The BRICS Film Festival showing at Durban Playhouse

Side-lining the 10th BRICS summit, the BRICS Film Festival will be hosted by the City of Durban and the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) at Durban Playhouse. The film festival aims to strengthen and highlight social diversity and cultural development in BRICS countries. The film festival is free and open to the public.

The opening night, 22 July 2018 will be start off with a film titled Mandela, (5 minutes videos from each member of the BRICS bloc), celebrating and commemorating the life of SA icon Nelson Mandela. The film will then be followed by performances of dance and music.

Members of BRICS submitted five films each and only two films will be selected, by an independent panel from each member. The National Film Foundation (NFVF) is arranging the prestigious event.

Each country in the bloc will have a day to show five of their best recent films, in all genres. South Africa will be showcasing their five best films on Monday 23 July; Tuesday 24 July Russia; Wednesday 25 July India; Thursday; 25 July China and on Friday 27 July Brazil will be showcasing.

Two of the five films played will be completion entries. The best films, chosen by the independent panellists will be awarded on the final day – 27 July 2018.

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane

SA, India and Brazil designers to take part in London (IFS) 2019 Fashion week

Three designers from BRICS countries are set to exhibit at the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) at London Fashion week 2019. The three form part of 16 emerging designers selected by the IFS in collaboration with the British Council. Countries to be represented in the prestigious fashion gathering include African countries, Rwanda and Kenya.

South African representative, Thebe Magugu is a designer whose brand focuses on ready-to-wear clothing for women. Magugu – who is also an accessory designer – is inspired by women who played a role in his life. “He characterises his work as sleek” says the British Council. The designer exhibited in the IFS earlier in the year.
India claimed a win at last year’s IFS. The talent representing India is Naushad Ali, a designer who is constantly reinventing and redefining simplicity through Indian designs. The designer, deemed minimalist, creates modern clothing cut which are incorporated with Indian traditional designs. Ali makes women clothing from handwoven fabrics sourced in the country.

Brazilian designer, David Lee will represent his country. “David has a profound understanding of how clothes can mediate these questions and seeks meaning in fashion’s personal and collective histories,” reports the British council.

The 16 represented countries are: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, India, Georgia, Italy, Kenya, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Rwanda, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Vietnam, who will all showcase men’s and ladieswear.

By: Kgothatso Nkanyane
Image: Rema Chaudhary

2018 FIFA World Cup Group Stages Review

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia has seen many goals, with every game having at least one goal so far. Russia the host nation has shown dominance in Group A by defeating Saudi Araba and Egypt, only falling to Uruguay who showed their class in a 3-0 victory. Russia’s defeat didn’t matter though, as both Uruguay and Russia advance to the knockout stages of the tournament, while Saudi Araba and Egypt were knocked out.

The group stages so far have been filled with moments of brilliance, like the tournament form of one Cristiano Ronaldo helping Portugal forge a draw against neighbours Spain, in the battle of the Iberian Peninsula. Spanish footballer Diego Costa, has also shown his class bagging a brace against Portugal and securing the only goal when Spain played the Iranians in the Group B fixtures. The Group ended very predictably though, as both Morocco and Iran were eliminated and Spain and Portugal advancing.

Group C on the other hand is one of the dullest groups, with France going just enough to gain victories over both Australia and Peru. The only interesting thing about this group was the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) coming into play with the awarding of penalties and the time delays it came with. Many football analysts have welcomed VAR but have called for the decisions taken using the system to be shortened. Group C saw France and Demark advanced while Australia and Peru took flights home.

Group D which hold Argentinean star Lionel Messi is another group which has failed to live up to projections, Messi struggling to gain a footing in every match Argentina has played only being able to play at high level against Nigeria. After Argentina’s performers against Iceland (1-1) and losing (0-3) to Croatia many have questioned Messi’s mentality at a national level.

Group D also include Nigeria’s Super Eagles which has been very clawless in their match against Croatia losing 2-0, Croatia not only defeated the Super Eagles they also put 3 goals pass Messi’s Argentina. Nigeria unfortunately became the victim of a desperate Argentina, which eliminated them in the last game of the tournament. Both Nigeria and Iceland were sent home, with Croatia and Argentina advancing.

Tournament favorite Brazil, first game against Switzerland didn’t go accord to plan as the Swiss held on for a 1-1 draw. They did make up for it by finishing 2 goals to zero against Costa Rica in in the second round of Group E fixtures. Brazil predictably won their last game against the Serbians, finishing top of the Group and advancing to the knockout stage. Switzerland did enough to finish second which mean Serbia and Costa Rica were sent packing.
Group F saw Sweden and Mexico advance and former champs Germany and South Korea knocked out. Group F is probably the group with the biggest shock of the tournament so far, when Mexico defeated World Cup holds Germany (0-1) as well as a second shock defeat from South Korea (2-0) in their last game securing their elimination from the World Cup and maintaining the curse of the champions. Many fans have questioned Germans coach Joachim Löw World Cup team selection while he is also considering rising from the post.

Group G housing England and Belgium is one of the more predictable groups, both teams won against Tunisia and Panama, and are set to advance. Both teams on paper look very formidable, and both judging from their first games, look like possible contender for the World Cup Champions title. In the last game however, Belgium edged out England to top the group, while England finished second and Tunisia and Panama return home.

Group H saw the shock defeat of Colombia by Japan (2-1), Japan becoming the first Asian nation to defeat South American opposition at the World Cup. Senegal seemed to be the only African hope in the tournament, but a defeat from Colombia left the Senegalese equal in points with Japan. Unfortunately Senegal become the first team to be eliminated by the FIFA fair play Rule, which states if teams have equal points, equal head to head goals, then the one with the most yellow cards is eliminated.

Players of the Group Stages: Harry Kane
Team of the Group Stages: Belgium

By Mokgethi Mtezuka

Dr Judy Dlamini and Dr Zanelle Mngadi vie for first black female chancellor of Wits

University of the Witwatersrand has confirmed that Dr Judy Dlamini and Dr Zanelle Mngadi have emerged as the candidates to replace former chief justice Dikgang Moseneke. 

The announcement comes after the university made a call for nominations to fill the chancellor vacancy in April 2018.

The Director of alumni relations at Wits, Peter Maher said: “Of the two candidates‚ it is guaranteed that one will be the next chancellor”.

Moseneke’s term ends in November this year, and the university hopes to fill the position before then.

Head of Communications at the university, Shirona Patel and the Director Maher confirmed that around 160‚000 graduates‚ full-time academic stuff‚ and retired academics with 10 consecutive years of service with the university‚ make up the university’s largest statutory body of persons eligible to participate in the election process.

Dlamini is a businesswoman‚ entrepreneur‚ author and philanthropist. She holds an MBChB (Natal)‚ DOH (UFS)‚ MBA (Wits) and DBL (Unisa).

Mngadi is an academic and renowned turn-around strategist. Her qualifications include: a BComm (Hons), an LLB, MCom‚ MBA and PhD.

Source: businesslive

#BRICSFashion: Lan Yu uses her designs as tools to introduce oriental culture

Chinese fashion designer Lan Yu is a maven at integrating traditional embroidery with Western advanced materials in her designs. She is believed to be one of China’s new generation of designers and most influential designers in Asia.

Lan Yu’s designs display a knowledge of Su Xiu, a form of traditional Chinese embroidery handed down through three generations of her family. Her mother taught her embroidery skills from a  young age.

This fashionista is now the owner of LANYU Studio that was founded in 2006.

Yu studied at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology after graduating from the Beijing Institute of Clothing Technology. She spent months studying the market on New York before opening her office there.

“New York City is a world fashion centre. We believe in our fashion, it’s been a national brand for 11 years and feel ready to test a brand-new market. If I can dress Chinese girls pretty, I can dress American girls pretty as well,” she said

With all her hard work and dedication to the fashion world, she has won several awards such as the Best Minority Style Evening Wear and The Star’s Favourite Designer.


In 2012 she was rewarded Executive Master of Business Administration degree by the China Europe International Business School.

She was the first Chinese designer to be invited to Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week in 2014. Her collections represent the elegant oriental beauty, with modern western design perspectives.

Yu has dressed big names such as Kim Kardashian, Lady Gaga and Ruby Lin.


Source: Forbes


Lesotho : The Kingdom in the Sky

Lesotho is an ancient mountainous land filled with minerals, rolling hills and majestic natural formations as old as time. But it is also a nation looking ahead to a bright future, striving to drive forward from a dormant past. 

Known as the Kingdom or the Kingdom in the Sky, Lesotho is home to vistas and mountainous scenery that has to be seen to be believed. The mountains filter Lesotho’s crystal clear water that feeds into numerous rivers and hydrates the country’s abundance of green pastures, providing for its livestock. The mountains also yield Lesotho’s other prolific mineral : diamonds. 

Lesotho is a democratic, sovereign and independent country located within the borders of South Africa. The name Lesotho translates to “the land of the people who speak Sotho”. Formerly a British protectorate until independence in October 1966, the kingdom of Lesotho is one of only three remaining monarchies in Africa. 

Lesotho occupies a unique geographical position. The country is situated centrally within Southern Africa, with access to some of the fastest-growing industrial economic areas in the region, such as South Africa’s Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bloemfontein. 


The government of Lesotho has adopted a private sector-driven economic-development and an export-led industrial growth strategy. Essential parts of the economy are industries like diamond mining and quarrying, construction, the manufacturing of textiles, garments and footwear, the assembly of electronics and electrical appliances, trout breeding, fishing and food processing. 


Lesotho offers natural beauty, rugged terrain, rich local culture and traditions, as well as adventurous activities that don’t require a permit, like skiing and snowboarding. Accommodation can be found in all regions of the country – some serenely situated on river banks, some on mountainsides, and some at the highest altitude in Southern Africa, surrounded by beautiful mountains and a peaceful, natural environment. 

source : Best of Lesotho Volume 1

Published by Proudly African



Maliba Lodge 

The lodge lies within the Ts’ehlanyane National Park in Lesotho. The main lodge features an exclusive lounge and dining room, with private decks, health spa and restaurant. The lodge offers myriad activities for those who need more than just relaxing stay in luxury. There are numerous walking trails in the immediate area, and the national park features rivers running through, a number of waterfalls, rock pools and swimming holes. 


Blue Mountain Inn 

This is a delightful retreat situated in the town of Teyateyaneng, a short drive from the capital city of Maseru. The hotel offers first-class facilities for holidaymakers and the business community. The hotel is ideally situated for tourists to visit the national heritage site “Kome Caves”, as well as experience traditional weaving in Teyateyaneng.


Semonkong Lodge 

Semonkong Lodge believes in empowering individuals within their local community, using the environment and its conversation as the focal point of their activities, and helping to create long-term sustainable income through tourism for as many people as possible in the community. The lodge is situated close to the to the mighty Maletsunyane Falls, one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in Africa at 192 metres. 

Zulu Wedding by Dudu Busani-Dube

Dudu Busani- Dube’s Zulu Wedding  tells the story of a choreographer named Lungile. She lived a content life, up until the day she discovered a letter detailing how her parent’s relationship was never approved from her mother’s side of the family.

The families made a deal with the ancestors that Lungile would be betrothed to a Zulu king. Lungile, however ran away from home (South Africa) shortly after her parents died in a car accident. She never knew that her life was meant to be paid back to ancestors, in order for the families to live peacefully together.

On her 21st birthday, her uncle Phineas sent her on an overseas on a trip and she used that opportunity to deal with her loss and find ways to get in the dancing industry.

The author shows the reader that the current generation does not believe in forced marriages. The older generation learnt to love their partners, unlike the current generation who refuse to do thing according to older traditions.

The writer also offers a glimpse of the Royal house (the Mzimelas) that Lungile was meant to marry into. People from that village were worried about their future as a drought came upon them. They are caught between selling the land and find means of survival because the land is a legacy to them.

Conflict arises when the King try to convince his people to sell the land. Most of them refuse to sell their legacy – the land.

The author is well-known for the Hlomu The Wife story series that follows the lives of 7 Zulu brothers from KwaZulu Natal and came to Johannesburg to being feared taxi owners. In all Busani-Dube’s writing, she uses a relatable subject surrounding African tradition.

The author once said that she is a creator and none of the books are based on her life.

By Ntsiki Ntsibande



#FashionFindsWednesday: Ulyana Sergeenko built her antique and vintage empire

From graduating in the Faculty of Philology to becoming Russia’s big deal in the fashion industry.

Ulyana Sergeenko is a Russian-based fashion designer, who has worked with many celebrities, including Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian and Natalia Vodianova.

The Ulyana Sergeenko brand was launched in Moscow in April 2011 with a first collection designed for autumn-winter 2011/12.

Her debut collection featured clingy knit tops, quilted skirts, floor-sweeping greatcoats, and enough sable to swaddle the Russian army.

Today, the designer has the Moscow-based company that has ready-to-wear women clothing, bags, jewellery and headpieces.

Sergeenko has always love fashion.

With all the love she is receiving, Sergeenko has built a fashion empire that consists of a a collection of antique and vintage clothes and accessories, ranging from the rare ancient jewellery to Soviet school uniform.

The designer frequently visits flea-markets and vintage boutiques as her way of inventing new styles, whereas all her fabrics and trimmings are bought in France, Italy and Japan.

Sergeenko collaborates with highly-skilled ateliers from Russia, along with numerous craftsmen from former Soviets republics. She did that to help them preserve their precious knowledge in the process.

In her 2018 collection called Haute Couture Spring Summer, she designed gowns with long bell-shaped skirts and puffed sleeves with vivid colours. She said that her collection was inspired by the 40s and 50s styles codes.






#TravelTuesday: Walking tours to take on South Africa

South Africa in her most natural state is filled with picturesque habitat that beckons one to spend as much time as possible outdoors. For this reason, walking tours are a hit in the major cities like Durban, Cape Town and Joburg. Try these out:

Beset Durban –  is a monthly walk founded by four friends namely Jonas Barausse, Mark Bellingan, Cameron Finnie and Dane Forman. The walk is free and takes place every four to six weeks, the aim of it is to explore the city.

Maboneng Precinct Tour –  The precinct has become a hotspot for travellers who want to experience Johannesburg at grassroots level and to find hidden treasures within the city, as well as a popular hangout spot for locals. The two-hour walk covers art, gallery visits and Kwa Mai-Mai Traditional Healers Market.


Cape Town Free Walking Tours – Those who want to explore Cape Town should try these. The organisation offers five walks daily – for free! They showcase Cape Town’s most iconic spots and are 90 minutes long. The Taste of Cape Town, Jewellery and Diamond tour, Bokaap and Historical Tour are some of the offerings.


Walking safaris in Marakele National Park – This a 2- 3 hour walk in the wild through the Kruger National Park. The guides lead the group of tourists for wildlife sitings without disturbing them.

Table Mountains Walks – This is believed to be one of the most breathtaking views in the world. Tourists gets to explore the natural beauty of the mountains and learn more about pieces of history while walking. 



Cape Town Food Tours – Tour for foodies guided on the old town centre, including a visit to the oldest restored townhouse in South Africa. The experience includes indigenous tea-tasting with rusks and of course, wine-tasting. During the Foodies on Foot walking tour, travellers get to sample the flavours of Stellenbosch, from a variety of sweet and savoury handcrafted products to a sit-down lunch.

Source: IOL


Through the eyes of African Chef

Exploring food’s soft power with chef and author Nompumelelo Mqwebu

Nompumelelo Mqwebu is an enterprising chef who has travelled the world to hone her skills. Yet her roots remain firmly planted in her homeland of Africa. She has recently released her debut cookbook, Through the Eyes of an African Chef.

Chef Mwqwebu runs Africa Meets Europe Cuisine, a skills-training and hospitality service provider, as well as the Mzansi International Culinary Festival. Before this, Nompumelelo spent 10 years training and mastering her cooking skills around South Africa and the world, including at culinary schools and kitchens in New York, London, Paris, Bremen and Shannary. She has sat on various judging panels, including judging the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Having trained at the prestigious Ballymalloe Cookery School in Ireland, Chef Mqwebu has mastered the art of making yoghurts, butters, preserves and countless more recipes and methodologies that are included in her book. We chatted to Nompumelelo about food as a powerful ingredient in human and foreign relations.

In your years of travels as a chef, have you experienced the “soft power”of food?

Yes, food transmits with it a cultural identity. When people taste your food, they appreciate and embrace your identity and culture. This bonds well in business as well as in social circles. Offering your food means opening your world. Hospitality is incomplete without food. As part of etiquette, people are catered for when they visit. There’s a certain level of respect people afford you, when you display information of who you are.

A chapter in your book is titled “Ukuhamba Kuzala Induna (My Food Travels)”- if you had the opportunity to travel to any of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), where would you go and why?

Brazil- from what I have learnt over the years about Brazil being the largest country in South America and the most diverse, it fascinates me. I would love to try their local dishes and explore the influences of their neighbouring countries, such as Venezuela and Peru. I am interested in gauging if the food I have eaten outside Brazil, which is said to be authentic Brazilian, measures up to the cooking in Brazil. Dig into their indigenous and ingredients and cooking methods to feed me into their cultural identity.

Each of the BRIC countries have a signature drink or dish – what would South Africa’s be?

South Africa is not a one-nation one-dish type of country. We have indigenous ingredients from our diverse cultures that make up this South African nation, reflected by our 11 official languages. From samp with marrow, to dovhi la mukusule, tsama melon, springbok meat with maize meal rice, ting and many more!

What do you think other nations can learn from South Africa food techniques, from growing and harvesting to preparation and preservation?

The art of preserving meat called mukoki (biltong), which has been with us for decades. It has been transformed to the rest of the world, but much of its important history if from the Khoisan hunters, VhaVenda and other South Africa peoples and has been lost along the way. Another example is umqombothi (traditional Zulu beer) – the fermentation is an age-old formula using sorghum that has entered world trends, but which has been part of our daily lives for centuries. Even looking at the “new”nose-to-tail talk – it has always been here, the relationship between Africans and animals. The skin is used rather than thrown away. The skin is used rather than thrown away. The animal is eaten from the premium cuts to tripe. Horns, hooves, tail hair – everything has its use. Food waste is something of a new phenomenon by reviving our methods of old. 

What can be done to ensure South African effectively uses food for national branding purposes?

We must take up our food identity with the national pride it deserves. We need to listen to our visitors. They do not come to our country to taste their food; they are here for our food. They need us to genuinely welcome them by opening our culinary journey in earnest, sharing who we are that reflective of our roots and our food culture. We are a diverse nation, and that should be reflected fully in our cuisine. Embrace the cultures previously left in our culinary history.

What advice would you give South African chefs who are cooking beyond the borders of our country?

Keep it real. Show pride in your roots and our identity, which is brimming with diverse cultures that are yet to explored. Remember to know where you’re going- it’s important to know your history.