Thursday, March 28, 2013

Are you from Africa and do you love cinema? Want to be a film critic? Read This

Talent Campus Durban is looking for 40 of the most innovative voices of African cinema to take part in the 6th edition of this leading networking and developmental event held at the 34th Durban International Film Festival.

Talent Campus Durban seeks to provide selected participants with an opportunity to meet with international industry professionals and experts in various aspects of the filmmaking business through participations in a 5-day programme of masterclasses, workshops and industry networking events. The continent of Africa is a source of a myriad narratives which offer possibilities to be re-imagined, re-told, overlapped and adapted within numerous contexts. Under this year’s theme of “Memetic Africa”, Talent Campus Durban calls for African filmmakers to participate in this programme and be inspired by stories shaped by varying innovative patterns, ideas, customs, traditions, practices and skills that enforce the legacy of the African film context.

Talent Campus Durban also calls for participants for Talent Press, a mentoring programme for three African film critics in collaboration with FIPRESCI and Goethe Institut, which makes a welcome return in its second year. Talent Press mentors will offer their expertise to guide selected participants in the art of film criticism with access to all the screenings of the 34th Durban International Film Festival. 

The five-day programme also includes the 3rd edition of Doc Station, where three selected documentary projects submitted by accepted talents will be finessed and packaged for presentation within the DOC Circle pitching forum at the 6th Durban FilmMart. Applications for Doc Station are open to selected participants for Talent Campus. Mohamed El Amine Hattou of Algeria was one of the three Doc Station participants in the 5th Talent Campus Durban who, after presenting his project at Doc Circle, also had the invaluable opportunity to meet one-on-one with potential investors. Describing his experience, Hattou says, “Doc Station is a great opportunity to gain in maturity, networking, and dive into a promiscuous and professional African market. After my pitch on Doc Station, I had some positive and interesting feedback on my project. It was also an easy way to know about new funding and co-production opportunities. Durban Talent Campus is a unique way for African filmmakers to connect, meet and share their stories.”

Held in co-operation with the Berlinale Talent Campus, and with support from the German Embassy of South Africa, Goethe Institut of South Africa, and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Talent Campus Durban runs from 19 to 23 July 2013. Apart from the main event in Berlin, Talent Campus partnerships also take place at selected festivals in Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Tokyo and Sarajevo. Opportunities for participating talents are enhanced through Talent Campus networks and the Berlinale’s global information platform.

Application is open to filmmakers and critics who are resident in Africa. Applicants are encouraged to apply well before the deadline in order to submit their work samples timeously. Application can be done online on and applications close on 1 April 2013.

For DIFF and Talent Campus Queries 031 260 1650 / 2506

E-mail both: /

(Source - DIFF and Talent Campus)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Auditions, Networking Meetings, Short Story Competitions and Theatre News

PANSA/Rainbow Young Performers Project 2013

For the original production
Written and Directed by Peter Court and Charon Williams-Ros

Rehearsals: Every Weekend from 14th April – 23rd June
Full time 25th / 26th /27th June
from 28th June – 14th July 2013

REGISTRATION: 09h00 – 10h00
•Singers•Dancers [All Styles]
•Gymnasts/Acrobats•Physical Actors

•Mime Artists•Magicians

•Special Skills [Skateboarding/Trick cycling/Parkour/Free running, Juggling/Diablo/Baton twirling, etc.]

•Musicians [portable instruments only – must be your own]

NB: Audition is open to High School learners only
Enquiries: PANSA Tel: 031 201-4750 /email:

If you are considering a career in theatre, this is your chance!

(Source - Pansa)

Catalina Theatre - Call for Proposals for 2014

Catalina UnLtd is calling for proposals for productions to be staged at the Catalina Theatre, Wilson’s Wharf, Durban for 2014.

The productions may be full theatre productions, children’s shows, music performances, dance, comedy, and the like. The aim is to get an interesting, innovative and eclectic mix while still focussing on good, solid mainstream theatre.

Please send a brief proposal consisting of:
·         Name and contact details
·         Type of show (e.g. music performance)
·         Synopsis or basic story line of the show
·         Number of cast members/performers
·         Brief director & actor/performer bios
·         Who would the show appeal to

Please email for more information or to submit your proposal.

Make 2014 your year to get on stage.

(Source - Catalina Theatre) 

March Networking Breakfast

(Source - Hirsch Umhlanga) 

Short Story Competition
Just a last reminder to have a go at the SA Writers College short story competition before the deadline of March 31st. Or if you've written your story but not sent it yet- now's the time to tweak it and submit it! 
Theme: Doing the right thing. This is not the title.
Word count: Less than 2000 words
Open to all South African writers who have not had fiction published in mainstream publications 

Email as an attachment to 

(Source - SA Writers College) 

Speaking of Short Stories, here is one by Andrew Verster.


The stuffing’s coming out of your chair.
We are all losing ours as well.
Aren’t you going to do something about it?
At some moment you give up and let nature take its course.
That is defeatist.
It’s avoiding the issue.
Is that bad?
One can’t let circumstance ride roughshod over you.
Why not?
You must take a stand about everything.
Even things you can’t change?
That’s different. You must be realistic.
Look life right in the eye?
Something like that.
Say what you think?
You are the ugliest person I’ve ever seen.
You’re no oil painting either.
But I won that round.
Because you got in first?
No, because I said what was on my mind.
The truth never hurts.
You ARE the ugliest person I’ve ever seen.
You look like a Tretchikoff.
Now THAT hurt.
Bye, mom. See you around.
Bye darling. Close your eyes when you cross the road.

