GLOBAL ADVENTURER, MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER, CORPORATE ENTERTAINER AND LOVER OF LIFE
He has been blind since birth…
Despite this Hein Wagner has many accomplishments to his name. He has completed the Absa Cape Epic, ran the Antarctica Marathon, the Two Oceans and New York Marathons, completed full Ironman, competed in the World Triathlon Series in Cape Town, finished several Cape Town Cycle Tours, tackled the white waters of the Zambezi River, climbed the ten highest mountains in the Western Cape, completed the Cape to Rio Yacht Race, holds the World Blind Land Speed Record at 322.52 km/h, and more.
Wagner matriculated at the Pioneer School for learners with visual barriers in Worcester, South Africa. His parents made the difficult decision of sending their blind five-year-old son to boarding school a hundred kilometres away from their home in Durbanville. This was a decision the terrified youngster could not understand at the time, yet today he recognises this decision as the best one they could have made in their quest to prepare their son for the real world.
Hein’s first school report is testimony to his adaptive nature and early sense of adventure stating that he ‘is on a constant journey of discovery’. His teenage years proved to be more challenging as he dealt with the normal pressures of growing up and also struggled with the question of why he had to be born blind. Not finding the answers he desperately needed made him rebellious and he subsequently made life difficult for those around him. It took a couple of extreme adventures to make Hein see the light. Today he sees his blindness as the biggest gift he could ever hope for.
Hein started his career as a switchboard operator, but the rapidly growing technology sector soon inspired him to enter the IT industry. He worked for companies such as MWeb and Thawte Consulting, where he quickly worked his way up to international sales manager, managing a team of sighted individuals.
Hein’s unique experiences and out-look on life afforded him numerous invitations to share his story and in 2004 he decided to take up motivational speaking as a full-time career. His humorous approach to everything in life has illuminated the lighter side of living in darkness and resonates with audiences around the world. Whether he has his audience rolling with laughter or doing introspection, he aims to leave them with the realisation that they have the capacity to achieve anything they set their minds too.
As a keynote motivational speaker, he holds audiences’ attention. His motto: “Anything you believe is not possible, is actually possible; you just have to change the way you look at things. If you do that, the things you look at will change.” With so many accomplishments under his belt, he always states: “My excuse is that I’m blind, what’s yours? By opening my mind to turn the unachievable into the achievable, I moved myself from being filled with pain to being filled with joy, from negative to positive; from unhappy to happy, from uninspired to inspired, a taker to a giver, a loser to a winner, from unsuccessful to successful, from ungrateful to grateful and from just being blind to being blinded with possibilities.”
In August 2014, Hein received an honorary Golden Key award from the University of Stellenbosch for his ongoing commitment to social upliftment. He is also the inspirational brand ambassador for SAP in the EMeA South region in Europe.
Hein is well-known both locally and abroad and has received extensive media coverage.
He is married to Monica and they have a little daughter called India. The family divide their time between Sweden and South Africa.
Hein Wagner is living proof that despite the challenges that come our way, anything is possible. He does not allow his blindness to stand in the way of his dreams and people often refer to him as the blind man with exceptional vision.
Hein’s captivating and humorous motivational talks are available in English and Afrikaans. He can further tailor-make any of his presentations to suit your conference/meeting objectives and outcomes.
Blind man with Vision™
This presentation is guaranteed to open the eyes of those that are simply too lazy to see. It is loaded with humour and suitable for diverse audiences of all ages, religions and cultures. Hein leaves the audience with the burning question: "I am blind... What is your excuse..?"
Hein recommends this talk for corporate dinners, award ceremonies, gala & fundraising events, product launches etc. Basically any function, formal or informal.
A slightly adapted version of this talk is also available for schools, colleges and universities.
Against all Odds™
This presentation takes the audience on a moving journey of Hein’s view on the world he lives in. He shares some of his light and dark moments as well as his personal recipe to achieve extraordinary results.
Hein recommends this keynote for any kind of conference or seminar that deals with any theme or topic including sales, marketing, leadership, strategic planning, team building, project planning / kick-off or just pure staff motivation.
Dinner in the Dark
An unique and unforgettable experience without comparison.
â€¨What?: A three course meal is served in total darkness.
How?: Hein facilitates the evening and guides the guests through their experience in the dark. As there are a number of technical requirements to hosting Dinner in the Dark, Hein prefers using preselected venues for this event. The venue is blocked out completely ensuring that no light seeps in.
Please note: mobile phones, lighters and watches that glow in the dark will be kept in safe keeping during dinner.
Guests do not see the venue prior to the event and are normally unaware of the fact that they will be served dinner in total darkness. The venue is loaded by table and guests meet their highly skilled blind waiter, who will assist them to their table, in the dark. Guests are not aware that their waiters are blind. This will only be revealed once the lights are switched on.
Why?: With one sense temporarily removed guests have to rely on their other four senses and the people around them to navigate through the evening. This concept can be linked to various themes including:â€¨Trustâ€¨Communicationâ€¨Leadership and Respect
Hein can tailor-make the messaging of Dinner in the Dark to suite your company’s core values and/or goals, product launches, client experiences and staff motivation etc.
Dinner in the Dark Quick facts:
Suitable for 20 – 130 guestsâ€¨No light generating devices will be allowed into the venueâ€¨Venue loaded table by table â€¨Detailed table list including dietary requirements essential
Listen, Think & Grow™
(Motivation & Team Building Session)
The team building session kicks off with an all round introduction that is followed by a 45-minute powerful and emotional motivational talk. This moves the audience into a dimension of positive thinking.
The talk is followed by an interactive session that includes a number of exercises to improve the level of understanding, respect and sense of belonging within the group.
Hein contracts confidentiality with the group and through the above mentioned techniques create an environment of trust wherein people share on a deeper level to ultimately have a far better understanding of everyone in the group/team.
With a better understanding and deeper level of trust within your group/team the members also get to know and understand the interpersonal boundaries and how to effectively deal with one another, especially under pressure.
Be warned: This is a highly emotional session, however incredibly effective in bringing a group/team together for life.
We recommend this session for any team/group that needs to achieve extraordinary results on all levels. It leaves them connected, respected, appreciated and “team mated”.
As the creator of this interactive team building session, Hein can change the content to accommodate your organization’s key objectives, core values or any long & short-term goals, should that be required.