Happy Youth Day

Today is Youth Day in South Africa. It’s a day that must never be forgotten. The youth of 1976 stood up to the apartheid government, some even paid the ultimate price, in order to have free and equal rights to education and democracy too. It has been 36 years since that day in Soweto and a lot has changed in our country. A lot of people seem to have forgotten the significance of the day and it seems to have become an excuse to party for many people.

We can’t forget the importance, the sacrifices and significance of this day. A group of youths who aren’t forgetting is the iSchoolAfrica Youth Press teams. They’re creating short format videos centred around themes in SA.

For today their theme is Youth Day. Check out their videos here –> http://www.youtube.com/user/iSchoolAfricaYPT?feature=mhee

Proverb to co-produce Idols

One of the most likeable and most talented guys in the South African entertainment industry has to be Proverb. He’s a rapper, a presenter turned host, a DJ, a father, husband. Now he’s adding the title of co-producer to his already long list of successes.

It was announced yesterday that the Idols host would be co-producing this season of hit show. He’ll be working alongside Gavin Wratten, starting this weekend. Being in the industry for over 12 years now, this is a natural progression for the star. He knows what works on screen, so why not be involved in the development of several ideas behind the scenes too? I think this, he will be great. I have a lot of respect for Gavin Wratten as a director and now for these two to be teaming up; I think we’re in for a treat.

If you have what it takes to be the next South African Idols, then diarise these audition dates:

Jozi Auditions
Date: Saturday 4th February
Venue: Sandton Convention Centre

Durban Auditions
Date: Saturday 11th February
Venue: Ushaka Marine World

Cape Town Auditions
Date: Saturday 18th February
Venue: Grand West Entertainment center

Soweto Auditions
Date: Saturday 25th February
Venue: Walter Sisulu Hall, Kliptown

Be sure to check out the official site for more deets on the show.

Usher is heading to South Africa

http://www.ushernow.com/gallery/pics/Usher-Florida.jpgAnd the big names keep coming. R&B superstar, Usher is heading to South Africa in 2012. The star will be headlining the Hansa Festival of Legends Tour in March next year. The tour will see him and a whole host of other artists performing in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg next year.

“Hansa, in conjunction with Big Concerts, couldn’t be more honoured to host such a massive entertainment legend and, of course, the most special ingredient- YOU,” says Mosidi Seretlo, General Manager,Hansa Pilsener.

Cape Town
3rd March 2012

Grand Arena, GrandWest
Tickets from R275.00 – R450.00

7th March 2012
The ICC Durban Arena

Tickets from R250.00 – R450.00

10th March 2012
Orlando Stadium

Tickets from R200.00 – R600.00

Tickets go on sale on Friday 4th November 2011 at 9am from Computicket (www.computicket.com / 0861 915 8000). Please note this concert is strictly open to persons 18 years and older.

http://www.facebook.com/bigconcerts or http://www.twitter.com/BigConcerts

The Hansa Festival of Legends, featuring USHER is another Big Concerts Experience.

Catch Lira on her Captured Tour with Nokia

It’s all systems go for multiple award-winning singer Lira, who kicks off her Captured Tour in Johannesburg this weekend. The tour will see her travelling to six cities around the country,where she’ll be putting on a show like no other.  Each stop of the tour will be recorded as part of her forthcoming DVD, due out next year. I got to chat to the star last week for DStv.com the Phakade singer said she was excited to get on the road.

“The first DVD was just one night for one show. Now I’m taking that concept and moving it around the country, which is a first for me.”

In addition to her capturing some of the behind the scenes action in what goes into putting on a show like this, the star says there’s an opportunity for her fans to share their experiences with her and others too. “I wanted to give them a platform for them to experience themselves at shows and for us to capture the whole experience, not just from my perspective as an artist, but also from a fan’s perspective.”

