Overstone presents - Coffee and Cake with Nibs Van Der Spuy

Legendary world acoustic guitarist Nibs van der Spuy will perform at Overstone Cottages, Overstone Farm near Wartburg, KZN Midlands, on Sunday, December 3, from 11h00.

This is one of many music concerts planned for the cottages, set within an exquisite working farm, with its beautiful 170 year old gardens, great walks with opportunities for cycling and birding.

“We have had two very successful, but small concerts here on the farm, with Nibs, Rowan Stuart, Andy Turrell, Charles Webster and Kaiti Faul, and we are keen to make it into a regular occurrence to generate interest in this part of the Midlands,” say sisters and organisers Phillippa Gordon and Caroline Gordon.  “Durbanites and folk from Maritzburg, seldom hesitate to hop in the car and drive to Notties for a craft beer and saunter around the craft shops, and often this side is thought to be too far. But it’s not. Here’s an opportunity to bring the children, grannies and grandpas to come enjoy a relaxing day listening to music, being outdoors and feeding one’s soul.”

Fires will be lit for those wanting to braai. There are lovely walks, and while there are no formal trails, there are plenty of places to cycle.

Local NGO Singakwenza (, has been nominated beneficiary of this event, so a portion of the proceeds will be going to them to assist with the amazing work they do in early childhood development.

Tickets are R75, which includes coffee and cake. Under 12’s are free. Buskers wanting to perform can also get in free. Gates open at 11am and Nibs will start playing at 11h30.

The Overstone Farm is on the D82 road near Wartburg about 68kms from Pietermariztburg . It is about 1 hour 15 minutes from Durban.

To book call 083 290 1153 or email For directions and more about Overstone Cottages go to

Josh's Big Year: A Story Of Hope

From a broken, suicidal, autistic teenager, who dropped out of school at 15, to a passionate young adventurer, comes a remarkable 300-page self-published coffee table book, Josh’s Big Year which was launched today (November 14) in Durban. Josh Crickmay's publishing debut is a celebration of courage and triumph of the human spirit.


In 2012 15-year-old South African school pupil Josh Crickmay, unable to cope with the demands of the classroom dropped out of school. What followed was a deep and debilitating depression kindled by the belief that he would never be able to fend for himself. Severely suicidal, Josh landed in hospital and was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome or High Functioning Autism.

Certain that unless they did something radical, they would lose their only child, Josh’s parents Andrew and Kathy, quit their jobs and embarked on a quest to give Josh a reason to live and to function in life without a formal education. They did this by building on and kindling Josh’s interests in birding, photography and writing.

 For an entire year they travelled to every corner of Southern Africa and spent seven weeks in the Amazon and Andes in what is known in birding circles as a “Big Year” which involves identifying as many bird species as possible in a single year, inspired by the movie of the same name.

The entire project represents Josh’s own work from photography to layout and design. His writing is a delight, honest, self-effacing and laugh out loud funny in places but sobering and tear-filled in others.

Ernie and Liesl Els had this to say: “This book has a transformative effect; like turning on a flashlight in a dark room. For readers the book serves as a delight for the senses – visually, thanks to the diverse and brilliant photography, and emotionally, through the way in which the book navigates Josh’s emotional journey”.  This sentiment is shared by founding art director of Getaway magazine James Berrange who said “the effect this book is going to have can hardly be imagined”.

The book took nearly 3 years to write, with the first edition completed when he was 16. The book is hoped to impact and give encouragement to a world where one in 68 people are thought to be on the Autism spectrum. 

Josh’s plan is that Josh’s Big Year will be the first in a series of books as he video blogs his adventures and highlights conservation issues.

The book can be purchased online at . It is an ideal corporate or family gift for Christmas or special occasions.

Memorias Flamenca 14 - 17 December 2017

The Linda Vargas Spanish Dance Company have become a well established institution of Durban. Since its inception 35 years ago they have used innovation, creativity and the highest standards of professionalism to build a loyal and extensive following of Spanish dance in South Africa – whilst developing a style and ethos that is also unique to Durban, where all its performers have come from.

In 2017 the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company began celebrating its 35th Anniversary with a guest appearance in the 25th Anniversary Shall We Dance production. The Company continue their year long celebration, with their annual showcase at the UKZN Centre for Jazz and Popular Music: Memorias Flamenca from the 14th – 17th December 2017.

The celebrations will culminate in their 35th Anniversary Gala production at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in July 2018. This Gala production will be a celebration of the Linda Vargas Company's 35 years of creativity and will bring together the best in terms of dancers, musicians and choreography. It will explore the diverse range of the company repertoire both musically and stylistically and will showcase the legacy and contribution that this company has achieved since its inception 35 years ago.

Memorias Flamenca will begin taking audiences down memory lane as we look back at our legacy of 35 years. The show will include fresh interpretations of previous highlights, some old favourites, as well as new contemporary choreographies. Memorias Flamenca sees the launch of Linda Vargas’s new young dancers project: Siyanda (isiZulu for “we are expanding”).  The show will also include guest appearances by members of the Flamenco Del Sur Company from Cape Town – headed by Linda’s sister Juana Vargas. There are only 4 performances, which usually sell out very quickly, so book early to avoid this treat not to be missed!

Memorias Flamenca will once again be backed by Demi Fernandez and Neil Gonsalves, these world renowned musicians in their own right who will also present new musical arrangements alongside the dance. Their unique style and talent continue to leave audiences spellbound. They are joined by Bryan Stone on percussion and feature live singing by Gemma Schumann. It will be a joyous exploration of the past and the future which remains grounded in the company’s rich legacy to dance in South Africa.

