Respect time

27 September 2019 | Columns

I am a very impatient person and at almost every event I attend my patience gets tested. It is almost like they do it on purpose. One thing Namibian event organisers are excellent at is not starting on time, it's almost like a foreign concept to them.

You probably know this already but in this column I want to re-emphasise the importance of respecting other people's time, as well as your own. Fashionably late is a term I first heard when I started being a journalist a few years ago. I have no idea how it came about, but as my friends explained it to me, no one wants to be the first person to show up at an event. Besides, the organisers are often running around doing last-minute things, so giving them a little extra time is appreciated.

Often at times, some journalists would get to the venue at the stipulated time but the doors have to be shut so that organisers can finish their preparations. For me, this is so unprofessional and I do not know why Namibians in entertainment have normalised it. It is one thing not to care about your time, but it's another not to care about others.

You set a time because you want to start and finish at a certain time. If you delay the start it is automatic that you will finish late. This could mean that you delay us from getting to the next event on time, or worse, we end up missing it completely. I have covered concerts where artists were initially told to perform for 15 minutes but they end up performing for only five minutes because the event was delayed and the main act (headliner) has to come on. Music fans do not only pay to see the main act perform, they pay for the entire line-up, thus every artist on the line-up needs to get the time they deserve and this can be achieved by being on time.

It is not only about event organisers though, journalists, artists and the fans are equally guilty too. There are times event organisers have to delay starting on time because journalists from a certain media house still need to get to the venue, and I hate that so much. And the organisers deem them so important, that everyone has to wait. There are also times when artists show up late for interviews which is another thing I hate about my job – having to wait for an artist when we clearly agreed on a time. In the same light, there are times when artists have to delay starting performances on time because they have to wait for the venue to fill up, as they do not want to perform for an empty arena.

Offering an apology is not enough when you arrive half-an-hour late. It doesn't help that you always apologise for starting late. What we need to do is change our behaviour and start respecting time. Let us do away with the tendency of being too cool to be on time.

[email protected]; @MichaelMKAY on Twitter