Monday, 30 June 2014

Paballo’s New Braids

Now this is bringing back memories of my friend Noma who changes her hairstyle monthly if not weekly and every time it happened I used to enquire if the new hairpiece was human or plastic just to take a dig at her. Maybe it is because I am so jealous that I can't change my hairstyle

Today Paballo arrived at work sporting her new braids. The hair extension industry must do a roaring trade month end as hairstyles are constantly changed to suit the latest trends and styles. If a nuh so, a nearly so, would I change my hairstyle too. You go Pabs!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Matthew's New Bed

It has been one of my goals to get Matthew a new bed and I have been looking around for a while but never satisfied.

After church, while Matthew played with the BBC youth, Lynda and I went looking for some tropical fish to populate her new fish tank and we were side tracked with beds. We finally found a bed that would be perfect for his room and I don’t know how but we somehow managed to fit it all into the little Honda Brio. A little car with big space.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Matthew ate the Sun

Yesterday I was so excited as Telkom’s LTE modem arrived after testing and signing up on Wednesday. But it looks like I got my hopes up that Telkom had changed from its previous Helkom service status as once installed I now have to wait until someone activates the system. The technician who tested the LTE connection at my home now states that it is a 24 hour automated process but that 24 hours has come and gone and still no internet. Yes I know a leopard can't change its spots but i had so much hope.

Matthew went off to watch a movie at the mall and when picking him up afterwards he seemed rather tired and here is a photo of him yawning or what I call eating up the setting sun. With eyes shut it sure looks like I was driving too fast.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Give me a little Good News

Good news, good news. Firstly it is the start of the midyear holidays for Matthew and he is spending the first part with me. It is my first day back in the office after the Imbizo and Matthew has joined me to see what daddy does. And daddy does good stuff.

After a quick photo shoot this morning of the board of directors, I sent Matthew out on his first assignment into the wilderness of Magale Business Park with my camera and he came back with photographs of zebras, springbucks, blue cranes, geese, and ducks.

My interweb experience starts today as my Telkom’s LTE wireless system arrived this afternoon via CourierIT and after years of struggling at 0 data from Cell C good for nothing Telkom is delivering 19Mbps at my home. Telkom is always been known as Helkom due to its lack of service, now let us see if their service has improved. It is still early days but I promise if it goes south, you’ll be the first to know.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Nkokheli’s Imbizo

Now I am a morning person but when it comes for first light shoots in the morning I can be a little on the grumpy side, well that is until I get my first cup of coffee. Ahhh Nespresso, now let this day begin.

Today is Nkokheli or Gavin’s Imbizo. The name Nkokheli means leader and today is a big day, where the staff get to have a conversation with the CEO and the entire executive board of Bosasa so everything from branding to the place settings have to perfect. So there I am, spit and polish on the shoes, a cue card with mug shots of all the important people in pocket, and cameras in hand. All that is left is for me to be all professional like.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Lawrence and Kabelo

With Nkokhelis’ Imbizo tomorrow, a lot of setup has still to be done. On my side, I have to setup a photographic studio in one of the side boardrooms’ off the banqueting hall. Now I am more of a street photographer with not much experience working in studios so here goes.

Thanks go to eKayaMedia for their studio lights and equipment. To Mark for the loan of his Speedlite 430X II and 580EX II. And not least, thanks to Lawrence and Kabelo, for assisting me in setting up plus they made perfect photographic subjects. Oh my studio photographs need much more work and are causing a stink, thanks Lawrence, but I am up to the challenge.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cry the Beloved Guineafowl

The Helmeted Guineafowl used to be very common here in what’s left of the open veld surrounding Johannesburg. These grasslands are now being overtaken by a large ever expanding urban jungle. By urban jungle I mean the concrete jungle that is expanding, but the urban forest is too expanding not too far behind the developers of the concrete boxes.

