Out of the public eye, leaders just want family time

2011-12-24 00:00

Melanie Veness, CEO of Pietermaritzburg

Chamber of Business

• Where are you spending the Festive Season?

At home with family and friends. I’m looking forward to spending time in my home and garden — pottering around, swimming, playing and having fun — life is so busy, that having time together is a real treat.

I guess that I’ll also be doing the housework, because my precious housekeeper will be enjoying a well-deserved break.

• What do you like about this season?

The luxury of no deadlines and no stress! Lazy mornings and staying in my PJ’s until 9 am, late lunches in the Midlands with friends, sharing a good bottle of wine and staying up late to play board games. Looking forward to all the laughter.

• What’s the best and worst gift you’ve ever received?

We don’t really do Christmas gifts for adults — gifts are bought for children and those having birthdays — it’s my husband’s birthday on Christmas Day, and I have an aunt who also celebrates her birthday on the 25th. It’s a busy birthday season for all of us, as well as being Christmas.

• Wishes for this season?

That the true reason for celebrating Christmas won’t get lost in all the present giving, that my loved ones will be blessed with God’s favour and good health; and lastly that all people in our city will receive some measure of joy.

• Which gifts do you prefer?

I like gifts that are made, because of the thought and effort that has gone into them, but I have teens who probably wouldn’t appreciate it if I made them a gift — their wish lists are quite specific. I did knit my friend Trayci a scarf last year — for fun and she pretended to love it.

Msunduzi Mayor, Chris Ndlela

• Where are you spending the Festive Season?

At home.

•What do you like about this season?

Meeting people, I hardly have enough time during the course of the year.

• What’s the best and worst gift you’ve ever received?

All gifts have been the best, considering that they come from the hearts of the givers. No worst gift has ever been given to me.

• What are the top three gifts that are on your Christmas list this year?

Chocolate slab, dinner out, and a visit from my friends.

• What’s the most expensive gift you’ve ever bought for someone?

A bottle of whisky.

• What are your wishes for this Christmas?

A plate of hot food for the poor and children; and no drinking and driving, no road crashes, no criminal activities committed within our boundaries, peaceful and natural disasters free Xmas, no electricity outages in our areas of supply.

Top 7 Idols finalist, Erin Fourie

• Where are you spending the Festive Season?

I will be spending a bit of this festive season in Johannesburg where I will be performing in the Christmas Extravaganza for People with Disabilities. Then I will be back in Pietermaritzburg to see the holidays in with my family.

• What do you like about this season?

Coming together of people but I also really want to see the Christmas lights.

• What’s the best and worst gift you’ve ever received?

A pair of brand new roller-skates when I was 12-years-old. I’m sure I’ve had other amazing gifts too but these roller-skates were wicked. They were purple and white and had multi-coloured laces and they had their own carry bag.

• What are the top three gifts that are on your Christmas list this year?

Well I’ve already had number one, which was my folks chipping in a bit to help me get an awesome new guitar. I would really like a hair-curling thingie-ma-bob.

I got spoiled on Idols by Lorinda, the amazing hair stylist and I always like books. I know there’s a new Terry Pratchett out there somewhere.

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