THE recent heavy rains in the Eastern Cape gave rise to a new phenomenon – the Weather Guru.
Local weatherman Garth Sampson, 47, became something of a celebrity, with local and national radio stations interviewing him about weather conditions in and around Nelson Mandela Bay.
The demands for weather information resulted in his creating a Facebook page, The Weather Guru. But who is the man behind the Guru?
Sampson, a married father of four, joined the Port Elizabeth Weather Centre 30 years ago, just after he finished his matric.
“In those days, I didn’t have many options. Young boys would join the army or a government department. I decided to work at the centre. I’m the link between the office and the public in the Eastern Cape. My day entails answering media questions about the weather, doing verifications for insurance companies and providing weather information for lawyers and construction companies.”
Because of his love for his job, Sampson started a Facebook page, Weather Guru – a name he was given by Algoa FM breakfast presenters – two weeks ago when the region experienced heavy rains. The page now has more than 2000 followers.
“It was my own initiative. People would call me after work asking about weather-related matters,” he said.
When he knocks off at the weather centre he helps his wife run catering businesses Roots 2 Branches and Dinner 4 U, specialising in home-cooked meals. The businesses are based in Burt Drive.
“We don’t really go on holidays much because we still have to look after our disabled daughter, Brittaney, who is now 16. On our days off, my wife and I like to invite family and friends and cook up a storm. This is also a time when we try out new recipes and [our guests] would be the judges. The whole family loves food. The only thing I cannot stand is Kentucky Fried Chicken,” he said.
Sampson is also a member of the Midnight Biking Club, which organises the Toy Run. He was introduced to the biking community seven years ago, when his wife Elmarie bought him a Suzuki Low Rider for his 40th birthday.
“In November, it will be our 20th anniversary of putting smiles on the faces of underprivileged children of this region. This year we aim to raise more than R200000. I hope to rope the mayor in to join us as I’ve heard he is also a biker,” he said.