Author of 'Movers, Shakers, Moaners & Groaners'

Ken Annandale

Speaker Leadership Coach FireWalk Instructor Motivator Team Builder


Firewalking - The Phenomenon

"Ignite the Fire Within"
This experience will ignite passion like nothing you have ever encountered! Walk through the gateway of fear! Radically re-evaluate your fears, beliefs and barriers when you discover that you can walk unscathed across a bed of coals in excess of 1200 degrees!
The fire is symbolic of individual's fears and barriers. Step onto the coals and pass through the "gateway of fear". Learn to singularly focus your mind, take absolute control of your thoughts and see yourself attain "inconceivable" goals during this event.

Learn to make fear your servant - rather than your master.  This astonishing seminar will provide you with a highly personal reference point to what is humanly possible. Limiting beliefs will be replaced by tangible "delimiting" convictions and action. Nothing beats this incredible workshop! The results are astounding! This exceptional seminar will result in incredible improvement to attitudes, performance and team co-operation. Countless FireWalkers have, when "Igniting the Fire Within" realised that their limiting beliefs were the obstacle to success. This accelerated deep bonding process is perfect for sales and leadership teams and has been known to revitalise organisations and individuals and has been taught to across the globe by other motivational giants like Tolly Burkan and Anthony Robbins. As for the danger? My entire family have walked unscathed across the coals!

"If the brave do not lead, the timid will not follow. Be brave!"


Firewalking: a hot new high.
Shape Magazine - Justine Josephs

"Walker, are you ready?" the man on my right bellows.
"Yes!" I bellow back, with surprising certainty considering that my jeans are hitched up, my feet are bare, and a path of red, smouldering coals stretches before me (at a cool 700—1000 degrees Celsius). The throng on either side of the red-hot carpet starts chanting: "Cold ice, cold ice, cold ice…"
I feel myself slipping into "the zone", a place rich in adrenaline, where thought and doubt are over­shadowed by focus and the knowledge that anything is possible.
Now the man’s ice-blue eyes are boring into mine and he's bellowing once again: "Walk fast; walk straight; you absolutely can do this. Three… two… one…"
I shout. I hit my chest with a strange strength. Next, I'm striding, and the chanting is carrying me, and there's warmth all around me, but no heat and no pain.
And then, I'm standing in a shallow dam of ice (amazingly, the abrupt cold is a more painful shock than the glowering coals I've just traversed).Hands grab me. Voices shout: "Stop! Wipe your feet! Celebrate!"
I look at my feet; they are blackened, but completely intact. And it's only then that I realise what I've just done.

The bellowing man is Cape Town motivational speaker and firewalking facilitator Ken Annandale. He has conquered the coals dozens of times, and has ushered hundreds of ordinary people into the sure-footed firewalking fraternity.
"But I still feel the adrenaline, every time," says Annandale. And it's completely understandable, because, he says, there are two things humans automatically fear at birth — falling and fire.
"So we don't remove the fear, that would be inappropriate. We tackle the fear and eliminate barriers through a four-hour psychological process. By the end, you're prepared and you know you can walk it. You see, courage is not the absence of fear. It is action, despite the fear."
But why even bother? Why take your body (and mind) to such an extreme place, if you aren't an athlete, whose job demands the constant breaking and transcending of physical barriers?
"Psychologically, this is 'controlled trauma'," says Annandale. "And we walk on fire because it represents barriers, frustrations or fears in other areas of life. You use the event to transcend these barriers."
And he's right. As I stand there, with my feet in a puddle of ice and a path of fire stretching behind me, my only thought is: "I’ve done it. And if I can walk on fire, I can do anything!"

This extraordinary seminar will accelerate personal empowerment, generate deep and lasting enthusiasm and ensure lasting group bonding, faster than any other team building process!

