Jade leads TWC out on home turf as they play host to the PMB North Regionals

Meet Jade Brandis, Captain of The Wykeham Collegiate first X1 hockey team.


Thirteen top Pietermaritzburg hockey teams will battle it out for two regional titles in the 9th SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Tournament on Sunday 3 March. The Wykeham Collegiate will host the northern regionals and St John’s D.S.G the central regionals.


The Wykeham Collegiate Host PMB North Regionals DSC_8711.jpg

Jade Brandis, the Wykeham Collegiate’s first team hockey captain, is excited about the team’s upcoming challenge.  The team once held the title in 2012, but were ousted by St. Anne’s the following year, with Saints having dominated this regional.  “But at the end of the day it is all about hockey, how we play and the learnings we take from these tournaments,” she says. “The SPAR tournament is one of our year highlights and is always an enjoyable and exciting event”


Jade is something of a “mean sporting machine”, besides a love for outdoor hockey she also is captain of the first indoor hockey team, and has played provincially for KZN’s U12, U13 and U16 hockey teams, while also finding gaps in her busy diary to cycle and play tennis.


Equally at home in the classroom and on the sports field, Jade has colours for both academics and hockey, and cites completing the gruelling Fish River Canoe Marathon in 2016 and three Midmar Miles as some of her sporting highlights.

Jade enjoys the many leadership roles she plays at school. With two hockey captaincies she is also Head of House, was Head of the Junior Hall, and is Head of the School’s Chamber of Commerce.


Hailing from the farming community of Underberg, Jade says she began playing hockey in Grade one at the local primary school there, and she says that the thing she most enjoys about hockey is “the energy, encouragement and passion within our team.” 


Going out onto the field, is not always about the win she believes, with some wise words coming from her coaches. “They inspire us to be humble in our victories, and find the good in our losses, but in any event many lessons will be learnt during the matches.”


The gutsy twelfth grader, says that her favourite subject is Consumer Studies, as she loves to learn about health and nutrition and then implementing that into great meals. “I am hoping to study Consumer Science when I leave school, and then use that to travel and work.”


When she is not playing one of the myriad sports or pushing ahead with academic commitments, Jade loves to cook, bake, play her guitar, cycle, hike and runs with her dogs.


It seems though the sporting success runs in her family’s veins with her father, Brian, cycling competitively and her sister, Samantha, playing U14 provincial hockey as well as being on the provincial equestrian team.


Jade says that celebrated tennis player Rodger Federer is her all time sporting role model as “I have witnessed his amazingly good sportsmanship from a very young age.”


Heading for the PMB North Regionals, win or lose, Jade shares the words she lives by: “Everything happens for a reason” and “It’s all about confidence.”


The Pietermaritzburg North Regionals, which features TWC, St Anne’s College Voortrekker High, Grace College, Howick High and Treverton, takes place on Sunday 3 March at The Wykeham Collegiate. Fixtures will be published on the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Facebook page.



Caption to photo by Jonathan Burton:

TWC’s 1st Hockey X1 Captain Jade Brandis gets ready for the PMB northern regionals of the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, hosted by her school on March 3.


Kelsey aims to gently “shake the world”

Kelsey aims to gently “shake the world”

First up in the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge this year is a derby day of hockey on Sunday 3 March, with St John’s D.S.G. hosting the Pietermaritzburg Central Regionals and The Wykeham Collegiate, the PMB Northern Regionals. We chatted to captain of host school St John’s, Kelsey Paige Dellar, a Grade 12 learner who is passionate about life, learning, sport, and in particular hockey.

Leading the team out onto the field for the ninth SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, determined midfielder, Kelsey Dellar, will be focused on winning back the regional title which they held in 2017, and lost to Epworth in 2018. “I think one of my best memories of playing the SPAR tournament was in the final against Epworth in 2017. We won and I remember our whole team huddling together and celebrating. It was one of my favourite hockey moments and we all bonded as a family.”

The feisty Deputy Head Girl, not only has excelled in academics with honours, but has proved herself a worthy competitor in a number of sporting codes with colours for hockey and half-colours for soccer, as well as first team awards for indoor and field hockey, swimming, water polo, soccer and cross-country.  Her provincial accolades include playing for hockey for KZN U18B, U16B as well as KZN U16 inland soccer. 

Kelsey began her hockey career in Grade four at Pelham Senior Primary School, and says that she most enjoys playing the game because it gives her the “opportunity to be a part of a team and to be completely selfless.”   

The sport, she says, has also given her opportunities to learn some  important life lessons.  “I started off my hockey career by making the U10D team in Grade four,” she laughs. “I thought that I had no potential and I was absolutely terrified of being hit by a hard, round, white ball. The thing that kept me in the game was my friends. They encouraged me to make a higher team to be with them. Eventually, I moved up to B team the next year and finally made first team in Grade six. If it wasn’t for the motivation of my coaches, family and friends; I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

The hockey bug caught her at a young age and has continued throughout her high school career.  “Hockey continues to give such fantastic life lessons,” she says. “Our coach Lyndal Robertson (aka Binks) once said to me that I must never ask a parent or coach where I went wrong, but ask myself the same question. That’s when I was able to flourish as an individual player and not base my performance on other people’s opinions.”

She cites former St John’s captain Charllene Boshoff who matriculated in 2018, as one of her top role models. “Charllene is currently playing hockey in America but played with me last year for the first team.  She constantly inspires me to give of my best and I admire all the hard work and dedication which she puts into hockey. She is definitely a player whom I look up to and one of my closest friends.”

Off the hockey and soccer fields, and out of the pool, Kelsy also enjoys going for runs, doing yoga and reading as well as creating art. 

Clearly one up for a challenge, she says that her favourite subject is Maths as “I love the feeling of solving a problem and the ability to formulate an answer from a tricky equation.” 

And while she is not 100% sure of what she wants to study yet, she is interested in the finance and business world and will probably go on study a BCom degree when she leaves school.

The fun-loving and quietly spoken sports-lover says she aspires to live by the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”  

The Pietermaritzburg Central Regionals take place on Sunday, 3 March at St John’s D.S.G. Fixtures will be published on the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Facebook page. 


Caption to photo by Jonathan Burton:

St John’s 1st Hockey X1 Captain Kelsey Dellar looks forward to the PMB Central regionals of the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, hosted by her school on March 3.

Meet Georgina Baker – Captain of St Anne’s - defending champs of the PMB North Regionals of the SPAR Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge

Meet Georgina Baker – Captain of St Anne’s - defending champs of the PMB North Regionals of the SPAR Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge


Next Sunday (March 3) 13 Pietermaritzburg hockey teams take to the astroturf in two regional titles in the 9th SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge. 


PMB North Regional champs, St Anne’s DSG will be setting their sights on retaining their title as they battle it out with five other teams at host school The Wykeham Collegiate. Down in the valley the PMB Central Regionals will be hosted by St John’s D.S.G as defending champs, Epworth attempt to hold onto their regional title.


Captain of St Anne’s first hockey X1 Georgina Baker, is eager to lead her team out onto the field as they battle it out with TWC, Grace College, Treverton, Voortrekker and Howick High to retain their regional crown.


The 17 year old Grade 12 learner, has a true passion for sport, holding the prestigious title of “Sportswoman of the Year” at St Anne’s in 2017. Besides a love for outdoor hockey, Georgina also plays indoor hockey, squash and soccer. She currently plays for the KZN U18A hockey team and was also selected for the KZN U18B squash squad but unfortunately was unable to go on tour.


Hailing from the historic midlands town of Nottingham Road, the gutsy centre back started playing hockey in Grade 1 at Clifton Nottingham Road, and says she loves playing hockey as it is a team sport, and she enjoys that team atmosphere of hockey. “But I also enjoy the healthy competition on the pitch,” she laughs.  


Georgina, who is quite at home playing sport or in the classroom, has colours for hockey, squash and academics. She hopes to study business science or occupational therapy when she leaves school, preferably at UCT. “My favourite subject is life science, because I find learning about the human body and evolution, as well as the environment very interesting,” she says.


With the adrenaline pumping as she shoots for goal, or whacks a squash ball, Georgina finds time to quieten down by playing the piano as she says “it takes my mind off things.”


Georgina’s three other siblings all enjoy sport, and she is particularly proud of her brother Murray who played provincial squash, hockey and cricket last year.


She cites Roger Federer as her sporting role model. “I look up to the way he conducts himself both on and off the court,” she says. “He is always humble and grateful in both his wins and defeats, and is always respectful of his opponent.  That is something to truly aspire to.”


In the competitive world of sport, Georgina says that the best bit of inspirational advice she has received from her coach is “Never be complacent and to practice like you play.”


No wonder then, that she lives by the words of her father, "it's all about the mind". 


The Pietermaritzburg North Regionals take place on Sunday 3 March at The Wykeham Collegiate.


For more info, visit the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Facebook page.




SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge - Durban North Regional 9 March 2019

SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge

Durban North Regional

Crawford La Lucia: Saturday 9 March


The third regional in the 2019 SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge gets rolling on Saturday 9 March at Crawford La Lucia.


Eight teams will gather at this year’s regional, taking to the pitch to participate in 20 minute one way running time with the teams being split up into two pools. A win will earn the team 4 points, a draw with goals 2 points and a goalless draw 1 point and a loss zero points. The cross-pool playoffs are also 20 minutes in duration, starting just before lunchtime.


Leading Pool A, defending champs Our Lady of Fatima hope to retain their regional title. Joining them are Ashton International College, Northlands Girls’ High and Durban North College. Heading up Pool B are hosts Crawford La Lucia with Danville Park Girls’ High, Crawford North Coast and Reddam House uMhlanga. 


Three teams have previously progressed to the Grand Finals representing the Durban North Regional: Fatima have made three appearances, placing fifth in three grand finals, namely in the inaugural year 2011, and then the last two consecutive years. Similar to Fatima, Ashton have also represented the region three times in the years 2013, 2015 and 2016, with their final positions at the Grand Finals being 6th, 7th and 9th while Danville have made it all the way twice in 2012 and 2014 finishing with a 6th and a 9th.


The first team on the turf are the defending champs, Fatima vs Northlands at 07.30 followed by a Crawford derby with hosts La Lucia taking on their North Coast campus.


Head Coach for Our Lady of Fatima, Jacinta Jubb enthused, “This year our team has a fantastic mix of youthful and experienced players. This powerful mix, I'm sure, will be the changing factor for our team. We have been building as a team for 2 years now, and fine-tuning our technical abilities while developing our structural understanding. The Fatima girls always play with such heart, and I feel this year all our hard work will pay off.”


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



 Photo: Rogan Ward:

Keeping their eyes on the ball, captains Megan Coreejes (Our Lady of Fatima – defending champions) and Rachel Wilkinson (Crawford La Lucia – host school) are pictured ahead of the Durban North Regional of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge.

Summer Rutherford : Epworth Vice-Captain - Defending champs of PMB Centrals of the SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge

Meet Summer Rutherford : Epworth Vice-Captain


This Sunday (March 3) sees 13 top Pietermaritzburg hockey teams take to the astro in two of the local regionals of the 9th SPAR KZN Schoolgirls’ Hockey Challenge. The PMB North Regionals will take place at The Wykeham Collegiate and the Centrals take place at St John’s D.S.G.


Summer Rutherford, Vice-Captain of Epworth, the Centrals defending champs, has high hopes for the team as they compete against St John’s D.S.G., Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School, Russell High, Alexandra High, Maritzburg Christian School and Carter High in a day of fun festive, and healthily competitive hockey.


With her eyes set on becoming a sport psychologist, Summer (17), who plays defense, is somewhat of a sports fanatic. Besides holding the honour of being the 2019 Head of Sport at Epworth, she is also in the first teams for indoor hockey, basketball, soccer and water polo – and still finds time to run cross-country. Summer is in the Provincial Midlands Water Polo Team, has half colours for water polo, and has received captains’ awards at school for soccer and water polo. 


The energetic young team player has enjoyed sport for as long as she can remember, having started her hockey career back in Grade one at primary school.  Little wonder she holds one piece of inspirational advice given to her to “play for the little girl inside of you, that fell in love with the game.”


It’s the sense of belonging and working together that truly attracts Summer to hockey. “I love the camaraderie and team spirit that exists in the game of hockey,” she says.


Citing art as her favourite subject, Summer says she loves the “unconventional way of thinking and working” it provokes, qualities she no doubt will use in good stead as she studies sports science at either Stellenbosch or Tukkies when she leaves school.


Away from school sports and academics, Summer, who lives on the North Coast, loves surfing, longboarding and running.


Coming from sporty family – mum Cindy cycles competitively and dad  Quinton is involved in canoeing and surf skiing, Summer says one of her sporting heroes is current SA Field Hockey player, Jethro Eustice because “he is a talented sportsman both in field and indoor hockey yet remains so humble about it”.


Summer played in last year’s Grand Finals at St Mary’s DSG, and remembers well the feeling of winning over the then-current champs St John’s D.S.G. “When we won against them in the regional final, our team all ran to give our fantastic goal-keeper Catia Cocciante a group hug. It was a great feeling ”

 For more information follow on Instagram or Facebook.


Photo: Summer Rutherford, Vice-Captain of Epworth, in action at last year’s PMB North Regionals of the SPAR School Girls’ Hockey Challenge.



Pietermaritzburg Central and Northern Regionals St John’s D.S.G. and The Wykeham Collegiate: Sunday 3 March

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

Pietermaritzburg Central and Northern Regionals

St John’s D.S.G. and The Wykeham Collegiate: Sunday 3 March


Firing up the 2019 SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, the first two regionals tip off in Pietermaritzburg on Sunday 3 March.


Host for the Pietermaritzburg Central Regional is St John’s D.S.G. while up the road, The Wykeham Collegiate will play host to the Pietermaritzburg Northern Regional. The central games get under way at 07.30am and half an hour later for the northern regional. The top two teams for both regionals will duel it out for their regional final at 01.25pm at The Wykeham Collegiate, and at 02.50pm at St John’s D.S.G. The prize givings will follow the finals for each regional.


Central hosts, St John’s are one times winners having advanced to the Grand Finals in 2017, they take on defending champs Epworth School together with six times victrix, Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School. Also part of the central regional are Russell High, Alexandra High, Maritzburg Christian School and Carter High.


Wykeham have also earned the regional title once in the second tournament in 2012. St Anne’s College have dominated the area winning the regional crown seven times. Hoping to topple Saint’s domination are schools from Voortrekker High, Grace College, Howick High and Treverton and of course host The Wykeham Collegiate.


Both regionals will be using the round robin format with a win earning them 4 points, a draw with goals 2 points, a goalless draw 1 point and a loss zero points. The match duration will last 20 minutes rolling time.


Following the first two Pietermaritzburg regionals, the tournament then travels to Durban for the Durban North and Durban Central Regionals taking place the weekend after. Once all the regionals have concluded, the regional finalists converge on the Grand Finals which takes place on 20 and 21 July at St Mary’s D.S.G.



SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge 2019 Regional Tournament Dates Announced

SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge

2019 Regional Tournament Dates Announced


The dates for the ninth SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge have been announced with the ten regionals taking place around KZN.


The year gets underway a week later than previous years with the usual Northern KZN regional nestling in midway on the 2019 calendar.


A bumper March has four tournaments taking place back to back over two weekends. Kicking off the year is the Pietermaritzburg Regionals. The Central and Northern Regionals of Pietermaritzburg will be played on Sunday 3 March hosted by one-time winners, St John’s D.S.G. and The Wykeham Collegiate. Saturday 9 March sees the Durban North Regional taking place at Crawford La Lucia. Durban Girls High School hosts the Durban Central Regional at 3 Schools Trust on Sunday 10 March.


The fifth regional tips off the first of two tournaments taking place in April. On Sunday 7 April, Amanzimtoti will see the teams for the Durban South Regional at 3 Schools Trust. Heading further south, the challenge moves down to Port Shepstone for the Sisonke and Ugu Southern KZN Regional tournament on Saturday 13 April at host school, Creston College.


The final four tournaments all take place in May, the action moves inland to Newcastle’s St Dominic’s for the Northern KZN Regional on Saturday 4 May. Remaining inland for the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional on Saturday 11 May defending champs, Greytown High School host. Unfolding the next day, the Highway Regional will take place at Thomas More College. Wrapping up the regionals, Grantleigh will host the Northern KZN Coastal Regional on Sunday 19 May.


Once all the winners are revealed at the ten regionals, the ten regional representatives converge at St Mary’s DSG two months later for the Grand Finals. The riveting Grand Finals gets underway on Saturday 20 and continues on Sunday 21 July where the ninth victorious team will be crowned.


For more info on the tournament life the Facebook page or follow on Instagram.

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

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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

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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.