Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Yes. There's Hlaudi skies, but the professionalism of Eon de Vos soars above it all.

I fly a lot. And every so often I hear Eon de Vos as I did tonight on my British Airways flight back from Johannesburg to Cape Town on flight BA6407.

And the very moment I hear the brilliant (and still brilliant) former SABC presenter's name over the intercom as the flight's captain (as I've done many times before this evening), I always just know and again knew that it was going to be a great flight.

Sitting in seat 15A, staring out out the window as Eon de Vos spoke in in his crip, clear, fully audible and incredibly well-articulated voice, I thought of how this aviation lover and airplane captain should have, could have, been still in broadcasting. Because he's a total evergreen pro.

At the same time I thought of the SABC's matricless liar and acting chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng who has and continues to tarnish the name and reputation of the once formidable SABC.

I thought of how he should never have been appointed in broadcasting - or at least not with long term mentorship and training over many years. He should definitely never have risen from doing radio bits at the SABC to the level of acting COO.

(But that's apparently what's possible with a special recognition certificate from the University of the North's QwaQwa campus.)

Eon de Vos. Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

On the one hand there's the one person's whose voice is so great and incredible that an experience and product and service you pay for, you instantly trust and like and admire. Amazing is the British Airways flight on which Eon de Vos is your captain.

On the other hand there's the one person who has done such a lot of damage and is so ill-suited in my personal opinion, that the product and service you pay for (the SABC), that you instantly almost want to reject, think less of, and want to laugh at it in scorn. (Because it could be great, but it's not.)

Sadly Eon de Vos is not on nor in television anymore.

And yet, just like the very first Radio&TV Dagboek magazine I had my dad buy just after we got our first TV set in the 1970's because it had Eon de Vos on the cover, he still has the power to make you genuinely like his world.

He makes you feel as if you want to be a part of it, as if whatever he is doing is a fantasy that's elusive yet almost attainable. That he enjoys what he do, that it is a pleasure to provide a service to other people, and that it makes the world - pardon the beauty queen talk - a better place.

On my flight I wondered how many people Hlaudi Motsoeneng  makes feel that they want to be a part of the SABC. I wondered how many people Hlaudi Motsoeneng inspires to want to become venture into and to become a part of this magnificent fantasy which is very hard work but which is also wonderful and is called broadcasting.

I wonder if Hlaudi Motsoeneng ever thinks that what he has done at the SABC (and to the SABC) has truly made it better. I wonder if Hlaudi Motsoeneng truly thinks that the SABC - as it is today - is helping to make the world and South Africa a better place.

For every incredible disappointment like Hlaudi Motsoeneng - people in positions they have no real right in holding - thankfully there's also evergreen professionals like Eon de Vos who stood and forever will stand the test of time.

Hlaudi skies eventually pass. Not even the biggest Cumulus cloud lasts forever.

Who and what does endure are people who recognise that trust is earned, that public faith in your institution, your service, your flight of fancy or grandeur and in you, is meticulously build up over a long time through consistency, accountability, great service, and when you are able to truthfully, clearly, and openly talk to people.

Maybe Hlaudi will one day take a flight on an Eon De Vos plane.

And hear and experience what actual consistent professionalism over decades really is and looks like.