Speaker Bio

Rusty Labuschagne is a unique premier speaker on the professional circuit. One is immediately struck by his sincerity and humility as he delivers a dramatic account of his transformational experience. Rusty has been through a trauma few have experienced. In 2003, the successful Zimbabwean businessman, who ran a safari outfit, flew his own aircraft, and had a fishing resort on Lake Kariba, was framed by a poacher, the police, and the courts, and wrongfully convicted of drowning a poacher.

He talks and writes about being subjected to conditions most people would find unbearable, having to draw on his inner resources and strengths to endure the unimaginable. In the process, he developed not only a life-saving resilience but also empathy and a keen desire to help his fellow inmates. His faith in God, positive mental attitude, leadership qualities, and lessons in forgiveness, gratitude, and humility bring a personal, transformative, and authentic message of hope and freedom.

In his book and to audiences, Rusty's message is that everyone is faced with challenges, but it is who you are and the depth of your determination that will get you through life's darkest moments. He shows how one can harness one's inner strength and let go of what one cannot control. His talks have a broad audience appeal, from leadership lessons for CEOs and managers to inspiration and staff members' motivation. They will all feel an impact.

Against police evidence, without a body and on presumptions, Rusty was convicted of drowning a fish poacher during Mugabe's rule. He served 10 years in Zimbabwe's prisons, including the notorious Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, where he suffered through the Zim dollar crash, with food shortages, no running water, and people dying around him daily.

He speaks eloquently about being subjected to conditions most people would find unendurable, having to dig deep within himself to find solutions to an unbearable situation. His resilience, ability to face adversity, and pure grit are an unparalleled inspiration.


Beating Chains


  • Resilience Learned: Bounce back with experience and grit. You have it in you!
  • Inspiring Others: Are you making a difference? Find your purpose.
  • Unanswered Prayers: Being prepared for where you are going.


Country of Residence:

South Africa


Durbanville, Western Cape, South Africa


Resilience Learned - Bounce back with experience and grit. You have it in you!
Leadership Is Key - It is action by example. Have you got it right?
Inspiring Others - Are you making a difference? Find your purpose.
Unanswered Prayers - Being prepared for where you are going.

Expert On:


Booking Requirements

Virtual Rate: R25 000
Live Keynote Rate: R30 000 excluding travel / accommodation where required

Speaker Associations / Accrediations

CVPA (Certified Virtual Presenter Africa)

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Live Fee Range
Virtual Fee Range
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Availability Calendar
June 2021
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      • Christine @Wesbank
        16 April 2021 at 10:31 am

        In April 2021 – WesBank at our Bi-Annual Operations Conference invited Rusty Labuschagne to be the first person on our Agenda and to talk to the team before the day’s proceedings started.

        The finance industry, like many, has seen quite unique and challenging times in 2020 and 2021 and we invested as we always do in a motivational speaker at our conference, the brief was to share a message of hope, tenacity, and overcoming and Rusty exceeded all expectations!

        Our conference was online via Video Conferencing and Rusty was THE ideal presenter. Rusty is a humble, genuine, natural, and hugely inspirational speaker. He is engaging, energetic and his riveting message and experience had our attendees hanging on his every word. His content was unique, engaging, and relevant to challenging times. His message of personal tenacity, strength, endurance, and a positive mindset left the team inspired and on fire. Rusty was kind enough to answer many questions and we found him to be dynamic and interactive during the entire engagement, his message had a profound impact on the entire audience.

        I would highly recommend Rusty as a keynote/motivational speaker for any conference or event. Rusty should be your FIRST choice with his impactful and thought-provoking message.

        Christine Antonites
        Motor Support Manager, Wesbank

        Keynote Talks - Virtal

        Would you recommend to book

        Value for money

      • REMAX
        26 November 2020 at 1:02 pm

        You had us captured from beginning to end. REMAX

        Keynote Talk - Live

      • Jaclyn, Maryland, USA
        18 November 2020 at 1:20 pm

        Rusty, thank you very much for speaking to my team this week. It was a very timely and inspirational message, especially as our Partners are front-line Behavioral Health workers trying tirelessly to meet an unprecedented demand. Thank you very much. Wishing you great health and happiness.” Jaclyn, Maryland, USA

        Keynote Talk - Live

      • Thea Elliot-Darlow
        6 October 2020 at 1:05 pm

        My copy of your book arrived this morning….I have not put it down! Rusty, I’m sure that I, like many people, never knew the extent of the HORROR you endured incarcerated in those legendary bastions of Hell, Misery and Pure Evil, built as Prisons in Zimbabwe. It was riveting reading!! Sometimes utterly horrifying and repulsive at what humans are capable of inflicting on each other. Your unique brand of Rusty “Joie de Vivres” is so evident throughout the book with only Forgiveness, Love, Laughs and life lessons for all!!!❤️ Obviously the stories and history of our West Nic “tribe”❤️ made me feel so proud of my roots and we were blessed to have been a part of it all. Your description of that beautiful country, animals, people and potential it has to recover, is so Positive. Thank you for this story it’s been bravely told! Long life to you and Sandra.

        Thea Elliot-Darlow

        Keynote Talk - Live

      • Nozi
        21 August 2020 at 1:06 pm

        Hi Rusty, I attended the Thinksales conference today at Sandton convention center. I’m truly humbled and inspired by your story, probably the best presentation as it truly was authentic and spoke to the heart of leadership. I drove back home with a heart full of gratitude . Thank you. You went through all of that so that you may inspire and touch many many lives.
        Nozi, Thinksales at the Sandton Convention Center

        Keynote Talk - Live

        15 August 2020 at 1:04 pm

        We were incredibly moved and so very inspired!

        Keynote Talk - Live

      • ACCA
        23 June 2020 at 7:03 am

        We were reminded about the gift of forgiveness, gratitude and resilience that naturally exists inside all of us. ACCA

        Keynote Talk - Live

      • VODACOM
        8 February 2020 at 1:04 pm

        You are enlightening people and changing mindsets in our company.

        Keynote Talk - Live

        18 September 2019 at 1:03 pm

        I cried and laughed and was moved by your experience.

        Keynote Talk - Live

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