To help our clients make better financial decisions, we need them to see the bigger picture, focus in on what matters, and implement the right decision. We use diagrams, charts, hand drawings, and other visual images to simplify complex concepts and explain our analysis. Unless it resonates, it won’t be fully understood, become a habit, and add value.
Similarly, the choice of images on our website is an essential component of our business, as it presents an image of who we are and what we can offer to prospective clients. First impressions count, and we have very little time to impress visitors – we need to tell our story fast, and in a way that resonates. A lot of thought and analysis goes into what we do, so we need to make sure that the seemingly irrelevant matter of stock images doesn’t undermine our expertise.
Our approach to images:
- Produce original content i.e. take our own photos
- Develop a sense of “terroir” i.e. Constantia, Cape Town, South Africa
- Emphasise that long-term thinking, expertise, and hard work are required to build a legacy, or anything of significance
- Reinforce that focus matters
This image is an early morning shot of our garden, with the October blossom. It was beautiful in real life, but doesn’t hit the digital mark professionally: composition, focus, lighting, etc, etc.
This is the story on how we are introducing the photographic work of Wilferd Duckitt into our website, and providing some insight into his connection with Constantia. He is the descendant of a significant Constantia landowner and expert farmer, William Duckitt.
Our office is in Duckitt Avenue
Clan Capital operates from Duckitt Avenue in Constantia, less than a couple of kilometres from Groot Constantia, Klein Constantia, High Constantia, and Alphen. Duckitt Avenue is named after William Duckitt, who played a significant role within the Constantia Valley and the Cape during the 19th century.
The Constantia Valley and the Duckitt Family
The Constantia Valley is a fertile area situated south-west of Wynberg, below the Constantiaberg and the Steenberg. Today it is home to many world class wine estates, which owe a debt of gratitude to William Duckitt, who arrived in Simon’s Bay in September 1800, sent to the Cape “for the purpose of improving the state of local agriculture”.
The three main wine producers during the 18th and 19th centuries were the estates Groot Constantia, Alphen and Hooge Constantia. Now named High Constantia, Hooge Constantia was part of Wittebomen, which belonged to Simon van der Stel. By 1806, having been awarded a contract to supply meat to the troops, Duckitt had become owner of the farm Newlands, which he exchanged for the farms Wittebomen and Baas Harmans Kraal. He was a business partner of the van Renen family, to whom he sold Wittebomen.
A sweet wine called Constantia had became internationally reknowned, and Sebastiaan van Renen set his mind on vying for market share with Cloete and Colijn, his neighbours at Constantia and Hoop-op-Constantia, known today as Klein Constantia. 200 years later, under the direction of David van Niekerk, High Constantia is a hidden gem within the Constantia wine estates, specialising in Cabernet Franc and bubbly, whilst Klein Constantia’s Vin de Constance is the iconic modern day version of Constantia.
Napolean, King Louis Philippe of France, Charles Dickens and Frederick the Great all demanded it while Jane Austen even recommended it as a cure for a broken heart
Over the next 20 years, the Duckitt family was integral within Constantia and beyond, via marriage with the Cloete family of Groot Constantia and the Versfeld family of Darling. The Agricultural hall in Darling portrays the history of farming in the area, and Duckitt’s granddaughter, Hildegonda Duckitt wrote “The Diary of a Cape Housekeeper” which describes the activities on the farm during each month of the year.
William Duckitt died in Darling in 1825. Duckitt’s grandson was William Ferdinand, and Wilferd Duckitt (like his father) takes his name from his great-grandfather.
Focusing on Wilferd Duckitt
Wilferd is similarly an integral part of Darling and Duckitt Nurseries, the biggest Orchid nursery in the southern hemisphere. He and his brother Nicolas continue the Duckitt farming legacy. Their operation is focused and specialised:
“Duckitt Nurseries (Pty) Ltd specializes in producing and exporting top quality Cymbidium Orchid cut-flowers to mainly European and East USA regions. We are constantly breeding, selecting and importing new varieties, to accommodate the needs of an ever-changing global flower market.
Wilferd is also an enthusiastic amateur photographer. I say amateur, as he doesn’t make a living from his photography. However his work is outstanding, and he has generously made it available to us. He specialises in local fauna and flora, capturing the West Coast landscape, its birds, animals and plant life, as well as the nightsky.
What this means
Wilferd has a vast portfolio of images, which he is allowing us to use, and this provides us with local, and therefore relatable visual support for our content. He is an experienced photographer and passionate about his subject matter, which translates into compelling photos. They range from broad landscape vistas to intense focus on tiny things e.g. Darling farm hills, Nguni cattle, Oyster Catchers, Orchid pollen. They won’t always suggest financial concepts such as assets & liabilities, benchmarking, risk budgets, and performance attribution – but they certainly won’t detract from what we are trying to convey. Focus on what matters.