Gauteng’s top Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) matriculant, Skhumbuzo Mbatha has a secret weapon to ensure his success – an absolute belief in himself, which saw him improve from just 6% in mathematics in grade 9 to an outstanding mark of 92% in his final matric exam. Skhumbuzo eventually achieved five distinctions for matric, enough to earn him a place to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2019. The 17-year-old attended Leshata Secondary School and joined the EMMS programme at Zakarriya Park when he was in grade 10. He eventually beat out 87 fellow matrics at the end of last year to take top spot amongst those in Gauteng who attended the EMSS programme. Sharing a home in Orange Farm with nine people, including his grandmother, two aunts, an uncle and four other grandchildren, made studying difficult. Skhumbuzo, who lost his parents when he was young, however credits the support from his family and their strong belief in the power of education, for his good marks. “Personally, losing my parents was the greatest hardship I’ve experienced but I didn't let my loss define the summit of my destination,” says Skhumbuzo, who also scored 95% for science. Every Saturday during his grade 12 year, Skhumbuzo attended the Engen-sponsored supplementary classes to ensure he achieved top marks. His suggestion for this year’s matrics is to take advantage of every opportunity for extra learning. “My advice is to depend on yourself. Your teacher is there to just confirm what you already know but proper preparation prevents poor performance, so study while others are sleeping, listen while others are talking and take advice from your teachers. “The secret to my success lies in hard work and putting in the extra hours, but also in asking for help and attending EMSS classes which were useful in that you were free to ask questions and receive concise explanations. “It’s vital to prioritise your time and to sacrifice for your . . .
Don’t get left behind as the hottest cultural shindig this side of the equator takes off. The Lusito Land Festival returns this April to give South Africans an authentic Portuguese experience, with the finest music, delectable gourmets and jampacked fun for the whole family. Hosted by the Lusito Association, a non-profit organisation, this ultimate annual cultural experience is more than about having fun in the sun. The event features Portuguese folk dancing, top local and international artists, and mouth-watering food, as a means of raising funds for the Lusito School, which teaches differently abled children. When is it taking place: Starting over the Easter weekend, the Lusito Land Festival will kick into gear on 20 April to the 22nd April, and then from the 26th April to 28th April. Where will it be: At the newly refurbished 25 Cayman Road, Alewynspoort, in Johannesburg South, boasting over 45 000 square metres of luscious manicured grass and lots of free secure parking. Ticket prices: Pensioners: R50 Adults and Teens: R150 Children (between 6 and 12): R50 Pre-schoolers (between 0-5) Free Tickets are available at your nearest Computicket and at the venue. Noemia Contente, spokesperson for the Lusito Association says patrons need only bring themselves as the location is decked out with covered seating facilities situated all around the venue. “This year’s event promises to surpass even last years’ gig. We have covered the whole venue with grass to mitigate dust. We have Portuguese restaurants, pubs, coffee shops and a street food taverna; and entertainment for the children and a long list of artists and entertainers who are ready to wow the crowds. So, put on your dancing shoes and bring the whole family down to revel at the Lusito Land Festival,” Contente concludes. For more information visit www.lusitoland.co.za CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
Just over a decade since its inception, the first class of children to have attended the Kungwini Welfare Organisation’s Early Childhood Development Centre in Zwavelpoort, East of Pretoria, are preparing for their final years of high school. Now, after more than a decade of providing a school readiness service to children of the surrounding community, the centre is looking forward to expanding its capacity in 2019 thanks to the corporate social investment received from Medipost and other partners. “The benefits of childhood development for improving the socio-economic conditions of individuals in later life and making a positive difference to the community as a whole over the longer term are well established,” says Rentia Myburgh, Medipost’s director for sales and marketing. “We see great potential for achieving these goals in the school readiness programme provided through the Kungwini Early Childhood Development Centre, which serves the children and community of Zwavelpoort.” Early childhood development is recognised by the World Health Organization as a key social determinant of the child’s future health, particularly where learning is supported with good nutrition, as is the case at Kungwini Early Childhood Development Centre, which provides meals and snacks as part of its school readiness programme for children aged between one and six years. “Promotion of education and health has always been important to Medipost, as we believe these are the pillars of a more equal and prosperous society. When we have the opportunity to support non-profit organisations through our corporate social investment initiatives, we therefore prioritise projects that are making a contribution towards the lives of community members through health and education,” Myburgh adds. “With hundreds of children from the Zwavelpoort community having had the advantage of attending this Early Childhood Development Centre over the years, Medipost wanted to help support the worthy work . . .
