Minister Mthethwa condemns the xenophobic attacks

As many of you are aware, a small number of South Africans have decided to violently attack and harm some of the foreign nationals who have made our country their home too. I say a small number because the vast majority of us have condemned these attacks in the strongest of terms and have distanced ourselves from such malicious and quite frankly criminal activities. I’m not naive and I understand why citizens of our country are fed up, but there must be another way to voice your concerns and anger? March to the Union Buildings, share your opinions, your stories, your pain with the President, but for crying out loud don’t burn a fellow human being for also wanting to make a life for him/herself. It’s despicable, inhumane and it breaks my heart.

I’m not one to hate on my country. In fact I am a person who tries to shut the haters up, but damn it’s hard when there are issues like xenophobia, crime, the power crisis all happening simultaneously. Our president is supposedly going to make an address later today… Great, more words. How is that going to help? Honestly? He isn’t liked by many and this is certainly something where he could change that view. In doing so, he could help change the perceptions of how South Africans currently ‘welcome’, ’embrace’ and live with those who choose to make this place their home too.

I heard on the news earlier that artists like Kelly Khumalo and Cassper Nyovest have had their international gigs placed on ice or cancelled outright because of what is currently happening. I say good. The world must turn their backs on us until such behaviour is removed from our society. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but maybe tough love and the withdrawal of foreign investment in this country is the wake up call our government and we as a nation need in order to move forward. Those are my feelings right now! I pray for and keep my fellow human beings from this beautiful continent of mine in my thoughts. I hope you will be safe and I will do all I can to help make this as much a home for you, as it is for me.

I received a press release from the Arts and Culture Department, in which the minister himself has condemned the attacks: Continue reading

Mumford & Sons release The Wolf

Mumford & Sons

Last year I recall reading an article about Mumford & Sons deciding to ‘call it a day’, saying that Babel was their last album. Coincidentally it happened to be only their second one. I was quite shocked, astounded really. There is something very special, distinct and incredible about Marcus Mumford’s voice and their music is just so refreshing. They really blew up and with the success of Sigh No More and Babel, multiple awards including the coveted Album of the Year award at the Grammys, the band really seemed to be soaring.

Well that’ll teach me (and you if you were fooled) to not believe everything you read. They just took a break, understandably, but now they’re back and gearing up to release their brand new album called Wilder Mind. The album is expected to drop on the 4th of May, whoop!

Last week they dropped the second single from that album, which is called The Wolf. Have a listen below:

Missed the first single? Hear it below:

Full list of MTV Movie Awards winners

See the full list of winner’s from this year’s MTV Movie Awards, which took place in LA at the weekend. MTV has all the acceptance speech videos up on their site. Check them out here and see the below of winners below:

MOVIE OF THE YEAR PRESENTED BY GEICO
The Fault in Our Stars – WINNER
BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Shailene Woodley- The Fault in Our Stars – WINNER
BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper – WINNER
BEST SCARED-AS-S–T PERFORMANCE
Jennifer Lopez – The Boy Next Door – WINNER
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Dylan O’Brien – The Maze Runner – WINNER
BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE
Zac Efron – Neighbors – WINNER
BEST DUO
Zac Efron and Dave Franco – Neighbors – WINNER
BEST FIGHT
Dylan O’Brien vs. Will Poulter – The Maze Runner – WINNER
BEST KISS
Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars – WINNER
BEST WTF MOMENT
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne – Neighbors – WINNER
BEST VILLAIN
Meryl Streep – Into the Woods – WINNER
BEST MUSICAL MOMENT
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – WINNER
BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
Channing Tatum – 22 Jump Street – WINNER
BEST ON-SCREEN TRANSFORMATION
Elizabeth Banks – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 – WINNER
 

#PharrellwithWoolies… Are you with us?

Woolworths_Campaign_Image_1

Earlier today, I made my way to the Four Seasons Hotel in Westcliff, Johannesburg for a “big announcement” by retailer, Woolworths. We all had our suspicions as to what it was about, but nothing was revealed until most of the invited guests had arrived. The who’s who of the SA entertainment scene were in attendance, including Bonang Matheba, Boity, Jena Dover, Maps Maponyane, Zuraida Jardine and David Tlale (among many others). Oh and me. Lol. Anyway, back to the purpose of today’s announcement.

