All those “SA-positives” who visit here know that I love a good vuvuzela, the cultural weapon of choice for hardcore Bafana Bafana supporters.
In fact, I was horrified to learn that some do-gooder has banned the use of our vuvus on aeroplane flights around South Africa during our most phenomenal of all World Cups, now just a mere 360 or so hours away.
Quelle horreur!Eish. Or as we in paradisical Stanford are inclined on occasion to exclaim, “Good golly!” This Fifa-ass-kissing decision flies in the beautiful face of the spirit of South Africa’s World Cup. How are we to create a suitably raucous atmosphere around the World Cup finals if we are banned from parping our vuvus on planes?
What, because Mrs Carruthers-Smythe sitting in first-class might beckon a trolley dolly to her aid and mutter, “I say, my dear, would you mind terribly if I ask that those ne’er-do-wells at the back be ordered in no uncertain terms to tone it down a bit?” I say “Phooey, tell Mrs C-S not to be such a spoilsport, is it asking too much that she tolerate a little extra turbulence for just five weeks?”
No, it seems that South Africa’s fuddy-duddies and Spanish midfielder and Liverpool reject Xabi Alonso, who made a big stink about vuvuzelas when he played in the Confed Cup here last year, are to be indulged by our kindly Uncle Sepp (Blatter). I don’t know what the World Cup is coming to, if you ask me (but nobody does).
Never mind, it’s good to know that Hyundai, who are an official sponsor of Uncle Sepp’s Rather Exclusive African Party of the Year (otherwise known as the Fifa World Cup) and maker of rather crap cars, have shown their support of our beautiful vuvuzela with a bright-spark marketing ploy in Cape Town. Check this out…
Please Hyundai, won't you let me have a parp on that?!
Lekker, hey? I’ll be quite embarrassed to show my vuvu in public after seeing that! Call it vuvu envy if you like. And you do like, don’t you? Yes, you do. Admit it! And sticking that humungous vuvuzela right there holds an extra bonus in that it might stop a few German supporters taking a wrong turn after a heavy night down the Fireman’s Arms and plummeting off the edge of The Unfinished Freeway. Actually, come to think… oh, never mind.
You laugh?! There are many stories Capetonians will recall, if you buy them a Mojito, of friends who nearly did just that. But that was before the Traffic Department woke up to the danger of not completing a freeway… and then forgetting to let people know that, no, that road wouldn’t take them to Green Point but rather to the morgue.
In the sixth of my weekly interviews with interesting people living in and around the idyllic seaside town of Umdloti on South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal coast, I asked the Big Five questions of Adapt IT internet boffin (and developer of Durban’s official World Cup 2010 website), Richard McLennan…
FH: You are known as the man behind Adapt IT’s development of Durban’s World Cup 2010 website. How did you get started in internet technology and how did you get to here?
RM: Firstly, I have a very good team of people I work with on The Durban Host City Website, I am just one of the cogs in the machine so to speak. In terms of how I got here, it’s a fairly long story so I’ll keep it short and in point form:
· Raised here on the North Coast in the sunny hamlet of Umhlanga Rocks. After school spent 2 years in the SA Navy as a diver.
· Three years crewing on ‘Superyachts’ in the Med and Caribbean, before returning to SA, completed my Dive Instructor as well as Commercial Diver certifications. Taught Commercial Diving for a year at Durban’s PDI, great job, crap money. Moved on to IMMAC shipping for 6 months as Dive Supervisor, good money, crap job
· After a number of close underwater calls decided enough was enough and thought a career in the IT world looked far more promising… honestly, what’s the worst that can happen when you drive a PC for a living? Completed a Diploma in Visual Basic 5 whilst working as a diver
* Landed a web developer role for a very funky new media agency in London called Wheel where I ran a Development Team, jumped ship to a customer, the wonderful Marks & Spencer. Had an awesome couple of years at M&S helping build their very successful –ecommerce business.
· Headhunted by Monsoon Accessorise to setup their e-commerce business which I ran for 2 years
· After Sarah and I had son Connor in October 2006, we decided in early 2007 it was time to return to SA, work/life balance had become a lot more important to me…
· Three weeks after arriving back in SA, I joined a secret Old Mutual initiative building a new direct insurance and home loan business. Unfortunately, 12 months later we pulled the plug due to the global credit crisis and recession, a real pity as the products would have been groundbreaking for the SA market
· Approached by Adapt IT in Jan 2009 to programme manage the Durban 2010 web project
FH: OK. Straight into the question everybody wants answered! Adapt IT took a lot of flak for the 2010 website which, some said, did not give value for the amount of Durban ratepayers’ money spent on the project… how would you counter that assertion?
RM: It’s funny, everyone has heard of Adapt IT and the Durban 2010 Website, “oh ja, the R6.5 million website, what’s up with that?”