In the early years, the Linda Vargas Company included a variety of styles of Spanish Dance in their productions, including classical, neo classical, regional and flamenco. Subsequently the Company became more specialised in flamenco. They began their journey in great opera productions at The Playhouse Theatre in Durban and the State Theatre in Pretoria. Linda was invited to choreograph and perform in the international production of “Carmen”, where she worked with the world renowned director of the London Opera, Sir Michael Rennison. Linda and her company produced their first major production at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre where they were invited to perform as part of the Federico Garcia Lorca Festival in 1986. Subsequently the company were invited to participate in the grand opening of the Playhouse Theatre Complex in the mid 80’s, from where they produced numerous productions in association with the Playhouse Theatre over the 35 years.

The multicultural fusion of music and dance which gave rise to flamenco stands testament to the power and beauty of cultural fusion in art and inspired their choreography and production of “Desert Flowers” at the Playhouse Drama Theatre in 2004. This production received critical acclaim for its pioneer work in fusion of dance styles. It comprised a cast of over 30 dancers from Indian, African, Classical Ballet and Flamenco genres. Demi Fernandez composed the original music score which was performed Durban’s leading musicians. The Linda Vargas Company has continued to include fusion choreography in its more recent productions while always remaining true to the original essence and purity of the Spanish Classical and Flamenco forms.

Linda and Company have made rich contributions to the Dance culture in Durban and have toured South Africa extensively. They have participated in numerous collaborative productions with The Playhouse Dance Company, NAPAC, PACT, and CAPAB, Siwele Sonke Dance Theatre, Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company, Mercedes Molina Spanish Dance Theatre and the annual Shall We Dance showcase. Linda has worked with renowned choreographers such as David Gouldie, Ashley Killar, Mark Hawkins, Hazel Acosta, Gerard Samuel, Jay Pather, Neville Letard, Rhoda Rivkind, and Mavis Becker. Linda and her company have been invited numerous times to perform for the Spanish Embassy in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Pretoria, and Cape Town. They have participated in numerous outreach projects and educational workshops at schools and continue to promote  Dance and Culture at every opportunity.

Neil Gonsalves holds a Master’s degree in Music and currently lectures at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has performed in various national music festivals with numerous South Africa jazz and Afro-beat luminaries as well as his own band, Tonk. He has also toured internationally, including a 4 year stint as part of Johnny Clegg’s band. He has released a solo album “North Facing” which represents a blend of modern South African and Nordic Jazz.

Demi Fernandez was born in Brazil of Spanish Parents and spent many years living and performing in Flamenco Tablaos in Spain. Demi has also appeared as leading flamenco guitarist with numerous South African and international Spanish Dance Companies.  He is resident guitarist for the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company and Alianza Flamenca. He has composed musical scores for several SABC TV productions and also appeared in numerous productions including “Guitars for Africa” in Durban and at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. He currently lectures in the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Jazz programme.

Memorias Flamenca runs at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music on the UKZN’s Howard College campus from 14 - 17 December 2017. Performances are nightly at 7pm and on Sunday the 17 December at 3pm. Entrance Fee is R130 (R100 students / pensioners). Bookings through Linda on: or 031-201 0750 (mornings only). Tickets are limited for each performance so advanced booking is advised to avoid disappointment.

Digital Battle at DigiFest 4 (6 – 11 November)

It's all out War in the first Digital Battle at DigiFest 4

Durban University Of Technology

6 – 11 November


Digifest 4, the Annual Arts and Design Digital Festival, which takes place at the Durban University of Technology, is hosting a Digital Battle on November 11 and is making a call for participants.


DigiFest is a public event that takes place from 6 to 11 November and features a packed programme of creative activations across a variety of genres.  The Digital Battle, a digital design tournament, is a major feature at this year’s event, which sees creatives come together in a live head-to-head design tournament where participants can flex their skills in front of an audience. 


The Battle takes place at the DUT Gallery, on the Steve Biko Campus  (Steve Biko Road) on November 11 from 5pm to 9pm, and competitors will engage in a battle of their choice including 2D design, animation, character design and video editing, and there are some awesome prizes up for grabs.


“This is really about the coming together of great creative minds to have a whole lot of fun, while under some open scrutiny and a peer pressure,” quips Festival Manager, Steve Jones. “With the theme of DigiFest this year being “glitch”, a celebration of malfunctions, technical mishaps and imperfections in systems, the end results of this Digital Battle could be quite interesting, as designers have an open door to go for it.”


Entries are open to anyone interested, especially digital designers, creative designers, art directors, 2D and 3D designers, animators and graphic designers. Entries close on November 9. Go to to sign up.


All are welcome and entrance is free to the Digifest, with exception of 11 November events at Steve Biko where tickets will be free for students and R40 for the public at the door.


The full programme can be found on the website


Instagram: dutdigifest_

Twitter: @DigitalArtFest

Facebook: DUTDigiFest




Korey Riker, saxophonist, flautist & featured soloist for John Legend's latest tour - to sit in with Monday Big Band

Media Release

Korey Riker, saxophonist, flautist & featured soloist for John Legend's latest tour - to sit in with Monday Big Band


Durban jazz musicians are making Mondays fun again. The Monday Big Band led by George Mari is performing at KuDTa (Wilsons Wharf) on Mondays from 5:30 - 7:30pm. 


