Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lucien and Joelene Pierce's Wedding, Saturday, 30 May 2009

Friday, 22 May 2009 - AT & Sherry arive in Cape Town after a week in the Kruager Game Reserve. I am glad that hey were able to gave a great game experienceand capture some really good shots.

Cape Town - though out of season - gives them an opportunity to experience the fun party scene of South Africa. We started with dinner at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant and cocktails in the One & OnlyHotel, Sol Kerzner's return to hotels in South Africa - where he started.

We had a great time out with my friend Roxanne Cloete. That wasn't the end of it though. We followed this up wit a drive to Lanzerac the next day where we had lunch and were able to experience some ignature wines, and ended the day with afternoon dessert in Franschhoek. It made me realise how much I missed my life in the tourism sector and how easily I could fall back into this lifestyle.

Monday, 1 June 2009 - Me with AT & Sherry Howe at Zimbali Lodget during their honeymoon in South Africa.

AT and his family have been my dear friends since we meet in BostonMassachusetts in the summer of 1990.

AT and Sherry were married in October 2008 and decided that they would spend their honeymoon - albeit a few months later - in South Africa. They had a great time in the Kruger followed by Cape Town where I joined then and we had a chance to hang out at the One & Only; and finally ended with a stop-over in Durban.

It also gave us a chance to have dinner together with the family at Vintage, which until recently was my favourite Indian restaurant in Durban.

Confederations Cup 2009 - this is thebanner I created to support the public viewing area activation that the Province of KwaZulu-Natal hosted in four locations across the provice - Ezakheni, Esikhawini, Pieternmaritzburg and Port Shepstone.

I attended three of these before visting sites in Gauteng. The PVA on Atteridgeville outswide Pretoria was freezing cold - and unsurprisingly poorly attended.

I also attended the South Africa vs. Brazil semi-final at Ellis Park. I almost frozemy nose off! The cold was unbelievable but he fans were there in full force for a truly incredible soccer spectacle - a beautiful game indeed!
Saturday,4 July 2009 - Sister, Leanne Anderson and I hanging out with the Keshwars at the Durban July. My mother stayed with their Uncle Percy when she first arrived in Durban, the big city about 50 years ago, before any of us were born.

We have know each other all our lives and over the years have grown to be friends.

A great family indeed!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Two weddings, several funerals, an engagement and a honeymoon ...

And that was just my personal life ....

June and July proved to be quite eventful. May ended with cousin Kurt Sass' wedding. A great chance to meet up with family, relax and have a fun time. After 20 years of gallivanting around the world, I really love these too-few-moments when we get together and celebrate just being together!! Of course the dashing groom and his gorgeous bride made the time together even more special!

Kurt and Auriel with his mom, his sister Danielle and her husband and three gorgeous daughters.

And of course ... the clan!! The Sass-Pretorius' ... just a few of the fifty-odd Pretorius first-cousins and the equally numerous Sass family who attended the nuptials.

Just in case you missed the suit at the back of the crowd ...

Sandy Ngema's engagement was in there somewhere with my darling girldfriends Robyn Bollay and Sindi Mabe and new friend Anebel Cele in attendance. Not to forget Peter, Sandys wonderful fiancee and her gorgeous daughters who are living proof that we are all getting older.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Celebrating with good friends ...

Sindi Mabe, Anabel Cele, Robyn Bollay and Sandy Ngema at Sandy's engagement party. And a good time was had by all ...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Cousin Kurt Sass's wedding, Uvongo KZN

Saturday, 16 May 2009 - Mom Bernadette Pretorius, sister Leanne Anderson, nephew Joshua-Claude and niece LeJeay arriving at Stephward Estate in Uvongo KZN for Kurt's nuptials and celebration.

Indaba 2009, Durban South Africa

Meeting with Mme Linda Sangeret, SAT Country Manager France ... discussing opportunities to position KZN in France in the build up to 2010 FWC.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ICC Durban South Africa

The launch of South Africa's new world wide TV campaign at Indaba 2009

CEO's Breakfast: Indaba 2009 - Durban

Phindile Makwakwa, Chief Director 2010 KZN during a media interview.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

KZN 2010 Team arrive in Spain

Ms. Phindi Makwakwa, KZN 2010 Co-ordinator arrives in Madrid Spain for the KZN 2010 REady to Host/South Africa Day Celebration together with Claude Pretorius, Tony Nkadimeng from Tourism KZN, DJ Tira, Ihashi elimhlope and his group.

