Monday, October 18, 2010

What makes U an African?



By kingsley okoli
1. You unwrap all your gifts carefully, so that you
can re-use the wrapper.
2. You call a person you've never met before uncle or
aunt.
3. More than 90% of the music CD's and cassettes in
your home are illegal copies
4. Your garage is always full of stuff because you
never throw anything away, just in case you need it
someday.(a gum boot without a partner and the baby
walker - baby's now 12 and you are 48)
5. You have a collection of miniature shampoo bottles
from your stays at hotels. (Go cool, Sweet heart,
African pride....)
6. You have almost always carried overweight baggage
when traveling by plane.
7. If a store has a limit on the quantity of a
product, then each member of the family will join
separate queues to purchase the maximum quantity
possible. (Sugar, soap, rice, cooking fat etc during
old good days)
8. All children have annoying nicknames.
9. Nobody in your family informs you that they are
coming over for a visit. (Uncle, wife, sis-in-law,
two nephews and a neighbour) have camped at home.
10. You stuff your pockets with, mints and toothpicks
at restaurants. (Murray mints, wrappers, and salt
shakers!)
11. Your mother has a minor disagreement with her
sister and does not talk to her for 10 years.
12. You only make phone calls at a cheaper rate
at night or weekends otherwise you sms.
13. You never have less than 20 people to meet you at
the airport or see you off even if it is a local
flight.
14. You keep 50 cent credit to make miscalls when you run out of airtime
15. Office supplies mysteriously find their way to
your home.(Yes, staple machine, office pins, punch
machine, cello tapes, post-its, etc.)
16. When you are young, your parents buy you clothes
and shoes at least two sizes too big so that they
would last longer.
17.U buy the most expensive car,even if u have a house in bad condition.so your buddy can see how classy u are.
18.U looked around at your mother funeral to see who is not there and so u can take revenge when their loved one pass on.
19.Your wardrobe is full of clothes and you dont have a single investment.may be a few thousand dollars that you save.
Note: Pass it on to other Africans, so they can know
what truly makes them African.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Long street the heart beat of Cape Town!


By kingsley okoli


Long Street is a beautiful street filled with old buildings and delicate wrought iron railing. The street is located in the city bowl section of Cape Town, South Africa. The famous street offers visitors a view of our Victorian past, and the chance to experience a vibrant street filled with much culture, diversity and a street which changes from a busy business location to a colourful and energy filled street boasting a vibrant nightlife.
Long Street is a lively, elating street, attractive for a leisurely walk where you get to see an array of galleries, books, music, photo and travel shops which keep visitors busy as they stroll along. Visitors may take a break at one of Long Street's many restaurants, cafes and pubs, offering a variety of local and international cuisines and a happening nightlife.
Long Street exhibits a diversified culture and attracts tourists from all over the world, and it is best known for shopping and African crafts from all over the continent as, this is where you can experience the African rich culture of art and crafts. Visitors often enjoy local and ceramic art at the Pan African craft market at 72 to 76 Long street where you can purchase all sources of African crafts.
Long street is an electrifying street as it has selection of activities for all individuals. One can experience popular attractions in Cape Town like the well known Irish restaurant and pub. The Dubliner, the Pan African craft market, African drums training and soulful live jazz at Zula sound bar.
According to Jey-Jey the manager of the Dubliner restaurant “ The Dubliner is heart of the actions in Long street” The popular pub are pleased to offer live music every night with a talented collection of musicians as well as featuring a selection of music such Lucky Dube, hip-pop and pop. During the Fifa World Cup a large number of tourist visited the Dubliner because it is a spacious venue thus it captured the atmosphere of the World Cup as the venue was packed with foreigners and locals as individuals supported their teams.
They have a wide range of local and international beers like Guinness draught , Kilkenny draught ,spirits, notably Guinness and Pilsner Urquell on tap. “our customers can also enjoy Irish and South African treats from the kitchen as. lunch, snacks and dinner are served until late”. According to Jey-Jey
The Pan African market, which is located amongst hustle and bustle of long street is probably the best place to pick up African crafts. It is a total contrast to the upmarket interior of tribal trend in long street which show case an audacious selection of great Africa- inspired designs which include animal skin, ear ring, tribal bags, African printed materials and souveniers. According to Ms Nora Smith, a tourist from Norway in Europe who visited the market whilst on holidays in Cape Town, “The Pan Africa market is the perfect place to buy a gift to give family and friends back home and they will value and enjoy the gift”.
African Drums has a great cultural heritage in Africa. although similar in cultural use and significance to many countries and tribes on the African continent. African Trading Drums is located in long street which offers several different types of drums. According to Mr Manona Amabe from Ghana, the owner of the Africa Trading Drums, “the drums are Africa’s form of entertainment”. Amabe is a drumming teacher who teachers both local and international people from all over the world how to play to drums in Long Street.
The training is every evening for R50. 00 for 1 hour and the training take place between 4:00 pm till 9:00. The busiest days (Friday and Saturday)
Zula sound bar is well known for live jazz and is located at 196 Long Street with live music which feature great talents great South African talents such as , Claire Phillips, Rozzano, Elzahn Rinquest and Captain Stu who entertain clients on a regular basis. Live music is key at Zula Bar as it’s a main attraction for its clients who enjoy live music and performances. From the comedy evenings on Monday nights to the audio sets on Tuesday. According to Warren Johnson a regular customer at Zula sound bar, “this is a great place where I can experience superior music performance, it’s a cool place where anybody who is passionate about live jazz, can enjoy current musicians on the stage”.
The Bar offers every drink under the sun, from Cape wines to local and international beers and a wide range of cocktails is always available for meals that are served all days.
The essence of Long Street's vibrant and unique lifestyle features African murals, quaint old buildings and trendy sidewalk café's. Long street is the heart beat of Cape Town where Capetonians make their way through their daily business. The cafes and restaurants bustle with life and at night, particularly on the weekends, Cape Town bursts into life as Long street electrifies the City of Cape Town.

Animal sensations in Cape Town!


By Kingsley okoli


Tygerberg Zoo is Cape Town‘s “number one Zoo and the best in the western Cape province, where one can experience the natural world of chimpanzees and white African lions” said Michael Shofieod the Animal Feeding Manager at the Tygerberg Zoo. It is situated approximately 39 km from the city of Cape Town and is a real treat for the family as one gets to encounter rare animals first hand.
There are different kinds of animals like chimpanzees, leopards and cheetahs at the well known zoo. Tygerberg Zoo comprises of :61 mammal species, 160 bird species and 63 reptile species and one is guaranteed to see camels, giraffes, penguins, tigers, monkeys, lions, numerous antelope, crocodiles, birds, monkeys, baboons and meerkats.
The TygerbergZoo is divided into many different sections to allow the animals to roam around freely thus giving visitors the opportunity to view the animals free and not forced into restricted areas but merely content in their habitat.
‘’ The most energetic animals are the chimpanzees,and monkeys’’ said Mrs Mirran Santos visitor from Austria. The biggest and popular animals at the are zoo are the chimpanzees, as they entertain visitors by communicating with each other with their unique sounds. They are also very social and warm when they interact with each other, they kiss, hug and show much affection and emotion also show nger like human beings. “My favourite animal at the zoo are the White Lions as they are known for their beauty which attract people with their sharp blue eyes and distinct personalities, ” Said Mrs Santos.
Visiting the zoo is definitely worth while as it offers a extraordinary day of entertainment for young children. The children’s farmyard is a favourite attraction for the little ones . Children have an opportunity to touch animals such as goats and tortoises and interact with them one on one. Kids are not only able to interact with specific animals but also learn about animal’s habits, environmental requirements and the importance of the existence of these species on our planet. Children and adults of all ages can experiences and get close to a whole range their of favourite animal. The birds and domestic animals at the zoo attract children as they are able to touch these animals as cages are left open during the warmer months Refreshment are also available to quench ones thirst as you make your way through the zoo.
According Michael shofieod, “The busiest months for the zoo is November to March as it is holiday time as children are on their December breaks. More than 400 000 people visit the Zoo annually making it one of the more popular attractions to visit.
Visitors to South Africa should find the visiting Tygerberg Zoo a very affordable activity. The zoo is an extraordinary place to try out new things and experience the world of animals a with different outlook.
Tygerberg Zoo is the ideal venue to get the family out of the busy city for a few hours as one gets in touch with the beauty of wildlife.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

CULTURE WITHIN ORGANISATION

The culture of a group can now be defined as: A pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.Organizational culture is the personality of any organization. Culture is comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs (artifacts) of organization members and their behaviours. Members of an organization soon come to sense the particular culture of an organization. Culture is one of those terms that's difficult to express distinctly, but everyone knows it when they sense it. For example, the culture of a large, for-profit corporation is quite different than that of a hospital which is quite different that of a university. You can tell the culture of an organization by looking at the arrangement of furniture, what they brag about, what members wear, etc. - similar to what you can use to get a feeling about someone's personality.
Corporate culture can be looked at as a system. Inputs include feedback from, e.g., society, professions, laws, stories, heroes, values on competition or service, etc. The process is based on our assumptions, values and norms, e.g., our values on money, time, facilities, space and people. Outputs or effects of our culture are, e.g., organizational behaviors, technologies, strategies, image, products, services, appearance, etc.
The organisational culture is a crucial element of organisational life. It holds things together and it is the fabric of "the way we do things around here" but is also where bad habits become well-established and good intentions go off centre.
The concept of culture is particularly important when attempting to manage a organization. Practitioners are coming to realize that, despite the best-laid plans, organizational change must include not only changing structures and processes, but also changing the corporate culture as well.
Organisational culture is usually created by top management with the power to set direction and effect structure in organisations. Their leadership style, in turn, influences communication. Culture therefore influences the communication climate , degree of honesty and truthfulness in an organisation. Positive communication climates such as humanistic or participative, encourage problem-centred, open and honest communication where people tend to be respected and trusted. A poor communications climate has a clear business cost including low morale, reduced production, poor customer service, loss of reputation as well as bad mouthing the company, weak relationships and reduced personal and organisational learning.
Many strategic planners now place as much emphasis on identifying strategic values as they do the organizations mission and vision, due to organizational change efforts which fail the vast majority of the time as failure is recognised as lack of understanding about the strong role of culture and the vital role it plays within organizations.

Effective internal communication

Effective Internal Communications Ensure Company Vitality

Rumours circulated for several months among employees at a Midwest-based technology company that layoffs were about to happen due to the economy. Management caught wind of the rumours, but since it had no official plans for layoffs, made no announcements to reassure employees on the assumption that the panic would soon subside. A number of employees revised their resumes and searched for new jobs; a few people even jumped ship, taking new positions with competitors. Though the layoffs did not happen, the company lost several good people, and morale suffered due to the lack of communication. A simple, well-executed internal public relations (PR) effort such as a friendly, confident memo from the CEO hush up rumours and reassuring employees of their immediate job security could have averted this chain of events.
The importance of internal PR should never be underestimated. While many companies funnel significant resources into external PR efforts geared at gaining the support of the general public, customers, shareholders and industry and financial analysts, these same companies often overlook their most critical stakeholders--their own employees--by neglecting internal communications. Internal PR is a specialized PR discipline focused on optimizing a company's relationship with its employees by facilitating good communications between management and employees, boosting employee morale and interest, and spread the right information at the right time such as explanations of new plans and policies and how they will affect the organization and its employees. While an internal PR program is about sustaining a productive dialog with employees using a proven set of communications tools and activities including memos, newsletters and special events, it also requires a great deal of creativity, consistency and follow-through. But the rewards can be enormous.
Internal PR include everything from informing employees about exciting company product developments to their celebrating successes and encouraging employees to meet personal and organizational goals. For instance, a fast-growing home building materials company has devised a solid plan and strategy for launching several innovative products over the next 24 months to leapfrog competitors. However, without a supportive internal PR campaign, they may find themselves behind the curve. To keep employees performing at the high level required to meet company goals, management needs to give them the scoop--and the inspiration. An effective internal PR campaign could include have a series of CEO memos thanking employees for their teamwork and directing them to the company's intranet site for the latest product development details. It could also include a series of stories published in a corporate newsletter that highlights different employee roles in product development each month. The company could even hold an offsite employee event where the CEO makes a motivational speech, dinner is catered, and awards, corporate clothing and other special items are given out in recognition of employee roles in the company's success. The result is sure to be greater loyalty and higher morale, a worthwhile pay-off.
When well-executed, an internal PR program can create a cohesive company environment by giving employees a better understanding of the organization's objectives, operations and philosophy. Monthly company-wide e-mails from the president, quarterly meetings, information-rich intranet sites, printed newsletters, corporate giveaways, incentive programs and company parties are just a few ideas as the possibilities are unlimited. Internal PR programs can vary as much as company culture, size and structure, yet all require long-term, dedicated resources to succeed. While some companies prefer to hire and maintain their own internal communications department, many choose to work side by side with an experienced PR/advertising agency that brings significant internal PR know how to the table. A seasoned agency can help any company shine by leveraging effective internal PR strategies, plans and tools to improve company vitality through better internal communications.

