Singer Camila Cabello has finally released the video for Havana. Have a watch
A couple of months ago, I was listening to Beats 1. One of the most knowledgable and intelligent radio DJs, Zane Lowe was doing one of his great interviews. His guest was Camila Cabello, formerly of Fifth Harmony. The star had been hard at work putting together some solo material and while I knew about the group, I didn’t know much about her. Thanks to his interview, I started following this young lady and I fell hard for her music. Her approach to music is refreshing, it’s on trend, as far as what the market needs (not wants) and her following is growing very quickly.
I’ve been trying hard to get an interview with her because I would love to find out what else is to come from her. I’m not winning, but I will persist and hopefully I’ll be lucky enough to get something. For now though, I want to share her music video with you. It’s for the smash hit, Havana that I can proudly say I’ve had on my playlist for several weeks now. Have a watch:
There’s more to come from Camila Cabello… mark my words! And I’m going to tell you more about my other favourite soon too. Can you guess who that is?
Wanting to know who cracked it big in the nominations department for this year’s South African Music Awards? Check out the full list below. The awards will take place in Sun City on the 27th May 2017 will be broadcast live on SABC1. It’s one of my favourite weekends in the social calendar and I absolutely love the collaborations that producers of the show put on. Who will they team up this year? Who would you like to see?
I thought I’d take the opportunity to get to know the new Miss South Africa, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters. Find out a little more about the Sedgefield resident in this Q&A below:
1. At 21, did you ever think you’d be saying “Hi I’m Demi-Leigh, your new Miss South Africa”? Now that you’ve had some time to rest, how does it feel?
Being Miss South Africa has been a life long dream of mine. My plan was always to first finish my degree before entering Miss SA, which I did last year. I think in my heart I always hoped for this dream to become a reality not realising just how tangible this dream really is. I have definitely not had any time to rest just as yet. I still get emotional every time I watch my crowning moment. Wearing this crown is the biggest honour and also a big responsibility.
2. It’s still early morning. Are you a tea, coffee, smoothie, or juice kinda person?
Coffee all the way!
3. What are you hoping to achieve with this title?
I decided that I rather want to focus on a few big projects instead of hundreds of small initiatives. As a B.Com Business Management and Entrepreneurship graduate entrepreneurship truly excites me. I want to help women in South Africa to help themselves by giving them the necessary tools they need in order to start and successfully manage their own businesses.
4. What’s the one misconception people may have about you?
I feel that people are quick to think that life and success comes easy for someone with a pretty face. I worked hard for every single thing I have ever earned. It took a lot of sacrifice and dedication to get to where I am today.
5. You’re from the Southern Cape. Tell us two of your favourite spots in Sedgefield and surrounds.
Cloud Nine, the location from where they do hand gliding, is my favourite spot to watch the sun set. It has the most beautiful 180° view of Sedgefield.
I am a total foodie. The Sedgefield Wild Oats Farmer’s Market is my favourite breakfast spot on a Saturday morning.
6. We all have something weird about ourselves. What’s the one weird thing you have or do that you’re happy to share with the country?
I always speak to my two yorkies, Baxter and Benji, in a Minion voice. For some crazy reason I feel they understand me better that way.
7. One difficult question for the day. Some think Miss SA isn’t relevant anymore. Why do you think it is?
To me Miss South Africa is a voice to the voiceless, she is a beacon of hope and she is the physical representation of a young South African woman that can make her dreams come true. Miss South Africa is a young woman that relates to a whole country and represents a whole nation. I feel that our country needs people that shine a light on the positive, someone that inspires, loves and cares unconditionally. That is my definition of Miss South Africa and also why I feel she is more relevant than ever.
8. It’s always unfair to ask who your favourite was, so I’ll go with this instead. Name three of your favourite Miss SA’s of all time?
Melinda Bam, Rolene Strauss and Joann Strauss.
9. What are you listening to right now?
I actually dug up an old Cat Stevens cd while moving to JHB. It’s on repeat.
10.What’s your favourite guilty pleasure?
Dark chocolate or anything salted caramel flavoured.
