Entries tagged with “Archbishop Desmond Tutu”.


 

 

Yesterday Archbishop Desmond Tutu celebrated his 86th Birthday. To commemorate this special day for one of Cape Town’s Nobel Peace Prize laureates, affectionately known as The Arch, the City of Cape Town and Design Indaba created Arch for Arch at the entrance to The Company’s Garden, next to St Georges Cathedral, at the corner of Wale and Adderley Streets.
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imageOn Friday evening Prince Harry and a group of eight other guests had dinner at Reuben’s Franschhoek, on the eve of a charity Polo Cup match at Val de Vie, the main purpose of his visit to the Cape. It is the second visit by the Prince to the restaurant.

Restaurant Manager and sister of Reuben Riffel  (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*   A heavy-weight World Symposium to ‘Cultivating Sustainable and Peaceful Communities and Nations through Tourism, Culture and Sports will be held in Johannesburg from 16 – 19 February next year, and is in honour of the late Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jnr.  It has been endorsed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and will be held at Emporers Palace.  Keynote speakers include the Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Dr Taleb Rifai, Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom,  Minister of Tourism of the Seychelles Alain St. Ange, and various other heads of international tourism bodies. (received via e-mail)

*   From October next year  Turkish Airlines will offer direct flights between Cape Town and Istanbul.  This will double the capacity between the two countries.

*   Winemakers Paul Cluver and Bruce Jack have collaborated in a new cider called Cluver & Jack, made at Paul Cluver Winery (more…)

Hayden Quinn 9 Chef Citrum Khumalo and Hayden Quinn JohannesburgLast night’s episode 9 had little to do with Woolworths, it being odd to have chosen Johannesburg as a sustainable destination, but this was defined more broadly in terms of transportation and how it impacts on climate change.

The episode was different to others before, with most of the content shown in the first 20 minutes, with little advertising, and then one concentrated burst of commercials.  Hayden met with Chef Citrum Khumalo of Asidle Gourmet Catering, the two of them cooking on top of the 22 storey Randlords building, to test Hayden’s fear of heights.  Chef Citrum showed Hayden how to make a colourful Chakalaka, its vibrant colours reflecting the diversity of the population of Johannesburg. The chakalaka was to be served with mango atjar (pickled in Oriental spices), beetroot, free-range chicken, ostrich, boerewors, and dumplings.  Chef Citrum made the chakalaka with onions, parsley, beetroot, garlic, onions, and stock, frying them at high heat, and then adding white wine.  Amazi (sour milk) was added too, Soweto Power Stations Whale Cottageas was chili, mustard seed, carrots, celery, spinach, black and sugar beans, and tomato paste.

Chef Citrum told Hayden that one hasn’t experienced Johannesburg if one has not been to Soweto (a name created from its original name South Western Townships), the most densely populated area in South Africa, in which 2 million persons live.  Orlando is the best known suburb, and it is here that the well-known Vilakazi Street can be found, with the houses of the late Nelson Mandela and (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*  The Eat Out Gala Dinner, at which the country’s Top 10 Restaurants will be announced, will be held at Thunder City on 16 November.  Mercedes-Benz is the new title sponsor of the Awards.

*   The charity ‘Chefs who Share’ dinner, to be held in the City Hall on 11 September, will have seven pairs of top local chefs cooking for guests, each team paired with a local sommelier as well as an international Michelin star chef.  The international chefs are Gerd Kastenmeier from Kastenmeier Dresden, Alfred Miller from Wirtshaus Schöneck Innsbruck, Andreas Meyer from Schloss Prielau, Christoph Geschwendtner from Schlosshotel Fiss, Anton Schmaus from Restaurant Storstad, Bernard Reiser from Restaurant Würzburg, and Christian Grainer from Christian’s Restaurant.  (received via media release from Amplicon PR)

*   Table Bay Boulevard is to be named after former President FW de Klerk, it has been recommended by the City of Cape Town’s Naming Committee, subject to a public participation process.  The recommendation has been supported by Premier Helen Zille and former Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

*   Huffington Post’s Travel Blog interviewed Chef Luke Dale-Roberts of Eat Out top restaurant (more…)

WhaleTalesTourism, Food, and Wine news headlines

*    Cape Town will host the 14th World Summit of the Noble Peace Prize Laureates from 13 – 15 October, the first time that it will be held in Africa, report the Cape Times and Weekend Argus.  A total of 1500 delegates is expected to meet at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, with the topic ‘Peace: living it’.  Previous Noble Peace Prize recipients such as Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa will join FW de Klerk and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

*   The largest number of international visitors to Cape Town in the third quarter of last year, ranked by figures just released by Wesgro, were from Germany, the USA, the UK, and Italy.  Gauteng was the largest source of local visitors, followed by those from other parts of the Western Cape.