Although Johannesburg may not be the largest man made forest, it is the largest man made urban forest with over 6 million trees in Johannesburg and its suburbs. This wide expanse of trees have even started to change the micro-climate. I can feel it in my bones. Plus the bonus of many bird species never seen in the region before have now made Johannesburg home.

With the veld getting smaller in Johannesburg and the forest getting bigger, what happens to the animals of the veld? A few years back I saw a Blackbacked Jackal in the veld of what is now becoming Steyn City, insurance mogul Douw Steyn’s ultra-ego city which he named after himself and fit only for the stinking rich. Yes it is good to hear reports of the Galagos or bushbabies, and hornbills becoming more of an occurrence in the northern suburbs but what of the guineafowl?

What of the beloved guineafowl? I am starting to hear less and less the cry of guineafowls in the afternoons. Are they going to disappear much like what the summer highveld thunderstorms have done? Here at Bosasa there are still a large number of guineafowls, and walking up through the gardens I am pleased to see the little chicks running behind their mommies.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Lassie Pirate Ella

Ahoy there! Last week, poor lass Ella had a problem with one of her eyes and avast the beauty wasn’t looking so good. The bilge rat of the doctor prescribed medicine and some eye patch gear so now we have a real resident pirate walking dem deck.

Arrr although not the official Talk like a Pirate Day, Ella needed to hoist the colours and get some practice before 19 September. Smartly she’d be able to rattle dem timbers and chill meself and here scallywags to the bone. Just be careful wavin' that hook around. Ye could put n' eye out!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The End and the Beginning

Lynda and I joined the Walkabout at the Nirox Winter Sculpture Exhibition this morning. I heard about the Nirox Sculpture Park last year and always wanted to go there and this morning we had the pleasure walking around the quiet tranquil gardens of Nirox set in the Cradle of Humankind. With the birds tweeting, the sounds of water tumbling along brooks between the still dams, and discovery beautiful art was enough to take our breath away. Okay some art was disturbing and thought provoking such why the obsession on dead birds.

I wanted to lay my head down on the lawns next to one of the expanses of water, close my eyes and listen. With a river running through behind me and the birds whistling in the branches above, why did I contemplate the end and the beginning of all?

It was hard trying to understand this piece of art by Daya Heller made from cold concrete, steel and bronze. The pregnant women’s face was featureless, no expression while half her expectant body was broken and missing pieces and all the while she gently held a dead bird in her hand. Don’t get me wrong, I am intrigued yet disturbed by this. Is bringing new life the beginning of the end for her? It can’t simply mean the beginning of life and the end of it. I am captivated by the deeper spiritual meaning of why are we here in this world.

A birth and an end, nothing is all what it seems with this cold broken sculpture set in a quiet place with life living on.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Kitty Hawk Aerodrome

It has been a long time since I rode with any group and since the Viva la Vespa Social Club was doing a breakfast run out to the Kitty Hawk Aerodrome, I thought why not. So dressed warm with a cold winter’s day, without any wings attached to our Vespas we set out for the Kitty Hawk Aerodrome.

Brrrrr, it was a cold start but we warmed up quickly after meeting old friends we hadn’t seen for a long time and a lovely warm breakfast long side the airstrip.

Friday, 20 June 2014


Another 280km ride to the East Rand today, the second one in the week, just to deal with fires. Had a meeting with Matthew’s school, then his doctor and ended up giving Matthew a pep talk. I pray that this intervention has quelled the flames and that it would be positive from here onwards.

Arriving back at the office, I found that we have a new cleaning lady, Mathebe, and as soon as I unlocked my office she got stuck in giving my workspace a good spring-clean. Nice to leave the office clean for the weekend.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Imbizo Recce

A few of us from eKayaMedia, Bosasa’s in-house Brand and Marketing Team, went to Silverstar Casino to do a recce (reconnaissance) of their conference centre for our upcoming Imbizo.

