The 12th annual Naledi Theatre Awards will see a star-studded selection of performers and presenters entertain and honour stalwarts and spectacular newcomers of the South African stage. Taking place on Tuesday, 19 April at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, the Naledi Theatre Awards promise to be bigger and better this year. “Our entertainment line-up is very special,” says Executive Director, Dawn Lindberg. Special indeed, as Grammy Award winners Wouter Kellerman and Ladysmith Black Mambazo are set to delight the audience. “I’m really looking forward to the Awards and feel very privileged to share my music with the theatre community,” says flautist and composer, Kellerman. “I feel that in music, there is an underlying sense of theatre - and this is a great opportunity to share common themes like storytelling, passion and emotive expression.” But these world-famous artists won’t be the only ones taking a bow on the night. “For the first time we have the full Johannesburg Youth Orchestra Company, conducted by Eddie Clayton,” says Lindberg. “All music has been specially arranged for the event and singers will perform to live music.” Other all-star entertainers include Candida Mosoma from Sister Act; Sharon Spiegel Wagner from I’m Playing Your Song; Somizi Mhlongo of Idols fame; Jonathan Roxmouth and Charon Williams-Ros, who will perform a spoof from Sweeney Todd together; and Timothy Moloi who will perform The Impossible Dream. Critically acclaimed and SAMA-nominated recording artist, Timothy Moloi says he is honoured to be performing at the 2016 Awards. “The Naledi Awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognise excellence in the theatre industry and showcase the amazing work that has taken place over the past year,” he says. “It is also one of the highlights of the local social calendar, when people involved in all aspects of the performing arts get a chance to come together to celebrate the successes of the year gone by.” An esteemed cast of . . .
The final day of the ACT | UJ Arts & Culture Conference saw creatives from across the country battle it out in the Pitch Perfect session. Groups that were formed prior to, or at, the conference each had three minutes to impress the judges with an interdisciplinary project idea, but only six of them have moved closer to one of the two R80 000 grants. Sponsored by the National Arts Council (NAC), the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) and Nedbank Arts Affinity, a total of R160 000 will be made available to two innovative interdisciplinary projects that were developed during the BASA Hatchery sessions at the two-day #creativeintersections conference. “It has been close to two decades since the National Arts Council (NAC) was instituted, and in that period, we have seen how the local creative community has come together to form a dynamic industry,” says the NAC CEO Rosemary Mangope. “The NAC’s vision is to promote, through the arts, the free and creative expression of South Africa's cultures. To this end we’re continuously looking for new partnerships and opportunities for collaboration. The NAC is thrilled to be supporting this project, which aims to promote excellence in the arts and strengthen the arts and culture sector in our country,” she concludes. And these partnerships do not go unvalued. “The Arts & Culture Trust is privileged to have passionate partners that share our vision of advancing the creative sector,” says ACT CEO Pieter Jacobs. Jacobs says it’s events like these that offer real benefit to the industry. “The learning and skill sharing platforms offered by the ACT | UJ Conference proactively work towards empowering artists and creative practitioners. And what better way to do this than with practical real-world experiences where stakeholders learn by doing?” There were 17 groups who presented 'elevator pitches' at the conference, ranging from dance and theatre ideas to festivals and cultural exchanges, each group’s spokesperson . . .
The engineering skills gap in South Africa is well documented, but what is not necessarily more widely understood is the loss of engineering professionals as a result of the bizarre way the industry has calculated fee income up until now. Simon Berry, director, Fresh Projects, an online business platform tailor made for South African built environment professionals, says that the industry has, for decades, been at the mercy of an imbalanced playing field with dire consequences: “Built Environment professionals have often under quoted on projects, offering unsustainable discounts, even as much as 70%, to get appointed. The knock-on effect of this is more serious than many realise. With a discount of that magnitude, Berry says that projects then have to try cover costs with as little as 30% of the fee that they should be earning, which is not feasible for any professional team: “This immediately impacts the earning potential for everyone and the long-term viability of a business.” ”In comparison, other professionals such as lawyers, accountants and doctors, charge hourly fees that fundamentally cover their costs, resulting in guaranteed profits for them. There is a disconnect between built environment fee guidelines and the real costs. The fee guidelines are based on value of construction works whereas the true cost to deliver the services is based on the number hours of professional input. So the issue lies in not knowing what the real cost is from the outset, according to Berry. These teams need a better understanding of the actual cost of a project, and how much leverage they have to offer discounts against tariffs, before it compromises the entire project and industry. “The sector has, and continues to, lose talent because the earning potential is reduced so significantly. Talented engineers are in great demand in other sectors and can earn more than what is being offered within the built environment sector, despite the skills shortage,” explains . . .
