Authors Posts by Zimbeni Mphande

Zimbeni Mphande

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I am nonconformist creative writer who lives an unconventional life. I am well-versed in content creation and have substantial experience in Search Engine Optimisation. I currently write for The Bizniz Media as a contributing editor.

Uyinene Mrwetyan’s legacy remembered by civil society organisations through anti-GBV campaign

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Lest we forget, gender-based violence (GBV) is a widespread problem in South Africa. This women’s month, various organisations have come together to take a stand against the violence through an advocacy campaign.

The campaign underpins the memory of Uyinene Mrwetyana, who was vocal about the various social ills such as patriarchal oppression in society.

She was a UCT student when her life was unexpectedly cut short in August 2019 by the sort of patriarchal oppression she was against.

Her passing caused an uproar which reverberated around the country and even internationally, alerting President Cyril Ramaphosa to the urgency with which the violence against women should be met from a parliamentary perspective.

That is why the government has partnered with Multichoice, People Opposing Woman Abuse (POWA), the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation and Bomb Commercials to speak out against GBV.

The campaign straddles the themes of social justice, compassion and honesty; some of the values of the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation which was founded in commemoration of its namesake.

It gives one hope that it is possible to rid our society of the violence by confronting GBV head-on and reflecting how proximate it is to us all.

The production house, Bomb Commercials was tasked with translating the message into thought-provoking visuals by creating “a piece that would not only get us talking, but also get us thinking,” says director Stephina Zwane, who wrote and directed the commercial.

The company got the picture and drove the message home by delicately placing the idea of an ideal domestic situation side-by-side the extremes of violence without making the commercial too graphic.

“In portraying a normal life, I wanted to juxtapose with a life of brokenness that is so often present in homes, but we don’t always speak about.”

The seriousness of GBV was personalised by setting the scene in a house – an environment we can all relate to.

“It shows us what happens behind closed doors of some households. It shows the aftermath of the violence against women in a setting we all know.”

Having written a poem after Uyinene’s tragic passing in 2019, Zwane was presented the opportunity to further detail her message through film.

“I had to challenge myself in how best to do this in the most impactful way. I knew I didn’t want to put the majority of the work in using women to raise awareness on their own struggle. I needed… men to also take responsibility and acknowledge their role in the fight against GBV.”

The commercial was shot during lockdown in Zwane’s first time on set during the pandemic and says; “it was a bit scary at first being around everyone and having to follow strict social distancing rules. But once all of us got the hang of it, it was smooth sailing.”

Zwane notes the aim of the commercial was not necessarily to stand out from the crowd of the other gender-based violence commercials but simply continuing to raise awareness through adding to the discussion.

“We are all different and we are moved to action by different pieces of art,” she says.

Zwane says she will know the campaign is a success when gender-based violence is completely eradicated in our communities and is encouraged by the increasing discussions being had by men on the issue.

“What is encouraging is that through social media, I have had some guys reach out after seeing the commercial, to add their support to the cause and share their thoughts about what it was like having to see an image that represents them as a perpetrator,” she says.

The campaign acknowledges the pertinence of the GBV discussion and recognises the vision of completely ridding our society of GBV requires a long-term systematic approach.

The commercial is nonetheless progress toward that shared vison.

This vision is shared by Multichoice Group CEO, Calvo Mawela, who sees the campaign as an opportunity “to educate and mobilise citizens in order to eradicate acts of violence against women and children.”

The campaign is certainly worthy of Uyinene Mrwetyana’s memory according to the Foundation, which was founded for advocacy initiatives such as this one.

“We are driven to honour the name of Uyinene and keep her spirit alive by ensuring that no woman or child ever suffers the fate that she did,” says Foundation Managing Director, Masimbulele Buso.

POWA is also pleased with the campaign and the reach it can garner through collaborating with its partners.

We welcome the opportunity to reach millions of households across the country with a message that should be so obvious that we should not have to utter it: any form of violence is wrong – but violence against women and children must end immediately,” says Mary Makgaba, Chief Executive Officer of POWA.

Profile: Cycle 4 Change founder Lindsay van der Byl encourages youth to read

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According to a study conducted by the University of Pretoria, South African primary school learners in grades 4 and 5 ranked last out of 50 countries in literacy levels.

Lindsay van der Byl is the social activist and founder of the Cycle 4 Change project which seeks to redress the findings of the study by raising awareness of the importance of reading to addressing the country’s social ills.

He considers the low literacy levels a national crisis and is thus helping to donate books to poor communities in all of the country’s nine provinces throughout a period of nine years.

He raises awareness of the campaign by cycling 1450 km from the Union Buildings in Pretoria to Parliament in Cape Town, engaging communities along the way on the importance of reading.

The Cycle 4 Change campaign aims to donate a book for every gruelling km traveled.

Lindsay van der Byl cycling to Cape Town from Pretoria. Picture: supplied

There are many other ways to encourage children to read but van der Byl chose cycling because it is aligned with his love for physical activity.

