John McInroy is a South African born social activist, philanthropist, social entrepreneur, ultra endurance athlete, international field hockey player, actor and vegan yogi. John and I got super deep in this session covering topics of how he regained love for himself and in turn spreading that love with like minded people. John's charisma sone through the entire time and he talks how he made a conscious decision to focus that energy towards the the health of the planet and all sentient beings. This guy creates and innovates but most importantly he has an innate ability to inspire people to find their true self.
Born in South Africa, John McInroy spent most of his childhood in England before returning to com- plete his schooling in Cape Town. He has a BComm from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from University College Dublin in Ireland. He attended the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore, as an MBA exchange student. An enthusiastic team player, John also represented South Africa in hockey.
While living in Dublin, the red socks (known as the shoOops!) came to life in 2007 when a very close friend staying with him decided to return to work in South Africa. Inspired by a story of three South African prisoners of war who had been captured at the Siege of Tobruk in 1942 and vowed to each other that should any of them make it back alive, they would wear red socks to remember each other and always be “together”. John and his friend made a promise that they would wear red socks every Friday. Red Sock Fridays have since grown into a global movement, with the socks being worn in more than 70 countries in the world – spanning all 7 continents. More importantly is what they represent and how they bring together and impact the lives of many people.
John was awarded the “Ideas for the Future” scholarship by the University College of Dublin’s Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, in recognition of his dream to connect people all over the world one pair of red socks at a time.
In 2010, the story of Phil Masterton-Smith whose nickname was “Unogwaja”, the zulu word for a hare, made its way to John. In 1931, Masterton-Smith became the youngest ever Comrades winner, aged 19, which is a record that still stands to this day. However, in 1933, Masterton-Smith was living in Cape Town and couldn’t a ord the train fare to get to the start of the Comrades Marathon. He refused to give up and cycled across the country to take part in the race. Masterton-Smith lost his life on 5th June 1942 in the Battle of Tobruk. In 2011, the first ever Unogwaja Challenge took place. It began as a 1650 km bike ride in 10 days across South Africa from Cape Town to Pietermaritzburg followed by the Comrades Marathon on day 11. Today, The Unogwaja Charitable Trust has been established and founded by John. The cycle journey and the red socks continue to unite people from all over South Africa and around the world but it is John’s mission to support primary education as a means to empower South African people, and address the significant inequalities the majority of South Africa still contend with that is at the core of Unogwaja, the red socks and John McInroy. In 2015, John completed the Unogwaja journey on foot to allow more people to become a part of the movement and call it their own. John inspires people to join together and be the best they can be. And while he may be a uniquely gifted orator, John prefers to be judged on his actions.
With a somewhat spiritual journey and pulling himself out of the all consuming world of his charities, John explored and studied his 300 hour yoga teacher training in India and a tantra course in Thailand. These passages in life opened up a new world of love and compassion that motivated him to write his first autobiography aptly named Butterfly Man that launches on 22 February 2018.
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