sO i atteNded A netwoRking sessioN 

Being a lifestyle blogger teaches you a lot of things, many of which do not involve travelling and fashion but things filled with substance and meaning for your readers on a deeper level. It teaches one how to help his or her readers invest their money in themselves as well as others. It also helps people understand better how things work (yes we aren’t just materialistically driven people, we care about the planet and its inhabitants too) and inform them how to make this world a better place. 

I’ve never been one to attend government-hosted gatherings, but when my good friend Hawa suggested we attend a Networking Breakfast, I didn’t want to pass up on the experience. I remember clearly stating that I would stay away from all things politics when it comes to blogging, but it was a media networking session and I was curious to know as to how ministers talk and react when it comes to the media and the likes.

I arrived in Pretoria the evening before (it was Monday, the 8th of May)and spent the night by my elder brother’s house. I wasn’t complaining, I missed my sister-in-law and nephew immensely. Tuesday morning, I was signed into the Union Buildings (honestly didn’t know they would call the entrance The Glass Doors) and I spent my free time connecting with my brother over a breakfast of noodles and chatting with his colleagues. The networking session was scheduled for 9 am that morning , so a few minutes before it was due to start, my brother escorted me to the stairs that would lead me to room 159.

Hawa arrived shortly, there was catering, so we grabbed a muffin and some fruit, sat down and we started gossiping about all the famous journalists in our midst. We felt underdressed and uninvited (I remember not laughing about this then but I’m laughing about it now).

Moving along, the session wasn’t a media briefing but more of the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) re-acquainting itself with the media (or as they prefer to call it, the Fourth Estate). They touched on a few things the department does and I was pleased to see Minister Jeff Radebe, and other official heads at the gathering. What shocked me the most was their ability to keep to political jargon even out of the spotlight! I came to accept that it’s how they speak even in their own homes and probably during social gatherings (still laughing).

I understood where they were coming from when it comes to the RDP project and other issues like Nkandla and the SASSA debacle. They also touched on how hard it is to fix mistakes made by other individuals. They are allegedly doing their best to rectify the backlog regarding people needing homes and better health care infrastructure among other things (they call it “eating the elephant one chunk at a time”).

All in all, it was boring. I struggled to stay awake but the times when I managed to concentrate, I picked up on some valuable information I would soon forget upon exiting the room once the session was over. I was also hungry. Those of you who know me well, know I love food and sitting in a quiet room for three hours was just not cutting it for me. Had it not been for Hawa sending me secret messages to keep me entertained, I would have surely fallen to my demise.

Would I do it again? Maybe when I’m older. My young attention span hasn’t figured out how to prioritise yet (trust me, I struggle at work too) and they fed us at the end so that was a bonus (kudos to the sweet potato and the chicken. Your rice tasted funny). It was an interesting experience. I’m glad I went through the processes and now I am more convinced I’ll end up as a creative writer rather than a news writer – that life is not for me shame. 

Here I am patiently waiting for the session to start so I ignore my brother, Katlego, and take a moment to indulge in some selfie action

Here I am with my good friend and fellow colleague, Hawa Mayere. Her secret message/joke sending technique is out of this world…

Don’t worry, they didn’t starve us. I just didn’t want to seem like I was there just for the food. That paw-paw was amazing though

Minister Jeff Radebe and other official heads were present at the session

Here is Hawa with her one time bae, Xoli Mngambi from ENCA … She doesn’t like him much anymore. Wonder what happened in 24 hours lol

Till next time my good people.

Blessings on blessings.

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