Woolworths has partnered with none other than the ever cool Pharrell Williams for their little campaign. Appointing him as the Style Director, the retailer will work closely with Williams across a series of sustainability-focused projects. The Grammy winner will jet into SA in September for a private gig for 5000 people and he’ll also be helping raise funds for schools, plus a whole bunch more, which begs the question, “Are you with us?”. For damn sure and this is how we can help Woolworths and Pharrell:

GIVE WITH US: Raising over R100 million for education Pharrell and MySchool will be calling on customers to help us raise R100 million for schools in need across South Africa through swiping their MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet cards. The more you swipe, the more you donate – the more you make a difference to schools around the country. Signing up for a card is easy and free – and you get to choose which schools benefit.

My mom has one of these cards and every month she gets a statement from the team to say how much money has been donated to the Smile Foundation, which is the organisation she has decided to focus her attention on. You know us Von Bergs and our work with the Smile Foundation :)

 

CREATE WITH US: Sustainable T-shirt Design Competition Woolies has collaborated with Bionic Yarn®, a company that creates fabric out of recycled plastic waste, to create a range of limited edition, sustainable t-shirts. Design students are invited to create and submit designs for these t-shirts that celebrate sustainability. Pharrell will select his favourite designs and these will be produced and sold in Woolies stores across the country. Winners will each receive R25 000 in prize money.

How incredibly cool is this? I love it. Not only is it empowering young designers to be creative, get their work out there, but also to have someone of Pharrell’s calibre judging you and having the opportunity to have a range in Woolworths stores around the country? Absolutely awesome.  I have some questions for the team, which I will put to them and report back on soon.

 

SING WITH US: Share the stage with Pharrell School singing groups are invited to practice their songs and get ready to compete to win the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform live alongside Pharrell Williams in front of the whole country during his MySchool concert tour of South Africa. Entrants will be shortlisted and chosen personally by Pharrell to appear alongside him on stage in September as part of an exclusive concert for WRewards Members only.

Clap along… or better sing along with the happy master himself. You cannot ask for a better opportunity. I know I’m not a singer and I’m finally okay with that. What I would love to do is sit down with this man and interview him one on one. I’m a huge fan, always have been and that would be my ultimate reward. Maybe Woolies will be nice ;)

 

WIN WITH US: See Pharrell live at a private concert.
If you’re not a Woolies’ WRewards or MySchool cardholder, now is the time to sign up. Members stand the chance to win a ticket to an exclusive, one-night-only private Pharrell Williams concert, exclusively for members. The only way to get a ticket to this one-night-only event is to be a Woolies WRewards / MySchool / Credit cardholder.

The amount of shopping I do at Woolworths is ridiculous… Luckily I’m swiping my card too, so who knows maybe this will be my birthday month present courtesy of Pharrell and Woolworths. If not, I’m happy to let you go and experience the ever cool Pharrell.

 

Here’s more from Pharrell himself:

I love this. I think it’s not only entertainment at its best, but it’s for a purpose and the purpose is to teach, educate and empower people. Loves it. #PharrellwithWoolies.

Here’s why HHP will be good for #SAMAXXI

hhp

BREAKING NEWS, South African rapper HHP has been announced as the host of this year’s South African Music Awards. Jabba will step onto the stage come the 19th of April as agent XXI.

For the last two years show organisers decided run the show without a host and while that worked, I believe a host really pieces all the presenters, performers and in general the show together just perfectly.

What’s in the SAMAXXI Goodie bags?