Imbizo is an isiZulu word for big gathering for a discussion. Now a lot is involved in terms of logistics in getting the day perfect. Geoff, shown above, is demonstrating that the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry so therefore planning has already started and a site visit was one of the many check boxes that have to be ticked.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Nyala Up Close

Imagine my surprise when walking along a path in Mogale Business Park with my head down concentrating on my cellphone, I heard a rustle to my right, looking up I saw a male Nyala not even 2 metres away from me.

I slowly pulled my camera out of my pocket, thinking that he would have scurried away before I could even switch it on. Luckily, he just put his head down chomped on some foliage without a concern in the world. I didn’t even check my settings as I slowly raised up my camera and shot away. I could even reach out and touch him, but I didn’t risk it as he is a wild animal after all with rather large horns.

I wish I could have spent more time with this Nyala up close and personal but in this busy world of ours, time is very precious.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Silver Pheasant

Walking along one of the pathways at Mogale Business Park, this little creature ran across my path and I had to whip out my trusty point and shoot Canon S100. Now they say that the best camera is the one at hand, which I can now attest to.

I never saw this splendid creature before and had to use the old faithful interwebs to identify it to be a Silver Pheasant or Lophura Nycthemera. They are a related pheasant to the Siamese Fireback which I posted back in April, and both pheasants come from the mountains of Southeast Asia. It was the striking black body with a contrasting white back marked with black zigzag pattern that caught my eye. What a beautiful bird.

Monday, 16 June 2014


Today is Youth Day and part of a long weekend of Birthdays and Fathers’ Day. We stayed overnight at A’Rustica Guesthouse in the suburb of Cashan in Rustenburg under the Magaliesburg Mountains. Interesting to find the suburb named after the original name of these mountains. First called Cashan, these mountains were named after the Kwena Mnatau chief Kgwashwane until the name change in 1840.

Anyway I am digressing, we were looked after by Paul (shown above) and his mother Anne-Marie at A’Rustica, a par excellence guesthouse. Now I have stayed at a number of Bed & Breakfast places and what puts an establishment apart is their detail to the smaller things. At first A’Rustica came across simply as a normal luxury B&B but when walking into the breakfast room the next morning, I found the details in the smaller things done to perfection.

Luxury and attention to the little big details gives A’Rustica Guesthouse in the Cashan Mountains a big thumbs up.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Oom Paul Sleeping

They do say that Rustenburg is the place of rest, hence its name directly translated Rest Mountains, but to find a statue of Paul Kruger sleeping, or as he is affectionately known as Oom Paul, was interesting.

After a bit of digging up on the interwebs, I found that this is a statue of a Dejected Leader by French artist Jean Archand who was greatly moved by tragic of the Transvaal Republic and Oom Paul. After it was discovered in Paris it was brought to South Africa by Generals Jan Smuts and Louis Botha in 1919 but was deemed too small for Pretoria’s Church Square and was donated to Rustenburg, Oom Paul’s home town.

On Fathers'Day and with the longest ever strike in South Africa, the platinum Miners’ Strike, just about over maybe Oom Paul would be dejected. Uhmm, I prefer Oom Paul sleeping under a tree on his farm with all his great grand children playing at his feet under the shadow of the majestic mountains towering over the sleepy hollow of a town called Rustenburg.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Nespresso Birthday

Well it is that time of year again were I turn another year older and hopefully wiser too. Spending the day with Lynda, Matthew, my iggies, and Minky is all I need for my birthday. But Lynda went one further knowing my taste for Nespresso, went and purchased a Nespresso Inissia automatic espresso machine along with a with a milk frother, uhmm, now I have no more complaints. Happy birthday to me, happy birthday Mr President.

Friday, 13 June 2014

District 10 Prawns

Not far from Soweto where the movie District 9 was firmed, on Friday 13, I walked through the damp, humid corridors of the future to find laboratory scientists peering into glass beakers and microscopes. No, not the alien prawns from District 9 where not the laboratory subjects but their smaller cousins, the Dendrobranchiata.

