Realness Screenwriter’s Residency 2018 Participants Announced At Cannes Film Festival

Realness is a pioneering residency initiative conceived by Elias Ribeiro and Cait Pansegrouw of Urucu Media that affords a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to cultivate their talent as authentic voices in African cinema.

Since its inception, Realness has nurtured 5 African auteurs each year, growing into a prestigious incubator of emerging talent that is recognized throughout the global film community. Now in its third year, the residency has fostered cinematic voices from 12 countries on the continent, including Angola (Fradique Mario Bastos), Senegal (Rama Thiaw) and Kenya (Amirah Tajdin).

“There is a reason residencies such as the Sundance Labs and the MacDowell Colony are so sought-after. They offer the opportunity to withdraw from the world to create without distractions while exchanging ideas with other exciting artists and receiving expert feedback at carefully considered intervals. Realness brings that opportunity to Africa.” said international script consultant Selina Ukwuoma. “With a pan-African focus, the diversity of Africans is celebrated yet the particular concerns that we have in common come to the fore.” Selina will join Realness for the third consective year, alongside top South African-based consultant Mmabatho Kau who began her relationship with the residency in 2017 and who was recently selected for the esteemed Torino Film Lab’s Story Editing programme. The two will work in tandem, cross-consulting on all 5 of the selected projects for 2018. “Both Selina and I are rooted in the African narrative but have an international outlook on story. Selina's extensive work internationally and my work locally gives the residents a holistic experience towards developing a world-class script.” added Kau.

On Saturday May 12th the 5 selected projects were annouced at the Cannes Film Festival by Realness co-founder Elias Ribeiro. “After an extensive evaluation of more than 130 projects from 24 countries, it is my greatest pleasure to introduce you to the Realness Residents of 2018; Kantarama Gahigiri from Rwanda, Matthys Boshoff from South Africa, Ng’endo Mukii from Kenya and Reem Morsi and Mohammed Siam, both from Egypt.”

The 5 projects were chosen by an international panel of 16 prolific world cinema stakeholders, including sales agents Thembe Bhebhe and Efuru Flowers (Flourishing Films), Todd Brown (head of international acquisitions for XYZ films) and literary agent David Kayser (Casarotto Ramsay & Associates). “These filmmakers herald an important and exciting new wave of African storytelling by Africans for Africans and the world. The strength of the projects and the talent driving them will benefit hugely from the expertise exposure and incubation that Realness offers and I look forward to see how they mature. I’ve been introduced to some truly special emerging talent who have the potential to compete on the international stage and shine.” said Kayser.

The 2018 Realness residents will move into the Nirox Foundation’s beautiful residence and sculpture park in the Cradle of Humankind on June 11th. They will work on their projects over the course of 6 weeks before participating in Africa’s largest co-production market, the Durban FilmMart. The most promising projects to emerge will be invited to participate in Locarno Filmmakers Academy, EAVE Producers Workshop, La Fabrique Cinéma de l’Institut Français, Torino Film Lab Meeting Event and TIFF Talent Lab, allowing them to progress closer to being realised.

“Realness continues to carve important relationships with other labs and partners which allow for its residents’ projects to benefit from further growth and exposure. We would like to thank all of our partners, panelists and volunteers, without whom Realness would not be possible.” said co-founder Cait Pansegrouw. This year the residency welcomes new partnerships with Robert Bosch Stiftung and Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, as funders of the programme and Toronto International Film Festival has come on board offering a scholarship to their TIFF Talent Lab. TIFF Programmer for Continental Africa and the Middle East Kiva Reardon commented on the partnership; “TIFF is very happy to support Realness and its aim of developing and supporting the next generation of screenwriting talent across the continent. We're looking forward to welcoming a Realness resident to take part in TIFF Talent Lab, where they can develop their artistic practice and meet with key industry professionals over the course of the Festival.”

Realness is an initiative by Urucu Media in partnership with Nirox Foundation, Berlinale Talents, Durban FilmMart, The Durban International Film Festival, Durban Talents, The French Institute of South Africa and Institute Français, Torino Film Lab, EAVE Producer’s Workshop, Locarno Filmmaker’s Academy, Produire Au Sud, Fairbridges Wertheim Becker, CNC (Le Centre National du Cinéma et de L’image Animée), Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF Talent Lab, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Cocoon Productions and Deuxieme Ligne Films.

Read more about the 2018 residents and their projects here:

For more information contact



20th Annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance, Anniversary Legacy Festival - Call for applications to participate

29 August – 9 September 2018

The annual JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience which takes place at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 29 August to 9 September invites dancers, dance-makers and theatre lighting practitioners to apply to participate in selected programmes of its 20th edition.

Presented by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Centre for Creative Arts, JOMBA! provides a platform for professional, experimental and up-coming choreographers and dance companies within its Main, Fringe and Youth Fringe programmes.

The JOMBA! Fringe is an adult contemporary dance platform where 8 short works of not more than 15 minutes each are selected and technically supported. A JOMBA! committee will select these works and this will depend on meeting the relevant criteria and the level of professionalism. This Fringe event takes place at UKZN’s Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on Saturday 1 September.

The JOMBA! Youth Fringe is open to dancers under the age of 16 years. It is a supportive initiative for various ‘Dance Development’ projects operating in the province of KZN and provides a space to celebrate our up-and-coming generation of young contemporary dancers and dance practitioners. This event will take place at UKZN’s Open Air Theatre on Sunday 2 September.

Both platforms do not come with financial support but those selected are given professional technical support via the lighting designers, sound technicians and stage managers as well as the JOMBA! team.

2018 sees JOMBA! join forces with the Durban Arts Gallery (DAG) to present a very special site responsive dance event at the festival on Friday 7 September. JOMBA! and DAG are looking to award two Durban-based choreographers with a small grant to create a dance/physical theatre work that will premiere at this event. The work has to be entirely new and selected choreographers will be mentored and giving full technical support. The grant is for a vision of work that engages ‘in situ’ spaces both inside and outside the Gallery.

This year there is a welcome addition of an open lighting for dance workshop on Monday 3 September at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre. Julie Ballard, Chicago-based professional theatrical technician affiliated with IATSE Local 2 and Actors’ Equity Association, and the Stage Manager and Properties Master for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will present this workshop for dance-makers, dancers and technicians. This workshop is free for 20 participants – but prior applications must be made.


Applications for the JOMBA! @DAG closes on June 1, and the Fringe, Youth Fringe and the Lighting Workshop must be in by Monday 4 June 2018 by 4pm and should to be sent to


For more information or to get an application via email contact Lliane Loots on using the name of the programme/workshop  you are applying for in the subject line.

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge uMvotii, uThukela and uMzinyathi Regional at Wartburg Kirchdorf

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

uMvotii, uThukela and uMzinyathi Regional at Wartburg Kirchdorf

Saturday 12 May


The second last regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge takes place in Wartburg on Saturday 12 May.


Leading the uMvotii, uThukela and uMzinyathi Regional is host school, Wartburg Kirchdorf School who have claimed victory five times. 


Coach for the defending champs, Lisa Misselhorn stated that her team was hard at work getting their game plan ironed out to their usual German precision. 


Wartburg have dominated the regional with five consecutive wins, since 2013. Previously Wembley College won in 2011 and Ladysmith High won in 2012. Five schools will be participating in this tournament, with the first game of the round robin tipping off at 8am. The games are 28minutes long, with a changeover blown at 14minutes.


Joining Wartburg are Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg, Wembley College; Domino Servite and Greytown High School. Four points will be awarded for a win, 2  points for a draw with goals, 1 point for a goalless draw and zero points for a loss.


The winner of this region will be heading to the Grand Finals that will be held at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof on 21 and 22 July. 


Teams that have reserved their spot at the Grand Finals are Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN); newcomers Epworth School (PMB Central Regional); St Anne’s DSG (PMB Northern Regional); Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central Regional); Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional); King Edward High School (Southern KZN Regional) and St Mary’s DSG (Highway Regional). 


The last regional for 2018 is the North KZN Coastals, which takes place at Grantleigh in Richards Bay on May 19.


For more info visit the tournament’s Facebook page.

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge Highway Regional

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

Highway Regional

Westville Girls’ High School: Sunday 6 May


Maintaining their reign, St Mary’s DSG defended their title in the Highway Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge in a hard-fought battle against hosts, Westville Girls High School.


Saints added to their six titles in this regional when they managed to defeat Westville in a riveting final that concluded in a penalty shootout. Saints opened up their account with their first goal smashed in after 66 seconds of play, by a powerful shot by ace striker, Kiana-Che Cormack. The ball was pushed right from the castle to Cormack who controlled the ball and then sent it flying.


Saints camped out around the Westville circle, earning themselves another two short corners that were both defended. They also had three shots at goal that Westville dealt with valiantly. With 95seconds remaining in the first half Tayla Thwaits found herself unmarked in front of the goals, spun around controlling the ball to the left of her, and slipped the ball in with a cheeky shot notching up the second goal for Saints.


Saints continued dominating the final with their fourth short corner that Westville again defended. In a moment of brilliance, Kerryn Swanepoel ignited her Westville team with a solo run down the left, leaving Saints scrambling with only two defenders still at the back. Swanepoel weaved around the first, dodging the second but the first Saints defender chopped Swanepoel’s stick. Standing on the spot, no-nonsense umpire Mike Lees split his arms indicating a penalty flick for Westville. A calm Swanepoel stepped up to the p spot and slotted in her shot into the top left corner.


Four minutes later, the amped Swanepoel charged down the right of the field surging towards the Saints circle. Swanepoel made a dash for the goals but was forced out of play by a harsh shoulder charge from St Marys, resulting in her second penalty flick that she bravely converted, levelling the score at 2 a piece.


The game then progressed to three players from both teams taking an eight second penalty shootout. After three rounds, both teams only managed to slot in one goal each, meaning the score line was still level pegged at 1-1. The finals then went to a sudden death, with the same three players stepping up to the spot for another chance. Two more rounds were played with no winner being revealed, then Leah Piggot managed to slot her shot in, going 1 up for Saints, earning her team the win and the regional title for 2018.


Special mention must go to the Westville keeper, Saiyuri Govender for her fearless display on the line throughout the game, bravely standing tall surge after surge of Saints powerful attacks.


Saints are the eighth team to head to the Grand Finals that they will be hosting on 21 and 22 July. The girls will be making their seventh appearance at the Grand Finals where they are also the overall defending champs from 2017.


Manager for the St Mary’s Malcolm Reeders said “The tournament is always a highlight on the school girl hockey calendar. Winning the finals today was a fantastic end to the day after all the pressure for us to hold on to the title. There was some fantastic hockey played today. But was a case of a tale of two halves, as at half time we were two up and then after half time, Westville managed to equalize. Our penalty takers were brilliantly composed during the shootout."


Ryan Lees, coach for Westville Girls High said, “It was a smoothly run tournament, but it was hard to perform consistently in all the games. Our team did themselves proud by coming back after being 2 down at half time, to equalize and then take it through to sudden death."


They join Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN); newcomers Epworth School (PMB Central Regional); St Anne’s DSG (PMB Northern Regional); Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central Regional); Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional); and King Edward High School (Southern KZN Regional).


For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page.



1 St Mary’s DSG, 2 Westville Girls’ High School, 3 Thomas More College, 4 Hillcrest High School, 5 Kloof High School, 6 Curro Hillcrest



N.E.W Pitch – Callout. Win the chance to produce a wildlife, environmental or conservation documentary short

N.E.W Pitch – Callout.

Win the chance to produce a wildlife, environmental or conservation documentary short

DURBAN: The N.E.W Pitch short documentary pitching competition is aimed at discovering the next generation or nature, environment, wildlife and adventure conservation filmmakers, and is one of the key sessions at the Nature Environment and Wildlife Filmmakers Congress (NEWF) taking place from 16 – 18 July at Durban Botanic Gardens and surrounds.


“Do you have an engaging, innovative or inspirational natural history, environmental, conservation or adventure story?” asks Pragna Parsotam-Kok, Founder and Congress Director of NEWF.  “If you do, we invite you to submit your documentary short concept and you could be one of eight finalists selected to pitch at the N.E.W Pitch competition during NEWF 2018. Submissions are open to all emerging and aspiring filmmakers, scientists and conservationists over the age of 18.”


The N.E.W Pitch is targeted towards emerging and student filmmakers in order to provide them with pitching experience and the opportunity to win a production grant to produce a short documentary film in this genre.  


During the NEWF Congress, the eight finalists will be invited to participate in a pitching session before a live judging panel. Coming out of the pitch session, four winners will be selected to win R50 000 to develop and produce their documentary short.


The four winners will have access to mentorship during the production of their shorts.  The films need to be completed within a year, and the four films will be combined into a once-off 48-minute TV documentary, which will be broadcast on national television.


During the NEWF Congress this year, the winners of last year’s Pitch will screen their film for the first time. The winners of last year’s competition were, Fidel Tshivhasa for his story on the humpback whale migration that takes place in KZN; Shivan Parusnath for an undercover look at the illegal reptile trade, Mikhale Singh whose project is about the endangered Pickersgills’ Reed frog and the Ashdown and Imbali EnviroChamps (Liberty NPO and DUCT) who are a group of individuals working to protect the wetlands and rivers in their area.  These four films will be complete by end of May.


“It is hoped that the Congress will promote outstanding environmental, conservation, wildlife and adventure films from professional, aspiring and student filmmakers and that we will contribute towards transformation through our developmental programmes aimed at enriching the industry with an increased pool of diverse content creators,” she said.


To pitch for your documentary – register on the NEWF online portal – and enter the N.E.W Pitch competition with all the necessary supporting documentation.

Visit to enter, for submission requirements, guidelines and more information or visit the NEWF Online Portal to enter now.  Deadline is 31 May.


Registration is now open for this year’s Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers Congress. Visit for more info.  Delegate passes can be booked and paid for later.  


For more info email or contact Pragna on 064 294 0669.




Illa Thompson 

Publicity Matters


Sharlene Versfeld

Versfeld & Associates

Public Relations and Communications





SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge - Highway Regional

Westville Girls’ High School - May 6

The fiercely contested Highway Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge takes place this year at Westville Girls’ High School astroturf on Sunday, May 6.

St Mary’s DSG, six times winners of this regional and three times winners of the Grand Finals of this highly-respected school girls’ hockey event, will be focussed on holding onto their title. Only once have the defending champs been ousted from their top position, and that was by Westville Girls’ High in the 2014 tourney at Thomas More College.

This year, Westville Girls’ High will host this regional, and will no doubt be using their home-turf advantage in their attempt to break the iron grip that St Mary’s has on this region.

