Guest Speakers

My Life in Africa

The Launch of Vision Music Records


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Last week I went to two fantastic events in one night. The first was the launch of a new recording label in Atlantis, Cape Town. Laurenzo Davids – brother of our “Idols” Season 5 co-winner Sasha-Lee –  launched Vision Music Records or “VMR” for short. If you would like to get updates on the label’s ongoings in the music industry, join their facebook page HERE. You can connect with them on Twitter HERE.

Most of You know us as LOWAFFY PRODUCTIONS! We are an Independent Record Label, signing new upcoming artists and producing music. Music lessons are now available too! Contact us for further info!

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with Laurenzo, founder

The venue was simply perfect. There was champagne and soft drinks for everyone, as well as snacks going around during what must have been one of the most moving speeches I’ve heard in a while. Laurenzo Davids has such a charm about him and speaks totally from the heart. He highlighted his journey to this point; where his passion for singing has been met with his passion for people in this new venture. Respect! He thanked his family and, of course, certain friends who have been very much involved in the “vision” that is “Vision Music Records”. Atlantis can certainly be proud of this beacon of hope and his talented family, who obviously have a gift for helping others and creating beautiful opportunities for their community in Atlantis. With a few artists already signed to the label, I’m sure the new business will be extremely successful, rewarding and not to mention exciting for this group of entrepreneurs.

with Sasha-Lee Davids
with Gio Davids

The second event was the Linkin Park Concert!

Held at the Cape Town stadium, it was absolutely incredible! What an adrenalin rush. I also have their new CD which I literally cannot stop listening to. Go buy it now!

Upcoming concerts in Cape Town are:

Lady Gaga

The Parlotones

Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Chris Brown

and Justin Bieber!

Here is the music video for one of Linkin Parks’s latest songs, “Castle of Glass” :

I simply love it!

❤ My Work, My Life in Africa, On-Camera

Cameron Van Der Burgh in The Bay


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Recently I had the honour of meeting South African Olympic gold medalist, Cameron Van Der Burgh. He flew to Port Elizabeth to give a talk at a corporate breakfast at The Granary in Stanley Street. What struck me most about him as he spoke us through his vigorous training routine leading up to the Olympics was his humility. He seemed very down to earth as he explained his typical schedule for a day in preparation for his life-altering race. Let me put it to you simply – a lot of training in the pool and in the gym, as well as meetings with his physios and a lot of studying towards his degree through UNISA each day. He trains with Dirk Lange and is based in Pretoria. Talking about his history, he elaborated on some of his highlights; he’s won numerous World Championship medals since his debut in 2007 when he took a bronze medal. His first world long-course record (27.06s) was obtained in the 50 m breaststroke in the semifinals at South African nationals in April 2009. He won the 50m breaststroke at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in a time of 27.18 seconds – a new games record – and the 100m world title at the 2010 short course world championships. He’s represented South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics and, most recently, at the 2012 Summer Olympics where he won the gold medal at the 100 meter breaststroke in a new world record of 58.46 seconds! He’s won the FINA overall World Cup twice. He certainly seemed very chuffed with his successes but still had a nice sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself easily, which was great to see. On Twitter he describes himself as “Olympic Champion and self proclaimed Fifa king ;)” – Follow him at https://twitter.com/Cameronvdburgh I didn’t know he was born in 1988, making him the same age as me! Check out his website at: http://www.cameronvanderburgh.com It was a fantastic morning with a continental breakfast buffet available to all the guests afterwards. I was also very happy to see I got some coverage with him in the October issue of the ‘Sport Elizabeth’ sports publication!

Another thrilling experience I had recently was the release of a music video I am in. It’s the video for the song “Hold On” by popular South African band Mac Stanley, previously known as Flat Stanley. It was a huge honour for me to do this video – I play ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and I come in toward the end of the video when my prince charming finds me after searching through a forest and we share a very long on-screen kiss! 😛 I absolutely love the song and its message is very beautiful! The video has already had close to 1000 views on YouTube after being out for just 2 weeks! Watch this space – This band is going places. Check out their website: http://www.macstanley.com/

My Life in Africa

A Busy Weekend with David Aldo, Colin Cowie and Engen


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What a pleasure it was to have my family down recently from Los Angeles. My uncle is a singer (see my write-up on him by clicking HERE) and the last time I saw him and the rest of my family living there was a staggering 8 years ago. I can’t believe how time flies. It was an absolute thrill to have them all down for a reunion as well as for performances he gave in both Johannesburg and in Port Elizabeth. In Joburg he performed at Tanz Cafe and in P.E. he performed at The Vodacom Ampitheatre at The Boardwalk. There was a good crowd who came out to support him at The Boardwalk on both nights, despite the rainy weather.

