#AVonVoyage to Dubai

Last Thursday I hopped on board an Emirates plane en route to Dubai in the UAE. I had a bit of a scare at the airport, with my exit permit not being issued in time, but luckily after several frantic calls all before 5 am, I managed to get it. The mission for the trip? Well firstly, to complete the Standard Charted Dubai Marathon… My first real marathon, really. The last marathon I did was in April when I participated in my first IRONMAN event. Yip, that was my first marathon. What a way to introduce yourself to marathon running, huh?

The last time I was in Dubai was in 2012. I had no expectations when I got there, and so my time there was a lot more than I ever imagined it would be. The city was vibey, fun and my friends looked after me real good. It was enough for me to start looking at any working opportunities there. It wasn’t meant to be, but now being based in Doha, Qatar, it’s a lot easier to visit the city. So upon my return to the city, I was absolutely blown away by how much it has changed. For one, it’s a lot ‘taller’. There are so many more buildings, so many skyscrapers. The Dubai Canal is a new addition to the city, and the Metro is fully functional too. This city is truly world class, and they aren’t playing games when it comes to proving how much they want to be considered as such.

I headed off to the race registration. Now usually you find a big expo with loads of stalls and brands showing off all their latest trends and products. So I was a bit taken aback by the lack of exhibitors there. In fact, I was disappointed because I was hoping to get myself a new pair of running shoes there. I mean, in my head there’s no better place than the number one hub for runners, right? Alas, it is what it is and the one good thing is that I didn’t have to stand in too long a queue, which is always a bonus. All wrapped up, all registered and now officially ‘poeping’ myself, I headed off to my hotel. If you’re ever looking for a central place to stay, I would definitely recommend the Metropolitan Hotel. It’s newly refurbished, it’s a short walk from the FGB Station and it’s very affordable too. The room was comfy and it’s close to the Burj Al Arab…. So it comes highly recommended. It worked very well for me too because it was about 3kms from the start and finish of the race. There’s also a really nice grocery store down the road (it sells biltong). PLUS if you’re South African, there’s a Mugg & Bean in the centre too… A little taste of home never hurt. Gosh, was that necessary. I vowed to get myself a banana muffin after the race, but that didn’t happen this time around. So I’ll just have to go back I guess 😉

On race morning, I got up early, enjoyed my High Protein Futurelife and then headed to the start. It was supposed to be pretty chilly, but to be honest the humidity kept it quite warm. Perfect for running really. After checking in my bag, I made my way to the start – EEEEEEEEEK! I’ve come this far, the only thing left to do now is to run. And that I did. I managed to find my rhythm quickly and I slowed my pace down too. Sidebar, I recently did a 21km training in Doha and I managed to do it in 1:38, which is my fastest. Granted it’s flat here and the weather is perfect. I didn’t expect to keep that pace for the marathon. In fact, I knew I had to slow down, and that’s what I did. I found a group of runners from Dubai, who were running a really nice pace, and so I hooked onto their bus and ran with them. At around 19kms, I need to use the little boy’s rooms, and so by the time I was done (like literally 2minutes), they were gone. I tried to catch up, but they’d upped their pace and I couldn’t keep up. I kept it steady, though and found another group to run with. At around 30kms in, the wheels started coming off. I think I’d pushed a little too hard. That coupled with old running shoes and too little distance training in the build up. It was possibly the longest 12kms of my life. I battled through, but I came out on top and managed to sneak in a time of 3:48… Super stoked about that one, seeing as though my marathon time in Ironman was a long 4:50.

A few lessons learned on the run:

– Don’t drink too much

– Get your nutrition right. All I wanted were some baby potatoes (my mum will be happy)

– Slow it down in the beginning, and pick it up for the last 10kms

– Do more longer, slower distance training in the build up

– Make sure your running shoes are conducive to running long distances like this

– Have fun

If you have any tips, please feel free to share with me too.

I really did enjoy the experience and I’m keen to do more marathons now… I’m a global runner and I love this ish. Between running, swimming, cycling and a combination of all three in the form of triathlon, expect more travel and race reports from me. I’m longing to go to Ironman South Africa, but it’s looking unlikely. New York City Triathlon in July is definitely on the cards – entry was paid for last year and it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. Plus it’s New York City… My home away from home 🙂 As for the city of Dubai. Well, I do love thee. The pulse, the people, the forward-thinking types, the infrastructure, the cleanliness, the services, Dubai stays winning. I’ll be back there soon, but first we prep for ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi 2017 in March.