Sian Tarbuton coach for host school, WGHS says that their team is hard at training and looking forward to the regional. “Our indoor season was a cracker,” she enthuses. “We were placed second in the logs, only losing to St Mary's with a narrow loss of 4-2. We were so close to getting a draw and then they scored against us in the last couple minutes. Our outdoor season got off to a great start. We won the Crawford La Lucia outdoor hockey tournament held over the April holidays. We won our pool and then met Crawford La Lucia in the final, winning the tournament. We won our first outdoor hockey match of the season against Thomas More College, so we have high hopes for the season, but need to keep our composure and work hard.”

Other schools participating in this six-school regional include Curro Hillcrest, Hillcrest High, Kloof High and Thomas More College.

The tournament starts at 8am, and will be played in a round robin format. Games last 23 minutes with a quick change over at 11 minutes.  A win will earn a team 4 points, a draw with goals 2 points, a goalless draw 1 point and a loss 0. First and second places will then go head-to-head in a final match to determine the eighth regional team to go through to the Grand Finals at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof.

Other schools that have already secured their place at the Grand Finals are Ferrum Hoërskool from the Northern KZN Regional, newcomer Epworth School from PMB Central Regional, St Anne’s Diocesan from PMB Northern Regional, Durban Girls’ College from the Durban Central Regional, Amanzimtoti High School from the Durban South Regional and Our Lady of Fatima from the Durban North Regional.

For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow the tournament on Instagram.

SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey - Southern KZN Regional

Kokstad: Saturday 21 April

King Edward High School claimed their fourth regional title in a riveting final against host school Kokstad College at the Southern KZN Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge on Saturday 21 April.

The two finalists earned top position in their pools, advancing through to the semi-finals where King Edward met Suid-Natal and Kokstad took on Southcity. King Edward won 2-0, where the Kokstad College Southcity game went to a penalty shootout resulting in a 2-0 victory for Kokstad.  

In the last game of the day, fierce rivals King Edward and Kokstad notched up a nil nil score at the end of full time, with Kokstad earning two short corners, the first of those was directly after no-nonsense umpire, Jani Dorning awarded two cards to King Edwards players, a green was dished out first, followed by a yellow for continuously infringing the five yards at a free hit. Both shorties were successfully defended by the Matatiele team. Both teams didn't really make any impact at the business ends of the field, with majority of the action taking place mid-field.

The game progressed to a penalty shootout with the defending champs taking the first run. King Edward’s Anathi Madikizela charged into the circle, only to meet the advancing Anga Gogela who didn't allow Madikizela any space to fire off a shot. Kokstad's Sibabalwe Cabangama was next to go and meet the sturdy defense of Thuto Kanetsi. Cabangama knocked the ball directly at Kanetsi, who easily stopped it and prevented any further chances. Second for KEHS, fiesty Azisa Cokota successfully knocked the first goal in, after running in and decisively sliding the ball right of Gogela. Kokstad's Tyler Rorke levelled the score after her first attempt was stopped, and she pounced on the ball slapping in her follow up shot that went left of the keeper. King Edwards's Lukhona Ndumdum stepped up to the mark, moved the ball in, drawing Gogela out, then rounding her on the left and slipping the ball in to take KEHS 2-1 up. Finally, Simamkele Kwababa's chance was denied by alert Kanetsi. Kwababa's slap attempt was easily blocked and then Kanetsi charged the ball down not allowing Kokstad player any space. The final score was 2-1 to King Edward.

In the bronze game Sheppie team, Suid-Natal took on fellow south coasters Southcity where the game also went to a penalty shootout. The game ended at nil nil with both teams not threatening to score. Suid-Natal's Kayla Parson and Valerie Ahrens scored while Michaela van Der Heever sadly missed. The mirror image results saw Southcity's Hannah Nero and Sarah-Joy Pringles score and McKayla Du Bruyn not able to get a third for her team. The bronze medal game then went to a sudden death, with Parson side stepping around Tamryn Steenkamp and determinedly finding the back of the net. Focused Nero veered left, but her shot went wide of the box allowing Suid-Natal third place.

After the finals, coach for Kokstad College Stephanie Peterson said, “It was a tough game. King Edward are worthy opponents to play against, but it is always the team with the most fight that wins. I was very proud of our team, even though they are young, they can only get better from here.”


Deidre Duminy, coach for King Edward High School said “The whole tournament, as always, was well organised and very exciting, and a good opportunity for us to practice our skills in play. The first game was slow for us, and then the goals seemed to open up after that. Kokstad College is a wonderful yet terrible opponent, as they are a tenacious team, and one can never be assured of the outcome. We enjoyed playing on their home ground and of course pleased that we managed to defend our title."


Joining the list of Most Promising Umpire from various regionals is Kyle de Kock from Kokstad College. The 16 year old Grade 11 pupil was impressive with his decisive decisions throughout the day and has been invited to the Grand Finals where he will further his umpiring career. 

King Edward are the seventh team to advance to the Grand Finals at St Mary's DSG in Kloof on the 21 and 22 July. They join Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN Regional); St Anne's (PMB North Regional); Epworth School (PMB Central Regional); Durban Girls' College (DBN Central Regional); Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional).


