A private letter to Saay

Africa Night Belgium

Hello Saay,

I have taken the C out of your name to protect you a bit. But you know yourself! First let me warn you. This is going to be a long letter. If you are not patient or you need to do other things in the next 20 minutes, then you should just read this later!

You don’t seem to us like someone who would read our blog. But just in the off chance you or anyone around you is a reader, this is our reply to your tantrums of last Saturday. You were clearly on fire. You said a lot without pausing to listen. Maybe you were high on something. Maybe you were low on something. But since we were brought up to respect our fellow human beings, we feel we need to address some of the objects of your unfounded anger. Or maybe you were just being a drama queen. In any case, here we go!

Looking at you, you have passed that age at least 18 years ago. But the way you talked and behaved (without any provocation) last Saturday proves the point that age is really just a number.

What were the points you were trying to make during your juvenile tantrums?

  1. That it was an injustice that you had to pay €12 when you came in at 02:00 hours.
  2. That we should not have stopped the show at 04:00!

The basis of any interaction (and/or transaction) is based on some silent or written agreements. To demand respect, you need to give respect. So let’s take on your 2 points.

  1. The greatest injustice to you was done by yourself! You had a chance to reserve your ticket online but you chose not to. You could have bought the same ticket for €8.80 or €10.00 but you chose to come to the gate to pay cash. This even though we have been saying/writing/announcing for 3 months now that people have to reserve their tickets online! Even in the Facebook event and the flyer for March 2018 it was stated in big letters! You chose the more expensive route. That is an injustice! The fee remains €10.00. It shall remain so. Unless of course you chose to pay at the gate! We don’t need the extra hassles of the €2.00 surcharge for paying at the gate. But at a point we have to draw a line. We told the guests 2 months ago that in March we would start drawing that line! We have gone out of our way to make sure our guests go through as less hassles as possible while paying online. We have A) Made sure you can reserve the tickets whenever it is convenient for you. If you buy it early you even pay less, namely €8.80 and if the early tickets are sold out, you could just reserve the regular €10.00 tickets. B) We have made it that you could reserve your ticket online till 30 minutes before Africa Night ends. This is so that you only reserve your tickets online if you are 100% certain that you are coming! C) We have made it so that you don’t need to print out anything if you don’t want to or don’t have a printer. Just bring your smartphone with the ticket in it or just scan the barcode to your smartphone and we will do the rest!

  1. Africa Night Belgium started in September 2017. The times have always been 23:00 -04:00 hours. You know that! You have been there before. It is your choice to come at 02:00 hours thereby missing out on 3 hours of fun. We cannot because of your lateness change the times to suit you. We are happy people enjoy Africa Night so much they want some more. But if you come on time you will have some more. On the other hand, one of the reasons we stop at the time we always stop is because of people like you who become wilder as the night goes on. Respect means protecting you against yourself before you do the wrong things because of whatever you have taken too much or less off as the night becomes day. At 04:00 you can still go home and make the best of your Sunday! If the club closes at 06:00 you will show up at 04:00 and demand that it closes at 08:00 because you came late. It does not work that way. We have been organising Africa Night for 20 years now. Our concept is different. You can’t compare it with any other. We are proud to be the longest running monthly African party organisers in Europe. If we are doing a bad work, we would have lasted maybe 6 months which is the maximum African party organisers last. We have learnt from the mistakes of others and we are there to give you a place to relax and chill at least once a month.

Which brings us to the next point; Respect. Before you lost your head twice last Saturday, a couple of people already spoke with us about the online reservation situation. One of them, Keita, you might know. Keita pulled us aside and told us why many people might be reluctant to reserve their tickets online. Some of his friends have discussed this with him. He went on to give us a list of the objections some of the people in his circle have. He did this in a friendly and respectful manner which made it easy to have a conversation with him. We were able to explain the reasons behind the decision to switch to online bookings. He might not have agreed with everything we discussed but at least he was able to pick a few things that he did not know before. That is respect.

We have explained this several times also in blogs and in our Facebook group. But especially for you we will explain them here again. The major reason is because of our personal security. The decision to switch has been in the works for 1 year but it was accelerated because some people decided to attack/rob us twice with knives after an Africa Night thinking we make/carry large sums of money! We don’t! We are sure it doesn’t worry you, but we are someone’s mamas and papas. We are someone’s wives and husbands, someone’s daughters and sons, someone’s friends too. We love organising Africa Night but we don’t think it is worth losing our lives for. The society is becoming cashless we need to go with this trend before it is too late. There were guys who were there last Saturday who explained their situation and why online booking might be a challenge. We were able to suggest ways for them to solve this problem. The cost of organising Africa Night increases every year while the fee stays the same. We have no intention of increasing the fee. But we have to look at other ways to make other areas more efficient. One of them is the new method of payment. It will save us some banking and administrative costs in the long run so that we can continue to offer the guests improved services without needing to raise the fees.

You might not know this, but paying online costs us as organisers a lot of money.  For every ticket you book we have to pay a transaction cost to the organisation that handles the payment. So from a business point of view, it does not always make sense. However we value your health and ours more than anything else. If we want to be mean or think of our own pockets, we would have made the guests pay the transaction costs above the price of the ticket. But we get our kick from seeing people having fun on the dance floor like last Saturday and as always in ADIA. But while the client is king/queen, he/she should never be a tyrant or a bully like you were last Saturday. We are there to make your night a great one. If you are not satisfied with certain things, you can approach us as human beings and take the wool out of your ears so that you can also hear when others are trying to talk and explain things to you!

At the end of your tirade and anger, you promised that you were never coming again and you would tell all of your friends never to come again. You even said you were going to spread the news that Africa Night is a bad on Facebook. The funny thing was while you were saying that, we were thinking “Yes! Please God, let him do all of that!” The fact is simple. People like you are not why we organise Africa Night. We will be the happiest if you would at least have a bit of honour and never show your face again. If your friends are like you, let then go to other parties, get drunk, make trouble and do the things you guys do the best. But Africa Night is not your place to be. We are glad you gave us the permission not to let you in ever if you make the mistake of showing your face at the door. This is a promise we will help you to keep. When people like you stay away, the hall is free for all the real party lovers like Keita and their partners to come and have fun. Africa Night is a place where women come alone. It is where young and older adults come to have fun. It is a place where we don’t care about your sex, religion, race, age, status etc. It is a place where we treat each other with respect. We joke, we laugh but above all, we dance! We need to keep that space free of people like you!

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When people like you stay away, several more people with good intentions will be free to go and enjoy themselves. We have 20 years of experience with people like you who think they are bigger than Africa Night. They always back the wrong horses. Damn! Even we as the organisers are always grateful to be able to entertain our guests. We never have it in our head to think we are God almighty! People of your ilk need to go back to the basis and learn what “respect” is all about.

So in ending this letter to you Saay, we would like to thank all of the great people who came last Saturday in spite of the freezing temperature. Wow! You were all great. The DJ was on fire and the dance floor was kept busy. Thanks to the new people who came. Thanks to the regular guests too. Let us meet in April again to dance all our worries away. And oh yes, there will be food! 🙂

Respectfully yours,

Africa Night Productions