Full list of 2017 Oscar nominees

Here are the nominees for the 89th Academy Awards. The awards will take place on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center®.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”
  • Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”
  • Denzel Washington in “Fences”

 

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight”
  • Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”
  • Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Dev Patel in “Lion”
  • Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”

 

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”
  • Ruth Negga in “Loving”
  • Natalie Portman in “Jackie”
  • Emma Stone in “La La Land”
  • Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”

 

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Viola Davis in “Fences”
  • Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Lion”
  • Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”
  • Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”

 

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
  • “Moana” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
  • “My Life as a Zucchini” Claude Barras and Max Karli
  • “The Red Turtle” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
  • “Zootopia” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

 

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Arrival” Bradford Young
  • “La La Land” Linus Sandgren
  • “Lion” Greig Fraser
  • “Moonlight” James Laxton
  • “Silence” Rodrigo Prieto

 

Achievement in costume design

  • “Allied” Joanna Johnston
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Colleen Atwood
  • “Florence Foster Jenkins” Consolata Boyle
  • “Jackie” Madeline Fontaine
  • “La La Land” Mary Zophres

 

Achievement in directing

  • “Arrival” Denis Villeneuve
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Mel Gibson
  • “La La Land” Damien Chazelle
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Kenneth Lonergan
  • “Moonlight” Barry Jenkins

 

Best documentary feature

  • “Fire at Sea” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
  • “I Am Not Your Negro” Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck
  • “Life, Animated” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
  • “O.J.: Made in America” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
  • “13th” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

 

Best documentary short subject

  • “Extremis” Dan Krauss
  • “4.1 Miles” Daphne Matziaraki
  • “Joe’s Violin” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
  • “Watani: My Homeland” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
  • “The White Helmets” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

 

Achievement in film editing

  • “Arrival”Joe Walker
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” John Gilbert
  • “Hell or High Water” Jake Roberts
  • “La La Land” Tom Cross
  • “Moonlight” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

 

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Land of Mine” Denmark
  • “A Man Called Ove” Sweden
  • “The Salesman” Iran
  • “Tanna” Australia
  • “Toni Erdmann” Germany

 

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “A Man Called Ove” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
  • “Star Trek Beyond” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
  • “Suicide Squad” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

 

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Jackie” Mica Levi
  • “La La Land” Justin Hurwitz
  • “Lion” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
  • “Moonlight” Nicholas Britell
  • “Passengers” Thomas Newman

 

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”
    Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”
    Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
  • “City Of Stars” from “La La Land”
    Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • “The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”
    Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
  • “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”
    Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

 

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Arrival” Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers
  • “Fences” Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers
  • “Hell or High Water” Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers
  • “Hidden Figures” Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
  • “La La Land” Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers
  • “Lion” Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers
  • “Moonlight” Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

 

Achievement in production design

  • “Arrival” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Hail, Caesar!” Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “La La Land” Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
  • “Passengers” Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

 

Best animated short film

  • “Blind Vaysha” Theodore Ushev
  • “Borrowed Time” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
  • “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
  • “Pearl” Patrick Osborne
  • “Piper” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

 

Best live action short film

  • “Ennemis Intérieurs” Sélim Azzazi
  • “La Femme et le TGV” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
  • “Silent Nights” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
  • “Sing” Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy
  • “Timecode” Juanjo Giménez

 

Achievement in sound editing

  • “Arrival” Sylvain Bellemare
  • “Deepwater Horizon” Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
  • “La La Land” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
  • “Sully” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

 

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “Arrival” Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
  • “La La Land” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
  • “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

 

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Deepwater Horizon” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
  • “Doctor Strange” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
  • “The Jungle Book” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

 

Adapted screenplay

  • “Arrival” Screenplay by Eric Heisserer
  • “Fences” Screenplay by August Wilson
  • “Hidden Figures” Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
  • “Lion” Screenplay by Luke Davies
  • “Moonlight” Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

 

Original screenplay

  • “Hell or High Water” Written by Taylor Sheridan
  • “La La Land” Written by Damien Chazelle
  • “The Lobster” Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Written by Kenneth Lonergan
  • “20th Century Women” Written by Mike Mills

Justin Bieber returns to South Africa in May 2017

 

Global superstar Justin Bieber announced today that his Purpose World Tour will be coming to South Africa in 2017. Presented by Discovery.

Johannesburg: Sunday 14th May at FNB Stadium

Cape Town: Wednesday 17th May at Cape Town Stadium

With 947, KFM and M-Net and Channel 24. Another Big Concerts Experience.

