Josh's Big Year - Book Launch in Cape Town - May 24.

Media Release


From a broken, suicidal, autistic teenager, who dropped out of school at 15, to a passionate young adventurer, comes a remarkable 300-page self-published coffee table book, Josh’s Big Year which will be launched in Cape Town on 24 May. Josh Crickmay's publishing debut is a celebration of courage and triumph of the human spirit.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The book can be purchased online at






SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge - North Coast Regionals - Grantleigh College, Richards Bay

May 19

The final regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge takes place at Grantleigh College in Richard’s Bay this Saturday, May 19.

Hosts and three times winners, Grantleigh College will be keen to hold onto their title. The defending champs have been crowned regional winners in 2011, 2016 and 2017 and are hoping to equal Empangeni High School’s four regional titles, with EHS having dominated the area between 2012 and 2015. 

In the 2017 regional, Felixton College looked impressive, almost toppling Grantleigh in the gold / silver game. 

In total, seven teams will be vying for the title in this highly contested region, in the hope of getting a chance to progress to the Grand Finals that takes place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof on 21 and 22 July. 

The tournament takes the form of a round robin with games being 20 minutes one way. The top two scoring teams will then meet in a final match of the day. Schools participating in this last regional of the series are Felixton College, Eshowe High School, John Ross College,  Grantleigh College, St Catherine’s School, Empangeni High School and Mandini Academy.

The winners of this regional will be the last team added to the mix for the Grand Finals that take place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof, Durban on July 21 and 22. The other nine teams are Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN); newcomers Epworth School (PMB Central Regional); St Anne’s DSG (PMB Northern Regional); Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central Regional); Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional); King Edward High School (Southern KZN Regional), St Mary’s DSG (Highway Regional), and Greytown High School (Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional).

For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page.

SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge - Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional

Wartburg Kirchdorf School: Saturday 12 May


The surprise package of the day, Greytown High School dethroned the defending champs, Wartburg Kirchdorf School playing at home in the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional  of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on Saturday 12 May. 


The hosts, who have won the title five consecutive times, were not given any time to settle in the final, with Gretytown taking control of the game from the get-go, not allowing Wartburg to get into their methodical German stride. 


Greytown found two early opportunities in Wartburg’s circle but the ambitious shots didn’t trouble Wartburg’s keeper, Kholeka Mkhize. Mid-way through the first half, Wartburg managed to find a bit of space, with a long pass from near the half way line being miraculously stopped by a stretching Loren Engelbrecht in the Greytown circle. The forward controlled the ball but was met by a determined goalkeeper, Shayna Hattingh who valiantly left her line and didn’t allow Engelbrecht any angles to get a shot off, stifling her attempt. 


Slowly Wartburg managed to find a few spaces, earning themselves three short corners and one long corner to Greytown’s single short corner. Both teams defended successfully, not allowing any balls into the back of the net. 

Talented Elona Engelbrecht, cousin to Loren, had a go at the goals, firing in a marvellous attempt that went just right of the post. The first half ended with no other fireworks happening, the scores level on nil nil. 


Six minutes into the second half, an indecisive call by the umpire caught Wartburg wrong-footed, thinking they had earned a free hit just outside their circle, but the umpire changed his call. Greytown pounced on the opportunity, as Wartburg proceeded to push their players up, an alert Greytown player quickly took off, passing the ball into the centre of the circle, where Bandile Masikane was lurking, and quickly slapped the ball in to earn her team the all important advantage. 


The game ping-ponged between the two goals, with Wartburg trying desperately to level the score line but Greytown holding strong and pushing the game back up to Wartburg’s defence. Feisty Sphisihle Kubheka from Greytown ignited her troops from midfield, whenever she got possession, she created some fabulous plays for her team.


Statistically, Wartburg ended the round robin looking the strongest on 13points scoring three wins and one draw, with Greytown and Wembley vying for the spot in the finals. Greytown notched up two wins and two draws whilst Wembley managed two wins to end two points behind Greytown on 8 points. In the first game, Greytown showed a glimpse of what was to come, holding five times champions, Wartburg to a nil nil draw. 


