For kids and the young at heart, the combination of thrills and chills at Gold Reef City theme park is sure to be a highlight of any visit to Johannesburg. The complex is located on an old gold mine which closed in 1971. The amusement park is themed around the gold rush that started in 1886 on the Witwatersrand, Afrikaans for "the ridge of white waters" on which the city was founded.
Tsogo Sun, the operator of the park, boasts that it contains "some of South Africa’s fastest, biggest, most twisting and turning thrill rides". Indeed, the spiralling Anaconda with its suspended open-air seats is a prime attraction. Just the queue to get onto it, can be a test of self-possession. This is true especially on weekends and public holidays (except Christmas), throughout which the theme park is open.
For the very young (or very old), Gold Reef City theme park offers the option of slower rides. Among these are perennial favourites like the Carousel and the Wave Swings. To get onto rides like the Balloon Wheel and the Golden Wave, those stacking up to only 1m in height need to be accompanied by others not so challenged.
Everyone taller than the metric unit gains entry to all rides upon payment of ZAR210. We visited in February in a party of four, all taller than 1m. This implies an outlay of ZAR840, excluding transport and lunch. For your money's worth, be sure to arrive early enough to sample a fair number of rides, allowing for queues. At least 30 minutes should be set aside for a bite or to smell the roses.
Then, if you are blessed with a strong stomach, you could brave the Tower of Terror. This is not a medieval torture device, but might as well have been one, to judge by the blood-curdling screams it elicits. Little wonder, since the tower is the headgear of the old mine, down which a wagon plunges riders 50m through a shaft at speeds reaching 100 km/h.
"With a hair-raising fear factor of 10 out of 10," Tsogo Sun assures us, "the Tower of Terror will surely fulfil your need for that adrenaline rush." No other ride has a "fear factor" so high, not even the Anaconda (9) or the Golden Loop roller-coaster, at a lacklustre 8.
But be warned. Not only must you be taller than 1.3m to hurtle down the shaft, you also need to be relatively toned. This is because the Tower of Terror’s seats "may not accommodate guests with certain upper body dimensions." A test seat is provided at the entrance for each rider "to ensure your ability to safely ride." In fact, only those who survived rigorous physical training can safely contemplate the Tower of Terror. JTJr
A ROMANTIC EVENING WITH NATHI, KELLY AT BIRCHWOOD
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and instead of buying a cliché gift for your soulmate, treat them to a romantic jazz experience like no other. The Ekurhuleni Comes Alive Jazz Evening, taking place at Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg on 16 February, will feature triple-platinum artist Nathi Mankayi, SAMA award-winning songstress and reality TV star Kelly Khumalo, and Afro-Fusion songstress Zamajobe Sithole, in an evening that promises to be an unforgettable experience.
In partnership with The City of Ekurhuleni, The Sowetan, Mail & Guardian and The Star newspapers, Nathi Mankayi, acclaimed for having produced the fastest selling album in SA, “Buyelekhaya”, will headline the evening. Not only was his debut album a hit on the local scene, 10 songs on the album all made the Top 30 singles on world charts.
Also making a lead performance is singer and actress Kelly Khumalo, who needs little introduction. Among her numerous awards, most recently her musical accolades include the Metro FM Award for Best Female Album, as well as a double SAMA Award Nominee for Best African Adult Album and Female Artist of the year 2017. Kelly has opened for international Rap star, Missy Elliot, has her own reality show Rolling With Kelly and has a best-selling biography “The Kelly Khumalo Story”.
Supporting these local greats is Zamajobe Sithole, who first made her debut in the Top 10 of Idols Season 2, and won Best Newcomer in the 2005 SAMA Awards. Inspired by Eric Clapton, Sabelo Gxoyiya, Letta Mbulu, Abigail Khubeka, and Khadja Nin, her music resonates as a fusion of Afro-Jazz, Soul and Funk.
As always, resident MC Hector Motivator will direct the evening’s entertainment in his humorous way, while the Napsta, also known as Napoleon Masinga, will bring his high energy impersonations, accents, ventriloquism, alter-ego’s and musi-comedy to the evening’s entertainment. Proud of his clean sense of humour, the Napsta’s unique humour caters to a broad audience.
The Valentine’s edition of the Ekurhuleni Comes Alive Jazz Evening is a must on your February calendar – whether in a relationship or just looking for a good time with single friends on Valentine’s weekend. Enjoy a delicious three-course meal, and a fun-filled evening on Friday, 16 February at The Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre. Tickets are R450 per person and R4 500 for a table of 10. Starting at 8pm sharp, be sure to book early to secure your spot! For more information or to book contact Portia Rathebe on (011) 897 0024, email email@example.com or visit www.birchwoodhotel.co.za.
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There are many things that are wrong and need fixing in South Africa’s democracy. Bearing in mind that democracy is an idea or ideal, its primary requirement is of equal citizens with free minds. The majority of South Africans do not have free minds nor that sense of equality that is implied when talking about a democratic order. That sense of equality is not only noticeably absent, but most glaringly manifested by black women wearing straight-hair wigs.
Democracy is complicated. It therefore cannot be repaired -as ours needs to be - without a systematic approach. This approach must begin in the minds of citizens with a strong self-identity, which will always be lacking if, deep in our psyche, we do not accept who we are. A clear sign of a seriously damaged self-image is when we go to the extent of trying to look like someone else, usually a white person.
The problem is that the self-identity of blacks has not changed since diamonds and gold were discovered. We share a history as supplicants. Our identity was and still is that of people without roots, whose sole purpose is to be available to create wealth and comfort for the minority.
Being without roots is an unbearable burden. It leads to disorientation, a sense of intimidation, fear and ultimately shame about oneself. Shame always manifests itself, it cannot stay put. Ways it could manifest: as acts of despair, desperation, violence or it could lead to domination by materialism, alcohol and drugs. All things that we see today.
Yet actively rejecting one’s appearance is worse than enslavement. In fact most slaves resist their enslavement, even if it is by remaining only mentally free. Whereas habitually camouflaging one’s appearance is a rejection of oneself. This unbidden surrendering of identity is voluntary enslavement. It abandons that human search for identity, which is instinctive, active and lifelong. Therefore it abandons the most precious human possession.
When we reject who we are it is not possible to find our place in the harmonious order of creation. And everyday we see this self-rejection in our ‘fashionable’ black women with their straight hair wigs. What is alarming is that this headgear is now considered the standard measure of good grooming. What this means is our well-groomed black women balance a collective flag of surrender on their heads. This should be cause for alarm.
And alarmed we should be because we carry this flag of voluntary enslavement into all other areas of human activity, be it business, religion, politics, sport, you name it. Our message is that who we are is negotiable. We come with a starting position of pliancy. This happens before we do business battle or even have ordinary interactions with other humans. It is the mental framework with which we greet every new day.
Therefore it is what we should attend to before we attend to anything else. Nothing else we do can usher in the time of true human worth we all crave. But this duty is not the sole responsibility of black women.
Affirming humanity and self-worth cannot be the responsibility of one or other gender. It is the solemn duty of both men and women, indeed of all of humanity without even touching the colour issue. We must all add our voice to resonate the message that we are who we are. We cannot be anyone else. And black women must be themselves and show their hair.
Press Release – For Immediate release Johannesburg, 23rd October 2017 The Soweto Spring Festival is a one of a kind experience which aims to expose the richness and talent of Soweto. The festival gives an opportunity to draw different people from neighboring towns and provinces; the youth at large, artists, organizations and business, media and tourists around Gauteng in unity and on annual basis to celebrate Soweto’s richness, diversity, culture and the ever growing entertainment. The festival combines an entertainment program including music, dance, food and various other activities. The festival aims to offer the richness of Soweto’s entertainment, through showcasing upcoming and established artists from and around Soweto and South Africa as a whole. The team that work at The Soweto Spring Festival, along with the partners and featured artists, are striving to captivate and reward the audience with an event which will be stamped to their memories and always fondly recalled. The festival has grown exceptionally since its inception in 2015. And has only went on to show more promise, where in 2016 the total attendance grew exponentially to 13000 across all ticket levels. This year the festival only aims to be bigger and better with expectations of between 15000 to 20000 overall ticket sales, giving the residence of Soweto a chance to celebrate their home and for the greater public, the luxury to experience Soweto’s rich heritage and entertainment. The theme for the festival is Unity Through Arts which is not only about celebrating the diversity and heritage of our country but also about raising awareness about the part art and entertainment could play in helping us transcend race, gender, socio-economic background and all other kind of prejudices that still divide our country. And considering the ongoing prevalence of Afrophobia and femicide in our communities it is platforms such as these, which promote unity amongst all people, which are so desperately needed. What better way to do so than by entertaining people through celebrating our differences while promoting safety and tolerance. At the event there will be two main stages, hosted by the likes of Somizi Mhlongo, Khanyi Mbau, Thulisa Dladla, Dj Warras and many more. The Kwaito and Hip Hop stage will not only be used to pay homage to the legends of Kwaito music who created the space in South Africa for Hip Hop to become such a successful genre, but will also include popular artists such as Kwesta, AKA, Anathi, Khuli Chana and many other rappers and Dj’s who have had chart toppers over past couple of years. At the House and Afro-pop stage you can expect some new and exciting performers such as Amanda Black, Samthing Soweto, Lady Zamar and many more others who have been causing waves in the industry in recent years.
EVENT LISTING: Date: 25th of November 2017 Venue: FNB Stadium (outerfields Nasrec Road) Price: R150 General, R650 VIP and R1000 VVIP Time: 12:00 pm – 02:00 am EVENT LINKS: Twitter: @GrindersGang_za Facebook: Soweto Spring Festival.html Instagram: Soweto_spring_festival Website: www.sowetospringfestival.co.za
Palesa Boikanyo writes:
Text about event date, time, venue & ticket price
Bennies Bash - Friday, 8 September
Bring the whole family along to an entertaining evening featuring hottest local artists and DJs. Dance the night away. Drink and food stalls available on the night to purchase.
Cash Bar facilities available strictly for over 18s.
Starts 17:15 - 23:00
buy tickets here:
Adult (pre-buy online) R 140
Adults (at the gate) R 180
Children under 12 R 120
Secure parking per car R 20
Venue: St Benedict's School, Harcus Road, Bedfordview
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Two legendary South African music greats, SAMA Lifetime Award Winner Babsy Mlangeni and Kwaito star Joe Nina, will be headlining the next Ekurhuleni Comes Alive Jazz Evening on Friday, 7 July at Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg. In partnership with the City of Ekurhuleni, the Mail & Guardian, the Sowetan and SAfm, the Birchwood Jazz Evening is a must-see on the Jozi music-scene every month. Babsy Mlangeni, well-known for his role in the Afro-Soul scene during the 70’s and 80’s, is one of the founding fathers of the SA music scene. After four decades of commercial success, the singer, guitarist, composer and entrepreneur, who is blind, has not let his disability stand in his way inspiring countless aspiring artists to pursue their dream through the South African Blind Musician Association (SADMA). Also headlining the July Jazz Evening is songwriter and producer, Joe Nina. While best known for his singles in the Kwaito and Afro-Jazz genres, he cannot be defined by either and has also produced albums that include elements of Hip-Hop and Reggae. Adding to the evening’s salute to jazz is afro pop soul band, Encore, consisting of local musicians - Kabelo Thomane (guitar and vocals), Kee Kototsi (bassist and vocals) and Matime Peter (pianist). Having been featured in a number of annual music shows, the trio are set to light up the Birchwood stage with their fresh take on Setswana music. Afro-Soul jazz songstress and actress, Miranda Mokhele Nshangase, who is known for her roles in e.tv’s Rhythm City and eKasi, SABC 1‘s Tshisa, Mthunzini.com and Sokhulu & Partners will open the evening’s festivities. The Ekurhuleni Comes Alive Jazz Evening is so much more than outstanding musical performances; it provides local comedians with a platform to express their comedic views. Featuring two hilarious local comedians, Thapelo King Flat Mametja and Vuyo Jiya, as well as resident MC Hector Motivator, guests can look forward to soaking up the stress releasing endorphins that laughter brings. Enjoy an evening of delicious food and a few of your old-favourites with friends by booking your table of 10 at R4 500 or R450 per a person. Book and pay for your table before 30 June and save R500 on the early bird special. Starting at 8pm sharp, don’t miss out on this star-studded line-up! For more information or to book contact Dudu Kgomo on (011) 897 0141 or on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.birchwoodhotel.co.za.
In celebration of 16 years of jazz performances, the next Ekurhuleni Comes Alive Jazz Evening will be led by father and son duo, Ringo and Phila Madlingozi, on Friday, 9 June at Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg.
In partnership with the City of Ekurhuleni, the Mail & Guardian, the Sowetan and SAfm, the Birchwood Jazz Evening is a must-see on the Jozi night-life calendar.
Commemorating the Jazz Evening’s 16th birthday, this will be the first time that the Birchwood Hotel stage will feature a lineage of talent. Multiple SAMA Award winning artist, Ringo Madlingozi, and his first-born son, Phila Madlingozi, will be showing off their vocal talents as they lead the evening’s song choices.
Blessed with his father’s vocal “pipes” and music appreciation, Phila is delighted to be the opening act for Ringo’s performance. Phila is best known for his acting roles in SABC 1’s Intersexions and on Mzanzi Magic’s drama series, Isikisi. His talents extend beyond the world of TV though and in 2014 he was selected as one of the top six sexiest men in Mzansi’s Sexiest Men competition. In 2015, Phila introduced the public to his vocal talents when he made the top 16 in Idols Season 11 and, since then, has been writing music, singing, rapping and dancing at various events.
The Ekurhuleni Comes Alive Jazz Evening is so much more than outstanding musical performances; it provides local comedians with a platform to express their comedic views. Featuring not one but three hilarious comedians, guests can enjoy a break from reality for the night with a taste of the lighter side of life.
Hosted by resident MC Hector Motivator, the June Jazz Evening will feature Ekurhuleni-local Sister H, known for her multilingual humour, the hilarious Kgomotso "The Hitman" Madimetya, and newcomer Siya Seya, who has been catching the eye of some of SA’s best comedians.
Enjoy an evening of delicious food and memorable performances with friends by booking your table of 10 at R4 500 or R450 per a person. Book and pay for your table before 2 June and save R500 on the early bird special. Starting at 8pm sharp, don’t miss out on a bumper anniversary line-up and a chance to win some of the great prizes on offer! For more information or to book contact Dudu Kgomo on (011) 897 0141 or on email@example.com or visit www.birchwoodhotel.co.za.
The twelve Tenors now performing at the Joburg Theatre really served a delightful repertoire at their concert this past Saturday. In this South African leg of their World Tour the group showcased a well-oiled sound offering with tight harmonies whilst also managing to shine a spotlight on the individual melodic talents of each singer.
And talent each one of the twelve musicians demonstrated in abundance. However if one name really needs mentioning, it is that of Barry Potts, a musical friend of the new South Africa. He is one of the central cogs of the group. Well-known as a music teacher in London, his many accolades have much to do with this genre of vocal performances, over a period of decades.
They include world tours as the Twelve Irish Tenors, Sopranos, Somebody to Love and many others. In the current (twelve) Tenors World Tour, Barry and the group's exciting interpretations span several musical eras between the forties and the present. That the audience was also representative of these eras in its composition was another remarkable discovery during Saturday's Tenors concert.
That kind of broad appeal truly hits the high notes in terms of fun-for-the-whole-family. And any family member of a reasonable age will definitely find a tune to sing along with the Tenors, as did many during Saturday's show. The tour ends on the 21st May, but the cherry on the cake? There's a special Mothers' Day package this Sunday. At the Joburg Theatre.
On the 25th February 2017, there is a show you must see, called “An Evening with Samthing Soweto” at the Soweto Theatre in Jabulani, at which an album launch will be held. Samkelo Mdolomba (Sam in the title) so personifies the Samthing Soweto ensemble, getting him to tell me his real name during our interview took all of five minutes. We discussed among other things how, following a 4-year musical hiatus after parting ways with the “Soil” - the highly successful a Capella group he helped found whilst still in high school, and after a deep search - he finally found his authentic voice, and called it Samthing Soweto.
Our interview took place at the Plat4form experimental arts project’s premises in Newtown, on the evening of 31st January 2017 at a Media Launch for the upcoming “Evening with Samthing Soweto”. Fresh-faced, relaxed, highly intelligent and articulate, the interview with Samkelo/Sam soon became a pleasant exchange between old friends. He told me how the Soil started singing a Capella for fun in high school in Soweto, getting invited to perform at functions though not running it as a business till much later.
Soil then graduated to playing formal clubs like Sophiatown, Bassline, House of Ntsako etc before being offered a recording deal by Sipho Sithole. The rest of the group accepted but he did not because he did not understand the business of it, leading to a parting of ways with his friends in 2014.
(They subsequently went on from success to success). Being alone meant he had to come to a new understanding of who he was as an individual and musically.
I asked him: “What were you doing in the two years that you didn’t perform your music?”
“Grew, matured…I’m now 27 years old.”
“And as an artist?”
“I’d say introspecting, or undergoing a creative evolution.” He pauses, “I still love a Capella – and as I say, my break with Soil was not about artistic differences but business directions.” He continued after a short silence, “my music has become more mellow and brooding… more like world music.”
“So your shows will be different than with your previous group?”
“Oh yeah. What I aim for is to give the audience an experience rather than a performance. I want to give each person something to leave with that they came without.”
“And the future?”
“I think Samthing Soweto is evolving, finding new ways of sharing experiences with my listeners. This sound we’re producing now might just be a different one a year or two from now”
After this one-on-one interview ended thirty minutes later, the 4-man Samthing Soweto band (Samkelo, Mduduzi Mathebula, Bafana Mlangeni and Ntsikelelo Matshatshe) got onto the stage and the other twenty-odd journalists engaged Sam in a Question & Answer session.
One of the answers was to a question whether he would use Soil material in his new album Vala’Mehlo, to which he replied that he would but with a new treatment. He made it known that the 25th February gig was also billed to start their nationwide tour. Then the band gave a preview performance of some of the renditions they would give at the coming Soweto Theatre album – launch.
Their music is polished, casually elegant and definitely in the world-music space with Afro-fusion undertones. Sam himself clearly was born with immense talent, quiet dominance of the stage and a voice with incredible range from falsetto to crystal clarity.
If the upcoming Evening with Samthing Soweto on 25th February is anything near as magical as our interview of the evening of the 31st January 2017, the audience will witness a star taking off.
by Thabo Seseane for Johannesburg Today