When I came to the Middle East in August last year, I did so with a number of goals in mind:
Gain international work experience
Get out of my slump, my routine and comfort zone and meet new people from all over
Participate in more global races (triathlons, marathons, long distance swims)
I’m happy to say that I’ve done a fair amount of 2, 3, 4. I continue to gain international work experience and I’m finally on track to start saving. If you look at my social media properties, you’ll get a glimpse into a few of the adventures I’ve taken (Besides Doha, Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, desert safaris too), or the people I have met. But don’t for one second think it has been all peachy, all happy times. It’s real life and in real life you battle real things like missing family and friends, missing key events, not knowing when you can take leave, being tired, salary issues, and not living in a place you’re happy to call home. I’ve been to dark places in my mind. Anxiety has been a big thing for me too, especially in a professional capacity, but I know my limits and I know when to switch work mode off. Have I perfected the art of doing that? Not at all, but I’m doing my best to get it right. I’m lucky in that I have my sports and training to preoccupy my mind when I’m feeling low. It’s a good release, in terms of expressing my frustrations in training. If you see me on the road on a Friday or Saturday, and you see me talking to myself with very strong expressions, you’ll know why now. Haha. You see these are real things you deal with when you live abroad. And thanks to technology, we can always send a WhatsApp message, talk to the family and friends on FaceTime or even write posts like this.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You learn a lot about yourself when you move away from your comfort zone. And that is probably the best experience you can take away from moving. I have no regrets about moving. It has been an incredible experience and one that I want to continue for the foreseeable future. Whether I stay here, or move on will be determined in time, but as a traveler, an explorer, a realist and a storyteller, I felt it would be good to share an alternative view on the happy, smiley selfies too.
I’m interested to know a few things from those of you reading this.
How have you dealt with moving away?
How have you adapted to the new cultures, languages you’ve been exposed to?
What do you do when you feel low?
If you’ve dealt with anxiety on your journey, how do you channel it into something positive?
What’s your tipping point, your limits?
When you’re on the road, exploring the world, what tricks or tips do you have when you’re feeling bleh?Has your experience been better or worse than the place you originate from?
Has your experience been better or worse than the place you originate from?
This proposed bill to tax South African expats has me baffled. For a number of reasons. It’s making me worried too (I’m a Virgo, it’s in my nature). I’ve read many articles, seen groups on Facebook trying their utmost to grow their numbers to petition the finance minister’s proposal and I’ve reached out to a few people too. Cape Talk’s Kieno Kammies spoke to a tax practitioner this week (listen here) and from that, I thought it might be a good call to gather my thoughts, questions and put this post together. This isn’t what you would expect to read on me blog, but because I’m on what some may call an adventure that involves a fair amount of weekend getaways, this proposal will directly affect me. So maybe some tax experts can weigh in here.
Disclaimer: If you have an opinion that you wish to add, please be constructive (whichever side you are on). Hate speech or cockiness is not necessary. I’m trying to understand this and also have an adult conversation. K, thanks, humans.
1. Why should you have to pay tax if you aren’t living there anymore? Paying for something that you’re not benefiting from seems a bit pointless don’t you think?
2. People go abroad to save and travel. Surely it’s their choice to do so? If they return, they will be paying tax and contributing to the economy they now live in.
3. How will SARS implement this? Do they know the number of citizens living abroad? This is going to be very costly to the economy. Another area where budgets and resources could be better allocated, perhaps?
Yes, moving to low/ no tax jurisdictions seems appealing. ‘Inflated’ salaries are a thing, but don’t think for one second we’re living like kings and queens. Rent is ridiculously expensive for what you get. Food and transport aren’t cheap either. Then there’s just living; movies, celebrations with friends, escaping the city for a weekend getaway, VISA APPLICATIONS (Death)… When you add it all up, those inflated salaries are done. So with this new proposal of being taxed on top of paying those bills means there’s not much left. You’re also now, by SA standards, in a higher tax bracket, so obviously, you’ll need to pay more when doing the tax return.
So what are the choices? Of course moving back to SA isn’t a bad choice – it’ll always be home. I’m just not there right now. Sometimes you just need a bit of adventure in your life. I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I don’t run a business… I’m relatively responsibility free. So why not take up a challenge, an adventure like this while I can? If I’m to be somewhat selfish for a change, professionally this is good for me. I’m able to gain international work experience, which is arguably the biggest pro in this whole experience. Plus, I love to travel, but traveling from SA often isn’t doable from a financial perspective. Geographically it’s challenging too.
Look, I’m in my 30s. I didn’t move abroad, leaving my family and friends behind to battle to make ends meet. That’s not the life I want. So I guess, I’m left wondering WHAT NOW? I’m just keen to hear from the experts and my fellow expats.
Last weekend, I participated in my first ITU World Triathlon Series race in the awesome city of Abu Dhabi. I’m unable to race Ironman South Africa this year, so I thought a Maxi triathlon in the region would suffice. In case you don’t know, a Maxi consists of:
– 1500 meter swim
– 80 kilometre cycle
– 20-kilometer run
This and 70.3 is a great distance for me. I’m able to find my groove, and I know how to pace myself accordingly. When it comes to Olympic distances, I tend to push hard on the swim and the first bit of the cycle. So I get a lot slower towards the end of the race. That’s going to change, though, as I build up to the New York City Triathlon in July (WOOOOHOOOO). Back to Abu Dhabi though.
I arrived in the UAE on Thursday evening. I had a bit of drama with the Etihad Airways ground staff in Doha. They wouldn’t let me take my bike bag and a checked piece of luggage on, even though the agent who works for the airline and who booked my package assured me that everything had been arranged especially for us triathletes. Alas after a bit of annoyance and a broken piece of hand luggage later, I got through. When I arrived in Abu Dhabi, I caught one of the cabs waiting outside the airport… A nice little (not so little) Mercedes-Benz took me to the Centro Al Manhal By Rotana.
