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New parents on BritishAir’s executive club membership, fly better

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British Airways’ loyalty programme, The Executive Club is unlocking even more benefits and flexibility to deliver greater loyalty rewards and value to its members. If you are a new parent and on the executive membership list, then this would excite you.

Executive Club Members who may be travelling less than usual as they’re on maternity, paternity or adoption leave will now be offered a ‘status freeze’. This means their membership will be put on hold for a year, so they don’t lose their hard-earned Executive Club Bronze, Silver or Gold status – even if they take fewer or no flights.

As a further bonus, parents who take the status freeze and enrol their children as part of their household account will receive a welcome gift of 1,000 Avios for doing so.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ chairman and CEO, said: “A huge number of our customers are parents so we’re extending their benefits for maternity and paternity leave and offering a gift of 1,000 Avios for their new baby. Just because they’re not flying for a while, doesn’t mean their loyalty and new arrival shouldn’t be celebrated and rewarded!”

The British Airways Executive club recently won best European frequently flyer programme and best FFP benefit for lounge access at the FlyerTalk 2017 Europe and Africa awards.

Executive Club members collect Avios, the Club currency, to spend on things like flights and cabin upgrades. Members also earn Tier Points, moving them through the Executive Club tiers to unlock more benefits.

Silver and Gold members of the British Airways Executive Club can gain access to airport lounges with complimentary premium food and drink and quiet areas to relax or work.

There are many ways to earn Avios through hotel bookings, car hire and even every day shopping. In the last year alone the British Airways Avios eStore has helped Executive members earn over 268 million Avios, that’s enough to fly 2,680 times in Club World to New York.

British Airways will be investing four hundred million pounds in Club World with an emphasis on improved catering and sleep. At Heathrow a First Wing check-in area with direct security and lounge access has opened, and lounges around the airline’s network are being revamped and improved.

The Club Europe cabin has been introduced on UK domestic services and recent catering improvements have been introduced in Club Europe as well as across all long haul cabins.

British Airways customers can look forward to the latest generation Wi-Fi across British Airways’ long-haul and short-haul fleets over the next two years.

Metrosmag,sa ( inspired by Mzansi Lifestyle ) Mzansi is rich in Lifestyle, a nation diverse in race and culture. Mzansi Magazine explores the rich heritage , versitile culture and the celebrations of Life in Mzansi. Metros Magazine, SA is South Africa's informative Metropolitan lifestlye magazine with all the fresh and important news in Mzansi.

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A mix of marriages

Metrosmag,SA

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So many ways to say ‘I do”

Weddings are one of the most universal traditions on the planet yet they are celebrated differently by everyone. Tying the knot in any culture comes with a list of different rituals and traditions and, family dynamics aside, there are many more things to consider and prepare for, especially here in South Africa – with our eleven official languages, chiefs, dominees and gogos to consider, it can be tough task marrying two cultures without offending Aunty Mabel.

Despite the umpteen different cultures or religions you may have to incorporate into your ceremony, it is important not to forget to showcase your own personalities – after all, it is ‘your’ day and it is exactly your differences, and similarities, that brought you together that should now be celebrated – for instance, playing your favourite song and teaching Chief Nkomu how to do the shuffle, or giving personalized chocolates as wedding favours instead of the traditional bag of sugar-coated almonds.

And you don’t have to do it all at the ceremony and reception – after an open, honest chat with the family, consider spreading the different traditions. You could plan the ceremony around the bride’s heritage and turn the reception into a celebration of the groom’s.   Or, host the bachelor or bachelorette party incorporating an element from each other’s customs.  It’s the perfect occasion to try umqombothi (beer), used to celebrate the home-coming of young men in Xhosa culture, or the Lebanese tradition of zaffe, a rowdy escort of music, dancing and shouting by the groom’s friends and family.  For the bride there is the Japanese ritual of pouring saki to reaffirm friendships or the time-honoured tradition of giving “something borrowed, something blue”.

Catering: A little more challenging is serving a traditional meal, because in many cases the menu is limited by the venue, so if a customized menu is not possible try incorporating signature drinks like saki for a Japanese reception or chai instead of coffee for an Indian wedding.

The cake: Traditional Norwegian wedding cakes are made with bread and cheese, and Russian couples share a wedding sweetbread called karavaya which is decorated with wheat for prosperity and interlocking rings for faithfulness, or you could just go with what’s currently on trend.

Wedding invitations: Another way to respect a different culture – for example, the Jewish tradition – is to send a two-sided invitation, with one side written in Hebrew and the other in English.  Couples are favoring digital invites these days where guests can rsvp on line.

Banqueting manager at BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal, Dumisane Zondo, says they have hosted several multi-cultural weddings specifically between Christian and Zulu faiths and culture, and the dynamic has resulted in some of the most creative and special occasions.  A lovely add-on in the Zulu tradition is when the bride gives out blankets to her new family after the wedding, in a ceremony that is known as ukwaba.  Zondo adds, “My favourite part is the dance-off between the families of the bride and groom.”

