This weekend I had an amazing time as guest speaker at the Steem Saturday event held at the Indaba Hotel in Fourways, Johannesburg in South Africa. This event was well organised by the Quadroit.co.za Robert Marshall (Managing Director) and his team, including @jacor, @naomi.louise and associate @gavvet.
I arrived on a plane from Durban at around 9:15 AM on Friday the 28th October 2016, a whole 1 hour flight from Durban, to O.R. Tambo in Johannesburg, I barely survived the jetlag ;)!
Warren from shuttletours.org picked me up as arranged, from outside the terminal, I was expecting a mini-bus or similar passenger vehicle, but here he arrives with a silver Mercedes Benz to shuttle just me to the hotel/venue where I was staying ... the weekend was starting off grand already. Warren was a cool guy and we chatted all the way, luckily he was entertaining because the traffic was insane and took around 90 mins to get to the destination which was longer than the flight!
I arrived at the Indaba hotel and waited by the poolside for my room to be ready, I had lunch in the meantime and worked on my speech by the poolside.
I was already missing my wife and kids, so gave them a telephone call and worked on my speech again the rest of the afternoon.
I made my way to the speakers dinner at the Chief's Boma restaurant in the Indaba Hotel at 6:30 PM; @bitcoinmeister (Adam) and @gamaroff (Lorien) were the first to come join me, really cool guys! We exchanged business cards and will be keeping in touch in future. Adam was wearing a Japanese soccer team t-shirt and it didn't take me long to convince him to appear as a guest writer on @steemsports!
Shortly after @gavvet arrived and we had a great chat and compared our early days on Steemit, @gavvet is a riot and well connected in the community; I ragged him that I beat him in joining Steemit by like 5 days, but his reputation is higher than mine so he won the "measuring of the swords".
Robert Marshall (I forgot his Steemit name..and he did tell me...doh!) arrived thereafter and sat with us, what a jolly and inclusive person he was, I immediately found him easy to talk to and enjoyed learning about his business conquests. Robert and I will be keeping in touch via email and seems we have some synergies on the @steemsports side with his business experience in the Sporting arena.
image whatsapped to me by @gamaroff (@bitcoinmeister (front left), Robert Marshall (front right), @thecryptodrive (me) next to him, then @gavvet and @ned - incase you have been living on Facebook and don't know what he looks like :) other dinner party members behind @ned who were also great people to meet.)
In the meantime @jacor went to fetch Steemit CEO, Ned Scott, from the airport and he was battling to find Ned! We almost thought we had lost the Steemit CEO to the criminal element of South Africa, how were we going to explain this to the community!? Turns out Ned had arrived an hour earlier and sent @jacor an email (which @jacor didn't see), Ned hailed shuttle services from the hotel and made his way back comfortably and in good time; poor @jacor however only arrived a bit later after everyone had started eating :( :( It was awesome to finally meet @jacor when he did arrive and will remain in touch with him also.
I was happy to for the first time, meet @spartanza (Niko) who I am friends with on Steemit chat live in person!
I could see everyone was dishing up their plates from the buffet while our guest @ned was still caught up in conversation, so I made it my duty to rescue him from certain death by hunger and took him over to go and get some grub with me.
Ned was impressed, firstly at how beautiful South African ladies are; big ups for South Africa! I am married so politely refused to comment. Thereafter Ned was equally impressed with the food buffet spread out in front of us, with some gamey food choices such as warthog, kudu and springbok!
Ned and I tried a bit of each and Ned even tried a rather large African mushroom; I tell you this man's appetite for new things had no bounds! The warthog meat you see in the photo above was not eaten raw, it was given to a chef to prepare right before our eyes, we are not savages here, lol!!
Back at the table @ned, @gavvet and I had a threesome... a chat people...what did you think!? It was really great speaking with such influential Steemians and holding my own fairly well. A few more people joined in on the chat and we discussed about Ned going on safari the next day and we joked about the warthog's revenge and in true @steemsports style I suggested a Ned vs warthog matchup, and everyone put their virtual money on the warthog, much to Ned's disbelief!
At the end of the evening, around 11:30 PM, everyone was having selfies with Ned and I climbed in for one as well to show my proud mamma!
The next day I woke early and went to the reception restaurant for breakfast, this time I was to be late as I didn't realise the speakers and guests had their own breakfast spread at the conference hall.
I eventually strolled in and was greeted by the same familiar faces from the night before and some new ones, I even received a gratis Steem Saturday shirt from @jacor. The Quadro IT guys really shelled out some real "coin" on this event... dinner for 15, breakfast for speakers and guests, shirts, banners. venue hire, printing and even lunch after for all attendees, woah! Namaste gentlemen!
The event kicked off with @ned throwing it down! Ned makes good use of hand gestures, much like my wife says I do, Ned even created the image of Steem as a little baby to be nurtured and was rocking the imaginary baby in his arms back and forth, which gained him some points with the softer side of the audience and made for some fun crowd feedback.
We had a great line-up of speakers and I was to be speaking last ... so with all these great speakers setting the bar so high, no pressure at all!
image by @patjewell
I finally got up on stage and preached it about Steemit, however Ned shortly stood up and walked out, eep I thought right there I was done for ... but it turns out perhaps he was fighting an internal battle with the warthog because he was soon back and I even caught out Ned taking photos of me speaking from the corner of my eye, whew not a complete fail!
image by @aslammotala
At the end of my speech, I asked everyone if they had any questions and heard only the sounds of crickets! No questions, everyone else had questions, was this bad?!
image by @aslammotala
But on the way out, I was surprised with so many people congratulating me and wanting to take selfies with me, my speech wasn't so bad after all! I made some more great contacts with amazing Steemians like @mokluc, @patjewell, fellow speakers Sakkie and Jan and this crazy dude @aslammotala who I definitely will keep in touch with, plus a few other non-Steemians.
All the speakers took photos together and went for lunch where I went from table to table meeting people and was very pleased to get in touch with a young Steemian @stormblaze who is very keen to write for @steemsports about computer gaming matchups (eSports). I had a look at his blog and he is doing well on Steemit, I think it's important to empower and support the youth who are our future and I am proud to have @theprophet0 and now @stormblaze in our @steemsports team to help them grow further in the community!
Warren came again to pick me up at 2:45 pm and I had yet another greulling 1 hour flight back to Durban, suffering immense jetlag from such a long plane trip, loool!
I was happy to be back with my wife and kids and feeling great about having such a successful and uplifting weekend with Ned and the South African Steem community.
If you don't think I'm a complete clown after reading my post, please consider voting my witness, thecryptodrive and help me help Steem!
Ok, back to sorting out @steemsports payments, mass distribution SP for everyone!!!