Goodbye to my twenties, hello to my thirties!

Today I officially leave my twenties and I get acquainted with being 30. Obviously I’m not the only one who has ever experienced this, but I’ll share my feelings anyway. 30… Excuse my French, but what the actual fuck? When did this happen? How did it happen so quickly? I got a message from a friend from school, a mate I’ve known for a good fifteen years. He said it feels like just the other day when we were sitting on the matric bricks at King Edward VII, chatting about getting our drivers licenses, the chicks we were interested in and what we were going to do with our lives. That was twelve years ago. Now, here I sit, in my 7-4 job looking back and moving forward. Here are some of the significant moments I experienced and people I met/ lost in my twenties – and I’m sharing because I choose to do so 🙂

  • I got my Bachelor of Journalism from Rhodes University. I specialized in TV; got the campus radio experience I wanted to and found some of the best friends a person can ever ask for while I was there.
  • I lived and worked in one of the most amazing little resort towns in the world, Aspen Colorado. It was incredible. I met some amazing people and I got to visit the city I’ve always wanted to, on my terms and with my budget. A massive achievement. I’m heading back to NYC next week, again on my own terms J
  • I was one of the founding members of the first online converged newsroom in the country… My first job. Ray Hartley and Carly Ritz, I’ll forever be grateful to you for this opportunity. Many people told me I couldn’t sustain a career in entertainment. Eight years on and I’m still doing it, integrity in tact and all. Suck on that haters.
  • On that tip, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to meet and interview some amazing people. Morgan Freeman, Annie Lennox, Keri Hilson, Gerard Butler, John Legend, Lira, Jeannie D, Claire Johnston, Hugh Masekela, Mi Casa and many others. Such wisdom, so down to earth. Many of whom have been supportive of my craft, my vision so thank you.
  • I’ve met some amazing people in the industry too and I can’t mention them all. I do you need to say thank you to a few of them though. Natasha, right from the moment I stepped into this industry you’ve been supportive and willing to work with me. From giving vegetarian Joss Stone (my first international celebrity interview) biltong, to stopping smoking; you moving to Cape Town and us still being tight, we’ve come a long way. You rock. Dionne, Dee… You are such a special and amazing friend, colleague, mentor to me. Working with you throughout the last eight years has been so fulfilling. I’ve learned so much from you and Benj and I’m forever grateful to you for your advice, patience and support. Love you long time. Laurice, you’ve been amazing to me too. When we left The Times, I was pretty uncertain about what was to come, but you gave me an opportunity to work on such a groundbreaking project and for that I will always be truly grateful. I look forward to working on many, many more exciting projects with you.
  • I’ve traveled to places I never thought I would; Brazil, Dubai, Turkey, Nigeria, Zambia, Ibiza and many more. It’s a real blessing to be able to travel, see the world, experience different cultures and I’ve learned a lot about myself in the process. I’m very stoked I get to do that. Tips to you all – do it. Get on a plane in your twenties, rough it out… see the world. You don’t need luxury, you need the experience and that’s something I will take from my twenties.
  • I lost two very special people to me in my twenties. My uncle and my gran. My gran was ill for a long time, and so we had time to prepare for her death. It doesn’t make it any easier though. My uncle died very unexpectedly and that honestly was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to deal/ still dealing with. It has almost been four years, but not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and the impact he had on my life. His legacy lives on and whenever I’m uncertain of something, I think about the way he lived his life to the fullest and I’m reminded how important it is to do that. I’m not a risk taker, but I’m definitely feeling like I need to focus on me more and that will be the biggest focal point for me in my thirties. There’s only so much giving you can do before you need to take and receive. I’m ready for the latter. To Bevan and gran, I love and miss you everyday.
  • I changed my lifestyle and became a lot more involved in outdoor activities again. I’m officially a triathlete, a runner, a long distance swimmer and a dabbler in cycling. I’m a Futurelife lifestyle ambassador, I have a certificate in nutrition and I look forward to what is next in this new and exciting adventure of mine. It’s the future, watch!
  • One of the most significant moments happened only two weeks ago. I was having dinner and drinks with my dear friends, Sim and John. We were talking about random stuff and then out of the blue, they asked me to be a Godfather to their beautiful daughter Ava Grace. She is one of the most gorgeous, special little beings I know and her little personality is developing so nicely. It’s an honour to be even considered, let alone trusted to play such a significant role in this little being’s life. I love all three of them and I’m very honoured!
  • My family and friends are my rocks. My circle of friends has decreased in the last few years and that’s not a bad thing. You keep those nearest and dearest to you and I’m happy with the company I choose to keep. No offence to the rest. You’ll always be a part of my story, but we move on and we move forward. I wish you the best! To my mom; my best friend and confidant, I love you to the moon and back. You’re always there for me, no matter what and I wouldn’t be who I am today without your love and support.

 

To my future, I look forward to sharing more milestones, life experiences and fond memories with you. I look forward to more travel, more adventure, love, health, wealth, triathlons (I’m obsessed) and hopefully mini VBs. Cheers to my twenties, hello to my thirties.

You’ve got Jeannie in a Bottle, now meet Jeannie in the flesh

unnamedTop Billing presenter and businesswoman, Jeannie D will be doing a promotional tour in three cities around the country this weekend. This is to promote her debut fragrance, Jeannie in a Bottle, which launched in November.

Go and meet the bubbly star in person on the following dates and in the select Cresta stores below… You might as well grab yourself, your girlfriend, wife, sister, aunt or someone special for Christmas. Perfect gift!

Dates below:

Saturday, 21 December – Johannesburg
• 9:30am  Eastgate
• 12:30pm Sandton
• 3:30pm Cresta

Sunday, 22 December – Durban
• 10:00am Pavillion
• 1:00am Gateway

Monday, 23 December – Cape Town
• 9:00am Tyger Valley
• 12:00pm Canal Walk
• 3:00pm Blue Route

Follow Jeannie on the social networks:
Facebook  Jeannie D
Twitter   @jeannieous
Website  jeannied.com

Reactions to Nelson Mandela’s passing

Jeannie D launches her own fragrance

Jeannie D
She’s one of the most bubbly people on TV. Her infectious presenting style and laughter, coupled with her superstar looks have made Jeannie D one of the most loved South African celebrities. Now the star is adding another feather to her cap in the form of a fragrance. Jeannie D has launched her signature perfume called Jeannie in a Bottle. She describes the fragrance as something of a ‘sophisticated’ nature, which sums her up just perfectly.
“This is an absolute dream come true for me. I just love the jasmine-floral profile of this fragrance and have no doubt that others will absolutely adore it too”,

The fragrance was developed by Luzi Switzerland and is packaged by Creighton Products in Durban. She together with her partners at Forma Cosmetics sifted through over 50 combinations before settling on sophisticated floral and spicy-woody middle notes. There’s also a little bit of amber, musk, tonka bean and vanilla. If you’re interested in purchasing the fragrance you can buy it at www.forma-cosmetics.com from R329.99. It will also be available at Clicks stores on the 1st of December 2013, just in time for Christmas 😉

Hopefully when Jeannie and Janez are finished shooting this season of Top Travel, she’ll be available for an interview with me to discuss this more. I’ll keep you posted on that front, but for now a big congratulations must go out to Jeannie!!

Top Travel returns tonight

Jeannie_2

If you know me, you’ll know that traveling is one of the most dear things to me. It’s one of the most wonderful things anyone can do and I’d love to do a lot more of it. In fact, I plan to. Right now though, it isn’t about me. It’s about the awesome presenting twosome that is Jeannie D and Janez Vermeiren. The two return to our screens tonight for another season of the hit show, Top Travel. Now this is kak huh? Imagine getting paid to travel the world and share your experiences with millions of viewers. Terrible I tell you, just terrible 😉 It’s a treat to watch these two on camera together though, so expect fun times.

“We are delighted to welcome back such a popular, entertaining and informative show to our classy line-up of leading shows and we hope viewers will stay captivated with the breath taking travel experiences that will be dished out on a weekly basis,” said SABC3 Marketing Manager Risuna Mayimele.

Here’s a short synopsis of what you can expect tonight at 20:00:

The first episode looks back at what took place in Season 2, before Janez and Jeannie take off to Venice. While in Venice, the two will engage in glass making and silk making, and indulge in 5-star dining and accommodation. During their stay they will also visit and tour some of the most popular historical locations in Venice, such as the Piazzo San Marco. The two will then hop aboard the luxurious Orient Express and indulge in a one-of-a-kind travel experience on their journey to London.

More on the season to and their travel diaries to follow in the weeks to come. For now though, do yourself a favour and follow these two on Instagram… and die of jealousy.

http://instagram.com/jeannielicious_#

http://instagram.com/janez_vermeiren#

You Spectacular Awards 2013 winners

Image by YOU Magazine
Image by YOU Magazine

In case you missed the news last night, here are winners from this year’s You Spectacular Awards, which were held in Gold Reef City last night.

Favourite TV presenter: Bonang Matheba

Favourite newcomer: Khaya Mthethwa

Favourite couple: Melinda Bam and Adriaan Bergh

Sexiest woman: Lee-Ann Liebenberg

Sexiest man: Francois Hougaard

Most stylish woman: Jeannie D

Most stylish man: Simba Mhere

Favourite actress: Diaan Lawrenson

Favourite actor: Christo Davids

Favourite sport star: Chad le Clos

Favourite music star (co-sponsored by Jacaranda FM): Lira

Favourite radio personality: Rian van Heerden

Funniest South African: Leon Schuster

Favourite soapie: 7de Laan

I didn’t do too badly in my predictions… Sorta 😉 Check out my predictions here. Congratulations to all the winners and a special shout out to a few of my favourite people in the industry, Ms Jeannie D, Khaya, Melinda and Lira! Big up to Queen B, Bonang Matheba… another award under her belt… Her #WinningWays continue.

YOU Spectacular nominees 2013

It might be cold out there, but come the 27th of July things will get all kinds of hot when some of SA’s biggest names gather together for this year’s YOU Spectacular. The event goes down on 27 July at The Lyric, Gold Reef City, Gauteng and if you’re wondering who the big nominees are this year, check out the full list below:

You’ll also see my predictions for who I think will win… To make it fair, I’ll select two (especially because some of the categories are too close to call) and note this does not necessarily reflect my preference, it’s who I think stands a better chance. They’re all equally deserving of the awards, but there can only be one.

Favourite TV presenter

1a Devi Sankaree Govender (Carte Blanche)

1b Proverb (Idols)

1c Pearl Thusi (The Real Goboza) Potential winner

1d Bonang Matheba (Top Billing) Potential winner

1e Jeannie D (Top Billing)

 

Favourite newcomer

2a Khaya Mthethwa Potential winner

2b Jonathan Boynton-Lee

2c Luthando Shosha

2d Jimmy Nevis Potential winner

2e Kyle Abbott

 

Favourite couple

3a Graeme and Morgan Smith

3b Gail Nkoane and Kabelo Mabalane Potential winners (and I dig them both)

3c JP and Sue Duminy

3d Melinda Bam and Adriaan Bergh Potential winners (and freaks of the gene pool, ha)

3e Jack Parow and Jenna Pietersen

  Continue reading “YOU Spectacular nominees 2013”

Go shirtless on #BokDay until the new jersey in unveiled

Top Billing’s Jeannie D and Janez, together with a whole bunch of other celebs have pledged to go shirtless until the new Springbok jersey is unveiled on the 12th of April. You’re allowed to do the same too – in fact it’s encouraged, so participate in it and for more information, join the convo on Twitter #Bokday or visit them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/springboks

I’ll happily do this shirtless thing… next year, when my gym has paid off, ha! Fun times though, nice campaign.