TICKET INFORMATION

Tickets go on sale Thursday 15th December at 9am. Go to www.bigconcerts.co.za for all the information.  Discovery Pre-Sale:  Discovery cardholders get exclusive access to tickets from Tuesday 13th December. Go to www.discovery.co.za for more information. 

Please note the following ticketing polices: all fans attending the concerts that are younger than 14 years must be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian. There is also an age restriction on field standing tickets (Front Zone Standing East/West and General Admission East/West) – no one under 12 years and shorter than 1.2 metres will be permitted onto the field.

 

With worldwide album sales in excess of 100 million units, Bieber has dominated pop culture and social media.  With 3.1 million sales worldwide for his latest album ‘Purpose’ Justin Bieber’s current global tour has smashed box office records. Hit singles include ‘What Do you Mean’, ‘Sorry’, ‘Love Yourself’ which all peaked at number one on the Billboard Top 200 making Bieber the first male artist in almost a decade to have three number ones from an album.

…and NOW, Justin Bieber brings his Purpose World Tour to South Africa with two stadium shows. www.justinbiebermusic.com

#PurposeWorldTour

Tour Information:

Johannesburg

Sunday 14th May 2017

FNB Stadium

Ticket Price:  R410 – R1540

Tickets go on sale Thursday 15th December at 9am from www.bigconcerts.com and Computicket

Pre-Sale: Exclusive pre-sale for Discovery Card holders from 13th December 2016. Go to www.discovery.co.za for more information

 

VIP/Hospitality:

VIP packages available from www.computicket.com.

Suite Hospitality: SAIL: bookings@sail.co.za or dial 082-560-8993

 

 

Cape Town

Wednesday 17th May 2017

Cape Town Stadium

Ticket Price:  R350 – R1260

Tickets go on sale Thursday 15th December at 9am from www.bigconcerts.com and Computicket

Pre-Sale: Exclusive pre-sale for Discovery Card holders from 13th December 2016. Go to www.discovery.co.za for more information

 

VIP/Hospitality:

VIP packages available from www.computicket.com.

Suite Hospitality: For any hospitality enquiries, please contact Dudley Horn on Dudley@tegsa.co.za

Here are the 2017 Grammy nominees

The nominees for the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards®   have just been announced. Leading the pack is Beyoncé with a massive 9 nominations for her incredible visual album, Lemonade. She’s in good company too with DrakeRihanna and Kanye West all cracking 8 nominations. Chance The Rapper scored himself seven nominations, which is good to see. Adele is right up there too, and I predict it’s going to be a massive night for her and Beyoncé. Your thoughts?

At next year’s ceremony, which will take place on the 12th of February, expect to see moving tributes for the likes of the late, greats Prince and David Bowie. Also expect some incredible hosting skills from The Late Late Show’s James Corden. For now though, here are the nominees:

Album Of The Year:
25 — Adele
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Views — Drake
A Sailor’s Guide To Earth — Sturgill Simpson

Record Of The Year:
“Hello” — Adele
“Formation” — Beyoncé
“7 Years” — Lukas Graham
“Work” — Rihanna Featuring Drake
“Stressed Out” — Twenty One Pilots

Song Of The Year:
“Formation” — Khalif Brown, Asheton Hogan, Beyoncé Knowles & Michael L. Williams II, songwriters (Beyoncé)
“Hello” — Adele Adkins & Greg Kurstin, songwriters (Adele)
“I Took A Pill In Ibiza” — Mike Posner, songwriter (Mike Posner)
“Love Yourself” — Justin Bieber, Benjamin Levin & Ed Sheeran, songwriters (Justin Bieber)
“7 Years” — Lukas Forchhammer, Stefan Forrest, Morten Pilegaard & Morten Ristorp, songwriters (Lukas Graham)

Best New Artist:
Kelsea Ballerini
The Chainsmokers
Chance The Rapper
Maren Morris
Anderson .Paak

POP FIELD
Best Pop Vocal Album:
25 — Adele
Purpose — Justin Bieber
Dangerous Woman — Ariana Grande
Confident — Demi Lovato
This Is Acting — Sia

DANCE/ELECTRONIC MUSIC FIELD
Best Dance/Electronic Album:
Skin — Flume
Electronica 1: The Time Machine — Jean-Michel Jarre
Epoch — Tycho
Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future — Underworld
Louie Vega Starring…XXVIII — Louie Vega

ROCK FIELD
Best Rock Album:
California — Blink-182
Tell Me I’m Pretty — Cage The Elephant
Magma — Gojira
Death Of A Bachelor — Panic! At The Disco
Weezer — Weezer

