It’s so hard to believe that we’re 9 weeks into the journey with The Bachelor SA and that there are just 4 ladies left! This past week the tension was evident at that final, awkward cocktail party. Lee had shared a fun day out with everyone on a group date at Gold Reef City but early on in the day, people were already feeling the pressure, and feeling excluded. One on one time followed, first with Gina and then with Michelle R, who arrived back at the mansion with a rose!!
And talking about ‘excluded’ … let’s get to the social media reaction surrounding Lee inviting Jozaan AND Nontombi for a chat, and then proceeding to chat exclusively to Jozaan! Talk about causing a Twitter storm!!
You could have cut the tension with a knife. When that final rose ceremony began it felt like everyone was holding their breath. Lee himself needed a moment to compose himself before presenting that very last rose, and when he did, it was Jenna and Nontombi who were empty-handed. I chatted to the two of them last Friday.
I didn’t want to beat about the bush, so the very first thing I mentioned when I spoke to Nontombi, was to ask her how she’d felt about the whole incident and the audience reaction, general consensus being that she had been disrespected and that she should have walked out of that mansion immediately and not even have waited for the rose ceremony! Well, she didn’t do that, and in true Nontombi style, when she didn’t receive a rose, she said goodbye – when it was time – and walked out with her head held high, like the lady she is, and has been throughout the show!
Nontombi says that while she doesn’t really know what Lee was thinking by wanting to chat to her and Jozaan together, she thought that maybe he felt that as the two girls were so close, maybe they’d feel more comfortable – the atmosphere in the mansion was incredibly tense by then. Regarding audience reaction, she’s extremely relaxed about it, saying that people respond from their own personal perspectives – they see what they want to see – and this is a theme that prevails throughout my conversation with both her and Jenna: the fact that the audience doesn’t really get the entire picture, only parts of it, and that’s what they’re basing their opinions on.
Jenna tells me that from the minute she stepped out of the limo, the impression she got of Lee was that he made every one of the ladies feel like she was in a safe space. But walking into the mansion, she never expected that she was walking into a situation where she’d be meeting people who just a few weeks later she’d be absolutely heartbroken to leave!
She’d entered The Bachelor SA because having always been so focused on her career, she’d never made time for relationships. But she admits to being old-fashioned and quite early on had realised that maybe he wasn’t the right guy for her. However, being a determined and resolute soul, Jenna continued to reason with things and gave it a full chance. She’s most proud of the fact that she remained 100% true to her character and I’m sure everyone will agree that from start to finish she never diverted from being truly authentic.
Jenna acknowledged that on that last group date she knew that the whole situation just wasn’t right for her. She was emotional and teary and was feeling that enough was enough. In fact she says the entire series has been an emotional journey … however it’s taught her so much about herself and it’s been more positive than negative. She knows that Lee would have liked to see the fight in her, but it’s just not who she is, and as we’ve already said, she stayed true to herself. She also correctly points out that the right guy will love you for who you are and that we’re all different – that’s what makes us unique!
When it came to strategy, Nontombi laughingly (and repeatedly) tells me that maybe she should have watched at least one episode (or maybe a season) of one of the overseas versions of The Bachelor before going on the show! That’s right people, she’d never watched a single one. She didn’t know about home visits, didn’t know about the proposal at the end, which she philosophically says would mean that it would make sense that he’d need to meet your family and friends beforehand right?!
With regards to why she entered, she says it’s not entirely about the end goal: the man. One needs to bear in mind – and keep in mind – that the bachelor is not a prize, he’s a person! Being a part of the show doesn’t mean that Lee gets to sit back and have 24 women fight over him, which is often the perception, he’s also part of the process. Jenna describes how difficult it is for him to allocate time for each of the ladies at the cocktail parties, which leads to strain and friction amongst everyone – for example, he might have had a one on one date with one of them, but then inadvertently wouldn’t immediately greet her at the next cocktail party, greeting someone else first. This would lead to huge disappointment and anxiety.
Nontombi resolutely reminds us that what you see on TV might be reality TV but “it’s not real! It’s like commenting on social media … so easy, but if you wouldn’t say it in real life, don’t say it online!” While you’re on the show, if you wouldn’t do something in real life, don’t do it here either!