Andrew Verster is a World Famous Artist and Writer Based in Durban.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lots happening around Durban this weekend

Looks like Durban is the place to be over the next few days.

Music aplenty.

dr-fly-and-the-nurses voodoo.jpg
Dr Fly and The Nurses voodoo

Durban - The Warmest Place To Be presents feast of music at the Rainbow Restaurant – March 24.
In recognition of Human Rights Day in South Africa and as one of the official welcoming events for delegates to the Fifth BRICS Summit, Durban - The Warmest Place To Be presents a feast of music at the Rainbow Restaurant in Pinetown on Sunday, March 24 at 2pm.
The first performance starts at 2pm with deep jazz as Burton Naidoo's Musical Democracy quintet takes to the stage. This will be followed by a set from five-piece afro-beat outfit Tanga Pasi who hail from the Kalanga region of Zimbabwe and who will be making their third appearance at the Rainbow. For this performance the audience will get to hear the sounds of their debut full length album, Ntolontolo - A Long Time Ago. From there it’s "sho't left" to the unique sounds of Dr. Fly and The Nurses, an a capella trio in the tradition of the Andrew Sisters featuring the vocal talents of Sophie Basckin, Jessica Sole and Natalie Shama. Then it will be time for a "beega party" with electro-percussion trio Napalma fronted by Mozambican born/Brazilian raised vocalist Ivo Maia with Brazil's Cid Travaglia driving hard on djembe.
“The best part of it all is that with the kind and generous support of the Ethekwini Municipality we are able to use this event as a fundraiser for the Rainbow's charity of choice, the Open Door Crises Centre which is based in Pinetown and offers invaluable assistance to the victims of human trafficking and abuse. All monies raised from ticket sales will be donated to Open Door.” says Neil Comfort of the Rainbow.
Doors open at 1pm and tickets are R40 at the door. For more info contact the Rainbow on 083 706 2294 or 083 4638044.
Tanga Pasi.jpg
Tanga Pasi 
(Source - Versfeld & Associates) 
Date: Friday 22 March 2013
Venue: St. Clements, 191 Musgrave Rd, Durban
Type: Concert - original acoustic alternative
Time: 7 for 7.30 pm
Entrance Fee: R50 per person
Contact: 031 202 2511


Durban musician Rowan Stuart will be returning to St. Clements restaurant for a solo acoustic performance on Friday the 22nd of March.

Since the release of his first solo album in 2008, Rowan has been steadily forging a path for himself as an esteemed original artist. Despite an ever-evolving sound, fans of Rowan's music have come to expect his signature of thought-inspiring lyrics and meticulously-crafted melodies, with a touch of the unpredictable, creating songs with an uncommon level of depth. Rowan's acclaimed abilities as a guitarist are also definitive in the innovative and fluent guitar parts he writes.

This performance at St. Clements will be one of the first stops in a series of solo acoustic shows around South Africa this year. The performance will include songs from Rowan's previous albums; ‘A Thousand Brand New Places’, ‘Soul In A Suitcase’ and 'Light In Cages', as well as an exciting batch of new material, written exclusively for the solo acoustic format.

The music will kick off at 7.30 pm. Food and drinks will be on sale.
CDs will also be available.

Visit for more information, or contact St. Clements on 031 202 2511

(Source - St Clements) 

Pole by Andrew Verster

POLE DANCERS FOR ALL OCCASIONS -  the invitation popped up on my screen.
What occasion of mine would need a pole dancer I wondered? A poetry reading at St. Clements? Coffee and croissants at the Alliance? The opening of GANDHI at ArtSpace? An evening at home watching television?
I deleted the offer. But the next day another email arrived offering a thirty percent discount if I chose a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
I sensed desperation. Perhaps it’s a fallow time for pole-dancing? Their heyday was in the late nineties. Could they be staging a come-back?
Watch this space for developments.

Andrew Verster is a World Famous Artist and Writer based in Durban.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

So Much Opportunity in Angola

Angola is full of opportunity - by Fred Felton

Last week I was invited by Frontier Advisory to attend their latest Forum on doing business in Angola.
It was a very interesting time indeed.


Roger Ballard-Tremeer, Neville Matjie and Daniel Swanepoel in discussion at the event.

We heard from Roger Ballard-Tremeer, Honorary Chief Executive of the Angola Chamber of Commerce that Pep Stores has 30 stores in Angola and is doing well.
House & Home is in Angola and on the first week of launching they sold out their entire stock.
There are close to 3500 Projects in Angola for the Government.  These are huge opportunities for South African companies.

Neville Matjie from Trade and Investment KZN told us there is a lot of growth in Angola.  Lots of opportunity.  Also in the Food & Beverage Industry.  Some South African companies have already visited Angola to see what is on offer.  There are challenges in Angola.  You have to develop trust especially in outlying areas.  Angola is also very expensive, this does mean you can make huge returns.  He advised companies to do their research and understand the market before you invest in Angola.

