Meet the coaches for The Voice SA

So The Voice SA is trending on Twitter right now, and it doesn’t seem like everyone is completely sold on the choice of coaches. In a country like ours, where racial representation is always a sensitive topic, the question being raised on social media is why are there three white coaches and only one black coach? It’s a conversation I’m prepared to have, if you are. My personal view is that two of the coaches could’ve been replaced with other names. I think either Loyiso or Zwai Bala would’ve been great. I think Tamara Dey would’ve brought something fun to the show. Who will do you think could’ve been on the panel? And who do you think has what it takes to host the show? I know a name a lot of you are expecting to hear, and SHE has a big announcement happening soon. Could it B her?

UPDATE: Bobby van Jaarsveld, Karen Zoid, Kahn Morbee also join The Voice SA as coaches! Let’s discuss

One of the names of the coaches for the local version of the hit show, The Voice has been announced – and it’s none other than the incredible Lira! She’s the first star taking up a seat on the Big Red Chair. This is fantastic news… Someone with such credibility, talent and soul is perfect for this competition. If you’re one of the hopefuls entering this competition, you definitely will want to pick Lira… I would 😉

Who will the other judges be? Those are due to be announced shortly. Stay tuned for more:

Want to be part of #TeamLira? You need to have:

  • Amazing voice,
  • Be older than 18 and South African
  • Be available to audition on the following dates:

Cape Town – Newlands Stadium on 17 & 18 October;

Durban – Kings Park Rugby Stadium on 25 & 26 October;

Johannesburg – Mark’s Park on 31 October & 01 November.

For more information, go to join The Voice SA conversation on “The Voice SA” Facebook page, and via Twitter on @VoiceSA.



LIRA – The Dream Chaser


Lira is one of SA’s most celebrated and successful singers. The Phakade singer has multiple awards to her name, her videos have been viewed thousands upon thousands of times and her music is constantly on high rotation on stations across the country (and beyond). Now the star is gearing up to release yet another exciting project. This time it’s in the form of a reality TV show, which I’m going to check out later.

The 7 part reality show called Dream Chaser USA documents Lira’s debut release in arguably the biggest market in the world, the United States. You’ll get to see how the star releases Rise Again to the North American market and how the promotion thereof unfolds. She, together with her band were on the road for over two months, traveling to some twenty states to make sure the music is heard and well received.

On making the show Lira said, “Dream Chaser is the raw and honest portrayal of our personal experiences and what it’s really like to try and try to ‘crack it’ in the States, Performing in every type of venue from art councils to festivals and clubs, we really got our hands dirty but we did it all ourselves and I can’t wait to share the journey with all of my current and future fans”.

It’s interesting that the star was open to this because she’s a very private person. In this show you’ll get to see what goes on “behind the scenes”. I’ll let you know more about the show after I’ve seen it. Just check out my Twitter profile: @JasonVonBerg


Lira to support Jill Scott


Fact: Jill Scott is going to be bringing a lot of soul to Joziwood next month. She’s hugely popular and the show promised to be good fun. Now it has been elevated from good to great because the news of Lira supporting Scott has just been announcement. Lira is one of SA’s most loved and celebrated stars. She oozes style, elegance and her talent is undeniable. So it’s only fitting that the the Phakade singer has the duties of warming the crowd up with her soulful sounds come the 13th of December.

Concert Itinerary


Saturday 13th December 2014

Coca-Cola Dome

Tickets from: R390 – R1020

Tickets are on sale from Computicket.


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 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.

Jamiroquai heading to SA

NEWSFLASH: International hitmaker, Jamiroquai is on his way to SA this October as part of DStv‘s Delicious  – The Internatioanl Food & Music Festival. He’ll be joined by a whole host of celebrity chefs and some of SA’s most loved stars come the 5 and 6th of October. Want to know who they are? Here’s just a little taster, Aldo Zilli, Ed Baines and John Burton Race make up the chef contingent, while Lira, Mi Casa, Prime Cirlce, Khuli Chana and Danny K will provide the musical entertainment alongisde JK.

For more information check out:
Facebook: Delicious Festival SA
Twitter:      @DeliciousFestSA.

Hashtag: #DStvFood/ #DStvMusic

Pic: Lira performs at the Inaugural Ball

Pic: Robin Kohl
Pic: Robin Kohl

Rise, Africa! Rise America… Miss Lira is in the house and she’s letting you know!! Man, how beautiful does she look and when she’s singing she’s just the bombdizzle! Lira, alongside many other big names, performed at President Obama’s Inaugural Ball last night.

