Pleasing VIPs is an arduous task

Myra Bosch

IT is a woman’s privilege to change her mind, they say. But, they didn’t know the Eastern Cape Provincial Council when they coined that saying.

Eastern Cape premier Noxolo Kiviet and her delegates have been leading the Kouga Cultural Committee a merry dance with their preferences and demands with regards to their entertainment during the three days of so-called “bringing legislature to the people”.

Initially, the visitors specifically requested a white choir. As it was left up to the Kouga cultural council to decide who, they naturally opted for a well-known choir which is renowned for its outstanding performances.

And, as the majority of Kouga residents are Afrikaans-speaking, they also requested that this choir then sings a medley of Afrikaans songs.

Now, this choir is actually a predominantly religious choir which performs, mostly, at the Dutch Reformed Church. Furthermore, because of its excellent reputation, it has also been asked, in the past, to perform with several prestigious visiting choirs.

But, to oblige the premier and her delegates, the choir conductor got together some traditional Afrikaans songs which she then proceeded to adapt into choral harmonies.

Since time immemorial – even in the earliest biblical times, it has been customary to offer the best to one’s guests. The cultural committee had done exactly that.

How the decision was turned around, one can only guess, but, after having made the necessary preparations to deliver yet another prestigious performance, the choir leader was notified, telephonically, that Kiviet and her delegates would now rather prefer a group of dancers who sing.

Well, if I’m ever looking for an example of multiple slaps in a couple of non-deserving faces, this would be the perfect one. It’s a slap in the face of the Kouga cultural committee who did their research well and came up with the most renowned group of regional performers in the Kouga.

It’s a slap in the face of the Kouga municipality, inferring that they are not capable of selecting suitable performers from their own region with which to entertain their visiting dignitaries.

Most important, it’s a slap in the face of the choir and its expert conductor who were not deemed good enough to entertain our visiting VIPs. When the best is not good enough, it might be time to start questioning the values of the beneficiaries.

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