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” said Nelson Mandela. Our society lives by this quote, not purely because it is from the father of the nation and a world renowned leader of his time. Chiefly because from a tender age, the average South African child is taught to aspire towards prestigious educational achievements in order to change his or her life. As a child growing up in this society you become accustomed to phrases such as “education will open many doors for you” and with a childlike faith, you grow up and set out to make this happen. This can be misleading and give people the false impression that every educated individual will be successful upon completing school. Many parents overlook the need to prepare their children adequately for the harsh and disappointing reality of unemployment after graduating from college, university or any other institution of higher learning. When a fresh graduate is faced with such a predicament, it is best to opt for the entrepreneur route. What’s better than waiting tirelessly to find employment, whilst frying your brains in your mother’s house, than starting a business of your own? Bearing in mind every prospective entrepreneur starts a business with the hope that it will flourish and be able to address the societal need of providing employment while making profit. Congratulations to both our nation’s graduates who were fortunate enough to find employment and a big shout-out to those who started their own businesses straight out of varsity. If you are looking to kick-start something along your interests or qualifications this year or just looking for inspiration while weighing your options, let’s delve into some must-have essentials to position your business to prosper in just under a year: An authentic product or service in demand and can satisfy a need or want in your community. Your business offering needs to be first and foremost attractive to people. If you are . . .
PETER FELDMAN talks to theatre veteran Fiona Ramsay about her two Naledi Theatre Award nominations. Fiona Ramsay is one of South Africa's most gifted actresses who has been treading the boards for many, many years. This year, two of the productions in which she shone, Doubt and Miss Diedrich Regrets, have been nominated for prestigious Naledi Theatre Awards, with the prize giving ceremony taking place at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, on April 19. Now in its 12th year, The Naledi Theatre Awards reflect the vibrant and diverse nature of the South African theatrical landscape that exists today. Along with The Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards in Cape Town, they are the premiere awards for theatre excellence in South Africa. Asked how she felt about being nominated for two productions, Ramsay said: "The productions were very special as both had been ‘personal projects’ for me and the creative teams involved. Therefore, it is hugely thrilling to be nominated for roles so close to my heart! Marlene had been someone I had toyed with paying tribute to in cabaret - and when Gail Louw sent me Miss Dietrich Regrets I realised it was my role. I had longed to play Sister Aloysius (from Doubt) since reading the play and the experience with the cast and director was wonderful." Asked to describe what the challenges were on two such different productions, she told me: "Playing a legend as iconic and well known as Marlene Dietrich is always challenging as so many people have different memories - the challenge is to embrace and investigate as many facets of her personality as is possible within the text. I spent most of the production in bed - aging movie star grappling with getting older, losing her glamour and youth and having to face her daughter and their shared histories - and find as much range within that bed as possible!" Talking about Doubt, Ramsay said it was a "finely crafted play with clear characters and of course a film exists of the work - the . . .
Cranes and aerial platforms are indispensable when doing works of community or industrial significance such as digging ponds, lifting heavy parts, shifting heavyweight goods etc. Most cranes are massive structures which can pose great risks if not procured from trusted sources. So, utmost care must be exercised while choosing the manufacturer of an industrial crane. In this context, one is compelled to introduce readers to Smith Capital, a leading crane, aerial lift platform, and drill rig manufacturer in South Africa. They have the incredible distinction of being the one and only platform manufacturing firm in the whole wide continent of Africa. And it does not stop there; they are also officially the largest makers of truck-mounted cherry pickers, on the same continent. Apart from manufacturing products which are ISO and SABS certified, the firm also bills them at a much lower price than similar goods which are imported from outside of the country. They do custom-built designing and delivering as per demand. Also, the high priority that they attach to client satisfaction, makes them stringently adherent to the specifications stipulated by their clients. In aerial platforms, their specialty is the Superlift Aerial Platform range, which has won awards and accolades for the unbeatable reach, flexibility and mobility of its platforms. Some of the global brands that are included in this range are: Bronto Skylift, Terex Utilities, Oil and Steel etc. The first one is a height master, the second is famous for its insulation, and the third is famed for its height, reach and utility for small carriers. They supply to leading utility supplier firms such as Eskom. In cranes, Smith Capital is known for their ‘CLASSIC’ line of truck-mounted cranes and cherry-pickers. These come in all sizes imaginable: small, medium and large. A lot of these are equipped with the PM Power Tronic Compact mechanism. Their drilling rigs are of mainly three varieties: Post and . . .
In its continuous effort to create a meaningful representation of South Africa’s ICT skills landscape, the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University has launched its 2016 ICT Skills Survey. The 7th edition of the survey will aim to provide an outline of the current skills priorities and gaps in the South African ICT sector. The report is scheduled for release in May 2016. Adrian Schofield, Manager, Applied Research Unit, JCSE, says the previous editions of the survey were widely used by researchers and decision-makers seeking to understand the dynamics of talent supply: “The survey assisted in understanding the extremely complex environment of ICT extending from technology support to enterprise architecture, from data capture to cloud computing, from digital design to broadcasting.” Schofield says the 6th edition of the survey found that the state of the South African economy is depressing the demand for ICT skills as the sector’s clients cut back expenditures: “Although we have seen a global recession in the last few years, demand in Europe and the United States for ICT skills appears to be increasing or holding steady. South Africa is falling behind its peers in Africa (such as Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt) who are putting greater emphasis on the contribution that technology plays in economic growth.” He says that the JCSE continues to express its concern at the lack of improvement in South Africa’s basic education for the majority of pupils as well as the levels of transformation: “Exposure to, and familiarity with, ICT for all learners is essential to equip them to adapt the modern tools to their daily lives.” Trends in technology adoption place increasing emphasis on ICT sectors such as cloud; big data/analytics; mobile; security and the “Internet of Things”. Schofield says the ranking of the top five priority areas remained unchanged in 2014 from the previous survey. In descending order, they were Software as a Service/Cloud . . .