Here are a couple of reasons why HHP wins as a host:

  • He’s a musician and this is SA music’s biggest night. So he’ll bring that much needed musical element to the show.
  • He’s a charmer. Remember when he won Strictly Come Dancing a few years ago? SA loved him
  • He appeals to a wide audience…. Black, white, coloured, Indian. That’s important for a show like this, where there are genres for days and an accompanying viewing audience too
  • He’s smart and witty, which is what a host needs. LL Cool J really is a talking head at the Grammys. Sure he has personality, but HHP really has a lot more personality. I’m sure he’ll be involved in the script writing process, and that will put him in a good position come the 19th. Maybe the newly announced host of The Daily Show and former SAMA host, Trevor Noah can give him some tips too ;)
  • He’s a hard worker and so you know he’ll be grafting his ass off up to and including the actual show.
  • He’s Jabba… He made ‘Tshwana fashinoaboli’, he was ‘Born For This‘ and now he’s making SAMA City hot too.

Very chuffed and pleased with this decision. Good jon SAMA peops :)

Social media links for SAMA XXI:
Website: www.samusicawards.co.za
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SouthAfricanMusicAwards
Twitter: @TheSamas
Instagram: @TheSamas_
Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/samusicawards
Hashtag: #SAMAXXI
Mobisite: www.samatv.mobi

 

What’s in the R2-million SAMA XXI goodie bags?

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Each and every year the Sun City Superbowl comes to life, as the who’s who from the South Africa music industry descend on the entertainment complex for the annual South African Music Awards. This year the SAMA team are celebrating twenty one years and it will no doubt be an incredible evening. The awards go down on the 19th of April and those lucky enough to be presenting, performing or hosting will be given yet another incredible goodie bag and this year’s goodie bags are valued at a whopping R2-million bucks combined. Shame ne? And these celebs hardly need any of this stuff ;) Check this out

 

  • Complimentary Twisp e-cigarette, complete with accessories. You know it’s trendy to Twisp and not actually smoke anymore, so this is clever. The Super Bowl might be all Twisped out though… the haze of Twisp :)
  • Ray-Ban is back again and handing out some their most stylish sunnies
  • They’re getting a classy Converse watch too and trust me, if my movie screening prizes were anything to go by, these watches will be rocking
  • Miglio Designer Jewellery is supplying a set of exquisite Swarovski crystal earrings for the women and a bracelet for the men, with John Craig chipping in a handsome wallet.
  • Toe Porn will be handing out some funky socks, hoodies from Le Coq Sportif will be in the bags, which is perfectly timed for Fall and Winter. There are T-shirts from Cipo & Baxx, with Pamela Mann tucking some fashionable leggings in to the bags for good measure
  • Rocka is throwing in some earphones as well as terrific caps. I love my headphones… Mi Casa and Danny K’s are my favourites
  • Products from Mizani, Mia Rose perfume and Body Essence tissue oil courtesy of Avroy Shlain, Candi & Co hair styling vouchers and Moroccan Oil gift sets, and Iman make-up products.

#NOTKAK!!!
The annual XXI Annual South African Music Awards will be broadcast live on SABC 1 on Sunday, 19 April 2015 from 20h00. If you, like me, wont be at Sun City this year, you can watch all the action on the mobi site www.samatv.mobi

Trevor Noah shows us how to dream REAL BIG

Trevor_Noah_5

On Monday news spread across the Net about South African comedian, Trevor Noah being named the next host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central. The 31 year old will take over from the highly acclaimed Jon Stewart later this year. This is big…. REAL BIG.

There are only a handful of South African stars who have cracked the notorious American market, including:

  • Actress Charlize Theron
  • Actors Sharlto Copley and Arnold Vosloo
  • Grammy winners, The Soweto Gospel Choir and Ladysmith Black Mambazo
  • Supermodel Candice Swanepoel

And now Mr. Trevor Noah! So why is this such a big deal? Well for a number of reasons.

For one, Trevor isn’t American – obviously. There have been several murmurs online with people saying it isn’t fair that a woman wasn’t given the role. According to Comedy Central they considered both men and women, but Trevor was the one who really stood out.Some really bored people who also decided to trawl through his 8000+ tweets to try and find some dirt on him. They found a few from 2011 and 2012, that have now caused a major stir. Blah blah blah… He’s a comedian who pokes fun and anyone and everyone, including himself.  Do comedians always take the moral high ground? Do they never offend? Thought so, so these haters must just stop hating and JBS. He brings in an international audience and potentially newer, more compelling content that isn’t totally America. I think that’s what the talk show scene needs.