Cape Talk's Kieno Kammies finds the coolest confidence-booster - a walk on burning coals.
Sunday Times Metro - A'eysha Kassiem 

Popular Cape Talk radio personality Kieno Kammies this week found the best way to boost his self-confidence - by walking on hot coals. Kammies was among a group of people who attended a workshop by motivational speaker Ken Annandale; who teaches people to overcome personal fears and obstacles and dramatically demonstrates that this is possible by getting them to walk on hot coals. Kammies said he had been fascinated by Annandale after interviewing him on Cape Talk and had volunteered for the motivational workshop to raise money for the Salvation Army. Annandale spent three hours explaining to the group how to overcome fear and pain by applying their minds. Kammies said he lacked self-confidence and hoped the workshop would help him overcome that. Initially sceptical and afraid, Kammies said the motivational talk "energised" him and boosted his self- confidence. 

Assisted by a person on either side, Kammies walked effortlessly over five metres of burning coal  without flinching or crying out.  "It was absolutely amazing. It wasn't the fact that I walked over the coals, but the fact that I took the first step." Kammies said he had neither felt any pain nor burnt his feet. He was not the only one to manage the feat - there were over 40 others. The youngest was 11-year-old Nasley Mentoor, who completed the workshop with her father, Murasit, and bravely walked over the coals without a murmur of pain. "It was like walking on air," said her father. Annandale said the moment a person had completed the firewalk signalled a turning point in their lives. For example, Kammies  would now be able to face life as a more confident person. "There was nothing to it," quipped Kammies. "It was just like walking on popcorn."

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but action in the face of fear"

Fire Power - Walking on red-hot coals turns the ordinary into the extra-ordinary!  Sunday Times - Janet Heard 

Ken Annandale - high school dropout, former drug-squad cop, one-time naval officer and ace scuba diver - is coaxing corporate executives onto red-hot coals to turn "moaners and groaners" into "movers and shakers". For five years, Annandale has been on the oversubscribed South African motivational-speaking circuit, which sometimes widens to include global gurus such as Tom Peters, Edward de Bono, Stan Davis and Philip Kotler. He operates in a competitive environment where the message of the speakers - take control, be a leader and succeed - is more or less the same. The difference lies in the method of persuasion. About 18 months ago, Annandale experimented with firewalking. He is now among a growing number of life coaches bringing fun and extreme sports - including bungee jumping, river rafting, drumming and juggling - into the corporate jungle.
Says Annandale: "The challenge was how to encourage people to make things happen for themselves. That's when I saw the link with firewalking." He tried it out for himself and, during the event, "I saw the transformation taking place in people's lives - how they overcame their barriers, their fears and their anxieties". Annandale, who has just published a book, Movers, Shakers, Moaners & Groaners, avoids overdoing the showy preaching that many motivational speakers have adopted from evangelists. However, he does use the obligatory one- liners to keep up the pace. Here's one of his soundbites: " 'Excusologists' make a meal of telling others why it won't work . . . they rarely admit it has anything to do with them." And another: "We become absorbed by the mundane and block out everything else instead of enjoying the spectacle of life." At his firewalking seminars, participants secretly write down their fears on a piece of paper and throw it onto the hot coals. "The fire is symbolic of barriers in a person's life," he says.

After coaching, participants get to walk on the coals. "I get a wonderful response," says Annandale, whose recent clients include ABSA and Standard Bank. "Only about 2% to 3% don't do it. They say they are not ready, and I accept that." And, yes, people could get small blisters. He says these people tend to be one of two types: "The real macho guy who acts before he thinks, and the timid soul who has no energy, no spirit and low energy levels." Participants are occasionally left with a blister or two, "but I have never seen anything worse", he adds. The biggest barrier to success, he says, is the lack of self-belief. By making the nerve-racking choice to walk over the coals, people are often able to make other changes in their lives. "It shakes them into leaving a dead-end job or an unhealthy relationship. They become more assertive. It awakens a fresh desire to move on to do something more challenging." Annandale's firewalking therapy seems to push the right buttons for some people. It triggered something in ABSA logistical officer Ilana Vos. "I never thought I would FireWalk. I was scared," she said. "After I walked, I got one blister, but it put my life in perspective. I never realised I was so unhappy. "I started to believe in myself and made a decision about a relationship. "I also lost 17kg. It made me see the light." HT Group executive director Dion Knoesen was one of only three of his company's staff who had pledged in advance to walk on the coals. "In the end, all 160 staff walked. A few did it more than once. There were no injuries, but there were tears," he said. "They put their fears behind them and it instilled a sense of ownership and pride in the company."