KwaZulu-Natal 2010 Team Wows in Madrid, Spain

KwaZulu-Natal 2010 Team Wows Crowd at South Africa Day Celebration in Madrid

KZN 2010 Co-ordination Team takes KwaZulu-Natal Readiness Campaign to the world’s leading soccer nation.

In its continued efforts to promote KwaZulu-Natal as a unique tourist destination ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup and to further its goals in hosting some of the big FIFA nations in the province, the provincial Government in partnership with Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and Ambassador Vusi Bruce Koloane of the South African Embassy in Madrid hosted a crowd stopping event at the Ambassador’s residence in an affluent suburb of Madrid, Spain. The delegation was led by the Provincial 2010 Co-ordinator in the KZN Office of the Premier, Ms Phindile Makwakwa and included the popular Maskande group, Ihashi Elimhlope together with one of SA’s hottest musicians, DJ Tira both rooted in KZN.

Commenting on the hosting, the Provincial 2010 Co-ordinator, Ms Phindile Makwakwa, said “The provincial government was honoured receive the invitation from Ambassador Koloane to be part of South Africa Day celebration in Spain. Spain is the world top soccer nation with an ardent following of fans. We believe this initiative will go a long way to provide destination information to football fans, the national soccer federation and other visitors who will be making their way to South Africa for the World Cup. Our message to them is simple: KwaZulu-Natal is a must-visit destination. Furthermore, we plan to roll out the red carpet during the World Cup so they come back for more long after the last whistle has been blown”. Ms Makwakwa’s presentation at the event showcased the tourism offering of KZN, the infrastructural development in the province highlighting the Moses Mabhida stadium and the new King Shaka International Airport, as well as the ability to host national teams in KZN and the alternative viewing opportunities offered by Durban’s fan park and the public viewing areas which will be hosted around the province.

Ambassador Koloane said: “I frequently invite provincial delegations from South Africa to showcase their cultural, business and tourism offerings to the people of Spain. This event was an absolute success and as a native of KwaZulu-Natal I felt especially proud of the strong positive invitation that was delivered to the guests.” Guests included prominent Spanish businessmen, members of the royal family, the soccer fraternity, tour operators, media and friends of South Africa.

Ihashi Elimhlope stole the show with their charismatic and energetic performance. DJ Tira had all four hundred guests rocking to the unique yet catchy beats of kwaito and urban African dance beats.

Concurrent with the event in Madrid, the KZN 2010 team together with Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, Joburg Tourism and the SA Embassy in Spain, hosted four journalists, who represent some of Spain’s top-end travel and lifestyle print and electronic media. The journalists spent seven days in KZN and 2 days each in Johannesburg and Mpumalanga sampling the range of attractions that the three provinces offer, from luxurious to relaxation to authentic cultural experiences. The group returned to Spain yesterday with very positive feedback, already having filed several print and online pieces while they were travelling in South Africa.

Issued by:

The Provincial 2010 Coordination Office
Ms. Phindile Makwakwa
Provincial 2010 Co-ordinator
Office of the Premier: KZN

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Claude J. Pretorius
Director: Marketing, Communications & Stakeholder Relations
2010 Co-ordination
Mobile: +27 82 415 7269
Tel: +27 33 341 4772
Fax: +27 33 394 4110

Vusi Bruce Koloane with Ms Phindi Makwakwa KZN 2010 Co-ordinator and the performers

Ambassador Koloane. Phindi Makwakwa, KZN 2010 Co-ordinator and Tony Nkadimeng of Tourism KZN during a photo-op with Ihashi Elimhlope.

Ihashi Elimhlope wows the crowd in Madrid

Ihashi Elimhlope, South Africa's pre-eminent Maskande artist took his charismatic and energised performance to the Spanish people as part of the KwaZulu-Natal 2010 Ready to Host! Campaign. The audience was visibly excited and drawn into the very physical and vocal performance of him and his group!

Ihashi jams with Arturo Lledo

Arturo Lledo performed at the Cape Town Jazz Festival 2009 together with his band. Arturo left Spain for Brazil at the age of 11 months and returned when he was 25 years old. His music is inspired by a fusion of Brazilian, Spanish and African sounds. Without previous practise, the duop established a synergy and jammed during the activities.

Getting into the spirit of KwaZulu-Natal

Arriving in Europe

Friday, 24 April 2009 5:30 am

Transit lounges at 5.30 in the morning …
I know why it’s so hard to meet anyone interesting, sexy and cool … and again I am reminded of why I love airports … and train stations in Europe. This is where they all are, getting ready to board a flights to some interesting destination. I have been flying for 25 years and it always feels this good. It doesn’t matter how stressed I am or how insane the deadline, it doesn’t matter the destination, there is something about getting on a flight – be it to Cape Town or P-Town – that always gets my alpha waves centred and my entire being back into equilibrium.