Jonathan Boynton-Lee joins Top Billing family

Congratulations to Jonathan Boynton-Lee, the new face on the hit show Top Billing. Boynton-Lee was named the winner of the My TopBilling Dream Presenter Search last night. He beat out finalists Zama, Chemendran, Lynelle and thousands of other hopefuls to land the job so many (including me) dream of.

I didn’t watch the show religiously, but at first when I saw Jonathan I thought  to myself here we go again. Let me tell you twenty minutes into the show my perceptions changed. He and Lynelle were by far the most natural. They weren’t overdoing it like their fellow finalists and they seemed the most grounded. When Jonathan did his interview with upcoming superstar (true story) Paige Mac, my views were completely swayed. He was honest, sincere and the interview was great. Plus he played piano while Paige sang. Winner.

I was torn between him and Lynelle, but at the end of the day the judges and the viewers voted – and it’s votes that count. So Jonathan was named the winner and after what I saw, I’m happy about it. I think he’ll do very well on the show. On winning the competition, Jonathan said, “It was pretty nerve-wracking. My mom was there and you know how it is when your mom’s around – since I was a little boy I always wanted to make her proud.”

Executive Producer, Patience Stevens said, “This year was particularly hard to choose a winner as we had such talented finalists, but ultimately Jonathan won us over. Right from the start when he first auditioned in Johannesburg we recognised something special in him – especially the way he spoke to us from the heart – but like the others nine finalists, he was put through his paces until we were absolutely sure he was exactly what we wanted for Top Billing.”

I’m hoping to get an interview with Jonathan in the next few days, so stay tuned and congratulations to him.

Once the dust has settled I’m also hoping they’ll find a spot for Lynelle on the show… I’m just saying 😉

And the 2011 You Spectacular nominees are…

Congratulations to all the nominees for this year’s You Spectacular Awards. It’s great to see a publication like You honouring our talent and I’m pretty sure they’ll be putting on a show much more commendable than what we had to endure recently. Just saying. Well done to all the breakout stars especially to Elvis Blue of Idols fame and to Simba Mhere, the new face on Top Billing. I entered the Top Billing presenter search last year and while I received really good feedback and comments, I was bummed when I didn’t make it through and when you see someone like Simba on the show, it’s easy to understand why he made it through right to the very end. He has done some amazing things already and I look forward to seeing more of him on TV in the future. Elvis Blue is the most successful South African Idol, having gone gold with his debut album and being the first Idol worldwide to win the competition, get straight into the studio, record and release an album all within in a month. Big up to him. My favourites are in there as per. The lovely Jeannie D from Top Billing  is up for a few awards. The freaks of the gene pool category aka the hottest couples in this year’s list are on point. I do think that the newly married and new parents, Lee-Ann Liebenberg and Nicky van der Walt are by far the hottest and most deserving of all the nominees, if I’m to be honest. Their love for one another is so clear. I’m envious of them… one day! Some of my other favs include Gareth Cliff, DJ Fresh, Bonang, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Lira, Nico Panagio and Unathi. You can see the full list below. Good luck to them all. Either way, each and everyone of them are gifted, talented, entertaining and awesome. Good luck to them all.

FAVOURITE TV PRESENTER *
Nico Panagio (Survivor SA: Maldives)
Leanne Manas (Morning Live)
Pabi Moloi (All Access)
Proverb (Idols)
Jeannie D (Top Billing)

FAVOURITE NEWCOMER *
Crazy White Boy (singing duo)
Ashish Gangapersad
Elvis Blue (Idols)
Simba Mhere (Top Billing)
Hildegardt Whites (7de Laan)

FAVOURITE COUPLE *
Connie and Shona Ferguson
Lee-Ann Liebenberg and Nicky van der Walt
Nico and Christi Panagio
Sonia and Leslie Sedibe
Diaan Lawrenson and Jody Abrahams

Continue reading “And the 2011 You Spectacular nominees are…”