I was once told I would hate the NGO world. I laughed and said I still had to try it out. I tried it out. I hated it. It made me a whole lot more cynical than many people could have thought possible.
Eg. Before I even worked for money-sucking cryptic humanity-manipulating NGOs (yes, yes, not ALL of them are), I once received one of those emails saying some kid had some lung/prostate/third arm issue & if you sent the mail on a dollar would be donated to her. I hit REPLY ALL & said that if you are so keen to help kids, just mail me and I will give you various charities’ numbers & bank details. My sender friend was NOT impressed. Ah well. Live in reality, I replied.
ANYWAY… last night my cynicism was out in full force. And where better to unleash it than onto those unsuspecting quarto fromagio Top Billing presenters and their excerpts. I caught their piece on the George Charity Ball. I wanted to be ill just looking at all the decadence that went into that one night, while cheery old Mike praised it for being “voted the 5th top annual social event IN THE WORLD”.
Please can someone sit me down & explain the concept of a Charity Ball to me.
Spend millions to raise thousands to distribute to less than a few hundred poor kids.
Venue being the millionaire golf club. Did Faincourt charge for the venue or donate it free & then give their usual rental fee to the Welfare kids?
Ball gowns being made by top SA designers. Did Mr Kluk & the gang design these free of charge & donate the usual charges to the George Welfare?
Centrepieces made of flowers frozen in water/ice. But not any old water. All water had to be purified. Did the decorator include the kids in this fun exercise, or did he spend all his energy & time doing this on his own. Bet the kids would have far more appreciated his team spending their time on the kids. And how much did those tulips cost? Nothing, obviously, this is for charity!
You get my point. Right?
So much time, money, energy spent on celebs who already are privileged with time, money, energy.
Straight after this item was an ad for this whole Night Of The Stars thing happening this month. I don’t know too much about it. I just know Ronan Keeting has been talking a lot on the radio, about how to stay humble. My cynicism ran amuck here too.
If I have figured this correctly, it is the public that are expected to fork out loads of our hard earned cash on tickets. Does all of our cash go straight to the intended beneficiaries?? Or is it like paying our taxes, and a few guys along the way take a few gold pennies for “admin” fees, for necessary armour-plated Mercs, for lunches at top Sandton restaurants…well politicians and charity workers do need to eat right!
But let alone this…what with this being a charity event, I am assuming these uber-wealthy celebs are paying for their own flights. Their own accommodation. Their own admin fees. No cost is being left up to the intended charity or well-meaning organisers to fork out. (Not if my NGO experience has anything to say about it.)
Surely this is right?? Surely already ridiculously-rich celebs are not benefiting off charity events taking place in third world countries.
Then I went back to reading my book, “The State of Africa”.
This weekend, give the lady cleaning the disgusting club bathrooms a tip, and a chat, and your leftover 4-star restaurant meal to the car guard or the guy at a robot. If nothing else, it will abate my (hypocritical) cynicism for awhile.
Now I am going back to listening to sweet Bob singing about how every little thing's gonna be aaaalright....this is my message to youhooohooooo....singin donne worreee, cuzz everee leetle thing is gonna be allraaaght