John Legend the six-time Grammy Award winner will be in South Africa for three performances this October,

John Legend the six-time Grammy Award winner will be in South Africa for three performances this October, beginning at the Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino & Entertainment World in Cape Town on the 15th, the Indoor Arena, International Convention Centre in Durban on the 17th and at the Coca-Cola Dome, in Johannesburg on the 18th of October.

Legend’s dynamic concert will feature many of his biggest singles – from EVOLVER’s “Green Light” and “Everybody Knows” to the classic songs from his previous albums, such as “Ordinary People”, “Save Room” and “Heaven” – all backed by an extraordinary ten piece band. And I worked and did the PR on his 1st tour when he played at the castle in CT for the 1st time, in Dec 2005

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John Legend and Martin Myers

Mandela Day review from Watch SABC 2 in R.S.A On Sat 1 Aug at 21h30 to see show

Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse was one of the South African musicians selected to perform at the inaugural Mandela Day Concert in New York.

He was accompanied by PA Martin Myers who, armed with a camera, captured event preparations, backstage encounters with other performers, rehearsals, candid shots with celebrities like Forrest Whitaker, and the show itself…

Recently Reviewed

Mandela Day Concert

(Radio City Music Hall; 5,904 capacity; $500 top)


Presented by Radio City Entertainment. Reviewed July 18, 2009.

Performers: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Cyndi Lauper, Lil’ Kim, Angelique Kidjo, Gloria Gaynor, Carla Bruni, Baaba Maal,, Wyclef Jean, Queen Latifah, Dave Stewart, Jesse McCartney, Josh Groban, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Zucchero, Suzanne Owiyo, Sipho Mabuse,Vusi Mahlasela, Jesse Clegg, Thandiswa Mazwai, Loyiso, Soweto Gospel Choir.

Nelson Mandela Day isn’t on any official calendars at this point in time, but the organizers of this year’s concert in honor of the nonagenarian civil rights giant are working overtime to ensure that state of affairs changes soon. This year’s event — held in North America for the first time — also marked the first time that 46664 (Mandela’s charitable organization) expanded things to include a full week of activities, ranging from an art exhibit at Grand Central Station to a gala dinner hosted by former president Bill Clinton.

The main event, however, was the concert, scaled down from its initial Madison Square Garden location last month, which managed to achieve accessibility without dumbing down. While the big names certainly did not disappoint — Aretha Franklin was particularly fiery in her performance of “Make Them Hear You” — the real knockout punches were delivered by unexpected sources.

France’s first lady Carla Bruni, for instance, teamed with Dave Stewart for a steely and stirring rendition of “Blowin’ in the Wind” — a particularly fitting selection to celebrate Mandela’s life — while Baaba Maal and Chris Chameleon eked a full spectrum of emotions from Ben Harper‘s “With My Two Hands.” While those pairings brought together performers from relatively close quarters, it proved particularly intriguing to see cross-cultural boundary crossings like Alicia Keys and Angelique Kidjo’s “Afrika.”

African-based performers offered plenty of powerful perfs, notably saxophonist Sipho Mabuse, who brought down the house with the soulful “Shikisha.” Surprises also emanated from closer to home, a point emphasized by Cyndi Lauper and Lil’ Kim working through a medley of “Time After Time” and “Lighters Up” that found each woman tweaking the other’s tune with dexterity and love. The set ended on a warm note with Stevie Wonder leading the entire ensemble — and the aud — through a sweet rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

The program, which was punctuated, but not hamstrung, by speeches, was webcast live worldwide. TV broadcasts are planned on a number of international platforms, including VH1 in the States and Canal Plus in much of Latin America.

My great friend Mike Greenaway is writing a book on John Smit – the bok captain !!!

My great friend Mike Greenaway is writing a book on John Smit and he sent me this piece last night which appeared in the Natal Mercury today.. enjoy the read.

John Smit was recently asked about the complexities of captaining the Springboks and he used a Richie McCaw anecdote to illustrate the colourful path a national caption of this country must tread.

McCaw and Smit shared a room in London last year for a Barbarians match (imagine being a fly on the wall in that room?!) and each did their share of media duties in that time.

Smit recalls: “I was lying in bed doing an interview with an English newspaper, and I thought it was pretty standard fare we were going through, but when I hung up, a surprised Richie said: ‘Mate, I did not mean to eavesdrop on your call but was that an interview?!’ I said, ‘Yes …’ and he was astonished at the line of questioning which incorporated apartheid, the quota system, whether there was a difference in captaining different cultures and races and what my views were regarding the status of transformation of rugby in SA.”