ALTERNATIVE FIELD
Best Alternative Music Album:
22, A Million — Bon Iver
Blackstar — David Bowie
The Hope Six Demolition Project — PJ Harvey
Post Pop Depression — Iggy Pop
A Moon Shaped Pool — Radiohead

R&B FIELD
Best Urban Contemporary Album:
Lemonade — Beyoncé
Ology — Gallant
We Are King — KING
Malibu — Anderson .Paak
Anti — Rihanna

RAP FIELD
Best Rap Performance:
“No Problem” — Chance The Rapper Featuring Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
“Panda” —Desiigner
“Pop Style” — Drake Featuring The Throne
“All The Way Up” — Fat Joe & Remy Ma Featuring French Montana & Infared
“That Part” — ScHoolboy Q Featuring Kanye West

COUNTRY FIELD
Best Country Solo Performance:
“Love Can Go To Hell” — Brandy Clark
“Vice” — Miranda Lambert
“My Church” — Maren Morris
“Church Bells” — Carrie Underwood
“Blue Ain’t Your Color” — Keith Urban

JAZZ FIELD
Best Jazz Vocal Album:
Sound Of Red — René Marie
Upward Spiral — Branford Marsalis Quartet With Special Guest Kurt Elling
Take Me To The Alley — Gregory Porter
Harlem On My Mind — Catherine Russell
The Sting Variations — The Tierney Sutton Band

GOSPEL/CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN MUSIC FIELD
Best Gospel Album:
Listen —Tim Bowman Jr.
Fill This House — Shirley Caesar
A Worshipper’s Heart [Live] —Todd Dulaney
Losing My Religion — Kirk Franklin
Demonstrate [Live] —William Murphy

Best Contemporary Christian Music Album:
Poets & Saints — All Sons & Daughters
American Prodigal — Crowder
Be One — Natalie Grant
Youth Revival [Live] — Hillsong Young & Free
Love Remains — Hillary Scott & The Scott Family

LATIN FIELD
Best Latin Pop Album:
Un Besito Mas — Jesse & Joy
Ilusión — Gaby Moreno
Similares — Laura Pausini
Seguir Latiendo — Sanalejo
Buena Vida — Diego Torres

AMERICAN ROOTS MUSIC FIELD
Best American Roots Performance:
“Ain’t No Man” — The Avett Brothers
“Mother’s Children Have A Hard Time” — Blind Boys Of Alabama
“Factory Girl” — Rhiannon Giddens
“House Of Mercy” — Sarah Jarosz
“Wreck You” — Lori McKenna

SPOKEN WORD FIELD
Best Spoken Word Album (Includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling):
The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo — Amy Schumer
In Such Good Company: Eleven Years Of Laughter, Mayhem, And Fun In The Sandbox — Carol Burnett
M Train — Patti Smith
Under The Big Black Sun: A Personal History Of L.A.Punk (John Doe With Tom DeSavia) — (Various Artists)
Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink — Elvis Costello

MUSIC FOR VISUAL MEDIA FIELD
Best Song Written For Visual Media:
“Can’t Stop The Feeling!” — Max Martin, Shellback & Justin Timberlake, songwriters (Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, James Corden, Zooey Deschanel, Walt Dohrn, Ron Funches, Caroline Hjelt, Aino Jawo, Christopher Mintz-Plasse & Kunal Nayyar), Track from: Trolls
“Heathens” — Tyler Joseph, songwriter (Twenty One Pilots), Track from: Suicide Squad
“Just Like Fire” — Oscar Holter, Max Martin, P!nk & Shellback, songwriters (P!nk), Track from: Alice Through The Looking Glass
“Purple Lamborghini” — Shamann Cooke, Sonny Moore & William Roberts, songwriters (Skrillex & Rick Ross), Track from: Suicide Squad
“Try Everything” — Mikkel S. Eriksen, Sia Furler & Tor Erik Hermansen, songwriters (Shakira), Track from: Zootopia
“The Veil” — Peter Gabriel, songwriter (Peter Gabriel), Track from: Snowden

MUSIC VIDEO/FILM FIELD
Best Music Video
:
“Formation” — Beyoncé
“River” — Leon Bridges
“Up & Up” — Coldplay
“Gosh” — Jamie XX
“Upside Down & Inside Out” — OK Go

PRODUCTION, NON-CLASSICAL FIELD
Producer Of The YearNon-Classical:
Benny Blanco
Greg Kurstin
Max Martin
Nineteen85
Ricky Reed

Hello from Doha, Qatar

It has been a while since my long blog post… I think it’s because I’ve been so busy trying to settle into my new environment, my new job, and my new way of life in the Qatari city of Doha. It has been almost four months, and it’s time for my blogging hiatus to come to an end.

