Life Talk


“The beauty of Tug of Life is its simplicity and that it can be applied within minutes of a brief introduction. There are no deadlines or time-consuming demands – it’s just a thought process and a vocabulary that everyone, irrespective of age, can apply to every situation in their life. I wish I'd had this tool long ago, it would have changed my life!"

- Andre Kraak, principal, Steenberg High


"Tug of Life is an invaluable and life-changing methodology - all our young people and families should use it!"

- Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM Archbishop of Durban


"Dear Sally and Nicoleen. Thank you so much for today's fantastic training! Thank you for your enthusiasm, your knowledge and your brilliant facilitation skills. A really big thank you also for getting all the materials to look as beautiful as they did on such short notice. Thank you once again for an amazing job well done!"

- Celia Hsiao, Save the Children South Africa

"The work you have done over the years is phenomenal and you need to have the best and most authoritative voice supporting you."
- Lesley-Ann van Selm, Managing Director, Khulisa Social Solutions

"God Bless you and your organization for empowering our people, especially our children - in the hope of a better life. What you are doing is showing the country that life is not only about oneself but about everybody and everything around one - it is that which we all call HUMANITY! I really do salute you!"
- M. Beharilal
"As heads of schools we were all very happy to find a service provider working in the area of the alternate curriculum, particularly dealing with the problems faced by children in the age group we deal with every day.  To find an organisation which actively assists both young people and their parents to find solutions to twenty-first century social problems is indeed a bonus. The attraction of the Life Talk Forum is that it tackles contemporary issues in a way that young people both like and understand.  It gives our youth the idea that they own their issues and have a vested interest and an important part to play in the resolution of these issues.  A further advantage is that the forum is not prescriptive about solutions or remedies but allows both adults and learners to resolve their own circumstances in their own way and in their own time. It gets both, children and their parents to sit down and talk about serious issues around parenting and youth responsibility and try to fashion their own answers here.  Its biggest value for me is that it gets children and adults talking at a time when effective communication between parents and their children is not at a satisfactory level.  It gets these parties to engage with issues affecting both."
- Hein Weber, Principal of Khanyisa Education Centre
"With your assistance we are now empowered with the knowledge to deal with the types of problems faced by all whom we are able to reach out to.  Again, we thank you for your generosity and wish to have a continued relationship with your organization."
- R. Mathunjwa, Project Manager of Uthando Home Base care
"The ARA and its members are very impressed with what Life Talk has been able to achieve and are very proud to be able to assist. The books are exceptional and the new ideas that continue to flow from the initial concept are unique. The dedication and commitment of the Life Talk team is quite phenomenal and serve as a reminder of what caring people can achieve."
- Adrian Botha, Director of the Industry Association for Responsible Alcohol Use (ARA)
"Wow, what a fascinating experience yesterday was with your visit to our Home…We would like to thank you all for the time and effort you put into it to visit our Home and hand deliver the donation of books. We really appreciate what you are doing to the benefit of our children."
- B. Nel, Greytown Children’s home
"It is thanks to caring individuals such as you, that we remain in a position to respond to the needs of children in crisis and that we are able to face the many challenges of creating a gentler, brighter future for the homeless, abandoned, neglected and abused children in our City.  Without commitments and support our task would be infinitely more difficult, especially given the financial restrictions suffered by organisations such as ours.  Thank you, once again for your time and expertise you so generously shared."
- Niresh Ramklass, Cape Town Child Welfare
"Well done on taking action. Our future depends on people like you in all spheres in our country."
- S. Rogers, parent
"Dear Izabella, we again would like to thank you for your generous donation of Life Talk books last year. Slowly but surely we are implementing the principles set out in your books, and it is not our imagination – there is a positive change in the behaviour of our children. They still arrive here with a lot of issues and baggage, but it seems that we are better equipped to handle the situation. Compared to last year this year so far is a piece of pie. This can probably be due to our staff members implementing the principles set out in your books.
May you be blessed in abundance for your talent to bring about change amongst our young people. If only half of what is said in the public media is true, then we are living in a very sick society. For that reason your books are of immense value to guide our youth to become first class citizens of our wonderful country."
- Bert Nel, Greytown Children’s Home
"Life Talk provides an opportunity to understand what other professionals think about the issues that teens face. I like the material provided in the Life Talk books (for a daughter, a son and for parents) because it is practical and sensible."
- Andrew Cook, Headmaster, Mitchell House
"Thanks again to you and your team for all that you are constantly doing to keep our children safer and our parents more informed."
- Tracy, parent
"I really hope you have much success in this venture as the product you have to offer is invaluable!"
- K. Melvill-Smith, Head: JP Boys
"Thank you so much for this valuable advice. It's a privilege to be able to ask such important and sensitive questions & to be able to receive quick sound advice."
- Andrea, parent
"I just want to say thanks again.  Without your advice and suggestions I wouldn’t be enjoying life the way I am today. God bless you and your organisation."
- K.S.