It was at that point that Smit had confirmation that his job is one of the most unique in sport – leading a former “whites only” team in the New South Africa.

“It is an amazing responsibility,” Smit admits. “I often look at my fellow compatriots in New Zealand, Australia, etc and wonder how they would cope with captaining our country. I get the feeling the toughest part of their week is deciding whether to go for poles or not on Saturday.

“But I wouldn’t change my role for the world as I have learnt so much about my country and how special it is to be involved with all walks of life in the work that I do, and I truly believe it is our diverse nature that makes us a country of survivors. I am an Afro-optimist. We have come a long and difficult way and it amazes me that no matter what is thrown at our emerging nation, we still progress and prosper with every unfolding year.”

Smit on Saturday will earn the distinction of having captained an international team more often than any other person in the history of rugby football (60 matches as captain in 86 Tests).

And what makes that all the more special is the circumstances he has mentioned. To captain the rugby Springboks through six years of political turmoil and interference and still have the gas in the tank to lead the Boks to a Tri-Nations title (2004), a Rugby World Cup triumph (2007) and a series win over the British and Irish Lions elevates Smit into the company of South Africa’s Greatest Ever Sportsmen/women.

Jake White was once asked what made Smit such a good captain.

He said it was Smit’s understated but extremely powerful virtue of total honesty that won him friends and incurred no enemies. Smit, he says, disarms any potential dissenting voices with his completely natural and open leadership.

No agendas, no drama, just a regular guy who is very good at his job.

“Let me put it this way,” said White. “A Springbok team contains Afrikaners, Englishmen, coloureds and blacks. It has parochial foes in Bulls, Sharks, Stormers, Cheetahs and Lions. It is a recipe for war! Yet in all the years of John Smit’s captaincy, there has never been one unhappy customer, not one voice of rebellion against his leadership. He is the glue that holds the Springboks together. The man is a legend!”

***Elements of this column are based on an extract from John Smit’s autobiography, which will be published in November.
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some happy snaps from Mandela day 18 july 2009 Radio city music hall Sipho Mabuse rocked the show

am amazing trip. these are some of the happy snaps
neill berstein my great friend came to the show

New York friday

well its the consulate today
took sipho mabuse to the Apollo theatre yesterday
Sipho had lunch at the boat house in central park, with our dear SA friend Neil bernstein. he is working the property business.

Roy Harman Loyiso’s manager has had loads of meetings at record co’s…
The gala dinner at Grand Central was fantastic
Bill Clinton has an aura and Morgan Freeman looks like Mandela
The show on Sat is gig of the week in New York Times.

rehearsals at SIR Studios day 2

new york day 2

rehearsals at 11am, Just been to the apple store at 7.30am to buy some things, Store open 24 hours a day the store is on 5th avenue next to Trump tower
Saw Yvonne Chaka Chaka last night she had a great chat with Sipho Mabuse. Jesse Clegg is also in town he has rehearsals at 3pm today
Vusi Mahlasela is singing with Josh Groban, taking a guess must be his version of weeping.
Now we go to the deli on Madison at 48th street to have breakfast
weather is fantastic ,nice and sunny not too hot
seeing Brian Benatar from at midday for lunch and then tonight its the gala dinner at Grand Central Station

new york day 1 snaps 14 july

New york day 1

arrived safely
Hotel is fantastic, Just been taken to lunch at Esca, means Fish in Italian, resturant is run by Maro Batali,situated in Hells kitchen or Times Square West as new Yorkers like to call it .waiters can easily earn 100 000 dollars a year working at Esca.
Amazon is big for music and so is Itunes. The virgin stores have closed down.
Rehersals are at 10am local time wed and then the gala dinner on Wed night
I heard tickets cost 2500.00 dollars per person

Mandela Day rehearsals

We have just received the call sheets for the trip to New York for Mandela Day and this is the brief on the rehearsal space we move into on Wednesday morning at 10am local time to rehearse

SIR New York ( takes great pride in being part of the city’s rich and diverse music community. Since 1973, we’ve helped to showcase, nourish and support the careers of many up-and-coming artists and legendary performers. Some of the area musicians who have graced our halls over the past 30 years include: The Rolling Stones, Joan Jett, Lou Reed, NY Dolls, The Ramones, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Mariah Carey, Roberta Flack, The Roots, Jay Z and Paul Simon. The studio is Based in midtown Manhattan, and is ten mins away from the hotel

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