The weekly big band gathering showcases the city's swinging talent and provides an opportunity for a regular big band night – something new for Durban! Featuring a 13-piece line-up of Durban based jazz musicians including Burton Naidoo (piano) Llewellyn Chetty (bass), Sbu Zondi (drums), Debbie Mari (vocals) with Thabo Sikakhane, Phuti Mofokeng and George Mari (trumpets), Mxolisi Mdlalose and Tim Lewis (saxophones), Kgetsi Mokgetsi and Siyalo Khumalo (trombones), and Gerald Sloane (guitar), The Monday Big Band promises to make Monday’s the favourite day of the week with a wide range of repertoire including Little Sunflower, Doxy, Jive Samba, Lullabye of Birdland, South African standards such as Shona, The Mandela Suite and other original compositions by the band members. 


With occasional change in personnel, The Monday Big Band features guest musicians every so often and Monday 6 November is bound to get jazz lovers down to the bay. Philadelphia-based Korey Riker (USA),  who is currently touring with John Legend as saxophonist, flautist and featured soloist for his 'Darkness & Light' tour which comes to Durban the same week, will be sitting in with The Monday Big Band. Riker released his second album ‘Recognizance’ in 2015 and was a recipient of the 2016 Kimmel Center Jazz Composer Residency grant where he was afforded the opportunity to further explore his work as a composer, producer and performer. Riker will be releasing his next album soon.


Catch him live, one night only, with The Monday Big Band on Monday 6 November where he’ll be sharing the bandstand with some of Durban’s finest jazz musicians. 


The Monday Big Band performs every Monday from 5.30pm – 7.30pm at Wilson’s Wharf at KuDTa. Entrance is free.





Pic: Korey Riker (saxophone)



DigiFest 4 - Annual Arts and Design Digital Festival

The Durban University of Technology’s fourth annual DigiFest takes place from 6 to 11 November, featuring a series of live art activations, innovations, exhibitions, discussions, workshops, music, poetry, dance and drama as well as craft and street food markets.

DigiFest 4, is a public event that looks to celebrate the creative spirit through multimedia projects from disciplines such as visual and performing arts and promotes a collaboration across art, science and technology.

“The theme this year is “glitch” which informs the content of the fest that will engage, contest, celebrate and question the idea of malfunctions, technical mishaps and imperfections in systems,” says Dr Rene Smith Festival Director and Executive Dean: Faculty of Arts & Design. “Curated projects will speak to the disruption and subversion of formats, spaces, places and technologies. It is about questioning and going beyond traditional notions of art in an interdisciplinary, multimedia world, where design and creativity merge and interact with science and technology broadly.”

Opening night takes place on 6 November and will highlight a collaborative live audio visual performance coordinated by Johannesburg-based electronic artist, cultural activist and producer, Marcus Neustetter and featuring a selection of local artists. Sue Gollifer, the chair of the ISEA international board, will be introducing ISEA as a precursor to ISEA2018 (International Symposium on Electronic Art), which takes place in Durban next year. The Alumni and Development Department will be running a competition to pledge support for the Missing Middle campaign.

In a new fashion, the festival will host a series of events across venues in Durban. The KZNSA Gallery in Glenwood comes alive on November 7 with DUT Fine Art Department exhibition, and an installation by Bongumenzi Ngobese, examines elements of sounds, which address issues of context through video. The night features a special performance by Zimbabwean multi-media artist Robert Machiri.

An evening of style takes place at the DUT Brickfield Campus on November 8, with a multi-media fashion experience featuring leading innovations in the fashion and textiles department  joined by a special guest DJ to be announced. B-Tech students final portfolio exhibitions will be on display and student run pop-up shops will have jewellery and craft on sale.

A breakaway session on November 9 at the Green Camp, a creative hub of urban farming and green rehabilitated art in Umbilo, features the premier of the film entitled ‘Street art and mural art as visual activism in Durban” by artist Mook Lion. “A Sketch” is an installation of bricolage video work by Glenn Adendorff and Rob Da Banka closes the night with vinyl loops.

The City Campus explodes with creativity on Friday, November 10 from 10am with a host of prominent speakers in the world of arts, design and digital media. In the courtyard students entrepreneurs showcase their products and innovations. Exhibitions open throughout the afternoon and feature projects from various departments including graphic design, jewellery, interior design, journalism and video technology as well as individual exhibitions from range of young local artists working in the digital arts.

The Talk Fest at the City Campus that day includes speakers Sheetal Cross (RSA) – Virtual Reality, Kirstin Wiedow (Namibia) NUST-DUT Polar Project, Mari Pete (RSA) – Glitches in ELearning, Prof Oliviera (Brazil) – LabInter Project, Tegan Bristow (RSA) Fakugesi Festival, Arjon Dunnewind (Netherlands) - Frankenstein in the Garden of Eden.

The Makerspace hosts a workshop that will allow a fixed number of participants the opportunity to collaborate and build doodle bots. This session will open to all on a first come basis, and submissions can be done via

The day culminates with the popular PechaKucha, a gathering of inspired minds who presents ideas, thoughts, dreams and creative insights. This year some of the speakers include Llwellyn Makhanya (Photographer), Richard Gevers (Civic Data Activist), Mark Stuart (Developer), Brad Vause (Musician, app developmer), Zwelisha Giampietri (Multi-media designer), Sihle Mthembu (Journalist), Bylwansta (Designer and Rapper) and more.

