Why I love the South Coast: Olivia Symcox

2010-11-12 00:00

OLIVIA Symcox, owner of Olivia Jones Communications public relations consultancy, is mad about the South Coast.

She is married to Russell Symcox, son of Pat Symcox, the former Proteas off-spinner, and they live in the small village of Widenham south of uMkomaas

“OJ”, as she’s known to hundreds of radio listeners, recently took time out to speak to The Witness.

What keeps you on the South Coast?

The unspoilt, rugged and natural beauty, the best beaches, most epic surf and one of the world’s top ten dive sites.

What is it about your job that makes you want to go to work every day?

Working in the media means that no two days are the same and I get to work with some really inspirational people.

What is it that you would like to see happen most in South Africa?

To have our wonderful marine laws policed more effectively, and I’d also like to see the removal of shark nets.

Where were you when the Simphiwe Tshabalala goal went in against Mexico on June 11?

A few feet in the air jumping for joy and high-fiving Russell at our home.

How do you feel about our local government?

Our local government is facing a lot of varied challenges, but I am confident that they will overcome them.

Where is your favourite place to go on the South Coast?

I have a few favourite spots: where Russell and I got married at The Estuary [Country Hotel] in Port Edward, Oribi Gorge for the views, Aliwal Shoal for the sharks and diverse marine life, and Mtwalume where our folks live.

Which song best defines you?

Under the Sea by the Little Mermaid.

What do you look for in a partner?

Strength of character, leadership, integrity and a big heart — all of the things that I found in my husband.

What is the biggest problem facing the world today?

People everywhere seem to be on the take without considering the future. As a result our people, animals and environment are suffering. We all need to think about tomorrow and do what we can to minimise our impact on the planet. I am a firm believer in recycling, eating sustainable food (especially seafood) and seeing what can be done to roll a stone out of someone else’s way.

Sharks or Bulls?

Are you kidding me! Currie Cup 2010 winners the Sharks, of course! Also proud of the way they supported Cansa this season.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Settled on the South Coast, running my PR business, and if we are blessed with children, having one or two surf groms (young surfer) running around.

Who is your local hero and why?

This may sound incredibly clichéd, but my husband Russell. He does a lot for the local community. He recently kitted the Umgababa cricket team out with all of his own cricket gear and is a great ambassador for our region.

How do you make the most of this beautiful area?

Every single morning before doing the ECR marine and angling report, I take a beach sunrise photo which I post on Twitter and Facebook for others to enjoy. After that I go for a surf, beach walk, swim, dive or horse ride depending on the conditions. I never take a day on the South Coast for granted!

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