Daniel Swanepoel from Daniel John Consulting told us that it was a land of opportunity.  You have to try understand who you are dealing with.  Dress in Business attire for your first business meeting.  Look the client in the eye.  They first want to get to know you.

Luanda will have a new airport due to be finished in 2014.

Neville Matjie advised that you check Angolan companies out first before you partner with them.

Advice from the panel included:

  • You would have to know a bit of Portuguese or take someone with who speaks Portuguese 
  • There are more than 20 banks in Angola
  • Short-term Visa's are quick normally 2 days.  
Useful contacts
Twitter - @FrontierSA
Facebook - Frontier Advisory

Frontier Advisory will be having a China-Africa Business Summit on 17th April in Johannesburg. 

(Fred Felton was a invited guest of Frontier Advisory at this event)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

News that will interest Coffee Lovers, Cyclists, Artists, Photographers, Walkers and more

#CommutingFriday: R10 cafés for cyclists
We've been rewarding those who use pedal power to get around at selected stores in support of #CommutingFriday - an initiative that promotes non-motorized transport. We're now rolling it out to more stores. Here's the deal: R10 for any solo café for cyclists on Friday mornings (7am to 9am) at Kloof Street and Prestwich Street in Cape Town; Parktown North and Greenside in Jozi; Florida Road, Lighthouse Mall, St Lucia, The Square, Westville Mall and SMG Rocks Umhlanga in KZN; and Stellenbosch. All you have to do is show us your helmet.

(Source - vida e caffe)

Coming Soon the Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk

A record number of walkers,23 804, entered last year's Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk.jpg
23 804 people entered last year's Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk.

‘Tag along’ to a real social network.

You wouldn’t dream of walking through one of the most scenic parts of KwaZulu-Natal without anyone to share it with, would you? This year’s Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk, on Sunday 26 May, is calling on you to get others to ‘Tag Along’ with you for the energetic day out. The highlight on the province’s events calendar brings together families and friends along Durban’s beachfront.

The Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk will again offer walkers the choice of four distances - 5km, 10km, 15km or 20km. All routes start on the promenade near uShaka Marine World and will finish at People’s Park at Moses Mabhida Stadium. Since it started in 2004 the event has grown to become the East Coast’s favourite way to catch up with each other while being active. Last year a record number of walkers, more than 23 000, tagged along.

Participating in the walk is something you’ll want to share, so get your nearest and dearest to ‘tag along’ and then tag it on Facebook and Twitter. Entries open on 2 April 2013. You can enter at Totalsports stores across KwaZulu-Natal or online at Listen out to East Coast Radio and watch press for more details.

(Source - Discovery East Coast Radio Big Walk)

Catalina Theatre - Call for Proposals for 2014

Catalina UnLtd is calling for proposals for productions to be staged at the Catalina Theatre, Wilson’s Wharf, Durban for 2014.

The productions may be full theatre productions, children’s shows, music performances, dance, comedy, and the like. The aim is to get an interesting, innovative and eclectic mix while still focussing on good, solid mainstream theatre.

Please send a brief proposal consisting of:
·         Name and contact details
·         Type of show (e.g. music performance)
·         Synopsis or basic story line of the show
·         Number of cast members/performers
·         Brief director & actor/performer bios
·         Who would the show appeal to

Please email for more information or to submit your proposal.

Make 2014 your year to get on stage.

Sophiatown: at the Catalina Theatre

14 -27 March 2013
Weekday performances at 11am, Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm.
Cost: R50 learners and teachers; R80 general public.

Call/sms/whatsapp: 031 201 4738 / 072 795 5965

The Catalina Unlimited presents the South African classic and Drama set work, “Sophiatown”.  Based on the final days of this vibrant and mixed community, this tragi-comedy with strong musical elements tells the story of Kofifi, Softown, Sophiatown… through a group of residents who call number 65 Gerty Street, home. 

Set within the historical context of South Africa 1955, when the National Party was swiftly, legally entrenching the Apartheid practice of separate development, with the Native Resettlement Act.  The play deals with the destruction of one of many suburbs that were seen as a threat to these policies.  Sophiatown, a freehold suburb, just outside of Johannesburg, was a thriving living space with a mixed population of blacks, so-called coloureds, Indians and Chinese.  White intellectuals, students and bohemians were drawn to the lifestyle – the fast life, the danger, the jazz and the style.  On the 9th of February 1955, 3 days early, the G-men (police) moved in with their trucks and moved the residents out, destroying their homes to ensure that they could not stay and giving them little time to carry out the planned protests and boycotts.  All were resettled in various “townships” during the 8 years it took the government to totally demolish the area and resurrect it as a whites only suburb, ironically called Triomf (Triumph).

The spirit of freedom, creativity and intellectual pursuit are evidenced in the South African luminaries who called this place home: Miriam Makeba, Dollar Brand, Don Mattera, Hugh Masekela, Spokes Mashiyane, Can Themba, Henry Nxumalo, Nat Nakasa, Father Trevor Huddleston, Dolly Rathebe, the Manhattan Brothers and so many more.  Home of Drum Magazine, Back of the Moon, Freedoms Square and Tsotsitaal! 

Jakes (Mr. Drum), a young journalist and member of the emerging black intellectual set, always after the sensational “story”, sums up the mood of this special place and the attraction it had for South Africans at the time, “Tap in the yard, toilet in the corner – but it was grand because it was Softown. Freehold! It was ours!”  Mingus the “American” who only goes for the best, a ruthless gangster who wants a moonlight ride.  Charlie, his trusty and faithful right hand man, he don’t say much, but he sure loves shoes.  Princess – the “princess of the slum” and gangster’s moll, she dreams of having a choice. Ruth, the adventurous Jewish girl from Yeoville, who answered the advert and seems so simple in her wants and needs…yet learns the Fahfee runners code for what purpose?  Mr Fahfee, “What’s the number today?”  - the bush telegraph, connected to Congress and with a special interest in Ruth.  Lulu the school girl, Dolly Rathebe is her idol and she doesn’t want fiction, she wants the truth!  And finally Mamariti, owner of 65 Gerty Street and Mamariti’s Diamond Shebeen, landlady and general entrepreneur – Sophiatown is her home, she’d rather die, than leave.

So majietas en matarras, magrizins and moemieshes, kom check on daar by die Catalina Theatre at Wilson’s Wharf, vannie 14 – 27 March. Weekday performances at 11am, Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. Cost: R50 learners and teachers; R80 general public.

Directed by Chantal Snyman (Frank; The Credit Crunch Christmas), with musical direction by Mandla “Buthi” Manzi and featuring: Thobani Mbhele (Jakes); Scelo Ngcobo (Mingus); Mandla Manzi (Charlie); Bongani Mbatha (Fahfee); Sam Hlope (Lulu); Bongiwe “Makhulu” Hlope (Mamariti), Nompumelelo “Mpumy” Ndlovu (Princess) and Lauren Jood (Ruth).

Catalina UnLtd’s LISTEN WITH YOUR EYES is going international!
Local Deaf Play invited to perform in France
First ever South African Deaf Play to perform in Europe
Catalina UnLtd proudly announces that Catalina’s Deaf production  ‘Listen with Your Eyes’ a comedy play, created and performed by Bo Tasker, Darren Rajbal and Ismael Mansoor  and directed by Alison Swannack, is going international.
 ‘Listen with your Eyes’  that took Catalina’s  Talking Hands, the first ever Deaf theatre Festival delivered in  South Africa, by storm last year, has been selected for Festival Clin d’Oeil (European Deaf Theatre Festival) in Reims, France.  The cast will be exposed to the world as this Deaf  Cultural Festival celebrates its 10th year in 2013.
The play “Listen with your Eyes” is the Deaf only comedy based in a science lab. The hearing scientist and his Deaf assistant find communication a big challenge and they set about designing a robot to interpret for them. While designing the robot the hearing scientist learns a lot about Deaf people’s communication needs but not without loads of humour!
Festival Clin d’Oeil was created in 2003 (European Year of Disabled Person) and this year will run from 5th to 7th July.  This multidisciplinary arts festival is aimed at highlighting the richness of the Deaf community. This unique festival has become a reference and an essential event to the global Deaf community as it opens  a space for artistic expression and communication which is accessible to both Deaf and Hearing people. In addition to the performance of ‘Listen with your Eyes’, the festival has also requested the performance of  Rainbow Magic’ for the street theatre aspect of the Festival, as well as two workshops for children.
This is the first time ever for the Deaf led and exclusive South African cast and director to perform on the international stage, which makes history for Catalina UnLtd and South Africa! 
The Artistic Director of Catalina UnLtd, Mr Themi Venturas, says, “We have embraced the Deaf community and deaf artists at Catalina, and it is gratifying to see this international recognition for their efforts.  The play is sure to be well received in France, and we are currently looking for funding and sponsors for our talented cast and director.”
The festival is paying 50% of the airfares for 4 people, Ismael Mansoor, Darren Rajbal, Bo Tasker and Alison Swannack and providing a small fee for the performances. “All we need to showcase South African Deaf theatre talent in Europe is to look for funding and sponsors.  A reasonable amount for these amazing South Africans to showcase their work on behalf of the city, the Province and the country ”notes Mr Venturas.  Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
A number of schools have requested to see the performance and if your school or organisation is interested in booking a performance, or for further information or to make a contribution please email Alison Swannack at or Francis Doherty-Bigara of Catalina Unltd at 031 201 4738/ 0727955965.You can also visit or

For more information on Festival d”Oeil  visit website

(Source - Catalina Theatre) 

Please RSVP 

(Source - imbizo Gallery) 

Sony Photography Get Together

(Source - Sony Gateway) 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Time Of The Writer Draws Near For Durban


16th TIME OF THE WRITER International Writers Festival

Durban: 18 - 23 March 2013

The written word will envelop Durban as nineteen writers from South Africa, Africa and abroad, gather for a thought-provoking week of literary dialogue, exchange of ideas and stimulating discussion at the 16th Time of the Writer International Writers Festival (18 - 23 March). The festival, hosted by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), with principal support by National Lottery Distribution Fund, will feature a diverse gathering of leading novelists, social commentators, activists, playwrights and short story writers.