On Saturday, November 11 the Steve Biko Campus becomes the focus with live performances in the form of poetry and open mic sessions, a cross-platform theatrical piece entitled Duped and a hip hop battle closing the evening with a great line-up of music by ByLwansta, Gaba, Rude Boyz, Moonchild, Sibot and Toyota and Sparks Bantwana.

A highlight of the DigiFest 4 this year is The Digital Battle, which will take place at the DUT Gallery on November 11. This Digital Battle is a live head-to-head design tournament where participants flex their skills in front of an audience and compete for some great prizes. The  competitors will engage in a battle of their choice including 2D design, animation, character design and video editing. Entries are now open and close on November 8, head over to to sign up.

“We are pleased to be presenting DigiFest 4 again this year, as it provides a valuable opportunity for students to showcase their work, and to collaborate with professionals and other creatives,” says Steve Jones, Festival Manager. “We aim to build an event that stands tall on the Durban calendar and engages the highest level of the work from around the world to be presented.”

All are welcome and entrance is free with exception of 11 November events at Steve Biko where tickets will be free for students and R40 for the public.

The full programme can be found on the website

Instagram: dutdigifest_

Twitter: @DigitalArtFest

Facebook: DUTDigiFest

Gecko Culinary Adventures - October 14, 2016

Gecko Culinary Adventures in Musgrave was abuzz last weekend as six young aspirant chefs took to the state-of-the-art cooking stations in this year’s KZN finals of the SPAR Junior Cook competition.

These senior primary school finalists battled it out for the title with twelve year old Ballito resident Ryleigh Rutherford from Maris Stella taking the honours with a delectable and flawless cheese cake. Twelve year old Tiana Gangaram from Pelham Senior Primary School in Pietermaritzburg was runner up with a superb tuna tart, which completely converted one non-fish eating judge.

Runners up were Olivia Elliot (12) also from Maris Stella on the Berea who made a Italian chicken dish, Kuyanda Sibisi (12) from Durban Primary in Umbilo with stuffed potato skins, Kirsten Short (11) from Durban Girls College, also on the Berea, with a chocolate coffee cake, and Callan Canham (11) from Collingwood Senior Primary in Wentworth with a stacked pancake cake.

The annual cook-off involved the youngsters preparing a recipe that they had submitted as their competition entry, as well as a mystery dish – a ginger bread family - that was given to them following the completion of the first dish.

One of the judges, SPAR Advertising and Promotions Manager, Nelene Rampersad who was instrumental in conceptualizing the competition for SPAR in an effort to encourage young chefs, said “I love that this year we had such a range of dishes from the finalists. This made judging difficult, and our taste-buds were put to the test, but after much deliberation, Ryleigh’s Cheese Cake came out tops. It was faultless – a great presentation, and top-class texture and flavour. Her gingerbread man was done to perfection with a crisp texture, with some fun iced decorations. Well done to all for the good food, great spirit and enthusiasm.”

Ryleigh won a R5,000 shopping voucher for her first place position with runner up Tiana Gangaram receiving a R2,000 shopping voucher and all four remaining finalists each received a R500 SPAR shopping voucher. All finalists received a SPAR sweet hamper and a hamper packed with baking utensils to further their culinary aspirations.

“It was really fun,” says Ryleigh, who has always helped her mum in the kitchen ever since she can remember, “I enjoyed making my cheese cake here today. It was so exciting to work in a professional kitchen.”

Participant comments for Regional Papers

Berea: Oliva, who confesses to often making a mess in the kitchen, but does clean up, says “I love to bake and cook a lot and I especially love to make vanilla sponges and decorate them. I sometimes also cook for my family.”

PMB: Tiana started baking about a year ago says “Sometimes I am allowed to be alone in the kitchen and that is great fun. I especially love to make breakfast of pancakes and crumpets for my family.”

Berea / Umbilo: Kuyanda, who started baking two years ago, says she likes to bake, “especially chocolate muffins and vanilla scones,” which she adds “are eaten mostly by my brother!”

Berea: Kirsten who has been interested in cooking for about a year, says “I really enjoyed making my chocolate coffee cake today in this professional kitchen – it was fun.”

Bluff / Wentworth: Callan says “I have always been busy in the kitchen having tea parties since as long as I can remember. I especially love to make pancakes for my family.”

Durban FilmMart calls out for 2018 Projects

Project submissions for the 2018 Durban FilmMart (DFM) which takes place during the Durban International Film Festival , South Africa (19-29 July) open on 20 October, 2017.

The Durban FilmMart is a joint project of Durban Film Office, the eThekwini Municipality’s  industry development unit, and the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF), which strives to support and stimulate the growth of African film and develop connections between African film makers and the rest of the world.

“With two recent Durban FilmMart projects  Inxeba (The Wound) (SA) and Train of Salt and Sugar (Mozambique) having been selected as Best Foreign Language Films for the next Academy Awards, we are seeing the impact that the support of projects in development has on the industry on a global level,” enthuses Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office

The Durban FilmMart, now in its 9th year, comprises an exciting four day programme of workshops, seminars, and networking sessions and is attended annually by approximately 600 film-makers, distributors, broadcasters, agents and other film industry representatives.

Over the years the DFM has supported the development of over 170 African co-production projects, many of which have been developed into fully-fledged film products with cinema and festival release.

Ten documentary and ten fiction feature length film projects will be selected from the submissions, and these projects will undergo a two-day packaging and mentoring programme followed by two days of one-on-one meetings with a panel of film financiers, buyers and distributors from across the globe.

