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Posted by on Mar 31, 2010 in BlaBla, Entertainment, Joburg, Life, Photography, Random, South Africa, Technology, Wheels | 1 comment

BlaBla Has An Ama-Zing Day with YMJG, Apple & Mini

The cover of our masterpiece As Voted mentioned recently, we were invited by the YMJG gang to enter a BlaBla Blog team into an Ama-Zing Race Day organised by the good folk at The Core Group/Apple iStore and Mini South Africa.

As requested, Team BlaBla (made up of Voted, Mrs. Voted and myself) arrived at the ultra fabulous Apple iStore on Sandton Drive mid-morning where we were met by Darrin Thomas of Penquin International, the man and team behind the You Make Joburg Great campaign.

On Your Marks…

After filling in the necessary indemnities and media releases, we met the lovely Taryn Hyam from The Core Group’s marketing department who gave us a quick presentation to outline the thinking behind the Ama-Zing Race days they have been running all over the country.

The race is a promotional campaign aimed at highlighting what a truly Ama-Zing country South Africa is. The images captured across the country are collected on the A-Z of ZA site, and used in the production of coffee table books.

Mike O’Shea from Mini SA then gave us a quick insight into the iconic Mini’s that would serve as wheels for the day before it was off to the adjoining parking garage with randomly selected keys in hand to discover which of the classic auto’s Team BlaBla would be using.

And as luck would have it, Kevin had grabbed the keys for the one that everyone wanted – the Ubber-Mini if you will: a stylingly sexy Mini Cooper S Convertible. Tricked out with an iPod Nano pre-loaded with groove-inducing SA tunes, the Cooper S is an ama-zing piece of engineering. The added bonus of being able to drop the top and let the glorious Highveld sunshine in made it that much better.

And Away They Go…

Off we Mini-ed then, Nikon Quikshots in hand, SA flags and YMJG boards and stickers aplenty, with a vague plan to grab as many pictures as we could in the couple of hours we had.

Our route took us out to the gob-smackingly huge Soccer City Stadium and SAFA House out at Nasrec. The stadium looks amazing, and work is furiously underway in the precinct area around it at the moment. It’s going to make a very impressive home for the 2010 World Cup.

Then onto the Crown Mines area, Gold Reef City and the Apartheid Museum where we YMJG-ed a couple of French visitors to pose for a picture, and hassled a coach load of tourists into giving us some lens time too.

The Newtown Precinct and Museum Africa was the next stop, where a group of City of Joburg/Newtown Project workers got their shot at glory. And their wheelbarrow somehow got tagged with a YMJG sticker in the process!

Take a Sho’t Left…

The road then took us through Braamfontein to Constitution Hill and the Old Fort Museum from where we tried to grab a shot of the gathering storm clouds and a view of the man-made forest that covers the suburbs below the city.

Winding through Parktown back towards Sandton, the last stop on our ama-zing journey was at Zoo Lake where a visit to Moyos had Kev and myself playing with wire tractors, and Nats quietly pleased that the roof of the Cooper S needed to be put up due to the drizzle that had started falling. The wind swept style she was developing in the back seat was getting out of hand it seems!

Returning to the Apple iStore, we were given a quick intro to the Mac Book to use and, together with the great iPhoto application, were tasked to make up a photobook of our best pictures from the day’s trip.

[nggallery id=1 template=carousel images=26]

An Apple A Day Makes It All Okay…

Refreshments of an amber nature – d’oh, learning juice! – helped ease the learning curve, and we were quickly on our way to producing a photographic masterpiece. The software is amazingly intuitive and user friendly, the Mac’s performance clearly suited to this type of graphically intensive workload, and overall, an absolute pleasure to work with.

Besides the fantastic end product, the whole experience just made me even more determined to “iApplefy” my life as much as possible, as soon as possible. The numbers on some of the price tags in the iStore are, sadly, just a little out of reach still. But it’ll happen!

Team BlaBla didn’t win the set of Nano’s up for grabs for the Best Photobook, but we sure had a great day out with the convertible Cooper S, got to play with some really nifty Apple products, visited parts of Jozi that make us immensely proud to be South Africans, and met some of the people that truly Make Joburg Great. And we got to put faces to names, and made a couple of new friends along the way too.

Swell, Shot & Sweet Bru & Brudette – All With a Capital ‘S’

All-in-all, a fantastic day. Huge thanks to Bru Darrin for the invite, to Brudette Taryn and all the rest of the Apple and Core Group staff at the Sandton iStore yesterday who took such good care of us, and of course to Bru Mike and Mini SA for giving Kevin the opportunity to discover just what that ‘S’ in Mini Cooper S really stands for.

Voted discovers what the 'S' in Mini Cooper S stands for!

[You can see the results of our photographic field trip in the slideshow and gallery on this post. The additional 120-odd pictures that we didn’t use will also eventually get onto our Flickr page.]

1 Comment


  1. - [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by The BlaBla Blog, Greg Pillhofer. Greg Pillhofer said: BlaBla Has An Ama-Zing…
  2. Friday Photo 27: Fly the Flag Friday | The BlaBla Blog - [...] every News24 blog page with the South African flag, here’s another picture taken during our Ama-Zing Race outing [...]

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