31 October 2005

Mingling with important people

This weekend I attended the First Lego League –event at the Century City in Cape Town. In the Lego League kids from different schools had built electronically controlled robots from the Lego blocks and had to programme these small machines to do certain tasks. While doing a feature from the event I ran into the Minister of Education in Western Cape province, Mr Cameron Dougmore.
The interview was an interesting one. Not for the reasons it was supposed to be, but for the fact that I had no idea who I was talking with. It is always a bit awkward to start interviewing a minister by asking “So, who were you again?”. But he understood the situation, me being a foreigner and all. I asked questions regarding the event that we were in as I was supposed to and he gave me nice, rather promotional and harmless, but nice answers.

If I would have known about this chance in beforehand my line of questions would have been very different. Given the chance to prepare questions I would have gotten in to the matters such as the run down schools in the poorer townships, inequality of state and private schooling, which as a Scandinavian I cannot understand and the security in the state schools. Once again my local connection, Shaqir, was talking to me how out of control some kids are and how that affects to the security of the others. Or how he felt that he should save money in order to get his daughter in the private school. His daughter, Aminah, is now two years old.

So, I did not ask any of these questions. We did not get into a chat about anything very interesting. At least he was impressed with the Lego robots. That is better than nothing, I reckon.

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