For more info like the tournament's Facebook page.



1 King Edward High School, 2 Kokstad College, 3 Suid-Natal Hoërskool, 4 Southcity School, 5 Creston College, 6 Port Shepstone High School, 7 St Monica’s Diocesan School, 8 St Patrick's College, 9 Ixopo High School, 10 Bergview High School

SPAR KZN School Girl’s Hockey Challenge Durban North Regional - Results April 15, 2018

SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge

Durban North Regional

Crawford North Coast: Sunday 15 April


Our Lady of Fatima earned themselves their third title when they were crowned Durban North Regional winners at the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on Sunday at Crawford North Coast.


Fatima had a clear run to the regional final, where they met Danville Park Girls’ High School. The first half the game flowed easily up and down with no real chances being taken. Fatima started the attack with Megan Coreejes charging down the right but ran out of space with the Danville defence forcing her over the baseline. Danville were awarded a short corner a minute later, but the unimaginative shot was fired directly at the keeper, Ntando Nzuza easily stopping the shot and her defender quickly clearing it out of danger.


Fatima’s Coreejes burst down the right after a hoik pass from upfield found Coreejes in the middle of the circle. The forward put in a fine attempt but blazed it high and wide. Coreejes third break in the first half was met with a sea of green defence, and no support from her team mates saw her third opportunity amount to nothing.


After a quick change over, Fatima stepped up a gear. At the start of the second half Kirsten Lenz was in the right place at the right time as a flat pass from the right side of the circle found her lurking around the p spot, Lenz calmly slapped the ball neatly into the box getting her team’s first goal.


Directly after their first goal, Fatima surged forward in their fifth attack with Emma Lofstedt reaching the circle and quickly firing off her shot directly at the awaiting keeper which was easily blocked and defended. A short corner went the way of Fatima, a smooth delivery reached the castle, with the striker glancing the ball right to Lofstedt who didn’t make the same mistake twice, firing in her second attempt to the left of the keeper, taking her team comfortably 2 nil up.


As the game wound down, Fatima had their final chance with an exciting flurry at the goals. A shot went high and wide, with a sterling effort from Nzuza, getting both hands up to block the shot. The ball fell comfortably for the Fatima forward who was camped out at the goal and should have had an easy slot for their third goal but in the excitement, missed the ball giving Nzuza time to fly across the goals and thwart any further opportunity.


Fatima met Northlands Girls’ High in the first semi-final where Fatima went up 3 nil. Goal scorers in that game were star players Lofstedt, and Megan Coreejes with Naomi Maujean also getting her name on the score sheet.


Danville met Crawford La Lucia in the second semi-final, at full time both teams were unable to make a break through. Both teams were quietly impressive throughout the day but were at loggerheads in their semi.


The game progressed to three rounds of a penalty shoot-out. First up was Danville’s captain Awande Mkhwanazi whose attempt was blocked. Crawford’s Alison Beck’s determined run met the sturdy defence of Nzuza. Next up for Danville, Christy Gilmour drew the keeper out with her slap that was blocked, but luckily for her the ball landed kindly and she was able to follow up with an easy slot into the back of the box. Rachel Wilkinson stepped up for Crawford, striding forward and knocking in a decent looking shot that at the last minute found the left pad of Nzuza, and rolled safely out of reach. Tatum Lardant took to the spot for Danville and charged in, veering right and rolled the ball beyond the flying Linda Dlamini to take her team 2 nil up and sealing their spot in the regional final.


Receiving his second Most Promising Umpire award, Enzo Magubane from Amanzimtoti was recognised for his efforts with the whistle. He was representing Ashton International College this time round, having been selected previously blowing at the Durban South Regional.


Our Lady of Fatima is the sixth team to secure their berth at the Grand Finals that takes place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof. They join Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN), Epworth School (PMB Central); St Anne’s College (PMB North); Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central) and Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South). Next weekend the tournament travels to Kokstad for the Southern KZN Regional.


For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow the tournament’s Instagram account.



1 Our Lady of Fatima, 2 Danville Park Girls’ High, 3 Northlands Girls’ High, 4 Crawford La Lucia, 5 Ashton International College, 6 Crawford North Coast, 7 Reddam House uMhlanga, 8 Durban North College.




Sophie Thompson

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge- Southern KZN Regional Kokstad College

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

Southern KZN Regional

Kokstad College: Saturday 21 April


The clash of the eighth Southern KZN Regional in the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Challenge takes place on Saturday 21 April at Kokstad College.


This region has crowned three schools since the tournament began in 2011. This year, ten schools will converge in the quest to be regional champion in the hopes of travelling to the Grand Finals in July at St Mary’s DSG.


Kicking off the tournament, defending champs King Edward High School (KEHS) will meet St Monica’s who missed last year’s tournament due to other commitments. At the same time on field B two times winner Kokstad College will meet Bergview who are returning after last playing in 2014. Hosts, Kokstad College will need to find their A-game early as they meet two times winner, Creston College in their second game.


KEHS will take on Southcity in the third game of the day. Southcity were placed third last year and are hoping to continue their progression in this tournament as they quietly chip away at the placings with an improvement every year.


Coach for the defending champs, Deidre Duminy says, “My team is very young this year, basically an U16 team which is wonderful for the next two years. We lost seven of our players last year who matriculated. Of course, we will be delighted if we go through, but who knows what will happen on the day. We will surely try our best but currently we are working on building confidence as well as skills.”


Pool A features King Edward High School, St Monica’s, Southcity, Port Shepstone, iXopo and Pool B has Kokstad, Creston, Bergview, St Patrick’s and Suid-Natal taking each other on. The pool games will be 25 minutes each and the playoffs are only 20minutes long, with a possibility of a penalty shoot-out taking place if the games are drawn. If this happens, then 3 players from each team will step up to take the 8 second rolling penalty in the hope of advancing their team to the next round.


The tournament will run on four points for a win, two points for a draw with goals, one point for a goalless draw and zero points for a loss.


After the pool games, the two semi-finals will take place concurrently. Thereafter the top teams will get a breather as the positional games roll out the final placings. Once these games have been played, the bronze medal game follows, and the final game will be the main gold, silver game. At the conclusion of the 27th game, the 2018 regional champion will be revealed.


The teams to beat will be host school playing on familiar turf, Kokstad College, who have won this regional in the inaugural tournament in 2011 and three years later in 2014. Creston College took the title in 2012 and 2013 while the unsuspecting heroes from King Edwards High School have been the defending champions for the last three years.


The winner of this regional will be the seventh team to reserve their place at the Grand Finals that will take place in July at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof.


For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page or follow the tournament on Instagram.




SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge - Durban North Regional

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

Durban North Regional

Crawford College North Coast: Sunday 15 April


The Durban North Regionals of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge will take place at Crawford College North Coast on Sunday, 15 April.


This hotly contested regional will be hosted for the first time by Crawford College North Coast on their astroturf in the picturesque setting on their school grounds in Tongaat.


In the seven years of this tournament history, three schools have managed to claim the title, which has meant some fierce competition as teams jostle for the honours. 


Defending champs and two times winners of this regional, Our Lady of Fatima who raised the trophy in 2017 and at the inaugural tournament in 2011, will be keen to hold onto their title while Danville Park Girls’ High, who have won this regional twice (2012, 2014), and Ashton International College (2013, 2015, 2016), who have won three times, will be wanting to reprise their victories. They will be joined by Crawford College La Lucia, Northlands High School, Reddam House Umhlanga and Durban North College, who will all be vying to shift the balance of power in this regional.


The tournament will take the format of pool games with cross-pool semi-final playoffs with a final match to determine who will be going through to the Grand Finals at St Mary’s DSG in July. The games begin at 8am and last 23 minutes with a change over at 11 minutes with a total of 17 games being played.


This is the sixth regional to be played in this annual series, and the winner will join Amanzimtoti High School (Durban South Regional) who recently secured their berth in the Grand Finals, along with Durban Girls' College (Durban Central Regional), St Anne's Diocesan (Pietermaritzburg Northern Regional), Epworth School (Pietermaritzburg Central Regional), and Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN Regional).


For more info like the tournament's Facebook page. 




SPAR KZN School Girls Hockey Challenge - Durban Central Regional

3 Schools Trust: Saturday 17 March


Maintaining their 100% record, Durban Girls’ College successfully defended their title for the eighth year, in the Durban Central Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge that took place on Saturday 17 March at the 3 Schools Trust Asto. 

College met the surprise package of St Henry’s in the regional final, and thanks to an Emma Sharratt goal, College retained their title with a 1-0 victory against the host school.

From the whistle, College took ownership of the possession with majority of the play taking place in St Henry’s half. With five minutes played, College’s third attack was rewarded. Sharratt who was lurking mid-way in the circle, received a pass from outside, the forward spun around slipping the ball under the attacking component keeper, Unathi Sibeko from St Henry’s.

Sibeko tirelessly thwarted any more College attacks, charging down several shots. College were awarded six short corners, with all of them amounting to nothing thanks to the fantastic defence from St Henry’s. 

St Henry’s only managed to penetrate the College half three times, and on all three occasions their attacks took them agonisingly close to their opposition’s goals. In their efforts, they earned themselves a short corner after a break down the right. A determined dash from both the College defenders and the forwards falling back to assist caused St Henry’s to fluff their only real opportunity. 

Leading up to the finals, College kept a flawless scorecard throughout the day, notching up the maximum of 24 points after their six round robin games. 

Kerry Gaze, coach of the winning team, which comprised mostly of players who had been in the first XI last year said “This tournament is always a really good one. Nice competitive hockey was played throughout the day, with our final being somewhat challenging as St Henry’s had improved a lot and were impressive on the field.”

Engelie Maas, St Henry’s coach, who has coached teams in every one of the 8 annual tournaments, said “It is an amazing sporting festival, and St Henry’s did us so proud. The girls played with a lot of heart, spirit and soul. This was a great event to take part in just before leaving for Ireland for a week’s tour, which includes a training session with Ireland’s goalkeeper, David Fitzgerald."

The announcement for the team which College were to face in the regional final proved to be exciting as Durban Girls’ High School had the possibility of taking second spot on the log, but they needed to beat Maris Stella in the last pool game. The game went down to the wire with Girls’ High surging forward, attack after attack but unable to beat the defence. 

Going into the final round robin game, the tacticians were hard at work. Had Girls’ High won, they would have ended tie on points with St Henry’s. The round robin game between Girls’ High and St Henry’s ended in a well contested goalless draw, which would have meant that goals scored would have been taken into account. 

Two teams that displayed tremendous spirit during the day were Ridge Park College and Inanda Seminary. Both teams have upped their skills and knowledge of the game which bodes well for their future. 

Most Promising Umpire was Sethu Sithole representing Durban Girls’ High School. 

Durban Girls’ College is the fourth team to secure their berth at the Grand Finals which takes place in July at St Mary’s DSG. College join two teams that have seven appearances at the Grand Finals, St Anne’s Diocesan (PMB Northern Regional) and Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN Regional), and newcomers Epworth School (PMB Central Regional).

For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page.

1 Durban Girls' College, 2 St Henry’s, 3 Durban Girls' High, 4 Maris Stella, 5 Port Natal, 6 Ridge Park College, 7 Inanda Seminary

Points at end of round robin

1 Durban Girls’ College 24, 2 St Henry’s 17, 3 Durban Girls’ High 14, 4 Maris Stella 13, 5 Port Natal High 5, 6 Ridge Park College 2, 7 Inanda Seminary 1

SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge - Interview with Bulelwa Mzimela

With a tank full of ambition, young Bulelwa Mzimela is making waves in the polo world having been selected to represent South Africa.

Mzimela (16) is taking off to #Brno in the #Czech Republic at the end of the month to compete in the U17 EU Nations #Waterpolo tournament where ten teams will be competing.

"This is the first time that I will be representing South Africa, and I can't wait. It sincerely means a lot to me. And hopefully won't be the last time."

The three day tournament that starts on 30 March has host nation Czech Republic, #Denmark, #England, #Germany, #Ireland, #Scotland, #Slovakia, South Africa, #Switzerland and Wales participating. The round robin format has South Africa in Pool A taking on Wales, Slovakia, Ireland and Scotland. Once all the pool games are played, the two top teams from both pools advance to the semi-finals and then thereafter the two best teams meet in the finals.

"I love polo; I love the tactics, the tricks, spinning out of tackles. I love that it looks so graceful but under water it can be challenging and a bit rough."

The youngster has travelled far and wide around South Africa through her sports. “I am extremely fortunate to be able to explore and discover our country. But in all honesty, getting my first stamp in my passport is so exciting.”

The talented water baby is one of only two #KZN players in the team set to jet off to Europe, “Our team is great, we all know each other well having played against each other often in various tournaments. Our coach Jon-Marc De Carvalho reads the game well and is a fabulous motivator. All we need now is to gel in the pool and let the magic happen.”

Mzimela fell into the sport in Grade 5 when she was supporting her twin brother at training and was asked if she wanted to join. She jumped at the opportunity and hasn't looked back. Her twin, Bulelani has also just donned the green and gold for waterpolo this last weekend at Kings Park.

Only five minutes separate the two aspiring sporting siblings, "We are both highly motivated and are driven to achieve. I know that if I don't get something right, I try and try and try again until eventually I do. My parents say that we are both very determined."

“I play on the wing or fetch. I get a thrill out of attacking play and being able to capitalise on some awesome play and team work with getting the ball in the back of the net.”

This weekend she takes to the field with her second passion, hockey. The Grade 10 pupil at Durban Girls' College is part of the first hockey team that are taking part in the SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge. College are the defending champs and the only team that has made it through to all the Grand Finals.

"I took part in the KZN hockey trials at #Queensmead last week. The team hasn't been announced yet, but I am hopeful."

Mzimela plans on pursuing a career in law when she finishes school. “I would love to get a degree in law, possibly studying overseas. I am working hard to earn a sports scholarship, hopefully in a country where both polo and hockey are mainstream. #Holland is appealing, but time will tell.”

Diving in, the effervescent Bulelwa Mzimela is having a rippling affect in youth sports in Durban, with her never say die attitude, her eagerness to succeed, the future star certainly is going to make a splash.

Sophie Thompson

SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge - PMB Northern Regional Results

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

Pietermaritzburg North Regional

St Anne’s Diocesan: Sunday 11 March


Retaining their title for the seventh consecutive year, St Anne’s Diocesan College remain the champions of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge Pietermaritzburg North Regional on Sunday 11 March.

St Anne’s took on The Wykeham Collegiate in the finals for the region. In an enthralling 25 minutes, the whistle blew with one goal separating the two teams, 2-1 in favour of the defending champions.

Wykeham Collegiate kept all their panache for the main game, having gone down to Saints earlier in the day during the round robin match which ended 3 nil to the hosts. Fifteen seconds into the game, Saints revealed their attacking prowess with their first attempt going right of goals. 

It didn’t take Saints long to slot in their first goal. Just under two minutes had ticked away when Danni Chessenski, camped out on the left hand post, received a perfect pass and quietly slapped the ball in. 

Eight minutes into the game, Wykeham’s Loren Gerrard dazzled the Saints defence with a run down the left side line, crabbed her way along the baseline and fired in a shot directly to the waiting keeper. The clearance went directly back to the waiting Gerrard who followed up her shot with more determination and slotted in the all important equaliser. 

Another three minutes ticked by when a poorly strategized 16 hit from TWC was charged down. Saints capitalised, nailing in a shot from the top of circle by Danni Rhodes. The attempt was deflected by a defender landing in the box, sealing the win for Saints.

Saints had a total of eleven shots at goal, with four hitting their target of which two were goals and two being defended, four going right of the upright and three veering to the left. Wykeham’s defence was exemplary only giving away a handful of short corners to their opposition.

Robin Jones, coach for the winning team said, “It was a fantastic day for hockey. It is always difficult to maintain the same standard throughout a day like this, and we knew the finals would be tough but the team did well - I am very, very proud of them.”

Sam Scott, coach for The Wykeham Collegiate said, “This tournament provides experience and a good opportunity for us to see where we are as a team and where we need to go.  We may not have won, but the finals provided a great game for the players and spectators alike, and the TWC girls gave it 100%, so we could not have asked for more.”

Top goal scorer for the tournament, was St Anne’s Vice Captain and star player, Danni Rhodes who netted an impressive 18 goals in total out of her teams 33.

Most Promising Umpire was awarded to Voortrekker High School’s Lethokuhle Mngadi. Mngadi took charge in the final showing fabulous calm nerves in the tense, action packed game.

Saints is the third team to secure their berth at the Grand Finals. They join Ferrum High School representing the Northern KZN Regional and newcomers Epworth College, champions of the Pietermaritzburg Central Regional.

For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page.


1 St Anne’s Diocesian, 2 The Wykeham Collegiate, 3 Carter High School, 4 Treverton, 5 Voortrekker High School , 6 Grace College.

Jozi Book Launch - March 15 for Josh Crickmay's Big Year


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 will be launched in Johannesburg on Thursday, March 15 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 . 

Manor Gardens Lit Quiz Whizzes do it again!

Photo - left to right Michaela Crankshaw, Jemma Kasavan, Jaskaran Rajaruthnam, and Sam Walker - on their way to New Zealand to represent SA in the World Finals Lit Quiz Champs in July.

Manor Gardens Primary School, a small public school tucked away behind UKZN in Durban, has done it again by winning the National Kids Literature Championship this year, and all going to plan, will represent South Africa in the World Finals in Auckland, New Zealand in July this year.

 The school’s first team comprising Michaela Crankshaw, Jemma Kasavan, Jaskaran Rajaruthnam and Sam Walker took first position in the national champs held at St David’s in Johannesburg on Saturday, February 24. 

 “This is a wonderful result for our small public school and we are all very proud of our Kids Lit Quiz champions who were up against a number of bigger and more affluent schools,” says Carol Lottering, the principal of Manor Gardens Primary. “We are extremely grateful for the effort and energy that Isobel Sobey, the Media Centre teacher who co-ordinates and coaches the teams, and other teachers at this school who work tirelessly at constantly raising the bar in education, and their incredible ability to instil a love for reading here.”

 Kids Lit Quiz is the brain child of Wayne Mills, a university lecturer from New Zealand, who came up with the concept twenty-seven years ago. He calls it “The Sport of Reading”.  He developed the quiz to promote reading for pleasure and to reward good readers in the same way that sports stars are rewarded by their schools and communities. The first quiz took place in 1991.  In that first year 14 teams took part. Today it has grown into a hugely popular annual event spanning five continents with +/- 20 000 children participating in heats throughout the year.   

“The team will be up against tough competition from China, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia,” explains Isobel Sobey.  “The four members in our team are all on Grade 7 and are avid readers with deep interest in books.  They have read and worked hard for this since Grade 1 and are deserving winners. They will have a wonderful time in New Zealand and soak up all the lessons and experiences that come their way.” 

 “Now we begin the hard work of intense coaching for the international event, as well as fundraising to help the children reach an amazing goal,” she explains. “The Kids Lit Quiz organization in New Zealand covers accommodation, meals and activities for the teams but transport to the World Final is not covered. So we are gratefully accepting any and all donations or fundraising ideas to cover the travelling costs for the four team members and two adult coaches. We estimate these costs to be in the region of R100,000. As the school is a registered Public Benefit Organization (tax reference 930000373) it can provide receipts for tax purposes for donations of R1000 or more.”

 Manor Gardens Primary is appealing to Durban citizens, businesses, corporates and past pupils to help get their school to New Zealand by making a small (or large) contribution.  For more information contact Isobel Sobey on 031 2611401 or

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)



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.”

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