Social – Countdown with Cyril Ramaphosa and the actuaries

2014-02-23 14:00

The SA Actuaries Development ­Programme honoured its graduates with a gala dinner at the swank Hyatt Regency Hotel in Rosebank on Wednesday night.

The dinner was attended by more than 100 alumni and was also a farewell for its founding father and outgoing chairperson, Cyril Ramaphosa, who handed over the reins to Cedric Masondo.

The dinner-cum-awards ceremony honoured 13 qualified actuaries and also hosted more than 100 graduates.

The evening started 30 minutes late, which gave the young ones enough time to pout and pose for the cameras before walking into the ballroom.

Paul Mbenenge, a fellow of the programme and a practising actuary, was tasked with hosting duties.

He kicked things off with a short welcome speech as the starter of tomato, caramelised onion and mozzarella tart was served. A self-congratulatory video played on the big screen as guests tucked into the starter and friendly chatter wafted around the room.

Speeches were refreshingly short, but a presentation on the National Development Plan by the ­graduates was undoubtedly an attempt to score Brownie points with the departing chairperson. Well, I guess we all have to start somewhere.

However, looking at the menu was far more entertaining than listening to an overzealous plan to formalise the informal savings culture of South Africans.

The main course of lamb cutlet and chicken with fondant potatoes and rosemary roasted vegetables went down well with a glass each of Leopard’s Leap merlot and sauvignon blanc.

Former Isidingo actress Letoya Mangezi was the night’s main attraction. She turned an otherwise uneventful evening on its head performing songs like Brenda Fassie’s Weekend Special between her own material. But it was Fassie’s song that got the guests warmed up and they started to sing and dance.

A few brave ones even got on to the stage to join the actress and traditional healer.

It looked like the guests had taken the advice of the president of the Actuarial Society of SA, Peter Temple.

He had earlier urged the graduates to “get a life”, and they duly obliged by singing and dancing along to Mangezi’s songs. She was the belle of the ball as she transformed the stiff, formal event into a party.

Ramaphosa took time out to pose for pictures with the students. They were clearly excited at meeting the ANC’s deputy president and the man who has been lauded for helping to draft our Constitution.

In its 11 years of existence, the programme has ­produced 135 actuarial science graduates.

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