There will be more pics and stories to come in the next couple of hours or so, so stay tuned.

Dickies #847Strong – My week

You’ll remember earlier in the week I told you about the Dickies #847Strong campaign that I’m involved in. The peops at Dickies are looking to honour the guys with this campaign. All you need to do is share you ‘tough’ story i.e. what makes your job tough, but rewarding at the same time? What are the challenges you face and how to do overcome them or persist? All you need to do is upload your picture and story to the Dickies site. Visit the site:

Here’s what went down in my week. My day job is very demanding. There is a project that I’m working on, which requires a lot of time, energy and thought. A lot of what I’m doing is new territory for me and so while it might be challenging and I’ve had a tension headache for most of the week, the knowledge I’m acquiring can only further me. Whether it’ll lead me to my desired destination is the big question, but whatever skills attained now, can only help later on.

Now usually I have weeks where I’ll go to work at 7, leave at 4. Hit the gym, head home, shower, eat and head off to an event, a gig or I’ll be at home working on some other projects. This last week wasn’t as crazy as it usually is, but it’s still hectic nonetheless. So Monday is meeting day, Tuesday is just a bleh day usually but my week was particularly challenging from Wednesday. I woke up early to get to the gym on Wednesday morning. I used to be someone who could get up early and hit the gym, but as time goes by and the job and its growing responsibilities increase, sleep becomes a treasured luxury, so early gym sessions don’t happen as often anymore. Plus I get to work early so as to avoid traffic, but this morning was different. I had my work cut out for me, so I decided to get in an early gym session. What a great way to start the day I tell you. After a quick shower, breakfast and squizz on the social networks to see if I’d missed anything major (news wise), I put on my Dickies pants, a jersey and off I went to work. Let the games begin. Continue reading “Dickies #847Strong – My week”

Watch the Lira Captured Tour Trailer

One week to go until Lira’s Captured film and DVD concert hits music stores around the country. Check out the promo above and for more information on the lovely Lira go to:

Lira on Facebook

Lira on Twitter

She’ll be back in SA in a few weeks for a few gigs. I’ll be there, will you? 😉

Best of luck to the lovely Lira

If you know me, you’ll know I’m a big fan of South African superstar Lira. She is one of the most talented vocalists I have ever had the privilege of seeing perform. You might say that is quite the statement but it’s true. Every performance she gives is unique, fresh and it’s clear she puts her heart and soul into each of them.

One of my favourite Lira moments was from the South African Music Awards back in 2008. It was the pre-party at The Palace. Jazz icon Jimmy Dludlu was performing in the banquet area while the guests were hobnobbing and mingling. Just before the end of his set he surprised the multiple SAMA winner by calling her to the stage. She could have chosen to say no, nice chance but instead she rose to the challenge and blew us all away. It was such an incredible moment. She was totally caught off guard but when you love what you do, it isn’t much of an effort and that sentiment was proved to me when Lira performed.

During one of my interviews with Lira, I also asked her to for an impromptu performance. The song I asked her to perform was called Believer off her album Soul in Mind. Just when I thought she couldn’t do better than the time she performed in Sun City, she had to go and blow me away again. Without any warm-ups or rehearsals, Lira managed to do what a lot of artists can’t. Simply perfection. Check it out below:

She is one of the most in demand stars in SA. She’s gracing the covers of magazines, doing radio and TV interviews all over the place and she manages to do all of this with a genuine smile on her face. She remains one of the most humble, friendly and approachable people I know in the industry. Trust me, when you work in entertainment you see how egos are inflated, personalities change and people become rude and unapproachable. Not Lira. She is always willing to assist where she can; she is the consummate professional and a pleasure to deal with.

Audio interview with Lira:

Tonight the star will be walking the red carpet at the BET Awards in Los Angeles.  She has been nominated in the  Best African Act category alongside Sarkodi, Wizkid, Camp Mulla and Ice Prince. While the competition is stiff and we’re hoping for the best, Lira has made us (her fans) proud. I have a feeling that something big will come out of this tour and I can’t wait to see it all play out. She deserves all the success in the world and I hope she gets that Grammy she has always wanted.

So to Lira, may you continue to shine, wow us with your talents. May your success grow, soar and may your Grammy dreams become a reality sooner rather than later. Much love, respect and success to you.

Watch more interviews with Lira here