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Jambo! That’s how they greet you in East Africa.
The Swahili salutation is accompanied by a big smile and a genuine embrace. Back home, it is at the heart of our challenge in KwaZulu-Natal. We are ramping up tourism and it needs to be accompanied by a mindset change for a new culture to take root. We must welcome planeloads of tourists with warm hearts like we are inviting them into our homes. There is a varied offering in this edition of KZN INVEST, but most stories are dedicated to tourism to celebrate the British Airways London to Durban direct flights. This offers huge opportunities.
A host of good people have been working feverishly to make KZN spick and span for our visitors, but they can’t work alone. Everyone must chip in. The easiest way to do this is for locals to become the region’s best tourists. If we all get out and about, enjoying our splendid province we’ll become our own best advocates and our own harshest critics. My colleagues and I went wandering for this edition and it was largely a rewarding experience.
But then there was Big Sean. The juxtaposition couldn’t have been more severe. Big Sean’s bile rap belched out from the shack on a hot spring morning and spread through the shantytown surrounding Mahatma Gandhi’s Phoenix Settlement. The settlement is 18km north of Durban, and is an island of tranquility in a sea of poverty.
Greg Ardé is a journalist based in Durban, South Africa. He has written three books and currently edits a magazine.
In the course of his 30-year career Greg has been involved with a number of media, including newspapers, radio and television. He is the former bureau chief of the Sunday Times in Durban and editor of a monthly magazine which appeared in that newspaper.
He was previously deputy editor of the Sunday Tribune, property editor of the same publication and business editor of The Mercury.
He was political reporter on the Daily News and worked for the South African Press Association in the run-up to South Africa's first democratic elections in 1994. In that time he covered political violence extensively. Greg has a national diploma in journalism from the erstwhile Technikon Natal.
As part of this, he served a year’s internship at the Daily Dispatch in East London and later ran the Dispatch's Umtata bureau, close to the birthplace of Nelson Mandela. He is deeply committed to issues of justice, accountability and development and wrote a weekly column for 15 years.
Greg has a keen interest in the evolution of cities and in 2013 and 2014, contributed to the Resilient Cities series, an initiative sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Greg’s passion for politics, cities and development nurtured a curiosity in business and entrepreneurs and he has run three publications in that vein.
In the course of his career, Greg has also facilitated a number of roundtable talks aimed at improving education, economic development and job creation in Durban, the city he calls home.