Now days it is hard to find disease free prawns these days, so this is why extra care and control is taken while they are flown in from their environmentally controlled hatcheries in Florida, and placed into top secret Bio-Secure Nurseries for about a month before being placed into Grow Out Tanks. Grow out to what? Full sized prawns!

Hello, little guy! It's the sweetie man coming! In this glass beaker are a few millimetre long prawns along with their food the Brine Shrimp. Remember that Sea Monkey craze a few decades back, well they were the Brine Shrimp, in other words, food for prawns. Welcome to District 10. The Non-Humans are here!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Ice Baby Ice

Yip, I can’t go round saying winter is coming now that winter is in full swing. During Johannesburg winters the days are beautiful with clear blue skies with a warm sun but because there is no cloud cover the nights plummet back into the icy throws of an endless night at Winterfell.

Arriving at work this morning, I found that the sun hadn’t thawed the birdbath’s water and still had a rather thick slab of ice over an inch thick.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Youth Development Centres

Bosasa looks after a number of Youth Development Centres around the country. In a nut shell these are the places where a judge will send troubled youngsters for rehabilitation. After spending sometime in an orphanage as a young boy, I don't have any good thoughts about social workers. I mustn't let my dark past, cloud my judgment on these youth centres as I have no idea what goes on in there other than the Bosasa and the Department of Social Development's corporate stance but I am hoping to visit sometime in the future to give a more in-depth blog post.

Next door to my office in the Mogale Business Park is the Bosasa Youth Development Centres' offices and this is where I took this photograph of wire artwork made at one of the centres. Little by little, I will gather my courage to face a social worker tolling away in this office next to mine.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Tiger Wheel & Tyre

Well it is about time I replaced the pot hole damaged tyre on Sassette, my Ford Bantam pickup. At first I went to Supa Quick in Krugersdorp and HiQ in Roodepoort but sadly they didn't have the Michelin tyres I wanted and both wanted to flog me a South Korean brand called Kumho.

I eventually found the Michelin Energy XM2 at Tiger Wheel & Tyre in Roodepoort. Although this tyre is more expensive, the reason I rather have this tyre over others is because I've already used this tyre for over 3 years and am very happy with the tread usage. On the down side, the sales blurb on Michelin websites they state that this tyre have proven themselves in pothole tests nevertheless I have already written off 2 of these tyres in the last 3 years due to potholes. Goes to show, never believe the sales pitch.

Potholes beware! This time I have registered on for their 12 month Pothole Guarantee. And that’s not all! Michelin is also giving me a 70,000km Mileage Warranty valid for 5 years. Plus a 24hr Roadside Assistance. Well let’s see if Michelin would hold up to their side of this agreement as I have already in the pass burnt my fingers with warranties and guarantees when I first bought these tyres from Tiger Wheel & Tyre. They pushed their X-Sure, Tyre Insurance 3 years ago and I purchased. Humph, it expired last month.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Why So Serious Jacques?

On Mondays, Jacques likes to wear his serious look to the office. I mean, Mondays are cool here at Bosasa so no reason for him to look so serious unless being a Signage Administrator is a serious undertaking, seriously large responsibility that is.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Nori Seaweed and Salmon Flavours

Sunday all ready, uhmm not much of a weekend isn’t it. Oh well I just need to keep moving on, one step at a time. Matthew brought over some Lays crisps from Thailand with flavours he knew I’ll enjoy knowing that I am biased to sushi and salmon susumi. The smaller packet is Nori Seaweed flavoured and the larger pinkish packet is salmon favoured, okay now leave me in peace while I enjoy.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Due Belle Vespa

This morning was the painful trip to Vespa South Africa to collect Anastasiya, my Vespa ET8/LX150 after a major service and fixes. A long time ago a main member of the VLV, the local Vespa Social Club, once said to me that Vespas are priced unaffordable to the general public was because that they trying to keep the plebs out of owning a Vespa. Since then one of the Vespa South Africa's managers said that was not true. But what does one believe when one sees their costs of doing business with them. Hence my fear of taking my Vespa there for anything but this time I had no choice as Anastasiya was due for a major service. Sigh.