Once this tour is done, the Channel O Music Video Award nominee will be heading back to America, where she’ll be releasing her album to that market. In pursuit of music’s biggest accolade, the Grammy, the star explains how she plans on doing that, “We’re taking it one step at a time. We’re just going over to make waves and to catch as much attention and to be remembered.”

While cracking it in the biggest music market in the world is somewhat daunting, the Feel Good singer said she is up for the challenge, “My team and I are ready. I always say yes the journey is difficult, but the scenery, the experience is why you go on your journey. It’s beautiful and it’s worth it. Sometimes the destination isn’t everything, the journey’s incredible.”

Lira’s Captured Tour dates:

9 October – The Boardwalk  Festive Lawn Area (PE)
22 October- Durban ICC (KZN)
26 October- Grand West Casino (CT)
29 October- Sun City (North West).
6 November- Free State National Botanical Gardens (Bloemfontein).

On the 29th of October, Lira will be recording her Sun City performance for the live DVD due out next year.

Be sure to visit www.misslira.com or Computicket to get your tickets for this not-to-be missed gig.

Oprah and Michella Obama to visit SA this week

On my way into work this morning, one of the stories I heard on the news was that two of the world’s most influential women are on their way to South Africa this week. The newsreader never mentioned their names, but I do know who they are and I’m sure you do too. They are America‘s First Lady, Michelle Obama and former talk show queen Oprah Winfrey. Michelle Obama will be addressing some of Jozi‘s youth at the Young African Leaders Forum on Wednesday and I will be heading through to capture some of those moments on camera.

I have a sneaking suspicion that Oprah will be there too before she heads down to the Free State, where it is believed she will be meeting with Professor Jonathan Jansen. The vice chancellor of the “transformed” University of the Free State told his Twitter followers that the media mogul will be visiting them this June.


Lira and Soweto Spiritual Singers tribute to Nelson Mandela

World Cup 2010- international stars start arriving

Thomas Mukoya/ Reuters
Thomas Mukoya/ Reuters

So by now most of the participating countries have arrived in SA for the biggest sporting event on earth. It’s three days to go and I cannot wait. The vibe; the energy and the extremely positive feelings floating around this country is actually quite overwhelming and emotional too! Fans of both the game and of the personalities like Rooney, Henry and Ronaldo are over the moon. The Gautrain officially opened to the public today. Should I carry on? Well one more thing… this blog is focused on music, so we’ll talk about the stars coming out to SA to perform. At the weekend R Kelly jetted into the country. He’ll be performing at the opening ceremony alongside Soweto Spiritual Singers.

In addition to the press conference he held, the “I believe I can fly” singer was spotted hanging out at the Planet Fitness gym in Rosebank. It’s believed he is staying at The Grace hotel. And then Waka Waka star, Shakira arrived yesterday (pictured above). Apparently the turnout at OR Tambo International was fantastic! nice one. John Legend arrived this morning and Alicia Keys and the Black Eyed Peas stars are expected to arrive soon. Freshlyground will also be jetting back for the first-ever Kick-Off Celebration concert going down at Orlando Stadium on Thursday. I will be there, armed with my video camera to bring you all the highlights so stay tuned… and BRING YOUR GEES! Feel it because it is, most certainly here!

Invictus goes beyond the cinema

Invictus star Morgan Freeman and the film’s producer, Lori McCreary, were in Soweto on Reconciliation Day to screen the film for some 500 residents. They also handed over a substantial amount of money, raised by corporate South Africa, to three charities, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Now having Mr Freeman come out to promote this movie in South Africa, to participate in round table interviews, one on one interviews and to attend all four premieres was great, but this for me made me gain so much more respect for this man and for the film’s producer, Lori McCreary. The two, together with many corporates raised over 1.1million rand for three charities and this is an ongoing cause, so more will be raised. I maintain, happy, humbled and inspired!

Check out the Real District 9

US Box Office smash hit movie District 9 has made over R4.6 million in SA alone in it’s opening 2 weeks. The Times Online went to Soweto where the film was shot and spoke to locals who featured in it.