Trevor must be the youngest personality to be given such a gig. So that’s also huge, but if we look at his rise to global fame, we can see how well and cleverly crafted this career move was by him and his team. Trevor has been doing stand up comedy for quite some time now. He has traveled far and wide and picked up a huge following in the process. He pokes fun and everyone and his whit really has won over millions. He not only hosted a radio show in SA for a short while, but he also had two relatively successful seasons of his talk show, Tonight with Trevor Noah. He was clearly keen on that format and perhaps he was already gunning for a bigger platform like the Daily Show, after the show came to an end in SA? Hence his many gigs and hours, days, months spent in the US. After just three short appearances on The Daily Show, he clearly wowed and impressed enough because this is where we are now.

So while many will no doubt look and analyze at the brand that is Trevor Noah in more detail, there’s one thing that really stands out for me. He has once again inspired millions of South Africans (young, old, black, coloured, white, gay, straight) to dream big, set their goals and aspirations high and go for it. It is possible and it can be achieved. Just work hard, hustle harder and make your destiny becomes your reality. I lost focus of my goals a few years back, but I’m back on track now and I’m not holding back.

I’m so incredibly proud of Trevor Noah and the other maybe lesser-known South Africans doing so well abroad. You’ve inspired, you’re making us aspirational and you deserve the success you’re so rightfully enjoying. We will support you all the way and know.

Kaya FM’s Mosibodi Whitehead is ready for #OMTOM

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There are just a few days to go until thousands of runners hit the road for the annual Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. This time last year I was making my way down to the fairest Cape for what is dubbed the world’s most beautiful race (couldn’t agree more). Unfortunately I missed the boat this year, so I’ll be watching and smashing Easter eggs in my face from the comforts of my couch in Joburg, but somebody who will be running the race is Kaya FM’s Mosibodi Whitehead. He’ll be tackling the Ultra Marathon. Brave man!
You’re running the Ultra OMTOM this weekend. How are you feeling?
I’m feeling a bit scared. I had a tough run at the Old Mutual Om die Dam 50km race Two weeks ago which has left me less confident about the time I should be aiming for at OMTOM.
 
Tell us about your preparations… How much distance have you covered? How many pre-races have you done etc?
The year started well for me. I ran two half marathons (Johnson Crane and Gift of The Givers Township Marathon) at 1h30. I had a tough but solid run at the Sunrise Monster 32km finishing in 2H42. But a bout of flu after the Monster seriously affected my training, which culminated in a 5H37 slog at Om Die Dam. I think I have enough distance in my legs to complete OMTOM comfortably.
This week you’re supposed to slow down. How do you do that without losing the momentum?
I usually run an 8km time trial and one longish easy run of about an hour in the week before a big ultra.
Organisers have changed the route slightly. Are you worried about that?
I’ve never run the 56km Ou Kaapse Weg route. I hear that it may be slightly easier than going over Chapman’s Peak drive. Also, because this cuts out the dreaded Constantia Nek, I think this new route will make the race slightly easier.
Okay so it’s the day before the race… What do you eat? Drink? What time do you go to bed?
Sleep early, around 8pm. Otherwise just eat normally. If I’m at home in Joburg then I usually ask my wife Neiloe to cook pap, spinach and chicken. But when I’m running an out of town ultra, I’ll usually have a pasta of some sort from the hotel restaurant. Lots of water. No dairy. No alcohol.
 
You’re running this for more than yourself. You’re doing it for the Thulani Sibisi’s More Balls Than Most initiative. Tell us about this initiative.
I’m so glad to have been included in this initiative. Having been diagnosed with cancer himself Sibisi approached me to help him raise awareness for the testicular and prostate cancer using the race. And because exercise is one of the best ways to avoid getting testicular and prostate cancer I was happy to run the race in his honour. All the money we raise will go to More Balls Than Most which is the sister charity of Pink Drive. They will use the funds to support mobile testing clinics that go out to the rural areas and townships to help men get tested. We have already been approached by Boksburg Prison to take the mobile testing unit there.
 
How much have you raised thus far?
It took a while to get MBTM registered on the www.morethanyourself.co.za platform. So we have only been able to raise R1000 thus far. I’m sure we will have raise plenty more by race day.
 