He says increasing literacy levels among the youth is the best chance the country has to improvement and believes “reading is only second to oxygen.”

“For any and every problem that you encounter, there’s a solution in a book and I believe once we start becoming a reading nation, we’re just going to be a force to be reckoned with.”

“If we can assist in increasing the literacy levels, half of our problems are solved,” he says.

Van der Byl was an alcoholic in his youth before he decided to live a more positive life. He hasn’t looked back since and has been proudly sober for 20 years.

This hasn’t stopped alcoholic brands from trying (in vein) to partner up with the Cycle 4 Change initiative.

“We believe it’s counter-productive for us to be wanting to inspire the youth and getting them to change their lives yet we’re taking money from the same sources that are actually killing our community.”

The biggest supporters of the initiative thus far have been the National Library of South Africa and St. Johns College.

Sibusiso Buthelezi is as an IT technician at St. Johns College and the only other person permitted to attempt the arduous journey with van der Byl for safety reasons.

“We generally don’t encourage people to do the full distance with us because it’s not as easy as it looks,” he warns.

Van der Byl says one would need “at least a year of cycling to be fit for the Cycle 4 Change journey,” and a whole lot of mental toughness as “physical fitness counts 40% of the journey and the other 60% is mental.”

He recounts occasions when he nearly lost the tips of his fingers due to frostbite in Parys and when he almost got robbed of his bike near the Huguenot Tunnel that separates Paarl from Worcester in the Western Cape. 

Luckily, Danie Erasmus, a police officer dissuaded the would-be robbers from taking his bicycle before escorting van der Byl a portion of the journey to ensure he was safe.

Van der Byl remains in contact with the police officer as he does with everyone he meets along his journey.

“That’s the beauty of Cycle 4 Change, it has taken me on bicycle to places where I would have never ever thought I would go and it has given me families,” he says.

Van der Byl’s efforts to encourage young people to read were dully recognised when he was elected as a Lead SA hero in 2017 followed by Media24 who named him as one of the ‘100 Young Mandelas of the Future’ in a commemoration of former president, Nelson Mandela’s centenary in 2018.

“I was elected as one of the Lead SA heroes for July 2017 and from there I went on to do the YALI course where I also became a member of the alumnae representative council,” he says.

These sorts of acknowledgments are fulfilling for van der Byl as he sees them as opportunities to prove to people that anything is possible.

Van der Byl credits DJ Sbu, who he considers his mentor, for encouraging him to get the campaign up and running and to document his experiences in a book.

“I’ve documented an entire trip, from how I was feeling, the weather, the cold, the challenges that I had on the road. It’s like a journal with the origins of where the idea came from.”

“With [Dj Sbu] being my mentor and him being an integral part of what makes Cycle 4 Change tick, I just thought it was appropriate for him to do the forward [of my book],” he says.

Van der Byl ’s favourite book is Kasinomics by GG Alcock which he says is “the real hustlers bible” and believes is essential reading for young people who want to venture into entrepreneurship.

Van der Byl is frustrated by the lockdown restrictions which have restricted his ability to partake in physical activity and carry out the duties of the campaign.

“Covid hasn’t only affected Cycle 4 Change as a movement that’s pushing for literacy change and trying to deal with the scourge of illiteracy, it has also meant that … gyms are closed.”

This year, because of the pandemic, Cycle 4 Change has decided to alter their approach slightly.

“The plan was to do a single ride and to go from Joburg to Cape Town and have it as a special one. So, we’re not starting at the Union Buildings, we’re starting at the Mandela house … and then end at Table Mountain.”

What started out as a social campaign has turned Van der Byl into an inspiration for hundreds of people across South Africa to not only read more in the hopes of bettering themselves and their nation, but to try their hand at cycling too.

Find out more on the Cycle 4 Change campaign and how you can get involved to donate books here.

All the Fuss About The Fussy Vegan

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The Fussy Vegan is a budding, plant-based restaurant business which offers patrons a variety of vegan products with low environmental impacts.

Founded by Werner Prinsloo in 2018, The Fussy Vegan caters to a growing market of health-conscious people.  

One of its branches is sandwiched between Hillcrest and Jan Smuts avenues in Johannesburg’s leafy northern suburbs.

The Fussy Vegan is the archetypal business entity at the forefront of progressive food that fosters environmental consciousness in Johannesburg.

What is Veganism?

Veganism can be summarised as a way of life which attempts to eliminate all forms of ecological exploitation in consumption habits for ethical, health or environmental reasons or a blend of all three.

The culture has existed for centuries but has particularly been gathering mainstream momentum recently with endorsements from public figures and experts.

There are still many misconceptions about what it means to be vegan such as the notion that it is expensive, which is simply untrue as consuming plant-based food is far more sustainable than is widely perceived.

There are different categories of vegans, one of which comprises ethical vegans that believe all creatures have the right to life and therefore refrain from disrupting conscious beings’ lives by consuming their flesh, drinking their milk or wearing their skin.

Veganism can be summarised as a way of life which attempts to eliminate all forms of ecological exploitation in consumption habits for ethical, health or environmental reasons or a blend of all three.

Some people are attracted to veganism for its health benefits which can for example reduce the risk of contracting diseases such as cancer, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease to name a few. (1 , 2 , 3 , 4 ,)

Environmental vegans choose to avoid animal products because of the detrimental impact they have on the environment. For instance, animal farmers abandon sustainable farming practices to export meat which erodes land causing climate change, poverty and malnutrition.  (Armstrong, Botzler, 2003)

The Fussy Vegan management

Paul is the manager at The Fussy Vegan’s Blairegowrie branch. To Paul, veganism is synonymous with compassion; compassion not only for people, but for animals and the environment.

Paul is an environmental activist and manager of The Fussy Vegan’s Blairgowrie branch Source: Instagram

This makes him an environmental vegan who feels The Fussy Vegan is the perfect match for his personality. “For me, The Fussy Vegan is just one of those things I think is a dream come true you know, just being actively involved in something this big.”

“I feel like there’s not a lot of people who actively support the environment, communities, the people around them and I truly believe The Fussy Vegan represents those values.”

It hardly seems coincidental that Paul is in charge of operations at the restaurant as he demonstrates the right sort of temperament needed to interact with the business’s stakeholders.

Besides being friendly and helpful, Paul is resourceful and is frustrated by the overall disregard many people have for their environment.

“It always used to bother me to see a lot plastic around me [and] to see a lot of resources being wasted and a lot of animals being killed.”

“I just never used to understand that but when I came around to The Fussy Vegan, that’s where I got most of my education of being a vegan.”

With regards to the food items on offer, Paul has a hard time picking a favourite, vouching instead for the quality of all the options which include delectable plant-based burgers, sandwiches, bowls, sides, drinks and much more.

The Kimchi & Avo Burger : Mushroom and lentil patty topped with avo, Kimchi and gouchujang mayo. Source: Instamgram

The Fussy Vegan has devised an interactive online ordering system to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the coronavirus in their stores.

“We have come up with this online ordering system, where a person can just order before they come around. It is so convenient because it really interacts with the customer and the software that we’re using is super friendly”.

Paul has high hopes for the future of The Fussy Vegan. “I feel like in a couple of years we are probably going to branch out to so many people because a lot of people have been making those requests. They love the food that we make, they love what we stand for and what we do as well.”

The bottom line

It is forecast that by the year 2025 the vegan meat market will be worth over $7.5 billion and that only 40% of the world’s population will consume meat by 2040. The markets for vegan cheese and baby food are also growing considerably. (5)

The personal benefits that can be derived from being a vegan are many and range from psychosocial to physiological wellbeing.

If you are feeling insecure about your immune system’s ability to combat terminal diseases you might want to give it a boost by converting to a vegan lifestyle.

The economic benefits of consuming affordable food during a time of financial uncertainty should also be considered here.

Whatever your motivations, Paul encourages anyone considering converting to veganism to visit their stores and have a chat with him or any of the other vegans who work or hang around them because support is crucial to this way of life.

You can follow The Fussy Vegan on Instagram and Facebook. Make sure you hashtag #thefussyveganza .

Facebook in Need of Revised Vision and Mission?

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Facebook’s mission statement is vague and conspicuous in its failure to identify its customer base, how exactly it enacts its mission, how the organisation sets itself apart from other social media and its privacy policy. It also makes no mention of the organisation’s internal communications and how its employees feel about the work they do, or how the organisation envisions its future… if there will be a future post-Covid-19. Through researching what technology journalist David Kirkpatrick appropriately termed the Facebook Effect, the inner workings of the global tech company become slightly more comprehensible.

Facebook’s customers

Firstly, It would be highly beneficial for Facebook to specify who exactly its customers are instead of broadly referring to them as “people” (Facebook Investor Relations, 2020). According to Marketing strategists, companies need to have a core customer base if they are going to survive long into the future. (Cant, 2013). For example the organisation could cater to individuals between the ages of 13 to 35 based on market segmentation or analyses. It is important for organisations such as Facebook to identify their core demographics and communicate directly to them through their mission statement and ultimately their services, thus ensuring synchronicity between the mission and the execution of its strategy.

Specifics of the organisational operations

Facebook’s mission statement neglects to shed light on exactly how the organisation gives “people the power to build community.” (Facebook Investor Relations, 2020) What devices are most compatible with Facebook and are their systems safe from cyber warfare? It is more likely that Facebook gives people the power to build a virtual community of their personal information for the organisation’s private use. For example; their likes, dislikes, fears, location, occupation etc. “Facebook makes the personal data provided by users available to advertisers, in aggregated form, for its own commercial gain. It and its business partners learn a lot more about us, but in general we know far less about it and exactly how the company is using our data.” (Kirkpatrick, 2010) Facebook has recently been at the center of a data breech scandal where millions of users’ personal data were accessed by hackers. The subsequent communication by Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to stakeholders was inadequate to the sensitivity of the gross ethical violations. Zuckerberg said that the attackers were using Facebook developer APIs to obtain some information, such names addresses and related deep web data that’s linked to a user’s profile page.

Facebook has been mired in these sorts of privacy controversies dating back to “the News Feed in 2006, Beacon in 2007, the terms of service in early 2009 and the everyone privacy setting in late 2009,” (Kirkpatrick, 2010)  and will most likely come under more scrutiny from regulation authorities if it does not revise its strategies going forward. The everyone policy is a default setting which allows any Facebook user to see your information until you turn this feature off opposed to having it encrypted until the user chooses otherwise. Facebook strategists could have better managed the social issues involved in the scandal considering the accountability the organisation owes its various stakeholders, as well as its responsibility to the global community. Facebook suffered a significant public image decline as a result of the data breech scandal which has seen its young customers move to the organisation’s competitors such as Twitter and other sites. (Adams, 2019)

Facebook’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Facebook’s mission statement does not mention what it is that differentiates it from Twitter, Tik Tok and Snapchat. The lack of articulation of its USP speaks to Facebook’s ambiguity in its mission and could cause its customers to continue flocking to other similar mediums. The lack of a clear service also makes it difficult to determine what exactly they are offering. According to its 2019 financial statement, the organisation made more money from advertising ($20 736 000) in the fourth quarter ($31 2019) than it did from other operations ($346 000) (Facebook Investor Relations, 2020) arguably making it an advertising platform rather than a social platform for its users to “stay connected with friends and family” (Facebook Investor Relations, 2020).

Employee relations

It goes without saying that an organisation’s employees need to ‘buy into’ the organisation’s mission in order for the it to thrive. Facebook’s former employees, Chris Hughes, Alex Stamos, Mark Luckie and Chamath Palihapitiya however have “questioned the value and impact that their work has had on society.” (Aydin, 2019) Facebook cofounder, Chris Hughes, left the organisation after he called “for Facebook to be broken up.” (Aydin, 2019) After acquiring Instagram from founders Kevin Systom & Mike Krieger, Facebook began to make “changes to the service and staffing,” (Aydin, 2019) which led to the employees’ departure. Facebook’s former chief information security officer left the corporation after his promotion for “more disclosure around Russian interference of the platform,” (Aydin, 2019) was not received well by his colleagues. Another disgruntled Facebook employee, Mark Luckie, quit because of the company’s lack of diversity. “Facebook’s 2019 diversity report showed that only 3.8% of Facebook employees identified as black, with only 1.5% of technical employees identifying as black.” (Aydin, 2019) Chamath Palihapitiya, former VP of user growth, sited ““tremendous guilt” about the effect of social media on society,” as his reason for leaving Facebook. (Aydin, 2019)

Facebook’s future

Facebook’s future looks bleak at best and should perhaps be geared towards guaranteeing its dwindling number of users’ privacy as the world becomes increasingly interconnected and more transparent. Its mission statement is significantly lacking in this regard. Perhaps its board members should express this notion in a revised mission statement which better defines the organisation and what it aims to become going forward for example in the next 10 -15 years.  Kirkpartick suggests, “the need to successfully navigate the shoals of regulation will undoubtedly become a more pressing concern,” both for the company and its customers in the future. However, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s organisational vision of ““radical transparency”” (Kirkpatrick, 2010) and increasing exposure of information contradicts customers’ needs for safe and secure digital interactions. Facebook is likely, however, to increase traffic volumes to its site during  the COVID-19 pandemic when people seek valuable information and social interaction online instead of at their local hangouts because doing the latter might just end tragically.

 

Bibliography:

Kirkpatrick, D. (2010). The Facebook Effect. The United States of America:The Random House GroupLimited

Everything you need to know about Facebook’s data breach affecting 50m users

12 former Facebook insiders who ditched the company and are now outspoken critics

Facebook investor relations

U.S users are leaving Facebook by the millions

 

5 Ways to Improve Your Selfie Game

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By Zimbeni Mphande

A selfie is perhaps the 21st century’s most narcissistic from of self-worship. It involves taking pictures of one’s self, repeatedly, while posing. As straight forward as this may seem, selfies often turn out disastrously. Luckily, there are methods to the madness that involve 5 easy steps. These include; angles, timing, flash photography, grip and positioning your phone. (Broida, 2016)

Photogragh: Wu Yonging/Weibo

  1. Work your angles

Working your angles involves knowing which side of your face is the more aesthetically pleasing to the eye and angling your arm in a way that will allow you to capture your face to your liking. Of cause there are appearances that are less flattering and should be avoided if possible – like the dreaded double chin. The appearance of a double chin in your selfie is considered a selfie fail which can easily be avoided by stretching your arm “above your head, angled down towards your face(s).”  (Broida, 2016)

 

Photogragh: Segio Moraes/Reuters

  1. Timing is everything

Capturing the perfect selfie requires precision in the timing of when to press the shutter. Doing this while you’re moving will result in a blurry, unfocussed image. Fortunately, “most camera apps include the self timer option,” (Broida, 2016) which removes the burden of having to press the button manually and instead does it for you after a set time, allowing you to capture a still image.