This major service which included one litre of engine oil, a bit of hub oil, an oil filter, a spark plug, front brake pads, transmission belt and rollers, and one and a half hours labour, all in all cost me R2801. The extras which they did was replacing the speedometer cable for the 3rd time in 11,000km, clock battery which never last but is a mission to replace, a hook in the glove compartment which was broken by Vespa when they rebuilt Anastasiya, a left rear indicator lens, serviced the starter motor, and an extra hour for labour. The extras cost me R1280. Grand total it cost me R4081, uhmmm so nearly 50% of the value of Anastasiya according to Outsurrance, went to servicing her. Imagine me paying 50% of the value of a car for a service.

Anyway, the service manager also said that Anastasiya’s engine was sounding a bit rough so he adjusted the valve clearances and suggested I get Vespa to open up the engine but it has not been that long ago since the rebuilt by Vespa and should be fairly new. With minor serves done, how can the engine sound rough after 11,000km unless something bad has gone wrong since Vespa rebuild it, double sigh. Like the question that is never answered is why is the speedometer cable breaking every 5000km of use?

Driving back home I felt that Anastasiya was very sluggish and not her normal self. What have they done to you dear Anastasiya. Triple Sigh. It seems that her spirit is broken along with mine. Sadly I parked her next to Scarlet my new Vespa GTS 3001e Super. Now I am not sure what to do with her and Vespa South Africa.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Zebra Crossing

Well basically today is only my second day at work this topsy-turvy week. Monday was work of course, then Tuesday was all messed up with getting Scarlet road worthy, Wednesday and Thursday was the Online Content Strategy Workshop, and today being Friday I have to somehow catch up with all the time lost.

Pause. Breathe deep and wait for the Zebra's to cross.

Stuff it, time to let my hair down and get this weekend started.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

How to become an Online Content Strategist?

So here I am, a Technical SEO Specialist, sitting amongst Content Writers, Copywriters, Social Media Gurus, Journalists, and even Editors, trying to get my head around what one needs to know to become an Online Content Strategist.

With Gillian, from Blue Magnet, heading up the Online Content Strategies Workshop, one of the first things I learnt was that a Content Strategist and a Copy Writer was not one and the same person. Yes both can overlap as the strategist will need to know how to copy write but they would need to have a more holistic approach by knowing the bigger picture. In other words the strategy for obtaining the goals.

Okay but what does an Online Strategist do?
  • Research and Understand the needs
  • Draw up a Content Plan with goals
  • Communicate the Strategy
  • Manage the Process from Pre to Post Production
  • Evaluate and Learn
  • Stay Accountable
So who comes first the Strategist or the Writer?

A little like Chicken or the Egg. The Content Strategist first needs to understand the purpose for the content and not just because Google says so or that your competitors are doing it. They need to know how to make the content achieve the business objectives by maximising the impact of content. So an intelligent strategy to outline the way forward comes first before setting out writing the content.

So there you have it in a nutshell. If a Technical SEO Specialist with writing skills of a frog can do it so can you. Ah! There you are Gillian, thank you for showing us how to become a Number 1 Online Content Strategist.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Top 10 Tips of Content Strategy

Ahh this heading Top 10 Tips for Content Strategy must have got the SEO and online content writers tongues wagging. Bosasa takes ongoing training of their staff very seriously and already I have been booked down for training and today I started a two day workshop about Online Content Strategies.

Blue Magnet Digital Solutions is hosting the Online Content Strategies workshop where we can learn about the six best practices for creating a content marketing strategy. In conclusion I should come away as an awesome Content Strategist and made new friends.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Desperately Seeking my Patience

Somewhere during the course of today I lost my patience and if it wasn’t for a few helpful governmental employers, I would have lost my mind too.

Let me start from the beginning. On Friday, I took Scarlet for roadworthy on behalf of the seller as she is now staying in the Cape. But the big surprise was that the roadworthy test failed due to the engine number had two extra zeroes in the number compared to the documentation. This meant that Scarlet had to go for a Police Clearance.

So today was the day I tackled the bureaucracy and red tape. After doing research I found out that I needed a form called the Request for Police Clearance or RCP from a Vehicle Licence Department which needs to be taking to a Police Clearance Office. Johannesburg’s main Licencing Department in Langlaagte is closed due to renovations and the closest licencing offices was in Krugersdorp just down the road from my offices. And the bonus was that I could get the Police Clearance in Chamdor which was also just down the road.

So armed with all the paper work including photocopies of the sellers ID and proxy letter, I headed to the Vehicle Licencing Office in Krugersdorp for the RCP and after waiting in the queue for about 30mins I found out that I needed to go to a Metro Police Vehicle Licencing office which is in Langlaagte. I told them that the Langlaagte offices were closed for renovations, and they then directed me to the one at the Roodepoort Civic Centre.

After asking about a RCP the receptionist at the Roodepoort Civic Centre, she gave me a number and pointed to the queue in which I had to wait. About 45mins later after reaching the counter and asked for a RCP, I was told wrong queue and was pointed to another queue. Thankfully this was short and waited about 15mins. Here I was told that they could not help me because they are just a satellite Licence Department and that I had to go to the Old City Hall in Roodepoort CBD. It was about here that I think I lost my Patience.

After a struggle to find the Old City Hall, I had just about enough. Luckily the queue was short and after another 15min wait was told that they too could give me a RCP unless I had Scarlet micro dotted. So off I went to a microdot supplier who charges R450 to do the microdot but they can’t do it unless I have the RCP. This is the mess I found myself in.

After going back to the Roodepoort Licence Department at the Old City Hall, I told them my dilemma and was directed to the Supervisor. Now this is where my patience started returning as under this supervisor’s direction everyone scrambled to help me. The supervisor directed Scarlet and I to Cathy’s across the road who micro dotted Scarlet for R250. With this Veridot certificate which I took back to the Supervisor, who then organised me a RCP in no time, YAY. He then told me that I had to take the form to SAPS Vehicle Unit in Lenasia as the Chamdor one had moved to there. Now Lenasia is on the other side of Johannesburg but the Supervisor gave me very good directions with instructions to return to him the forms from the police for him to finalise the Police Clearance.

So off to Lenasia with only two hours to go before they closed at 1pm. On the way I was stopped for speeding by the Metro Police but after telling him my woes he left me go on my way with a warning. Thank you. On arriving at Lanasia was no queue but when they requested all my documents, I found that I did not have my ID book on me. So I arranged for a copy to be emailed to me which I managed to get printed that the SAPS Vehicle Unit. The paper work took a bit long but I was within an hour and a half back on my way to the Roodepoort Licence Department. Handing the police papers in, I had my clearance within 5mins.

People to thank, firstly to the Supervisor at the Roodepoort Licence Department for all his help and to the SAPS Vehicle Unit in Lenasia. Big thanks for desperately finding my patience.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Black Swans

So how close can you get to a pair of Black Swans? The answer is very close but I didn't risk my life creeping any closer as they started puffing out their feathers to make themselves look bigger and I was down on all fours at eye level.

Bring on Mondays, this is my start of the week, other than arriving at work later than I wanted to, stalking the wildlife at Bosasa's Head Office in Mogale Business Park has taken on a new meaning. With the Black Swans starting my week, will this week be predictable? Highly improbable.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Park Acoustics at the Voortrekker Monument

Park Acoustics, we came, we saw, and we were conquered. Lynda and I decided to stretch Scarlet’s legs and go to Jack Daniel's Park Acoustics held at the top of the Amphitheatre of the Voortrekker Monument. I must say that these Varsity students sure know how to party in the hot sun and way into the night.

Sun, skimpy dressed students, refreshing drinks, gourmet burgers, ice-cream, good music, and riding a Vespa, what more can I ask for.

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