Ain’t nothin’ in this world worth the worryin’

September 27, 2006

In one of my previous lives, many years ago, I was an event co-ordinator. I was asked in passing by a friend some months ago why i don’t still do it. Having recently taken on the organisation of a party for my father I can answer beyond the statement I gave at the time: “I am bored of it.”

ducks. row.dull bastardsIt is not just that. An event is all about planning. If you plan it perfectly, down to the last detail then you will, almost definitely, be able to cope with the 172 last minute crises caused by the indomitable human spirit’s ability to entirely screw the pooch at every available opportunity. You see, it’s all about ducks and getting them in a row. But ducks, who are often seen swimming along in a neat little row, are a first world kind of animal. Ducks like being in a row. You will see them on the ponds in Hyde Park in your next London visit. They will look all insufferably cute: swimming in a well behaved, civilised line. Enjoying the art of queuing, just like the English. Fantastic.

Africa, though, to continue my lifelong abuse of the mixed metaphor, is a different kettle of fish.

In Africa we are more into our elephants, giraffe’s, hippo, rhino and the big cats. Try getting any of those buggers into a row, especially the cats, and you will know what it is like to organise an event in South Africa. No matter how hard you try you will not be able to keep those cats in a row for more than 5 minutes before one of them is clawing at the couch, another is spraying musky scent everywhere, two are shagging loudly in the corner and one is out the window claiming the better part of the three surrounding blocks for territory. Focus, obedience and reliablility are not on the agenda.

To a certain extent this is true of all business in South Africa. My experience of event management, however, shows it in it’s extremes. I would liken each individual event, in difficulty if not in size, to forming a small company and making it, briefly, work. In America, Europe or the UK a difficult task. In South Africa, a monumental one. I fail to recall the last event I attended in South Africa that actually impressed me by it’s organisation and flow but, here is the thing: it doesn’t actually matter that much.

Any organised event (especially those givn to event co-ordinators) is seldom, if ever, terribly important. Party Political Conferences, Product Launches, Racing Events, Weddings, Funerals. This is another reason for not doing it any more. It’s pretty bloody meaningless.

catsleepingcat.jpgImportant things tend to happen without organisation. Conception, birth, death, falling in love, spotting a new pair of shoes, making friends, first kisses, being adopted by stray animals, car crashes and really good parties.

Perhaps Africa has the right idea. Enjoy life.

As a true poet once said: “Ain’t nothin’ in this world worth the worryin’.”

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One Response to “Ain’t nothin’ in this world worth the worryin’”


  1. I whole heartedly agree withthe final comment there. Enjoy life and ‘Ain’t nothin’ in this world worth the worryin’.
    Words to live by.


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