 

Photogragh: Freepik.com

  1. Flash Photography

Some of the latest smart phones are equipped with “front facing LEDs,” because “more light equals better pictures.” (Broida, 2016) If your phone doesn’t have this feature, then you can illuminate your face by using “a rechargeable, self-powered LED fill light that plugs into your phone’s headphone jack.” (Broida, 2016)

  1. Get a good handle on your phone

You need to have a comfortable grip on your phone if you’re going to take good selfies. There are many accessories such as the selfie stick which “gives you a more comfortable way to hold the phone during selfies.” (Broida, 2016)

Photogragh: Freepik.com

 

  1. Positioning your phone

In order to take the perfect eye-level selfie, your phone needs to be perfectly positioned. Innovators have come up with countless inventions to help you do this. But perhaps the most thoughtful is the NanoHold; “a specially designed sticky-pad that adheres to the back of your phone or flat case.” (Broida, 2016) This allows the selfie taker to do away with the selfie stick by simply sticking their phone on a wall and simultaneously using the self-timer to take the perfect selfie.

With these 5 easy steps, there aren’t any excuses for dimly lit, underwhelming self-portraits that summon the shade-throwing trolls of Twitter or diminish your self-esteem. Use them now, thank me later.

The Rise of the Kasinomic Revolution

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By Zimbeni Mphande

Bomzi Lekgoro is an indomitably exuberant award-winning hairstylist whose passion lies not only in styling hair, but also in the arts, posterity and skills development. As a certified freelance hairdresser, Bomzi believes freelancing and creating your own ways of earning income is the best way of earning income because “you work on your own terms.” Although she has worked with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, Bomzi is more interested in giving back to communities like Soweto where she grew up, than she is in the bourgeois lifestyles of celebrities.

 

Photo of Bomzi Lekgoro by Bomzi Lekgoro Source: Instagram

I spoke to her during the wake of  Statistics South Africa’s  (StatsSA) Quarterly Labour Force Survey, according to which; the percentage of persons aged 15-34 who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) is a distressingly high 40,7%. As far as StatsSA is concerned, “4 in every 10 young people did not have a job” in the first quarter of 2019.

Author of Kasinomic Revolution and informal economy expert, GG Alcock says; instead of throwing more money into the formal sector and hoping for different results, those concerned with improving the statistics, should rather focus their attention on the informal economy if the country’s youth unemployment statistics are to improve. He also suggests that because informal sector jobs are largely unquantifiable, unemployment statistics don’t necessarily paint a full picture. “We need to recognise that informal jobs are jobs, not survival or subsistence businesses. If we recognise and measure this, we will have a very different unemployment rate and we will give more import to informal businesses.”

 

picture by Bomzi
Photo of Bomzi Lekgoro by Bomzi Lekgoro Source: Instagram

This is because “the informal economy is all around us and is not just selling ekasi,” as is often misinterpreted. The author indicates that young people are perfectly situated to take advantage of a misunderstood informal economy where a kota outlet “earns R100 000 a month” or a hair salon that “turns over R50 000 a month.”

This is where Bomzi’s career began – in a hair salon – and now she has set her sights on giving talks to young high school students who are interested in becoming freelance hairstylists and says she wants the government to help educate the youth “to do anything that you want based on your skill because skill is important. If you see a skill in a kid, enhance it at a very young age because if they have nothing else, they have their skill to help them with everyday life.”

The hairstylist goes on to mention that it is not a dream of hers to open her own hair salon but rather to go above and beyond that by opening a “hair institute”; an umbrella corporation that creates its own hair products. “There’s a difference between working in a hair salon and working on set. I saw how the two worlds are different and what I would like to get from this institute is teaching whoever is going to leave the salon coming into the industry, how things work, how to address things on set… cause some of the things that you do in a salon, you can’t do on set – it’s not a hair salon.”

 

Photo of Bomzi Lekgoro by Bomzi Lekgoro Source: Instagram

Bomzi’s anecdote is contrary to the common portrayal of the informal economy as a large group of unskilled workers, and shows that informal employment is complex and made up of various sectors. “It creates jobs and generates incomes at a scale far larger than it is credited.” (Kasinomics Revolution, 2018)

The world is moving towards a personalised working environment where the worker dictates the terms. Mr Alcock speaks about this (amongst other things) in his book. In order not to be overtaken by the KasiNomic Revolution all segments of both the formal and informal economy must adapt to this new philosophy.

GG Alcock is a self-proclaimed 3rd world kid
Source: Famous Publishing

He also predicts that if informal jobs were adequately tracked, “unemployment would probably be around 10 – 15%” and advises members of the youth to “collectively push government, municipalities, financial institutions and policy makers to recognise them, to fund them and to support their businesses.”

