The Witness Hilton Arts Festival were kind enough to invite me to do two lectures as part of their program this year, wonderful to do talks just on my doorstep. Never having attended the Festival before, we had no idea what to expect. It was wonderful! We were stunned at the number of stalls, shows, lectures, food, etc on offer, and the hordes of visitors. It is professionally organized in every detail, and what a venue for such an event. Hilton College really is a showpiece – the grounds and facilities are superlative, and so very generous to host the Festival. Both my lectures were sold out, and some amusement was provided by friends who went to the main lecture theatre anticipating my lecture, and finding to their horror they were in the wrong place and could not get out! In the afternoon we “slipped” a few extra people in, who were unable to get tickets, and the talks were very well received. It really was such a wonderful day out, and we very much hope to be invited back next year. Well Done to all who make the Festival such an amazing event. Who would ever have believed that stories of Shackleton in Antarctica and Rorke’s Drift would see me flying to Lagos, Nigeria to present these tales in person? A local corporate group, having heard these stories in Johannesburg, very kindly invited me to Nigeria as their guest. Nothing could prepare me for the airport. Economy passengers are allowed 60kg of baggage to Nigeria, and fridges, TV’s, etc seemed perfectly acceptable, until they were launched down the carousels in Lagos! There are only two carousels, and I very much doubt any valuable baggage survived the vagaries of arrival. The queues were interminable with nobody seemingly knowing quite who was to stand where, or what to do. Our passports were opened by one official, perused by a second, then stamped by a third without any eye contact whatsoever. My beloved stick was last off the plane, only 90 minutes after arrival, which I was reminded is not as long as usual….. The atmosphere within the airport building can be equated with Dar es Salaam-a sauna sans humidity, until you step outside! There the assault on the senses really begins, as a city holding 20 million souls awaits you expectantly. With soldiers directing the traffic (seemingly?) one is cajoled to a vehicle and whisked away. Immediately upon arrival one becomes aware that the only road worthiness requirement in Lagos is a violently loud horn, which is to be blown almost permanently. The traffic and lawlessness beggars belief – little wonder expatriates may not drive in Lagos. Every empty square inch of ground finds hundreds of parked vehicles in various states of disrepair-some being worked upon, others destined as a breakwater or underwater reef. EKO Atlantic is reclaiming 10 million square meters of land from the sea, for a modern, new city – Google it, you will be stunned! I vowed I would be very slow to complain about our potholes again, after the craters of Lagos – the land is so flat that most roads flood after every rainstorm. Oh, I nearly forgot – I was there to do three talks. Shackleton provided much food for thought in terms of human management and leadership, and Rorke’s Drift thoroughly entertained 200 guests in a rather unconventional way. Lagos is a seething mass of humanity, sprawling over lagoons and coastal flats. A land where generators are huge business, and opportunity beckons. As a population of traders, if one comes off the poorer in any given transaction, they see it as good trading.. The preconception regarding Nigerians being scamsters requires careful revision, and even greater circumspection! An exciting, beguiling place the ex pats appear to love, and one I would love to visit again.