They say a week is a long time in politics, never has this been truer! On the evening of Tuesday, 3rd March the Chamber hosted its 2nd Annual Gala Dinner at the House of Lords at the kind invitation of Lord Hain. Had it been a week later, the same date as we held the event last year, it would have proved very difficult to go ahead.
We were very glad that everyone was able to meet safely, and enjoy a wonderful evening watching various vessels travelling the river Thames while being entertained by Nic and Pearle Vani, backed by the beautiful Zama Siphengana and Lizzy Makhubela, whose singing took us from the emotion of the UK and SA National Anthems to our childhood Lion King memories.
Her Excellency Tembi Tambo talked passionately and honestly about how government plans to address the challenges faced by the South African economy, while Lord Hain enthralled us with memories from his activities during the sporting boycott, which are soon to be released in his latest book.
Ivor Gardiner’s keynote address was fascinating. Even after his long stint in the UK military Ivor still holds his South African accent, but has learnt the art of self-deprecation as only the English have perfected. We could all relate to the stories he shared with us, correlating his experience dealing with world events to the daily challenges of leadership in business. His advice on Crisis Management could not have been better timed, no doubt his skills will be in high demand during the current crisis.
The atmosphere of the evening was very relaxed and vibrant, with all guests taking full advantage of the opportunity to mingle and network. It was very evident how far the Chamber has progressed in the last year and how engaged so many of our members have become.
The Chamber is very grateful to Lord Hain for allowing us the use of this prestigious venue for a second year, to Standard Bank for their sponsorship of the wine, and to The Floral Journey for their stunning table centrepieces.