For the second year running, young Kevin Engelbrecht, a relative of the Engelbrecht girls, was acknowledged as the Most Promising Umpire for this regional.


Coach for Wartburg Kirchdorf School, Lisa Misselhorn said, “We knew Greytown would be strong but our game in the finals was well matched, with our team giving it their all. We are happy for the winning team, and I am very proud of Wartburg.”


Sara Wheeler coach for Greytown said “It is an extraordinary feeling for the team. We have always just missed out getting to the finals, and to get our shot this year is an amazing opportunity for us, especially against all these fantastic teams. Big thanks to the organisers.”


Greytown has earned the penultimate berth in the Grand Finals that take place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof, Durban on July 21 and 22. The other eight teams are Ferrum Hoërskool (Northern KZN); newcomers Epworth School (PMB Central Regional); St Anne’s DSG (PMB Northern Regional); Durban Girls’ College (DBN Central Regional); Amanzimtoti High School (DBN South Regional); Our Lady of Fatima (DBN North Regional); King Edward High School (Southern KZN Regional), St Mary’s DSG (Highway Regional). The tenth and last regional takes place this weekend (May 19) at Grantleigh College in Richard’s Bay.


For more info visit the tournament’s Facebook page.


Scores at end of round robin:

Wartburg 13, Greytown 10, Wembley 8, Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg 4, Domino Servite 1


Final results:

1 Greytown High School, 2 Wartburg Kirchdorf School, 3 Wembley College, 4 Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg, 5 Domino Servite

SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge - DBN South

Durban South Regional

3 Schools Trust: Sunday 25 March


Eight schools will be converging on the 3 Schools Trust astroturf to participate in the Durban South Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge on Sunday 25 March.

Host school is one time winners, Kuswag Hoërskool. Kuswag took the honours in the inaugural tournament in 2011 and are eager to topple defending champions, Amanzimtoti High School. In their first outing to the Grand Finals, Kuswag finished ninth overall in the KZN SPAR tournament.

Toti have represented this region in the last three consecutive years, advancing through to the Grand Finals where they finished tenth overall in all three appearances. This year, the defending champs start an exciting new chapter and will be taking to the pitch under the guidance of new coach, Cris Clarke. 

In last year’s regionals, it was anyone’s trophy with an epic Amanzimtoti three-way duel developing between Amanzimtoti, Kingsway and Kuswag, with Toti knocking one goal against Kuswag to claim 2017 victory. In the build up to this year’s tournament, Kingsway and Kuswag have stretched their legs at the Scottburgh Festival held two weekends ago. Kuswag drew in all three of their games, and Kingsway faired marginally better with two nil nil draws and one victory against Scottburgh.

Taking to the field for this regional; Pool A consists of host, Kuswag; together with Amanzimtoti; Grosvenor and Rossburgh. In Pool B are Werda; Kingsway; Queensburgh and New Forest. The games are 23 minutes long with a one minute change over at half time. Once the pool games are concluded, the tournament advances to a cross pool play off with the two semi-finals taking place. Once the semis are done and dusted the third and fourth positions will be played for with the main game taking place mid-afternoon.

The Durban South Regional is certainly one of the most festive tournaments in the KZN area with all teams showing off not only their hockey skills but dance skills too, taking to the pitch for a dance-off in flash mob style in previous years.  

Encouraging everyone to bring their A game to the regional, on the day, the tournament also awards the Most Promising Umpire. Scouts for Varsity College also travel around to all ten regionals tournaments and at the Grand Finals award hockey bursaries. Last year, the Durban South player Phiwo Myeza, 2017 Captain for Amanzimtoti High School was one of the lucky recipients of this bursary.

The winner of the Durban South Regional will be the fifth team to secure their spot at the Grand Finals taking place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof at the end of July. Teams that have already secured their place are Ferrum Hoërskool from the Northern KZN Regional, newcomer Epworth School from PMB Central Regional, St Anne’s Diocesan from PMB Northern Regional and the winning team from the Durban Central Regional which takes place this weekend (Saturday 17 March). 

For more info visit the tournament’s Facebook page.

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

Pietermaritzburg Central Regional

Pietermaritzburg Girls High School: Saturday 10 March


The second tournament of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge welcomes a new regional winner after Epworth School dethroned the defending champions in the Pietermaritzburg Central Regional that took place at Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School on Saturday 10 March.

Epworth School took on defending champs, St John’s DSG in the first pool game of the day and in the final. At the end of both whistles, the scoreline was unchanged with neither team managing to net a goal. In both, St John’s held slightly more possession, firing off a handful of unsuccessful chances not finding the back of the net.

In the main game, the hanging result went to a penalty shoot out with three players from each team lining up in an attempt to seal the win for their team. St John’s DSG bravely stepped up first, with Christin Stubbs’ attack shaving the outside of the post. Epworth’s Tayla-Jade Weiss stepped up to the plate, charging forward and edging the ball into the goals. In a replay of their first attempt, St John’s second shot taken by Laiken Peters sadly also shaved the outside of the upright. Epworth’s Emma-Jane Smythe advanced determinedly, drawing the St John’s keeper Courtney Dyssell right, and successfully rolling the ball under Dyssell’s defensive dive. 

In the final round of the 8 second penalties, both attempts didn’t find the back of the box. The final score was 2-0 in Epworth’s favour.

Coach for Epworth, Kegan Walters said, “This was my first time coaching the team and within this tournament, so I am very pleased with their win. This is a new team with loads of talent, and enthusiasm and we are getting to a point where we are playing exciting hockey. They fared very well, considering this was their second time playing together, after a tough match against St Mary’s on Thursday last week. We are hoping that loads of positive things come from this."

St John’s DSG coach Lyndall ‘Binks’ Robertson said, “The team played positively, but at the end of the day you have to put the ball in the back of the box. I was pleased with how they played, it was a good pre-season start and we are excited about the league season ahead.”

The tournament had the format of pool games, with the top two teams of both pools squaring off in the semi-finals. First up were 2017 winners, St John’s who met Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School. Girls’ High had dominated the region winning the title six consecutive times since its inception. Paige McGladdery from St John’s knocked in the only goal, advancing her team to the finals.

In the second semi, Epworth took on Howick High School. Emma- Ane Smythe and Emily Cobbald both netted goals for their team, Epworth with the final whistle resulting in a 2-0 win. 

68 goals were scored in the twelve pool games that lasted 25 minutes each, with a change over after 12 minutes. 

Stars of the day were newcomers Newton High School who in their defeat showed magnificent team spirit throughout the day.

Most Promising Umpire was awarded to Howick High School’s May Mazibuko. A very strict Mazibuko officiated the final in fine fashion, flashing a green card in the second half.

Epworth School joins winners of the Northern KZN Regional Ferrum High School, the first team to advance through to the Grand Finals. The next tournament takes place at 3 Schools Trust this coming weekend with St Henry’s hosting the Durban Central Regional.


1 Epworth School, 2 St John’s DSG, 3= Pietermaritzburg High School, 3= Howick High School, 5 Alexandra High School, 6 Russel High School, 7 Maritzburg Christian College, 8 Newtown High School

SPAR KZN School Girls Hockey Challenge - Durban Central Regional

Durban Central Regional hosted by St Henry’s

3 Schools Trust: Saturday, March 17

It has been seven years of seamless victory for Durban Girls’ College in the Durban Central Regional of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge. 

Since the tournament’s inception the school has held a tight grip on the regional honours, as well as claiming victory in three out of seven Grand Finals.

Participating teams will be itching to challenge DGC’s stronghold in this regional to be hosted by St Henry’s at the 3 Schools’ Trust astroturf in Glenwood on Saturday, March 17 from 07:30am.

Seven central Durban schools will take to the astro including defending champs Durban Girls College, Durban Girls' High School, Inanda Seminary, Hoërskool Port Natal, Maris Stella, Ridge Park High School and hosts, St Henry’s.

Speaking from the sidelines during team selections, Durban Girls’ College coach Kerry Gaze said, “We will pretty much have a similar team to last year, as we only lost two matrics. It is looking good. The indoor league has provided us with some good games, and we have enough time to prepare for this regional. We are looking forward to it.” Gaze is supported by seasoned hockey coach Bell Meek, who will manage the team.

The tournament will take the form of a round robin with a total of 21 games being played. Each game is played one-way and lasts 20 minutes. A win will get a team 4 points, a draw with goals 2 points, a goalless draw 1 point and a loss 0. First and second places will then go head to head in a final match to determine the Durban Central champs.

The winning team will join nine other teams from regionals around KZN at the Grand Finals, which takes place at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof on July 21 and 22. The first team to reserve a spot at the finals is Ferrum High School, winners of the recently played Northern KZN regional. The PMB Central and PMB North regionals will take place this weekend on March 10 and 11 at Pietermaritzburg Girls High and St Anne’s respectively.

For more info like the tournament's Facebook page.

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

The eighth SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge tournament heads to Pietermaritzburg for the back-to-back Central and Northern Regionals on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 March.

Defending the Central Regional, St John’s DSG are determined to remain champions. The first team was announced last week and is looking defensively good. Leading the team is coach Binks Robertson, with Tiffany Jones as assistant coach / manager. Jones has played in the Premier Hockey League and also for KZN Coastals and prides herself on her attacking game.

Defending the Northern Regional, St Anne’s sterling record in this tournament has their name engraved six times on the trophy. With new coach, Robin Jones, the young and enthusiastic team are eager to return to the Grand Finals. Having just returned from Berlin, Jones competed in the recent Indoor World Cup where the South African men finished eleventh overall. 

Joining the Yellow Sticks are previous champs, Pietermaritzburg Girl’s High School who have an impeccable record in this tournament with six regional victories, Epworth, Alex, Howick, Russel, Maritzburg Christian School (M.C.S.) and making their first appearance Newton High. 

The programme for the PMB Central Regional hosted by PMB GHS is a pool format, with St John’s, Epworth, Alex and Newton in the first pool and PMB GHS, Howick, Russel and MCS in the second. Once the pool games are completed, the tournament progresses to a cross pool semi-final, followed by a fourth, then third pool playoff, with the regional final ending off the day.

Hosts, St Anne’s have scheduled a round robin tournament for the PMB Northern Regional. Schools that will be participating are one-time winner, The Wykeham Collegiate, Carter, Grace College, Treverton and Voortrekker. The regional final will feature the first and second on the Round Robin log. 

Both tournaments will score 4 points for a win, 2 for a draw with goals, 1 point for a goalless draw and nil points for a loss. Games in both tournaments will be 25 minutes long. 

The two regional winners will join Ferrum Hoërskool, representing the Northern KZN Region, the first team to secure their berth at the Grand Finals at St Mary’s DSG on 21 and 22 July. 

For more info, like the tournament’s Facebook page. 


SPAR KZN School Girl's Hockey Challenge - Glencoe

Kicking off the first tournament in the eighth year of the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge, the defending champs, Ferrum Hoërskool managed to retain their title in the Northern KZN Regional that took place at Sarel Cilliers High School in Glencoe.

Ferrum took on Pionier in the gold silver medal game. In a tough duel, Ferrum netted the winning goal with 11.5 minutes on the clock. The only goal scorer in the main game, vice-captain, Lucretia Struwig found the net in free play after a frenetic build up with the ball sneaking past the keeper. Struwig had a good attacking tournament, setting the tone with scoring the first goal in the tournament and then following on taking her team through in the semi-finals with the only goal scored early in the game against Sarel Cilliers. 

Pionier started off in a determined fashion but sadly ran out of steam once the Ferrum ball hit the back of their goal. Having had a sterling build up to the finals, the team topped their pool with three impressive wins, and 13 goals in their three games. They met St Dominics in the semi-final winning that game 1-0, taking them into their second successive final.

Pionier’s coach K.J. Ewert said that the girls did their school proud in the tournament and were obviously disappointed at not being able to eclipse Ferrum High’s winning streak. “They played extremely well to have got into the finals of this regional, and it was a good opportunity for us, but unfortunately it was not to be. The good score card will show that it was a heavily contested regional,” he said.

In a feisty replay of last year’s final where Ferrum managed a 2-1 win against Pionier reclaiming their stronghold in this region. A determined outfit took to the field in this year’s SPAR KZN tournament where Ferrum surged forwards but were unable to break the quietly determined Pionier defense barring their tournament-winning goal. 

Dean Bond, Ferrum’s coach, delighted with his team’s win said “There were big expectations for Ferrum as defending champs. We had lost 8 players from last year’s team, so we knew we had to work hard for it.  But it was a total team effort. We put in the hours and the results have paid off. The girls really played with their hearts on their sleeves in this incredible heat.”

For the first time in the history of the tournament, St Domimics finished on a podium step, having defeated one-time winners Sarel Cilliers for the bronze title. St Dominics ended their 2018 tournament with a 2 nil victory against the host school.

Nine schools took to the field participating in the sweltering northern KZN heat, with Pool A consisting of Ferrum in first, St Dominics, third placed Dundee, Vryheid High and Pongola and Pool B with Pionier, Sarel Cilliers, Newcastle and Vryheid Landbou.

The first umpire in the eighth tournament to be awarded Most Promising Umpire, Piet Retief resident Mia Steenkamp representing Pionier has been invited to further her umpiring career at the Grand Finals at St Mary’s DSG in Kloof in July.

The next tournament takes place on 10 March with the first of the Pietermaritzburg tournaments, the PMB Central, followed by the PMB Northern Regional on the next day.


1 Ferrum High School, 2 Pionier Hoërskool, 3 St Dominics College, 4 Sarel Cilliers High School, 5 Newcastle High School, 6 Dundee High School, 7 Vryheid High School, 8 Vryheid Landbou, 9 Pongola Akademie


SPAR KZN School Girl’s Hockey Challenge - Sarel Cilliers - Glencoe KZN: Saturday 24 February

SPAR KZN School Girl’s Hockey Challenge

Sarel Cilliers: Saturday 24 February


The fixtures for the first SPAR KZN School Girl’s Hockey Challenge have been released with both the host team and one-time winners, Sarel Cilliers and defending champs teeing off the tournament.


The Northern KZN Regional is taking place on two turfs at Sarel Cilliers, with the games lasting 25 minutes, going one way. The ten teams have been split into two pools, with Pool A consisting of six times winner, Ferrum High School from Newcastle and Dundee High School, Pongola Akademie, St Dominic’s and Vryheid High School. Pool B features Utrecht, Newcastle, Pionier, Vryheid Landbou and hosts, Sarel Cilliers.


Once all the pool games are concluded, the teams will go into a cross pool elimination. After that, there will be a bronze playoff game and then the main game of the day revealing the 2018 champion for the Northern KZN region.


For more info like the tournament’s Facebook page.




Realness Announces Award Winners and New Partnership with Toronto International Film Festival

Realness Residency is a Pan-African screenwriting initiative. It is seeking diversity in contemporary African perspectives, encouraging risk-taking, originality and authenticity. This ethos has been demonstrated once more by the success of alumnus Luck Razanajaona (Madagascar) at CineMart in Rotterdam where his Realness project Disco Afrika won the Wouter Barendrecht Award of €5,000 given to a director under 35-years-old last night.  

“We have once again achieved our target of over 120 submissions and are excited to start the evaluation process. We look forward to welcoming our 2018 residents to their home-away-from-home at Nirox in June.” said Realness co-founder Elias Ribeiro. “Since its launch, the residency has nurtured ten African writers from eight countries on the continent, growing into an impactful centre that fosters emerging talent and that is recognised throughout the film community.” co-founder Cait Pansegrouw went on to say.

Ribeiro and Pansegrouw’s production company Urucu Media produced The Wound, the most awarded South African film ever made, which was shortlisted to the top nine in the 2018 Best Foreign Film category of the Academy Awards. The Wound has found distribution in over 30 countries around the world and has been acquisitioned by the likes of HBO, Netflix and Mnet. They also co-produced the Mozambican Oscars entry, The Train of Salt and Sugar. 
“It’s very good to start your project in this kind of residency programme. It has a great reputation so it gives you more credibility and introduces you to potential producers and funders.” 2017 Resident Rama Thiaw, Senegal. Through Realness’s partnership with other labs and development platforms, its residents are considered for various scholarship awards to platforms that will further their creative progress. The 2017 results are as follows:
Locarno Filmmaker’s Academy: Miles from Nowhere, Samantha Nell (South Africa)
TorinoFilmLab: The Kingdom of Casaurinas, Fradique Mario Bastos (Angola)
EAVE Producer’s Workshop: Miles from Nowhere, Samantha Nell (South Africa), attended by producer Bongiwe Selane
The award to attend La Fabrique Cinema de L’Instituit Francais in Cannes will be announced in March.
Swiss production company Cocoon, lead by producer Simone Soleil, awarded each participant with a 1000 euro stipend to assist with their real-world costs while in residence.

Realness is also proud to announce a new partnership with Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The festival will award a resident with a flight, festival pass and personalised itinerary allowing them maximum professional development during their time at TIFF.
Realness was founded in 2015 by Urucu Media, presented under the mentorship of Berlinale Talents, in partnership with Nirox Foundation, Durban FilmMart, The French Institute of South Africa and La Fabrique Cinema de L’Instituit Francais, TorinoFilmLab, Locarno Filmmaker’s Academy, Cocoon, Toronto International Film Festival, The CNC, EAVE and Fairbridges Attorneys.  

Twitter @realresidency
Instagram @realnessresidency
Facebook /realnessresidency

About Realness
Realness arose out of a need for promising African film projects to be resourced and supported at the crucial development phase so that they may be competitive in the international film financing market. The residency programme creates opportunity for creative interrogation and ensures that projects are given the space to mature sufficiently; such that, once they enter production, they result in films that have the potential to travel and appeal to both African and worldwide independent cinema audiences. Realness strives to empower African authors to tell stories through an African lens. 


Issued by Sharlene Versfeld

Versfeld & Associates

PR for DFM & DFO

AmaZulu FC to meet Fans in City ahead of Durban Derby

Fans of SPAR’s AmaZulu FC will have an opportunity to meet their favourite players on Friday, February 2 ahead of the exciting Durban Derby between them and Lamontville Golden Arrows on Saturday, February 3.

The full team will be based at the Workshop Shopping Centre, Amphitheatre in Durban on Friday from 12noon to 2pm (thereafter ten members will remain behind until 3pm) to sign autographs and meet their fans. Sponsors, SPAR are laying on a fun afternoon of entertainment, which will be hosted by Nompilo Maphumulo (Nosipho) and Nombuso Thembinkosi Thwala (Mondli) from SA’s top soapie – Uzalo. A stellar line-up of performers will provide the tunes and vibes for the afternoon including DJ Nzwiri, Kwaito artist Ndah Jay, Rapper, Zee Gee, DJ Tira and Amadada who promise a great interactive time with their audience.

There will be a dance off competition judged by players Mbongeni Gumede and Thembela Sikhakhane, plus a football play off between players Michael Morton, Siyabonga Nomvethe, Mabhuti Khenyeza and Jabulani Ncobeni who will pair up with two fans in a ball juggling competition. There will be loads of giveaways and great prizes to be won.

At the Workshop, supporters will also be able to enter into a SPAR’s Durban-based in-store competition in which three lucky winners will win a signed AmaZulu jersey, VIP tickets to a forthcoming AmaZulu game and lunch with celebrated ABSA Premiership’s all-time leading goal scorer, Siyabonga Nomvethe.

The popular SA Premier Soccer League team will be going head to head against Lamontville Golden Arrows at the King Zwelithini Stadium in Umlazi, on Saturday, February 3 at 20:15, and are actively encouraging their supporters to come out in full force, a huge motivator for the teams playing.


SPAR KZN School Girls' Hockey Challenge 2018

Rolling into its eighth year, the SPAR KZN School Girls’ Hockey Challenge kicks off in Glencoe, at the end of February 2018 with the first of ten regional tournaments.

One time winners, Sarel Cilliers will host the first regional at their school on Saturday 24 February. An anticipated 12 schools are expected to battle it out, including six time winners, Ferrum High School from Newcastle.

In previous years, the Pietermaritzburg Central and Pietermaritzburg Northern regionals were held on the same day, however, this year both these regions will have their own day in the sunshine.

The only newcomers to the Grand Finals last year, St John’s DSG will have home turf advantage as they defend their PMB Central Regional title on 10 March. The following day, St Anne’s College welcomes the teams participating in the PMB Northern Regional to their picturesque grounds. No stranger to the Grand Finals, St Anne’s will also have home ground advantage, having won their regional six times.

Heading to the first of the Durban and surrounds regionals, St Henry’s hosts the Durban Central Regional at the 3 Schools Trust on Saturday 17 March. This tournament has been dominated by Durban Girls’ College, the only team in the tournament’s history to have a 100% record.  

Kuswag hosts the Durban South Regional on completely neutral territory at the 3 Schools Trust Astro on Sunday 25 March. Kuswag School has previously participated at the Grand Finals and will be keen to make an appearance, releasing the stronghold Amanzimtoti High School have had on the region.

The sixth regional takes place after a two week break with Reddam College hosting the Durban North Regional at their school on Sunday 15 April. Our Lady of Fatima will be defending their title, having won this title in the first tournament, and again last year. They will be keen to hold out previous winners Ashton and Danville.

The tournament then travels to the outlying areas. On Saturday 21 April former defending champs, Kokstad College will host the Southern KZN Regional at their school. Three teams have raised the trophy in this region, with current defending champs and three times winners, King Edward High School taking on rivals, Kokstad College and Creston College who have both twice travelled to the Grand Finals.

Returning to Durban, and certainly the feistiest of the regional tournaments, the Highway Regional will be hosted by Westville Girls’ High School on Sunday 6 May. In 2014, Westville managed to topple St Mary’s DSG in a thrilling game where they won 2-1. Saints have dominated the region, winning it six times and adding to their impressive successes, they are also the overall 2017 Grand Finals tournament winners.

Travelling inland for the second last tournament, Wartburg Kirchdorf will defend their title at home on Saturday 12 May, hosting the Umvoti, uThukela and Umzinyathi Regional.

Finally, the last regional will be competed in Richards Bay for the North Coastal Regional. Defending champs, Grantleigh will host the tournament again, on their magnificent turf, just outside of Richards Bay. The tournament takes place on Saturday 19 May concluding the ten KZN Regionals.

Once all the regional winners have been crowned, they will each travel to the action packed Grand Finals that takes place at St Mary’s DSG on 20 and 21 July.

For more info like the tournament’s active Facebook page.

Memorias Flamenca 14 - 17 December 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Digital Battle at DigiFest 4 (6 – 11 November)

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

Durban University Of Technology

6 – 11 November


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


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


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


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


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


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


The full programme can be found on the website


Instagram: dutdigifest_

Twitter: @DigitalArtFest

Facebook: DUTDigiFest




Durban FilmMart calls out for 2018 Projects

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inxeba - The Wound - at KZNSA October 7





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

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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




Jason Fiddler

Festival Director


Mobile: +27(0)78 189 5430|  Telephone: +27(0)31 811 0959|  Facsimile: +27(0)86 545 9839

Skype: jason.fiddler1| Email:  | Website: 

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Postal Address: P.O. Box 51190, Musgrave Road, 4062, South Africa