People supervision

SUPERVISION PEOPLE: YOUR MOST COMPLICATED, MOST SATISFYING TASK

To be an effective manager you must know yourself by examining your motivation for working and wanting to own or run a business. Unless you feel people can be enhanced, developed and "grown," you will undoubtedly be unhappy and unproductive, and more importantly, you will be counterproductive to those you manage. You have five, 10 or 15 years of marketing experience behind you. Or you've headed one or more successful departments. You've reached the point where you can no longer say, "If I were boss...," because you are the boss.
Your decisions, policies, programs and recommendations are the ones to be carried out, and by now, you've also learned that although we live in a democratic society, there's nothing democratic about business. Only one person retains ultimate authority, sets the direction of the organization and makes the ultimate decisions.
Isn't it funny how it always appeared that the boss really had life easy, but rather than the utopia you imagined, you're now faced with a never-ending series of interrelationships. Your days are filled with talking, listening, e-mailing, telephoning, meeting, pleading, negotiating and compromising. On top of that, you are probably the first to arrive and the last to leave, and you have to worry about all departments instead of just one.
Your organizational chart clearly shows that your firm is hierarchical in nature, yet you spend most of your time dealing with people and departments over which you may or may not have direct authority. For example, marketing continually interacts with accounting, to ensure that customers are current; and with engineering, to solve customer problems. Yet these areas are the concern and responsibility of others.
Having the responsibility and getting the job done don't always mix. There must be a better way to manage your job. Your people expect you to be decisive, and you are ... somewhat. But all too often you feel as though your time was wasted and nothing was achieved. So, what's missing? To be an effective manager you must know yourself by examining your motivation for working and wanting to own or run a business. Unless you feel people can be enhanced, developed and "grown," you will undoubtedly be unhappy and unproductive, and more importantly, you will be counterproductive to those you manage. Personal attributes and beliefs affect your every action and can't be separated. While this is fundamentally true, there is not one particular style or set of characteristics that is guaranteed to produce a good manager of people.
The better you understand your own personality, character, goals and limitations, the less likely these aspects or traits will interfere with your management style and capabilities

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

GENDER IMBALANCE IN THE PR INDUSTRY

Approximately 70 percent of today’s Public Relations Practitioners are women, and this has created a considerable gender imbalance in many departments and public relations firms. Currently, many managers say that such an imbalance does not create a healthy workplace situation. Many argue that when clients sought the services of a PR company they prefer input 'from a group of people balanced by gender' and that even women PROs themselves feel the lack of men in PR is 'unhealthy.
Consequently, some feel that something like reverse affirmative action is needed to attract more men into the public relations field. For example, some firms may offer men more pay than women for doing the same job. Some firms believe that a less-qualified man should be hired over a more qualified female applicant. However, would it then be ethical for public relations firms to offer men more pay and opportunities for advancement in order to achieve some degree of gender equality in the office.
No doubt, gender balance is very important in all industry, to make for better working environments and clients do appreciate having a different perspective. In particular, as men and women will come up with very different ideas at the brainstorming sessions because mixed ideas create better ideas.
It comes to us professionals as no surprise that not everyone agrees with the idea that men should be offered more to bring them into the PR industry, by paying them more, or accepting men with poorer qualifications, just to restore the balance. We should find another way to promote males to work in PR industry, as positive discrimination is not the answer.
Men earn more in PR because a higher percentage of men work in the higher paying disciplines; men still dominate the top jobs. For example, according to a survey done in 2002, the best paying PR sectors were industrial/manufacturing, financial services, and professional services and consulting. Those sectors employed mostly men. Otherwise, the lowest-paying sector, nonprofit and charity, employed women.
Although women now make up the majority of public relations workers, the difference in the average salary of males compared to female employees is statistically significant. That said such gender based salary gaps in public relations is complicated and hard to generalize.
Men and woman within the PR industry have been interviewed and have said that they were aware that most of those working in the industry were female. The most common reason put forward for the 'feminisation of PR' is that the industry is simply perceived as being feminine. This feminisation can be explained by the fact the industry is often perceived as being glamorous and a 'soft' career option. Thus, women in PR have found a discipline where they can work and show self-confidence, assertiveness, a risk-taking attitude, and an accountability necessary for business success.