The Durban FilmMart is open to full length feature and documentary films projects with Africans in the major creative roles (writers, directors and producers) that are looking for co-producers, financiers, sales agents and funders. All film projects submitted are reviewed by a selection committee for consideration. All projects must have both a producer and director attached to them, and must be submitted by December 12, 2017.

“As we head into our ninth year, it feels like the DFM has really matured,” says Toni Monty. “We are seeing more and more of our alumni projects being completed and doing extremely well on either the festival or cinema circuits. It is really heartening to see that the effort and energy put into this programme continues to bear great fruit for the growth of the industry on the continent. We look forward to seeing some interesting projects submitted for this edition.”

For more about the Durban FilmMart 2018, project submission criteria and how to submit your project, visit

For further enquires contact: or call   +27 31 311 4243

Annual Jazz Jol at Centre for Jazz and Popular Music (UKZN) - 27 October 2017

The 29th Jazz Jol featuring a host of local and national talent is set for Friday, October 27 at the Centre for Jazz and Popular Music at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. This year’s popular annual music event features a variety of talented musicians including Sweet Concept (a UKZN Alumni Band), UKZN Vocal Group and UKZN’s Big Band along with a selection of students taking to the stage in an evening tailor-made for lovers of jazz and popular music.

“The Jazz Jol was not only started, all those years ago, as an event for music-lovers but also in an endeavour to raise funds for the Ronnie Mandosela Scholarship,” explains lecturer Neil Gonsalves. “The Scholarship provides bursaries for deserving UKZN music students from disadvantged backgrounds, as well as helps to fund students’ travel visas for overseas trips, and national travel and accommodation to the National Youth Jazz Festival in Grahamstown and other educational festivals, workshops and conferences. This issue of mobility, of getting around and sharing ideas and networking is key to a musician’s success in the future. Through mobility the musicians are able to exchange knowledge and gain important experience both nationally and internationally.”

“We are particularly pleased to welcome Sweet Concept to this year’s Jazz Jol,” enthuses Gonsalves. “This is an UKZN Alumni Band that features Thabani Gapara (alto sax) who now lives in New Zealand, Siyanda Zulu (trumpet), Siya Mthethwa (keyboard), Bheka Mthethwa (bass) and Sbu Zondi (drums) – all of whom would have been showcased at a Jazz Jol in the past.” Sweet Concept was formed in 2006 by Siyanqoba Mthethwa, Thabani Gapara and Siyanda Zulu. Most of the band started off as backup singers for some of South Africa’s more prominent and illustrious artists including Swazi Dlamini, Siphokazi, Judith Sephuma and Ernie Smith to mention a few. The band won further accolades after competing in The Suncoast Jazz competition, winning prizes in categories of “Best Band” and “Best Composition.”

“The band members have since 2010, pursued individual music career paths in performance, production and education and occasionally come together to perform, so we are delighted to be hosting them this year,” says Gonsalves. “Recently  Bheka Mthethwa, the groups bassist released his debut album titled “Supernal Sounds”, and all of them have a string of credits to their names.”

The band will perform a variety of original music that reflects the variety of rich perspectives each member has collected in the past half a decade. A true reflection of the sound of South Africa.

UKZN Voices directed by well-known Durban musician and Jazz Voice lecturer Debbie Mari, features singers from the Jazz and Popular Voice programmes in the School of Arts at UKZN. Singing mostly close harmony arrangements, the vocal jazz ensemble will perform A Nightingale Sang in Berkley SquareJava Jive, Almost is Never Enough and Charlie Chaplin’s best loved composition Smile. The group comprises Andiswa Maduna, Nomthandazo Madiya, Neli Skhosana, Monique Naude (soprano), Nomalanga Khanyile, Amanda Biyela, Wandithanda Makandula (Alto), Busisiwe Hlokoza, Siphelele Mthiyane, Sanele Khubisa (Tenor), Thembelani Mkoka and Thabani Dlamini (Bass).

Certainly a major drawcard to the Jazz Jol is the appearance of the UKZN Big Band 2017 directed by Burton Naidoo, and featuring students from UKZN. The band this year focuses on House Music – and unusual approach to electronic music that started taking the world by storm in the 1980s. House Music, is characterised by it's 'four to the floor', groove and minimalistic harmonic and melodic sequences. The UKZN Big Band House Performance will focus more on African House Music such as Micasa, Davido and Black Coffee and the repertoire features arrangements by UKZN Students Phumlani Mtiti, Riley Giandhari, and Sinalo Zulu.

This year’s Jazz Jol is funded by Concerts SA, a joint South African/Norwegian live music development project housed within the SAMRO Foundation.

Tickets will be available at the door at R120, pensioners R80 and students R60.

For more information contact Thulile Zama on 031 260 3385 or email

Action in Autism Skills Transference Workshop

Most people with autism struggle with verbal and non-verbal communication, sensory processing difficulties, social interaction and asserting themselves in a fast-paced, highly interactive and social world. Action in Autism, a non-profit organisation currently based in Sydenham, will address these difficulties through a highly-intensive 2-day workshop for parents, professionals and those who interact regularly with people with autism. These workshops offer skills and techniques to support a person with communication, social interaction, and sensory difficulties. When employed by those who interact with autistic people on a daily basis, these supports help enormously to ease the stress and anxiety of social interaction and participation, and increase the likelihood that a person with autism will be encouraged to tackle potentially overwhelming social situations more easily.

Hosted bi-annually by a fabulous team of six professionals, a parent and a young person with autism, the workshop is held over two days and includes both theoretical and practical components, as well as opportunities for networking. The team of professionals comprises of a clinical psychologist, educational psychologist, two speech therapists and a specialist in augmentative and alternative communication systems, an occupational therapist,and an educator.

All parents and professionals are invited to join Action in Autism’s next Skills Transference Workshop on Friday 13 October and Saturday 14 October, to be held at the Moth Hall, King Dinuzulu Hospital in Durban. 

The workshop cost of R850 per person and covers course materials, refreshments and meals. Please contact the Action in Autism office on 031 207 4858 or send an email to for a registration form. Places are limited to 40 people per workshop.

For more information about Action in Autism, the Skills Transference Workshops, or other services and support offered by the organisation, call 031 207 4858 or email


Inxeba - The Wound - at KZNSA October 7





Having now fulfilled the technical requirements of the Film & Publications Board (FPB) of South Africa, the now fully registered Durban Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (DGLFF) has resumed its screening programme across the city. The shock postponement wrought by the FBS's last minute engagement with the DGLFF days prior to the official opening 25 August was very difficult for the team.

"We were geared for our best Festival yet, and the news that FPB needed us to wait 30 days whilst they checked our film selection, with only something like 3 days to spare, was devastating on planning, and the momentum we'd built up" laments festival director Jason Fiddler. "Of course I have to respect where the FPB is coming from, and I share their commitment to protecting minors from harmful material. The DGLFF's focus has been on mature and LGBTIQ-relevant content so I was confident there."


Fortunately for the Opening Night on 25 August, 'INXEBA' ('The Wound'), was already classified. "The amaXhosa king had only the week previously called for this film to be shut down. Unfortunately for that call, we were able to screen it, as we were licensed without any problems and of course, as an already 16 SL classified film, 'INXEBA' could proceed. The rest of the programme, or course, could not" reflects Fiddler, with a hint of irony.


The critically acclaimed and award winning 'INXEBA' stars musician and novelist Nakhane Touré as Xolani, a lonely factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. The film has now been officially selected as South Africa's entry into the foreign language section of the Academy Awards in 2018, a decision that has continued to stir calls from traditionalists for its effective banning.


"Having discussed this over with the film's producers and distributors, and in spite of the fact we'd already screened twice on opening weekend a month ago, we felt that the circumstances warranted another opportunity for Durban's LGBTIQ community to see the film until its commercial release in February next year" says Fiddler.


'INXEBA' ('THE WOUND') , which was a project of the Durban FilmMart in 2014, will have an encore screening this Saturday 7 October at 7pm at the KZNSA gallery in Glenwood, Durban, whilst a daytime community screening is being co-ordinated off the main programme - this will be announced on the festival Facebook page, Twitter feed and the festival website.


The revised festival programme is already under way and continues to Wednesday 11 October 2017. "I'm very pleased that the FPB had no issues with our original selection of 47 films, albeit that the Danish documentary Miss Rosewood was classified 18 SN" says Fiddler. "There are some powerful documentaries, an extraordinary selection of short films and entertaining feature films await"


Included in the remaining programme is the US musical-romantic drama 'SOMETHING LIKE SUMMER'. The great news is that an American benefactor bought out a whole lot of tickets to give away to audiences, so the first 25 arriving on Friday 6 October get theirs for free. The film will now also be up for a free daytime community screening, thanks to this sponsor's support! Details will follow as with 'INXEBA's community screening. This film adaptation of the novel by Lambda Literary Award-winning novelist Jay Bell, tells the story of two boys whose secret relationship in high school appears to be doomed, only for them to encounter one another years later as friends and even enemies. It stars Davi Santos (Power Rangers), Ben Baur (Hunting Season, #Adulting) singer-actress Ajiona Alexus (Fox TV's Empire), and introduces Grant Davis, who performs six of the seven songs in the film; Ajiona performs the seventh as a solo.


Argentinean drama 'BROMANCE' screens Thursday 4 October at Tina's Hotel in Kloof at 8pm, and again Tuesday 10 October at the KZNSA at 7pm. It tells the story of three 20 year olds who make a trip looking to reconnect, to regain their teen-hood friendship. But time has changed them and the intrusion of a girl will take them to the limit and will test their desires up to the breaking point of all the ties that binds them.


Monday 9 October brings about the now annual tradition at DGLFF of francophone cinema, "French Nite" at Alliance Francaise Durban in Morningside, with a selection of documentary and narrative films. In 'EVEN LOVERS GET THE BLUES' Ana is sleeping with Hugo, Dalhia with Graciano, Léo with Louis, and Arthur with everyone. Parties and love affairs lead to heart searching, deep desires and the craving to live life to the full. It is a portrait of the love and sexual lives of disenchanted and passionate young people.



In continuing its long standing partnership with the Durban Lesbian & Gay Community & Health Centre, DGLFF is arranging free daytime community screenings of short film packages at 3pm, at the Centre in Morningside, on Friday 6, and Monday 9 through Wednesday 11 October. Seating is very limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis. The Centre offers clinic services and HIV testing as well as outreach and advocacy work.


A feast of great documentaries start at 2pm on Saturday 7 October with 'Carlos Jáuregui, The Unforgettable Fag', a feature length film about Carlos Jauregui, gay rights activist, friend, lover, fighter, an icon, and inspiration for the masses. He was the first gay to come out on the cover of a magazine in the ‘80s. His conviction and courage changed the lives of Argentine LGBT community and history of a country and its laws. He led the first Pride March in Argentina unifying the LGBTIQ movement. He laid the foundations of dialogue and the way to anti-discrimination towards the homosexual community.


