Meet the Man

Rob Caskie

Storytelling may seem like an old-fashioned tool, today — and it is. That’s exactly what makes it so powerful. Life happens in the narratives we tell one another. A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.

When you want to motivate, persuade, or be remembered, start with a story of human struggle and eventual triumph. It will capture people’s hearts – by first attracting their brains.

Since 2004, I have presented extensively in the United Kingdom and South Africa to both corporate and private clients. My achievements were recognised with the honour of being invited to speak at the Royal Geographic Society in London to full houses.

I believe there are powerful lessons to be learnt from the remarkable stories of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift, which resonate especially with audiences today. I also regularly present on Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton, along with a keynote presentation titled ‘Endurance: Shackleton’s way’. This talk highlights Shackleton’s unique leadership, choice of personnel and always believing in a positive outcome.

Always confident with people, I thrive on the challenge and reward of entertaining audiences in the theatres of their imagination and transporting them via the power of a story well told.

I pride myself in unique storytelling and do not rely on electronic or visual aids – ‘when the lights trip, Rob does not’!

In Action

From the battlefields of KwaZulu-Natal to the broken boards of Maritzburg College and the Antarctic, Rob is at home (in shorts) in the wildest of environments.

Rob's newly published book "A Day on the Anglo Zulu Battlefields" and upgraded DVD are now available. Please use the contact form to order.

Rob Caskie presenting to a corporate group
Rob Caskie in Antarctica
Amundsen Cetenary
Rob with Jack Russell on the battlefield of Isandlwana
Rob with a penguin in Antarctica
Rob on the battlefield of Rorke's Drift

Rob Caskie is an experience and his passion and knowledge is mind-boggling.

Your ability to tell a story with no IT assistance is quite unique in this day and age

Book Rob

Rob offers private talks, public talks and battlefield tours (shorts included).

Corporate Talks
Business Motivation
Bespoke Tours


Stories and experiences.

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Some July reflections

Catgeory: News

With much of the country experiencing dreadful drought conditions, recent rains were most welcome. Sadly, too late to save Natal's dry land sugar cane, but a timely reprieve for so many South Africans. The water situation on Natal's north coast, along with centres like Bloemfontein remain remains critical. Most citizens blissfully unaware that South Africa is a water-scarce country, and we need to be very mindful of our water usage/wastage. I was fortunate enough to substitute once again for Kingsley Holgate at a conference in the Magaliesburg, for Quality Sugars, who depend entirely on irrigated sugar cane in the Lowveld. Wonderful to witness a mixed audience being transported by the story of our history, and the story of the battle of Isandlwana. The drive home on Friday evening in pouring rain, mist and drizzle from Gauteng, at night, was challenging to say the least. An American couple, working for Kellogg's, engaged me to guide them over the battlefields, and what a delight to share these stories with two charming, interested guests. It seems a shame that after 3 years here, beginning to really understand SA and feel at home, they are whisked away back to the US. Ardmore Ceramics celebrate their 30 year anniversary this month and invited me to share some stories over their Zulu War pieces. Fee' Halstead, the owner, presented Ardmore's story supported by stunning visuals, and what a journey it has been. From humble beginnings in a shed at Rosetta to the prestigious arenas of Christies, Sotheby's, Patrick Mavros (Fee's brother-in-law) and Charles Greig Jewellers. On a typical cold, drizzly Midlands morning, we huddled over gas heaters, and shared tales of art, heartache, history and valour. Many of the artists have succumbed to HIV Aids, at the very height of their careers, and are lovingly remembered in the Ardmore museum/gallery.

Tags: talks | water | sport

Mid winter on the battlefields

Catgeory: News

Parts of KZN are experiencing their worst drought in 80 years, sadly. The areas around Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift are particularly badly hit, along with sugar cane and forestry regions along the Zululand coast. Badly corrugated roads and plenty of fine dust make the battlefield tours more challenging than usual, and the winds have yet to appear... After a glorious time in the Cape, I flew to Johannesburg to speak for HL Hall and Sons - the fruit people from Nelspruit. What a delight it was to research the life of Hugh Lanion Hall who began his life in the Lowveld in the 1890's. Our lives today are so easy and sanitised when compared with these pioneers of yesteryear. Imagine having your home, including all your prized possessions burnt during the Anglo-Boer War, and sending your sons off to boarding school in England? Clearly a incredibly talented man, blessed with great tenacity, he built a farming empire whilst substituting income in hospitality, cattle broking, transport riding and being a paragon of local society. Almost everyone en route to Kruger stops at Hall's on the N4. It was a special privilege to learn more about this extraordinary family, the origins of Tomango, and how they have diversified their massive businesses to survive financially.

Tags: talks | dry | battlefields

The Cape in June

Catgeory: News

A wonderful weekend was spent in Pringle Bay with some of the family. Incredible, windless weather, long walks along the beach, and a braai on the deck of the beach house all made for a special time together. No sign of the troublesome baboons, thankfully. A long ride on a small, borrowed mountain bike resulted in such a painful back, that I have required two sessions with a physiotherapist to get me mobile again. A real pain, literally! The Stormers looked a bit like a rabbit in the headlights on Saturday against the Brumbies at Newlands -what a disappointment. Meeting artist, Juria le Roux, at Langverwacht in Kuilsriver, was surreal in many ways. Having lost an aunt to a senseless murder, Juria decided to paint 50 murdered South Africans. The paintings, larger than life-size portraits, would be displayed at eye-level. Amongst the faces painted was David Rattray Being back in the Mother City is always such a delight. David van Niekerk, owner of High Constantia wines, surprised me at a meeting in Newlands. Larger than Life in almost every way, David and Karen are a special part of South African wine-making. I was then taken to meet a hairdresser, who is a great fan of Shackleton's, and unbeknown to me collector of watches. This incredible vocation creates unique opportunities in terms of human interaction and meetings, which I love.

Tags: pringle | rugby | paintings

Returning to glorious South Africa

Catgeory: News

After an awesome tour to the UK, probably our best yet, we hit the ground running. The quality of the driving from the transfer driver we engaged to get us home from the airport in Ballito certainly cleared the arteries! An air rally called the Jabby Jaunt invited me to come and tell them a little about the battlefields. Pilots from all over South Africa, and two from Botswana, descended on Dundee with 15 Jabiru aircraft. I spent the morning sharing some local history, before taking off after lunch to see the sites from the air. Shortly after take-off the tablet battery belonging to my pilot went flat, and the pressure was acute, flying visually to the Blood River, knowing we had 14 planes in close formation hot on our tail! All's well that ends well, and we visited the site where the Prince Imperial died, Isandlwana, Fugitives' Drift and Rorke's Drift. Flying overhead at 80 knots does not leave much time for commentary. The following day I travelled to Jhb to present some leadership lessons from Isandlwana to a local bank's leadership group. Upon arrival at the security gate, the guard promptly told me I had better be good, they were all very tired! A somewhat ominous greeting, and indeed 6.30pm after a hard day of conferencing and presentations is not the easiest slot to engage an audience. They seemed to buck up considerably when I spoke about the use of narcotics, and the culture in Zululand before being allowed the privilege of women. The 90 minute session sped by with nobody falling asleep, which I considered a great success. Nedbank graciously invited me to a wonderful function in Hilton, with dinner and local singer/artist, Cat Simoni, entertaining. The comedy and singing was of the highest order, along with Nedbank's hosting. Being formal I dared to wear my kilt with a jacket, and had a great evening.

Tags: stories | planes | glorious

Contact Rob

For bookings and enquiries, you may use the form below, or phone Rob on +27 (0)82 4000 470