Free Concert 2017 sets the mood for Jazz Fest

As seen on IOL.

#CTIJF 2017 | 29 March 2017
Yasmine Jacobs and Saarah Survé

Cape Town – “It should be called the people’s concert.”

These were the words of Billy Domingo, the festival director of the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, at the Free Community Concert on Greenmarket Square.

He explained that because so many people from all walks of life come to this concert, it should be dubbed as such. And one could see the diversity in the crowd.

After singing an original tune, VuDu seemed happy to touch down in Cape Town from Port Elizabeth.

“It’s an absolute dream,” the lead singer, Sisanda Myataza, said enthusiastically, just before breaking into another original hit.

The Free Community Concert promised to feature internationally acclaimed artists such as En Vogue and fan-favourites Mango Groove.

With the Free Community Concert being a success, one can expect nothing short of wonders at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival this weekend.

See the article and my photographs here. 

Starting gates set to open for the Sun Met

As seen on IOL.

Life | 27 January 2017

Cape Town – The stage is set for the Sun Met celebrated with Mumm which takes place at Kenilworth Racecourse on Saturday.

Last year 32 000 people attended the Met and this year they are expecting no fewer, said Garth Petersen, event manager for Kenilworth Racing.

Public parking will be at Chukker Road. Tickets cost R70 and can be bought at Ticketpro or at the gate. Shuttles and buses for the public will be available from 10am until midnight. No roads will be closed. Petersen, however, has asked that nobody stop along Rosmead Avenue and rather get dropped off at the Wetton Road entrance.

There is hospitality VIP parking. Vehicle access is from the southern end of Chukker Road.

“We would prefer people not to drink and drive but rather use Uber or taxis.”

The weather will be around 24°C, but in the event of rain, some people will get wet, said Petersen. “There are marquees, big umbrellas and people can take shelter under the grandstands, but there isn’t much protection.”

There have been no applications for helicopters to land, but this could change on the day, he said.

See the article here.

Woman inherits intact Argus from 1862

As seen on IOL.

Western Cape | 27 January 2017

Cape Town – After her mother died in July, Heather Tager began sorting through her belongings. “You know old people keep everything in tiny, little packets,” she mused.

Tager, 66, from Sea Point came across a Cape Argus dated January 2, 1896, still in an amazing condition and intact.

When Tager saw that the Cape Argus was celebrating its 160th birthday this year, she rushed to send the newspaper an email.

“The paper, although a bit yellow by now, still makes a fascinating read. I love looking at the prices,” she said.

“To let: a nice dwelling house, seven rooms, with two paddocks, £7 from February 1,” she read.

“Going to the movies for 10c and different prices depending on where you sat a flat to rent for £26…”

Tager does not know why her mother had kept the paper from 1896, but suspects her father kept it.

While searching, she found another paper, from 1963. Tager said her father had kept the latter as there was a photo of their old Rondebosch house on the front page. “We lived there until I was about 12 and then we moved through to Sea Point.”

Then-minister of foreign affairs, Eric Louw, bought the house for R23 000.

Looking through the newspaper brought back many childhood memories.“There was an Adelphi movie house in Sea Point, where the Adelphi Centre is now. I remember going to swop comics there on a Saturday morning as a child.

“They’ve got a page of adverts for the old clubs that were in Cape Town… My parents used to talk about the Three Cellars and the Sable Room.”

The newspaper from 1963 was only printed in black, white, red and pink.

There were many adverts for cigarettes and alcohol.

Tager said she was definitely not giving the paper away.

See the article here. 

#SunMet – Local entrepreneur is in it to win it

As seen on IOL.

Life | 24 January 2017
Saarah Survé

Cape Town – Despite horse racing still being an elitist sport, one local entrepreneur is not letting that stop him.

Businessman Hassen Adams, executive chairman of Grand Parade Investments and owner of horse Mac de Lago, drawn at barrier 14 for Saturday’s Sun Met celebrated with GH Mumm, said if you’re in the race, you’re in with a shot at winning.

“(It’s) elitist in the sense that it is very expensive, high fashion and high cost. We have years and years of economic catch-up and that’s a problem.”

Adams said he has been in the industry for 30 years. “My father loved horses and I have never given up. There are still some people with apartheid bias, but I’m very vocal about it. The reality in life is that unless you challenge these frontiers, you will never be able to understand it and talk about it.”

Adams said he has one of the biggest stud farms and is one of the biggest owners. “As Mandela said to me one day: ‘I want you to be a torch-bearer because I know that you will be able to shine the light on many of our people’.”

Adams said he employs thousands of people at Grand West, SunWest, Table Bay, Burger King, Grand Parade Investments and Dunkin’ Donuts.

“I am a serial entrepreneur. By that I mean that I am hungry to grow so that I can create jobs.”

See the article here.

#SunMet – Expert names favourites to win

As seen on IOL.

Life | 23 January 2017
Saarah Survé

Cape Town – Favourite Legal Eagle is the horse to beat in the R5 million Sun Met celebrated with Mumm over 2000m on Saturday, said Rouvaun Smit, leading South African commentator.

“As things stand on paper, theoretically, Legal Eagle should win the race.”

On Thursday, Legal Eagle was drawn at barrier number nine.

“He is in the prime position to decide whether he is going to go to the front or come from off the pace like he did in the Queen’s Plate,” said Smit.

“At this point, having a look at the full field, whoever beats Legal Eagle will win the race. I know the jockey himself (Anton Marcus) has great respect for Marinaresco, who has drawn two. He’ll be in a favourable position to be able to give him a run for his money.

“The horse that everyone else is touting about is Whisky Baron. He has drawn barrier number 8, right alongside Legal Eagle.”

According to Smit, the way the conditions of the race look and the way that the draw has been completed, only one of three horses can win it: Legal Eagle, Marinaresco or Whisky Baron.

Bela-Bela (with jockey Anthony Delpech) is the only filly in the race. “Last year a filly won. She probably has as good a chance as any other filly in this race to win it.

“Very seldom you’ll find fillies going for The Met, because there is a race on the day, The Majorca, which is primed at Grade 1 level fillies. Obviously the connections think that she has a chance of winning it. That’s why they put her in the race.”

Smit said that the pools are huge. “As a first-time better, I don’t think you can hurt yourself if you’re going to take R50 and put it on Legal Eagle, because of the volume of money that’s going to be in the pool.

“They’re looking at in excess of R5 million in the win pool alone. So, you are guaranteed to more than double your money if the favourite does win.”

See the article here. 

‘Language a barrier to exam success’

As seen on IOL.

Western Cape | 10 January 2017

Cape Town – Pupils forced to write their matric exams in languages other than their mother tongue are put at a distinct disadvantage, leading to lower scores on their papers, according to UWC’s linguistics department head.

Professor Bassey Antia said the Department of Basic Education (DBE) should invest in more teachers, moderators and invigilators who speak African languages in order to administer examinations across more diverse languages than just English and Afrikaans.

“In classrooms, learners are often taught in more than one language.

“It is therefore somewhat unnatural for such learners to be tested in only one of these languages, especially when it is the weaker of their languages,” he said.

“Speakers of African languages, in particular, score the lowest since their languages are not used in examining content subjects.

“The language of the exam paper itself should not be a challenge; the content of the paper should.

“When results are released everybody says the performance is dismal and the language question tends to be dismissed.

“I say we should look at it differently, because the environments are multilingual and learners acquire knowledge across languages. However, when it comes to assessment, learners are tested in one language, the official language.”

The DBE said it does not have enough teachers to teach indigenous languages and therefore cannot administer exams in African languages.

Department spokesperson, Elijah Mhlanga said the DBE embarked on an initiative aimed at bringing indigenous African languages into mainstream education, but it has yet to bear fruit.

“We implemented the Incremental Introduction of African Languages policy in 2014 which was aimed at forcing all schools in South Africa to offer at least one African language.

“At the end of the pilot we learned there was a shortage of teachers in this area.

“We have started to attract teachers using a variety of measures aimed at increasing the numbers and thus grow African languages in our schools.

“As things stand, we don’t have enough people that work in this area of our system and that is what we need to do first before we can administer exams in African languages.”

Antia conducted a study which found students who registered to write matric in English and who know both matric exam languages (English and Afrikaans) would flip their exam papers over to read the Afrikaans side if they did not understand the term in English, and vice-versa.

His study, which started in 2013 and is ongoing, includes 119 students from different language groups.

“Terms in one language can be more descriptive than in another language,” said Antia.

“There is knowledge embedded in terms.

“Knowing several languages can afford different entry points to understanding.”

Antia hopes to present his research to the DBE once it has been published.

See the article here. 

SA meets India

As seen on IOL.

Special Features | 30 March 2017

Yasmine Jacobs and Saarah Survé

Cape Town – When you combine the sounds of South Africa and India, one cannot predict the end result.

The answer lies in the combined sound of Deepak Pandit, Ranjit Barot and Marcus Wyatt.

“The idea is that it should be blending nicely… The idea is that two different musics when played together should sound like one piece of music,” said Pandit, at a press conference for the Cape Town International Jazz Festival on Thursday.

Wyatt joined in on this point and added, “It’s not super easy because stylistically we come from quite different worlds.”

They have been rehearsing for a few days and what they have found is a commonality.

“I believe the point of this (collaboration) is to have some sort of ‘cross-pollination’ of sound and style from the two countries.”

Wyatt reiterated that this is easier said than done. “Some styles of music blend easier than others and I have always been a musician that is up for a challenge.”

Barot chimed in: “I think it all begins with a willingness to have a dialogue… I think that there is a place where all people, all cultures, all genders meet. It’s a neutral, magical place where you stop defining yourself by everything that has been imposed on you in this life. “

See the article here.