Scene City: Money never sleeps in business land

2012-10-27 09:12

I don’t think that businesspeople know how to relax.

Even when they’re supposed to let their hair down and enjoy an evening – like the grand finale of the All Africa Business Leaders Awards 2012 – they still look like they are wheeling and dealing. I guess it’s true that money never sleeps.

The event took place at the Vodadome in Midrand on Thursday.

It was teeming with CEOs of African companies, such as Funke Opeke of Lagos’ Main One Cable Company, who won the businesswoman of the year award.

There was also the Land Bank’s Phakamani Hadebe, KPMG’s Moses Kgosana, Jennifer Barassa from Kenya’s Top Image and Jannie Mouton from PSG.

Mouton, who won the entrepreneur of the year award, shared that his wife bought a “very expensive dress” for the occasion.

“It cost more than my first salary,” he joked.

Mrs Mouton must have died of embarrassment.

The event emcees were CNBC Africa senior anchor Alishia Seckam, along with former Top Billing presenter Nico Panagio, who looked very James Bond in his white tuxedo jacket.

He proved to be engaging in front of the tough crowd and managed to elicit a few chuckles when he talked about difficult names such as his own unshortened Panagiotopoulos.

“I found it’s especially difficult for people to remember or pronounce my last name. I usually advise people to remember it this way: Panty, G-string, topless,” he quipped.

The government was there in the form of Gauteng Economic Development MEC Nkosiphendule Kolisile, who was the keynote speaker. His speech focused on fostering the spirit of innovation, a point reinforced by co-founder and vice-chairman of CNBC Africa Rakesh Wahi.

The entertainment included the Afro Tenors, Magdalene Minnaar and my personal highlight, Thapelo Mofokeng. For an old man, he is sprightly when dancing to his cover versions of Sinatra hits.

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