Tangible proof that it's not a matter of can or can’t, but rather will or won’t!

Firewalker's Comments

Standard Bank - Eric Brown - Sales Director 
"Ken is a well versed speaker that brings extensive life and business experience to his programs. We have exposed his FireWalk program and "Movers and Shakers" event to our teams with great results".

Eskom - Nompi Tshabala 
"I remember thinking, ‘there is not enough coal on there, if I’m going to do this, I need the real thing.’ Well I had my coal, a recharged bed, red hot. And I did it! I vaguely remember landing in the puddle with the cold ice and then out. Then the first real realization that I had done it hit me. I had proved the impossible possible. I have huge burn marks on my thighs from an accident when I was twelve. And I can walk on fire! ‘Never felt so alive."

Sotheby's International Realty - Barak Geffen Executive Director & Master Franchisor 
"Ken understands the art of mind power and can take it form an esoteric concept to a tangible reality with such precision that one feels almost disappointed that a walking on fire is not the accomplishment that one thought it would be. I had a delayed reaction two days later that boggled my mind and caused me to appreciate his mastery as a facilitator"

Sport Science Institute - Noel Le Roux 
"Thanks for allowing me the opportunity of experiencing something I thought was impossible. Whoever would have thought I would do something like walking on hot coals! We have had so many people saying how they admire us for having done this, and that they wish we had told them before so they could also go. Well, that's what they say now.....!"

Pick & Pay - Antonet Steyn 
"The biggest highlight of the whole conference – lifetime experience with much more challenges to grab and achieve more success"

ABSA Bank - Joe Rosen 
"I was head of SpecFin when we did the seminar and firewalk in January. I want to thank you for the experience gained, both during the seminar, and afterwards, as a result of the thought process that you have initiated. Since attending the course I have discovered my purpose in life. I have moved to London as the head of ABSA London."

Old Mutual - Tim 
"Just wanted to say a HUGE thank you for last night's experience. I am still amazed by the fact that I walked across burning coals and not only survived, but have not a single blister. My feet are in perfect condition!"

Vodacom - Jo-Rina van der Merwe 
"Die organisasie en voorbereiding was uitstekend. Die andrenalien „rush" voor die tyd was baie hoog. Ek kan nie glo ek het nie die kole gevoel nie – dit was wonderlik en ek sal dit weer doen"

Affordable Adventures - Sam Harrop 
"Thank you for a fantastic evening. You guys make a phenomenal team and I am certain that "fire walking" will be a product which we will be able to successfully market."

Vodacom - Lolita Thlapane 
"I never thought that I would actually do this. Their preparation was very good. I am sure that not a single person present thought that they would ever do it"

Anglorand Securities - Mark 
"The experience was something I will never forget. Although I was clear before I got to the venue that I would walk, when I arrived the uncertainty began to start working on me. When the walk finally came my head was swimming and my nerves raw. Doing the walk itself just re-inforced what I already knew. Nothing is impossible, I now have a real experience to prove this and it will forever be a real reminder to me, not just a concept and that is what makes all the difference."

Executive Excursions - Jenny 
"Thank you for a most enlightening event last night. One of the more dramatic self improving/teambuilding exercises going around at the moment!!! I will certainly be most enthusiastic about telling clients about it."

Clover - Lisa 
"How does one say thank you for being given an experience like the Firewalk? I cannot even begin to describe the different feelings and emotions that I have experienced since 27/09. I feel on top of the world. I have a lot of confidence. I feel strong, sometimes even invincible! I have an inner strength in just knowing that I can do anything, that nothing is impossible. This is me, I walked on fire!"...

Dawnwing - Chris Crewdson Managing Director
"I was extremely fortunate to have 3 amazing colleagues from work do the Firewalk with me and feel very privileged for the incredible experience. We have such a fired-up team and as part of our bonding process have decided to take the leap and all have a tattoo done to mark for eternity the magic moment."

UFS - Adele van Aswegen 
"Ken’s eyes give you power to do anything – I walked the coals. Wish I could have taken him home."

"I personally pledge that those participating in the seminar will never forget this life changing experience!"