RIP Gugu Zulu

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Today is Mandela Day. It’s a day whereby many take the time out of their busy schedules to dedicate 67 minutes to the memory, the legacy of our beloved late Madiba. And while many will continue to take the time out to do good for our fellow South Africans, it’s turned out to be a very sad day for the sporting and lifestyle fraternity too.

Race car driver, family man and all-around amazing human, Gugu Zulu has died. The star, together with his wife Letshego and a couple of others were climbing Kilimanjaro in aid of the #Trek4Mandela campaign. The details around his death aren’t clear as yet, but the news was confirmed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation earlier:

Date: 18 July 2016

From: Nelson Mandela Foundation

It is with a heavy heart that we announce that one of the climbers on the Trek4Mandela, Gugu Zulu lost his life early this morning in his attempt to summit Kilimanjaro.

On behalf of the Board and staff of the Nelson Mandela Foundation we extend our sincere condolences to his wife Letshego Zulu, their daughter Lelethu and the Zulu family on this tragic loss.

Details are sketchy. What we do know is that Gugu experienced problems breathing. The medical team supporting the trek put him on a drip and they descended the mountain with him. We are informed that the medical teams tried everything possible to save his life.

Gugu was climbing Kilimanjaro with his wife Letshego and we understand that they both descended the mountain together with Richard Mabaso, the project leader and the medical teams. The team was led by experienced mountaineer, Sibusiso Vilane.

Sello Hatang, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation said, “I am devastated. I knew him well. I recruited him to climb Kilimanjaro. The last thing he said to me at the airport before he left last week was that he wanted to speak about doing other Mandela Day projects. I feel a huge sense of loss.”

This was Gugu’s last post on his Facebook page on 16 July:

“Made it though (stet) day2. My wife is doing fabulous, she has even learnt the local language. Am having flu like symptoms and struggling with the mountain but taking it step by step!! Today we managed to see our destination and our camp is literary above the clouds!!”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation will share more information once we get further details from Tanzania.

The climbers were due to summit Kilimanjaro today, for Mandela Day.

I can honestly say he was one of the nicest, calm and friendly gentlemen I have ever known. Always so polite, always greeted, gave great interviews and glowed/ gushed when he spoke about his beloved Letshego and their daughter. My heart breaks for them. Keep them in your thoughts today and the days to come. Gugu, you were an amazing soul and your adventures inspired many of us to be the best we could be. Rest in peace, sir!

Winners at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards

Pic: Al Nicoll
Pic: Al Nicoll

Last night the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) returned to our screens. The show included performances from Africa’s finest like Davido, Dbanj, Tiwa Savage, Sarkodie and Mafikizolo, as well as a few internationals too like Miguel and Trey Songz. The show was hosted by American comedian Marlon Wayans battled his way through some of the names and had many people questioning his hosting duties. He had some high notes, but for the most part people were asking why no African comedians were included in the bill. Alas, it is what it is and the show was actually really impressive and enjoyable. Did you spot the ‘Kool Kardashian’ aka Khloe Kardashian? She was in Durban to show her man, French Montana support.

In case you missed it, here are the winners from the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards:
Best Male: Davido (Nigeria)

Best Female: Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)

Best Group: Mafikizolo (South Africa)

Best New Act: Stanley Enow (Cameroon)

Best Live Act: Flavour (Nigeria)

Best Collaboration: “Y-tjukutja” – Uhuru Ft. Oskido, DJ Bucks, Professor and Yuri Da Cunha (South Africa/Angola)

Best Hip Hop: Sarkodie (Ghana)

Best Alternative: Gangs of Ballet (South Africa)

Best Francophone: Toofan (Togo)
Best Francophone: Toofan (Togo)

Best Lusophone: Anselmo Ralph (Angola)

Artist of the Year: Davido (Nigeria)

Song of the Year: “Khona” – Mafikizolo ft Uhuru (South Africa)

Best Video: Clarence Peters (Nigeria)

Best Pop: Goldfish (South Africa)

Best International: Pharrell

Personality of the Year: Lupita Nyong’o (Kenya)

MTV Base Leadership Award: Ashish J. Thakkar (Tanzania)

Transform Today Award by Absolut: Clarence Peters (Nigeria)

U2 to perform Ordinary Love at the Oscars

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The film industry’s big night is just over two weeks ago. The Academy Awards will go live to the world on Sunday, March 2nd and it’s bound to be a goodie. 12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, Blue Jasmine are just some of the films vying for top honours at this year’s Oscars. One film (and it might seem biased) that is missing from this year’s list of nominees is Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom. I think the film depicts Madiba’s story brilliantly, the acting is impeccable and it’s an important story to not only South Africans, but also the world over. I thought Idris Elba was fantastic in the role as Mandela, but Naomi Harris as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was world-class and I believe she was overlooked unfortunately.

Alas, this is showbiz and that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. One highlight is that rock band and activists, U2 was nominated for their song Ordinary Love, which is taken off the soundtrack to the film and it was announced yesterday that they would be performing the track on Oscar night.

The song is up against “Happy” from “Despicable Me 2,” “Let It Go” from “Frozen” and “The Moon Song” from “Her.”

I wont be on that time zone this year, but I will be up in the week hours of the 3rd of March, blogging and tweeting, so stay tuned for more from this year’s Academy Awards.

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U2 talk about winning a Golden Globe, Mandela

Here’s what U2 had to say shortly after winning their Golden Globe for the song Ordinary Love, which is taken off the Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom soundtrack. Bono recounts the time he visited Robben Island with Madiba.

Times for Nelson Mandela’s funeral on 15 December

BBC World News (channel 400 on DStv) will carry the late Nelson Mandela‘s funeral on Sunday from 06:00 GMT (That’s 08:00 CAT).
David Dimbleby introduces live coverage of the State Funeral of Nelson Mandela in Qunu, South Africa. Many Heads of State are expected to attend and pay their respects to the former President who reunited the nation and brought apartheid to an end.
Sunday 15th December from 06:00 GMT until 10:30 GMT

 

 

President Obama remembers Nelson Mandela

America’s first black president paid tribute to South Africa’s first black president in what was a very moving and special address. Obama brought a tear too many an eye, but he inspired many others with his words in what will go down as one of the most moving and amazing addresses Obama has made to date.