Sisters of the Wilderness Premieres Internationally at IFFR on January 26, 2019

Media Release


Sisters of the Wilderness, the social impact feature-length documentary, which won best South African Feature Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival in July last year, and qualified for an Oscar consideration, will have its International Premiere at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) on January 26, 2019.

Set in the iMfolozi wilderness, South Africa, in the oldest game park in Africa, the iconic Hluhluwe-iMfolozi park, Sisters of the Wilderness tells the story of five young Zulu women venturing into the wilderness for the first time on a journey of healing and self-discovery, reminding us that we are all intimately linked to nature. 


The film follows the women as they walk in big game country and camp under the stars, totally surrounded by wild animals. Exposed to the elements and carrying on their backs all they need for the journey, they face emotional and physical challenges, and learn what it takes to survive in the wild. 


“We want to ‘transfer’ the audience to an ancient place where no barriers separate human and nature,” says creator / producer, Ronit Shapiro, of One Nature Films, whose experience in the iMfolozi wilderness and a meeting with South Africa’s legendary conservationist, the late Dr Ian Player, inspired her to make this film. “A journey into wilderness is an intense experience where one can expect to undergo a personal transformation.” 

The film also explores the plight of the primordial iMfolozi wilderness which is severely threatened by an expanding open-cast coal mine on its border, and the intensifying rhino poaching calamity in that area.

Award-wining South African documentary filmmaker, Karin Slater, directed and shot the film.  “I was born in Empangeni and spent my early years, close to the iMfolozi wilderness. I have a deep love and connection to this area. I know what the wilderness has done for me over the years, ” says Karin.

Sisters of the Wilderness is the foundation for an outreach and audience engagement programme that will use multiple platforms to re-connect global audiences with nature, and empower young people, especially women. The social impact programme was launched in South Africa in September 2018 in celebration of Heritage Month in the country, and World Rhino Day.

 “We are delighted that the film was selected to have its International Premiere at the renowned International Film Festival in Rotterdam and we are looking forward to sharing the story of how the film came about, in the Q&A with the audience after each screening,” says Ronit. 


Sisters of the Wilderness will be screened at IFFR on:

26 Jan 2019    20:15   Pathé 7       - Public

27 Jan 2019    20:00   Cinerama 6 - Public

29 Jan 2019    13:15   Cinerama 7 - Press & Industry

29 Jan 2019    21:15   Cinerama 2 – Public

For more information go to :




Note to editors

Electronic Press Kit:

For additional information about the Sisters of the Wilderness film and social impact programme contact:     

Creator / Producer, Ronit Shapiro Email: OR Skype: ronit.shapiro   Tel/ Whatapp: +44 (0)7971 196446 

South African Publicist – Sharlene Versfeld –  +27 (0)83 326 3235


About One Nature Films:

One Nature Films is a social impact film production company based in London, UK, founded by Ronit Shapiro in 2011. Our vision is to create engaging high quality films that inspire, connect and make a difference. We believe in the power of film to make social and environmental impact. One Nature Films has a deep-rooted passion for the environment, the natural world and human society.  Our name ‘One Nature’ reflects our belief in the oneness of humanity and the interconnectedness of all things. We strive to be ethical and socially responsible. One Nature, beyond film-making, is a social enterprise focused on the wellness of people and the environment. Our aim is to bring about a positive social impact in any project we develop.

Key Credits:

Film Director & Cinematographer: Karin Slater 

Project Creator / Producer: Ronit Shapiro 

Executive Producers: Ken and Liz Whitney, Antonia Bothner, Ronit Shapiro

Editor: Anja Bombelli

Composer: Ian Arber

Sound Design & Mix: Stef Albertyn

Grading & Online Edit: Richard Starkey

Production Company: One Nature Films 

Social Media Links:

The project’s website:





Indiegogo 2017

Indiegogo 2016

Highlights from the film’s sound track



SPAR KZN Brings Festive Cheer to Field Rangers at Hluhluwe - Imfolozi Park



SPAR KZN Brings Festive Cheer to Field Rangers at Hluhluwe - Imfolozi Park


This weekend (November 23/24), SPAR KZN visited various ranger camps in the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park with the Hilltop (Hluhluwe) and Imfolozi Honorary Officers to deliver 190 food hampers to the men and women working in the field.


This is the 5th year that SPAR has visited the park to show appreciation for the work the rangers do for conservation and most importantly for the protection of the endangered rhinos. In addition, SPAR KZN has committed an amount of R40 000 raised from its  2018 Charity Golf Day, towards the much-needed upgrading of infrastructure in a number of the camps.


Speaking at the hand-over, Clive Honman, Chairman of the Hilltop Honorary Officers, thanked SPAR for their efforts in bringing a little cheer to the field rangers who are at the forefront of conservation and anti-poaching. He thanked the field rangers, citing how grateful the Honorary Officers, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, visitors and the people of the country are, for their work and dedication, often spending many long weeks away from their families.


“We are once again delighted to be able to utilise our resources to offer a token of our appreciation to the men and women working tirelessly to protect our natural resources at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park,” says MD of SPAR KZN Max Oliva. “Heartfelt thanks must also go to the volunteer Honorary Officers, who give of their time and energy to support the park and the field rangers in the work they do. We would like to encourage more people and organisations to get involved in supporting them and their initiatives.”



New book from Kingsley Holgate: Africa – a Love Affair with a Continent.

Media Release

New book from Kingsley Holgate 


KINGSLEY HOLGATE the well-known humanitarian adventurer, TV personality, Land Rover Ambassador, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, renowned speaker and a legend known as  ‘the most travelled man in Africa’ has launched his new book Africa – a Love Affair with a Continent.

Holgate is the author of four previous best-selling books on travel and adventure:  ‘Cape to Cairo’, ‘Capricorn – following the invisible line’, Africa – in the footsteps of the Great Explorers’ and ‘Afrika – Despatches from the Outside Edge’.  


This widely-anticipated 5th book, Africa – a Love Affair with a Continent has been five years in the making and spans 30 years of adventure and exploration in every country in Africa, including all of her island states.  


Armed with a Zulu calabash and Scrolls of peace and goodwill, by Land Rover, inflatable boat, Swahili dhow and on foot, Kingsley and his adventurous team have traversed the continent on world-first expeditions, touching over a million lives through their humanitarian and conservation efforts.


Packed with stories taken from Kingsley’s pile of dog-eared expedition journals and laced with his legendary humour, each chapter is a stand-alone chronicle of a life of adventure; the excitement, escapades and characters met along the way, with beautifully detailed descriptions of Africa’s wildlife, wild places and fascinating tribes – and the downright scary moments when things go wrong, from a croc chomping the inflatable boat and attack by pirates, to child soldiers high on cocaine. 


With dramatic, full-colour images taken on each expedition, it’s a must-have for all adventurous souls and is arguably the most comprehensive African adventure book ever written.


Africa – a Love Affair with a Continent was launched in Cape Town on Madiba Day, 18 July 2018 as part of Kingsley’s next world-first Land Rover expedition (Cape Town to Kathmandu) and will be available by direct order from the Kingsley Holgate Foundation in August.