Reading three of the international dailies on board I am brought back to the reality of the financial crunch. Our daily lives in South Africa are virtually untouched when compared with the prominence of the recession international. As painful as our imminent job losses are, and as clear as it is that South Africa will have to tighten the cinch as well, I am constantly amazed at how financial sectors in the West have achieved losses of $4.1 trillion. What is $4.1 trillion? Is it real? Where would you put all that money? How do you lose so much money?

On a much lighter note, long haul flights help me catch up with all the movies I miss when work takes the front seat – as it is doing right now! For all the complaints about SAA, I still think its Business Class cannot be beaten, and if you are as unfortunate to fly in economy as I did on this flight – Lufthansa – I certainly missed my personalised screen and being able to go through as many movies as possible in 8 to 9 hours.

I love the European music sentiment though and it was great listening to the eclectic mix of Nellie Furtado in duet with James Morrison, Mraz, Kevin Rudolph, a great sounding Philipino living in Germany who I have never heard of before named Jennifer Kay. Of course, I can’t get enough of Jennifer Hudson’s album right now, and for all her bubble-gumminess and her private escapades, Rihanna’s Rehab is a pleasant little jingle … and Sugar Plum Fairies … I must get more of them – there seems to be a very retro sound in Europe right now.

I have been through worse airports than Frankfurt Airport, and at least I did not have to walk the requisite marathon that is the norm in many international hubs. The two hour wait at least gives me a chance to focus on the intense work schedule in the few days ahead and be sure that we effectively … BRING KWAZULU-NATAL’s 2010 READINESS CAMPAIGN to the heart of the leading soccer nation in the world. Next stop MADRID, SPAIN!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recoleta, Madrid

The start of the Madrid Marathon

Parque del Retiro, Madrid

.., During my morning run.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Gran Via, Madrid

19h30 on a Saturday afternoon: the run is still high in the sky, the streets are full ... and this is a country in recession - 17% or 3 million unemployed. You've hot to love it. The diversity is incredible, few people speak English but allvery friendly. And great buildings too.

Puerta del Alcala, Madrid

... Parque del Retiro in the background. Regardless of the heavy overtones of conquest, I am drawn to there triumphal arches in almost Europe's capital cities.

Calle Serrano, Madrid

All the work is just not good if you don't take time to shop. And where better than one of my favourite stores, Zegna.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Frankfurt Germany

In transit waiting for my next flight. This is probably my best time of the day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Awesome wonder ... of breathtaking unspoiled vistas!

RURAL BLISS ... the beauty of the agrarian landscape!

GETTNG THE BEST VIEW OF KWAZULU-NATAL ... about to board a chopper from Eshowe to Champagne Castle with Spanish journalists visiting South Africa in preparation for 2010.

Getting a birds eye view ... at 150 metres off the ground!

Ukahlamba ... Barrier of the Spears ... KwaZulu-Natal's unparalleled spledour!

15 Years On ... its the day after the vote and we are heading for 2010 !

After a week spent travelling through the province, from urban hubs like Durban and Pietermaritzburg to Nkwaleni and Eshowe, Hluhluwe and Howick ... it is great to see our democracy at work. We have handled ourselves well in KZN and I am glad that the polical pessimists were not shown to be true. A fair and peaceful election!!

I raced home from the Midlands last night. Just making it on time to cast my vote! Phew! I am now entitled to a political opinion for the next five years!

I almost forgot it was the elections! The sheer beauty of KwaZulu-Natal and the warmth of the people across the problems is overwhelming. But those queues were a beautiful sight to see ... especially from the air ... and a constant reminder of our evolving democracy. But a teenager after 15 years but eager and ambitious and with something to prove. Every one of us!
Of course ... 2010 remains at the top of people's minds, and even in the poorest hamlets there were children who called out "Fernando Torres" when they realised my travelling companions were a group of journalists from Spain! It may not seem so to most pundits, but the man on the street is ready to host all the international visitors expected for the World Cup.

Viva South Africa!! Viva 2010!



South Africa’s Summer Sun … 12 months of the year!

Durban South Africa is 2010 FWC Host City and gateway to KwaZulu Natal, the subtropical jewel in the crown of South Africa’s range of unique and authentic experiences. South Africa’s largest local travel destination and one of the three largest destinations for international visitors to this wonderful country, provides a buzz of urban attractions that rival the best in the world while setting itself apart with its rich cultural mixes that are steeped in the culture of the Zulu Kingdom together with the evident influences of the world largest concentration of Indians outside India, rich European influences and the range of miscegenation that has resulted.

Durban offers the international visitor 12 months of sub-tropical splendour and sunshine that is rivaled only by the welcoming warmth of its inhabitants. The local international airport offers a one-hour link to Johannesburg and a 2 hour connection to Cape Town – two of South Africa’s other popular destinations. There are direct international connections to the Indian Ocean islands and a soon to be instituted international connection to the Middle East on Emirates Airlines. The new King Shaka International Airport which is currently under construction and on-schedule to open before the 2010 FWC will further ease access into this world-class city with additional direct international connections. The new airport will be able to accommodate the super-liner Airbus A380, the world largest passenger transport.

The city provides an exciting mix of Victorian and art deco architecture that makes it one of South Africa’s most beautiful urban experiences. A range of hotels from six star B&B’s and home-stays, restaurants offering cuisine that reflects the array of cultures, nightclubs, bars and theatres all provide that essential experience for the hedonist who wants a familiar cosmopolitan flair with an African twist. Beautiful parks and botanical gardens, huge stadiums including the soon to be launched Moses Mabidha Stadium – one of nine brand new or highly revamped structures which will the venues for all the matches during Africa’s hosting of the beautiful game – show clearly why this is South Africa’s largest sporting and event destination. Beautiful beaches play host to international surfing competitions and to Durban’s Winter Beach Festival – further testament to the beautiful weather that gives this province a year-long summer.

KwaZulu-Natal offers its visitors the unique opportunity to experience urban buzz in closed proximity to game parks that give access to Africa’s Big Five Game Experience. Just over tow hours drive north of Durban is the Isimangaliso Wetland and World Heritage Site. On the heart of what locals popularly call the elephant coast, the Isimangaliso Wetland which incorporates the St Lucia Estuary, is a haven for indigenous flora and fauna species. With the wide range of wild game in this protected expense, there is in addition a range of reserves ranging from luxury to affordable that offer the opportunity to view lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo in their natural habitat.

Two hours inland from Durban is the awe-inspiring Drakensberg Mountain Range – the Dragon mountains as the early European settlers called it or Ukahlamba, Barrier of the Spears, its popular indigenous name. This mountain range accommodates the highest spot in South Africa and boasts breathtaking spectacles such as Cathedral Peak, Champagne Castle, the Amphitheatre and Sani Pass to name a few. The slopes and crags of the mountains offers ample opportunity for the intrepid outdoorsman to walk, climb, go horseback riding or simply relax in the splendor of this wonderful experience.

The beautiful blonde beaches stretch from the heart of the city for over 150 kilometres down the sub-tropical coast. Starting with the Aliwal shoal, a few minutes south of Durban: this is a scuba enthusiasts’ dream; a colourful array of fish and sea life above a fossilized sand dune. In addition, most of this coast line is unspoiled and offers beaches perfect for fishing, surfing and swimming.

And it the breathtaking beauty and scenic splendour of the province does not captivate, the province is a treasure chest for history buffs. The Zulu Kingdom is still ruled by a monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, a direct descend of the illustrious King Shaka who united the tribes of this region to form one Zulu Nation – the People from Heaven! The province is rich in cultural traditions and cultural lore and provides extensive opportunity to interact with this iron age culture. The region boasts the birth place of several luminaries for fought against colonialism – such as the famed King Cetshwayo who defeated the English Red Coats gun-driven onslaught with spears, cunning and courage. Famed pacifist Mahatma Ghandi started his first law practice in this province and used his philosophy of Satya Graha to opposed the racist government. Nobel Laureate and freedom activist, Chief Albert Luthuli as well as current leader of the African National Congress, the country’s ruling party, all were born in the province. Cultural villages, heritage sights, battle enactments, museums, libraries and academic institutions all lend to the intrepid explorers such for the cultural richness of the province.

Travelers who wish to experience the modern twist on the South African experience during the 2010 FWC will also be able to join South Africans from all walks of life in public viewing areas which will be strategically located around the province, and will provide an opportunity for local and visitors to enjoy the excitement of the World cup even if they are not in the stadiums. In addition, the province intends playing host to several of the international teams, providing training base camps for them in various parts of the province.
Durban as the gate way, and KwaZulu-Natal linked by first-world road infrastructure, regular inter-city air links and a range of private charters for the more well-heeled, provides a truly authentic and uniquely engaging opportunity to experience a slice of the South African reality against a backdrop of rest, relaxation and hedonistic pursuits