Sidebar, nice comfortable accommodation on Yas Island if you’re looking for somewhere to stay. It’s close to the Marina, the racetrack, the mall, Ferrari World. It’s perfect!
On Friday, after a bit of breakfast with a friend who came through from Dubai (45minutes or so), I headed off to registration. It was smooth, a breeze. The one weird thing is that the race briefing was held on the grandstands… Standard really, but there was no shade, and for athletes who are supposed to be keeping hydrated and resting, this seemed a bit off. It was about 28 degrees, so it was hot. First world problems, blah blah, but that was one observation. The one thing that saved the briefing was the ever entertaining and awesome announce, Paul Kaye. It’s weird; I almost feel at home when he’s on the circuit giving us our briefings and throwing in some quips and funnies along the way.
True to the pre-race routine, I checked the old bike, packed the bags, got the bottles ready and hit up a restaurant in the mall for some chicken protein boet. I always say I’ll have an early night, but inevitably land up having a late one, and then I don’t sleep properly for fear of missing the alarm, etc. So by 3 am, I was up and at it. I gave up coffee and chocolate for Lent, so a cuppa tea was on hand to wake me up, lol. My other race must-have is my FUTURELIFE High Protein, trusty and now old faithful ☺
Once everything was sorted in bike-check and transition, I headed off to the swim start. It’s quite a walk from where the bikes were, so if you’re doing the race next year, give yourself enough time to get there. The race was supposed to kick off at 7 am, but due to some delays on the cycle route, they delayed it until 7:30. One gent, who was clearly very anxious, was getting rather frustrated, tried to get me involved in his frustration meets anxious tendency, and I was like BYE! I’m one of those characters who gets really quiet. I’m singing songs in my head and analysing the water conditions. I guess you can say I ‘Zen’ myself, haha.
We finally got going, and so did my swimming muscles it would appear. I haven’t been able to swim properly because believe it or not; it has been pretty cold in Doha. It wasn’t ideal because I love my swimming and I usually do pretty well here, so I was a little worried about that. It turns out muscle memory is a winner – I climbed out the 1500m swim, some 22 minutes later. I believe I was fourth out the water too, so I was pleased, to say the least. That success didn’t last long though because of the cycle, once again, was weak for me. I don’t know why but I just can’t get it right. I think it has a lot to do with bike positioning and the fact that I don’t have tribars. I need some cycling assistance, so if anyone is keen to help a brother out with some tips and guidance, holler!
The cycle route was interesting. We got to ride around the Yas Marina Island Circuit, which is quite technical and isn’t short on turns. We cycled around the outskirts of the circuit and through Yas Island too. So at least there was some reprieve too. The Maxi athletes had to do four loops, while the Olympic racers did two. We were all on the track at the same time at one point, which could’ve gone horribly wrong, but luckily for most, it seemed okay. My suggestion to organisers would be to relook the cycle. It’s just a little too boring for the Maxi I feel. I managed to do the distance in 2:31, which isn’t bad, but still, I need to put a lot more work into it to make the cycle count. The run was grand, and thank goodness for good weather conditions. If the sun was baking down on us, I think I would’ve battled a lot more. The run was a double loop of ten kilometres each. At about 11 km in, I stopped to grab some coke and an orange. I walked a bit, then ran and then walked again. A fellow racer, probably in his early sixties came running past me and said there is no way I am to walk. It’s funny, because this always seems to happen to me, and it’s always the ‘wiser’ gents. So I carried on, and he was hot on my heels, so I just carried on knowing he would curse me if I walked again haha. I managed to finish the race in 4:34, which I think is good? I haven’t done the distance before, but I’m pretty happy with that performance.
I enjoyed the race. I thought it was fun, tough but good. I love pushing myself too. So perhaps that why I felt so shattered afterwards? There’s always a lot of room for improvement, and I’m ready to keep moving forward. I wish I were doing Ironman South Africa on the 2nd of April, but alas this year it isn’t meant to be ☹
Gallery: #AVonVoyage to Abu Dhabi
We didn’t have a lot of time to explore the city too much, but post race, and a delicious burger later, myself and a few tri club friends decided to head off to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque… It’s one of THE most raved about Mosques in the region, so we had to check it out. What a marvellous piece of architecture, culture and a beautiful, calming place. It was busy, full of people from all over the world. It’s a place you need to visit if you’re in Abu Dhabi. As I said, time was limited, but next time I’m keen to hit up the theme parks, and also see more of the city, the souqs and eat more local food. Hopefully, that will be sooner rather than later.
Stay tuned for #AVonVoyage to Oman, and more races, coming soon. Who knows where to next after that? Well besides Dubai this weekend 😉