My Life in Africa

❤ Africa, My Life in Africa, South Africa

Township Tours in South Africa


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T O W N S H I P S

When Skybok was up in Durban 2014 filming for the Tourism Indaba, we went on an organized media tour. It was incredible seeing townships one would never get to see. If you travel here, make sure you do an organized tour with a legitimate company. We spent the day touring Durban and surrounding townships where Nelson Mandela began his journey with the ANC. The particular township we went to also happened to be where Ghandi spent his years in South Africa. It’s called the Inanda Heritage Route. We ended off with a gorgeous beachfront party and buffet in true African style! Below is a list of companies who do township tours. It is an unforgettable and heart-warming experience. You won’t be sorry.

Townships of South Africa (more…)

❤ Africa, My Life in Africa

How To Plan A Wedding


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p r e t t y (2)I recently went to a very pretty wedding. It made me think about how much work goes into planning one and making it extra special. After extensive research, here’s the pointers for planning your big day from the experts.

16 Months Before

+ Begin leafing through bridal, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, design and food magazines for inspiration

+ Determine how much you have to spend, based on your families’ contributions and your own

+ Pick your wedding party

+ Start a guest list – make a head count database to use throughout your planning process with columns for contact info, RSVPs, gifts, and any other relevant information

+ Decide on a date

+ Book your venue

+ Research a good photographer, band, florist and caterer

+ Hire a wedding planner if you wish

+ Throw an engagement party – remember that your invitees should be on your wedding guest list as well

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

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8 Months Before

+ Hire a photographer and a videographer

+ Book the entertainment, florist and caterer

+ Purchase a dress – you’ll need to schedule time for at least three fittings. Veil shopping can be postponed for another two to three months

+ Reserve a block of hotel rooms for guests – pick three hotels at different price points close to the reception venue

+ Create your gift register – sign up at a minimum of three retailers

+ Launch a wedding blog or facebook page – create your personal page through a free provider such as weddingchannel.com, wordpress.com or Facebook. Note the date of the wedding, travel information, and accommodations. Then send the link to invitees

Pretty weddings + how to plan themPretty weddings + how to plan them

6 Months Before

+ Select and purchase invitations

+ Start planning a honeymoon – make sure that your passports are up-to-date and schedule doctors’ appointments for any shots you may need

+ Shop for bridesmaids’ dresses – allow at least six months for the dresses to be ordered and sized

+ Meet the officiant – map out the ceremony and confirm that you have all the official documents for the wedding (these vary by county and religion)

+ Send the save-a-date cards

+ Reserve structural and electrical necessities – book portable toilets for outdoor events, extra chairs if you need them, lighting components etc.

+ Book a florist

+ Arrange transport – consider limos, minibuses, trolleys and town cars. Remember that low-to-the-ground limos can make entries and exits dicey if you’re wearing a fitted gown

+ Start composing a “day-of” timeline – draw up a schedule of the event and slot in each component (the cake-cutting, the first dance)

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

4 Months Before

+ Book the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner venues – negotiate the cost and the menu. If you’re planning to host a day-after brunch for guests, book that place as well

+ Check on the wedding invitations – ask the stationer for samples of the finished invitations and revise them to suit your needs

+ Select and order the cake – some bakers require a long lead time. Attend several tastings before committing to any baker

+ Send your guest list to the host of your shower – provided you, ahem, know about the shower

+ Purchase wedding shoes and start dress fittings

+ Schedule hair and makeup artists

+ Choose your music – what should be playing when the wedding party is announced? During dinner? To kick off the dancing?

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

3 Months Before

+ Finalize the menu and flowers – you’ll want to wait until now to see what will be available, since food and flowers are affected by season

+ Order favours, if desired – some safe bets: monogrammed cookies or a treat that represents your city or region. If you’re planning to have welcome baskets for out-of-town guests, plan those now too

+ Make a list of the people giving toasts

+ Finalize the readings

+ Purchase your undergarments and schedule your second fitting

+ Finalize the order of the ceremony and the reception

+ Print menu cards, if you like, as well as programs

+ Purchase the rings -this will give you time for resizing and engraving

+ Send your event schedule to the vendors

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

2 Months Before

+ Touch base again with all the vendors

+ Meet with the photographer

+ Discuss specific shots and walk through the locations to note spots that appeal to you

+ Review the playlist with the band or deejay

+ Send out the invitations – the rule of thumb: mail invitations six to eight weeks before the ceremony, setting the RSVP cutoff at three weeks after the postmark date

+ Submit a newspaper wedding announcement – if you’re planning to include a photograph, check the publication’s website: Some have strict rules about how the photo should look

+ Enjoy a bachelorette party – arranging a night out with your girlfriends generally falls to the maid of honour. But if she hasn’t mentioned one to you by now, feel free to ask if a celebration is in the works

Pretty weddings + how to plan them Pretty weddings + how to plan them

1 Month Before

+ Enter the RSVPs into your guest-list database – phone people who have not yet responded

