Jamaica wins big at South Africa’s annual diplomatic fair

Left to right: Mr. John Clarke, Minister Counsellor in JHC Pretoria, High Commissioner Spencer, Mrs. Refilwe Nyathi, Specialist, International Relations Unit of the City of Tshwane

Left to right: Mr. John Clarke, Minister Counsellor in JHC Pretoria, High Commissioner Cheryl Spencer, Mrs. Refilwe Nyathi, Specialist, International Relations Unit of the City of Tshwane

The Jamaican High Commission in Pretoria walked away with the top prize for the Most Authentic Stall at the Annual Diplomatic Fair held at the grounds of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, on Saturday 31 October 2015. This award is the second highest of those granted by the organisers – the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the City of Tshwane (Pretoria) and is the award sponsored by the Mayor of the City of Tshwane.

A patron expressing appreciation for Bob Marley

A patron expressing appreciation for Bob Marley

The Diplomatic Fair is one of the key events on South Africa’s calendar and is held every year to allow the 134 Embassies and High Commissions, as well as International Organizations, based in South Africa, to showcase their history, culture, food and provide information on trade, investment and other opportunities in their countries. As it is also intended to educate the ordinary South African citizen about the diversity of countries, it is a free event, open to the public. Along with the most Authentic, Stalls are judged on, inter alia, the most Informative, the most flavourful, the most interactive and the most entertaining.

H.E. Cheryl Spencer, Jamaican High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa receiving the award on behalf of the High Commission from Ms. Nomthandazo Maseko of the City of Tshwane. Looking on from left to right are the Acting Mayor of Tshwane, Ms. Nozipho Tyobeka-Makeke and the Acting Speaker of the City of Tshwane, Ms. Refilwe Kekana

H.E. Cheryl Spencer, Jamaican High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa receiving the award on behalf of the High Commission from Ms. Nomthandazo Maseko of the City of Tshwane. Looking on from left to right are the Acting Mayor of Tshwane, Ms. Nozipho Tyobeka-Makeke and the Acting Speaker of the City of Tshwane, Ms. Refilwe Kekana

Jamaica’s Stall featured product samples, wide ranging information on Jamaican cuisine, complete with photographs of prepared Jamaican dishes as well as on Jamaica’s economy, with emphasis on agriculture production (including references to marijuana and the amendment to the Dangerous Drugs Act). The latter which was intended to debunk the myths in South Africa surrounding the role of marijuana in Jamaica, achieved the desired result and sparked much interest and debate among those who visited the Stall.

In addition, patrons who flocked to the stall were able to sample the “Jerk Chicken Special” – a meal of Jerk chicken, festival, a slice of rum cake and rum punch–OnPointPress.net–

3 Tips to regain focus and achieve unmet 2015 goals

The difference between success and failure is often the impetus to take the first step.

The difference between success and failure is often the impetus to take the first step.

By Carmen Glover

For many individuals, life involves trying to balance a myriad of responsibilities–at work, at home and in the community. Too often, this forces us to put goals that are important to us on the back burner, as we try to navigate coping with more pressing matters.

But as we enter into the month of November, this is an opportune time to reflect on what we have achieved so far this year, and make plans to achieve the unmet goals we set for 2015. Have you found yourself in a rut, unable to move forward? Here are three quick tips to reclaim your balance, recapture your focus and tackle unmet goals:

It is easy to list goals but much harder to stay focused enough, all year long, and achieve them.

It is easy to list goals but much harder to stay focused enough, all year-long, and achieve them.

Celebrate your Achievements: We are usually our own worst critics. Sometimes we beat ourselves down mercilessly, making it difficult for us to feel inspired. Instead of focusing on the list of things that you failed to achieve so far this year, write down all the goals you have achieved. Reflect on your journey towards achieving those goals. Celebrate those achievements. Savor the sense of pride that you feel for accomplishing those goals despite the obstacles that your faced along the way.

Revisit your Action Plan: Now that you are able to accept the reality that you achieved some of your goals, ask yourself what other goals you would like to achieve before the end of the year and why that is important to your psyche. Explore strategies that you will use to get to the finish line. Write down different paths you can take, various supportive networks you will tap and the first step you are prepared to take, today, to move the plan forward.

The key to achieving goals consistently is being focused, so that if you take detours or long breaks in between, you can find follow the signs towards the finish line.

The key to achieving goals consistently is being focused, so that if you take detours or long breaks in between, you can find follow the signs towards the finish line.

Break the Goals into Smaller Steps: Do not become consumed with the range of tasks you need to complete in order to fully achieve the goal. It is more practical to break the goals into a series of small steps, and celebrate each achievement as it is made. For instance, if the goal is to improve your credit score by 50 points but you refuse to look at your account statements or speak to your creditors, a great first step would be to gather all your statements into one pile.

A second step could entail calling all of the creditors to get an accurate sum of what is owed. A third step would be to write down the balance owed to each creditor. A final step could be making a decision to speak with a financial advisor to get some valuable guidance, speaking directly to the creditors to explain your situation and develop a payment plan, or hiring a credit repair company to consolidate your debts and establish a reasonable repayment schedule. None of these methods will improve your credit score immediately, but they will provide the foundation that will change your financial picture incrementally, which in turn will improve your credit profile, over time.

So stop procrastinating. Take the first step today towards achieving your goals. Stay focused. You can do it!–OnPointPress.net–