Something exciting I’ve been reading about is the biographical film of Mandela’s life, “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom”, which is being released in South Africa in just five months. Entirely South-African made and the only motion picture with full endorsement from Nelson Mandela himself and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, I can’t wait to see this! Film producer Anant Singh announced on 27 May this year (which marked the 50th anniversary of Nelson Mandela arriving on Robben Island as prisoner) that the film is in its final stages of post production and will be released on November 29. The film started development back in 1996 when Singh was granted the film rights to Mandela’s autobiography by Mandela himself. It’s amazing to think after all these years of planning and execution, we will finally get to see it. Directed by Justin Chadwick, it started its principle photography a year ago and shot for 16 weeks around South Africa. The movie begins in 1924 and follows Madiba from his early childhood, through to his arrival in Johannesburg and culminates with his election as president of South Africa in 1994. During the course of the film, three actors play Nelson Mandela – Siza Pini plays the 8 year old Mandela, Atandwa Kani plays him at 16, and Idris Elba plays the remaining years. I absolutely love Idris Elba, he stars in the British TV Drama “Luther“. People say this role could see the popular British actor as a serious contender in the next Oscar race. I wouldn’t be surprised! Here is a related article if you are interested in reading more about the film. You can also like its official Facebook page here.
Happy Friday, guys! I’ve spent the week running around. I’m working on some film projects for the tourism board and at the same time i’m working on shooting a profile of my family’s business Doubell Machines. I’ve been rolling my sleeves up, putting on my army boots and walking around the factory scaring all the men with my very intimidating tripod and Canon 5D MK II! I love a good productive week. This was also the week I got my awesome Lenovo laptop which I’m so excited about! It has a core i.5 processor, 6 GB RAM, 500 GB hardrive, 15″ screen and – best of all – it has Windows 8. If you have Windows 8, here are my top 6 suggestions for great apps to download from your store (nice ideas for your android or iphone, too)
This is a really great social magazine featuring the latest stories from any field that interests you. It collects the content of social media and other websites and presents it in magazine format and allows users to “flip” through their social-networking feeds. I love it because it gives me instant access at one click to the current news in everything – from the music industry to the film industry to world news to news from my favourite companies and brands (I follow national geographic). I definitely recommend this one.
This is a really great photo editor which allows you to add effects and text to your images as well as a whole bunch of other editing tools.
+ Instagram Explorer
This is basically Instagram on a computer screen. It has an easy layout which allows you to access instagram on your computer and not just via your phone. But note that you can’t actually upload via this – it’s exclusively for viewing.
This is a fun exercise app that gets you moving (think wii fit) If you have a webcam you can use this easily; it generates targets on your screen for you to hit, so you watch yourself punch and kick the air around you for hours on end. And it also tells you how many calories you’re burning, which is great!
An online video-streaming app, Netflix allows you to watch any movie, show or TV series in the world by paying a simple flat-rate fee once a month.
+ TuneIn Radio
Tune In Radio allows you to listen to terrestrial and internet streaming radio stations from around the globe. This is great for me in Cape Town, where we have a subculture of these online radio stations popping up everywhere!
One thing I really love to do is write. I’m an expressive person by nature with lots of thoughts and ideas that spill into my head at any given time. I realized recently that I have no vehicle through which to do justice to all that. So I took myself to exclusive books and got myself a gorgeous little moleskin book and some nice pens! With the new year having started I’ve decided to journal more. I encourage you to all keep a journal or diary of some kind to keep track and record things. Going to Spain, Portugal and New York this year should see me filling up quite a few pages! I believe in balancing your life – physical, social, mental and spiritual. Journalism is a great way to achieve that balance.
After journaling for about a week, I’ve realized a few things:
- I have a better idea of what 2012 was like.
- I have a better idea of what I want 2013 to look like.
- I take for granted how lucky and blessed I am.
- I much prefer old-fashioned pen and paper to the screen and keyboard!
Do you journal? What do you use it for – to spill your thoughts? To share your fears? Recap your day?
This past week I attended a very fun event here in Cape Town, South Africa. It was held at the “Shimmy Beach Club” at the harbour. I loved the vibe of the evening. There were loads of people all gathered together to see who would win the coveted title of the Cosmopolitan Hottest Bartender of the Year (with prize money of R20 000)! Cosmopolitan magazine, in partnership with Collison’s White Gold Brandy, announced on 14 January this year the five guys and five girls who got the nod to compete for the title of “SA’s Hottest Bartender”. The 10 finalists for 2013 were featured in the February issue of Cosmo. Readers had the opportunity to scrutinize these movers and shakers of creative cocktails, and to vote for their favourite. The aim of the Cosmopolitan Hottest Bartender search every year is to find a bartender with the perfect combination of creativity and charisma, who has his or her craft honed to perfection.
The competition is not judged only on looks: each entrant has to submit an original cocktail recipe.
They will then be required to prepare their cocktails on the night of the big finale in Cape Town on 14 March, and the overall winner will walk away with the grand prize of R20 000.
The 10 finalists were:
- Dillon Nuss from Taco Zulu, Durban
- Le Riche Meyer from Carnival Court, Cape Town
- Nicole Adams form Boulevard, Durban
- Gabriella Trollip from Tiger Tiger, Cape Town
- Domenico De Lorenzo from Molecular Bars, Johannesburg
- Johnny Bezuidenhout from Café Caprice, Cape Town – WINNER
- Robyn Horwitz from Movida, Johannesburg
- Imaan Mac Quena from Jade Champagne Bar & Lounge, Cape Town
- Nancy Ellis from Hooters, Durban
- Donovan Prince from Café Caprice, Cape Town
I thought the girls were great contestants! They had a lot of spunk and could definitely hold their own next to the boys. But I have to say, the boys had that cheekiness that’s a huge crowd pleaser in something like this. Let’s put it this way……while the girls were smiling, doing a few dance moves from behind the counter and tamely stirring in the vodka, the boys were literally ripping their shirts off, jumping on the counter and flexing their tattoo-covered muscles while shaking that martini!
The winner was Johnny Bezuidenhout from Cape Town’s most popular beach bar Café Caprice and he was really deserving. MC Poppy Ntshongwana didn’t have a hard time handing over the cheque!
We shot Caprice’s Skybok Profile a few months ago and for the video, we got Johnny to prepare a Mojito for us on-camera – check out his talent for yourself by watching it HERE. A great performance was given by “iScream & The Chocolate Stix” after the show and I really enjoyed their performance. It’s nice to hear local bands singing good music. Check out their blog HERE. Thank you to everyone involved for bringing us an awesome event!
We have such beautiful places here in South Africa. Skybok’s filming some of the cute coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and local attractions that surround us. Here are our latest videos for you to get a glimpse into Cape Town! These are must-do things when travelling to this side of the world.
Val De Vie Polo Club & Pavilion, Franschhoek
Wakaberry, Cape Town
Osumo Cavendish, Cape Town
Osumo Seapoint, Cape Town
Eagles’ Nest Wine Estate, Cape Town
Cafe Caprice, Cape Town
Vovo Telo (Waterfront), Cape Town
The Grand (Granger Bay), Cape Town
The Bay Hotel, Cape Town
The Grand (Camps Bay), Cape Town
Melissa’s (Newlands), Cape Town
Westerford High School, Cape Town
Christmas / New Year’s is that delicious little period in life when all the worries of the world seem to fade away into some fantastically naughty little indulgence. It can actually be any indulgence in the world – allow me to show you some of my little indulgences over the past 2 weeks 🙂
I flew up to Johannesburg with my family & stayed at Southern Sun, Montecasino. I absolutely LOVED my hotel! We had a gorgeous view from our room overlooking the “Sun Square” as well as a superbly-designed lake, fully equipped with a family of ducks and my favourite – two black swans 🙂 The hotel is a brand-new addition to the hotel family at Montecasino from my understanding… opened in May 2010. I’ve always stayed at their legendary Palazzo hotel when I’ve travelled to Montecasino. I still absolutely love it! But compared to this new addition, it’s a tad old-fashioned. Apparently it’s due for refurbishment this year, which will hopefully give it the freshness & contemporary ambiance of its sister hotel the Southern Sun!
Opened in May 2010 the Southern Sun Montecasino located at The Pivot is an exciting addition to the Montecasino Precinct. The hotel has 194 bedrooms and offers all the modern facilities for both business and leisure travellers including a high spec gymnasium.
The hotel reflects a fusion of period and modern Venetian furnishings with a fresh electric style. Punchinello’s restaurant offers Mediterranean cuisine in an exciting open plan kitchen which allows guests to share in the activities of the bustling kitchen.
A contemporary bar and lounge leads out to a large wooden deck overlooking the pool which is the ideal setting for sundowners.
Walking out of our hotel, there was easy access to the main Montecasino entertainment complex. We spotted these fabulous Venetian-inspired statues along the way! I loved them – there was a statue for every season. My favourite was summer…
There was also just generally some beautiful Venetian-inspired scenery which was so inspiring.
There is an exciting hub just a 5 min walk from our hotel called “Sun Square” which is just brilliant! Complete with restaurants – including the winner of Masterchef South Africa’s very own restaurant called Aarya – a musical fountain, a big screen TV, a clock tower and a giant Teatro (Italian for “Theatre”) hosting top notch productions all year round. Everything in the complex is styled to look like Venice, which I loved. This is where we celebrated New Year’s Eve.
The fireworks at the stroke of midnight were marvelous. I absolutely loved them. I think fireworks at midnight on New Year’s is an absolute MUST. Fireworks & champagne, that’s a true celebration for a new year. All these pics are by my brother, Dane Doubell. Prior to the countdown on New Year’s Eve we enjoyed the award-winning, much-acclaimed musical production “Dirty Dancing”. It blew me away.
I was really excited to wear my new dress from “Forever New”, white always looks great against a bit of a tan 😉
On New Year’s Eve we started a special new tradition which I hope will last for a very long time… We lit 2 beeswax candles which were part of a delicate little ornament I received as a gift from a friend who went to the German Christmas Market last year.
I lit the candle on the left for the old year and blew out all of the past. Then I lit the candle on the right for the future, and breathed in the light of the new year.
I recently created a quote for myself which is where the premise of this tradition began 🙂
Breathe out the past and breathe in the future
I also saw one great quote at “Skoobs” – my new favourite book store – which held lovely significance for me.
To top it all off, I threw a lucky penny into this fountain on New Year’s Eve and made a wish.
What I totally enjoyed about Montecasino was walking around the complex popping into this shop and that, grabbing an iced coffee and watching the live entertainment. There’s always some entertainment in the centre, from saxophone players to magicians to singers to circus folk. I loved the bookstore in the complex and also the 3D cinema where we watched some great films.
Something we loved to do was take a golf cart during the days from our hotel to the “Palazzo Hotel” and swim in their beautiful pool! We alternated between swimming at our hotel and the Palazzo hotel, which were both so gorgeous…
A few more indulgences were definitely at the breakfast buffet.
There were so many people at this hotel and in the complex generally.. I knew we’d picked the perfect place to spend New Year as a family 🙂
On the last day we visited the Montecasino Bird Gardens ……… and I loved it. My impressions of the park were that it is very clean and spacious. Also that they have such a diverse collection of birds. The birds are well looked after and I was thoroughly delighting in all the various exotic birds they have there…
They hold wonderful bird shows every day at different times of the day. I really enjoyed it much more than I first thought I would – I felt like a kid again!
There was one creature I particularly liked, and that was the chameleon!
I also liked the snake, seeing as 2013 is the year of the snake!
I calmed my nerves at a nearby waterfall – gorgeous!
On one evening we went and got a Thai Massage. We did a foot massage and then went into a full body “deep tissue” thai massage. Absolutely incredible! They actually manipulate your entire body as part of the massage. It’s quite something – had me stretching in positions I never knew I could. The parlour where the Thai spa was lay inside the Montecasino complex, making it very convenient for us. I just remember walking in and smelling the sweet scent of vanilla incense…. it was stunning.
I loved everything about this place and it certainly made me add “get a thai massage at least once a month” to my resolutions list.Here is some more info on Thai massages (I found it quite interesting!)
Traditional Thai massage is based on the belief that all life force spirals around special pathways, or prana pathways, in the body. There are 72 000 invisible energy lines, which make up the energy body. Any blockage along these lines can cause disease (dis-ease) on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. Thai massage focuses on 10 important lines, called sen sip. By releasing any blocked energy along the sen lines, prana can flow freely, thereby restoring balance, health and harmony in the body.
Traditional Thai massage is a combination of acupressure, reflexology and yogic exercises, or gentle stretching, which manipulates the energy lines and so diminishes tension, stimulates metabolism and creates a feeling of wellbeing and vitality. Unlike some other therapies, you will feel refreshed and energized after a Thai massage, rather than sedated and lethargic.
After a glorious holiday in Johannesburg, we flew back to my home town Port Elizabeth where I am currently writing to you from.
I recently attended the Cosmo summer pool party. They truly outdid themselves this year for the event which was held at Shandiz Restaurant & Cocktail Bar, Mandela Rhodes Place, corner of Wale and Burg Street, Cape Town. I loved the design of the space. Everything was big, bold & colourful. I thoroughly enjoyed some of the eye candy that was walking around serving the food and giving away free stuff. It started at 5pm and wrapped up at 10pm. All in all a great night with awesome friends, thanks Cosmo SA. The venue was fantastic and the weather was perfect. If you want to see more of my pics from the event, click HERE. To see Cosmo’s professional photos from the event (photos by Paul Ward) click HERE. Were you there? How have you kick-started Summer?? Tweet me at @TamikaDoubell.
COSMOPOLITAN turned up the heat this weekend to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of summer. Held at Shandiz Mandela Rhodes Place, the crystal clear pool with its cityscape backdrop was the perfect way to enjoy the first of many pool parties this festive season. Guests were treated to cocktails, delicious snacks, loads of ice cream and some very hot bodies. The stunning Anthea Schotlz opened the event with a sexy sunset session followed by an amazing performance by Goldfish.
“Like sands through the hour glass, so are the days of our lives………………………”Cue music! Days of our Lives is a daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. This past week, three of the stars from the NBC hit soapie flew to South Africa for a two-city tour.
It’s one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every weekday in the United States since November 8, 1965.
Galen Gering (Rafe), Drake Hogestyn (John) and Arianne Zucker (Nicole) enjoyed the gorgeous welcome that was waiting for them here and toured the country promoting the show and really just celebrating a show which has been running on our screens for so long and which has a huge fan base here. Here are some other faces you may recognize from the hit-soapie:
I was invited to an exclusive cocktail evening where SABC 3 hosted the cast members at The Expresso Penthouse here in Cape Town, to celebrate the soapie that has for many years graced the small screen in South Africa. SABC truly outdid themselves; the décor was stunning and the food was even better. I couldn’t have asked for a better location for the evening, a stunning penthouse on a beautiful summer’s evening overlooking the city with views of the ocean and the dazzling ocean liner lights. Magical. There was a fabulous arrangement of champagne glasses upon arrival and guests were given a glass of Pierre Jourdain or a cosmo! Well what can I say, I kept going back for more.
When speeches came around, MC Janez welcomed them officially and gave them each the mic to say a few words.
During his speech he said that the welcome they’ve received here in South Africa has been overwhelming and that they are very grateful. He mentioned how when they go back to work today (Monday), they will be surrounded by the lights and the studios of NBC and they’ll just look at each other and smile. To him, they share a secret; the secret of South Africa and their fantastic trip here. He said that it’s been a magical and unforgettable experience that they’ll never forget. To me personally, I think it’s crazy how with one plane ride they’ll be transported to another world. It must be weird for them to come somewhere so far away and receive such a huge welcome, have such a fabulous time and then have to travel back to their reality, remembering all their fans here and the lifestyle that is “South Africa”. Thank you SABC for a superb evening, I enjoyed every second! You can follow SABC on Facebook HERE. And you can find them on Twitter HERE.
My next interview is with an actor who can proudly say he has many talents and he’s not afraid to enjoy them, to share them and to use them to spread happiness and positivity to many in South Africa. He’s certainly making a difference, one laugh at a time. You can catch him right now on the big screen starring opposite Rob Van Vuuren in the new South African Comedy, “Copposites“.
In his career to date as an actor, comedian and MC, he’s rubbed shoulders with Morgan Freeman, he’s starred opposite Kiefer Sutherland, he’s performed for Nelson Mandela and he’s toured Asia with “Les Misérables” (and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!).
Having appeared in numerous well-known films, TV series and commercials, including as a lead role in SABC’s Khululeka and Mnet’s League of Glory, he also travels around the country as an MC for corporate and private events as well as for motivational speaking. His award-winning one-man comedy show, Dekaf, took the Golden Ovation Award for “Best Comedy” at the 2010 Grahamstown National Arts Festival and has been touring sold-out shows ever since. His latest comedy show, Racecard, has just finished a run at the acclaimed Baxter Theatre in Cape Town.
It received praised reviews admiring the dynamic performer who was named by Mail & Guardian to be among the “Top 200 Young South Africans” in 2011. Among the admirers was Hellen Zille herself, who even tweeted about the show after she watched!
Siv and I caught up at Royale Eatery where we began our interview over one of their delicious burgers!
Tamika: Where are you from originally?
Siv: Cape Town. I was born in Gugulethu, I then moved to Langa and eventually to Pinelands when I was nine. I grew up there and I moved out a few years ago.
Tamika: Where did you go to school?
Siv: Pinelands High.
Tamika: What did you do after school?
Siv: I worked at Kayos Casting for a while and did a lot of work behind the camera – writing briefs, answering phones, working in studio etc. I then traveled around America for a year and a half doing odd jobs. I traveled to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington and many more places.
Tamika: What kind of training did you do for acting?
Siv: I have no training.
Tamika: What would you say it is that you do primarily?
Siv: I am an actor. Comedy is my waitressing job. I do comedy because it reaches many people, it pays well and it’s instant gratification.
Tamika: Name some films you’ve done that were memorable for you. When were they, what what were they about and what was your role?
Siv: I would have to say Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom was an unforgettable experience for me. It shot this year in Cape Town and Johannesburg. It’s a film about Mandela’s life. I play his lead bodyguard. Then there’s Strikeback, which came to shoot in South Africa for its third season of ten episodes. It’s an American Action | Drama | Thriller TV series about the actions of “Section 20”, a secretive unit of the British Secret Intelligence Service. A team of spies conduct several high risk missions throughout the globe. I play a Zimbabwean CIA agent. That was definitely memorable one for me.
Tamika: What did you enjoy most about playing opposite Kiefer Sutherland and Jon Voight in the movie version of 24?
Siv: I really enjoyed the professionalism of the set. It’s an international production and they give you the respect and freedom on set to do what you want with your character. They believe that “if we cast you, you’re good enough.”
Tamika: Have you done any commercials? Name some of the best ones! 🙂
Siv: Yes I’ve done a lot. Probably the one that stands out is the one I shot for Castle Lite last year. They flew us to London to shoot.
Tamika: How was being on the set of Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman?
Siv: Unbelievable. I didn’t get the bigger roles that I initially auditioned for on account of me simply being too young, but I didn’t care. Just being there, getting that experience and being on a set like that was so so worth it!
Tamika: And how was being on the set of Copposites, out now at Nu Metro?
Siv: Rob and I get along very well, he’s a good friend of mine. As cliché as it sounds, it was a really good time! It was an ego-less set, which is key when you have two strong personalities together on set.
Tamika: You do a great deal of MC work. What jobs stand out for you?
Siv: I do a lot of corporates which stand out. I’m doing a job for Cyril Ramaphosa for his birthday which is coming up. I’ll be doing comedy and MC’ing at that. I’ve done a job recently for The Nelson Mandela Foundation which was fantastic and was a highlight for me. I did comedy and motivational speaking at that. And then a cool one I got a few months ago was for Kulula Airlines. I was actually MC’ing on an aeroplane in the sky! It was to mark the launch of a new plane.
Tamika: You performed for Nelson Mandela at his birthday party in 1996 when you were ten! What did you do exactly, who were you with and what was it like?
Siv: It was awesome! I was touring with Les Misérables at the time and he requested to see me when I was back in South Africa. I wrote a song for him which I sang with my sister 🙂
Tamika: I understand you’re also invited to be a guest speaker at schools? How is that for you; what message do you give to the kids?
Siv: I love doing it. I prefer doing it to comedy. If I could drop comedy I would. I’ve been to schools all over the country; I’ve done Kingswood College in Grahamstown, Rondebosch Boys’ here in Cape Town and many township schools, to name a few. I believe that there’s no point having a talent if you don’t share it. I share life lessons I’ve learnt with the students.
Tamika: You’ve been praised in the New York Post and you’ve even been talked about on the Conan O’Brien Show! What did you think when you heard that?
Siv: I was excited. Conan had watched 24 and he enjoyed my performance.
Tamika: Have you won any awards?
Siv: I won “Best Newcomer” in Les Misérables. I won “Best Comedy Show” at The Grahamstown National Arts Festival and I’ve won a few comedy awards.
Tamika: What is the most recent job you’ve done.
Siv: I just shot a movie as part of the 48-Hour Film Project Competition.
It invites filmmakers from around the world to produce a complete short movie in just two days.
The film will be screened at The Labia Theatre here in Cape Town on November 11th. It’s called Beacon of Hope and it’s about a man who spends his whole life in a lighthouse. He sees a girl one day on the rocks and falls in love with her.
Siv: I’m doing a national tour of my comedy show Racecard. And then I will be doing a one-man play which Mike van Graan is writing for me. In the meantime I am waiting to hear back from films that I recently auditioned for. There is also a television show I will be shooting next year in the pipeline, but I can’t say any more about that.
Tamika: Who is your agent?
Tamika: Do you also model.
Siv: No. I would rather die.
Tamika: What are your favourite South African films?
Siv: Otello Burning, e’Lollipop and Skoonheid.
Tamika: Where do you party?
Siv: I don’t party. I’ve outgrown that. If it’s an event, I’ll go.
Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?
Siv: Posters, flyers, banners, squash rackets, clothing – it’s packed!
Tamika: Do you have siblings?
Siv: Yes, two older sisters and a foster brother.
Tamika: What does your family do?
Siv: My dad passed away when I was young and my mom is a retired school principal. She is now a professional member of the Siv fan club!
Tamika: Haha! And tell me, what is your health routine like?
Siv: I hate gyming. I do it when I need do, that goes for dieting too. I will do them when I have a shoot coming up. For instance, I’m shooting the Marie Claire nude edition in a few weeks.
Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
Siv: Creating a lot of work for myself and others. I want to carry on doing what I love. I want to be the most successful actor South Africa has ever seen. I would have stopped comedy by then. And I would have bought my mom a house and a car.
Tamika: What’s one interesting thing about you that your followers don’t know?
Siv: I’m quite a social loner. I love being with myself as much as I love being with other people.
Tamika: Name a place you love.
Siv: My bedroom.
Tamika: Do you do any charity work?
Siv: Yes. I have a Foundation called Siv Gives Back. I sponsor kids, I donate stuff to the Red Cross Hospital. I also donate my work as charity – 20% of my time is charity. I do a lot of free comedy, MC’ing and acting (fundraisers, certain events, student film projects and so on) – my philosophy is “why have a talent if you can’t share it?” And one day I’ll change the world.
Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk out of an audition?
Siv: “Forget about it.” And also; “If they don’t give you the job then it’s their mistake.”
If you want to follow him on Twitter, he goes by @iamSivN
You can also check him out on Facebook on his official Facebook Page.