Business savvy Adele was fresh breeze

WHEN I heard that Adele Lucas, 75, has died, I was so miserable I shed tears because there was only one Adele and there would never be another.

Adele was a savvy businesswoman who came into the PR sector when few women dared. She rushed in like a breath of fresh air. She was empathetic and you could talk to her about anything.

I remember once when I raised my misgivings about how I was going to tackle a press release, she showed me how. She told me not to worry because her first press release was horrible. She had presented it to former Sunday Times editor Tertius Myburg, who told her how awful it was, but showed her how to do it.

Adele was a natty dresser, stylish and hip. I always begged her to host a jumble sale so I could be her only customer. She was beautiful inside and outside.

Her business acumen was incredible. She went everywhere at the height of apartheid. The police questioned her but eventually gave up. She started the Soweto Homemakers Festival.

I will never forget her involvement with the Shebeen in Rosebank. Adele was formidable in her fight to keep the business. For a while we had somewhere hip to chill at in the suburbs.

To her husband Robert and their children, we sympathise with you at this difficult period in your lives. We will miss the livewire and professional Adele who taught and demonstrated to women that they can be captains of their fate.

My colleague Victor Mecoa-mere says: "Adele was the embodiment of far-sighted, strategic formulation of marketing and promotions ideas, with the pioneering Soweto Homemakers Festival being a case in point.

"I attended one such event as a teenager and was bowled over. There were illustrations of how a clear thinking man and woman's habitat could look like, if they had money; and the suppliers were showing how affordable stylish home-living could be - with good planning.

"Adele Lucas Promotions was more than an institution, but a legacy of foresight, because many marketers, promoters and even advertisers were nurtured there. Later in life, the stylish, elegant and sprightly granny showed how age is just a number, appearing youthful at gigs, and being the life of a party."