Johannesburg

Blog, Johannesburg

Brunch in South Africa


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The Saxon Johannesburg South Africa Brunch
I enjoy a purple macaroon – one of many tasty treats on offer at The Saxon Hotel in South Africa

This post is for the foodies! I rarely blog about food… but every time I find a hidden gem in South Africa, I feel compelled to write about it on The Starlit Path. Seeing as I’m into the second week of my travel series doing throwbacks to awesome travels last year, I figured I would include this.

Highlight on The Saxon Hotel Brunch, South Africa

At the heart of the City of Gold, beneath the warm sunshine in the opulent, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, lies the enchanting Saxon Hotel.

A uniquely perfect blend of rich cultural history and contemporary five-star service, the Saxon is situated on ten acres of magnificent indigenous gardens, providing a private and peaceful retreat like no other.

One of the leading hotels of the world, The Saxon Hotel offers a Sunday brunch in its opulent “Qunu” room or on its Fig Terrace every Sunday from 11:30am-2:30pm.

They have a unique Springbok, Egg + Parma Ham main dish – with South African Springbok meat a popular choice for tourists!

Full menu here.

Brunch includes: a delicious cold buffet with all you can imagine, a plated main meal and the renowned dessert assortment expertly prepared by the Pastry team.

African ornaments adorn the tables
The hotel reception
The enticing entrance to the Qunu room where brunch is held

 

Four leaf clover cappuccino
The Saxon Johannesburg South Africa Brunch
24K gold flakes on the desserts
Purple macaroons on a bed of chocolate

Mozambique Prawns
The Saxon Johannesburg South Africa Brunch
Delicious, healthy buffet table
The Saxon Johannesburg South Africa Brunch
I chose the oven-roasted seabass, charred octopus, warm panzanella salad of white anchovies, slow-roasted tomatoes, croutons and artichoke puree
Dramatic interior design touches at the entrance of the hotel
South Africa

Emmanuel Sithole + South Africa’s Reaction To Xenophobia


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Emmanuel Sithole

Zwelinzima Vavi couldn’t have said it better when addressing media ahead of the “People’s March Against Xenophobia” planned for this Thursday (30,000 expected to march). He called on all trade unions, youth organisations, every religious organisation, every business person, every woman’s organisation, every organisation that represented foreign nationals, and every person who loved “humanity and every person who has been disgusted by what is happening in our country in the past week” to express their collective outrage at the march. (more…)

❤ My Work, Social Media Marketing + PR

Retro Afrika Happenings in the Months to Come


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Retro Afrika Bioscope at The Waterfront Film Studios in Cape Town

Highlight on one of Skybok’s clients Retro Afrika Bioscope – a studio label of Gravel Road Entertainment at the Waterfront Film Studios in Cape Town. CEO Ben Cowley has just returned from France for the “Lumiere Film Festival & Classic Film Market” in Lyon! Retro Afrika exhibited some retro titles at the Classic Film Market as well as its restoration services. Skybok is enjoying handling this account!

Lumiere 2014

Upcoming we’ve got:

+ The Mini Retro Afrika Film Festival in association with The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Johannesburg 24th – 26th October. 4 Films will be showcased: “Joe Bullet”, “Fishy Stones”, “Trompie” & “Umbango”. More on our blog www.retroafrika.com

+ “Joe Bullet” (a film banned in 1971) will be showcased at the MoMA The Museum of Modern Art in New York City on the 8th & 13th November as part of the “To Save and Project” Film Preservation Festival.

+ “Trompie” DVD will be released in Musica nationwide

+ “Joe Bullet” will be showcased at the Carthage International Film Festival in Tunisia

+ “Joe Bullet” will be showcased at the Berlin Film Festival Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival

Lumiere 2014 IMG-20141015-WA0018 Lumiere 2014

Lumiere 2014 Lumiere 2014 Lumiere 2014

South Africa, South African Interviews

Upcoming Steve Biko Commemorative Events


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Steve Biko Commemorative Events Coming Up in London, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, King William's Town + Amsterdam

Just over a week ago, the 12th of September marked 37 years since the chief creator of the Black Consciousness movement, Steve Biko, was killed in the custody of the apartheid police. Today his legacy lives on through a number of institutions in South Africa and abroad. The main organisation here in South Africa is the The Steve Biko Foundation. It’s hosting a number of events in the coming weeks in commemoration of 37 years since his death. These are:

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Blogging

20 Ways To Get Serious About Blogging


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1. Think long & hard about your blog categories

Your categories are the main sections or “magazine columns” that you feature on your blog. Your categories can be a drop down menu on your sidebar. They should be simple and logical. Use hierarchies to organise your ideas better. Try think of a catchy angle for them so you peak your viewer’s interest and stand out from the rest.

2. Design your site as simple as possible

Keep your design simple and appealing. Make it intuitive and well-structured. People should intuitively know how to navigate your space. Make pages along the top for sections you want to highlight. Use a category drop down menu and a follow widget wouldn’t hurt. If there are other platforms you want your viewers to know about, include those widgets also. A direct link to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram invites viewers to connect with you.

3. Operate it like a real magazine

Decide on your target audience just like Cosmo or House and Garden does. This means deciding:

+ Who you want to appeal to (age group, gender, interests)

+ What your content will be (which topics you choose)

+ How involved you’ll get in your articles (short, long, lots of resources)

Plan out each piece well. It’s always a good idea to think about a catchy title and invest time into each piece. Edit and format your posts and add great designs to them. Write in a natural tone and keep it simple. Decide on your intentions with each post. Publish often (weekly is great). If your favourite magazine missed a few issues, you’d eventually find a replacement.

4. Share each post into infinity

You write and publish something once, but who’s to say you can’t share that post once per month on Twitter, a couple times a year on Facebook or every other month on Google+? Pinterest is a lovely fresh platform with a constant stream of ideas. It’s a great way to advertise your blog. Make a board dedicated to your blog and pin your stuff to it! It will make it easier for people to find you and re-pin your stuff. Due to the “timeline” nature of most social media platforms, if you only share something once, it will only be seen by a small percent of your followers. It’s also a good idea to make an advert with your heading and URL on for sharing purposes.

5. Make sure you know what  your audience wants and needs

Your readers/clients have specific questions, desires and needs. You can start to figure out these needs by putting yourself in their shoes. What would you want to read about if you were them, visiting your blog? What tools can make things simpler for your viewers? Why do they come to your blog? Read more about figuring this out here.

6. Post frequently + consistently, with quality as your best friend

Remember to keep your material current and up-to-date. Try cater for a blog audience while maintaining your brand goals and sanity. This is, of course, if you are operating your blog like a business.

7. Invest in your blog

The things you spend money on are the things you want to get value out of. The things you spend money on are the important things that you care about. The best things in life are free, but some of the things that help you create your best life cost money. Invest in marketing your blog online or elsewhere if you want the traffic that will get you money in the long run.

8. Format your posts to be read by busy, lazy humans

This means short titles, bullet points and headings. Also, it means blog posts which aren’t too long.

9. Create a content calendar

….One that includes suggested post dates and categories. Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin is great because I like a visual representation of when I should post. Without a calendar and some type of plan, you’ll get around to that one post about that one thing on the 10th of NeverEver.

10. Add in promotion & maintenance tasks

Sponsored blogging (getting paid to publish promotional stuff) must be scheduled into your usual blogging routine. A lot of the time, clients/sponsors need a date for publishing. It’s good to plan ahead so you can give them an exact date.

11. Establish a writing routine that gives you time to think

Creative people are always thinking. Sometimes I have great ideas that pop into my head which I jot down. When I get around to writing a post, I’m always excited to publish it straight away. But I’ve learnt that it’s better to save the draft and give it an ‘incubation’ period in your head. Trust me, you’ll think of different things to add over a period of just 24 hours which will add value to your post.

12. Be you. We won’t like you if you’re being someone else

Enjoy your own space online. Add photos of your life. Write the way you would speak in real life. See how you do this in my post Find Your Voice Online.

