Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Highlights From The African Renaissance Festival 2014 Held In Durban

The 16th Annual African Renaissance Festival: Africa in Motion

“When Africa is in motion, there is the loud sound of thunder,” said Prof Ngubane, Vice Chairperson and Organising Committee Chair for the African Renaissance, during his opening remarks at the 16th Annual African Renaissance Festival held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

In his opening address, Dr Sibusiso Ndebele, Chair of the African Renaissance commented that this year’s theme, “Africa in Motion”, captures the current, visible state of constant flux which the continent produces, and is produced by it. He added that, “The theme speaks more to the progress that we, as Africans, consciously elect to be involved in to move our countries, and continent, forward.”

Africa is indeed in motion and theme was further expanded under the topics of maritime integration in Africa and infrastructure development as well as in the media and communication sectors.  A constant message by the speakers was that progress means that opportunities exist for entrepreneurs, investors and business people, which should not be ignored.

The important role of the maritime sector in Africa was highlighted by Mr Don Mkhwanazi who said that shipping is an enabler of trade and the future of Africa lies in the ability to trade more effectively and efficiently with the rest of the world. In order to benefit we need to take ownership of the maritime domain. Commander Tsietsi Mokhele, CEO:  SA Maritime Safety Authority  emphasized that the South African government is taking its ”Blue economy” seriously and will unveil a South African Marine Strategy later this year.

The “blue economy”  has huge potential to create jobs and opportunities include  ship building and repair, the building of infrastructure, transport and allied services. Of significance, South Africa needs to build ships which sail under the Southern African flag.

Chris Magagula MD of Bulk Africa Terminal, emphasized that, ”Opportunities exist, the environment exists”, and that entrepreneurs, “need to drive the process, if you wait you are not going to go anywhere”.

Phil Molefe, Executive Chair of the Africa Media Institute, stated that digital migration from analogue transmission is the biggest change that the African broadcast media is currently facing.  Digital transmission offers many opportunities in the increased number of broadcasting channels available. These allow for investment opportunities in new programmes and provide the space to communicate more effectively to niche audiences.

Paula Fray, MD Fraymedia, commented that we also need to ensure that more people including women and people in rural economies have a voice and tell the African story. Journalists need to be trained to write about Africa as well as be taught how to market their stories effectively. She concluded that “We have the opportunity to redefine how we talk about Africa.”

Tim Cohen, Editor of the Financial Mail commented that the media is changing from traditional print to include digital and social media. He emphasized that the media has a role to play in Africa and that, “We live in extraordinary times. Change brings about fabulous opportunity”.

Other highlights included
  • There's nothing that travels further than a good story - Paula Fray
  • The number of female sources in the media is very low - Paula Fray
  • Journalists have to become entrepreneurs - Paula Fray
  • If you ever have the opportunity to visit two continenets make sure you visit Africa twice - Craig Drysdale (Thompsons Africa) 
  • Passengers at Airports want free wi-fi, prayer rooms, exercise rooms, gyms and yoga classes amongst other things. 
  • If you are interested in Airports or Air Travel look out for the 23rd ACT Africa Region Conference Durban 12 - 14 October.

For more information

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Almost Time For The South African Book Fair

A sneak-peek at this year’s South African Book Fair programme

Scheduled to take place between the 13 and 15 June 2014, The South African Book Fair is set to offer visitors the literary adventure of a life time. Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre for a glorious nine hours each day between 09h00 and 18h00, the Fair promises visitors an exciting line up aimed at all book fans -  young and old.

With over 120 events under one roof , and over 100 authors,  illustrators, storytellers, book critics, puppet shows, book launches and book club brunches on offer, this year’s Fair is guaranteed not to disappoint. While the official programme is due to be released in May, we thought we would entice you with a preview into some of the exciting events scheduled to take place.

A splendiferous children’s line up
Children will fall in love with the world of books with the exciting programme schedule. The little ones can meet and have their photos taken with the Gruffalo, Maisy, Peter Rabbit and Spot the dog. Visiting tweens will have the opportunity to meet Wally from ‘Where’s Wally’ and join in a book illustration workshop.

A veritable feast of speakers
Visitors can look forward to a range of speakers, panellists and academics, who will debate and discuss a number of topics from ‘the future of the book’ to ‘the route to self publishing’. Amongst the list of illustrious speakers are Judge Edwin Cameron, analyst Prince Mashele, Dr Xolela Mangcu and sports analyst Marco Botha.

Fans of bestselling author Susan Lewis can embark on a three day soiree, during which she will chat about life, love and everything in between over brunch.

A presentation of South Africa’s vibrant Afrikaans literary world
Afrikaans literature fans will get to rub shoulders with authors Chanette Paul, Deon Meyer and Steve Hofmeyer.

Debaters and current affairs curators speak their minds
Pertinent debates around issues that we as South Africans face today are also included in the line-up. Join the discussion around the future of the book and e-learning in the South African schooling system.

Described as vibrant, colourful and captivating, the Fair aims to create an unforgettable event that has something for everyone.

Tickets for the South African Book Fair will be on sale at the door at a cost of R50, and R20 for pensioners. Children under the age of 18 receive free entry. For more information go to or call Belinda Unterslak on 011 549 8300 or email Exhibitors and sponsors may contact Louise Barry-Taylor on 011 549 8300 or email to secure their stand.
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Friday, May 23, 2014

Platinum Award For The Blue Train Stand At Tourism INDABA 2014


The Blue Train proved why it is considered amongst the leaders in the travel and tourism industry when it took the honours of being named amongst the Best Stand Designs at this year’s Indaba Tourism show held at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre (formerly Durban ICC) from the 10th – 12th May 2014.

The striking 4.5 metre arched stand reflected the richness of natural cherry-wood veneer finishes with blue LED emblems which were created to match and enhance the panelling of the interior of the train, won The Blue Train a Platinum Award at the Indaba stand awards at the ICC Hall 3. Platinum is the ultimate award – it is the Number 1 coveted prize!   

The stand was designed by Sharon Myburgh of Pivion Communications, one of the best in the industry, after she was briefed to create a modern, “funky” yet sophisticated stand that will match the class and prestige of The Blue Train brand, after she had successfully won a tender to design The Blue Train stands for the 2014-15 financial year.

“Winning this award sets the tone for some of the objectives we have set ourselves for this year - of reclaiming our glory of being the leader in the luxury rail experience. After having received nominations before, finally winning the Platinum award is the “icing on the cake”. We are very proud of this stand and the work and extra effort that Pivion Communications have put in. Our clients have also been impressed and have sent their felicitations. We are truly grateful! Commented Hanlie Kotze, Executive Manager of The Blue Train.

The Blue Train had previously won Gold at these awards.

Did you know The Blue Train has Free WI-FI for guests.  

For more info on The Blue Train visit 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Auditions for SA's Got Talent and X-Factor South Africa

SA's Got Talent Auditions

SA's Got Talent fifth season and auditions are coming up. The search starts in Durban on Saturday, 24 May and wraps in Johannesburg in early June.

Who's the show looking for?

As per usual, the show's looking for any act by any age.

Audition dates and venues:

Durban Auditions
Date: Saturday, 24 May
Venue: Olive Convention Centre

Cape Town Auditions
Date: Saturday, 31 May and Sunday, 1 June
Venue: Belmont Square

Johannesburg Auditions
Date: Saturday, 7 & Sunday, 8 June
Venue: Focus Rooms 

Must-know: Doors open at 07h00 and close at 12h00.

How to enter:

You can register online here or you can mail for an application form.

What to bring:
Pre-registration form (if you have pre-registered - it isn't essential to pre- register.)
A photocopy of your I.D or birth certificate.
Under 18s must bring along their guardian(s) with a copy of their I.D or proof of guardianship.
Bring any props or accessories needed for your act and arrive clothed in your costume.
It will be a long day, so bring along refreshments and a camping chair for comfort.
You will need to sign a few forms so bring a pen.

X-Factor Auditions For South Africa

Durban June 7 Sahara Stadium

Bloemfontein June 11 Civic Centre

Cape Town June 14  Athlone Stadium

Polokwane June 18  Peter Mokabe Stadium

Jozi June 21-22  The Pyramid venue

Nelspruit June 25  Mbombela Stadium

PMB June 28  Royal Show Grounds 

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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Interesting New Viral Campaign From Wall's Ice Cream

Innovative tactical engagement to own life’s lighter side for Wall’s 
Say Goodbye To Serious aims to hit social bull’s-eye with humour

Goodbye Serious, hello relevance. It’s that moment of comic relief flanked by the daily humdrum of the rat race that Unilever brand Wall’s Ice Cream plans to leverage in an innovative new online campaign. The brand last year embarked on an ambitious repositioning exercise to align the globally loved brand to the ideal and payoff Say Goodbye To Serious. The new campaign is not only expected to effectively communicate and engage consumers on Wall’s new platform but also go viral.

Simple but effective and impactful, the campaign features literal interpretations of its positioning through YouTube features. Three yawn-worthy mock current affairs programmes were created for the medium featuring anchor Rick Roberts and personalities that include an Australian politician as well as a Canadian-American campaigner from Saskatchetoon who are barely more viewable than watching paint dry.

Central to the campaign are the interactive pop-up questions offering viewers the opportunity to ‘Keep Watching’ or ‘Say Goodbye To Serious’ where after unexpected humour follows and the gravity of serious content is deflated, literally. The newsworthy and headline-designed titles of the videos, the about-turn content as well as the tail end content encouraging sharing, is sure to fuel the campaign’s viral appeal.

The news channel, dubbed WMW News, encourage sharing across all major social networks including Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

See it for yourself by clicking any of these YouTube links and let Wall’s Ice Cream help you Say Goodbye to Serious!

Talks Could Dictate Outcome:
Australian MP Expresses Concerns:
Politician Thinking Ahead:

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Can you help me smuggle some Skittles into South Africa?

Skittles campaign takes on customs official using smile recognition

Nevermind pushing the envelope, Skittles is a brand that pushes the elephant. Priding themselves in being unexpected and unusual, Skittles SA are rallying South Africans to bring in the Rainbow with their innovative new campaign: Introducing “Smuggle the Rainbow. Taste the Rainbow”.

Taking instruction from the lead character Leon, South Africans are tasked to get past Customs Officer Oosthuizen by staying straight-faced. Using facial recognition, recruited smugglers’ facial movements are tracked and interpreted. In order to smuggle their Skittles into the country, each smuggler has to undergo and survive three intense and disturbing interrogations with Officer Oosthuizen. Even the slightest twitch, smile or grimace and they will be busted.

If a smuggler manages to get through all three interrogation rooms with a straight face, they will be directed to the Skittles South Africa landing page, where they are able to plug their contrabrand Skittle into the rainbow. Information pulled from Facebook will tag their individual Skittles with their name and the date of the smuggle. In this manner, smugglers nationwide are smuggling the rainbow into South Africa.

If you think you have what it takes to be a candy contrabander, then visit and help #SmuggleTheRainbow!

Social links:
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Friday, May 9, 2014

Internships At 5FM, Creative Workshops, Film Festivals, Art Competitions and More

PANSA Eastern Cape workshops
10 & 11 May 2014
Spoilt for choice with 4 amazing workshops to choose from:
Sat 10 & Sun 11 May
Stage Mangement Workshop presented by David Limbert at The Savoy
Acting Workshop presented by Marlene Pieterse at Stage World
Sat morning 10 May
Advertising & PR in the Performing Arts Workshop presented by Damien Anderson at The Savoy.
Sat afternoon 10 May
Theatre Make Up& Hair Workshop presented by Leslie Speyers, Linda-Louise Swain & Nikki-Marie Vorster at The Savoy.
To book your place or for more info contact: Alet at or on 072 211 3979
Registration 9:30am for morning and all day workshops
Registration 1pm for afternoon workshop.

PANSA Unplugged Wednesday
PANSA Unplugged Wednesday is a platform where local artists and practitioners can showcase their talent, show work in development, collaborate with other performers and network with industry players.
Come and show off your skills or just chill out and watch the talent roll in - either way,  you're going to have a great time! Who knows, you might just witness the next big name in the making.
Date: Wednesday 14 May 2014
Time: 18:00 - 20:00 (all participating artists must be at the venue by 17:30)
Venue: Liquidlime Studios (PANSA Offices) 3B Beach Road, Woodstock, Cape Town (near Woodstock and Esplanade train station)
Cost: Free entrance
Donations welcome!
Please be aware there will be:
~No performance fee
~No backline.
~No cover charge.
All instruments must be acoustic. We do have a CD player for backing tracks.
If you are interested in taking part, please email your name, act and a short paragraph (not more than five lines) about your work or yourself to
For further information, please contact Nono on 021 448 3513

10 - 12 May - Durban - ICC

Cape Town Fringe
The National Arts Festival and the City of Cape Town has announced a partnership which will see the launch of a new performing arts festival in September, modelled on some of the world’s iconic events.
To visit the Cape Town Fringe Website, go to:
The call for proposals is currently open and more information can be found at

5FM's mentorship opportunities are one week long and accommodate 6 interns at a time. This is an intensive programme, where you will experience every aspect of 5FM.
Monday 23 June - Friday 27 June
Monday 24 November - Friday 28 November

Opportunity For Artists 

Sasol Art Competition

This Edition By +Fred Felton 

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Poetry and Twitter Blanket Drive News and News of the AFDA Open Day











Written by Andrew Verster the Writer and Author Based in Durban

29 May at 6pm Bring Your Blankets to Protea Hotel Fire & Ice Jozi or Cape Town

AFDA Durban
(The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and live Performance)
Open Day May 3
AFDA (The South African School of Motion Picture Medium and Live Performance) Durban is hosting an Open Day for prospective students on Saturday, 3 May from 10am to 12noon at the Campus in Glen Anil, Durban North 
Exciting times for prospective students as this Open Day will provide them, (and their parents) and guests insights into the AFDA programme, a tour around the facilities, meetings with current students and introductions to the courses given by various AFDA staff. 
AFDA has a heavy-weight academic staff complement who have worked in the film and live performance industries. Franco Human, an experienced producer and film maker, is Dean, with film-maker Richard Green Head of the Film School, director and academic Lloyd O’Connor, Head of the Live Performance School, scriptwriter and film-maker Janet van Eeden (whose short film A Shot at the Big Time has just been selected for the Cannes Film Festival), as production course administrator and script writing lecturer and Laszlo Bene, a producer and director who has worked on a number of national and international productions as Head of Television. 
Prospective students can contact Durban-based Marketing Officer, Milena Gevers for more information or to book an interview for on the day: or call 031 569 2252. For more info about the school go to or on twitter @AFDADurban.

This Edition By +Fred Felton 

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