Follow Bomzi on Instagram @iambomzi and on Facebook: Hairdiaries With Bomzi

 

References

Available from:

(StatsSA.gov.za)

Alcock, GG. (2018). Kasinomic Revolution. South Africa: Tracy McDonald Publishers

 

 

 

Savanna Newcomer Showcase

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Savanna Premium Cider and the Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards have confirmed the 24 newcomer comedians who will take to the stage on Sunday 19 May 2019 to perform live comedy at the Savanna Newcomer Showcase at the Soweto Theatre.

 

And here they are (in no particular order):

 

Leah Jasmine Reed

Mfundo Mhlongo

Cyril Basker

Sandile Kunene

Molaba Mkhulu

Ludwe Obiya

Liyabona Dyulethe

Legadimana Maisela

Itumeleng Adolf Mohale

Emilio Tobias

Masibonge Mndende

Bradley van Wyk

Byron Davel

Ian Young

Robyn Dunlop

Kgomotso Kgatle

Waylene Beukes

Khaya Mdaka

Lindelani Sibanda

James Mahlokwane

Ntsika Ngini-Ngini

Reagen Allen

Ismail Moses

Eugene Vanacore

 

This group of funny men and women come from seven of our nine provinces, highlighting both Savanna’s and the Savanna CCA’s ongoing commitment to showcasing young talent from as many regions of the country as possible. There was an unprecedented number of registrations this year with a total of 35 newcomers in the category, with 11 additional comedians still eligible to be voted for but will not be performing on the night.

 

For many of these 24 comedians, Sunday will be their first time performing to a large live audience, and each will have five minutes to deliver their punchlines before being ushered off. The Savanna Newcomer Showcase was created to give these new comedians a stage to show the industry and comedy-loving public what they’re made of. Their performance will go some way towards the final industry voting, which will determine who the five nominees will be in this category.

 

In order to qualify for this award category, you must have a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 2 years *professional experience (Professional meaning you have been paid for your performance), performed 80% of your comedy work within South Africa over the last year and can supply 4 references from established comedian

 

Savanna Premium Cider will fly the comedians to Johannesburg and host them ahead of and during the Showcase.

 

Tsitsi Chiumya, who won last year’s Savanna Newcomer of the Year Award as well as a SAFTA and is a rising star in SA comedy, will be this year’s host.

 

The Savanna Newcomer Showcase takes place on Sunday 19 May 2019 at The Soweto Theatre, Johannesburg. The pre-show party with food, drink & DJ’s starts at 2.30pm, the show starts at 4.30pm.

 

It’s sold out every year, so hurry and book your seats.

 

Tickets are R250 and include a Savanna Premium Cider and a meal. Click here to get your tickets.

 

www.webtickets.co.za

www.sowetotheatre.com

 

No under 16’s. Alcohol not for sale to persons under the age of 18.

 

#SavannaCCA

 

Visit www.comicschoice.com for more information and to buy tickets to the 9th Annual South African Comics’ Choice Awards on Saturday 7 September 2019 at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City.

 

Event Information:

Event Info: www.comicschoice.co.za

Email: info@comicschoice.co.za

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sa.comics.choice.awards

Twitter: @Comics_Choice

 

 

 

                             ENDS

 

Issued on behalf of Savanna Premium Cider, Whacked Management and OGO Productions by One-eyed Jack. 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, INTERVIEWS & IMAGES PLEASE CONTACT

SIMONE CHIAVISTELLO ON:

 

Email: simone@one-eyedjack.co.za Mobile: +27 79 687 1597

The Bizniz Hustle: LynnDana Africa

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LynnDana Africa is an up-and-coming vocalist whose career seems promising. She auspiciously emerged into the underground with the release of her debut EP on 28 February 2019 titled The Journey. Her spellbinding good looks and magnetic personality make her stand out from the crowd and definitely worth celebrating. LynnDana, real name, Thobeka Lynnecoline Ndodana, who describes herself as an “all-round vocalist” admits although her introductory project is house music; she is willing to try afro soul or hip-hop in the future. In doing my bit to raise awareness of emerging talent, I sat down with the sultry songstress for our latest edition of the Bizniz Hustle.

Q: What inspired the name, LynnDana Africa?

A: Lynne Dana was created from my second and last names; Lynnecoline Ndodana. It was also inspired from the show Phineas and Ferb. I just thought it could be a nice name since it has some meaning attached to me. My son’s name is Jamaifrica so I just thought let me add the Africa since I’m also representing Africa.

Q: Do you have other talents besides music?

A: I wouldn’t say it’s a talent but I do a bit of [motivational] speaking. I think anyone who is a motivational speaker talks about things that they know to motivate people about something that they’ve experienced. I’m also a presenter who’s trying to get into the radio business.

Q: Would you say that your music inspires or helps people through their problems?

A: So far, yes. Because ‘The Journey’ is about love wars and love joys. So I would say yes. It would help someone who consciously listens to the message. I like to speak to people through music.

Q: Have you done any shows yet?

