Hey ya! I'm Jo!

I help people experience authentic
happiness in their relationships

Testimonials

How have people’s lives changed?

“Before doing the Kalavati Freshstart Bootcamp, I was struggling with depression, anxiety, using alcohol to cope with stress and unable to adjust to many major changes that had recently occurred in my life. But within a few days of FreshStart, I noticed a remarkable difference in my ability to focus and felt increasingly energized. As I practised the tools I learned, Through the various my emotions calmed down dramatically, my mood elevated and my stress levels were no longer off the spectrum. Instead of melt downs that had me yelling and wanting to throw in the towel, I became able to communicate my feelings without the using the exchange as a vehicle to hurt or shame others “for making me feel this way”. The paradigm shift in my thinking was amazing. Instead of blaming I began to learn the power of letting go of that which I cannot change and just accepting what is. I also begun learning that I don’t have to be driven by my emotions, nor fear them. Just let them be and with the tools I can choose how I am going to respond to them. When I hit a rough patch, Jo’s gentle guidance was also a beautiful compliment to the e-course. The FreshStart bootcamp was a liberating experience.” – Michal

“The Freshstart Program was absolutely awesome. I had lost my way before I started it and by the end I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I am free to fly again. I learnt so many ways to deal with different issues and having the opportunity to practice them and then give feedback to the group was great.” – Kerry Ulyate, Business Analyst, Discovery Health

Thanks Jo Ann for being an amazing life coach and teaching me some serious life lessons on forgiveness. Wow! Im seeing the effects. – Vangile Makwakwa, CEO, Speak 2 Be Free, Boston

The time we’ve been spending together has made a big impression on me, it has affected almost every aspect of the relationships I have. Everyone that I have been in touch with lately has commented on the shift they see in me. I cannot say that I enjoy our time together, but find myself looking forward to the next step. Thank you for your guidance. – Jenny, Johannesburg.

Jo has been coaching me for the last year, she is a true professional, she challenges, inspires and motivates me to push and grow myself in the areas I am most challenged by. She is a winner and brings that attitude and experience to every session. Once I’ve done a session with Jo I always feel like I can! Thanks Jo, you rock!” – Wesley Boshoff, Johannesburg, Cohesion (Pty) Ltd, Sales Manager.

I highly recommend Jo as a exceptional Coach & Mentor. Jo was employed as a Coach to our entire Team. She is passionate about people and it reflects in her delivery. Jo is outstanding at building teams and growing personal potential. The management has always appreciated her behaviour and etiquette. Her ideas and pro-active measures will definitely add tremendous value to any firm. Jo would be a great asset for any company and has my highest recommendation.- Angelica Botes, Cohesion (Pty) Ltd, Johannesburg.

I’ve used Jo’s services for the past few years now and over and over again she has assisted me in taking the next steps in my adventure as an entrepreneur. Her accurate intuition during coaching means that every time I see her I get something useful. That’s 100% record that has not been broken. Jo also has an acute and thorough understanding of what it takes to inspire and nurture change and the results have shown significantly in my life. I have doubled my business turnover since using Jo’s services and see life and business as an exciting series of opportunities of learning and growth. Thank you Jo! – Sean McMahon, Electric Pencil (Pty) Ltd, Director, Johannesburg

Jo is an exciting Life coach who has opened my mind to endless thinking opportunities. Jo has an ability to get people out there comfort zone and challenges the past thinking processes with new opens ones. Jo will transform your company teams and staff. A must for team cohesion in the work place. – Gary Wilson, Insurance Broker, Finlogic

Jo has made an amazing difference in my life. Because of Jo, I am a calmer, more rational thinking individual and I have excelled in my personal life and created better relationships with other people. Thank you Jo, you’re stunning! – Theresa Young PA to MD, Cohesion (Pty) Ltd

Jo is a thorough and efficient facilitator, who has the prowess of bringing together unconnected people, into forming successful business ventures.- Hemant Vanmali, National Manager, Absa Bank, Johannesburg

I have known Jo for a few years, and have interacted with her at Women In Finance. We engaged in the mentoring programme and journeyed together in this. Jo has a compassion for individuals and an innate ability to translate this into empowering workshops and interactions. Authentic, professional, unique, creative are other words that resonate with how Jo operates. I recommend Jo as a person and a service provider. –Cindy Bell

Jo is truly exceptional at what she does and I have gained an enormous amount of insight working and developing myself with her. –Ira Halpern, Marot & Sanders Advertsing

Jo’s deep insight into human behavior has made it possible for me to make significant strides in the establishment of and living out my life plan.” – Aasifah Omar, Self employed

Jo is one of the most creative service providers in SA today. She is a phenomenal coach and facilitator, this is reflected in her life as well as her work. – Adelaide Fyffe, Executive Coach and Entrepreneur

Jo has provided excellent service to myself and my business partner for many years and become an integral part in our business running in a well balanced manner. – Nikki McMahon, Electric Pencil (Pty) Ltd

Jo always worked with integrity and showed insight and compassion in her role as a coach. Her ability to get to the root cause of any issue is unique. I highly recommend Jo to anyone interested in making real personal progress. – Darryl Wolfaardt, Mentor / Strategist, Raizcorp Business Prosperator (Pty) Ltd

Once upon a time in a far away, isolated village lived a young girl by the name of Cookie and she lived in absolute misery. She hated her job, she didn’t want to get out of bed in the mornings, she was constantly angry, bitter and utterly unhappy. She blamed her background, her finances, her failed relationships for her messed up state, she even blamed God for not granting things in her favor. Cookie sometimes thought that an evil witch had cast a silly spell on her to confine and stagnate her pursuit of happiness. Days seemed like doses of misery and she slowly slipped into depression then moved into suicidal thoughts till she finally  buried herself.

One night the toothfairy was doing her rounds in dreamland and heard a cry for help, she rushed over to find Cookie helplessly drowning deeper in depression. She pulled her out and suggested a bootcamp.

“Oh boy” Cookie thought, “But I don’t like running” she said.

The fairy smiled at her and said, “It’s a bootcamp with a funky twist love”.

And the fairy whisked her off to Land Bootcamp for Personal Development, Fitness & Fun.

Cookie couldn’t believe her eyes..it was simply..magical. All the things she didn’t think existed were right before her. She found a treasure box filled with valuable goodies. Not only did she find an exotic vegan meal and a good stretch, she found the most precious gift of all. She found herself again. She surfaced back to life, back to appreciation and gratitude, she surfaced back to God. Cookie discovered her passion and resigned from her dreadful, daunting job to a life unknown yet so exciting and refreshing…

The End…. By Sunflawer Nomonde Makwez, FNB, Johannesburg.

I attended Jo’s bootcamp for two months in 2010 and it was one of the best gifts I ever gave myself. Jo’s ability to work with people comes from deep integrity, massive amounts of insight and intelligence, a truly wonderful sense of humour and an authenticity stemming from years of experience, both professional and personal. A lovely human being, great coach and her bootcamp is simply the best way to start the day. – Kirsty Macfie, Self employed, Johannesburg

I feel so much more energized and alive. I really enjoy the holistic nature of the bootcamp. Exercising my physical body, while toning my mental and spiritual side as well. A friendly environment that is lots of fun. Jo brings a lot of fun and creativity into her sessions, essentially boosting results because working her becomes so much more pleasurable. She is insightful, professional and flexible. Jo offers a firm, driven, non-linear methodology that achieves results, and I have thoroughly enjoyed and recommend working with her. –Jai’Prakash (FreshStart BootCamp) Johannesburg

During my first 28-Day Bootcamp I lost 4kg, reduced my panic attacks down to nearly nothing, and felt stronger in my ability to cope with life. My second bootcamp took my weightloss to 7.5kg and by the third I’d lost 11 and to this day 6 months later I haven’t put it back on. I loved working outdoors and the community support. –Tumi Moleko, (FreshStart BootCamp) Johannesburg

I’ve loved the bootcamp. For the feeling of strength it has brought back to my body & mind. For the daily practise of yoga. It has really made a difference in my life. – Sandy Hughes. (FreshStart BootCamp) Johannesburg

I’ve just loved being outdoors practising yoga, learning kata. After finally being free from cancer this is exactly what I’ve needed to heal my body and my spirit. It’s been a breathe of fresh air. Truly nourishing. – Nadia Frances Lerman (FreshStart BootCamp) Johannesburg

Hi Jo, thank you for the sessions this year, you have given me a new outlook and a different attitude towards most things in my life. Hope to be working with you again next year and for lots more good experience to be born. –Linda, CDC (Team Coaching) Vereeniging

You’re damn good at what you do, you know that hey? Thank you for yesterday! – David Chislett, Author, speaker, entrepreneur

Thank you for a wonderful session yesterday. It was tremendously helpful. I felt inspired and strong and free. – Phillippa Yaa De Villiers, Poet, writer, Johannesburg

The session was well managed through a carefully formulated structure that had meaning and purpose at all times. Jo’s initial questions assisted us to bring her through the phone into the room, which made her fully present during the session. Her ability to discharge our emotions and destructive thoughts has assisted us to unlock our positive energy to move forward in our business.I benefited from the exercise to say things that I might not have been able to say otherwise. They were sensitive issues which might have brought in more emotional volatility in to our work space, if dealt with one on one. Wendy and I have a great working relationship. I think however that we need to further explore this kind of platform to communicate and discharge stuff that might not have an opportunity to be dealt with if just left unspoken. (as we are constantly under pressure and could start blaming the party). – Karin Igesund CEO Women’s Business World, Cape Town (Telephonic coaching)

I am a strong believer that mental, emotional and spiritual preparation are the most important building blocks to success. In my line of work self development is vital for success. Working with Jo on my self has made all the difference in getting my career and business to a higher level because she helped me with the fundamentals for what I needed to get where I am today. I can be who or what I want to be, because I started with being myself first. Thank you Mama Kalavati! – Tumisho Masha (Film actor & entrepreneur)

FreshStart Dream WorkShop helped me to heal old wounds, embrace shortcomings and understand them as necessary tools to a better life and becoming a better person. I set goals to become a development trainer after many years of unemployment or jobs I did not enjoy and within 2 month I was doing just that.” – Mpho Matima

I attended the FreshStart Dream WorkShop as a young musician trying to make it in Joburg. As a result of that one day, 9 months later I launched my first CD. I still use the tools I learnt that day to take myself to the next level. My music career has really grown since then with performances on international stages. – Bongeziwe Mabandla, Musician

Talk about getting more than you bargained for. In the time Jo worked at Raizcorp, she completely revolutionized the business. The relationships she built and the impact she had were beyond words. Most of those in Raizcorp who were coached by Jo have discovered parts of themselves that they never knew or wanted to know. Jo has an incredible way of making a person shift toward personal enlightenment and fulfillment with integrity and compassion. If you want a normal corporate coach there are a dime a dozen. If you want someone who can push you, and shift you sideways, Jo is the coach for you. – Allon Raiz, CEO, Raizcorp Business Prosperator (Pty)Ltd

“At Unilever, we try to encourage celebratory peer conversations as one of our pillars for employee engagement. These conversations were dying slowly as a result of the difficult economic times faced by most of our employees in 2008. As a booster for our communication facilitators – the kingpins of these conversations – we invited Mama Kalavati, who took us through a motivational game that improved everyone’s energy levels, but more sustainably reminded us all to play to our strengths. All participants acknowledged afterwards that the session gave them a different and positive perspective of life.” – Eddie Mkuchane, Corporate Brand & Communication Director, Unilever (Pty) Ltd

‘Jo’s workshops have taught me that my life is a creative process that I direct from within. Jo herself is on the path to living her highest self. To learn from her is to learn from someone who courageously engages her own inner terrain. I am constantly inspired by Jo’s skill,compassion, integrity, honesty and passion for helping people change their lives.’ – Lebo Mashile, Entrepreneur, performer, facilitator, poet.

A wise person once told me, when I said I felt lost, that ‘you can never lose something unless you had it in the first place’ – Jo’s workshops for me where like a coming home ceremony. For the first time I remembered what judgment free zones felt like, I learned how to live my life once again with flair, grace and to fear nothing, I learned to embrace my gifts – to acknowledge them and honour then. I am still on this journey but the first few miles have been WONDERFUL! Her workshops empowered me to accept and love all the pieces of myself – even the stuff that lives in the dark corners of my soul. – Lesedi Moche, Producer,’Late Night with Kgomotso’

‘Jo is tough…but in a safe way. She helped us to stand up to our own BS’. Now we all move through things so much more quickly. She challenged the entire team to think about why we were at Glam Slam and how we were doing what needed to be done, including us as executives. The team is now cohesive, willing to go the extra mile and dedicated. Confidence and courage has increased and we bring the right people on board. – Laurel Pretorius, Creative Director, Glam Slam(Pty)Ltd, Reinforcement Marketing Events Company

THANK YOU for all that you have done for me last year as most of what I learnt I am using. I’m not a millionaire in money as yet but I sure feel wealthy. I have just run my first 10km marathon. My goal is to run the 2 oceans marathon in April, I hope to tell you all about it over a cup of tea in Cape Town when I’m there.- Dumetse Masha, Owner, Masha Media

Working with Jo over the last 4 months, has helped me to be a more effective leader. I now see things from a different perspective and I can maintain a bigger picture view. This has helped me to cut out stress over the little things. Before I worked with Jo, I was distracted by noise. I now can separate the events from the story of my mind and the experiences I have. Essentially it has cleared my head of the clutter. I am now able to solve problems quickly and effectively. In particular it has helped me to deal with problems in my management team. I no longer get caught up in other people’s stories. My relationships with my executive team have strengthened. Conversations are more meaningful and real. The team has followed suit and changed their way of thinking and doing things. I have taken on new challenges like public speaking. I am now pushing my boundaries and I am out of the comfort zone I was in before I did the personalised private coaching FreshStart Program. I have learned I work best under pressure. So I know now that if I want to operate at my best, I need to seek out challenges and risks for myself as a Managing Director. In my life, I am physically fitter. Before I began FreshStart, I wasn’t exercising. I now run 8km a day. I am preparing for a 21km marathon. I look forward to the challenges of the ‘Two Ocean Marathon.’Jo really helped me to see and learn new things about myself and taught me to take on a new way of thinking. Overall, I have gained new confidence despite it being a tough year. I definitely feel better about myself and my future.- Mike Halle, Managing Director, Easy8 (Pty) Ltd

Before, I had a different view on how to confront situations. In the 8 months I’ve worked with Jo, how I handle problems in the work environment has dramatically changed. I can now deal with problems without the emotions. I can focus on the issues rather than the problem in my own mind. Having Jo to bounce off problems and ideas, creates a less stressful environment for me. It has enabled me to grow as a leader. I can now take on bigger challenges and risks within the business environment.- Barry Mitchell, Director of Operations, Sales Partners Worldwide (Pty) Ltd

“Before I started working with Jo, I wasn’t clear how I can best trust myself when it came to my ability to achieve my best. Through a process of working with Jo that I discovered what I can do with what I have. But mostly how to get more out of me. I discovered what I really love and used it as a path where I can also earn money and that that was a turning point. I no longer felt stuck and unsure. Jo is one of the people who held my hand and walked with me into Village Gossip Productions, a multi discipline production house managed by 100% women in the arts. My dream became a part of hers in creating a world where women across the globe can converse and share each others work. Through my constant contact with her I found more of me. I am able to feel, live and touch my full potential. And on a personal level there is no measure to how much my self esteem has gotten a boost. When my company hosted ‘Colours of a Diaspora’, Jo’s workshop facilitation allowed each and every one of us to be open and honest but also to healing around issues of race, gender and cultural differences. Jo is definitely my first point of call on a personal and professional level when I want to go to the next level.”- Napo Masheane, Village Gossip Productions, Poet, Director, Writer

The relationships amongst the team have improved, and almost everyone seems to have a more positive outlook. There is an improved communication and connection. The process was fun and inspiring. Jo’s individual coaching leaves us with something to think about, and a new way of looking at things. – Andrew and Barbara McGregor, Directors, Cohesion (Pty)Ltd

Jo has just run a leadership workshop concentrating on listening skills for the Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Company and the positive results have been phenomenal. Jo’s probing work on issues of truth, honesty and heightened interpersonal sensitivity has translated itself to the stage and manifested itself in the most impactive performance language the company has ever developed. Jo I wish you could see “Living Here”! The show is the talk of the town – and I believe you would be most gratified if you could see the how your work has been implemented not only on a personal acting level but also on a magical theatrical level. Thank you! – Janet Buckland Rhodes University, Ubom Director.

“Before I worked with Jo, I felt highly stressed and I wasn’t spending enough time with my family. Since the FreshStart program, my confidence has increased, I feel more relaxed and I have been able to create fun time with my wife and children. We go camping and we enjoy our life more. Doing the program with my wife has increased our ability to communicate with each other.” – Sean

“I did the FreshStart program with my husband and business partner. I feel stronger, less afraid, and more confidant in our relationship. My outlook is now positive and I feel confidant about our future. I have a clearer vision and I am ready for the opportunities that have started to open up.” – Nikki

– Sean & Nikki McMahon – Owners, Electric Pencil Design

‘Since we have started on our sessions, I am getting a balance in what I do and have to do. It is comprehensible and systematic. Most of all you lead me to make my own decisions and is very clever in extracting the right information needed to analyze my current situation.’ – Sunet Wagner, Managing Director, MiniMax Entertainment (Pty) Ltd

“Working with you has solidified my skills in terms of rendering them to my participants,I’ve become more assertive and articulate with what I share in workshops. I deal with life with more understanding and openness, I’ve shifted stereotypes from things I’ve learned from you,I’ve been recommended to run so many life skills workshops from learning from you, I’m a stronger and comprehensive musician who’s international tour include workshops that are inspired by your skills.“ – Teba Shumba, Musician, life skills facilitator and community activist, CT

‘Within a very short time I found that I had, with Jo’s support and guidance, found the direction and focus that I so desperately wanted in my life. I was able to get back in touch with my authentic self and re-discover my true purpose. These words can do no justice to exactly how much that has opened up for me. During and following the coaching and facilitation which I have received from Jo, so many miraculous changes have taken place in my life. I was being crippled by low self-worth. I have also become more assertive with people in all areas of my life, from my husband, to my child, and to my colleagues.

When I started the coaching three months ago, I was quite sure that it would end in divorce within a year. Since then, I have learned to communicate better with my husband, which has eased the tension and reduced the confusion which we both experienced, enormously. We have been able to talk openly and rationally for the first time in years. When we do conflict now, I find I am so much better equipped to deal with the situation in a way that leads to a positive resolution with greater ease’ – Branwen, Operational Manager, Raizcorp Business Incubator (Pty) Ltd

‘I am Kgaugelo Hlaka, and I met Kalavati through my photography course at the ‘Market Fotoworkshop’. I have to begin with the fact that I am a perfectionist and I used to do things to get love, my deepest fear was that no one can truly love for who I really am. I was and still am dealing with self esteem issues; I have the confidence to do things, so that others can see and appreciate me (outer validation) but not the self-esteem to just be (inner validation). I was constantly reacting to things that are happening in my life.

Through Kalavati’s courses, I learnt that I deserve love just because I am (alive) I learnt about my conscious and sub-conscious mind. Learning about how my thoughts are manifested in my life. I find that they influence my thoughts to be of a half full approach rather then half empty.

My life has changed a lot since then. I wanted to do my internship at a top Magazine is SA and I interned at ELLE SA for three months. I wanted a digital camera to do photography full time; I have one now fully paid off. I wanted to be in a good relationship and I can safely say that I am involved with a very caring man, I was not even looking.

But because I made up my mind to think differently I am experiencing totally different things from the way my life was before. I am now currently employed with a company were I am learning so much which I wanted.

I am still a perfectionist (working on it of course) but it does not control my life anymore. I am learning to have bigger dreams so that I change my life it’s only a matter of time. I practice daily gratitude before I go to sleep; I say or write ten things that I am grateful for every night. This has helped me sleep well since I used to suffer from insomnia and sleeping very badly. I sleep well most nights which is a big change from before practicing gratitude.

I have learned a lot form Kalavati and I am deeply grateful for all the skills that I have learned from their the courses.’- Kgaugelo Hlaka, Photographer

‘When Jo facilitates, you get the feeling that all parts of her have become one. And this gives you the faith that there is a space for all parts of you to work in harmony within you and in the world. Jo’s workshops show you different parts of a map, the map inside you, whose areas sometimes are out of sight and out of reach. Jo will facilitate your own ability to see and you will be empowered to decide which route leads to your healing and ultimately your happiness.’- Delia Meyer, Writer, Care Clown, Change Facilitator & Film Director.