*   Rio de Janeiro received close to 900000 visitors during the Soccer World Cup, spending $4,4 million, with more than half of the visitors planning to return in two years to attend the 2016 Olympic Games.  The city hosted the closing Final, which was viewed by 3 billion TV viewers, and its iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer against a sunset was shown during the broadcast, as (more…)

Mandela Exhibition Mandela and Tutu Whale Cottage PortfolioCape Town was a hive of activity yesterday, as President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, as well as their daughters, visited Cape Town for the day on their three African nation tour.  It also was the opening of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Exhibition, an emotionally moving event.  The day was focused on the contribution which former President Mandela has made to Cape Town in particular, but also to South Africa and the rest of the world. (more…)

It is ironic that the Valentine’s Day shooting of model Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend and Olympic and Paralympic hero Oscar Pistorius should have happened so close to the Academy Awards’ Oscar presentations, for which M-Net had contracted Pistorius as its Oscar presentation broadcast marketing icon. Thankfully, South Africa received fame at the Oscars, for the Documentary ‘Searching for Sugar Man’, which was largely filmed in Cape Town, and tells the story of Capetonian Sugar Segerman’s search for forgotten American singer Rodriguez, being wonderful free marketing for our city to all who have seen the movie.  The question that the Pistorius case raises is what damage it is doing to tourism to South Africa generally, and to Cape Town specifically, with the Oscar Pistorius story making world headlines, in such leading publications as Bunte and TIME.

Bunte is one of Germany’s largest cirulation magazines, with a readership of 4 million, and featured the Pistorius story on the front cover of the 21 February issue. The front cover caption murder due to jealousy’ links to the article in the magazine, which names TV series ‘Tropika Island of Treasure’ co-star and singer Mario Oglo as the main focus of Pistorius’ jealousy.  It quotes extensively from the City Press reporting, which subsequently was found to be sensationalist and inaccurate, relating the (inaccurate) cricket bat attack on the victim. The magazine sensationally claims that the couple were the Beckhams of South Africa’, and that hardly a society event was not attended by the glamour couple – yet the couple had only been dating for three months, and were first seen at an event in November last year.  Crime statistics are quoted as 17000 break-ins per year, implying that wealthy South Africans have to barricade themselves in security villages like Silver Woods in Pretoria, in which Pistorius lived.  Pistorius’ Olympics performance is highlighted, and one senses that the magazine cannot come to terms with the sporting hero and the tragic occurrence on the fatal Valentine’s Day.  Parallels are drawn to the OJ Simpson case, and the defence team is likened to a marketing campaign‘.  Overall, the German Bunte reader should be unlikely to cancel his or her plans to come on holiday to the Cape, a relief as Germany appears to be the largest source of tourism to the Cape in this summer season. Fortunately not one of our German guests have spontaneously raised the issue with us  in the past two weeks.

TIME has the world’s largest weekly magazine circulation, with 25 million readers, of which 20 million live in the USA, according to Wikipedia.  Its latest issue tells the story of Pistorius’ rise to sporting fame, and his fall since Valentine’s Day, not too dissimilar to any other reporting of the tragic events.  What is damaging however is that four paragraphs of the article are dedicated to Cape Town (and the Western Cape), its tourism appeal sounding positive, but in the context of the tragic event it is severely damaging to our city:

And from New Year’s Day to Jan. 7 she posted regularly from a vacation she was taking in and around the city where she was born, Cape Town, with a few friends and the man she called “my boo,” who on Twitter goes by @OscarPistorius. On Jan. 3 she posted a picture of the sunrise taken from the balcony of the $680-a-night presidential suite at a spa hotel in Hermanus, 90 minutes southeast of Cape Town. Later that day she tweeted, “The chauffeurs in Cape Town hey. Nice!” and attached a picture of Pistorius driving an Aston Martin. On Jan. 4, name-checking Pistorius, her best friend, a private banker and a luxury-car importer who was sourcing a McLaren sports car for Pistorius, she tweeted about a lunch the five were sharing at Cape Town’s newest hip hangout. “Shimmy Beach Club!” she wrote. “Tooooo much food!!! Amazing holiday :)”‘

This is followed by Cape Town’s ‘dark side’, and this is when the article becomes really damaging for Cape Town:

To understand pistorius (sic) and Steenkamp, to understand South Africa, it helps to know the place where the couple chose to spend their holiday. Cape Town has arguably the most beautiful geographical feature of any city in the world: Table Mountain, a kilometer-high, almost perfectly flat block of 300 million-year-old sandstone and granite that changes from gray to blue to black in the golden light that bathes the bottom of the world. From Table Mountain, the city radiates out in easy scatterings across the olive, woody slopes as they plunge into the sea. Its central neighborhoods are a sybarite’s paradise of open-fronted cafés and pioneering gastronomy, forest walks and vineyards. Commuters strap surfboards to their cars to catch a wave on the way home. The business of the place is media: fashion magazines, art studios, p.r., advertising, movies and TV. Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy just wrapped the new Mad Max movie. Action-movie director Michael Bay is shooting Black Sails, a TV prequel to Treasure Island.