That is followed at 4:30pm by a pair of South African documentaries speaking to the transgender experience: 'LOCKED IN' looks at being trans and Muslim, coupled with how traditional Xhosa communities see LGBTIQ people, whilst 'THE STORY OF ZIGGY' is a fascinating short documentary that briefly outlines the life of a woman in mid-transition to becoming a man, exploring the challenges of black South African gender identity in a complex youth society.


The world premiere of South African gay horror short film 'SHADOW' takes place Saturday 7 October at 6pm, just before 'INXEBA' at 7.  Our closing night film is the extraordinary Zulu lesbian short film 'SINA NOMAKOTSHANA' ('DANCE WITH THE MAIDENS') at 7pm on Wednesday 11 October. It tells the story of a people-pleasing girl from a staunchly religious and homophobic family falls in love with her dance partner, and must choose whether to come out of the closet during her traditional Zulu initiation into womanhood, or give up on her lover.


The revised DGLFF programme is available online and all screening information in the printed souvenir guide books remains relevant (apart from dates and times). Information and PDF download can be found at the Festival website




Jason Fiddler

Festival Director


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South Africa's official selection to the 90th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) is INXEBA/ The Wound!

This is not a press we generated - but we so want to share this - the 2014 Durban FilmMart project - is SA’s official entry for the 90th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) in Foreign Language Film category.

The National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF), an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture is proud to announce that the feature film, INXEBA/The Wound has been selected as South Africa's official entry for the 90th Annual Academy Awards (Oscars) in Foreign Language Film category.

The NFVF assembled a South African Academy Awards Selection Committee, comprising of professionals from the various fields of the film making value chain. The committee sat over three days to view the 6 films submitted and ultimately selected INXEBA.

INXEBA tells the story of Xolani, a lonely factory worker, who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani’s entire existence begins to unravel.

The selection committee was looking for an authentic South Africa story with a predominantly non-English dialogue. The committee applauded the film as master piece in terms of script, directing and performances that are believable and captivating. The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the most difficult festival to get into, and has been sold to 30 territories to date which is evidence of its global appeal.

"Congratulations to the creators of INXEBA. It is important for the content we produce to disrupt and propel audiences to introspect and the film’s focus on important aspects of our culture and traditions, while addressing topical issues of identity, masculinity and sexuality does just that. And I hope that we as South Africans will engage constructively around these issues.” said Peter Kwele, NFVF Head of Marketing and Communications.

The NFVF and the South African Academy Awards Selection Committee wishes the team behind the film best of luck.


Local Film - Deep end wraps up filming in Durban

After 29 days of filming in Durban, local film production company Arclight, begins the next stage of their journey with the post-production on their surf-flick Deep End in the in the City.

 Filmed in Durban on a fairly healthy budget of R4 million, with a completely local crew, Deep End is funded by the DTI and KZN Film Commission with production house investment as well.

 The film is directed by well-known award-winning director, Eubulus Timothy who is chairperson of the Durban Filmmakers Guild, vice chairperson of Writer’s Guild Of South Africa, and a recipient of the prestigious Harley-Merrill Screenwriting Award (Hollywood). Jacintha Timothy of Arclight Distributors, an established Durban-based film and television production company, is producing the film.

 “Deep End is essentially a coming of age, surf love story,” explains Jacintha. “It’s a warm, exciting, family movie that will resonate across the board with audiences.”

 The film centres around a beautiful 20 year old Indian girl, Sunitha who comes from a traditional Durban family who defies her father, to become a competitive surfer. On the beaches she discovers a whole new world of inter- racial love, ethnic diversity, arranged marriages, conflict and friendship.  Her father’s heart is eventually softened by her skill for the sport and near death experience. And in the end she wins her struggle for self-expression and self-fulfillment in a society that supports conformity, gains her father’s approval and the man of her dreams. 

 The film stars Cape Town based actor Greg Kriek as Cory, the main love interest, and Durban-born, Cape-Town based Carishma Basday as Sunitha. Kriek has over 40 screen acting credits to his name and will soon be seen in the next installment of Universal Studios' Tremors as  "Dutch", in 20th Century Fox's Maize Runner: The Death Cure, Pureflix's Samson as one of the leads "Caleb" and also stars as Tony Sinclair in the upcoming biopic Serengeti Rules from Oscar winning production company Passion Pictures.

 Well-known SA actress Carishma Basday, a presenter on the popular Mela magazine show on SABC3, has many film and commercial credits to her name. Equally at home on stage and screen Casrishma has featured in films 31 Million Reasons (directed by John Barker) and starred in her first leading role as the love interest of famed comedian Riaad Moosa in Material directed by the award-winning Craig Freimond. 

 “We are thrilled that Arclight managed to secure significant funding to be able to film this delightful uniquely Durban story,” said Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office. “As the City’s industry development unit, we are constantly looking at ways in which we can encourage production houses to make use of the City as we offer such a wealth of locations and a myriad settings. Arclight has taken advantage of these, and we look forward to seeing the fruits of their love and labour on the big screen.”

 Speaking on location on Durban Beachfront Jacintha, who also produced the second season of Durban Beach Rescue, says post-production will be done another Durban-based company -  The Other Theatre Company.

