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17 January 2019, Cape Town office

Organising committee

Val de Koker, Ehrane Holderness, Nerissa Ventura, Nabeelah Masoed, Nizaam Adams, Brendon Arendse and Adrian Skea.

The launch committee was made up of a member of each discipline represented in the Western Cape and held its first meeting on 30 November 2018, with two follow up meetings before the launch.

The committee, with the input of the Cape Town HYPE members, put collection boxes around the office for all the old UWP clothing and stationery, which has been donated to various schools. The offices were painted during the December break and the reception and canteen areas were given a facelift to reflect the new changes. External signage including parking and the office google locations were also updated.

The big day

In the days leading up to the event, there was much excitement and anticipation from staff, everyone trying to guess what the day would hold.

Walking into a freshly painted office, balloons in shades of blue – there was a jovial atmosphere as 21 members of staff in Cape Town got ready to celebrate the launch of Mariswe!

The first thing seen by staff was balloons in the foyer and on the stairway leading up to the main boardroom. Customised Mason Jars branded “Sip Sip Hooray” and filled with blue cocktails and mocktails were enjoyed as pre-drinks to the event. Staff, all dressed in blue and white, entered the boardroom on a white carpet with “Welcome to Mariswe” balloons on either side of the boardroom door and more Mariswe balloons inside.

Staff were greeted with mini-balloon baskets showcasing the new logo and spelling out the first letter and description of each discipline. A feast of canapes, drinks and dessert was ready to enjoy after the main programme.

One giant balloon aptly branded “2019 who will we be, pop me!” was positioned at the front of the room with the Mariswe canvas on an easel and blue ribbon ready to be cut to unveil our name.

Excitement mounted as employees gathered to say farewell to UWP and proudly announce the new Mariswe name. With laughter and good vibes, glasses were raised to a new season of amazing possibilities.

The formal programme was launched by Brendon Arendse as master of ceremonies, followed by a welcome speech by Western Cape manager Adrian Skea. Nizaam Adams took us through the multimedia presentation on the name change and Salegha Parker unveiled the Mariswe canvas and cut the ribbon.

A celebratory toast was led by Riaan Viviers and finally the reveal balloon was popped by Riyaaz Nieftagodien. The programme ended with refreshments.

Our own video, written by Val de Koker and directed by Adrian Skea, illustrates a typical day in the life of a UWP employee and ends with two mascots wearing newly branded Mariswe clothing entering the scene as UWP slowly fades out of the shots.

Everyone was resoundingly positive about the event and the general feeling at the launch was excitement, renewed hope for the new journey we are embarking upon and the spirit of ubuntu.