Durban — After cancelling the Durban Annual Motor Expo (DAME) at the last minute, on Sunday morning, creator Jayshree Parasuramen has expressed her reasons for doing so.
DAME was scheduled to take place during the weekend but in an unexpected turn, Parasuramen called it off.
The women-empowered motor expo was going to be held at the Durban ICC between July 28 and 30 from 9am to 8pm.
On Thursday morning, the DAME event was still being promoted but in the afternoon, DAME said: “I wish to inform you that the DAME event has been cancelled/postponed due to unforeseen circumstances. Rest assured that I will communicate directly with each and every one of you soonest. Our sincere apologies. I will be in touch soon.”
Reacting to the cancellation, this is what Facebook users said:
Salomee Kisten said: “That’s nonsense. Why rave about it on ECR?”
Preston Govender said: “Wasted our time and effort.”
Muhammed Tootla said: “Pathetic, extremely unprofessional would like to know aside from our refunds who’s going to reimburse for all the costs incurred for preparation. Our team is highly disappointed.”
Lynton Smit said: “Some people have come down from JHB for this event. Will you reimburse the flight tickets and accommodation? Why will the vendor support you again?”
Mohammed Altaaf Devraj said: “Absolute nonsense. We threw massive amounts of money into prepping the car for this show only to get there and no one knew what was going on, no organisers around, no feedback. This thing was a joke.”
On its Facebook page, Mobile Electronics Competition Association (MECA Africa) said there has been, and still continues to be, a lot of backlash regarding refunding of monies, and other expenses incurred by individuals getting ready for this event.
“We genuinely get this. We are in the same boat,” MECA Africa said.
“Whilst MECA and Kwazulunatal Foundation were the main contact companies for the event on the sound comp, and show and shine sides respectively, we were only service providers!!!”
Venting on his Facebook page, Ashen Ramadhar said that while hosting many other local car show events gave this event the utmost priority.
“As an ordinary person I sacrificed my personal time, and money to market this event by placing paid adverts on this Facebook platform,” Ramadhar said.
“I was even promised to be sponsored trophies for this event, but up until two weeks ago I was informed that I had to make my own arrangements for trophies for this said event, however, this did not stop me from still doing my best to make sure that my side of this event rocked.
“I was told I never marketed the event properly although I wasn’t the host of this event, yet from the day that I knew we were doing this event one will see on my personal profile as well as my two other Facebook pages that I have been constantly marketing this event,” he continued.
“Up until recently I was told 85 Show and Shine is not enough, so I went on and via the assistance of friends who always have my back, I managed to successfully confirm and bring in a total of 120 Show and Shine entries. For me this was my personal best… and I was so looking forward to this event only to realise that at the last minute, this event was cancelled. Reason still unknown to us being the key roleplayers in this event.
After the backlash, in a Facebook post on Sunday morning, Parasuramen said that she created DAME to inspire, motivate, and rebuild KwaZulu-Natal to give struggling businesses hope.
She clarified that it was not an East Coast Radio event.
“Unfortunately, I decided to cancel the event in the 19th hour due to the lack of funding. Perhaps it was a poor decision,” Parasuramen said.
“When my back was against the wall, I could’ve easily taken the money from a corrupt headline sponsor. I chose not to because my conscience mattered more than brands or money.”
Parasuramen said that she believes in hope, mankind and bringing people together with one love.
She said we can make a difference in our province and country if we stand together. When people divide and conquer, it festers greed and corruption.
“The reality and decision made by me to cancel DAME was not an easy one. I'm personally gutted but I need to put my emotions aside as I have thousands of people to answer to. It's a difficult bullet to bite and I intend to lead by example. I am a woman of integrity and I will always stand by truth,” Parasuramen said.
“There is damage control to be done and refunds made to exhibitors who booked directly with me (DAME) with signed contracts.”
She said that the biggest sponsor was a supportive businessman whose name or logo was never mentioned in anything DAME. The businessman and many others trusted her wholeheartedly, even those who did not spend but believed in hope.
“I gave them a reason to doubt me by cancelling this event. I can go on telling you or talking to you... But I know my truth and only I can fix any scandal and repercussions of me cancelling a big event,” Parasuramen said.
“As the event organiser I am taking responsibility and accountability for my vision of KZN. I still live in hope and know I can fix this.”
She added that social media platforms can be like sensational news and rather distasteful at this very moment, “especially with regard to my name and a brand I created. If you know me, then you will understand and know that integrity and giving back is who I am.”
She said that she will not panic or lose hope even if she is losing the war because she believes in hope and she knows that there will be another sunrise.
“I am sincerely sorry for cancelling DAME. I needed to do what was right and face the reality of my decision. I am in no way hiding or running. Stand strong team DAME,” Parasuramen concluded.
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