 “We have enough local talent to be able to make films in Durban,” enthused Jacintha, “but we need to give people a chance to gain the experience. So it has been fantastic to be able to do this in our home town.”

Local female film-maker forges ahead in male-dominated arena

After identifying a gap in local film making production process, the eThekwini Municipality’s film industry development unit, the Durban Film Office introduced SCOUT, a location scouting and management programme as part of its overall mandate to encourage more film making in Durban.  One of the 2014 SCOUT participants, Sindisiwe Mngadi, has really taken the opportunity afforded her and is making waves in the industry, not only locally but on a national level too.

 Toni Monty, Head of the DFO explains: “SCOUT is an intensive programme developed to professionally develop local location scouts and expose young and previously disadvantaged filmmakers to the business of location scouting and with the aim that they will eventually move into full location management. We have had two sessions with local filmmakers one in 2014 and another in 2016. Participants took part in a one week theory class and two weeks of practical knowledge programme which also included a formal and accredited NOSA training in Basic fire Awareness, Introduction to Occupational Safety and Health and Health and Environment Representative Training, with professional Locations Manager Neville Botha from Unit Co-Op.”

 Twenty-eight year old, Sindisiwe, who is based on the Berea, worked at local production company Durban Motion Pictures after leaving school, where she gained invaluable experience working on the job and training at the same time.

 The young go-getter started her company, Lopper Media in 2010, with a focus on video production for events and editing. In the last few years she has ventured into film and commercial production services, and is fast developing a name for herself as a reputable service provider with a range of services that include location scouting, location and unit management, as well as security services .

 “The scouting programme was very informative and it opened my eyes to the many opportunities that we have in Durban from a locations point of view and also within the industry as a whole,” she says.

 “The knowledge that I gained from the training helped me so much and made me take my business more seriously,” she enthuses. “After doing the SCOUT programme my business has definitely improved and grown very fast. We have even ventured into location and unit management, and we recently were able to work with major production companies such as Born Free Media, Natives at Large and Mobile Media, and I was also a location and unit manager for a recent Red Bull Commercial that was managed by Mobile Media, here in Durban - the best two days ever,” she says.

Determined to make a real go of this industry, Sindisiwe is currently in Johannesburg where she is hoping to finalise the details for three new short films being shot in Durban. 

 “I am really excited about the opportunities that have come up and I am hoping to grow my business into a major unit management one.”


The 2017 JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award

Well-known KwaZulu-Natal choreographer and dancer Sifiso ‘Magesh’ Ngcobo received the 2017 JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award at the JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre in Durban last night (Thursday, August 31).

Now in its 7th year, JOMBA! Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award, honours of the memory of Eric Mshengu Shabalala who tragically passed away in 2011; he was a local dancer, choreographer, teacher and one of the founding dancers of the Siwela Sonke Dance Theatre in Durban. In a fitting tribute, the Centre for Creative Arts and the Jomba! Contemporary Dance Experience Dance Festival has set up this annual award to honour some of KwaZulu-Natal’s stalwart dancers and dance teachers.

“The award is given not only in recognition of performance or choreographic excellence, but also more profoundly and more importantly it is given in recognition of dance practitioners who have worked tirelessly to help grow a culture of dance and dance training in Durban – who have supported the growth of dance as an art form at both community and regional level,” said Lliane Loots, Artistic Director of JOMBA! at the award ceremony.

“In selecting recipients, the committee look for those gifted individuals who have gone above and beyond – often without funding – to dedicate themselves to the cultural industry and to put KZN dancers and dance on the national and international map,” she said. “So we honour Sifiso because of his bold initiative, for not sitting back waiting for funding and for hand-outs but for getting up and making a difference by using his skill as a dancer and as an educator.”

Ngcobo, who currently teaches dance and isiZulu at St Nicholas Diocesan School in the Pietermaritzburg, also runs a scholar dance company within the school called “St Nics Dance Company. He was born in Umthwalume, and has a degree in Drama and Performance Studies and an Honours degree in Community Development, from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Before joining the Flatfoot Dance Company in 2003 he performed and toured the world in the celebrated dance show African Footprint.  As one of Flatfoot’s founding members he was instrumental in setting up their now 15 year history of dance education and community engagement.

“This award is given primarily for the work he is doing his own education and community project in Imbali Township at Sukuma Comprehensive School,” explained Lliane Loots. “He works with young school going learners and in dance programme called the Umsunduzi Youth Development Project and uses both drama and dance to address social, economic issues, life orientation as well as community child and gender abuse.”

Past recipients of this prestigious award include Jarryd Watson (2011), Sifiso Khumalo (2012), Byron ‘Bizzo’ Tifflin and Preston ‘Kayzo’ Kyd (2013), Jabu Siphika, Julia Wilson (2014) and Zinhle Nzama, Ntombi Gasa  (2015) and Musa Hlatshwayo (2016)

"I am so excited about this award,” enthused Ngcobo accepting the award. “Credit must go to Jomba, the Centre for Creative Arts, the St Nicholas Dance Company, Umsunduzi Youth Development Project, and of course the Flatfoot Dance Company, for grooming me to be what I am today. I have been doing this kind of work for a very long time and it is good to be finally recognized. We work without funding and support from the government but the passion and fire within us keeps us going because our goal is to make an impact in different communities and give hope to the hopeless through dance. The projects I run in Pietermaritzburg have made a significant impact in the learners' lives and that makes me happy. We are not yet done!" 

For more information about JOMBA! go to