NELSON Mandela Bay’s own weather spokesman, Garth Sampson, is a man with not only the weather on his mind, but one who can also cook up a storm for his wife’s catering business.
During La Femme’s lunch with him at Fushin – which is proving to be quite a popular spot for our Out To Lunch guests – Sampson talked about his love for motorbikes, cooking and his obviously tight-knit family.
What role does the weather office play in the life of the metro?
Weather plays a vital role in everybody’s life. As with the recent flooding in and around the city, we have seen the important role that the weather office has to play in disaster situations.
The weather office worked closely with the local disaster management in formulating warnings and predicting flooding in various areas.
What are your hopes for the future?
On a personal basis I would love to travel. My greatest hope before I die, is to see a tornado up close and personal.
How do you tell the weather?
Weather forecasting now relies heavily on computer- based models and is very mathematically based. Naturally there is at this stage a large amount of human intervention, especially in the interpretation of these models.
What does your job entail?
About 50% of the job is to liaise between the public and media in the Eastern Cape. In times of extreme conditions such as flooding, both the public and media become very demanding for information. That is the reason why I created “Weather Guru” on Facebook.
The rest of my time is used to disseminate data and report to a variety of clients.
What advice would you give to a 16-year-old version of yourself?
As all parents know, one CANNOT give a 16-year-old any advice. They know it all. On a serious note: READ, READ, READ!
What makes you smile?
I am rather cynical. However, any intelligent humour gets me laughing. Mr Bean has passed his sell-by date. Monty Python is eternal and Trevor Noah is the flavour of the day with his “no holy cows” approach to humour.
Which mentor made the biggest impression on you, and how?
I’ve had a few. Nobody famous, but what they taught me was important: 1. Don’t let schooling interfere with your education – a teacher; 2. Never let your intelligence hang against a wall – a lecturer and 3. Respect calls for respect – an ex-boss.
What does money mean to you?
Although I work hard in my wife’s catering business after hours, I do not believe that I am a money-chaser. I strongly believe that money is not the end but a means to an end. That does not mean that I would say no to winning a few million in the Lotto (laughs).
Are you are a reader, a viewer or a listener?
A bit of all of the above. I love reading informative articles, hate viewing soppy movies or talk shows, but love watching the cooking channel, History Channel, Discovery, etc. My radio is on all day in my office and on my bike my MP3 is plugged in at all times.
Who do you share your life with?
My wife, Elmarie, and I were childhood sweethearts and have been together for 32 years – married for 24.
What would you save from your home if it was on fire?
My portable hard-drive.
What has been your biggest “frivolous” spend?
I don’t consider it as “frivolous”, but others might. My motorbike.
If you had to perform a karaoke song, what would it be?
I haven’t got a karaoke voice, so I don’t embarrass myself like some of my friends do.(laughs). If I absolutely had to, Jethro Tull’s Locomotive Breath.
How old are you inside?
Sixteen till I die as the song goes … I wish!
When was the last time you tried something new?
I constantly try out new recipes and different types of food. I am also not scared to experiment with any new activity or adventure.