+ Get your marriage license – the process can take up to six days, but it’s good to give yourself some leeway. If you are changing your name, order several copies

+ Mail the rehearsal-dinner invitations

+ Visit the dressmaker for (with luck!) your last dress fitting – for peace of mind, you may want to schedule a fitting the week of your wedding. You can always cancel the appointment if you try on the dress then and it fits perfectly

+ Stock the bar – now that you have a firm head count you can order accordingly

+ Send out as many final payments as you can

+ Confirm times for hair and makeup and all vendors

+ E-mail and print directions for drivers of transport vehicles

+ Assign seating

+ Purchase bridesmaids’ gifts – you’ll present them at the rehearsal dinner

+ Write vows, if necessary

+ Get your hair cut and coloured

Week of the Wedding

+ Reconfirm arrival times with vendors

+ Delegate small wedding-day tasks – choose someone to bustle your dress, someone to carry your things, someone to be in charge of gifts (especially the enveloped sort), someone to hand out tips and someone to be the point person for each vendor

+ Send a timeline to the bridal party – include every member’s contact information along with the point people you’ve asked to deal with the vendors, if problems arise

+ Pick up your dress

+ Check in one last time with the photographer – supply him or her with a list of moments you want captured on film

+ Set aside cheques for the vendors – put tips in envelopes to be handed out at the event

+ Book a spa treatment – make an appontment for a manicure and a pedicure the day before the wedding. (You might want to get a stress-relieving massage, too.)

+ Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues hosting your wedding-related events – typically, companies close their lists 72 hours in advance

+ Break in your shoes

+ Assemble and distribute the welcome baskets

+ Pack for your honeymoon

Pretty weddings + how to plan them

Notes

+ Get everything in writing from suppliers

Get everything in writing from suppliers and read the fine print. Written cost estimates should be carefully checked and physically signed off by you or your partner. Couples have been caught out in the past by, for instance, hotels that charge double rates after certain hours. Also, set a limit on your bar bill, because no-one wants to cancel their honeymoon just to pay off the tequila

+ Ask for a discount

If you get married on any day other than a Saturday, you may be eligible for major discounts. Most venues and suppliers set their rates for ‘in-demand’ Saturday afternoons, so ask for a discount because rates on other days may be cheaper

+ Choose the right marriage officer for you

Choose a marriage officer (priest, rabbi, imam or guru) who knows his or her stuff. They should be able to advise you about the legalities, paperwork and order of ceremony. For instance, a wedding is only legally binding if the register is signed in a religious building, private home or government office. Plus, South African citizens must present valid green ID books; passports are not permissible. Your marriage officer should cost between R1 700 and R1 800, and that should include about 10 hours of counseling and rehearsal time

+ Get it copied

Get a photocopy of the marriage register and your marriage certificate on the spot. Otherwise, this can take up to six months to source

+ Fix your will

Get your will amended because you’re now part of a new family. Sign an antenuptial agreement. Think long-term sensibility, even in the midst of the wedding planning and blissful excitement

+ Wedding planners

Wedding planners should charge a maximum of 10% of the total cost of the wedding – but only on invoices from suppliers they commissioned on your behalf. Make sure you check the suppliers’ clauses. For example, if a venue charges overtime, you’ll be paying that extra cost plus another 10% for your planner

Wedding Planning Companies in South Africa

Timeless Weddings 

The Little Pink Book

Wedding Concepts

 Wedding Photographers in South Africa

Cape Town

Cape Town

Stellenbosch

Johannesburg

Johannesburg

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth

Pretoria

Durban

❤ Africa, My Life in Africa

Do Gentlemen Prefer Blondes?


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Do gentlemen prefer blondes?

I dyed my hair brunette for a temporary change a few months ago. It was fun and interesting to see how people acted with me after. It led me to do some research on men’s attraction to different hair colours and why. I found an awesome article on psychology.com. Apparently in a recent article published in the “Scandinavian Journal of Psychology”, Viren Swami and Seishin Barrett conducted two studies in the greater London area. Studies 1 and 2 consisted of 120 and 126 male participants respectively.

The study

1. To determine whether the same woman would be approached by men at one of three nightclubs as a function of whether she was a brunette, blonde or redhead (her hair was manipulated with dye).

2. To gauge whether photos of the same woman sporting the the three hair colors would yield different evaluations by men along the following ten traits: physical attractiveness, sexual promiscuity, intelligence, introversion, neuroticism, approachability, competency, arrogance, neediness and temperamentality.

The findings

Brunette: Scored higher than the two other hair colors on physical attraction, intelligence, competence and arrogance. Scored higher than the redhead on approachability.

Blonde: Scored highest on approachability than the two other hair colors, as well as highest on neediness.

Redhead: Scored higher than the two other hair colors on temperamentality and lowest on approachability. This seems to be a manifestation of the “fiery redhead” stereotype.

There were no differences in the findings on impressions of sexual promiscuity, introversion, and neuroticism.

The bottom line

It would appear that blonde women are approached more frequently in a nightclub but are generally judged more harshly along a wide range of traits. This could explain the lower score than the brunette on physical attraction in the photo. It’s logical men subconsciously take into account these traits when making a first impression. Hair colour preference is likely driven by individual idiosyncrasies as well cross-cultural differences (i.e. this is a preference that is rooted in evolutionary principles; that lighter hair is associated with youthfulness, a trait universally fancied by men).

How interesting!

My Life in Africa, South Africa

Domestic Violence in South Africa


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Domestic Violence in South Africa

With the recent Oscar Pistorius case, my attention was drawn to Domestic Violence in South Africa. Living in the country where it’s all taking place, I watched a lot of interviews online and on news channels about this issue as they covered the case for a worldwide audience. While it was understood this is a real problem in the country, I didn’t hear any actual facts or figures. As a result, I’ve done some extensive research into this topic and can give you some statistics about what kind of problem we are looking at here.

South Africa has one of the highest incidences of domestic violence in the world. Organisations estimate that one out of every six woman is regularly assaulted by her partner. In at least 46% of cases, the men involved also abuse the children living with the woman. Reeva Steenkamp was statistically just one of three women killed on Valentine’s Day by an intimate partner.

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My Life in Africa

South Africa Stunned After Oscar Verdict is Given


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Reeva Steenkamp

After quite an emotional week for the country, with the Oscar Pistorius verdict, I’m hoping to simply wind down this weekend. I still don’t know what to believe. A lot of my friends overseas aren’t convinced he’s telling the truth. The papers here were critical of him being cleared. Reeva was in the industry I’m in, not to mention she was from my home town! It’s my aunt in the courtroom sitting next to her mother. Here are some interesting links for you:

Domestic Violence in South Africa

Oscar Pistorious Verdict Recap

Oscar Guilty of Manslaughter 

My Life in Africa

June Greetings


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Skybok

This past couple months has been very busy. On the Skybok front, we filmed a couple awesome places to add to our database of online video profiles showcasing South Africa. Scoot on over to our blog here and read about them. This includes work not only showcasing places here in Cape Town, but also work done at the Durban Travel Indaba. Read about it and see pictures here. I’ve done some voice work at my favourite studio, West Beach Studio, which is run by music producer Frank Smuts who also happens to be one of South Africa’s top triathletes! I did an awesome interview with Grootbos Nature Reserve who recently hosted me to blog about their 5-star luxury resort. Check out the interview here and read my article on the place here. Concurrent to that, I did an interview for HotelsCheap.Org on what to expect when travelling to South Africa – read the interview here. On the PR / Social Media Management side of things, the RetroAfrika Bioscope has received some stunning news regarding their digitally remastered 1980’s South African film Joe Bullet; that it’s to be premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July this year. Check out their press received here and their gallery of behind-the-scenes at the Waterfront Film Studios here. Up in Johannesburg, The Art Meets Fashion event took place at Constitution Hill and showcased some stunning work by local fashion designers and artists, following in the footsteps of its partner event up in New York. Read about my involvement as an ambassador for this cause here. International collaborations to strengthen ties between South Africa and the rest of the world in order to move us forward in the global arena in any and all creative spheres is something I feel passionately about. I feel we have a pool of undiscovered talent here. Modelling wise, I did a great hair shoot with Sarah Keogh who is an asset to her craft and always produces strong images. I’m looking forward to the BWA Awards (Business Women’s Association of South Africa) in which I’m a finalist in the category of “Emerging Entrepreneur” and whose ceremony is at The Crystal Towers here in Cape Town this week. On the blogging front, an exciting enterprise coming up is a campaign I’m taking part of with City Lodge Hotel Group, where they’re sponsoring me to travel to their hotels around the country and blog. Looking forward to a busy month ahead with lots of different projects! Hopefully I can provide you with some entertaining stories 😉

What have you been up to? Are you in the film industry here in SA? 

Skybok

Skybok

My Life in Africa

Rest in Peace Maya Angelou


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Tamika Doubell
Photo by Sarah Keogh
My favourite poem from the renowned author, poet and activist:
Phenomenal Woman 
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a womanPhenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Johannesburg, My Life in Africa, South Africa

Nelson Mandela Square


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Tamika Doubell

Hello from Gauteng! I’m currently up in Johannesburg after a crazy four days in Durban at the Travel Indaba for Skybok. This weekend my brother and I went for an ice cream at the famous Nelson Mandela Square in the Sandton City Mall. The name ‘Sandton’ is derived from a combination of Sandown and Bryanston. In less than 30 years, Sandton has become the most significant business and financial district in South Africa. It’s home to approximately 300 000 residents and 10 000 businesses including investment banks, top businesses, financial consultants, the Johannesburg stock exchange and one of the biggest convention centres on the African continent, the Sandton Convention Centre. I loved the Nelson Mandela statue in the centre of the square.

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