For two decades the Takealot Berge & Dale has been a must-do event on South Africa's road cycling calendar and this year's 20th edition on February 23 promises to be no different. Under new sponsors in Takealot.com and with a new venue in Silverstar Casino, race organisers ASG Events are anticipating a surge of interest before entries close on February 13 for the race in Krugersdorp on the West Rand. With the 108km distance proving highly popular, ASG Events chief executive Erick Oosthuizen said they were anticipating another huge entry. In addition to the feature race, there will be a 60km distance on offer. "We are pretty much at the total number of entries we had at the same stage last year, but there is definitely space for more cyclists and we are looking at a really sizeable entry once the deadline comes," he said. He added that the offering had increased in popularity over the years, having started as a race of just 30km in the inaugural edition. "Since then it has grown in distance and stature to become one of Johannesburg's toughest road races. "We believe the date for the race is perfectly positioned on the cycling calendar because it provides a big incentive for riders to get back into shape after the festive break." The Berge & Dale is a premier seeding event for the Cape Town Cycle Tour, but Oosthuizen said he had no doubt it could stand on its own as one of the country's road classics. "It is preparation for the Cape Town Cycle Tour but, increasingly, many riders are seeing the Takealot Berge & Dale as their own pinnacle on the cycling calendar. "Cost has become a factor because it's no secret that the economy is not where we all want it to be. "We believe cyclists are doing fewer events these days and are starting, more and more, to cherry-pick their races. "The months of January and February in Johannesburg have produced many quality races in the past 20 years and we believe we are one of them." Even . . .
Cape Town, January, 31, 2019: EDSA is an outpatient treatment centre for individuals with eating disorders or who have suffered from various forms of trauma. The centre will open in Constantia Cape Town in March at 8, Klein Constantia Road under the Recovery Direct banner. “I wanted a central location so we can reach as many people as possible,” says marketing manager Doug Kemp, who has a played an intergral role in the establishment of the Recovery Direct treatment centres for non-12step addiction treatment facilities. Though treating eating disorders will be a particular focus, Kemp says he wants the centre to be “for any person that has trauma that they’re wanting to work through.” That could be a physical trauma or something that’s manifested as anxiety, anger or depression. Kemp says that healing trauma that’s been stored in a person’s body “is something that is new in the field and far more innovative and constructive and effective than the majority of treatments presently offered within the industry in South Africa.” Staff members will include a variety of professionals, such as psychologists, dieticians, nurse practitioners, psychotherapists that are what Kemp calls a “trauma-informed” specialists in their field. The centre will have a soft opening in early March 2019. Updates can be found on the dedicated Eating Disorders Website or on the following pages associated to the Eating disorders community in South Africa. (Residential ED private care treatment centre) (National ED awareness programme and outpatient help centre) (Free dedicated national help line) "The distinctions between Recovery Direct Eating disorder residential programme and the other residential treatment programmes offered in South Africa are that Recovery Direct's centres do not follow the 12 step treatment model. Recovery Direct's focus is on delivering far more intensive evidence based (one on one treatment sessions) via the registered psychologists and . . .
The people of Midrand in Gauteng are set to reap the yummy goodness of a 24-hour Woolworths Foodstop, which has been added to the recently upgraded Engen Big Bird 1 Stop. Engen Big Bird is located on the N1 Highway South, New Road Interchange, Midrand. The new Woolies food offering was officially opened on 24 January 2019. Customers can also enjoy a diverse range of convenience services at Engen Big Bird, including an Engen Quickshop, Wimpy, Corner Bakery, Andicco, Kauai, KFC and Schoon Bakery - with more to come! Multi-branded ATM machines – including ABSA, Standard Bank and FNB – are also available to customers. The site offers customer’s quality fuels such as Engen Primax Unleaded and Engen Dynamic Diesel 50ppm, with ease of access and service for locals and commuters. Owner of Engen Big Bird, Nicola Bird is extremely excited to offer the Woolworths Foodstop to the residents of Midrand. “We are very proud of the association with Engen and extremely excited to partner with Woolworths Foodstop,” says Bird. “We would like to thank our loyal customers for their patience and incredible support over the past year, during the revamp. We are really looking forward to this additional new offering and we know our customers are looking forward to having a Woolworths Foodstop and all the other new convenience offerings.” Engen Midrand is conveniently positioned to serve commuters, holidaymakers and local residents, and operates 24/7. “The Engen brand has a substantial footprint and is well known amongst our customers who have come to associate themselves with Engen’s brand promise of With us you are Number One. This promise fits in with our high operating standards and shared vision,” adds Bird. Says Engen’s Head of Retail, Seelan Naidoo: “Engen is very excited to see our network flourishing. Convenience and customer service remain key determinants of success in our industry. “We wish Nicola Bird and her team every success.” CLICK HERE to . . .
Gauteng runners and walkers can look forward to the East Rand’s most anticipated race of the year, the 2019 Birchwood Half Marathon, taking place on 14 April. Starting and finishing on the grounds of the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, the annual race sees 4 000 participants in total – 2 250 for the 21.1km, 1 500 for the 10km and 250 for the 5km races. Now in its ninth year, the Birchwood Half Marathon, known for its flat and fast route catering to various fitness levels, has been a sell-out race for the past three years and is a fun day out for the entire family. Focused on ensuring the race is a pleasant experience for all in order to encourage a healthy lifestyle, the race and day’s activities take place on the 52 sprawling hectares of Birchwood Hotel’s beautiful gardens, guaranteeing entertainment for the whole family with live music, activities for the kids, sports massages and spot prizes. The first 2 000 runners or walkers to enter receive a long sleeve moisture management t-shirt. To enter or for more information, visit www.birchwoodhalfmarathon.co.za. CLICK HERE to submit your press release to MyPR.co.za. . . .
