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By: Vusizwe Institute  02-05-2009
Keywords: Corporate Events, Events Management

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Too much still the same – Part two By Zuko Pokwana, 02 December 2008 Yes indeed too much is still the same and I think that we all have a collective responsibility as practitioners in different industries to bring up these issues that hinder our development and most importantly ensure that they eventually get attended to. On part One of Too Much Still The Same I dealt with particularly the South African music promoters and the so-called. I demonstrated the things that they are doing wrongly; things that counter their own progress and that of the live events industry. I pointed out things that are contributing to the fast dying live circuit and most importantly I made solid recommendations, some of which needed to be championed by government. We will wait and see! So this edition is focused on a very particular matter – “selective skills development”. In fact I don’t even know what to call it. Maybe it is actually “selective wealth accumulation-selective skills development”. Over the past few years I have seen very capable black practitioners within the Music Industry who operate in different spheres. They have had to grapple with every single hurdle put on their way by the mere fact that not much has changed in the music industry – in terms of the much needed transformation. The atmospheres is still the same, the attitude also remains the same. Last week I attended a CMP (certified meeting professional) workshop at the Services Seta in Parktown. CMP is a certification program that originates in America. It is very new in South Africa and there are only around ten CMPs in South Africa today. And as you can correctly guess, they is no African in that group of 10. Why? Well, the point is that I heard about it after the application window had closed but I still applied and I mentioned the fact that I heard about it very late. The facilitator of the program wrote back very promptly and told me that I was allowed to attend notwithstanding my late application. So I went to the workshop. I was not very surprised to realize that more than 90% of the attendants were white. In fact to make it easy for you to understand, there were only three black people there. It was myself, a lady who seats in one of the Services Seta boards and another black young man who I thought might have been sent by his boss to attend on the boss’s behalf. This is a problem. Why are these things still hidden from us? Why are they not advertised properly? Are Black music industry professionals still that disorganized that it is still very difficult to contact them in structured organizations? I don’t think so. Take Moshito for instance. Services Seta could have written to Moshito and say: Hellow Moshito, you have seven member organizations that represent different sectors of the Music industry. How about if you mobilized through your members that we have X number of practitioners to benefit from this internationally recognized program. So these are some of the problem that blacks encounter: no access to very important information but white people continue to have almost exclusive access. Blacks have no access to most of the big jobs and white people continue to have almost unlimited access. Do you want an example? Lets take the Gauteng Department of Arts Culture Sports and Recreation, remember that government also doubles up as event manager since a few years ago. So the Gauteng Arts and Culture, a few yeas ago gave all the huge events on national days to an exclusively white company, a husband-and-wife operated company that is operated from home – just to clearly demonstrate that they are unashamedly white and exclusive. They got all the work: March 21 in Sharpeville, June 16, September 24, you name it. They go it all and we all know that white people continue to use black people’s names when they tender just to validate their tender. This is a shame because they always chew the black man they take along and dump him once their objective is achieved. There are lost of things that still need to be done to change this atmosphere and it starts from the basics: the attitude. White people need to start taking black people serious. They need to start realizing that there are a lot of blacks out there who can do even better given a chance. This attitude change needs to start from the man in authority, the man who grants the contract. He needs to do his job, to ensure that he has a concrete database of credible black suppliers from which to choose. It is very easy for anyone in power to say that black suppliers are not trustworthy and that they don’t deliver most of the time. To this kind of skewed thinking I say, black service providers who are very competent and doing well don’t have the time to be running after tenders that most of the time are awarded to someone even before the tender document is out. What the man in authority needs to do is to stop lazing around in his lavish office. He needs to get out there and invite the competent black man, in the same way that they do around to invite the white man. There is nothing extra-ordinary about this. The last thing that I still continue to observe is that Coloreds and Indians still carry on with “bossing” around the African. What amazes me always is that at times they claim to be even blacker than the African, to have felt the pain that the African felt during the dark days in South African politics, to be the one closest to the Africa so much that none can feel the African man’s pain more than him (the Colored and the Indian). I think this is something that anyone who cares to observe will easily notice. Indians and Coloreds think that by default they are superior to the African. They treat the African like a small figure who should crawl before them and berg for bread. A small figure who should predict the request and just jump at the sight of the Colored or Indian man. I still wonder what given them this thinking and why is it still engraved in their mind. Over the weekend I worked at the Mpumalanga Arts and Culture Festival. This colored man kept coming to me and saying: “Why are these guys seating down doing nothing? I get irritated to see people doing nothing, you need to find them something to do”. This colored man was referring to a team of six students that were working with me in my area and the very students he wanted to enslave were so wonderful in their work. Very efficient and had a great attitude towards even the international superstars who were performing at the event. I had not a single complaint and I just wonder how much they got paid from it. The strange thing is that this man had nothing to do with my department. All he had to do was supply me with consumables that I needed for the artists. When are we going to be a one people, with equally opportunities, a people with dignity and pride, a South African nation that rejoices at its collective progress and achievements, a society that prides itself in real racial/ cultural diversity and social cohesion? South Africa is still hugely divided according to racial lines and none shall dare contest this. Indeed too much is still the same!

Keywords: Corporate Events, Events Management