And is there anything they would have changed, or done differently? Well, Nontombi would have watched the show previously!! But then she thinks about it and says that she thinks that this may have changed her authenticity, so she’s actually happy she didn’t. Jenna too, says she wouldn’t change anything and adds (reflectively) that when you look back on aspects of your life you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself and you should be kind to the you that you were in whatever situation you were in.
Does being on The Bachelor SA change peoples’ perceptions of you … do your family and friends see you in a different light? Jenna tells me that her family and friends were immensely supportive and that that the feedback that’s made her the happiest is that they’ve told her how happy they were to see she came across exactly as she truly is!
Nontombi describes the experience as both overwhelming and refreshing. Due to her mom having a pre-existing health condition, she wasn’t able to tell her that she’d be on the show, which was difficult as she would have loved to be able to share the news with her. However, her other family members and friends were supportive.
We’re wrapping things up, and inevitably we get to discussing the bonds that have been formed with the other ladies in the mansion. It tell them that it’s funny that in all of my previous chats with the other participants, we talk more about this than we actually talk about Lee! He doesn’t seem to come up in conversation much! The truth is, they remind me, that everyone spends very little time with Lee, but a lot of time together, so it’s understandable that such strong friendships are created. Take that, together with the fact that you have no connection to your usual support networks, you’re bound to form strong ties in a short space of time.
It’s Jenna who tells me that it was certainly not her intention to go in and create friendships – in fact, if she had a strategy, she’d say that was it! The biggest and most unexpected shock for her was to absolutely love these girls and to make such close friends, and then have to leave them! “I never prepared my heart for that!”
And Nontombi pipes up: “Babe! They’re not dying!”
Banter like this only exists where true warmth and friendship live! I guess some things on reality TV are real after all!
The Bachelor SA is screened on M-Net Channel 101 every Thursday evening at 19:00 and is also available on Catch-Up. Fans can visit www.mnet.tv/thebachelorsa and follow all the breaking news and conversations around the show on Twitter @MNet #TheBachelorSA and on the official M-Net Facebook page.
The Bachelor SA is produced by Rapid Blue and proudly sponsored by dotsure.co.za, a product of Oakhurst Insurance Company Limited (FSP 39925) and Oakhurst Life (FSP 44793), authorised financial services providers.
Real Concerts, in association with M-Net and Hot 91.9FM are proud to announce that due to popular demand and extra Mango Groove 30th Anniversary Concert has been added at the Teatro, Montecasino on Saturday, 9 March, 2019.
In the words of Mango Groove’s lead vocalist, Claire Johnston:
“2019 is a big year for us as we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the release of our very first album, Mango Groove. With this in mind, it seemed right to us that we put on a high production concert that showcases the highlights, memories and moments of that album, as well as performing all the other Mango songs that people have come to know and love through years.”
The Mango Groove album went on to become one of SA’s biggest-selling albums of all time (well over 25-times platinum), and produced a string of hits that to this day remain part of the soundtrack of South Africa’s journey over the last three decades: ‘Special Star’, ‘Dance Some More’, ‘Hellfire’, ‘Move Up’, and many more.
That first album release created the platform for what was to become a meteoric rise to fame for Mango Groove, and it paved the way for a host of achievements that set new precedents and records that still stand today:
- The successive releases of several more albums and hit singles, including ‘Hometalk’, ‘Moments Away’, ‘Another Country’, ‘Nice to See You’, ‘Bang the Drum’ and their latest album release ‘Faces to the Sun’.
- Setting new live performance benchmarks for all SA artists, being the only SA group ever to sell out the Sun City Superbowl and the Standard Bank Arena six times each.
- The band was the first to redefine live staging and production standards for SA acts; the first to command a million rand sponsorship deal, and were the first and only group to remain at the top of the SA national sales charts for over a year.