A quick recap… A lot of you still may not have realised, but I no longer live in SA. I moved to Doha, Qatar on the 11th of August. I was yearning for an adventure abroad and so when the opportunity to come out here and work on a very exciting project (well four), I simply couldn’t turn it down. It scared me to no end. I mean I knew one old university friend was based here and besides her, I knew of a few people who knew my people in some way. That’s part of the adventure huh? Some of the things I’ve done since I’ve been here:

  • Been a #YesMan… Go meet people from all walks of life because why not? And boy have I met some incredible humans.
  • Use apps like Internations, Meetup or dare I say it, even Tinder
  • Tenpin bowling. It’s not novel, but it’s fun and a good way to let your hair down
  • Go smoke shisha at the Souq Waqif
  • Walk and explore (not in the height of summer because it’s revolting). In my case, it’s run ’cause you know… Triathlete
  • I went dog walking… I love dogs, I needed some attention from our furry friends, and they needed some love and affection too. The fit was right. So fulfilling, special and I met some awesome people too
  • Tried a vegan restaurant. Absolutely delicious!!! IF you ever come and visit the city (or me) we’re going to Evergreen Organics
  • Desert safari with friends
  • Visited the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA)
  • Kayaking around Katara Recreation Centre
  • Mall shopping (there are malls for days in these parts)
  • Joined a triathlon club

Some of you might think that’s what I do back at home. Yes, you’re right… For some of these, but for most of the listed items above, I’ve taken for granted. Before coming here, I slipped into a routine, a comfort zone if you like and that’s made me somewhat complacent. Life is about living and I’ve become a strong advocate of the idea of growth only being possible when you’re out of your comfort zone. There’s a limit though and we need to be able to draw the line or strike a balance between what is possible and what isn’t. No experience is ever wasted, but I’d much rather be doing stuff and fail, then to live in a bubble and wonder what if? Or worse, have regrets.

I went back to SA a few weeks back and that was good for the soul. Seeing your family, your friends… Your people is best. Having said that, I was pretty excited to head back here. I think that’s a good sign, right? 🙂

And so with this massive change in my life, I feel like it’s only fitting that my blog content shifts  slightly too. There will be more adventure, more news on health and wellness (my journey in this space), more on the city of Doha, but there will still be entertainment too. I hope you’ll my #DesertDiary and this project I call #AVonVoyage.

Black Coffee incident – AKA’s team issues statement

Johannesburg, Monday, 26 September 2016 ­ – The Vth Season confirms that one of our employees, Tshiamo Letshwene, who serves as a Road Manager, was involved in an altercation with Black Coffee this past weekend at the DSTV iRock Festival in Limpopo whilst Road Managing AKA and his band.

We are very surprised and disappointed to hear of the violent reaction by Black Coffee towards Tshiamo which was unexpected and unwarranted. Tshiamo is more shocked than injured. We admire and hold Black Coffee in high regard but his actions on Saturday night have let us down especially for Tshiamo who is a fan and considers Black Coffee a role model.

AKA was not late for his performance at the DSTV iRock Festival in Limpopo as media and event goers have reported. As an Agency, it is very important for us to be professional at all times with all our stakeholders. Three weeks ago we requested a performance time change for AKA to which the event organisers agreed and confirmed. We wanted to ensure that there was enough travel time for AKA and his band as they had another event prior to the DSTV iRock Festival and a private jet was chartered to ensure they got to Limpopo at the quickest possible time.

It is unheard of and highly unprofessional for an artist to have squabbles with another artist or his team members about performance line up details. Disputes should be addressed directly with the event organisers to which they would have been able to confirm to Black Coffee that they advised AKA’s band to set up at that particular time. AKA and his band were willing to wait to perform after Black Coffee’s set but were instructed to go on as planned. We cannot attest to whether or not Black Coffee was informed prior to Saturday night about the changes with his timeslot, but he had no business arguing with and then slapping Tshiamo.

For an artist that has been in the music industry for the amount of years that Black Coffee has, his actions on Saturday night don’t speak to the brand magnitude of what we know Black Coffee to be. His actions were ignorant, distasteful and not of someone level headed or mature. We applaud Tshiamo for keeping his cool and being professional throughout the altercation especially seeing that the anger and violence was misplaced.

“It’s completely unacceptable for Black Coffee to have hit someone. We thought he was a gentleman and a professional. I’m sure he has something to say about his despicable and inexcusable action but in the meantime we anticipate an apology from Black Coffee to the young man” expresses Benza, Managing Director, Vth Season Talent and Entertainment Marketing Agency.

