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Don't allow outsiders to boss us around

By unknown | Dec 19, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Gugu Sibiya

Gugu Sibiya

When I heard about Miss World coming here I was ecstatic. It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunities.

I must commend the Johannesburg Tourism Company (JTC) for doing a tremendous job of organising a world-class event in three months, while others often have a year to do it.

They did magnificently, showcasing the beauty of our country, culture and remarkable people.

My only gripe was JTC allowed their sterling work to be undermined by service providers. For starters, why let internationals ride roughshod over locals?

It's good to respect their expertise but don't allow them to treat us like incompetent fools.

This not only alienates people but gives those hiring these people a bad name.

You might not have colluded with them, but the deafening silence is disturbing.

Thank God we have won the rights to host Miss World again next year.

Let's treat this as a dress rehearsal and surround ourselves with the kind of efficiency that will take into consideration that, as our culture demands, we respect guests.

Our culture also insists we treat our own with even more courtesy.

After all, this is their home and if you alienate the media and local community, are you going to pack your bags and move to Julia Morley's land or some of the other nasty people who were allowed to get away with treating South Africans badly?

Meanwhile, I also had the pleasure of going to Miss South Africa at Sun City. Sun International pulled off a magnificent event, as usual.

As I watched the order and precision with which everything worked, I was reminded of the Miss World pageant the previous Saturday.

The stage also looked stunning and the girls were too many to pay attention to individually.

The Ihashi Elimhlophe incident left a sour taste in the mouths of local music lovers. Had the service providers been local, they would have known that he is a cream-of-the-crop maskandi icon with a truckload of hits and numerous international performances.

Imagine the cheek of treating him badly in his own country and telling him to "lose the guitar".

They should have known better than that. As if that was not enough, his song was rudely cut short in front of millions watching on TV.

My first instinct was to heap blame on the service providers - but JTC is also culpable.

They should have taken the media under their wing instead of treating us with contempt once we had delivered on the publicity. Some of their executives were arrogant and unhelpful, not to mention rude. Unless they call these people, who are too bloody big for their boots, to order, we are in trouble.

The media is an integral part of whatever happens in a country or even globally.

If you are going to treat us with contempt, don't be upset when we return the compliment.

Our people must start building relationships with stakeholders because they are not in the business of one-event wonders.

Organisers rely on the media and they always come back to the same people and organisations and if they don't value or recognise the importance of great working relationships, they may as well close shop and retire early, or kanjani ...


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