- Internationally, Mango Groove’s unique and magical blend of South African marabi, kwela and pop influences, together with the voice and presence of Claire Johnston went on to captivate audiences around the world:
Highlights of their career include:
- The direct satellite link- up to the Freddie Mercury tribute in London (to an estimated audience of a billion people); their performance in front of 200 000 people at the Paris “SOS Racism” concert; and their performance at the renowned Montreux Jazz festival where the band received 3 encores.
- From London to Hong Kong, Toronto to Sydney, the band has played to sell- out crowds around the world.
- Mango Groove was given the honour of being the only South African (indeed African) act to be invited to perform at the ‘Celebrate Hong Kong ‘97’ Reunification Concert. This historic event, part of the official celebrations commemorating the handover of Hong Kong to China, was televised world-wide and immortalised on a commemorative CD. It was followed up, in fact, by Mango Groove being the only SA act to perform at the globally-televised concert commemorating the handover of Macau to China.
- Mango Groove was also especially proud to have been associated with the ABC world- wide broadcast of Nelson Mandela’s release where their music was used as the main theme. A few years later they headlined at his inauguration.
- Mango Groove has long been aware of music’s unique power to change people’s hearts and minds, and through the years the band has raised hundreds of thousands of Rands for issues such as literacy, terminally ill children and conservation.
In founder member John Leyden’s words:
“In terms of finding the ideal partner for what is truly a very special event for us, working with Real Concerts again made perfect sense…Serendipity at its best! It was this very partnership that properly launched Mango Groove on a grand scale to SA markets in 1989, and it was a partnership that then powered its way through the host of precedent-setting achievements in the years that followed.”
What can we expect from the show itself, then? In the words of Roddy Quin of Real Concerts:
“Yes, the show will be a veritable memory-fest, and it will truly be a joyful celebration of all the Mango songs we have come to love through the years: All of this backed up, of course, with the best possible live production, dancing and performance standards. As importantly, though, it will be a celebration of South African-ness in all its glorious diversity: who we were, our transition, the great ongoing South African journey, who we are today, and what is still so possible for us as a country. This show really will move you in so many different ways.”
Mike Page, GM of Montecasino, says, “Montecasino and the Teatro are thrilled to be hosting such a momentous concert, marking Mango Groove’s 30 amazing years of enchanting South Africans and indeed the world with their very special sound. Montecasino is all about delivering memorable experiences to every visitor – and this event will fit that bill perfectly. We look forward to welcoming the band and the heart-warming and joyful celebration of one of country’s favourite sounds.”
Mango Groove’s 30th Anniversary Concert, The Teatro, Montecasino, Johannesburg:
Friday 8th March – 8pm
Saturday 9th March – 8pm
Tickets Available from Computicket – Bookings now open!
Isn’t it just ridiculous that in 2018, we adults have learned absolutely nothing … and that the more things change, the more they stay the same … and that the more progress we’ve made, the more backward we really are?!? Well, thank goodness for bright, bold, unapologetic children’s musical theatre! It says it like it is, without sugar coating or subtlety – kids just don’t buy into that nonsense.
Written by Melvin Tunstall III, composed by our very own SA boykie, Greg Borowsky together with Douglas Lyons, who also wrote the lyrics. The original idea of POLKADOTS was inspired by the Little Rock Nine who ended segregation in American schools in the late ’50’s. But before you start yawning, and wondering how on earth this relates to kids of today … sadly it does!
What’s it all about? Lily Polkadot (the gorgeously bubbly Gugu Dhlamini) has recently moved to the town of Rockaway and is apprehensive about her first day of school. She’s the only Polkadot in a school of Squares. And immediately she’s targeted by Mean Girl, Penelope Square (Kirsty Marillier, in fabulous, full-scale viciousness), purely because of the way she looks – she’s a ’round peg, in a square hole’ and isn’t wanted here! She’s misunderstood wherever she turns, and whatever she says (despite her determined optimism), and even confronted with a separate water fountain to drink from! All she needs is one friend so that she doesn’t feel alone. Surprisingly this comes in the form of Penelope’s shy brother Sky (wonderfully awkward and endearing Bonginkosi Jay Hlatshwayo), and also the sunny teacher Mrs Square (vivacious and highly accomplished
Andrea Shine – who also doubles up as Mama Square).
This small, but extremely skilled cast has no trouble keeping its audience enthralled, engaged and entertained and in just 55 colourful, vibrant minutes, our four main characters teach us all some fundamental life lessons!
There’s a very good reason why POLKADOTS recently won the Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Family Show in New York. The entire show teaches us that what makes us different is what makes us awesome! Not one of us is the same, and why do we even want to be? But then why can’t we accept each other as we are – for after all, we’re all the same on the inside?
Kids of all ages will gain something from POLKADOTS, whether it’s just the fun element, the catchy songs that carry great messages, or the more in-depth meaning of the storyline. There’s really something for everyone here.
This is POLKADOTS’ first international production and it’s not surprising that it’s led by an award-winning local team. Making its debut at this year’s REDFEST, followed by a week of school holiday shows at Redhill, it’s produced by Joseph Gerassi for Redhill School, in association with producers Drew Bakker and Rowan Bakker for &CO, together with associate producer Matthew Counihan. Shelley Adriaanzen directs and choreographs, with musical supervisor by Rowan Bakker and production design by Sarah Roberts.
With its strong anti-bullying message, a tour schedule is in the pipeline. So keep a close eye on the POLKADOTS SA Facebook page for updates.
For info on shows this week, and to book, click here.
Don’t miss POLKADOTS. I can’t recommend it enough!
All cast photo credits: Ronel Hugo
‘Visiting Mr Green’, currently onstage at the Auto & General Theatre on the Square has been getting such rave reviews that Daphne Kuhn has added an extra (final) show – Sunday 10 June, 3pm.
This exceptional production features superb performances from both Michael Richard and Roberto Pombo. It’s most ably directed by Alan Swerdlow with a set designed by Denis Hutchinson, that will instantly transport you into the typical realms of a Manhattan inhabited by those who still maintain their own little corner of Eastern Europe … in America.
Be prepared to run a gamut of emotions as you enter the home and heart of elderly Mr Green, struggling to come to terms with facing life without his beloved soulmate. He’s alone with his fading memories until young, sassy executive, Ross Gardiner unexpectedly shows up, tasked with spending time with Green as community service in return for almost knocking him over!
Together they manage to navigate the choppy waters of what it means to be alone in modern Manhattan, dealing with the judgment, intolerance and narrow-mindedness of others, about all manner of matters. And surprisingly they realise they have a lot to learn from each other, as well as a lot to share.
Visiting Mr Green is absolutely unmissable! It is heartwarming in a way that many modern scripts just aren’t. This year it celebrates its 20th anniversary!
Book through Computicket or by calling the theatre in 011 883 8606.
Back by popular demand, Joburg Theatre is proud to present Woza Albert! by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon, on The Fringe Theatre stage from Friday 1 June – Sunday 17 June.
Woza Albert! will always remain as one of the most vibrant examples of satirical anti-apartheid South African Theatre, demonstrating innovation and creativity during one of the most pivotal and ground-breaking periods of theatre in this country.
Woza Albert! is still a relevant story today, which is why it’s a school set-work in the South African GDE school curriculum, and therefore essential viewing for learners. The theatre piece offers a great tool for audience development while assisting with the school curriculum. The play portrays so much truth and clarifies a simple approach to the human condition, therefore making it continually relevant to South Africa.
Segomotso Modise and Hamilton Dlamini play the roles of various black South Africans – a vendor, barber, domestic worker, manual labourer and soldier – each receiving the news that Christ (Morena) has arrived in South Africa, where they live under a Calvinist, white elite imposed apartheid.
2018 SAFTA award winner for Best Actor – TV Soap/Telenovela, Hamilton Dlamini, had a starring role as bumbling private investigator TT in the Mzansi Magic comedy series Boomba and TT, in 2012. In 2015 he had a starring role as Mnqobi Simelane, a self-made man in his 40s who is in a polygamous marriage with two wives and a possible third, in the e.tv drama series Umlilo.
Segomotso Modise started his theatre career in 2005 starring in a production titled ‘Question Mark’ which earned him the award best actor in the leading role in the stop crime drama festival. In 2014 he made his musical debut when he starred in MARIKANA – THE MUSICAL by Aubrey Sekhabi which walked away with 6 Naledi awards, and after a sensational performance in the musical he was called to star in the recent musical TAKING BACK THE FUTURE by Tshepo Ratona and Presley Chweneyagae. His television work includes an awareness ad for children and women abuse and a Guest appearance in a popular local sitcom Ga Re Dumele. His international tours include Germany, Amsterdam, Austria, Poland and the UK, with various acclaimed award winning plays like ‘Interracial’ & ‘Rocksburg’, to name just a couple.
These two theatre veterans make it easy for audiences to relate in the new South Africa, where people are desperate for a better life despite their political freedom. The parts played by Bheki and Hamilton show off their skills in acting, mime, singing and dance. They also have the unique ability to create images using a few words and actions.
The play is a political satire that imagines the second coming of Christ in apartheid-era South Africa. It looks at a wide range of characters in South Africa at the beginning of the 1980s and attacks the pass laws that prevented Black people from moving freely at the time. The production uses the metaphor of Morena (Jesus) to show what would happen if he came back to South Africa during apartheid. Would he like what he saw? And if he saw the atrocities of the time then why would he not do anything about them?
Woza Albert! will be on stage at The Fringe Theatre @ Joburg Theatre from 1 – 17 June 2018.
There are morning performances on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 11h00.
Fridays and Saturdays at 20h00.
Sundays at 15h00.
Organisers reveal exciting new format
Pretoria, May 3: This year’s Top 12 Miss South Africa finalists have been announced as the pageant proudly celebrates its 60th anniversary, with a dramatic and exciting change to its format.
Traditionally, during the final on pageant night, the top 12 finalists are reduced to five, from which a second princess is announced, followed by a first princess and then the winner.
This year, following the cut to the top five finalists, the organisers will go straight to a top two announcement. One of the pair will be named Miss World South Africa and one will receive the title of Miss Universe South Africa. Both will go on to represent South Africa on the global stage in each respective competition.
However, as there can be only one reigning Miss South Africa, the two winners will be asked one final question by the judges as the pageant draws to a close. Their answers will then determine who is crowned as the official Miss South Africa 2018.
The Top 12 finalists, who each receive a prize package valued at R180 000, come from six of the country’s provinces – five from Gauteng; two from KwaZulu Natal and the Eastern Cape respectively and one each from the Free State, Mpumalanga, and the Western Cape. They’re an extremely impressive group, including several medical, science and law students and a number of BComm and BSc graduates.
They are (in alphabetical order of their first names):
· Akile Khoza (23) from Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga who is studying for her Masters in neuroscience at Stellenbosch University.
· Anzelle van Staden (25), from Centurion in Gauteng, has a BComm degree from the University of Pretoria and is currently a full-time model.
· Bryoni Govender (21), from Kempton Park in Gauteng, is a third year LLB student at the University of Johannesburg.
· Daniellë de Jager (20) from Benoni, Gauteng, is currently studying biokinetics at the Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth.
· Karishma Ramdev (23), from Chatsworth in KZN, is a fifth-year medical student at the University of Pretoria.
· Margo Fargo (25), originally from Heidedal in the Free State, has a BSc consumer sciences honours degree and is a co-founder of a NPO.
· Noxolo Ndebele (24), from KwaNongoma in KZN, has a BComm Acc degree and worked as a financial controller.
· Tamarin Bensch (25), originally from Bedfordview in Gauteng but now living in Somerset West, works in property management and interior renovations.
· Tamaryn Green (23), from Paarl in the Western Cape, is in her final year of medicine at the University of Cape Town.
· Thandokazi Mfundisi (23), from East London in the Eastern Cape, is a final year LLB student at Fort Hare.
· Tharina Botes (21), from Roodepoort in Gauteng, is a first year BComm marketing and business degree student at Damelin and a part-time model.
· Thulisa Keyi (26), originally from East London and who now lives in Gauteng, is currently doing her articles after graduating from the University of Cape Town.
The Miss South Africa Organisation (Cell C and Sun International) has the exclusive licences for the Miss South Africa title holder to compete annually in both the Miss Universe and Miss World pageants. Traditionally, the reigning Miss South Africa competed in both these international competitions. However, if Miss South Africa won on the international stage – as Rolene Strauss did with Miss World in 2014 or there was a conflict with dates that overlapped (which happened last year when Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters lifted the Miss Universe title) – the first runner-up was called upon to represent South Africa.
Says Suzette van der Merwe from Cell C on behalf of the Miss South Africa Organisation: “In 2018, we’re adopting international best practice in terms of our finalist judging in order to ensure that our contestants are given a bigger share of the global spotlight by strengthening our pageantry presence internationally. We are delighted that this new format will give two finalists the opportunity to represent South Africa and enable them to prepare thoroughly in advance.”
Adds Gareth Flusk from Sun International on behalf of the Miss South Africa Organisation: “We are thrilled with the calibre of the finalists in our 60th anniversary year. Any of these contestants would do us proud on the international stage. We are delighted that this year two women will be given the opportunity to shine.”
Miss South Africa 2018, the Diamond Jubilee spectacular with host Bonang Matheba, will take place on Sunday, May 27, at Sun International’s new flagship venue, the Sun Arena at Time Square, Pretoria.
Tickets for this year’s pageant are available at TicketPro and cost between R160 and R560. Bookings can be made at: www.ticketpros.co.za
Written by Mike Kenny
Directed by Francois Theron
Once again, director Francois Theron succeeds in bringing a production to life in such a way that it’s perfectly accessible to and understood by the youngest of theatre-goers. We are so used to productions that are big, bold and shiny – far too brash and sophisticated for the likes of younger minds who are just getting to grips with what theatre is all about and how they can relate to it. The National Children’s Theatre is the ideal space in which they can do that.
I’ll admit from the start, I’m a fan of anything that relates to Peter Pan, and this didn’t disappoint. Sarah Roberts has created costumes and a set that will delight young audiences, and will inspire them to go home and re-enact both in their own homes! She’s made use of everyday household items that children will be able to find around their homes and that of their friends: an umbrella (the big, magical moon), gardening rakes (crocodile teeth), sleeping bags (mermaid tails – assisted by braces) … they might have to look a bit further for a wheelbarrow (a boat)!
The animated cast are an absolute delight and interact energetically with their highly enthusiastic young audience. Nirvana Nokwe-Mseleku as Wendy can be forgiven for her somewhat errant accent (slightly British … somewhat not-so-much) because she’s completely endearing and utterly lovely, and she sings beautifully. Daniel Kieth Geddes is Wendy’s younger brother John; he’s also a rather raffish Captain Hook, who’s actual quite wonderfully comical. Danny Meaker is the youngest, sleepiest brother Michael. He’s trying to show his older siblings how brave he is by sleeping out in the back garden with them. Meaker also plays Peter Pan, our well-known protagonist who never wants to grow up, leading Wendy to face her own fears about growing older and leaving childhood behind. Phiphi-Gu’mmy Moletsane is a charming and cheeky Tinkerbell who kids will immediately relate to. She’s mischievous and playful, willing to do anything for her hero Peter Pan.
Based on Mike Kenny’s adaptation of James Barrie’s original Peter Pan, this is a gentle and imaginative way of telling this popular and much-loved story to a far younger audience. The songs are catchy and enjoyable. I’m thinking they’re added in for maximum effect and to hold attention for as long as possible. It certainly works. Parts of the show are interactive and will enthral the young children who sit in front on cushions, and are virtually a part of the actual production. If your child is more sensitive, it might be better to keep them further back with you if you think they might feel slightly intimidated sitting near the front.
I highly recommend this if you have young children. (I’d say from age 4 to about age 12.) Productions at the National Children’s Theatre are of excellent quality, and are one of the best ways to introduce younger audiences to the magic of theatre and imagination.
The theatre is situated at 3 Junction Avenue, Parktown, Johannesburg
Underneath a Magical Moon is on until 15 April 2018.
BOOKINGS: Call the theatre on 011 484 1584/5 or firstname.lastname@example.org