By: Ayabonga Ngoma
Every child deserves a chance… this is the slogan for Save the Children (STC) and was the driver and reason for the launch of the South African programme this past Tuesday at the magnificent Turbine Hall in Newtown.
The invite stated the dress code to be ‘cocktail’, so I instantly panicked as I like to keep it street casual and colourful. I took this as an opportunity to get all dressed up in a suit (all blue – still kept the colour factor) and be nice and proper. I arrived to a sparkly welcome drink and some familiar faces that I’d met at a previous event STC held in Joburg, Run for Survival.
Starters were served throughout the start of the evening while everyone was mingling and catching up. Best starter serving ever! That’s a loaded statement from someone who loves nothing more than a great starter to get the tum going. I’m talking Moroccan lamb balls on a stick, crumbed mac and cheese sticks, calamari, smoked chicken pastry thingies and something with meat and watermelon which I don’t think I tried. I eat like a bird, so I was stuffed instantly and moved on to the complementary wine. So good!
After meeting a few new people from the organisation and other development non-profits, the event kicked off with the MC, Bob Mabena from Kaya FM, opening the night by welcoming everyone and sharing a cute story about his children. As you’d expect at a launch of this importance there were a number of speeches; one from the Secretary General of STC Sweden sharing the message of the journey to get the programme in SA as one of the pioneers way back when, another from the Chairman of the board stressing on how it is us who are accountable for the lives and well-being of our South African children and finally a vibrant insight on the organisation and its work from Gugu Ndebele, current CEO.
Throughout the evening videos of the past and ongoing work by STC global and SA was showcased. The first official ambassadors for the South African org were announced; and they are actress Terry Pheto, who recorded a video message about why she believes in the vision and mission of STC, and recording artist Bo who performed his single Rise. The song delivers a message of unity and has a really great beat that had me wanting to go up and join the dancers on stage… obviously that didn’t happen because I committed to being proper. Other entertainment included Eisteddfod champs from Fumani High School who blew everyone away with their crisp and powerful sound and a young uber energetic dance troupe from Soweto who took the stage for a reprise with Bo.
Bob Mabena wrapped up, mini dishes of dinner were served and a photographer took pictures of the guests in their glamorous attire. Great story about the photographer is that he’s a local small business guy which Rodney Knotts, the event co-ordinator, and his team found in the streets of Maboneng and offered him the gig. How nice?
A very lovely night was had by all I’m sure. I enjoyed glamming up, tamely dancing and scoffing down the delicious starters and of course supporting a 95 year old vision that simply put, strives at making every place and space a better and safer place for every child.
Please go to www.savethechildren.org.za to learn more about the organisation and also to pledge your commitment be it innovative ideas, time, money or sharing a tweet or Facebook message as a social media ambassador.
Ayabonga is just a small town boy, livin’ in Johustleburg. Took the blogging train going to cool events. Governed by music. Extroverted introvert. Curious, not nosey. Engineer, wannabe creative. Find him on Twitter: @Ayab0nga