But while Cape Town’s center accounts for half its footprint, it is home to only a fraction of its population. About 2 million of Cape Town’s 3.5 million people live to the east in tin and wood shacks and social housing built on the collection of estuary dunes and baking sand flats called the Cape Flats. Most of those Capetonians are black. Class in Cape Town is demarcated by altitude: the farther you are from the mountain, the lower, poorer and blacker you are. Cape Town’s beautiful, affluent center is merely the salubrious end of the wide spectrum that describes South Africa’s culture and its defining national trait: aside from the Seychelles, the Comoros Islands and Namibia, South Africa is the most inequitable country on earth.

This stark gradation helps explain South Africa’s raging violent crime (and why, contrary to legend, Cape Town actually has a higher murder rate than Johannesburg)’.

The balance of the five page article is focused on our country’s ‘violent crime‘, and traces this back to the Battle of Blood River, the Boers building a laager to protect themselves against the Zulus. Similarly whites live in security estates, in modern day laagers, the article relates.  Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Rainbow Nation barely exists, despite our country being the benchmark for ‘racial reconciliation’, and ultimately still ‘South Africans live apart’, the article concludes.  What makes for fascinating reading is the close to 1000 comments to the article, which is attacked by many loyal South Africans for factual inaccuracy, and supported by a handful of what could be ex-South Africans. Very few international readers appear to have commented.

Gratifying to find is the link by HuffPost Lifestyle UK, which evaluates the media frenzy relating to the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing, introducing the article as follows:‘…could be forgiven for thinking that South Africa is the new Wild West, full of gun-toting, trigger-happy outlaws’.  Its writer Amanda Willard defends our country, having visited ten times already, puts crime into context, shares that tourism is growing, and recommends that tourists continue visiting South Africa:So don’t be put off travelling to this incredible destination and don’t be fooled by the media reports. The bark of the newshound is worse than its bite‘.

SA Tourism, Wesgro, and Cape Town Tourism have a challenging task in communicating that what was a crime involving a couple in a private home is not a reflection of crime in South Africa.  It also needs to highlight that tourists visiting South Africa generally, and Cape Town specifically, will be safe.  The problem is that neither Cape Town Tourism nor Wesgro are doing any marketing at all, let alone damage control to address this tragedy which has keen international interest, a saga that will be guaranteed to fill news headlines for months to come!  Mary Tebje, Cape Town Tourism’s communications representative in the UK, has written to Southern African Tourism Update, calling for an objective and honest response to South Africa’s new status as a gun-toting country, which may reinforce what many potential tourists to our country are already thinking, and will deter them even more from coming on holiday.  Our current tourists will be our best spokespersons, in relating that their holidays were safe and most enjoyable!

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Table Mountain was officially inaugurated as one of the New7Wonders of Nature this morning.  To celebrate the occasion and to thank Capetonians for their support, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company ran a 50% discounted ticket special for a week.

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company spent three years campaigning for sms and internet votes, claiming that it received 100 million votes from 200 countries.  The majestic mountain, an icon not only for Cape Town but for all of South Africa, is 360 million years old, and is one of the oldest mountains in the world, even older than the Himalayas.  Nobel Peace Prize winners Archbishop Desmond Tutu and ex-President FW de Klerk both backed the campaign.

The unveiling of the plaque will be celebrated at a concert at the Grand Parade this afternoon as part of the Cape Town Festive Lights celebration.  The Christmas lights will be switched on by Mayor Patricia de Lille at 20h00.

In the Table Mountain Cableway advertorial in the Atlantic Sun, the Mayor is quoted as saying: “This title will bring tremendous economic and socio-economic benefits to our city and our country”. As our City has had the accolade for a year already, at first unofficially, it is clear that the Mayor’s statement makes for good PR but is completely misleading, as the City’s poor tourism arrivals show!  Last month was the poorest November since 2008!