13. Get high quality photos of yourself

It’s a good idea to have quality photos of yourself. These will come in handy for your “about” page, as well as any articles you write where you have personal experience. Allow your readers to connect with you! Keep a professional flavour by getting nice photos taken. It’s good for you and will be a plus for the photographer. There’s power in collaboration!

14. Audit your blog regularly

That post you wrote three months ago? It totally needs a link to the post you published earlier this week because they’re heavily related and your readers will be happy to have guided/quick access to both. Always keep in mind that no matter what order you write things in, any post or page on your website has the potential to be the first post a visitor sees. P.S. Blog audits are also a great way to make sure you’ve included your affiliate links and product/service links in all the organic ways possible.

15. Check your grammar

Make sure to double-check your articles.

16. Be available + interactive

No one likes a person who never responds to anything. Granted, you may be so “big time” that you can’t get to every blog comment or tweet, but none of them? I’ll accept that when you become the President of the United States. Even then, you can hire some people to help you out!

17. Pay attention to the questions your readers ask

There may be a new blog post you’ve written, a new eBook you can sell, a problem you can fix or a service you can offer that is lingering in questions from readers. Cultivate community around your blog so people feel they are in a safe space where they are supported and encouraged. Grow a family around your blog. You do this by being attentive to your readers.

18. Guest post like a champ

Once you have a healthy collection of quality content to lead people back to, pitch to some sites that fit your brand (or that are frequented by your ideal readers) to do a guest post. Think about larger online magazines and websites as well. These guest posting opportunities will help you build relationships and will lead new readers back to your site.

19. Accept guest posts like a champ

If someone else is willing to say some valuable and entertaining stuff on your blog, let them. Make sure each post fits your blog, fits your readers, and is the type of quality content you want your blog to be known for. Make sure to promote your guest authors and show them love. They will likely spread the word of their guest post, which can potentially give you lots of new readers.

20. Stay focused

We creatives like shiny new projects and get distracted easily. When you have lots of ideas racing through your head, stop and focus your energy on one thing at a time. Make a list. Lists are great.

Photo: Death To The Stock Photo

Entrepreneurship

Meetings: How To Schedule & Prepare


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Last month was one of refining processes, contracts and efficiency. I have many projects happening simultaneously. One thing I’ve started to see is that I’m constantly in meetings. Here’s some things to keep in mind about meetings:

1. Carve out certain days of the week to meet

Be intentional about what days are good for you to meet people. Make committments and stick to them. I always think it’s a good idea to schedule meetings a week or two in advance so you don’t do things last minute. That way you can be prepared. If you work for yourself, planning the use of your time wisely can be tricky. Make sure to pen in appointments and keep your diary close at all times!

2. Set an agenda/itinerary

Ideally, you want to stick to an agenda which you set. Get through the business first, then you can move onto the fun stuff if you still have time.

3. Let people know how long you can meet

Time is precious. If you have lots to get through, make sure you structure your days well and stick to your goals. It’s always a good idea to set out the time you have available when organising meetings. Literally say to yourself (and your client) how long you have for the meeting. 1 hour? 2 hours? Put a lid on how much time you can spend working on something with someone. If you don’t do this, you may just run over time and disappoint yourself when you can’t achieve your other goals for the day.

4. Keep the location in mind and be intentional about it

Where inspires you? Where is there free wifi? Do you need a plug point for your laptop? Do your research when you schedule a meeting with someone. If it’s not in an office, ensure you’re somewhere that has the resources you need and also makes you feel good (and has good coffee!)

Tamika Doubell

Skybok, South Africa

Success at South Africa’s Regional Business Achiever Awards!


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Tamika Doubell

I was honoured to receive an award as a finalist at this year’s Business Women’s Association of South Africa’s Regional Business Achiever Awards. Held at The Crystal Towers in Cape Town, I was thrilled to receive this recognition of distinction in business as an entrepreneur in the film industry! Skybok is all about connecting South Africa. I look forward to our exciting future doing so. I am very blessed that I was able to turn something I am passionate about into a profitable venture. It’s exciting to have been named in amidst such successful women across the region in all industries. I am proudly South African and marvel each day at our beautiful country and our people. Thank you, BWA! See more of my pics from the event here.

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