Opening night will feature all participating writers as they make brief presentations at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, while the newly appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor of the School of Humanities, Prof Cheryl Potgieter will make a keynote address. A tribute to the late Phyllis Naidoo will be read by struggle veteran Ella Ghandi. The rest of the week’s evening presentations will be panel discussions with writers talking about their writing and the issues dealt with in their work. The musical act opening the festival is Zimbabwean band Tanga Pasi.

The panel discussion titled Perspectives in South African Writing on Tuesday 19th March will feature South African writers Kabelo Duncan Kgatea and Jo-Anne Richards. Trained as a journalist and working as a miner, it was after Kgatea’s first book Njeng manong fa ke sule! (Devour me, vultures, when I’m dead!) was published and won the Sanlam Prize Youth Literature (silver) in the Sotho category, that he got promoted to communications officer and no longer worked below ground. When The Innocence of Roast Chicken, the debut novel of internationally published author and journalist Richards first appeared, it topped the South African best seller list in its first week and remained there for 15 weeks. This discussion will be facilitated by Zukiswa Wanner.

Controversial human rights issues are brought to the fore in the evening’s second panel titled Africa Writing Queer Identity, featuring leading Nigerian writer Jude Dibia and Graeme Reid of South Africa, and will be facilitated by Sarojini Nadar. Dibia’s books address issues which range from sexuality, gender roles, race to the stigma of HIV/AIDS in modern day Africa. Reid, the director of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Programme and founding director of the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa, explores gay identities in South Africa in his book How to be a Real Gay. Music by Durban duo Njeza and Siphelele Dlamini will commence the evening proceedings at 19h30. 

Book launches take place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre’s Wellington Tavern deck prior to the evening shows, from 18h45. The first book launch of the festival is the UKZN English/IsiZulu Book (UKZN Press) – a collaborative venture of stories by various authors. 

On Wednesday 20th March, the first panel, titled Reflections on the Palestinian State, features Palestinian-born American-based novelist and essayist, Susan Abulhawa, in an interview discussion with Lubna Nadvi. Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin was translated into 24 languages worldwide and hailed by The Times as the “first English-language novel to express fully the human dimension of the Palestinian tragedy”. Exploring Genre in African Literature is the topic of the second panel, featuring South African author, photographer and filmmaker, Zinaid Meeran, alongside Nnedi Okorafor, award-winning author born in the United States and of Nigerian descent. Meeran was awarded the European Union Literary award for his debut Saracen at the Gates in 2009. About a curious exploration of living raceless in a country where just about everybody seems to have one, this debut was also shortlisted for the Sunday Times fiction prize in 2010. A professor of creative writing, Okorafor has received numerous accolades for her books, which are often characterized by African culture infused with reminiscent settings and memorable characters. This panel will be facilitated by True Love books editor and publisher Melinda Ferguson. Music by Durban duo Nhlanhla Zondi and Zulublue will kick start the evening presentation, while Molope’s book, This Book Betrays my Brother launches prior to the show.

On the evening of Human Rights Day, Thursday 21st March is the panel titled Perspectives in SA Writing, with a panel which features Elana Bregin and Damon Galgut, and facilitated by Siphiwo Mahala. Galgut’s In a Strange Room, a novel which follows the journey of an isolated South African traveler seeking a deep satisfaction in life, was shortlisted for several awards, including the 2010 Man Booker Prize and M-Net Literary Award. Bregin is well known for her award-winning young adult titles, which include The Kayaboeties and The Red-haired Khumalo, which all deal with the social realities of a changing South Africa. 

Under the title The Reporter as Writer, Jackee Batanda from Uganda and Aman Sethi from India, both novelists and journalists, feature in the evening’s second panel discussion. Together with the numerous awards for her fiction writing, Batanda also featured in the London Times alongside 19 young women shaping the future of Africa. A seasoned journalist working as a correspondent for The Hindu, a newspaper in India with a daily readership of about 2.5 million, Sethi has also contributed articles to various publications, around health policies in India. The evening’s musical act is the pair Mike Muyo and Tom Watkeys. 

Following the book launch of The Imagined Child (Picador) by festival participant Jo-Anne Richards, and a music performance by the band Nje, the presentation of prizes to winners of the schools short story competition will take place on Friday 22nd March. The first session titled Youth Literature, similarly puts a spotlight on young people, and features writers Elieshi Lema from Tanzania and BD Khawula from South Africa. Lema started off writing poetry before moving on to children’s books. Her first novel Parched Earth - A Love Story received an honorable mention in the Noma Award for Publishing in Africa and forms part of the curriculum in various universities. Based in Durban, Khawula’s inspiration to write stems from his love for his country. His debut novel Yihlathi Leli, won a silver award in the African Languages category at the Sanlam Youth Literature Awards. 

The second panel for the evening, Writing Transformation, features South African critical thinkers and writers Andile Mngxitama and Prof Sampie Terreblanche. While Mngxitama writes significantly around the philosophy and writings of late Black Consciousness leader, Steve Biko, Terreblanche’s focuses lies on the history of economic thought and policy matters in South and Southern Africa. 

The Saturday evening book launch is On Being Human featuring contributions by various writers and edited by Duduzile Mabaso (Black Letter Media). Music and song by Durban songbird Skye Wanda will precede the discussion Writing the Other, featuring the South African panel of Ashwin Desai and Jonny Steinberg. An activist intellectual, Desai is celebrated the world over, for his poignant articulation of stories about struggle, oppression and resistance. Award-winning author Steinberg, writes about experiences about everyday life in the wake of South Africa’s transition to democracy. His debut novel Midlands, about the murder of a white South African farmer, won the Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize in 2003. This panel discussion will be facilitated by Dr. Frederico Settler from the Philosophy department at UKZN.

The festival closes with a look at the pertinent issue with South African writers Shafinaaz Hassim and Kagiso Lesego Molope, in a panel titled Writing Gender Violence. Hassim, a writer, poet and sociologist and driving force behind Johannesburg-based publishers, WordFire Press, recently published a novel on domestic violence titled SoPhia in November 2012, while Molope’s third novel This Book Betrays my Brother raises many gender equality issues prevalent in South Africa, amongst them the perception that women who wear revealing clothing invite sexual advances. Molope's first novel, Dancing in the Dust, was put on the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) list for 2006, making her the first Black South African to make the list. 

Publishing is undoubtedly one of the central elements in the development of a local literary culture. That said a notable event that has become a significant part of the annual Time of the Writer international writers’ festival, is the Publishing Forum.  Taking place on Wednesday, 20th March between 10h00 – 14h00 at the Centre for Creative Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus, this year’s forum will feature a range of panels on salient issues within the publishing landscape. Topics discussed will cover the magazine industry, maximizing exposure in the world of digital publishing, converting your PhD thesis into a book and what publishers look for in a manuscript.

In addition to the nightly showcases at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre, a broad range of day activities including seminars and workshops are formulated to promote a culture of reading, writing and creative expression. This includes the educator’s forum with teachers on the implementation of literature in the classroom, the community writing forum with members of the public interested in literature, visits to schools, and a prison writing programme.

Tickets are R25 for the evening sessions, R10 for students, and can be purchased through Computicket or at the door one hour before the event. Workshops and seminarsarefree. 

The full programme of activities, biographies, and photos of participants is available on For more information contact the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts on 031 260 2506/1816 or e-mail 

Organised by the Centre for Creative Arts (University of KwaZulu-Natal), the 16th Time of the Writer festival is supported by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (principal funder), City of Durban, Adams Campus Books, Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. 

(Source - Centre for Creative Arts - University of Kwazulu-Natal) 

Some of the Writers Appearing at the Festival:

Damon Galgut.jpg

Damon Galgut


Jonny Steinberg 

Jude Dibia 1.jpg

Jude Dibia

Susan Abulhawa.jpg

Susan Abulhawa

Zinaid meeran.2jpg.jpg

Zinaid Meeran 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Tanga Pasi Is Coming to Perform in Durban

Tanga Pasi will be visiting from Zimbabwe and will be performing all over Durban.

Here are the dates:

They are opening the Time of the Writer Festival on Howard
College campus, 18th March... but this is only a 10 minute

Friday 22nd March: Bluestockings,16 Dan Pienaar Rd, Kloof, 7:30pm, R60
entry, dinner is also available by pre-order only at R60. Bookings
essential 083 659 3628

Saturday 23rd March: Ekhaya Guest House, 75 Hilary Drive, Ballito.
R75 for dinner ticket. entry 6:30 for 7pm start. For Info or Bookings,
telephone:+27 (0)32 586 3433 or +27 (0)78 780 0735

Sunday 24th March: Rainbow Restaurant, Pinetown. Doors open at 1pm
for 2pm start. Opening act is Musical Democracy, followed by Tanga
Pasi at 3pm, followed by Dr. Fly and the Nurses, and Napalma. R40
ticket with all gate takings will be donated to the Open Door Crisis
Centre in Pinetown, which assists abused women and children).

Make sure you catch them at one of these shows.

(Source - Tanga Pasi) 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Read about A Catalina Show, Catering, A Short Story and @immediaza


These Easter Holidays will be filled with fun and laughter as Catalina Theatre brings you Easter Bunnies & The Storyteller from 28th March till the 7th of April 2013. A fairytale of Two Easter Bunnies who are hungry for Stories of which they believe will make them grow stronger and braver, do dances, songs and magic spells trying to get a Storyteller to relieve them from hunger. Mama Nomusa Xaba ( an International Storyteller comes to their relief and tells rich and nutricious stories from abroad and interacts with audiences through song, Musical Instruments, games and poetry.

A 40 minutes magical piece worth enjoying, written and directed by an award winning Director Mpumy Ndlovu. Each ticket cost R35 and R55 including Boat Rides.

Shows begin at 11am everyday and boat rides run every hour For bookings contact 031 305 6889/ 083 764 3177, or

(Source - Catalina Theatre) 

Garden Room Caters & Events 

For more info email Fred Lukas 

FRICKADELL FREDA by Andrew Verster

Frickadell Freda, they called her. “They” being the boys in Ozenfont Pre-Primary School in Moira Boscombe Terrace.
“Why do you call her that?” Jeanette Pardew asked.
“Because she is sort of round and she smells like a meat pie.”
It could have been  a lot worse, for, with one leg shorter than the other after an accident on the family duck farm when she fell under a tractor driven by her elder brother “Pillage” Pardew, the doctors at Ozenfont Clinic said that,  had  Hubert Horrocks not grabbed her by both arms and pulled her out, “she would have been a goner.”
But fate was on her side as Hubert was the anchor in the Ozenfont Under Thirty Tug of War team who had a record of three victories in the past five years over teams from the other side of Ozenfont Ridge.
“I jumped in, boots and all,” he is quoted as saying.

And Freda herself? “Such things happen all the time. It’s just that it was my turn. Tomorrow someone else will be under a bus, a ten ton truck, a collapsed block of flats, or falling from the roof of a skyscraper. I save abandoned babies, I nurse pigeons with broken wings, I  teach macramé to spastics, I help pensioners with their shopping, I do aromatherapy, plant herb gardens in the neighborhood, but because of an hormonal deficiency I am famous for smelling like a pile of putrefying meat. But my bags are packed and I’m off to Botany Bay  - a second cousin once removed has a chalet on the beach – and I am going to write my memoirs. Nobody knows about Freda the hurdler, the disc-jockey, the rap-artist at the CHI-CHI PALACE,  or the carpet weaver. But they indeed WILL.
Watch this space. AND Kalahari.Com.

Andrew Verster is a World Famous Artist & Writer based in Durban. 

Will You Be Going to #OpenNight ? 

Many of you are well aware of the post-PC revolution upon us. We'd like to explore this a bit further at our upcoming #OpenNight where radio personality and financial journalist, Hilton Tarrant will be sharing his insights.  There will also be a heated debate surrounding Android as an ecosystem.

The aim of our #OpenNights is to provide devs, designers, tech enthusiasts and all-round geeks with a platform to network and engage with one another, sharing their learnings in order to empower the Silicon Beach community. We'd like to invite you and anyone who you think might be interested to join us. Please note that this is a FREE event but we do need you to RSVP beforehand due to space and catering constraints.

Event details:
Date: Tuesday, 26 March
Time: 18:00
Venue: immedia HQ

  • The state of mobile in South Africa - Hilton Tarrant
  • Debate: Should Android be considered an ecosystem?
  • Hot Hardware segment: showcasing some of the coolest toys currently available 

We welcome external speakers, who would like to showcase their projects or a topic they think would be of interest so please feel free to contact me if you would like to present at one of our #OpenNights. 

To RSVP for this #OpenNight, please fill out the application here.

(Source - immedia) 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Short Story Competition, News About Town and a Concert Review

A great short story competition just for you.

Just a last reminder to have a go at the SA Writers College short story competition before the deadline of March 31st. Or if you've written your story but not sent it yet- now's the time to tweak it and submit it! 
Theme: Doing the right thing. This is not the title.
Word count: Less than 2000 words
Open to all South African writers who have not had fiction published in mainstream publications 

Email as an attachment to 

(Source - SA Writers College)

R100 per person

(Source - Ushaka) 

Short Story Time 


“So it was you?” Claudia  Gaitskell said to Polly Rippingdale over tea in the garden, “who pasted OLD over ELDERLY? ”
“A hateful word. A misnomer. Call a spade a spade. Look at these arms of mine. They’re not ELDERLY they’re ANCIENT. Antedeluvian.’
“And nobody saw you?”
“The guard had vanished – probably went to café for something, or slipped off  home  – so I was left to my own devices. A bit of that lumpy rubber stuff – not Pritstik, the other one – and there it was, as if it had been happily there all its life.”
“And who noticed it?”
“Nobody. In THIS place! If Santa Claus had popped down the chimney and ordered fried eggs on toast at breakfast,  Maureen-whatever-her-name-is would have said, “one egg or two?” and said “next please.”
“Always such a tonic talking to you Millicent.”
“You too, Maureen.
“Skip it. It’s getting dark, we should go inside.”
“Dark? It’s  two in the afternoon.”
“Just testing.’
“You ARE a card!”
“I work at it. You are a natural.”
“I’m sure I should take offence at that. But I can’t work out why.”

Andrew Verster is a World Famous Artist and Writer based in Durban.

Interested in Public Speaking?

To Book for this Convention email:

(Source - PSASA) 

A Durban Concert Review by Timothy Sparks 
Date: Sunday 10th March

Scintillating Royal Dutch Concertgebouw Orchestra dazzles in Durban
Assailed by morning coffee and the clamour of the world I thought for a moment that last nights concert was a mirage. Last year the City Hall was shrouded in angels. Last night when the orchestra played the opening notes of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D major, one might as well have stood in the throng at the quarter-centenary of The Romanov’s.  Bells rung in sublime notes of the dramatic Tchaikovsky, mesmerised all with the violin’s exquisite composure. The knell of fate rang twice in this decisive performance of the Royal Dutch Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam.

In nights when radio was still king in commanding thought, and sense I experienced this renowned orchestra for the first time.  Across the velvet of the night sonorous music played through my ears, ringing clear as if I was in the audience on a night of wakefulness (foreign stations used to transmit in the early hours) im der Himmel. I remember the broadcaster saying that for him hearing these old recordings were indivisible from sitting in the concert hall. Such was the magnificence of the playing and the old technology. That was the Dutch Concertgebouw which played under Maestro Willem Mengelberg, and Bruno Walter in the tragic years of the middle thirties and early forties.  

While listening to the overture on Sunday one realised that one was in the midst of Greatness once more. A true combination of seamless conducting by Maestro Dutoit was remarkably adroit but artistic playing throughout showed many in the audience that Zubin Mehta’s, fabled rendition of Mahler’s First Symphony of 1996, in the city was not also an illusion. Then as now the music was a master-class and whilst one was a tribute to the local orchestra, this performance celebrated an evergreen orchestra, all of one hundred and twenty-five years old.

The master-stroke was a traditional programme defined by vision, passion and artistic greatness. A friend eccentrically hinted that the very traditional scope of the programme was its strength.  
From an informed position in the gallery I was able to see and hear for myself what Tchaikovsky intended with this experience of his music.  Maestro Dutoit leapt into view, entering surprisingly for us from the left of the stage. His entrance was made all the more dramatic by the sustained applause for the orchestra, a moving ovation in recognition of one hundred and twenty-five years. The entire evening was a glowing tribute to great music, charming company and the artistry our great city deserves. 

Ladies dressed in their finest, were a tribute to the beautiful solemnity of the occasion. Imagine the lovely dames, ascending the staircase with Pietro Mascagni’s Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana; heedless and painful though beauty can be in an evening remarkable for such delights.  Members of the local orchestra mingled in among the civilised domain as myth, joy and fable danced together.  Absorbed in the masonry, one floated in the oblivion which was inevitable especially where Russian music is concerned. Gladly the pleasure was heightened by the extraordinary interpretations of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto. As if discovering the music for the first time some notes were so beautiful as if to capture the essence of the ocean.  Between the melodies, the gapes and philosophical asides of the cadenza, are played so magnificently in Janine Jansen’s rendition. She was particularly impressive in the high notes that seemed to float through the spheres.

Think for a moment that you are wading through a field of wheat in ‘Room with a View’ the Mechant-Ivory film ready to meet your lover.  I sat next to a lady secreted in some chamber in a dream, from long ago, shimmering in pearls and captivated by the fond melodies that move one deeply. Perhaps the caprice of Tchaikovsky’s mysterious liaison with his intimate correspondent, unknowingly defined both the sorrow and triumph, translated into the electricity of the evening.  

The conducting style of Charles Dutoit was the triumph of suggestion.  The soul-stirring aspect of the Tchaikovsky second movement left an indelible mark on the audience. Superb playing in the woodwinds (excellent all evening) brought out the contrasts in this movement, matched in cello and double bass. Energy and composure were matched evenly: rushes of oboe, clarinet and bassoon proved the genius of the composer and the artistry of Charles Dutoit. Maestro Dutoit strove for clarity and eloquence in the dynamic passages of this piece. The crescendo and dynamism that formed the pulse of the performance showcased all aspects and parts of the various sections. A smaller orchestra was called for at this stage, and probably fewer then the Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra would have relied upon. 

One of the strongest emotions on the evening was regret. One realises that these foreign visitors; orchestra  members, through welcome and lauded cannot really fill the gap left by foreign opera companies that used to flock to South Africa in the 1960’s and 1970’s.This marvellous audience has a great appetite for music, especially notes manipulated with such grandeur.  What a luxurious contrast to South Africa. The local orchestras are collapsing because of lack of funds and the almost abject running of the Playhouse.  Strange programme choices, and complacency are the enemy of greatness. Most of the orchestras in South Africa should have resident conductors because this makes both good financial and artistic sense. Impressions are lasting and a walk along Smith Street will leave any A flaneur or theatre lover gasping for air. I chose to end with a peculiar manic obsession, namely, Johannnes Brahms.

Brahms Symphony No.1 is regarded as one of the most malleable and captivating pieces in the symphonic repertoire.  One of my friends, a music teacher, regards the Brahms as one of his most cherished pieces of music although with a greatness that still surprises. The famous song-like Andante was described very aptly in 1876 by one Aduard Hanslick as a “long drawn-out noble song” and so it proved on the night, melodious and dramatic as grand as the Tragic Overture conducted by the late lamented conductor Wolfgang Sawallisch with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. Dutoit ended the night as he had begun in full command.

The master of counterpoint, Brahms is both magnificent in its broad sweep and tragedy but the sublime passages come in counterpoised weights or vignettes of waltzes.  One of Brahms’ Hungarian Dances, played at the end of the resounding orchestral  ovation ; revealed some of the mysterious rhyme and reason, that accomplished playing reaches leading on an upwards arc in the third movement of the symphony. Johann Wegenaar’s Cyrano de Bergerac Overture was played with character and romantic ardour. It was a bold choice of a piece that left the audience with the rush of a sensational opening salvo.  The entire concert radiated this exciting initiative and rhythm that rung through the ringing applause long after the last notes were heard. A truly ephemeral evening, dubbed ‘einmalig’ – never recurring, or a once off, where time stops for a while suspended in lakes of joy, travelling midst desire and evocation.  Emerging from these effects we should salute the Royal Dutch Concertgebouw for a remarkable concert of Romantic abandon and of Classical triumph. Ovations marked the recognition of a singular event which was a reward for both rapt attention and expectation.

Timothy Sparks is a freelance writer and educator based in Durban