The SA U21 men's hockey side that took part in the recent Junior World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe. Photo: Photo: Stephen Halle A contingent of University of Johannesburg hockey players returned from Namibia last month, excited with the experience gained from helping South Africa qualify for the Junior World Cup. UJ fielded four players – Carmen Smith, Cheneal Raubenheimer, Kristen Paton and Marizen Marais – in the women's U21 team, which won the tournament by defeating Zimbabwe in the final. This enabled them to qualify for the World Cup to be played in Santiago, Chile, from November 23 to December 4. The men's team – which included UJ's Kyle Lion-Cachet, Tyson Dlungwana, Ryan Crowe, Stephan Halle and Amkelwe Letuka – qualified after finishing runners-up to Egypt in the African qualifier. The men's World Cup takes place in India from December 1 to 11. Besides the players, others closely involved with UJ hockey contributed to the success of the South African teams. Garreth Ewing was the men's head coach, Christy McCrorie the women's video analyst and hockey manager Elize le Roux attended as a technical official. In addition, UJ alumnus Patrick Tshutshani coached the SA women's team. Le Roux said the tournament had been an excellent learning experience for the players. "My personal view is that the UJ players did very well and were all excited to be representing their country. I believe we can be proud of their contributions. "The exposure and experience they gained was very good and although the competition perhaps was not as strong when compared to facing European teams, the African tournaments are never easy. "As an institution, we could not be prouder of the efforts our hockey members put into the qualifier and I think everyone learnt from the experience." The U21 SA members now face an important period when they take part in the senior men's and women's interprovincial tournaments in Randburg from April 24 to 30. The national sides will compete as . . .
The orange army will be out in force at the University of Johannesburg Stadium on Monday as thousands of fans get behind their team in the FNB Varsity Cup rugby semi-finals. UJ may have ended second on the log, but their win over log leaders Maties in the final round earlier this week has provided the perfect platform for them to launch a bid for the title. The Johannesburg students face tough Potchefstroom rivals Pukke in the first of the two playoff matches, beginning at 4.30pm. In the other semi, Maties host northern challengers Tukkies in Stellenbosch. A position in the semi-finals was not guaranteed for UJ going into Monday's final playoff round, but they produced a solid performance against an under-strength Maties team for a 42-16 win. This enabled them to pip Pukke by one point in the final standings, securing what could be a critical home semi-final. While pleased to be playing on familiar territory, UJ coach Werner Janse van Rensburg is not taking anything for granted. "It is great for us to be back at home and the home support is crucial, but in a semi-final in a tournament like this no matter where you play you have to be at your best to win." Earlier in the season, the teams faced off in Potchefstroom, with UJ winning 36-31, a margin which indicates what a tough challenge they will face to secure a berth in the final. Janse van Rensburg said it was important for them to move on from their win over Maties to focus on the next challenge. "Every week presents a new challenge and this competition has shown that what happened the previous Monday doesn't mean anything the next Monday," he said. "We know they will come out with all guns blazing as they have a good record in semi-finals, so we expect our toughest challenge so far in the competition. But we will be up for it." Focusing on the basics and employing a positive approach would be the keys to success, the coach said. "Playing each moment on the field one at a . . .
What is the reason you don’t feel amazing right now? Is it because you are you tired a lot of the time? Stressed out? Are you overweight? Moody? Battling to get enough sleep? It really doesn’t have to be this way. One of the world’s leading nutritional experts, Patrick Holford, will be presenting in-depth health seminars in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban and Johannesburg between 9 and 12 May. He will show you a simple way to get 100% motivated to reclaim your energy, shift that weight for good, reduce stress and feel better than you have in years. From the seminar, you will find out how to: Eat a wide range of delicious foods and still lose weight Regain your energy and zest for life Improve your mood and mental alertness Increase your resilience to stress Break free from anxiety and poor sleep Dramatically decrease your risk for diabetes, heart disease and cancer Don't miss this unique opportunity to meet Patrick and his team of zest4life coaches who will help you to find your motivation again, transform your life and take control of your health. Bookings online at https://www.quicket.co.za/events/?search=Patrick%20Holford. For further information, visit http://www.holforddirect.co.za/patrick-holfords-feel-amazing-right-now-tour/. YouTube: https://youtu.be/IeIqZ81jCQs CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .