Not your average JoeDate Released: Thu, 11 December 2014 10:37 +0200
By Ettione Ferreira
At the heart of the Africa Media Matrix I found Joe Alfers sitting quietly in his office; the same office that will become an empty shell for the next few months. The School of JMS is losing not only our Technology Manager but a mentor; a visionary and a friend. Alfers closes his office door for the last time on Friday 11 December to embark on a new chapter as he will be joining his wife in Muscat, Oman.
Joe’s wife Helen has lived in Oman for the past seven years where she is a lecturer in English at a tertiary college. During July and August she comes to South Africa to live with her husband and in November and December Joe flies to Oman to live with her. “I can’t say that we never see each other, we see each other a lot – but it’s not ideal,” Alfers says.
My first reaction to his decision to move to an Arab country was news headlines flashing in my mind of Pierre Korkie, the South African hostage who died in Yemen at the hands of Al Qaeda. Joe however assures me that Oman is peaceful and safe, “The people are very friendly and the Sultan is exceptional. He has been ruling over the country for 45 years and has transformed it.” The geography of the country also sounds idyllic with parts desert and other parts with a landscape resembling the Eastern Cape’s mountains and green thicket, as Joe describes it. Oman sounds like a photographer’s playground which will certainly benefit Joe. Oman sounds like a photographer’s playground which will certainly benefit Joe. Photographer is an entire alter ego for Joe, a side of him which only his long-time colleagues and friends have encountered...