Thank you for keeping us parents so well informed.  This is very valuable and really assists us with the immensely difficult task of being a parent. 
- R. Brandao
"I’ve just read Life Talk News 18. Well done for an excellent article.  It reminded me – again – of what an incredible team you are."
-  Celene
"Thank you for all the newletters. I am so impressed with your work, and will try to send this notification all around this country (Oman)."
- E. Irvine.
"I think your newsletter is a great initiative.  I will be subscribing to your newsletter as I believe it definitely addresses a need. Well done."
- Cheryl, parent
"Thank you so much.  I REALLY appreciate receiving this info and want to commend you for doing a wonderful job!!"
- L. Mitchell


"Thank you for the talk you gave to our pupils yesterday. You dealt with the issues in a way that did not involve lecturing to the pupils, but rather aimed to inform and educate them on the implications for their growth and especially brain development of their choices. You dealt with all the main challengers that they face.  I liked the Tug-of-Life Game plan, and I hope that the pupils will see the value of identifying the characters in their life's contests.  Hopefully all these interventions will help to build a community of Galvanizers that will help the pupils to defeat the Challengers in their life.  Thank you."
- John GellingPrincipalHigh SchoolDe La Salle Holy Cross College
"Any parent with children of school-going age would do well to spend an hour or so in the company of Izabella Little-Gates. She shared with expertise, passion and sensitivity of heart on the subject of the dangers faced by 21st Century adolescents. Her presentation held nothing back from parents who sat spellbound as she unwrapped the many layers of risks, threats and real life dramas that all too often, if ignored, serve to take young people hostage while leaving parents feeling frustrated, heartbroken, and helpless. A sobering reality check! Thanks again."
- Richard Stanley, Headmaster, Highbury Preparatory School
"I need to salute you for helping our parents and students, in inviting Izabella all the way from KZN to address them last night.  We sat in the very back row and trust me, judging from the comments that I could lip read/hear, the shock tactics definitely worked for our students! I think that Izabella achieved what she set out to do – create an awareness of all the issues that she addressed – that are an absolute reality. This is certainly a very different era of teenagehood that a lot of us didn’t grow up with – issues that didn’t exist, which makes it a learning curve for parents."
- D, parent
"We got an unprecedented turnout and everyone thought it was an evening to be remembered.  The parents had a lot of questions, and it was apparent through the rapt attention, that adults and teens alike thought the evening was worthwhile and informative.  I want to say that Sue was an angel to work with – competent, efficient and highly organised.  What a pleasure! She went out of her way to make the evening the enormous success it was."
- Carroll Coosner (Psychologist) & Ilona Hermna (Deputy Principal, Vista Nova School)
“Sue Linstrom has always been professional and impressive in her delivery and interactions. Her course material is topical, interesting, relevant, engaging and spans a range of age groups. She communicates well with pupils, as well as adults. Both our pupils and parents have benefited from her presentations. We look forward to booking Sue again in the future and recommend her without hesitation.”
- Graham Keats, Head: Senior Preparatory/ College, Reddam House Atlantic Seaboard
"A friend of mine went to a talk given by you at her daughter's school. She was completely blown away by what you shared with the parents and the amazing coping tools and advice you gave them. She has been on a mission to get all parents to tap in to the wonderful ways to raise our children in a wholesome way and to give them the mechanisms to grow up normally in a world that has changed so much since we were children.  On her advice I visited your web page and I too was amazed at what you are doing - and enormously grateful for the huge effort you are making to make a difference in other people's lives."
- C. Emberton
"It was such a pleasure to host you and I am still glowing from all the good things that parents and heads have said to me about the impact you made.  As I said to you, giving a good talk is one thing, but being recognised as a speaker with integrity is quite another."
- Andrew Cook, Principal, Mitchell House
"Found the talk presented at Vista Nova Primary School very interesting ...  Bought a copy of "Life Talk for a Son", gave it to the 14 yr old, he got into it right away and found it “a great book!” ... I read snatches of it and would recommend it to every adult who is trying to understand adolescents."
- Jocylyn
"The children responded well to the content.  The presentations were well paced, well prepared and pitched at exactly the right level."
- Mary Hyam, Deputy Principal, De La Salle Holy Cross College Primary School
"Life Talk has provided detailed reports on the workshops our learners have had with them, which we have used to great advantage to alert us to potential problem areas and ways in which to address these.  Constructive and practical advice is given on how to deal with issues facing these young people and a healthy forum for debate is created in this fashion."
- Hein Weber, Principal, Khanyisa Education Centre
"Sally and Izabella are compelling speakers because one senses their passion about the issues and a desire to make a difference to all young people and families. They come across as speakers who have integrity and who have faced the problems themselves. As a result their responses are full of compassionate understanding for the difficulties that are faced in raising children but are prepared to do something positive about them anyway. They are in the trenches with us and not viewing the battle from a comfy academic distance."
- A. Cook, Headmaster, Mitchell House
”Thank you so much for your talk this morning. The children really enjoyed it as it tied in with so many of the things we had been discussing at school during class – self-respect, self-esteem, etc.Tomorrow I have the Grade 10 class for Life Orientation and I shall follow up some of your ideas and topics during the lesson.” 
- Lindy Messaris, L.O., Cedarwood


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