For more information go to



‘No-one I know has done more African miles in a Land Rover than Kingsley Holgate, which is why he has been able to unearth these incredible true tales from the beautiful continent.  This book will teach you more about Africa than Google or the Lonely Planet.’  Patrick Cruywagen, Land Rover Monthly UK


‘Life has lots of simple pleasures — the warm sun on your back or a cool sea breeze in your hair – or the fact that there are still larger-than-life characters around such as Kingsley Holgate.  To call him an explorer or humanitarian doesn’t do true justice to the man.  Kingsley is an absolute force of nature; he brings exuberance, energy, enthusiasm and undiluted vivacity to everything he does.

This new book is a collection of his expeditions and adventures that are unique to Africa. You will not find such wonderful tales of, and insights into, this magical land anywhere else.  You will be transported to a fireside under the megawatt stars of an African night with a maestro storyteller entrancing you with words so vivid that they are forever etched on your brain.  The extraordinary characters, the gripping anecdotes, the edge-of-seat adventures and the superb humanitarian work each expedition brings is a magnificent testimony to a richly-lived life, where being bored is an alien and unforgivable concept.’  Graham Spence, co-author of the best-seller The Elephant Whisperer



Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge Sunday 19 August - results

Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge

Pietermaritzburg: Sunday 19 August


Drama unfolded today (Sunday, 19 August) in the Maritzburg SPAR Women’s 10/5km Challenge as Irvette van Zyl running for Nedbank claimed victory in KZN’s capital in a time of 34.26.


Van Zyl, and a group of four elite athletes led from the onset, getting to the 4km mark looking fresh and energised. The tightly bunched pack parted ways nearing the Time Freight avenue, with Glenrose Xaba, Kesa Molotsane, Manorallo Tjoka and Neheng Khatala rounding the turning circle in Park Drive at the bottom of Princess Margaret.


Pioneering, van Zyl continued straight passing the circle and made her way through to the avenue in the Mayor’s Garden running solo. Having slowed down in the uncertainty of being left by the leading pack, van Zyl lost critical seconds deciding if her homework was in fact correct and her decision was the correct course.


Powering up the incline, van Zyl got back into stride, rounding back onto Park Drive, passing through the half way mark at 16.43. She was followed by Rudo Mhonderwa and Rutendo Nyahora who were neck-and-neck at the 5km mark, going through at 16.58.


Confusion ensued with the front runners between 4km and 5km, now consisting of four runners and Lebogang Phalula trailing just behind, with no sign of van Zyl and the lead bicycle. The crucial decision by the four of the five who followed the vehicles which were forced off the route as no vehicles are allowed through the avenue in the Mayor’s Garden. Van Zyl started to round the roundabout but remembered from the previous year, the route going through the park.


“We were told that the race was exactly the same from last year, and we received an sms yesterday about the water table being at the top of the park. So, I knew that we needed to go through the park. Three of us in the leading pack had done the race last year, so it wasn’t new to us. I knew the route, and I knew where I was going so I am happy that I stuck to my decision to go solo,” said a relieved van Zyl.


For Xaba and Molotsane, the Maritzburg race was a make or break race for them as going into the PMB race, the two athletes had a single point separating them in the Grand Prix.


“Five runners were disqualified for following the incorrect route.  At the conclusion of the race, objections were lodged, and a jury was convened. A unanimous decision was made and Irvette van Zyl is recognised for running the correct route, therefor she officially is the winner of the 2018 Maritzburg SPAR 10km race,” stated Race Director, Brad Glasspoole at the media briefing following the announcement.


The five runners disqualified are Glenrose Xaba, Kesa Molotsane, Manorallo Tjoka, Neheng Khatala and Legogang Phalula.


“It was quite a dramatic day for the top runners, but we are pleased that the policies and procedures in place were able to help resolve the results. I would like to thank the officials for their professional handling of this. Alongside all of this, we had 4,502 people out on the route who had a magnificent day in glorious weather,” said Max Oliva, MD for SPAR KZN.


The final race in the Grand Prix takes place in Johannesburg on 7 October, which promises to be an exciting conclusion to the elite race.


For more info visit or like the race’s Facebook page.


Female Senior

1 Irvette van Zyl 34.26, 2 Jenet Mbhele 34.47, 3 Rutendo Nyahora 34.56, 4 Portia Ngwenya 35.16, 5 Rudo Mhonderwa 35.38, 6 Patience Murowe 36.16, 7 Nobukhosi Tshuma 36.28, 8 Cornelia Joubert 36.37, 9 Cherise Sims 36.52, 10 Mokulubete Makatisi 36.59


Female Junior

1 Liza Kellerman 38.38, 2 Simangaliso Madlala 39.35, 3 Cherry Lee Schoeman 40.28


Female 35 – 39

1 Fikile Mbuthuma 37.59, 2 Cary-Ann Smith 43.53, 3 Nikki Kelbrick 58.52


Female 40 – 49

1 Ronel Thomas 40.23, 2 Elizabeth Dlhiwayo 40.57, 3 Janene Carey 41.52


Female 50 -59

1 Grace de Oliveira 44.45, 2 Xolisile Mwelase 48.11, 3 Gail Babich 48.40


Female 60 -69

1 Blanche Moila 49.11, 2 Jenny Taylor 51.29, 3 Sibongile Zakwe 01:00.35


Female 70+

1 Gill Tregenna 59.25, 2 Ivy Gertrude Lottering 01:20.51



Photographs by Rogan Ward 



39th Durban International Film Festival Awards

Media Release

39th Durban International Film Festival Awards


The 39th Durban International Film Festival held its awards ceremony last night (Saturday, 28 July) at Suncoast CineCentre on as filmmakers and film-lovers gathered to watch the official closing film Rafiki, directed by Wanuri Kahiu. 


A total of 17 awards were given out at the ceremony:

Best Feature Film: The Reports on Sarah and Saleem, directed by Muayad Alayan, and produced by Muayad Alayan, Rami Alayan, Hans de Wolf, Hanneke Niens, Rebekka Garrido, Rodrigo Iturralde, Georgina Gonzalez, and Alejandro Duran. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of R50 000.

Best South African Feature Film: High Fantasy, directed by Jenna Bass and produced by David Horler and Steven Markovitz. The film received a cash prize of R25 000.

Best Documentary: New Moon, produced and directed by Philippa Ndisi-Hermann. The film received a cash prize of R25 000.

Best South African Documentary: Sisters of the Wilderness, directed by Karin Slater  and produced by Ronit Shapiro. The award is accompanied by a cash prize of R25,000.

Best Direction: Constantin Popescu for Pororoca 

Best Cinematography: Liviu Marghidan for Pororoca

Best Screenplay: Jennifer Fox for The Tale

Best Actor: Bogdan Dumitrache for his role as Tudor in Pororoca, directed by Constantin Popescu 

Best Actress: Maisa Abd Elhadi for her role as Bisan in The Reports on Sarah and Saleem

Best Editing: Anne Fabini, Alex Hall and Gary Level for The Tale

Artistic Bravery: was won jointly by High Fantasy, directed by Jenna Bass and Supa Modo directed by  Likarion Wainaina.

Best South African Short Film: Stillborn, directed by Jahmil X. T. Qubeka and produced by Huanxi Media Group, Xstream Pictures, and Yellowbone Entertainment. The film received a cash prize of R20 000 sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission.

Best African Short Film: Aya, directed by Moufida Fedhila and produced by Appel d’Air Films. The film also received a cash prize of R20 000 sponsored by the Gauteng Film Commission.

Best Short Film: -The Patience of Water(La Paciencia Del Agua), directed by Guillem Almirall,. The film received a cash prize of R20 000 from the Gauteng Film Commission.

Audience Choice Award: The State Against Mandela and the Others, directed by Nicolas Champeaux and Gilles Porte, which received a cash prize of R25 000.

Amnesty International Durban Human Rights Award: Silas, directed by Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman and produced by Appian Way, Big World Cinema and Ink & Pepper Productions.

Best Wavescape Film: Heavy Water, directed by Michael Oblowitz


DIFF has recently been included as a Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival by the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, which means that both the winners of the Best Documentary, New Moon and Best SA Documentary Sisters of the Wilderness, will now automatically qualify for consideration for an Oscar nomination.


The Shorts jury included creative media education and development  specialist Alicia Price and Leon Van Der Merwe of the Cape Town International Film Market and Festival. The fiction feature jurors were SA Producer Bongiwe Selane, Nigerian actor  Hakeem Kae Kazim and Nigerian actress Nse Ikpe-Etim. The documentary film jury included South African producer Uzanenkosi, Zimbabwean producer Nakai Matema, Nigerian filmmaker Mahmood Ali-Balogun and and Berlin-based freelance filmmaker, writer and curator, Dorothee Wenner 


The festival continues until Sunday, 29 July,  at various venues around Durban.  DIFF 2018 is part of a month-long feast of film in Durban, including the BRICS Film festival and industry programmes, the Durban FilmMart, Isiphethu, Talents Durban, and the Nature Environment and Wildlife Film Congress. 

Winners of Best International Documentary and Best SA Documentary at DIFF now automatically qualify for Oscar Consideration

Media Release

Winners of Best International Documentary and Best SA Documentary at DIFF now automatically qualify for Oscar Consideration


Winners of Best International Documentary and Best SA Documentary at the Durban International Film Festival will now automatically qualify for Oscar consideration.


The festival has been notified by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of this inclusion, which effectively means that the winning documentaries will be up for consideration for the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.


This year, the Academy established a Documentary Feature Qualifying Festival List, and the DIFF is one of 28 selected international festivals that will be have their winners up for consideration. 


DIFF joins other prestigious festivals from around the globe including the Cannes International Film Festival, Berlinale International Film Festival, Sydney International Film Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Film Festival, and IDFA – the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam.


The only other qualifying African festival is the Carthage Festival in Tunisia.


“We are delighted with this international recognition, and we are especially pleased for the film-makers that will benefit from the recognition that they will receive as a result,” says Lliane Loots speaking on behalf of the University of KwaZulu-Natal's Centre for Creative Arts which hosts the fest . “The festival began 39 years ago as a means to expose South Africans to global stories, during the really dark days of Apartheid, where censorship and government policy, as well as hard-felt, yet very effective, cultural boycotts denied us access to international creative expression. It was also started as a means to offer cinema experiences in townships where people had very little access to “the media” at large. So from these humble beginnings, we are really grateful to the Academy for providing this opportunity for the filmmakers who have films in the festival.”



The Durban International Film Festival is currently running at various venues in Durban until July 29. Within the festival, over 850 filmmakers are in Durban for the business of film in the Durban Filmmart until Monday, July 23, the Wavescape Surf Film Festival at Ushaka until July 27  for free screenings. Then the BRICS Film Festival, takes place from July 23 to July 27 at The Playhouse.



Durban FilmMart – Enabler for Film Projects on the Continent

Caption to photo: DFM alumni project "Silas" screens July 23 at 20h00 - Gateway, July 28 at 20h00 - Musgrave

Durban, South Africa: The Durban FilmMart (DFM) is one of Africa’s premier film industry events. But it is far more than a glitzy annual showcase – while many of the items on the South African film industry calendar are all about celebrating the success of certain films and individuals, DFM is often the place where cinematic successes have their genesis. In fact, this four-day event, which takes place from 20 to 23 July 2018, is one of the most important cogs in the South African film industry, and fast becoming important to the continent as well, providing a space in which film projects can nurture, grow, and find the most appropriate production partners, funders and sales agents.

The Durban International Film Festival, in partnership with eThekwini Municipality’s Durban Film Office (DFO), the City’s film industry development arm under the Economic & Development cluster, has, for the last nine years, presented this important gathering for filmmakers from across the continent and beyond with the specific aim of growing the South African and African film industries. The market attracts a wide selection of film talents from all sectors of the industry and is globally renowned for providing an important springboard for African stories and ideas, collaborations, and investment in film projects.

As such, it is one of the key enablers in the South African film industry and has a significant impact on the economy of the creative sector, in the country and beyond. The success of DFM also points to the fact that government support is vital, both to grow the local industry and audiences, as well as providing a significant boost to films hoping to access the international market, thus exporting South African creativity in both financial and cultural terms.

The DFO aims to provide filmmakers support and advice and netowkring during DFM, and it is up to them to take advantage of the opportunities which the market offers. Speaking on behalf of the DFO, Toni Monty says, “As a government entity, we work on a highly professional level with filmmakers in order to ensure that we provide an environment which is enabling for them and which will prepare them for the international market. The FilmMart brings in over 500 experts, people, and organisations interested in potential film projects for further development. Here, they are able to meet film-makers from the continent and further afield. After that, it’s over to them to conclude their business independently.”


She continues: “We are very excited to see so many DFM alumni projects that have come to fruition and are doing very well on the local and international festival and cinema circuits. It is also very encouraging to see that many of these titles have clinched great distribution deals”. These include Rafiki, which is DIFF’s closing film this year, Inxeba: The Wound, and Five Fingers for Marseilles, as well as Silas, and Amal which are also screening at DIFF this year. Additionally, several titles from DFM alumni have also been submitted as their country’s nominations for the Academy Awards’ Foreign Language category. “This is exactly the strategy created by the DFO and DIFF nine years ago”, says Monty, “and it is extremely encouraging to see the long-term value it provides for the African film industry.”

A selection of DFM SUCCESS STORIES and REPORTS from Alumni

David Max Brown (Stage 5 Films)

Brown pitched Noem My Skollie at DFM in 2011 where it won the Videovision prize for most outstanding pitch. A deal was subsequently made with Mnet in 2013/14, with Ster Kinekor acting as the local distributor. With Mnet and Ster Kinekor onboard, the NFVF eventually followed suit along with the DTI. The film was shot 2015 and was released in September 2016. It was South Africa’s official selection for the foreign language Oscars in 2017 and won prizes at several major international film festivals. Skollie more than tripled Ster-Kinekor’s box office estimate for it, taking almost R4 million in 16 weeks on circuit, which, in South African terms, qualifies as highly successful for a serious drama that is more than two-and-a-half hours long.

Cait Pansegrouw & Elias Ribeiro (Urucu Media)

Urucu Media has had a stellar year, gathering attention from around the world for the award-winning Inxeba (The Wound) (DFM 2014). Directed by John Trengove, and produced by Urucu Media, the film had its SA Premiere at DIFF last year and its theatrical release earlier this year. Additionally, Inxeba wons 28 International awards and was screened at more than 50 festivals worldwide, as well as being South Africa’s submission for the Foreign Language Oscar. Most significantly, the film has been sold in over 40 territories. Impressively, Inxeba was not Urucu’s only country submission to the Academy Awards. The Train of Salt and Sugar (DFM 2014), directed by Licinio de Azevedo and co-produced by Urucu Media, was the official Oscar entry for Mozambique, and also won Best Film at last year’s Johannesburg International Film Festival. The film has also won 5 International awards and been screened at more than 20 festivals and sold to 10 territories. Abnormal Loads, from acclaimed South African writer Neil Coppen, is another Urucu project that was born at DFM. It is currently in development.


Steven Markowitz (Big World Cinema)

Big World Cinema have also been having a bumper year, with two Filmart projects from 2012 in the festival this year. Silas (originally Logs of War at the DFM) premiered at Toronto last year and was sold to Amazon, while Rafiki (Jambula Tree),  written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu, had the honour of receiving its premiere at Un Certain Regard in Cannes and has sold to 15 countries so far, including the USA.


Talal Al-Muhanna

Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc  (DFM 2014) is the second feature film from Egyptian filmmaker Iman Kamel. Co-produced with Kuwait-based Talal Al-Muhanna, the film also received a post-production prize at Carthage in Tunisia that awarded funds to the film for completion. Al-Muhanna also got acquainted with script consultant Miguel Machalski at DFM, later collaborating with Machalski on a feature film project from Iraq which is now in pre-production. Egyptian Jeanne d'Arc has travelled to all corners of the globe, premiering in competition in Dubai in 2016 and later making appearances in Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Oman, Sudan, Lebanon, Palestine, and Kazakhstan. It was also selected for the Panorama section of the Cairo International Film Festival in 2017, which provided a welcomg homecoming for a project that was born on the other end of the continent.


Sean Drummond and Michael Matthews (Be Phat Motel)

The African Western, Five Fingers for Marseilles (DFM2013), directed by Michael Matthews and produced by Sean Drummond, went into production in July 2016, and premiered at Toronto in September 2017, before going on to play Fantastic Fest in Austin, BFI London Film Festival, and Busan International Film Festival, with its festival run still continuing. The film recently received it New York premiere at the New York African Film Festival where it was very well received, while it had its South African premiere at Rapid Lion Film Festival in Johannesburg earlier this year. The film opened in SA cinemas in April, running for nine weeks. It was released in France in June and will release theatrically in the US in September, with upcoming releases scheduled for various European and Asian territories.

Sara Blecher

Director Sara Blecher’s Ayanda was first pitched at DFM in 2013 and completed in 2015, when it was the DIFF opening night film.  Ayanda went on to open four more festivals and garner awards at festivals around the world, as well as the SAFTA award for Best Actress. Blecher’s earlier film Otelo Burning was also a DFM project and was the opening night film at DIFF 2011. It was also screened at festivals around the world and received numerous awards


Samantha Nell and Bongiwe Selane

Miles from Nowhere, from writer-director Samantha Nell and Producer Bongiwe Selane, was selected for DFM in 2017 and is still in development. Thus far, the project has participated at Produire au Sud Workshop in Nantes, the Rotterdam Producer Lab, and La Fabrique Cinema Du Monde in Cannes. Nell and Selane have secured a French producer, MPM films (who are also the French producers of Rafiki). The project is currently being developed through EAVE (European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) and is scheduled for production in late 2019.

Luzuko Dilima

The South African-Kenyan coproduction Matigari was selected for DFM last year and is still in development, with a focus on financing in South Africa and abroad. Luzuko Dilima,  Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda and Fidelis Duker are producing and Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda will direct. Crimson Multimedia Limited has been attached as a theatrical Distributor, with VOD platforms across East and West Africa to follow. John Kani has committed to playing the lead, while Sello Maake Ka Ncube has also been confirmed.  Rosie Motene's Waka Agency is doing the rest of the casting in both countries, while Nelson Mandela University’s Department of Media and Communication is partnering with the project to train their students on video production, scriptwriting, photography, design, journalism, and public relations.

Nicole Schafer

Buddha in Africa (DFM 2011) is a feature-length documentary produced by KZN-based filmmaker, Nicole Schafer from Thinking Strings Media. The film received the IDFA Most Promising Documentary Award at the Durban Film Mart Doc Circle pitch in 2011. Filmed over several years, the film follows the intimate story of a boy growing up in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Malawi and the cultural challenges he faces between his African roots and Chinese upbringing. The film has subsequently been awarded funding from several international funds, including the Hot Docs Blue Ice Group Documentary fund and the Alter Cine Foundation in Canada, the IDFA Bertha Fund in the Netherlands, Chicken and Egg Pictures in New York, the South African National Film and Video Foundation, the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission, and has a license agreement with Afridocs. Buddha in Africa is aimed for release at the end of 2018.


Janet Van Eeden

Director Janet van Eeden’s A Short at the Big Time (DFM 2012) was first produced as a short film and was screened at DIFF in 2013 and at Cannes Short Film Metrage in 2014. The short also won the eThekwini Award for Best Cine in 2015. The feature version of A Shot at the Big Time is currently in production, with funding from the KZN Film Commission.  

Wael Sayed El Ahl

Kiss Me Not (The Story of a Kiss) (DFM 2014) produced by Wael Sayed El Ahl  and directed by Ahmed Amer was released last March in theatres across Egypt, with a limited release in the Gulf and Lebanon. The film has also screened at numerous festivals around the world, including Dubai, Shanghai, Aswan, Miami, the Middle East Now Festival in Firenze, and the Malmo Arab Film Festival.

Akosua Adoma Owusu

Akosua Adoma Owusu (DFM 2013) has been awarded a 2018 summer artist-in-residence with the Goethe-Institut in Salvador-Bahia, Brazil, to continue developing her forthcoming debut feature Black Sunshine which was pitched at DFM in 2013. Selected for DFM 2013, the project won Arte France’s Arte International Award and received the 2015 Tribeca All Access grant. Produced by Obibini Pictures LLC and directed by Akosua Adoma Owusu, the project was also selected for the 2012 edition of Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors co-production market.

The 9th Durban FilmMart takes place in Durban, at the Southern Sun Elangeni from 20- 23 July 2018, during the 39th edition of the Durban International Film Festival (19-29 July 2018).

For more information on the Durban FilmMart visit or for Durban International Film Festival


Durban producer project selected for CineFam- Africa at Durban FilmMart

Durban producer project selected for CineFam- Africa at Durban FilmMart

Durban film producer Jacintha de Nobrega, pictured here has had her TV comedy series project “Singled Out” selected for incubation at the Durban FilmMart this week in the CineFam- Africa sessions which is part of the Canadian-based CaribbeanTales Media programme that supports bold, original films and television series by women of colour worldwide.  

Jacintha is producer OF "Deep End" directed by Eubulus Timothy, which had its world premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on 20 July. Further screenings on July 24 at 6.30pm Garden Court Marine Parade and then on 28 July at 2pm at Suncoast.

Deep End will also have a free screening at the BRICS Film Festival at 13:00 on Monday, July 23.

Over 500 film-lovers and film-makers descend on the City for the Durban FilmMart, Africa’s premier  industry event at the Southern Sun Elangeni Hotel. The DFM, now in its ninth year, takes place during the Durban International Film Festival  (19 - 29 July) and is a joint programme with eThekwini’s Municipality’s Durban Film Office.   Other film-related events include the Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers Congress (NEWF) (which ended on Wednesday July 18) which aims to create a path to conservation through film. Then from 22 to 27 July, the 2018 BRICS Film Festival showcases five films from each of the member countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa at The Playhouse.

VIDA FLAMENCO Linda Vargas 35th Anniversary Gala Performance 11 – 15 July 2018

Media Release


Linda Vargas 35th Anniversary Gala Performance

11 – 15 July 2018


In celebration of an impressive 35 year legacy, the Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company promises to thrill audiences with a special gala season entitled Vida Flamenco (Life of Flamenco) at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre from 11 to 15 July 2018.


With their high level of performance innovation, creativity and professionalism the Company has built a loyal and extensive following of Spanish dance in South Africa – whilst developing a style and ethos that is unique to Durban, where all its performers have come from.


Vida Flamenco is a celebration of 35 years of creativity and brings together a wealth of dance, music and choreographic talent., Highlights from previous productions will be re-visited, and the Company are collaborating with the arts community in Durban and South Africa by including past musicians and singers who have performed with them. Former Linda Vargas Flamenco Dance Company members, who have subsequently established their own dance companies in Johannesburg and Cape Town, will also perform in the production - these include Flamenco del Sur and Teresa Morena Dance Company. 


Ramon Fernandez (son of Linda Vargas and Demi Fernandez, and member of the Company) who is currently making a name for himself dancing in Spain,  makes a welcome guest appearance with his powerfully inimitable style as part of the celebration. 


As the production looks back at its legacy it also finds a way to highlight the future and where the company is  going with the inclusion of performances by Linda Vargas’s youth excellence project Siyanda Flamenco,. This project comes out of groundbreaking teaching developments from several schools in KZN under the umbrella of STAMP Dance, which promotes inclusion and intercultural creativity in schools. 


Another highlight is the reworking of the much-acclaimed 2004 production of Desert Flowers featuring special guest appearance by the Flatfoot Dance Company, which will bring together a range of contemporary dancers and musicians in a work that particularly locates Flamenco dancing and rhythm within the South African context.  


This bumper season explores the diverse range of the Company’s repertoire both musically and stylistically with compelling music by guitarist Demi Fernandez, Neil Gonsalves, Martin Sigamoney and Bryan Stone, who provide the musical soul that infuses the entire performance. 


“I really cannot believe it has been 35 years since we first started performing in the University’s Lorca Festival at the Sneddon,” says Linda Vargas. “We have done so much, and worked with so many amazing artists over the years, we wanted to somehow showcase this diversity in this celebration. We are so deeply grateful to all the performers and crew who are involved, and also to the Embajada de España / Embassy of Spain for their support in staging this historic event. ”


Vida Flamenco: The Linda Vargas 35th Anniversary Gala Season runs at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the UKZN’s Howard College campus from 11 to 15 July 2018. 


Performances are on Wednesday to Saturday at 7pm with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30pm. Early bird ticket prices are R150 before 9 July (R130 students / pensioners) or R180 if booked from July 10. Block booking discount are R130 each for 10 or more tickets.  Seats in the last two rows for each performance are R130 (booked before  9 July) or R150 (if booked from July 10). 


Bookings are through Computicket.




9th Durban FilmMart announces Official Project Selection for 2018 edition

Media Release

9th Durban FilmMart announces Official Project Selection for 2018 edition


Durban, South Africa: A total of 16 fiction feature films and documentaries projects from Africa have been selected to pitch at this year’s Durban FilmMart (DFM), which takes place from 20 - 23 July 2018 during the 39th Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) (19 – 29 July).


A joint programme of the eThekwini Municipality’s film industry development unit, the Durban Film Office (DFO) and the DIFF, the Durban FilmMart aims to showcase and increase awareness of African cinema through stimulating film production on the continent by encouraging collaborations amongst African filmmakers.


“We are thrilled to announce the 2018 DFM Official Project selection,” says Toni Monty, Head of the Durban Film Office. “These sixteen projects were carefully picked from over 130 applications and will join the DFM team in Durban to partake in a two-day preparatory workshop, followed by two days of public pitching, round tables, and individual meetings, where they will face industry professionals (Broadcasters, funds, festivals and distribution and production company representatives) to negotiate support for their projects.”


The eight documentaries and eight feature fictions this year have been selected from Egypt, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Libya, Niger and South Africa representing a dynamic range of work-in-progress and collaborations between the various countries and nationalities.


“This year’s selection profiles an eclectic mix of stories from across Africa, bringing some new talents to the Durban FilmMart that we are excited to present to attending industry professionals,” says Monty. “We would like to congratulate all the selected projects on their success and thank all directors and producers who took the time to apply with their projects.”


Durban FilmMart 2018 Official Project Selection



Blood & Honey, (Egypt) - Producer: Mohamed Siam, Guillaume de Seille, Director: Mohamed Siam

Insila kashaka, (South Africa) - Producer: Sibongile Nene, Director: Brian Khawula, Sibongile Nene, Country

Nyanga / The Horn, (Zimbabwe) - Producer: Sue-Ellen Chitunya, Brett Michael Innes, Director: Brett Michael Innes

Snake, (South Africa) - Producer: Paul Egan, Stanford Gibson and Mustapha Hendricks, Director: Meg Rickards

Streams, (Tunisia) - Producer: Moufida Fedhila, Director: Mehdi Hmili

Of Virtue, (South Africa) - Producer: David Horler, Director: Imran Hamdulay

Plunderer, The, (Nigeria) Producer: Ikechukwu Omenaihe Director: Didi Cheeka

Porta-Retrato, (Mozambique) -  Producer: Aldino Languana, Osvaldo Lupini Bambamba, Director: Orlando Mabasso Jr.



At Dawn - Producer / Director: Adeyemi Michael

Cheese Girl, (South Africa) -  Producer: Batana Vundla, Marion Isaacs, Director: Milisuthando Bongela

Fitrah: To Be as God Created You, (South Africa) - Producer: Kelly Scott, Director: Richard Finn Gregory

How to Steal a Country (And win it back.), (South Africa) - Producer: Zivia Desai, Rehad Desai, Director: Mark Kaplan, Rehad Desai

Master's Plan, The, (Cape Verde) -  Producer: Hanne Phlypo, Director: Yuri Ceuninck

Mother City, (South Africa) - Producer: Pearlie Joubert, Miki Redelinguys, Director: Pearlie Joubert, Miki Redelinguys

Searching for Kikhia, (Libya) - Producer: Desert Power / Christina Carvalho, Director: Jihan Kikhia

Zinder, The Seeds of Violence, (Niger) - Producer: Clara Vuillermoz, Ousmane Samassekou, Director: Aicha Macky


Over and above the finance forum for these projects the DFM offers a robust programme of masterclasses, seminars, workshops, labs and networking opportunities for filmmakers to share knowledge and benchmark themselves and their work within a global and continental context.


Early bird discount for registration is open until 4 June 2018 and includes four day's access to the DFM Industry Programme, access to DFM producers lounge and DFM networking events, 10 tickets to Durban International Film Festival screenings and company information published in the industry manual. Normal registration closes on 13 July 2018.


For more information on the Durban FilmMart and to register as a delegate visit


Nolwazi Magwaza

Memeza Communications





Delegate registration opens for 9th Durban FilmMart – 20-23 July, 2018

Delegate registration opens for 9th Durban FilmMart – 20-23 July, 2018

Durban, South Africa: Early Bird delegate registration for Africa’s premier film finance and co-production market, the Durban FilmMart (DFM), is now open.


The DFM will take place from 20 to 23 July, forming an integral part of the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) which takes place from 19 to 29 July.


Now in its 9th edition, the DFM programme includes masterclasses, seminars, workshops, labs and networking opportunities for African and international filmmakers to collaborate, share knowledge and benchmark themselves and their work within a global and continental context.


Focus areas this year will include discussions and presentations on the evolution of digital distribution structures and development and finance trends shaping the industry. The programme will also explore the future of virtual reality filmmaking and emerging themes and genres.


As South Africa prepares to host the BRICS summit in 2018, the Durban FilmMart programme will take a look at co-production with the BRICS countries as well as the impacts of policy on filmmaking and creative expression. Other topics will include financing opportunities in the respective countries and the general state of film across the BRICS cluster.


The changing role of women in front and behind the camera will be challenged over the 4 days. This focus is fuelled by the global #MeToo campaign, but in SA begun with the creation almost two years ago of SWIFT – Sisters Working in Film and Television – now a formidable organisation making important changes in the industry.  As part of its important work of lobbying and advocacy for fair representation and equal access of women to the film industry, SWIFT will lead a critical, yet constructive discussion centered on systemic patriarchal systems that perpetuate inequality and the marginalisation of women.


A core component of the DFM is the finance forum in which 16 pre-selected projects from various countries will pitch in sessions with the intention of finding potential sponsors, funders or partners to aid the making of their films. Of these projects, 8 are documentaries and  8 are fiction features.


Two lab programmes are included in the DFM: Jumpstart, is a programme supported by Produire au Sud of Festival des 3 Continents, France for selected emerging filmmakers who will have an opportunity to hone their pitching skills. Cine-FAM-Africa, is an incubator programme led by CaribbeanTales Vice-President Nicole Brooks, aimed at South African women producers and African women producers living in South Africa with serialized television projects.


Early bird registration is open until 4 June 2018. Early bird fees are R1250  (ZAR) for the four day programme, which includes four day's access to the DFM Industry Programme, access to DFM producers lounge and DFM networking events, 10 tickets to Durban International Film Festival screenings and company information published in the industry manual. After 4 June fees are R1550 for the full programme while daily passes are R450 each (the daily pass does not include tickets to DIFF screenings or access into the opening and closing events).  All tickets exclude meals.


To register go to



Action in Autism

28 April is Autism Awareness Day: Pledge to be Silent

When two people send a message of any kind to each other with or without words, they are communicating. Autistic people all have something important to say, but they can’t always express themselves as well or as easily as people around them. Over 50 % of autistic people have severe difficulties with spoken language, and when people cannot express their basic needs or experiences to others, life can be extremely isolating and lonely.

To show acknowledgement and respect for such difference, Action in Autism invites the public to join them and thousands of non-verbal people by making a pledge to be non-verbal for two hours on Saturday 28 April at the Durban Botanical Gardens from 10am to 12 noon. Bring a picnic basket and relax in peaceful surrounds, using only signs, gestures, pointing, typing or drawing to communicate during this time.

"Speaking is not the only form of communication,” says Chairperson of Action in Autism, Liza Aziz, “We ask people to join us in honouring those who are different from you and experience their world.”

Anyone who would like to extend this awareness event to their workplace during the month of April to show acknowledgement and solidarity to people with autism can purchase stickers at R10 each and t-shirts at R100 from the Action in Autism office.

Action in Autism does not receive any funding from government and relies on sponsorship and the support of the community to continue its early intervention, support and advocacy work. Anyone wanting to contribute to the organization through cash, kind or through volunteering time, the organisation  would be most thankful. 

For more information about Action in Autism and the support to parents and families provided by the organisation, call 031 563 3039 or email

Josh Crickmay's Adventures

Follow Josh Crickmay's fabulous adventures in the African bushveld and beyond as he chases 10,000 treasures.


SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge - Durban South Regional

3 Schools Trust: Sunday 25 March

After an absolute humdinger of a final, Amanzimtoti High School sealed their fourth win in a duplicated 2017 performance in the Durban South Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge at the  3 Schools Trust Astro on Sunday 25 March.

Toti took on neighbouring school, Kuswag Hoërskool for a Toti derby with a fast-flowing final being played where they won the game 1-0 after a persistent attack from Toti resulted in the solitary goal.

It took Toti all of four minutes to knock in the goal that earned them victory. Toti's feisty Mvelo Mtombeni powered forward into the circle where Kuswag defender was penalised for getting the ball on the back of the stick. Toti had earned their first short corner. Kuswag's defense stood firm as Toti attempted to score. In the second short corner, the ball was knocked from left of the goals to the nearest player, then was quickly passed along the top of the circle. At the top of the circle the Toti ball hit a Kuswag foot, taking them to the third taking of the short corner. 

In a similar fashion, the ball moved in from the short corner, getting tapped along the top of the circle to Megan Powell standing firm mid circle, firing in a shot that Kuswag fumbled and were unable to prevent the goal. 

Thereafter a fired-up Kuswag dominated the possession, but were unable to capitalise. Nine attempts by Kuswag sadly didn't amount to an equalizer. Both the Captain and Vice-Captain for Kuswag played outstanding games, with both of them attacking the Toti defense.

Leading up to the finals, in an exact replication of last year's tournament, Toti met Kingsway in the first semi-finals where the scoreline was level on 1 all at full time. The semi went to a penalty shoot out where Kingsway stepped up first, missing the goals. Toti also missed their first attempt. Kingsway then took their second penalty attempt, missing that. Amani Xozwa broke through netting the first goal for Toti, taking the score to 0-1 to Toti going into the final round. 

Nontobeko Mazibuko leveled the score for Kingsway, managing to get the ball behind the hard-working Toti keeper, Alexia Kesaris. The final penalty had Mthombeni lining up to take it. Her first attempt was thwarted by tenacious Kingsway’s goalie, Teneze Tsouros who put her body on the line, stopping the shot. Tsouros then dived forward pushing the ball out of danger but was deemed to have used the back of her stick in the clearance, resulting in the final penalty being retaken. Mthombeni didn't make the same mistake twice and secured her team’s win.

Kuswag had an easier time advancing to the finals, meeting Werda. Captain for Kuswag Crizelda Delport scored the only goal in their semi-final, with the final score ending on 1-0 in favour of Kuswag. 

Dale Fibiger, coach of Kuswag, the host school said “It was an exciting tournament - it is always a good platform for the players to play lots of hockey and get their skills right. The coaches can use the opportunity to see where the players are best positioned too. The final match between ourselves and Amanzimtoti was exciting - it was played with good spirit and our girls were very positive and played as a team until the end."

Chris Clarke, coach for Amanzimtoti said “The first match of this tournament against Kuswag was our first game of the year. It was a very enjoyable event although it was hot all the teams stepped up their games, especially New Forest. This year the hockey was much harder. We started out well, and even though the girls got tired during the day, they managed to hold it together. It was an incredibly tough final against Kuswag, who dominated once we had scored our goal - but the girls managed to maintain their composure to make it to the final whistle."

Amanzimtoti High School is the fifth team to secure a spot at the SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge Grand Finals that will be held in July at St Mary's DSG. They join 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. 

Flatfoot Dance Company presents its 15th anniversary celebratory season of dance theatre

“things left unsaid”

21 – 25 March 2018

 In a remarkable feet of perseverance in the arts, Durban’s inimitable Flatfoot Dance Company celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2018 as one of South Africa leading contemporary dance companies.

With an international touring reputation for excellence and a host of national awards under its belt, Flatfoot’s arrival at this momentous 15th year mark is a testament to a dedicated team of dancers and administrators. Founder and Artistic Director, Lliane Loots says; “it feels amazing to suddenly wake up and look at the calendar and see that we have been doing this for 15 years. It has been the best 15 years of my life where I have interacted with literally thousands of dancers in our community dance development programmes in KZN, and in which I have had the privilege of working with the professional dancers in the company who have journey alongside me to give Flatfoot the reputation that is has.”

Celebrating this significant moment, Flatfoot is offering Durban audiences a full-length season (21 – 25 March @ Sneddon Theatre) of new dance theatre work that is sure to solidify its longevity for another 15 years. With a reputation of edgy, controversial, beautiful and intelligent dance, Flatfoot has titled its 15th anniversary season “things left unsaid”. Diving heart first into the zeitgeist of contemporary South African identity, this remarkable season offers two new dance works by Sifiso Khumalo and Lliane Loots. 

Sifiso Khumalo has worked with Flatfoot for 12 of the 15 years of its existence and steps up, for its 15th anniversary season, to take on a magnificent choreographic role in his work “Ndlelanhle” (meaning ‘go well on your journey’). Over the past 6 years Khumalo’s reputation as an innovative choreographer has been growing with him recently having been awarded a prestigious ‘JOMBA! On the Edge’ choreographic grant for 2017. His insightful and heartfelt attention to traditional Zulu cultural identity and how contemporary modern life has shifted how we think about ourselves, is once again given air in this new work of his.

Talking about the impulse for creating “Ndlelanhle”, Khumalo says, “Growing up in Zulu culture when you leave home for a certain journey the elders would give you a special prayer or blessing. I worry that these small things have been forgotten. These words and blessing matter so much; they are a reminder that we, as black urban Zulu men and women, still have ancestors guiding us. In“Ndlelanhle” I wanted to go back to these small blessing spoken to us as young adults leaving home and to look at how these words might affect who we become.”

Khumalo’s “Ndlelanhle” also launches the professional career of Flatfoot’s newest crop of male dancers. Siseko Duba, Ndumiso Dube, Qhawe Ndimande, Sbonga Ndlovu and Mthoko Mkhwanazi have all completed a 5 year professional development training programmer run by Flatfoot (and funded by the National Arts Council of South Africa) and step onto the stage with grace, skill and dedication that will simply take your breath away. Flatfoot Dance Company felt that this 15th anniversary was indeed the right moment to reveal and celebrate the incredible journey of these Newlands and KwaMashu based dancers.

The second half of the evening present Lliane Loots’s newest offering “things left unsaid” and is part of her on-going artistic dance journey into seeking truth and honesty in her dance making. In a collaborative process, Loots has worked with Jabu Siphika, Zinhle Nzama, Sifiso Khumalo and the five new dancers to painfully interrogate the ‘things we leave unsaid’ – be these words and feelings of love or moments of social injustice and terror. Loots’s reputation for politically edge work that wraps an iron fist in a velvet glove, is once again sedimented in this dance theatre work that will make you weep for the sheer delicate beauty of it, and then will have you spinning for what it reveals.

Loots says, “Like many of my recent works, “things left unsaid” returns to what fascinates me right now and this is quite basically an earnest plea for intimacy in spite of the violence of our world. I journey with the dancers into some pretty horrifying personal and political territory and am reminded that we are all still standing – and still dancing. In the end this is a triumph of the heart; the bigness of the South African heart.”

Loots has worked alongside long time collaborators, Wesley Maherry (lighting), Karen Logan for video installations, and spoken word poet Iain ‘ewok’ Robinson who has added insightful text to “things left unsaid”.

Catch Flatfoot Dance Company’s 15th anniversary season “things left unsaid” at the Sneddon Theatre from 21 – 25 March 2018. Tickets available through Computicket and range from R65 to R85. Opening night (21 March @ 7.30pm: Heritage Day) is the special 15th anniversary celebration launch of “things left unsaid” and tickets will be sold for R100 as part of a fundraising drive for the company. The evening will include a glass of sparkling wine after the show.

For more info email Lliane Loots

Interview with SA Indoor player, Robin Jones from Pietermaritzburg - SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge

PMB Central Regional: Saturday 10 March at PMB Girls’ High
PMB Northern Regional: Sunday 11 March at St Anne’s College
Interview with Robin Jones 

“Incredible, cold, fantastic! What an experience!”

This is how SA Indoor player, Robin Jones from Pietermaritzburg, described his recent experience in Berlin two weeks ago where he competed in the FIH Indoor World Championships.

“It was an eye opener being a part of a hockey culture that is so passionate, and so professional about their sport. My hockey career has allowed me a number of years’ experience in Europe, both competing and living there to grow my skills. But being part of the World Champs this February was something special!”

The defender who has donned the green and gold jersey a total of 70 times, 54 times for the outdoor team and 16 occasions for the indoor side and has travelled far and wide for the game he loves. Collecting passport stamps from Malaysia, Russia, Belgium, Germany, the UK and Argentina to name a few on the growing list of hockey playing countries he has visited.

Rating walking down the tunnel at the Commonwealth Games, the Student Games in Russia in 2013 and of course his international debut against Japan in Argentina as three of his proudest moments in his life.

In the fifth Indoor World Cup, Jones and his team finished eleventh overall. In their pool they faced Austria, Belgium, Iran, Switzerland and Russia, ending their efforts at the bottom of the pool where they took on Kazakhstan in a thrilling playoff for eleventh and twelfth. The score at the final whistle was 6-1 to team RSA.

“We learnt a lot as a team at this tournament, but I would say that two positives for us that we walked away with, netting goals against hockey giants, Austria and Belgium. We managed three goals against World Indoor champions, Austria, and then two against the major hockey playing nation of Belgium. We scored 13 goals in total in our six games and conceded 29 and are looking forward to our next international outing!”

For now, the local hockey star is putting away his playing kit to take up the role of coach for the first team at St Anne’s Diocesan College. “I am really looking forward to this role. The shoes I am filling are big, but I am up for the challenge, replacing Carlos Pereira. It is my opportunity to give back to the sport that has allowed me so much!”

Asked who he most admires, he quickly states, “Roger Federer! Just everything about him is awe-inspiring. His talent, and his morals just make him an easy role model to admire!”

“If I can make just a small impact similar to what some of my coaches have had on me; to instil a passion for sports, then I will be grateful and eternally happy! The camaraderie you get from being part of a hockey family, on top of that the skills and tactics you learn are something special. And I hope to be able to open a few of my players eyes to these possibilities.”

First up for Coach Jones is the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge that they will host in two weeks. “We have a brilliant record in this tournament with six out of seven wins for our region in the history of this popular tournament. Following that we have the St Mary’s tournament in April in Johannaesburg, so an exciting start to my career with the first team at Saints.”

Jones has been a part of the school for a handful of years, coaching the U16s in 2013 and then the second team for outdoor and the first indoor team in previous years. He also recently took on a permanent position on the St Anne’s staff, in the Life Orientation department, concentrating more on the Phys. Ed. side of the subject. Hockey being his first passion, he dabbled in cricket at school, loves to run circles on a squash court, and knocking a golf ball around when he can. And he truly enjoys finding himself on trails, running. “Being outdoors is food for the soul and I strive to encourage all my students to get off their devices and fall in love with the great outdoors.”

He grew up in East London, matriculating from Selbourne a handful of years ago and moved to Pietermaritzburg in March 2013 with his long-time girlfriend, Nadia.

“I am loving the quality of life in Pietermaritzburg, being a part of a phenomenal school that hopefully I can grow with, and I don’t plan on changing anything in the immediate future! I can say that I am really happy with how everything is going right now.”

Next on his hockey playing agenda, the all-rounder will be joining his team mates from around the country for a National Training Camp for outdoor.


SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge Interview with Charllene Boshoff by Sophie Thompson

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge
Pietermaritzburg Central Regional
Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School: Saturday 10 March
Interview with Charllene Boshoff by Sophie Thompson

Meet Charllene Boshoff, a go-getter of note. This budding pupil is traversing determinedly towards a bright future that she, herself is carving.

“Do what you love, and if you love what you do you will be successful!”

This is the wunderkind’s motto. Boshoff is a sporting star from St John's DSG and will be lining up for the first hockey team, defending their title in the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge next weekend in the #Pietermartizburg Central Regional.

“This will be my second SPAR tournament and we are hoping to do well again this year, but we will see what transpires on the day!”

It is still early days in the hockey season, with the outdoor team having only just been announced. Boshoff will be sharing the role of Co-Captain with fellow team mate Christin Stubbs. “It is going to be an exciting year, we have had two trainings so far and it is a good group of girls. Our team is very young with a number of newbies, but we are focusing on building their confidence, letting their talent shine.”

Once the SPAR tournament is wrapped up, Boshoff will be packing her bags, and together with her folks, heading across to the states to follow up on a number of varsity bursary applications. “I have been in touch with a few of the top varsities in the New York area that focus on field hockey, sending them video clips of my progress and skills. A couple of them have shown interest so I am going across to catch their attention, to put my hand up and say pick me.”

“From an early age, it has been a dream of mine to get to experience life in America, you can call it a fascination. But I would also love to get to experience playing hockey in Holland after my studies. But for now, my focus is on school, prioritising my studies and gearing up for varsity in the States. Matric has been quite hectic, an exciting challenge and I look forward to applying myself to the best of my capabilities.”

Her hockey coach, Lyndal Binks Robertson shared, “It is quite an amazing story of how this young athlete has pushed herself to be better, and has improved her technical and tactical game over the last couple of months. She transformed from being an average KZN Inland U16/B player two years ago to one of the top players in the KZN Inland U18/A team last year. She, I believe, is going to be one of the most dangerous players in the league!”

Continuing, Robertson said, “The other thing I find amazing is how she, by herself, got hold of a recruitment agency in the States and has been sending them drills and videos over the last year. She has had numerous interviews with various varsities over Skype already.”

Concluding, her coach enthused, “This chick wears me out... Her positivity, her never say die attitude is something to be commended. She can run, she is strong, she can OVERHEAD far! She just doesn’t know how to slow down, she truly is fantastic and has such a positive future ahead!”

The level headed student participates in an array of sporting disciplines, hockey being her first love, waterpolo her second where she made the KZN Midlands team. She swims for the school, competing in free and breaststrokes and to keep her fitness up for hockey, she dabbles in cross country for fun.

“I also play in the school basketball team, in post position. And I am part of the indoor hockey team, as well. Sport is a big part of my life, coming from an active background with both my folks being quite competitive, my Dad was a middle distance runner, loving cross country and my Mom had a flare for the unusual preferring water skiing, with a bit of a dare devil streak performing tricks on her skis.”

“My younger brother who is in grade 9 at St Charles used to take part in rugby but prefers cricket, he really is quite brilliant at!”

“The friendships built through sports are lifelong, the bonds strong. I would say one of the main lesson I have learnt from sport is communication is key. Good communication on and off the field is key and can make a huge difference to most outcomes.

The Montrose resident has a colourful home life, sharing her life with four dogs, two cats, a pond full of koi and a number of reptiles that are part of her brother’s collection.

Paving her way to an incredibly exciting life, this youngster will be waving the Pietermaritzburg flag proudly as she prepares to take on the world with her passion, hockey.

Photos by Jonathan Burton Jonathan Burton - Photographer

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge Northern KZN Regional: Glencoe – 24 February 2018

Media Release

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

Northern KZN Regional: Glencoe – 24 February 2018


Sarel Cilliers High School in Glencoe, Northern KZN, plays host to the first of the ten regionals of the 2018 SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on Saturday, February 24.


Ten schools from the Northern KZN region will be participating in the eighth annual hockey challenge, considered one of the top schools’ sporting events in the province. 


Defending champs and six-times winners Ferrum High from Newcastle, will be out in full force to retain their title in this heavily contested regional.  


Schools that will be trying to release Ferrum’s stronghold, include one-time winners Sarel Cilliers (Glencoe, Umzinyathi), Newcastle High School,  St Dominics also from Newcastle; Utrecht High School, Dundee High School, Vryheid High School, Pionier High School (Vryheid) and Pongola Akademie. Returning to the tournament after a number of years is Vryheid Landbou.


Two pools of five teams each will play twenty-five minutes games on two fields. Ferrum, Dundee, St Dominics, Vryheid feature in Pool A, with Utrecht, Newcastle, Pionier, Vryheid Landbou and Sarel Cilliers in Pool B. Winners of the pools will advance to a semi-final format, culminating in a twenty-minute finals to determine the overall regional winner.


Interest in this tournament, piloted in KwaZulu-Natal, has extended to four other provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng with a total of 28 regionals tournaments played across the country.


“There is a fantastic growing interest in hockey and especially these tournaments,” says Les Galloway, Tournament Director, “We have aimed this at young women in high school, and have made the event fun and festive with good hockey, team spirit and sporting friendliness being a key drivers.”


Along with supporting the development of the players, the tournament also aims to grow new umpires. Each school brings their best umpire to represent them on the day to gain experience. Some of these umpires are then invited to participate at the Grand Finals, giving them further opportunity to hone their skills.


Winners of the Northern KZN Regional will participate in the Grand Finals of the SPAR KZN School Girls Hockey Challenge that takes place at St Mary’s DSG in Durban on 21 and 22 July.


For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page.