On 14 December 2018, GTconsult gathered for their work year-end event. It was the first time in years that all the staff from Durban, Cape Town and England came together for some downtime and to meet each other.

For weeks building up to the event, all the planning and preparation was being done behind the scenes. The idea for this get-together was to appreciate each other after a long and busy year and to give everyone a chance to get to know each other. 

Eager anticipation

Early on Friday 14 December, the Cape Town team departed to Durban. Team Durban was also up bright and early and in the office eagerly awaiting their colleagues. The atmosphere was charged with excitement and energy. Once Cape Town arrived and everyone met each other, the mood was set for the entire weekend. Everyone knew that we were going to have the best weekend ever!

After getting in their morning coffees and chatting with each other, the team departed from our Hillcrest branch and left for the picturesque Lavender Trout Farm in Nottingham Road, KZN. The drive seemed to go by in minutes due to the excitement in the air. Upon arrival, everyone helped offload the cars and pick their rooms and then we all had a quick lunch before our first activity began. 

Let the games begin

We kicked things off with The Indiana Jones challenge. Everyone was separated into four teams and competed against each other to prove who is better, and to annoy each other with bragging rights for the weekend. My team, Team One, won simply because we’re that awesome (well done Nadine, Scotty, John, Qiniso, and Sandy). WE ARE. WE ARE. WE ARE NUMBER ONE! 

The highlight of the weekend, for me at least, was the Come Dine With Me challenge. We had decided early on that we would not be going to any restaurants for our meals. We would prepare, entertain and cook ourselves and we wanted to settle something that has been going on for far too long; is Durban or Cape Town the better team?

On Friday night, Cape Town was tasked with Come Dine With Me and that entailed, preparing the meal, entertaining your guests and making sure they always have a drink in their hand. Masterchef, John Torrance, headed up the kitchen and was busy cooking up a storm whilst the rest of team Cape Town assisted him. Their drink of choice was a G&T… we see what you did there!

When it was time to eat, John and his team really blew our minds! He prepared a delicious spicy Beef Trinchado as a starter, succulent Lamb Cutlets on a bed of Cauliflower Mash served with Zucchini on the side and for dessert, Peppermint Crisp (Brad’s favorite). Once that was served, we (Team Durban) knew that we needed to up our game!

Team Cape Town’s entertainment had us in stitches. From having a bearded lady wearing shoes (Moppie), John and Michelle belly dancing, How Louw can you go with Louw and Corne’, and Arno trying to pick up chicks, it was hilarious. But of course, they brought out the big guns, Kyle Champion performed fire poi and had us on the edge of our seats! All in all, Cape Town really brought their A game!

Deep connections

After Come Dine with Me, everyone relaxed and chatted. It was really great to connect with each other and speak to some team members that we may have never spoken to before. 

Saturday was an early start to the day. We kicked things off with massages or airsoft. Everyone had a choice of where they wanted to go. The entire day was filled with activities including Go Karting, Laser Tag, and Minute to Win It. 

Saturday evening was Team Durban’s turn for Come Dine With Me and after Cape Town turn, we knew we had to go big or go home. We decided to serve a Steak and Veg Kebab as a starter. Our drink of choice was a Strawberry & Blueberry Mojito. Our Masterchefs. Annie and Nadine went all out and made an amazing Chicken Curry and Butter Chicken. Complete with salad, basmati rice, and naan bread. The ice cream man, Brad, made us chocolate fudge and triple chocolate ice cream.

For our entertainment, we decided to go with a classic…karaoke. Brad started things off with rocking out with the “Summer of ’69” and everyone else was surprised just how tone deaf we really are!*** The highlight of the night was Sandy surprising everyone and dancing in her bikini to Gangnam Style. ***

Our weekend was filled with a lot of activities, fun, laughter, and traveling, but above everything, it was great to meet and speak to the people who you work with face to face, instead of through a screen. Not everything went to plan and we had our challenges here and there but that didn’t stop us from making the most of everything.

We would all like to thank Brad, Craig, and Annie for such an awesome weekend together and we’re really looking forward to New York next year. Nudge-nudge. 

GTconsult has their say

Here is what some of our team had to say:

“The weekend was great and it was especially good to hang out with everyone and get to know each other outside of meetings! The year has been a long one and very busy with much change, and 2019 is going to be a goodie.” 

  • ** Scott McCann, Technical Account Manager**

“It was a great experience mixing with the CT team and getting to know the people we don’t get to see every day.”

  • Nadine Augustine, Operations Manager

“The weekend was great. I believe seeing each other outside of our comfort zones, was a very good idea. Everyone, that has gone away this past weekend are a lot closer because of it. Also, another thing I picked up is the amount of respect everyone has for one another.  Thank you, everyone, especially Brad and Craig for the great weekend. 2018 flew by,  as the pace was very fast this year. I believe we have a very good understanding now where our weaknesses are and where we can improve. 2019 will be OUR (GT) Year.”

  • Arno Bothma, Umlindi Team Leader

“In the past 6 years that I have been working for the company 2018 has most definitely been the one that I have noticed the most transformation. Our outlook on signing up new clients, the technical platform transforming and development in business overall has improved so much. Obviously, everything isn’t always rosy and there have been some challenges around overall staff moral in Cape Town but I think the underlying issue has been dealt with and we in a better position to build on that in the coming year.

For me personally the weekend was brilliant in many ways around the activities we did together but I think the most enjoyable was just spending time with all the different colleagues at GT and seeing another side of them.”

  • Kenny Myburgh, IT Director

“The year-end function was a smash hit despite multiple slip-ups because being the awesome company that we are we can roll with the punches and make anything work no matter what.

This year has been a long one filled with change and growth, hardship and blessings but an overall heading towards greater things. The new Hillcrest office was an incredible addition to GT and has made a massive difference in our day to day lives. Also, the GT staff have grown closer and are becoming better at those communication boundaries and all in all I see a bright year ahead.”

  • Kyle Farr, Umlindi Research and Development

“I had a really enjoyable weekend with lots of good food and company! It was great to see everyone in a more relaxed state of mind.”

  • Jarad Humphry, SharePoint Creator

“This year has been a marathon. We have a strong core team at least, to bring it all to together.”

  • Kyle Champion, Software Developer

“I thoroughly enjoyed my weekend, it was the first team building event I have ever been on. All of us got on so well and we had lots of fun and laughter and good food. Thanks to Brad, Annie, and Jordan for organizing the event, and all the staff for making the event so wonderful.”

  • Sandy Stewart, Accounts Administrator

“With little to no mobile signal, we actually enjoyed each other’s company (not that we don’t in general), instead of being on our phones. 1 of the best year ends that I have experienced, since starting at GT over 4 years ago (although all of them were good fun) The year behind was tough sometimes, but here we are, ready to tackle 2019.”

  • Adriaan ‘Moppie’ Steyn, Umlindi Regional Manager