A: I do perform but I haven’t performed as much just yet, since this was my first drop. My last show was on the 10th December, in my area. It was just an acoustic vibe – like a live performance with a band. That was my last gig.

Q: How long have you been making music?

A: Officially, in terms of recording and everything, I started three years ago but music has always been a part of my life from a young age. So I’ve been singing since I was four and they [my parents] would tell me about an incident that happened while we were in Switzerland, where I was apparently dancing and singing on the table to a Shakira song that I liked

Q: That’s interesting. What were you doing in Switzerland?

A: My grandparents used to live in Switzerland cause my grandmother married a Swiss man. So that happened while we were there and got into the local newspaper. Apparently they kept a copy [of the newspaper] but it got lost in the mix-up of travelling because they travel a lot.

 Q: How does being an Aries help the creative process, if at all?

A: I don’t know… I recently started researching and trying to find out more about Zodiac signs and I’ve actually read a lot about Aries entertainers. There are quite a few of them that are creative and have achieved a lot. I really don’t know how it helps though.

Q: Who is your biggest musical influence?

A: I have quite a few, but right now I’m really inspired by Jill Scott and that’s the level where I’m aspiring to get to in terms of her writing… also Lauren Hill wasn’t much of an inspiration while growing up but I recently started listening to her music cause she is good. So right now, I’m at a place where I’m just listening to Jill Scott and Lauryn Hill, they’re the inspiration.

Q: Do you think it’s challenging to manoeuvre or make an impact in the industry?

A: Because I’ve just started, I wouldn’t say I’m challenged yet but I’m thinking in terms of bigger platforms and radio stations. Because I’m shooting my first music video very soon I’m thinking about how I’m going to get it on the music video channels. I had a discussion with some guys who have been having challenges in terms of money because we [artists] have to put in the money [ourselves]. I think that would be my biggest challenge. It takes a lot of money to get your work out there and I think the industry should support up-and-coming artists so that when you want them to play your music on the radio, you don’t have to bribe them. People just need to hear good music.

Q: Would you say that men are trash?

A: Not all men are trash. Some act like trash but some men are actually good – there are good men out there that are taking good care of women. My baby daddy has shown me the trashy side to men to a point where it became physically and emotionally abusive – it just became toxic. And that was especially unhealthy for our son. So, you know, some people just need to be cut off. I don’t think that all men are trash though. It’s only some men who decide to act or treat people like trash.

Q: Do you smoke weed?

A: Yes! I love weed. It helps my creative juices flow and it has been a part of my family ever since I was born. I think my parents were high when they made me.

Q: Are you spiritually inclined?

A: Yes. My spiritual gift requires me to pray a whole lot in order to activate the things that need to be activated with regards to the gift. So I just basically pray a lot. And apparently my career is all in my hands in terms of that. And if I don’t exercise it regularly then I’m not gonna go anywhere in life

Q: What is next for you?

A: Right now I’m just trying to perform as much as I can and then I’m shooting music videos for my EP cause its long overdue and I’ve been trying to get that together and now I think I’m getting a good team together.

 

Follow LynnDana’s journey on social media: @LynnDana Africa

Cape Town artist Twizz Alfa releases new single Save Mary

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Twizz Alfa – an independent hip hop artist from Cape Town – who rose to fame in 2014, released his new single, Save Mary to enthusiastic approval from his fans. The single, released late last year, made it to the top 5 list on Good Hope Fm.

The song talks about Twizz Alfa’s journey and overcoming obstacles. It was produced by Zino D, a famous producer from Cape Town who is well known for producing some songs for Nasty C.

The song gained a lot of airplay and attention from people because of its lyrical content, which had people “digging the meaning”.

After the song was released last year, Twizz Alfa worked with Upper Cut Films to produce a creative, well-curated video for the song.

The video was released on 11 March and is  gaining views. The video shows Twizz Alfa’s journey and he wants everyone who views it to have their own interpretation.

The VW VIVONATION festival IS BACK, bigger and BETTER then before!

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Vivonation, Festival, VW South Africa, AKA, Shane Eagle, Sho Modjozi, Kwesta, Music, Johannesburg

Volkswagen South Africa announces second instalment of hugely popular music and lifestyle festival

Volkswagen South Africa’s exciting two-day music and lifestyle festival, VW VIVOnation, is back! On Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 April 2019, VW VIVOnation is set to take over The Container Yard in downtown Johannesburg once again for an unmissable weekend of music, food, friends, high octane, tyre-screeching fun and new experiences, brought to you by the Volkswagen Polo Vivo.

“VW VIVOnation 2018 was a massive success, from the pre-launch awareness to the launch event itself. Not only did it help drive sales for the new Polo Vivo, it reinvigorated the love for Volkswagen and the Polo Vivo brands,” says Martina Biene, Head of the Volkswagen Brand.

“We are excited to be bringing fans of the brand another incredible VW VIVOnation, which also scooped a 2018 Loeries finalist nod for its innovation – and we plan to top that at this year’s festival.”