It was so special to see David & Sherri (my cousin) get up on stage after the interval for a duet.

After the shows everyone stayed behind to buy CDs and get autographs.

Below is a photo I took with my uncle and his producer in South Africa, Benjy Mudie. Benjy initially became famous for being the Marketing Director of Tusk Music and subsequently for being the producer of a very popular South African singing group Mango Groove. He is most recently well-known from being a guest judge on Idols, South Africa, and for being the Founder and Managing Director of Fresh Music since 1998. Below is a photo of Sherri also signing her autograph on the CD.

It was a really great weekend… David performed two nights in a row. While in Johannesburg he was also interviewed on various radio stations and also on television. He was interviewed one morning on Morning Live on SABC3:

He and my cousin had a lovely write-up in The Herald’s Weekend Post while they were here, which was great to see! Sherri cracked the front page, so naturally we took this snap while waiting at the traffic light:)

Something else I was invited to attend over the past week was “The King & Queen of Port Elizabeth” competition. It was held at the The Grand Hotel here in P.E. and was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. I attended it with my good friend Brandon Lorenzo, of MTV Base fame. It was very cute seeing the babies modelling… I managed to steal a snap with  two of them after the show.

I attended another super event after that…. it was a talk given by Colin Cowie – events planner & lifestyle guru to the stars! He spoke here in Port Elizabeth at The Granary and a huge crowd came out to listen to him.

This guy has planned some of the most talked-about parties in the world… his clients include Kim Kardashian & Kris Humphries, Oprah Winfrey, John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Jennifer Lopez, Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Hugh Hefner and many more…. So it was only fitting that I wore my highest pair of heels in honour of the occasion! Click HERE to view his website – it’s very interesting!

 

He was telling me how he’s missed biltong, smoked snoek, oxtail, tomato sauce and all the other South African products that aren’t available in the U.S. Finding out that he is from Selborne College in East London, here in SA, was so amazing. He said that he left South Africa at the age of 23 with nothing but a well-cut suit, a good tan and $400! His first client was Bruce Willis, when he was still young and had just got his first job on the series Moonlighting. Bruce asked him to do a barbeque on the beach and the rest is history. It was very inspiring to hear! It shows you that anything is possible. Here is a snap of him and I:

On another note, this past Saturday saw me giving a talk to a class of grade 10 students at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University who are part of Engen’s Saturday School Programme.

I spoke to them about valuing yourself and using your God-given talents to achieve great  things in life.They loved it when I did my range of accents for them! Afterwards we handed out dictionaries to the learners, which were sponsored by Rotary Algoa Bay. My mother is the President of Rotary Algoa Bay this year, so she was there to present the students with this generous donation! It was a beautiful experience! Giving back is very important.

My Life in Africa

A Night of Comedy with Bafunny Bafunny


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How’s this for a cute concept: “If comedy was a sport, who would represent South Africa?” Bafunny Bafunny is a new hilarious comedy show, featuring 8 of South Africa’s best (funniest) comedians.

The title alone grabs your attention; a smart pun playing on the name of our national soccer team ‘Bafana Bafana’… Who are they, you’re asking? Who makes up our team?

Touring South Africa, these 8 comedians have put Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town in stitches! I attended the show in Cape Town at the Grand West Grand Arena, and let me tell you by the end of the 2 and a half hour show I was crying my way out of there.

MC’d by Mark Banks, The Bafunny Bafunny squad did not disappoint! The comedy was all very sharp, very relevant and extremely unforgettable! (I’ll be that irritating one that repeats the jokes to her friends for weeks to come)

A recurring theme through all the comedians seemed to be Julius Malema as well as the cuss word “jou ma se –“ (us South Africans know the rest 🙂 ) I wonder if they all had a workshop and brainstormed together…

My favourite comedian of the night by far was Trevor Noah (ironically he didn’t swear once).

Sponsored by Savannah – “Official Drink of Funny” – this was a real cross-section of talent, featuring comedians from all backgrounds and from all walks of life. There would have been at least 1 out of the 8 that appealed to you if you attended!

Here is the URL to the website where you can learn about each comedian if you want to know more about them and their ‘position’ in the ‘team’. http://www.bafunnybafunny.com/

  • Barry Hilton
  • John Vlismas
  • Loyiso Gola
  • Mark Banks
  • Trevor Noah
  • Nik Rabinowitz
  • Stuart Taylor
  • Eugene Khoza

Also, check out their killer trailer –

❤ My Work, Modelling

Modelling a Philip Treacy hat!


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phillip treacy hat

I am modelling a hat by Philip Treacy this weekend! He has designed hats for Alexander McQueen’s white Haute Couture collection at Givenchy in Paris, for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and for Valentino, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan. Famous people who have worn his creations include Victoria Beckham, Kate Middleton, Sarah Jessica-Parker, Emma Watson and quite recently Princess Beatrice of York, who wore one to the Royal Wedding this year. In fact, 36 people wore one of his hats to the wedding. And this weekend, I join the list 🙂 The event is a Royal Tea in aid of ChildLine and Yokhuselo Haven for abused women. ChildLine is a free 24 hour counselling service for children and young people up to the age of 18. It deals with any issues which cause distress for children and young people, including child abuse, bullying, divorce, pregnancy and substance abuse. Children phone in and receive counselling. Counsellors listen and try and help the best way they can. Yokhuselo Haven is a haven for abused women. It aims to provide a shelter for women who are victims of domestic violence. The Royal Tea is a really fantastic initiative to raise money for these charities. The hat has to be auctioned off. I’m going to be very careful with it – the hat Beatrice wore to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding was sold for 81 000 pounds!

Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Phillip Treacy
Rotary

Rotary DG Dinner


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Preparations are underway here in Port Elizabeth for the annual Rotary DG dinner. With its motto ‘Service Above Self’, Rotary is an international non-profit organization for top professionals everywhere. I got the following explanations from Wikipedia and the Rotary International website, which explain everything beautifully.

“Rotary International is an organization of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world. The stated purpose of the organization is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. It is a secular organization open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed, gender, or political preference. There are 33,976 clubs and over 1.22 million members worldwide. The members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarians. Members usually meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is a social event as well as an opportunity to organize work on their service goals.”

The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education and the alleviation of poverty. The Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported solely by voluntary contributions from Rotarians and friends of the Foundation who share its vision of a better world.

There are different districts all over the world, and different clubs in each district. Here in the central area  of South Africa and Lesotho (district 9320), the Algoa Bay Rotary club is the largest. My mother is its President this year. She oversees all the meetings and projects of a club of 71 members.Tonight the District Governor this year, Kevin Dersley, is visiting our club and we’re hosting a glorious dinner event held in his honour. Another exciting event Rotarians all over South Africa are looking forward to is the 2011 ‘Discon’ event… from the 29th of September to the 1st of October, held in my hometown of Port Elizabeth…

My Life in Africa

Book Launch with Desmond Tutu


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I have just returned from a book launch here in Cape Town at this awesome venue, where the guest speaker for the evening was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. What an incredible experience. As you may or may not know, Desmond Tutu is a world-famous South African activist and retired Anglican bishop who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

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Creative Inspiration

Pointers for the Entrepreneur


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I attended a fantastic evening recently with Xtraordinary Women held at The Bromwell in Woodstock. On arrival everyone received a welcome cocktail and soup with crostini. The aim of the night was to share, collaborate, inspire and network. The Bromwell is a 1927 hotel restored to its former glory… they have renovated it to an art gallery wherein 16 rooms showcase and sell luxury items including art and sculpture, bags and accessories, jewellery and fashion. There’s also a charming European style café inside. As an entrepreneur, it’s very encouraging listening to the stories of others who are too. It’s invaluable hearing their advice on how they started their businesses, built their brands, managed their time, sourced their own clients and reaped the maximum rewards. Here are some of the awesome tips I soaked up from speakers.

  • Everyone starts somewhere
  • Don’t get discouraged if it isn’t happening in the time frame you think it should
  • Keep work within normal business hours (hard when you are self-employed)
  • Strange is good!
  • Figure out your personal ‘flow’
  • You can’t innovate if you’re exhausted
  • Everyone needs constant inspiration. Discover what this is for you!
  • Collaboration is key
  • Know the difference between production + creative work
  • Look to those you admire and use their influences
  • Make your workspace your own
  • Be intentional on social media
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Get business cards printed regularly
  • Don’t be shy to market and promote your business and services
  • Network and wear heels doing it!
  • Remember to refresh your online platforms regularly
  • Interaction with readers goes a long way

Speakers included 

Nicky Abdinor

Nicky was born without arms and with shortened legs. Her talk was especially inspiring as she spoke about her journey through life – despite her disability she went to a normal school, studied at university and has infact obtained her Master’s degree in clinical psychology! Her talk was about how to show people to see past the disabilities and see the ABilities of women like her!

Adelaide Potgieter

She is a woman who, at just 21 with no money and a car that could not reverse, had a dream to start an Ad Agency with full services including events, radio and TV. Her family thought she was mad, but her eccentric personality saw her winning over some of South Africa’s richest businessmen who bought her pitch and helped her land a huge account. Today her company is one of the biggest in the country and specialize in Marketing Strategies and PR Campaigns

Karina Anderson

After landing in South Africa from Denmark at a very young age, a failed relationship and a car accident killing the father of her children led her to a deep depression and almost no hope. One day she turned that all around when she became inspired to start a foundation for people like her to attend workshops and go on a journey to discover who they really are and how they can change their lives. She published a book called ‘The Responsible Individual’ wherein she addresses some key questions everyone shoul investigate about themselves and their lives. She goes around with a team of 35 to prisons in South Africa to hold these motivational talks and workshops for innmates

Donna McCallum

The self-professed ‘Fairy Godmother’ has given motivational talks to some of the country’s biggest firms (including Estee Lauder, Nedbank and Sun International) encouraging one to set clear goals and not be afraid to go after them. She helps you through her talks, workshops and 12-week online programmes. She shows you how to take the right steps to define what it is you truly want, set those goals and figure out what you need to do to get them. Often people don’t really know what they want and when they don’t get it they complain – her aim is to encourage you to ASK the universe and learn to live a life ON PURPOSE. She has given talks in Europe and the U.S. and has recently published a book in South Africa called ‘The Fairy Godmother’s Guide to Getting What You Want’!

Cover Photo: Death To The Stock Photo

Creative Inspiration

Women Empowerment


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This week I’m going to a superb event called “Success in Heels”. It’s all about women empowerment and how to be a dynamic, successful woman in today’s world. The line-up includes female guest speakers who will talk about living your life on PURPOSE and dreaming BIG! I look forward to hearing from these women, each of whom are powerhouses in this country. From business moguls to publishers to entrepreneurs to qualified psychologists….The evening will not disappoint! I’m all about women doing it for themselves, and this event falls on the first of spring here in South Africa. What better way to welcome in renewal, growth, warmth and colour to our lives? Owning your own business is fun. I get to work in my pajamas if I want, I can take a vacation whenever I can afford it and I can take on the clients that fit well with my personality. Those are often things that don’t happen at an office job. But with an office job comes more stability. A lot of that disappears the minute you decide to be your own boss. It’s your job to bring in the money, clients and meetings. Here’s different ways on how to get the work you need if you are an entrepreneur:

  • Organic/Search: People find you searching for what they need whether that’s on Google or another site like Dribbble or another portfolio site. It’s a great way to get a client since you’re not really doing much work but it can also lead to projects that don’t really connect with you since you were passive in the formation of that relationship.
  • Referral: Someone that you know professionally or personally has referred someone to you. I’ve just recently begun discounting services when a potential client might have a great list of contacts. If you’re my client and provide me with 5 individuals or small businesses that might want to work with me, it’s very worth it to provide a discount.
  • Social Media/Blogging: A potential client might get to know you on Twitter or on your website/ blog before they decide to work with you.
  • Relationships: We know the client (and in-person) first. This includes past colleagues, people we went to school with or friends/family. While these projects come about from a very reliable source, they also tend to be less lucrative. You end up giving people you know discounts or you get a little lazy when it comes to signing contracts. As time as gone on, you should end up doing less and less projects for friends and family.
  • Pursuing the Client: This is a situation where you reach out, connect and then offer ways in which you believe you can work together.

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