NZLEE Productions presents Ashalin Singh in Ashraf Johaardien’s award-winning play SALAAM STORIES at St Martin's In Johannesburg at the end of February and at Theatre Arts Admin Collective in Cape Town and POPArt Theatre in Maboneng Johannesburg in March. The production is supported by the National Arts Council of South Africa and will be directed by newcomer Niquita Hartley under the mentorship of Standard Bank Young Artist alumna and Naledi Award-winner Jade Bowers. Set against the historical backdrop of the Cape slave trade and the Malay diaspora in South Africa, Johaardien’s award-winning play has been performed in London, New York, Amsterdam and all over South Africa. According to Nigel Vermaas, “SALAAM STORIES is no religious tract; it’s a carefully constructed cultural entertainment. Although Johaardien is serious about Muslim issues, there are lots of laughs; most of them gentle … some treading into the territory of Kaapse vaudeville.” Through artful storytelling, the playwright focuses themes of identity, history and group belonging through an intimately personal lens taking audiences on a journey across the Cape Flats to Robben Island – and then to and from Bombay – back in time, to the 17th century, when the Dutch were at war with the Portuguese. Moving fluidly through multiple timeframes, a colourful community of characters is conjured to life from the recesses of memory, history and imagination. “There have been several incarnations of SALAAM STORIES internationally but it is significant that nobody else has ever been granted the rights to direct, produce or perform this particular version,” comments Standard Bank Award alumna Jade Bowers who previously directed the play. “That’s because the solo version of the play has, up to now, only really existed in relation to Ashraf’s own identity as a creative and cultural being.” Ashalin Singh graduated from Wits University in 2011 as an actor, writer and director. He has performed in a number . . .
Many people associate elderly residential care facilities with a disconnect from family life, both for their elderly relative and the family members who may no longer be able to provide them with the level of care they require in the home environment. In today’s global society this need not be the case, however, no matter how near or far away the family members may live from their loved one. “With the advances in communication technologies and a philosophy of care that emphasises family participation, families can remain intimately involved in the decisions pertaining to their loved ones’ care and abreast of developments in their daily lives, while maintaining a close relationship with their elderly relatives,” says Ivan Oosthuizen, chief executive officer of the Livewell Villages dementia care facilities in Somerset West, in Cape Town, and Bryanston, Johannesburg. “While many older people may struggle to master communication channels such as Skype and mobile devices, which may become even less accessible to them due to the progressive effects of dementia, we are now able to harness the potential of these technologies on behalf of our residents to help keep them connected with their families, wherever they may be in the world.” According to Oosthuizen, many families appreciate the fact that they are able to have Skype ‘visits’ with their loved ones, as this not only bridges geographical distance and helps to maintain close knit relationships but it also helps families to see and hear each other in real time. “For the grandparents and great-grandparents in our care, this means that they are, for example, able to watch their grandchildren and great-grandchildren growing, which happens remarkably quickly in young children. “With both the audio and visual elements of this type of communication, depending on how advanced their condition is, people with dementia can sometimes feel better connected with their family members through this medium than a . . .
With growing environmental awareness and many people turning their backs on material things as festive gifts, volunteer organisation Bunny Tales Rescue has created a novel alternative for those looking for the perfect gift for animal lovers. “This year we have launched a lucky draw, with the proceeds going towards our efforts to sterilise and rehome the bunnies that we rescue in partnership with other individuals and organisations. For as little as a R30 donation, we will send you a lucky draw ticket for incredible prizes from our generous sponsors,” says Anabel Tout, founder of Bunny Tales Rescue, which operates in Johannesburg, Pretoria and surrounds. Feral rabbits are becoming a problem in parts of Gauteng, as a few escaped domestic rabbits can multiple very quickly. “If people think it is cute to have a resident herd of rabbits in their neighbourhood, they probably do not realise how hard life is for bunnies on the streets with no one to care for them.” “Too often, we find rabbits in the most appalling conditions. They are undernourished, may have fleas or other parasites, and often the areas where they are living are being cleared for construction,” Anabel explains. “We try to catch as many of the bunnies as we can, and arrange for them to be checked by a vet, sterilised and rehabilitated. For anyone looking to adopt a bunny, we offer an re-homing service where we try to match the perfect rabbit to their perfect forever home, where they will be loved, fed and kept safe. “This lucky draw initiative is to help us raise funds to cover the vets bills, cost of food and transport for the work we do. One ticket costs R30, however you can get four tickets for R100. When we draw the prizes on 14 December, the first draw’s ticket holder will get to choose three of the prizes, the second draw winner gets to choose two of the remaining prizes and the third gets to choose one of the remaining prizes. The ticket holders for subsequent draws will be able to . . .