Beyoncé, Adele lead 2016 MTV Video Music Awards

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Oh boy what I’d give to go to these awards!!! The nominees for this year’s MTV Video Music Awards were announced last night via Facebook Live. It shouldn’t come as a big surprise to you that Beyoncé and Adele lead the pack of nominees with 11 and 8 respectively. See the full list of nominees below. The 2016 “MTV Video Music Awards” will take place at New York’s iconic Madison Square Garden on Sunday 28 August, premiering across Africa on Monday 29 August at 21:00 CAT (MTV, MTV Base) and 20:00 WAT (MTV Base ROA).  Build up to the big night begins with the official Pre-Show including red carpet action on Monday 29 August at 20:00 CAT (MTV, MTV Base) and 19:00 WAT (MTV Base ROA).

See below for a full list of nominees:
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Adele – “Hello”
Director: Xavier Dolan
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Director: Director X
Justin Bieber – “Sorry”
Director: Parris Goebel
Kanye West – “Famous”
Director: Kanye West

BEST FEMALE VIDEO
Adele – “Hello”
Director: Xavier Dolan
Beyoncé – “Hold Up”
Director: Jonas Åkerlund, Beyoncé Knowles Carter
Sia – “Cheap Thrills”
Director: Lior Molcho
Ariana Grande – “Into You”
Director: Hannah Lux Davis
Rihanna ft. Drake – “Work” (short version)
Director: Director X

BEST MALE VIDEO
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Director: Director X
Bryson Tiller – “Don’t”
Director: Cris
Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”
Director: Emil Nava
Kanye West – “Famous”
Director: Kanye West
The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”
Director: Grant Singer

BEST COLLABORATION
Beyoncé ft. Kendrick Lamar – “Freedom”
Director:  Beyoncé Knowles Carter, Kahlil Joseph
Fifth Harmony ft. Ty Dolla $ign – “Work From Home”
Director: Director X
Ariana Grande ft. Lil Wayne – “Let Me Love You”
Director: Grant Singer
Calvin Harris ft. Rihanna – “This Is What You Came For”
Director: Emil Nava
Rihanna ft. Drake – “Work” (short version)
Director: Director X

BEST HIP HOP VIDEO
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Director: Director X
Desiigner – “Panda”
Director: Paul Geusebroek
Bryson Tiller – “Don’t”
Director: Cris
Chance The Rapper featuring Saba – “Angels”
Director: Austin Vesely
2 Chainz – “Watch Out”
Director: Motion Family

BEST POP VIDEO
Adele – “Hello”
Director: Xavier Dolan
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Justin Bieber – “Sorry”
Director: Parris Goebel
Alessia Cara – “Wild Things”
Director: Aaron A
Ariana Grande – “Into You”
Director: Hannah Lux Davis

BEST ROCK VIDEO
All Time Low – “Missing You”
Director: Patrick Tracy
Coldplay – “Adventure Of A Lifetime”
Director: Mat Whitecross
Fall Out Boy ft. Demi Lovato – “Irresistible”
Director: Wayne Isham
twenty one pilots – “Heathens”
Director: Andrew Donoho
Panic! At The Disco – “Victorious”
Director: Brandon Dermer

BEST ELECTRONIC VIDEO
Calvin Harris & Disciples – “How Deep Is Your Love”
Director: Emil Nava
99 Souls ft. Destiny’s Child & Brandy – “The Girl Is Mine”
Director: Ludovic Zuili / Simon Bouisson
Mike Posner – “I Took A Pill In Ibiza”
Director: Jon Jon Augustavo
Afrojack – “SummerThing!”
Director: Sam Sneed
The Chainsmokers ft. Daya – “Don’t Let Me Down”
Director: Marcus Kuhne

BREAKTHROUGH LONG FORM VIDEO
Florence + The Machine – The Odyssey
Beyoncé – Lemonade
Justin Bieber – PURPOSE: The Movement
Chris Brown – Royalty
Troye Sivan – Blue Neighbourhood Trilogy

BEST NEW ARTIST
Bryson Tiller
Desiigner
Zara Larsson
Lukas Graham
DNCE

PROFESSIONAL CATEGORIES

BEST ART DIRECTION
Beyoncé – “Hold Up”
Production Designer: Jason Hougaard
Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $”
Production Designer: Alexander Delgado
Drake – “Hotline Bling”
Production Designer: Jeremy MacFarlane
David Bowie – “Blackstar”
Production Designer: Jan Houllevigue
Adele – “Hello”
Production Designer: Colombe Raby

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Choreographer: Chris Grant, JaQuel Knight, Dana Foglia
Missy Elliott ft. Pharrell – “WTF (Where They From)”
Choreographer: Hi-Hat
Beyoncé – “Sorry”
Choreographer: Chris Grant, JaQuel Knight, Dana Foglia, Anthony Burrell, Beyoncé Knowles Carter
FKA Twigs – “M3LL155X”
Choreographer: FKA Twigs
Florence + The Machine – “Delilah”
Choreographer: Holly Blakey

BEST DIRECTION
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Director: Melina Matsoukas
Coldplay – “Up&Up”
Director: Vania Heymann, Gal Muggia
Adele – “Hello”
Director: Xavier Dolan
David Bowie – “Lazarus”
Director: Johan Renck
Tame Impala – “The Less I Know The Better”
Director: Canada

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Cinematographer: Malik Sayeed
Adele – “Hello”
Cinematographer: André Turpin
David Bowie – “Lazarus”
Cinematographer: Crille Forsberg
Alesso – “I Wanna Know”
Cinematographer: Corey Jennings
Ariana Grande – “Into You”
Cinematographer: Paul Laufer

BEST EDITING
Beyoncé – “Formation”
Editor: Jeff Selis
Adele – “Hello”
Editor: Xavier Dolan
Fergie – “M.I.L.F. $”
Editor: Vinnie Hobbs
David Bowie – “Lazarus”
Editor: Johan Söderberg
Ariana Grande – “Into You”
Editor: Hannah Lux Davis

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Coldplay – “Up&Up”
VFX Editor: Vania Heymann
FKA Twigs – “M3LL155X”
VFX Editor: Lewis Saunders, Jihoon Yoo
Adele – “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”
VFX Editor: Sam Sneade
The Weeknd – “Can’t Feel My Face”
VFX Editor: Bryan Smaller
Zayn – “PILLOWTALK”
VFX Editor: David Smith

Q&A with Tough Rides: Brazil’s Ryan Pyle

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The new season of Tough Rides kicks off on Travel Channel on 23 July. Check out my Q&A with host, Ryan Pyle to see what he gets up to in this season of Tough Rides: Brazil:

1.    On 23 July, your show Tough Rides: Brazil kicks off on Travel Channel, channel 179 on DStv. Riding a bike can be nerve-wracking at the best of times. Do you get nervous leading up to a new show’s debut on TV?
RP: I don’t get nervous when I am riding motorcycles, but it can always be a little bit scary when you travel around a country as wonderful as Brazil and you have so many honest and intimate moments with people, and you wonder if your television audiences around the world will “buy in” and want to follow in your footsteps and watch the rest of the episode. My goal is to explore, educate and storytell, and I think we did that in Brazil.

 

2.    In this series, you’re riding across South America’s biggest country, Brazil. What is the best aspect about traversing a country like this on nothing but a bike?
RP: A motorcycle puts you in touch with a country the way a car or bus or train never can. On a motorcycle you are connected to nature, to the weather, to the landscape and to the people. It’s a 360 degree experience that is real, rich and incredibly fullfilling.

 

3.    How did this idea come about?
RP: We are now in Season #3 of Tough Rides. I’ve already completed journey’s in China (S1) and India (S2). Originally my brother joined me in China and India and it was a wonderful experience, it was something that we had always wanted to do. Instead of “riding around the world” I always just wanted to learn as much about one country at one time; so riding a motorcycle for a few weeks or months around a single country and learning as much as possible about what makes that country special is just wonderful and very rewarding. The best way to explore the world is on two wheels.

4.    In the first episode, you’re in the incredible city of Rio de Janeiro, which is amazing. It can also be a bit scary in parts, can you tell us a bit about that?
RP: Rio is a city of great contrasts. If you stay near Copa Cabanna beach where all the tourists are then there are no real issues. If you go wandering off in other parts of the city there could be some issues. We toured the favella’s as part of our series and it was a unique look at a city of great constrasts. Highly educational.

 

5.    When you’re in these different cities, or making your way from A to B, do you ever get time to just pull over and admire the beauty, the scenery, the people?
RP: Sure, we always stop and film and meet people on the road and take our time. We are never rushing from A to B, and most of the time the best stories and the best people we meet are in those places inbetween. My series is un-scripted for the most part so we are always on the look-out for chance encounters.

 

6.    What were some of your personal highlights that perhaps didn’t quite make the TV cut?
RP: There is so much content that never makes it in to the TV Cut. Wow, where do I begin? There were a lot of challenging moments along the BR-319, the most dangerous road in Brazil, that we were just unable to film because of extreme conditions due to personal safety. But that could have been an entire series all by itself. I hope I can go back at some stage.

 

7.    What was the most difficult thing about the trip?
RP: The most difficult thing for me about making adventure television shows is being away from my family for long stretches at a time. As “tough” as I am in traveling by motorcycle through the Amazon, I have an incredible support team in my family….that I miss dearly everyday.

 

8.    If someone is going to Brazil for the Olympics next month, what are some of the words or phrases can you share with them to get by while they’re there?
RP: In Brazil, you don’t need language. You need body language. Be loose. Be fun. Smile. And be sure to drink and dance the night way, just like all the locals. You’ll be embraced but what it means to be Brazilian. What a beautiful way of life.

 

9.    You’re an adventurer by trade. So what’s next for Ryan? Maybe a trip from Cape Town to Cairo?
RP: I make a lot of different television shows, and Tough Rides is one of my absolute favorites. I would love to do an adventure in Africa but I would prefer to visit only one or two countries at a time and really try to learn about their diversity and what makes them special. I am less interested about crossing continents or doing “round the world” rides. I am on my motorcycle to connect with people and learn about places that I want to visit.

 

10.  In closing and in two sentences, why should people watch Tough Rides: Brazil?
RP: You should watch Tough Rides: Brazil because it is real, it is honest and it is epic. Enjoy the adventure!

 

11.  Where do we find you on the social networks?
RP: Facebook (@ryanpyle) – Twitter (@ryanpyle) – Instagram (@ryanpyle)

Witness the fitness and get your Discovery points again

Good news exercisers, you can now earn the Discovery Vitality points you deserve… again. The company will once again make changes to its points system, following what I believe to be a massive outcry from the public. I wrote a post on Facebook shortly after Ironman because I felt like I got the raw end of the stick when it came to the points. Some got 300 points for doing the race because they owned a Garmin device (I own a Suunto), but others like me got nothing, zilch, zero… 12:39 hours out there, doing one of the most challenging races on the circuit and I got no points.  Not ideal, I’ve had my moan and I offered some constructive feedback, proposed some solutions, which I’m glad I did. I may not be invited to attend their events anymore, but that’s okay because things seemed to have changed. See the email details received below:

Dear Jason

Helping you reach your personal health goals is hugely important to us and we value that you’ve chosen to partner with Vitality on your wellness journey.

From Saturday, 20 August 2016 we will be adding more ways to earn Vitality fitness points. These enhancements are based on our analysis of the member experience as well as member feedback we have received over the past few months. Our upcoming updates aim to positively challenge and motivate you to further engage in Vitality Active Rewards. We saw that certain changes we made earlier this year frustrated some members, and we are truly sorry for this.

What you can expect from Saturday, 20 August 2016:

  • You’ll be able to earn points by taking part in any timed and verified race event locally or internationally in the disciplines of cycling, walking/running, swimming and major multisport events in line with our fitness points table.
  • For members who are just starting out, we’re re-introducing the popular 50 points category for tracking 5 000 steps a day.
  • There will be a new heart rate points category for workouts between 60 and 69% and between 70 and 79% of age-related maximum heart rate.
  • We’ve got a new Endurance and High Performance category to enable points earning for longer duration workouts.
  • The weekly maximum goal will be lowered to 900 points (from 1 200) for all Vitality Active Rewards members (excluding those in the new Endurance and High Performance category). The weekly maximum goal will remain 600 points for at-risk members with certain chronic conditions, health concerns during pregnancy, or members aged 65+ with risk factors.

These changes will mean a more personalised fitness experience for you while staying true to the evolving science that guides our programme and highlights our commitment to encouraging safe ways to exercise.

To inspire you towards your own fitness personal bests, we’re proud to announce that Discovery Vitality is the Official Wellness Partner of the SA Olympic Team. Don’t forget to tune in for the 2016 Rio Olympics from Friday, 5 August to support our Vitality ambassador, Chad le Closand the rest of the team as they GO for GOLD.

Enjoy this month’s newsletter!

Dr Shrey Viranna
CEO Discovery Vitality

Well done to the Discovery Vitality team. This is a prime example of listening to your base, your clients and making the necessary changes to align with the public’s demands – all while ensuring your business interests are being met too. Now go get active, get moving, be healthy and earn them points. When you reach your goal or the next level, you can treat yourself to a trip locally or internationally 😉