How can people donate? 
All they have to do is go to www.morethanyourself.co.za search for Mosibodi Whitehead and donate.
Thulani won the race in 1986… No pressure hey?
Hahaha! No pressure. Not this year anyway, but one can dream. Maybe next year.

Any other advice for Ultra and Half Marathon runners this year? 

If the weather is good then this truly the most beautiful race in the world. Take the time to look out on the ocean. Enjoy the run.

Official press statement: Trevor Noah takes over from Jon Stewart

COMEDY CENTRAL® NAMES TREVOR NOAH AS NEXT HOST OF “THE DAILY SHOW”

31 YEAR-OLD COMEDIAN TO TAKE THE HELM LATER THIS YEAR

Johannesburg, 30 March 2015:  South Africa comedian Trevor Noah has been selected to become the next host of the Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning “The Daily Show,” it was announced today by Comedy Central (DStv Channel 122).

Noah (www.trevornoah.com) joined “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” in 2014 as a contributor. He made his U.S. television debut in 2012 on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and has also appeared on “Late Show with David Letterman,” becoming the first South African stand-up comedian to appear on either late night show. Born in South Africa to a black South African mother and a white European father, he has successfully become the top comedian in Africa. Noah has hosted numerous television shows including his own late night talk show in his native country, “Tonight with Trevor Noah.”

“Trevor Noah is an enormous talent. He has an insightful and unique point of view, and most importantly, is wickedly funny,” said Ganeless. “For the next host of ‘The Daily Show,’ we set out to find a fresh voice who can speak to our audience with a keen take on the events of the day, and we found that in Trevor. He has a huge international following and is poised to explode here in America, and we are thrilled to have him join Comedy Central.”

“It’s an honour to follow Jon Stewart. He and the team at ‘The Daily Show’ have created an incredible show whose impact is felt all over the world,” said Noah. “In my brief time with the show they’ve made me feel so welcome. I’m excited to get started and work with such a fantastic group of people.”

Said Jon Stewart: “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor. He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with…In fact, I may rejoin as a correspondent just to be a part of it!!

Speaking on behalf of Comedy Central, Africa, Evert van der Veer said, “When you hear that a South African comedian is going replace Jon Stewart as the  host of the most trusted satirical comedy show in the world, you know it’s  a great day for Trevor Noah and an extraordinary milestone for African comedy.  Supporting African comedians and comedy has been one of the key tenets of Comedy Central Africa since we started, and we salute Trevor’s achievement with pride in our hearts and a tear in our eye.”

Noah was the subject of David Paul Meyer’s award-winning documentary film “You Laugh But It’s True” which tells the story of his remarkable career in post-apartheid South Africa. Noah’s one-man show “The Racist” at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe was a sold out run that became one of the most talked about shows at the Festival that year. Recently, Noah performed for the Royal Family at the Royal Variety Performance.

Noah (@TrevorNoah) was featured on the October 2014 cover of GQ South Africa and has been profiled in Rolling Stone, Newsweek and The Wall Street Journal, and by CNN and NPR’s “Talk of the Nation,” among others. He continues to tour all over the world and has performed in front of sold out crowds at the Hammersmith Apollo in London and the Sydney Opera House in Australia.

Trevor’s show’s premiere will be announced at a later date.

Noah is represented by LEG, CAA, and Morris Yorn.

Trevor Noah
Image: on.cc.com/110f71h
Video: youtu.be/AHO1a1kvZGo (“The Daily Show”); youtu.be/IkaaEqbor5U (stand-up)
Website: www.trevornoah.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialTrevorNoah
Instagram: TrevorNoah
Twitter: @TrevorNoah

 

Holy fucken fuckidity fuck fuck! I’m so so so stoked for Trevor. I’m going to have a more concise and less excited post about this news this week, but oh my fuck Trevor!!! Epic on all levels.

Gallery: #MissSA2015

Here are a few pictures from this year’s Miss South Africa pageant, in which Liesl Laurie was crowned the winner. The broadcast went out to millions of viewers around South Africa on channels M-Net and Mzansi Magic.