Vivonation, Festival, VW South Africa, AKA, Shane Eagle, Sho Modjozi, Kwesta, Music, Johannesburg

Last year, thousands of fans joined the VW VIVOnation and enjoyed the ride of the newly launched Polo Vivo, which was the number one selling passenger car model in South Africa in 2018. This year, we are doing it again. Over 100 containers will be moved around The Container Yard and repurposed to create a bespoke festival layout and experience. Fans will get to enjoy exhilarating rides around the Vivo autocross track and sing their hearts out to win a road trip in the Vivo lip sync competition. A few firsts will include a beach bar, lifestyle pop-up shops and a fresh selection of food and drinks stalls.

As a proudly South African brand, Polo Vivo has curated an exceptional line-up of the biggest and hottest names in music from across the country, all on one stage: AKA, Sho Madjozi, Shane Eagle, Busiswa, DJ Maphorisa, Rouge, DJ Kent, Simmy , Sjava, Mlindo The Vocalist and DJ Zan-D.

  • AKA. “The Supa Mega” is undeniably South Africa’s best rapper and entrepreneur who has spent the last six years pushing boundaries in the African hip-hop scene with a series of killer singles and albums.  The “Fela in Versace” hitmaker will perform at VW VIVOnation on both festival days.

 

  • Sho Madjozi. A prolific rapper and poet. Known for rapping in her native tongue Tsonga, she gained prominence after releasing the hit single “Huku” and was featured on Okmalumkoolkat’s “Ngiyashisa Bhe” and “Gqi”, as well as on DJ Maphorisa’s “Probleme”. Sho Madjozi released her debut album Limpopo Champions League in December 2018; it features guest appearance from Kwesta, pH, Makwa.

Vivonation, Festival, VW South Africa, AKA, Shane Eagle, Sho Modjozi, Kwesta, Music, Johannesburg

  • Shane Eagle. After recording for over a year and a half and pushing himself to spaces that no hip-hop artist dared to go, Shane Eagle delivered his long-awaited debut album “Yellow” which added a new dimension to the South African music industry. Shane Eagle also recently collaborated with Volkswagen for the new launch of Polo.

 

  • Busiswa. She gained public recognition as a feature on DJ Zinhle’s track, “My Name Is”, after being discovered by Oskido, Busiswa has since gone on to release hits such as “Ngoku” and “Lahla”. Busiswa released her debut album, Highly Flavoured in 2017.

 

  • DJ Maphorisa. As a record producer, he blends house music and Afropop, he has worked with and has received production credits from several local and international notable artists including Wizkid, Kwesta, Uhuru, Drake, Black Coffee, Major Lazer, Runtown, C4 Pedro Era Istrefi, among others.

 

  • Rouge is a new school rapper, hip-hop artist and author and is a multiple award winner. She won the “Best Female 2017” at the South African Hip-Hop Awards. SAFTAs winner 2018 – “Best Micro budget film” (Film: New Era Sessions) as well as SAMAs winner 2018 – Best Video of The Year.

 

  • DJ Kent. One of South Africa’s most sought after producers and club DJ’s. He has also taken the clubbing experience to radio by enjoying radio residency as a mix DJ for just over ten years, gracing provincial and national radio stations with his “ultimixes”.

Vivonation, Festival, VW South Africa, AKA, Shane Eagle, Sho Modjozi, Kwesta, Music, Johannesburg

  • Simmy. A Neo-soul / Neo-folk music artist and has carved out a distinctive position in the music industry. She’s one of the country’s future stars.

 

  • Sjava. An award-winning recording artist and actor from Johannesburg and rose to fame in 2015 after the highly successful release of Miss Pru’s “Ameni”. He won the 2018 BET Viewers’ Choice Best International Act award.

 

  • Mlindo The Vocalist is best known for his hit album titled “Emakhaya” which features hit song “Macala” featuring Kwesta and Thabsie.

 

  • DJ Zan-D (Zandi Ngwenya) is a radio and television personality. He has a weekly Thursday mix on YFM on their YTKO feature which he is doing now for the 3rd year. DJ Zan-D has deejayed at events with international acts such as the Kendrick Lamar concert, 2 Chainz concert, Wale concert and Keith Murray concert, just to name a few.

 

Get in on the action and buy tickets at www.vwvivonation.co.za for just R50 for either Saturday or Sunday* – and your R50 ticket will be converted into a free R50 food and drink voucher upon arrival. What’s more, there will be loads of spot prizes up for grabs throughout the day for ticket holders who arrive between 1pm and 3pm.

Note: You can buy a maximum of four tickets (one for you and up to three for your friends). Each ticket needs to be assigned to a unique email address at the time of purchase. Each person will be sent their ticket individually to the email address supplied (so make sure it’s correct).

*You can only get a ticket for either Saturday or Sunday, not both days.

Hurry, tickets are limited!

Get online and share the ride using #VIVOnation. 

For information on the Volkswagen Polo Vivo, visit us on www.vw.co.za

VW VIVOnation is proudly partnered with YFM.

No under 18’s. Terms and conditions apply.