POSTSCRIPT 2/12: The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company’s claim that they have had the best November in ten years as a result of the New7Wonders is a misleading claim, given the strongly discounted entrance fee for one of the four weeks this year, and is largely weather based too, there obviously being fewer weather closure days this year than before.  November is a ‘popular’ south easter wind month, leading to the Cableway being closed if the wind exceeds a certain wind speed.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage

Recently my colleague Charmaine and I were privileged to be taken on a Historical Walking Tour of the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront by Willem Steenkamp, a historian with a passion for Cape Town and its past, an ex-editor of the Cape Times, and author (of ‘Poor Man’s Bioscope’ and more). The tour is an interesting way to confirm that the V&A is at the heart of Cape Town and its history, with 22 historical landmarks of interest to both local Capetonians and to tourists.

The V&A is the oldest working harbour in South Africa, and was redeveloped in 1988 by Transnet Limited, with first commercial trading commencing in 1990.  It started as a jetty built by South Africa’s founder Jan van Riebeeck in 1654.   A harbour had to be built when insurer Lloyds of London would not insure the ships coming around the Cape in winter if a safe harbour was not built here, given the winter gales and the damage they could do to the ships. The harbour was named after Queen Victoria and her son HRH Prince Alfred, and he inaugurated the construction of the harbour in1860, with a monument dedicated to him, to mark the occasion.  Ten years later he returned for the official opening of the harbour, commemorated with another monument close to the Amphitheatre.

Willem started the tour at the Chavonnes Battery Museum, beautifully dressed up in a uniform of the 18th century, despite the extreme heat of the day, and certain to attract attention where he went in the V&A.  He said some children refer to him as Captain Jack Sparrow on his tours. He traced the history of the discovery of Cape Town by boats connecting the spice-rich East and Europe in a 6 – 8 month journey, having to come around the Cape, where they picked up fresh water, plants to counter scurvy, and meat. At times the inhabitants were short of supplies themselves, and had to obtain supplies from passing ships.  To safeguard the 25000 VOC (Dutch East India Company) Cape Town employees against the threat of pirates, Cape Town was protected with a battery and heavy artillery, the Chavonnes’ Battery Museum paying tribute to the defence of Cape Town.  The Battery disappeared in 1860 when the harbour was built, and was excavated in 1999 when the Board of Executors built its head office on the site, the Battery originally having been at the water’s edge. The Battery was completed in 1726, and was named after the Marquis de Chavonnes.

We stopped at the Clock Tower, which was originally painted white, and Willem said he did not know why it has changed colour.  We were reminded of Bertie’s Landing, named after well-known sailor Bertie Reed, with a bust in honour of ‘Biltong Bertie’, as Willem called him.  The building is now the Robben Island Museum and Nelson Mandela Gateway ticket office.  Prior to the construction of the Swing Bridge, the Penny Ferry connected the two sections of the harbour.  We were shown the Alfred Basin; the Robinson Dry Dock (the oldest of its kind still in daily use in South Africa, and oldest of the old style dock in the world.  Galas were held in the Robinson Dock in the old days, and it has been a quarry); the Pump House (which pumped water in and out of the Robinson Dock); the Old Power Station (having supplied Cape Town’s power); the Breakwater Prison (built in 1902, and which still has the treadmill to punish the prisoners who were locked up there.  It is now a hotel and the UCT Graduate School of Business operates from there; Portswood Ridge (Moorings Lane has five cottages for small businesses, and we rented one of these called Sea Cottage when the V&A first opened this business section of the Waterfront in 1991); Dock House was the home of the Port Captain; the Time Ball Tower, which was critical to navigation around the Cape; the Portswood Tunnel that few have seen before; the Rocket Shed; the Union Castle Building designed by Sir Herbert Baker’s firm; at Quay 5 hides, fish, and wood were unloaded from arriving ships; and Victoria Basin.  We were not able to see the SAS Somerset boom defence vessel, probably the last of its kind in the world.  Willem was sad that Iziko Museums had closed down the Maritime Museum near the Aquarium. The NSRI uses the same slipway as did previous rescue vehicles in the history of the harbour.  Amidst the history of the Cape in the V&A Waterfront is the history of South Africa’s political transformation, and the statues of Nelson Mandela, FW de Klerk, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Albert Lithuli, all Nobel Peace Prize recipients, can be seen at Nobel Square near the V&A Hotel.

We loved Willem’s dry sense of humour and his wealth of knowledge of the history of Cape Town in general, and of the V&A Waterfront in particular.  We would recommend this Historical Walking Tour to all Capetonians and visitors to Cape Town.

V&A Waterfront Historical Walking Tours. Tel (021) 408-7600. www.waterfront.co.za Monday – Sunday 11h00, tour takes about an hour.  R50 per adult, R20 per child 10 – 18 years old. Minimum of 4 persons, maximum 10. Tours start at Chavonnes Battery Museum.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage