A very big, a warm, South African handshake for everybody. For those of you who don’t know what a South African handshake is, check it out. For those of you who do know, check out the link too – quite cool, thanks so much ubuntu bridge for the video!
So, the last bit of silence (sorry about that) has seen me doing some pretty amazing travelling around South Africa. Not all of it has been for recreation, but the last bit I did was solely filled with fun, SA countryside viewing, people meeting, entertainment. I road tripped (on a budget) for about 5 days from the mother city to East London. Along the way, I stopped at a whole bunch of rad places.
First stop – Kolkol, Elgin. Awesome tented camp set high up in the mountains. I have never gone ‘glamping’ (glamorous camping) before – but sleeping in a tent, on a comfortable double bed, waking up to the sound of the rain is pretty tough to beat. The views were spectacular and outdoor showering is a definite must do.
Next stop – Calitzdorp spa. A very down to earth place, deep in the heart of the ‘klein karoo’, where people can swim in the natural HOT spring water. I got in, stuck it out for as long as I could, about 4 and a half minutes, jumped out and ran back to the cottage steaming. They were definitely not lying about the ‘hot’ part.
The following day – Oudtshorn and beyond. I landed up at the Cango Caves. This part of the journey was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. At the caves, there are two options: the guided walk or the adventure walk. In the latter, there are some very tight gaps to squeeze through. Not having the smallest frame, I went with the guided walk. I am so glad I did as our guide, Eric, turned off all of the lights in the second cave and sang the South African National anthem. His baritone voice echoed its way through all of the cracks and crevices of that cave, bounced off the stalactites and stalagmites and washed over me! I would be lying if I said I did not get emotional at this stage. Thank goodness the lights were off and when they came back on, I could blame the dust.
Onwards to George – it blows my mind how driving for an hour can make the scenery change from hot and dry to pretty much stepping into a scene from the Lord of the Rings. The scenery from George onward is, in my opinion, out of this world – especially crossing over into the Eastern Cape.
For the last night of my trip, I stayed over at Tsitsikamma backpackers, swung in a hammock and read my book for some quality R&R before the last leg of the journey.
What an amazing trip it turned out to be, and just getting in a car and going is something I would definitely recommend to people. There are things to do and places to stay, no matter what your budget. Just make sure you take a camera, good company, a map book/gps and some CD’s.
Happy road tripping everybody, I look forward to the pictures and the stories!
Yes, it is that time. The London Olympics have officially begun and are already on day 6. There is a buzz around the country and where ever one looks, you can see Olympic fever is here. Even Google has the fever, start typing in basically anything and it will drop down with the famous ‘did you mean’ and have a suggestion related to the Olympics. Obviously, with our very own Cameron Van Der Burgh smashing the world record in the men’s 100m breaststroke final on Sunday has really bumped up the ‘gees’ of our nation.
The race itself was epic, although quite quick (58.46 seconds). It had myself and the people I was watching with on the edges of our seats.
The thing that struck me about Cameron though is that he is a real local boytjie. He was born in SA, lives in SA and studies here too. A real home grown dude – fantastic to hear. Well done on the WR and the Gold Cam, you have made us all very proud.
It looks like the pride of all South Africans will be increased exponentially by the winning of yet another gold medal by Chad le Clos. Another truly local young gun, was competing against a number of well accomplished swimmers in the men’s 200m butterfly final and when watching the race, on the last turn it appeared he would have to settle for bronze. However, the last lap saw him dig deep and take first place by just over half a second. Nail biting stuff.
South Africa now sits 10th in the rankings with 2 golds, 6 days in and 7 to go. Lets make sure we get behind the people that have been chosen to represent us in the Olympics and show our support. Click here for a link which will fill you in on all of our sporting folk, the details of their events and all you need to know about them.
Being an old Rhodes University student, the National Arts Festival is something which I used to take for granted. I attended it almost every year during my stay in, what was fondly referred to by many of us as, the ‘Gspot’. Since I finished up there in 2009, I have not been back since.
I decided enough was enough and this was the year I would go back for a visit. A visit which would include a bit more of the cultural side of things than it had in the past – which it did. Although my stay was about 2 days in total, I managed to squeeze in quite a bit of exploring and show watching. The latter was limited by budget, time and also about half a day of feeling quite sorry for myself.
One thing that really struck me about the 6 shows I managed to make, was the complete and utter talent we have in South Africa. Not that I have ever doubted it, but I was completely blown away by the performances I watched. However, one’s viewing pleasure does not stop there, people are performing in the street, parking lots, the village green (where all the stalls are) and basically anywhere there is an open space. These performances range from: dancing, theatrical performances, comedians and musicians.
The shows I did make, consisted mainly of stand up comedy and illusionists/magicians. And by mainly, I mean only – I would have been keen on watching some theatrical pieces, I am going to blame me not going to any of those on the people I was with…yes, that is it. The buzz in and around the audience during the shows I watched was amazing; the pre-show excitement, the South African touches during and then the wonderful post show chatter and ‘highlights’. I found the overall admin side of the arts festival was handled really well, everything was well labeled, the program booklet was super helpful and all the shows were very fairly priced too – a winning combintation of you ask me. Grahamstown National Arts Festival organisers 1: people who say nothing is well organised in SA 0.
Overall, I would recommend the Grahamstown National Arts Festival for anyone, from SA (or abroad). There is something to do for anyone and at least one show is guaranteed to elicit an emotion of some sort. If this does not suit your fancy, go for the people. If you are a ‘people-watcher’ like me, then during this week and a half you will be in for a real treat.
What most of us don’t realise is that he’s not stupid.
I quite enjoy listening to him go on about touchy topics, call a spade a shovel and create conversation.
I’d love to say that I have read Gareth’s book yet. I haven’t. I’m looking forward to reading it once I’ve downloaded it to my Kindle. Can’t figure out why the PR company didn’t send through the Kindle version of the books to those of us with Kindle’s.
Here’s the product description on the Kindle Store:
Some people think it a very bad thing to have an opinion about anything. Blend in, don’t make too much noise, just be happy with what you know and do. I can’t do that.’
South African DJ personality and Idols judge Gareth Cliff likes to shoot from the hip. Whether on air or judging a trembling Idols contestant, he’s always quick with a point of view. In Gareth Cliff on Everything, Gareth throws caution to the wind and writes about all those subjects that make him glad, sad or simply mad.
Almost everyone who has seen me with this book has passed a sarky remark and then expressed shock at the absolute cheek of a man filling a book with his own opinons… and then publishing it. I mean how dare he! The irony is that most of them have never heard Gareth on air [I asked them] but along with the Parlotones and Bryce Lawrence, it seems Cliff has been added to the SA Haters list of things to Hate on.
I’m about halfway through, I’m enjoying it and I actually agree with several of his points… some of them have had me in stitches. The chapters are short, it’s a light read and he doesn’t sugar-coat anything. But be warned, if you’re easily offended, highly sensitive or incredibly pretentious, then this book is definitely not for you.
There is an event and it is mental. It is called the Red Bull Xalps event. The premise is a simple one: Go from Salzburg to Monaco. The difficulty lies in the details; you have to race non-stop through the Alps to the Mediterranean Sea, with just a paraglider and a pair of hiking boots to help them, their every move tracked by advanced technology and broadcasted to an audience of millions.
Here’s an intro video to the Red Bull X-Alps event:
Sounds easy. It’s not and a South African is one of a very select few people to compete. Pierre Carter is a Johannesburg Father who is 45 and crazy… about extreme sports.
Today while expecting new business cards I was presented with a package that included a new cellphone, pre-loaded with airtime, a Nando’s flashdrive and instructions from Kagiso, the “New CEO”.
Here’s a photo of the package:
I think this is a fantastic campaign for a few reasons:
1. I was expecting something else (my business cards) so this played in their favour
2. It is a well-executed campaign filled with customised goodies like a cellphone box and cover inside and out, customised flashstick and instructions to call a number on the cellphone you are given.
3. Having worked at Vodacom SA, I know how difficult it is now with RICA, to do a campaign of this kind.
4. Neat execution.
5. I was not contacted by the PR firm to ask for my details. They found them and sent me the package. Impressive.
The incredible part about this story is not that DJ Black Coffee set a new record, ’cause he did. That part was seemingly easy for the man. The tough part for me to comprehend is that he did it with one arm.
DJ Black Coffee set a new world record for spinning by doing his work for 60 straight hours.
From the Telegraph:
Nkosinathi Maphumulo, 34, completed the challenge on Sunday at a charity event in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The dance music DJ, who lost his left hand in an accident aged 13, hopes video footage of the event will win him a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
He said: “I stayed strong. The music kept me going. I’m going to be a better DJ as I was doing it for a greater reason.
“At some stage I held back tears.”
Nkosinathi, who uses the stage name Black Coffee, started his record attempt in a shopping mall at midnight last Thursday.
Under the rules of the record attempt he was allowed a 20 minute comfort break every four hours.
But his manager told South Africa’s Sowetan newspaper he finished in style by playing the final 15 hours without stopping at all.
In case you haven’t heard the 5FM adverts I though that it was valuable for me to alert you to the 1 in 100 000 campaign.
DJ Fresh is trying to meet 100 000 people in 1000 hours. That’s a big call and it’s all to raise awareness about Leukaemia.
Here’s some background information:
A person suffering from Leukaemia has a 1 in 100 000 chance of finding a bone marrow stem cell donor match.
That’s 1 match for every 100 000 people.
Most of us won’t meet a 100 000 people in our lifetime!
In fact, if you lived to be 90 years old, you’d have to meet 1 person every 8 hours, from the day that you were born, until the day you die,
To illustrate these odds The Sunflower Fund has challenged DJ Fresh to try and meet 100 000 people online in the 1000 hours leading up to The Sunflower Fund National Bandana Day on the 12th of October 2010.
Once on the website visitors can ‘meet DJ Fresh, send in sms donations as well as sponsor some of DJ Fresh’s meetings on our sponsor page.
It’s for a really good cause and every bit of media mileage will help.
At the SA Blog Awards on Saturday the lovely people from ZA News were present. Their Helen Zille Puppet was present too and yes, you guessed it, so was Helen Zille herself.
Firstly let me say that since moving to Cape Town I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing the Western Cape Premier speak in person so I was quite happy to know that she would be attending the blog awards. Helen Zille did not disappoint. From what I’ve heard she never does in fact. She was funny, humble and very switched on about her audience, their interests and her relevance to the occasion. Nice one.
But on to the fun stuff. The folks at ZA News wanted to meet Helen and moreover wanted their Helen to meet Helen. So the Helens met:
Compliments to Dave Duarte for the photograph. Nice work.
If you were at the Tri Nations game last week Saturday you probably flew a flag. If you did fly a flag you were part of a successful world record attempt.
South Africans smashed the previous record of flags flown at one time which stood at 6 600. The auditors are apparently still working like crazy to get the final numbers in but they are projecting close to 90 000 flags were flown at the South Africa vs New Zealand game at the FNB Stadium.
Free flags were handed out at the FNB Stadium and auditors believe the final number was in the region of 90,000. The previous record was 6,600.
Deputy MD of Draft FCB, Heidi Nelson, said they were just waiting for the final official confirmation.
“We just need the auditing process to happen with Guinness and for them to actually issue out with the certificate that says we have claimed the record but for all intents and purposes, South Africans did us proud on Saturday and we have broken the record,” she said.
*UPDATE: Tinus chimed in and kindly sent through the official image being used to verify the record. Here’s a snippet: