About: Michael Charton | Engaging Motivational Speaker
Michael Charton enthusiasm for the story of South Africa and his curiosity and passion for the peoples of our country has gradually lured him away from his corporate career.
Having qualified as a chartered accountant and spent time in a financial advisory role in the United States, Michael returned to Cape Town in 2007 where, during a short career in advertising, he was awoken to the art and power of storytelling.
But in 2010, following an unorthodox project for an advertising client, Michael began telling stories. In 2011 Michael then stumbled upon the untold story of the 1937 Springbok rugby team: a group of men who lived in a fascinating time and whose legacy holds far more gravitas than which can be retained in a set of chalk lines.
This story proved to be a success and he has told the story to audiences around the country to overwhelmingly positive reviews. By 2015, Michael had developed and told a number of original, non-fiction stories all of which drew inspiration from South Africa’s unique history. An interest which, having qualified as an accountant, Michael had then studied through UNISA.
With these foundations laid, Michael Charton made the decision to embark on his most ambitious project to date. To write and tell a story which, while remaining true to the art of storytelling, manages to unearth the key dynamics of South African history in a manner which appeals to the heart.
This story would prove to be a monumental challenge, which saw Michael Charton resign his role as a financial director and ply 18 months of his life researching and developing.
The result was acclaimed story, MY FATHER’S COAT. A story which has found considerable acclaim and set Michael Charton up to expand his project into a company called INHERIT SOUTH AFRICA, which aims, through a number of projects, to make South African history more accessible to both our people and visitors.
NOTE: This presentation take 2 hours with an interval!
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MY FATHER’S COAT is the realisation of Michael Charton’s decade-long ambition to make the incredible story, that is South African history, more accessible to our people. To open the hearts of South Africans to our past, so that we may use our remarkable story no longer as a tool to inspire hatred and fear and division, but rather as a source of unity and healing.
Accordingly, Michael Charton idea was to condense the epic narrative of South Africa into a bite-size story which is both compelling and balanced. A project which would prove to be a colossal, time-consuming challenge, but one which has ultimately given rise to a very unique product, providing order and meaning to a notoriously complex subject.
But importantly, this is no history lecture. Instead, this is just a story. A human story, told by climbing into the boots of five prominent and directly interlinked protagonists spanning 200 turbulent years: Mzilikazi, Kruger, Rhodes, Smuts and Mandela.
So, while historians actively try to eliminate the biases so prevalent in our story; Michael embraces them. And as Michael Charton introduces you to each of his five characters, he allows them to lure you under their spell by subtly endorsing their beliefs and biases.
But, with the introduction of each subsequent character, new insights are carefully leaked into the narrative, undermining previous biases and providing a new depth of understanding; until a layered and more balanced view of our complex past is gradually revealed.
Further, and because the lives of these characters overlapped, Michael Charton finds unique opportunities to tell the same pivotal moments in the story through more than one set of eyes; so providing a powerful reminder of our heavy biases as well as the absurdity of some of our historic attitudes. Those attitudes ultimately responsible for South Africa’s catastrophic 20th century.
This was a project Michael Charton believed in so strongly that he gave up his life as a chartered accountant in order to pursue it. This passion shines through in his delivery. Indeed, this is a unique life experience: An opportunity to reflect on our unique past and to celebrate the fascinating peoples with whom we all share this complex country. Never before has our past been explored in this manner
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Travels from: Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
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