in these times of cybercrime with ransomware and scammers lurking in the darknet, just waiting to pounce on innocent do-gooders such as myself. But what the F – life’s too short to worry about that. Anyway, there’s no point in having a creative portfolio that only showcases work with no info about the creator. You wanna know about me, right? Right, so here we go:
In case you missed this website’s homepage (which is unlikely, seeing as that’s where you probably landed), my name is Desmond Langkilde (yes, the surname is Danish, but I’m not – a Dane, I mean. Or a Great Dane, although I do like the dog breed). I was born in Durban, South Africa on 18 March 1959, so I’m part of The Rainbow Nation (even though that rainbow has disappeared, along with the pot of gold). After having survived childhood as the youngest in a brood of five, I semi-started my career as a freelance cartoonist working for the Pretoria News. Then qualified as a compositor in the print industry. Progressed to the graphic design/advertising industry. Expanded into the marketing industry (financial services). Specialized as a communications expert in the tourism industry. Developed a travel news website and magazine in the media industry. Became a web design, social media, and UX application expert. Dabbled in the non-profit industry (an NPO in the founding stage of development, currently curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic). And ended up as a freelance content writer, cryptocurrency buff, and motoring journalist by default.
My experience gleaned from over four decades of working in such diverse industries has resulted in three core leadership attributes: I believe in the value of decentralized networks and teamwork, undertaken in a spirit of mutual trust and ethical behavior; I believe in delegating responsibility with accountability and strict financial controls; and I respect the dignity of the individual, support academic advancement and do not discriminate on the grounds of race, sex or religion. If that reads like an extended elevator pitch from some self-improvement sales course, it isn’t. It took years to figure it out. You can use it in your own CV if you want (just leave out the decentralized networks bit, especially if you’re submitting your CV to a bank :-).
I’m interested in all kinds of things. Especially the Internet of Things. And the Metaverse thing. And…
OK, let’s talk about passion: I’m most passionate about Africa; the continents’ history, people, cultures, land fauna and flora, and marine biodiversity. For relaxation, I enjoy traveling, reading, writing, and illustration. To keep fit, I enjoy walking, hiking, jogging, cycling, swimming, and resistance exercising. I have competed in numerous running marathons and mountain biking events. I recently walked my Siberian Husky, Jaxx, on a fundraising event from Plettenberg Bay to Cape Town and plan to continue the journey from Cape Town to Namibia soon. I’m also a qualified Open Water Scuba Dive Master and Instructor with Mixed Gas (Nitrox) and Level 3 First-Aid qualifications. Oh yes, I’m also interested in you. Especially if you have work to send my way (after all, that’s why I’ve set up this website; to brand-it-now!).
I am happily married to Beverley (nee Van Niekerk), my wife of over 21 years. I have an independent 21-year-old son (Chase), two daughters (Bo and Kay), a daughter-in-law (Candice) – all in their 30s – and an 8-year-old granddaughter (Ava), and two adopted dogs (Bengi & Jaxx).
My formative years of schooling left a lot to be desired (especially by my parents). I managed to scrape through Rynfield Primary School, limped through Benoni High School (and a brief stint at Willowmore High School, also in Benoni), and completed my adolescent sentence by attending Capital College in Pretoria where I kind of matriculated (I failed English, which is ironic considering that I write for a living today). Post-school, I managed to complete a few diploma certificate courses (mostly out of a need for information, rather than aspirations to secure a 9-5 job). These include; IMM(SA) – Marketing Management, SBMC – Business Management, FAIS – Short Term Insurance, NPC III – Print Media, and Advanced Catering & Chef Training, compliments of the SANDF/SACC.
Trials & Tribulations
Like everyone who has managed to survive over six decades on planet Earth, life has taken some interesting, often exciting, but more often disappointing and heart-wrenching turns along the road known as experience. Right now, as I sit writing this, my sister Patricia is lying in a room down the hall, fighting a losing battle against brain cancer tumors that are slowly devouring her life. Last year, my wife and I lost our home and possessions, for the second time in our tumultuous relationship. Beverley and Benji are currently living with Candice in Randburg, while Jaxx and I are temporarily being hosted by my niece, Dawn at her house in Alberton, Johannesburg, while we both care for my sister; her mother Patricia. Does reading this make you feel sorry for me? Do I feel sorry for myself? No, I don’t. But I do regret, and often resent the pain and suffering that life has inflicted upon those I love. As for me: c’est la vie – that’s life!