Simon Ekin

The Magic of Talking to Strangers and Taking a Risk

Go on. Take a risk!

It’s 10:30 on a weekday night as I step into a little bar called Roxy’s, in Cape Town with two other men I have just met whilst attending a men’s circle.

It’s cold outside but the warmth of an open fire and a wooden-topped bar, with a choice of beers on tap, feels just the ticket. We continue a deep and meaningful conversation about relationships.

My attention is drawn to a man who comes into the pub and sits at a table across from us and directly in my line of sight. He’s in his early 60s and has a ‘mane’ of glossy, silvery hair that for some reason, above normal curiosity, grabs my attention.

I do what I try and do as much as I can: challenge my own assumptions and limitations, so pull back the chair and walk up to him. “Hello,” I say, “may I touch your amazing silvery hair?” He admits he’s never been asked that by a man before but accommodates my request. After the stroking, I return to my seat.

As I look at him a flicker of recognition fires in my brain. I look at him, look at him again, and then ask, still not sure, “is your name Mike?” He looks at me, and says, “is your name Si?”

It’s Mike F! Mike is the man I met in the late 90’s in London and who first made me aware of the organisation and the very circle that I have been attending – The Mankind Project. I knew he was in Cape Town, and we had had a couple of failed attempts to meet up and now, as if by magic, here we are. He pulls up a chair and joins us for one of those beautiful, flowing, interesting, exciting conversations. I am in the zone, in my Mojo, as happy as a pig in sh*t.

What are the chances of these strange and wonderful series of ‘coincidences?’

I marvel at the majesty, the magic of how the universe delivers every time bang on time, good or bad, right, or wrong.

Allow me to join the dots for you in the form of reflection on this meeting:

  1. Reach out. Connect with someone, you never know what will happen as a result.
  2. Listen to your heart, your desire, your ideas, your quirks, guiding you. I really wanted to go out for a beer with these men I had met and yet my rational mind was telling me that I needed to get back home and get a decent night’s sleep.
  3. Fully engage. In the men’s circle I fully engaged in everything I did that night and took a couple of risks. Because of those risks I judged that I made a deeper, better connection with the other men and so they were willing to come and have a beer with me, perhaps more, than if I had stood back and not thrown myself in.

My invitation of a ‘call to arms’:

Reach out to a stranger and take a risk. Not sure where to start? Start with what is right here, right now. In my case, it was Mike’s grey hair. Be curious. Take a risk.

Mojestically yours,


P.S. Find out your Mojo score by completing the anonymous 2-minute Mojo-Meter here: