Dale Cloete (pseudonym)


Medium: Oil on wood Size: 2400 x 2400mm From Kelly's catalogue 'Outsiders'.

Artwork Story:
Dale Cloete (pseudonym)
Business director, life coach, sangoma

Dale Cloete is a leading businesswoman, with years of corporate experience. She is also a trained sangoma. Meet her at the office and it may seem hard to imagine her traditional connection; visit her as a sangoma and you might struggle to consider her a corporate figure.

For some, business and spirituality are opposing fields: suits and briefcases versus trances and chants. Indeed, there is a reason why Dale doesn’t openly mix her two callings: “I have long since stopped seeking to bring African traditions overtly into my corporate work. It functions as a decoy, an invitation for people to be entertained.”

But Dale firmly believes in the need for the business world to bow once again to the wisdom of its ancestors; the need to remind capitalism of its discontent with our natural order. “Today’s business is characterised by rampant short-termism and a delusion that infinite growth is possible; that it’s okay for a few people to own and control most of the world’s resources. This is clearly out of alignment with natural and social systems,” Dale explains.

“Every process I use with my clients is informed by my experience of traditional thinking. As our society approaches the cognitive threshold – where problems like terrorism, climate change or inequality become too complex for the rational mind – indigenous processes offer an approach that hunts for insight without being simplistic or reductionist.

“I’d like to see us engaging with this knowledge; honouring the 
elders who bring it forward, without it becoming racially polarized. We need this knowledge not simply because it’s African, but because it offers a universal way to work with tough challenges.”