‘My experience as a participant in Jo’s training is that she is well acquainted with the training subject manner, and she is committed to the principles of participatory and experiential learning. Learners are at the center of their own learning and are afforded the space to question and challenge. She is passionate about the process of learning, and the role of both the facilitator and learner within the process, and this creates an enthusiastic and constructive learning environment.’ – Sam Stern, Project Manager, Youth Development Network


Other participants from various Self-Esteem, Leadership and HIV/Aids courses:
 Market Photo Workshop * Names have been changed.

‘I’ve discovered that my depression is getting better. Today I noticed the sunflowers on the side of the road for the first time.’ Nelly

‘If many people, including myself, were like you as the foundation of this confused universe, then the world would be free! I’ve learned that you don’t have to be locked up in a physical prison. I see I have imprisoned myself with my mind’– Thulo

‘I’ve spoken about my brother’s murder for the first time. I’ve learned its okay to sit in the pain. I’ve learned its okay to be loved, and I don’t have to owe someone for that.’- Busi

‘I thought I was the kind of guy who couldn’t set goals. Wow, I have made goals and found the focus to accomplish them. My procrastination changed overnight. I just feel this happiness in side because many situations in my life have changed. Happiness equals productivity.’– Vusi

‘I feel like something has been taken out of me. It’s like beginning a new life.’ – Vuyo

‘I feel like I have broken free from the chains holding me back. I know I have taken the first step of my 1000 miles.’ -Thabo

‘I’ve never in my life expressed myself as I have here. I cherish the emotional side of this workshop. I see my life differently now because I have found myself within.’- Kabelo

‘I use to think in one way, it’s like my baggage has been taken off. I believe I can achieve anything now.’- Mandla

‘It’s been eye opening. Learning to listen and empathize with other people has been the greatest discovery in me. It was enlightening and worth every minute.’ – TK

‘I believe in myself. Thank you for being there for us.’- Deli

‘I had set challenges at the start of the year, but inside I didn’t think it was possible. Now I know for sure I can do it. I am gonna do it. I’m not looking back.’ – Mandu

‘I’ve learnt to enjoy other people’s accomplishments as much as my own. I’ve learnt I can’t change what I don’t acknowledge’ – Gail

‘I’m proud to say I’m a different person. I feel different. I’m brave. Jo, Thank you for everything.’ – Sally

‘You have given me tools to change my life, torchlight to find my way in the darkness. Thank you so much. You are a Malaika (an angel)’- Teba

‘The past two weeks have been difficult for me. I never thought I would live to see this day because of what is happening at home. If I didn’t have this workshop in my life I don’t think I would have made it. It has been so hard to face my denial to accept I am powerful. I am grateful to have let go. To have shared my burdens. I see things differently. I know how to say things differently. Thank you.” -Ali

‘You break things down in a way that makes difficult issues so much simpler. I’m starting to gain the power I had as a child. A lot of things scare me. I’m going to stop wishing things away and face them’- Nandi

‘It hit me how much prejudice I have. I also realized I am not doing enough in relation to HIV/Aids. It doesn’t have to be big, but something. I learned there is life after HIV.’ – Sindy

‘Now I am free to express myself in front of a group of people.’ – Nina

‘I have found a much stronger voice, which has an impact that delivers exactly what I want to say.’ Tumi

‘I don’t shake so much anymore when I talk in front of others’- Tiny

‘I have opened my mind, my thoughts and I am breaking free from my limits.’ – Pule

New! Comments

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How Can I Help You ?


Any happiness or stress management tips, advice or recommendations on my website, is not to be taken as medical advice. If you're struggling with anxiety, feeling low or an illness, visit a doctor or professional medical practitioner, especially before making changes to your current treatment. I urge you research anything and everything on your own before you make any changes. I'm a life coach and teacher. I'm not a doctor, therapist, nutritionist or personal trainer. I share freely share my experiences, my story, my opinions and research findings. It is my legal obligation to tell you I am not God but simply another human being like you, walking a path of trial and error. Kalavati Cafe, and anyone associated to this website or courses, can not be held responsible or liable for any choices you take. 

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