Some interesting wedding traditions –

As well as exchanging rings, African tradition sees the couple have their wrists tied together by grass or material.

In China, brides pick not one wedding dress, but three!

Before an Indian bride gets married, her family and friends decorate her hands with elaborate designs called menhdi.

Bridesmaids were originally used as decoy brides – through having their dresses similar and standing next to the bride, the spirits who they believed would sabotage the newly-weds’ happiness would be confused.

During the entire wedding day, Congolese brides and grooms are not allowed to smile.

In the Phillipines, the bride and groom release a pair of white doves.

Some sort of leap over a broom is also popular in a number of cultures.

But, when it comes to love and weddings, there are no borders, so enjoy the preparation leading up to your ‘I do’, ‘Ngiyavuma’, ‘Je fais’ or ‘Main karata hoon’ and remember to have fun!

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Small Business Indaba to focus on manufacturing sector

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SMMEs are a driving force in South Africa’s social and economic transition and have attracted increasing attention because of their labour-absorptive capacity and potential to grow and stimulate the economy.

More than a third of young South Africans in the labour force are unemployed. This statistic creates a significant gap that can be filled by the development of small business professionals and entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector. SMMEs are reported to resolve the persistent problems of insufficient employment growth while being highly efficient in flexibly serving increasingly segmented consumer markets.

Understanding the small manufacturer’s point of view on manufacturing issues requires an understanding of the markets for their products, along with many common issues of interest to small manufacturers that need to be addressed. The Small Business Indaba provides a platform for SMME’s to connect with the big players in South Africa’s manufacturing industries as well as an opportunity to learn how to grow and manage their businesses.

Leveraging on the success and partnership of the National Manufacturing Indaba, the Small Business Indaba – complete with nationally recognised manufacturing experts, government policymakers and innovators – provides the small business owner with informative keynotes, interactive panels, one-on-one brainstorming and hands-on networking – everything that the manufacturing entrepreneur needs to address their changing business landscapes.

The Small Business Indaba will take place on the 26th June 2017 at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni alongside the Manufacturing Indaba with the main objective being to provide manufacturing entrepreneurs and SMMEs with the tools, networking opportunities and an unparalleled platform to establish their businesses for success and grow their manufacturing operations to the next level of innovation and job creation.

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Race Recovery Tips with Caroline Wöstmann

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Powerade’s ‘Power to Beat Your Best’ aims to provide athletes with the tools to achieve a personal best time and will be working with a number of South Africa’s foremost running, cycling and training experts to challenge athletes to beat their best in 2017.

Multiple Two Oceans Marathon and Comrades Marathon champion Caroline Wöstmann shares her tips on race recovery:

Like all things in life, finding the balance between training and recovery is incredibly important for a runner. When you lose that balance, you often end up injured. You will often find yourself looking at your training load and thinking “well, it is the same as it was last year, so I should manage it again”. But you do not take into account what is going on in the rest of your life and the effect that has on your body and you forget about rest and recovery. Training is only part of the formula.

If you are having a stressful week, rather back off on training – do less mileage or no high intensity speed work because your body can only deal with so much. Physical training is physical stress – if you have emotional stress as well, your body will not recover properly. If you are struggling to fall asleep at night or are waking up during the night, it is a sign you have too much stress. Listen to your body.

The scope of your recovery depends on how much your training load is. You do not have to do as intensive recovery if you are not training as intensely. Making sure you get enough sleep is important. If you are training 200km a week, you should ideally have a nap during the day, after getting a solid 8 hours at night. I take a 1-hour nap in the day between my morning and evening sessions.

The second most important thing after sleep, is nutrition. If you are expending huge amounts of energy and missing a meal, your body does not have anything to rebuild with. You need to replace what you are expending, being careful not to eat too much, which can mean you put on weight. I find it is important that I eat something immediately after my session – ideally within 15-45 minutes.

In an ideal world, you will be able to take some time off work to focus on training and recovery. If you have big goals, taking a couple of weeks off after your heaviest training load means you will have more time to recover – and the time away should lower all the other stresses in your life, too.

Having an ice bath after a quality session really helps recovery, but I would only recommend doing that after a hard race or a long run, because it is not fun for anyone. It is only for when you are pushing your body to extremes. The optimal time seems to be immersing yourself for 10 minutes, at 8-12 degrees. Sports massage works well too – a 30-60 min massage every week loosens up the muscles.

Tapering is important to the recovery process too. Once you’ve done all the training, tapering reduces the load and gives the body more time to recover – and recovery makes you stronger.

For more information on ‘Power to Beat Your Best’ visit www.powerade.co.za , the official hydration partner of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

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