Book for this show at the Baxter Theatre from 19 December -with Chantal Stanfield

This one person show will be superb
Chantal Stanfield tells the true story of how she married this young Jewish Man

The season earlier this year was sold out in Johannesburg

Book at Computicket

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Barrett and Woodman named World Rugby Players of the Year 2017

Beauden Barrett and Portia Woodman have been named World Rugby Men’s and Women’s Player of the Year 2017 at the World Rugby Awards in Monte Carlo on Sunday.

Barrett becomes only the second player to win the prestigious award two years in a row, matching the achievement of his former All Blacks captain Richie McCaw from 2009-10.

He received the award ahead of four other nominees in All Blacks team-mate Rieko Ioane, England and British Lions duo Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje and Australia full-back Israel Folau.

Barrett said: “I’m very proud and surprised. I wanted to be better than last year and I still think I have plenty more to go. The Lions series put us under the most pressure I have probably felt in a black jersey and that’s a credit to the Lions. We learnt a lot from that series, particularly taking that into the World Cup. When I hang the boots up, that’s when I can look back and be really proud of this. I’ve got to thank my team. I am just one player amongst a great team.”

New Zealand winger Portia Woodman was named the World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year 2017 after helping the Black Ferns win a fifth Women’s Rugby World Cup title in Ireland in August.

She received the award ahead of four other nominees in Black Ferns team-mate Kelly Brazier, England winger Lydia Thompson and France back-row duo Romane Menager and Safi N’Diaye.

Woodman said: “Obviously just winning the team of the year award shows just how good our team is, and they make me look good; they do all the work and I am out there on the sideline just waiting for the ball. My mum wasn’t a big fan of me playing rugby, but I think she was going to support me no matter what and, without them (my parents), I obviously wouldn’t be where I am because they pushed me to do everything I can to the best of my ability.”

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: “It has been an outstanding 2017 for rugby on and off the field and tonight we have recognised and celebrated those who have made it so special.

“From the players, teams and coaches who have inspired millions of fans to the unsung volunteers and projects who at community level are the foundation of our great game, we salute them all.

“Congratulations to all our nominees and award winners who have not just displayed excellence, but who embody rugby’s character-building values.”

The award winners were selected by an independent panel, who voted on every match from the Six Nations through to the start of the November internationals. For more details on the respective awards panels, click here.

World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)

The 26-year-old continues the All Blacks’ dominance of this prestigious accolade with the world champions having accounted for the last six winners. Barrett becomes only the second player to win back-to-back awards after another impressive season in the No.10 jersey in which he celebrated his 50th test against Samoa with a two-try, 24-point haul and a piece of All Blacks history alongside his brothers, and finished the Lions series as top point scorer with 41. The attack-minded fly-half, who is equally at home at full-back, continued to torment defences with his instinctive play and captained the All Blacks for the first time in the non-capped victory over the Barbarians earlier this month.

Nominees: Owen Farrell (England and British and Irish Lions), Israel Folau (Australia), Rieko Ioane (New Zealand), Maro Itoje (England and Lions)

World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year in association with Mastercard – Portia Woodman (New Zealand)

The 26-year-old played every minute of the Black Ferns’ successful WRWC 2017 campaign, scoring 13 tries – including eight against Hong Kong in the pool stages and four in their semi-final win over USA, one of which was nominated for IRPA Try of the Year – to finish as top try and point-scorer. If she wasn’t using her pace, power and unbelievable footwork to score herself she was creating opportunities for those around her. The former netballer, who only returned to 15s in May, played all eight of New Zealand’s tests in 2017, scoring 16 tries in total to take her career record to a remarkable 22 in just 16 tests.

Nominees: Kelly Brazier (New Zealand), Romane Menager (France), Safi N’Diaye (France), Lydia Thompson (England)

World Rugby Team of the Year – New Zealand Women’s 15s

New Zealand won a fifth Women’s Rugby World Cup title in August after beating defending champions England 41-32 in a thrilling finale in Belfast, a result which took them back to the top of the World Rugby Women’s Rankings. The Black Ferns, with coach Glenn Moore and captain Fiao’o Faamausili leading the way, were the top point and try scorers in the tournament. This success came after New Zealand hosted the International Women’s Rugby Series in June with the hosts beating Australia and Canada before losing to England. New Zealand are the first women’s team to receive the accolade.

Nominees: England Men’s 15s, New Zealand Men’s 15s

World Rugby Coach of the Year – Eddies Jones (England)

Now in his second year, Eddie Jones has led England to nine victories in 2017 with the only loss coming against Ireland in the Six Nations finale to halt his winning run as coach at 17 tests. A second Six Nations title was followed by a two-test series win in Argentina in June and victories over Argentina, Australia and Samoa this month to take his record to 22 wins in his 23 tests in charge.

Nominees: Warren Gatland (British and Irish Lions), Steve Hansen (New Zealand)

World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year in association with TUDOR – Rieko Ioane (New Zealand)

The winger marked his All Blacks debut last November with a try against Italy, but it is in 2017 that Rieko Ioane truly made his mark on the international stage with 10 tries in 11 starts. The 20-year-old scored twice in his first start against the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park and claimed another double in his first Bledisloe Cup match in August. Blessed with pace and strength, Ioane was joint-top try-scorer in the Rugby Championship with five after beating the most defenders, making the most clean breaks and metres in the competition.

Nominees: Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina), Damian Penaud (France)

World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC – Perry Baker (USA)

The oldest of the nominees at 31, Perry Baker enjoyed a season to remember in 2016-17, topping the charts for tries and points scored on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with 57 and 285 respectively. The USA Eagles flyer has electric pace and can make something out of nothing, but has now developed the all-round game to go with his natural speed.

Nominees: Rosko Specman (South Africa), Jerry Tuwai (Fiji)

World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC – Michaela Blyde (New Zealand)

Michaela Blyde enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2016-17 under new Black Ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting. Her potential had always been clear to see, but Portia Woodman’s move into the forwards gave her the chance to make a starting spot her own. Blyde’s performances saw her finish as top try-scorer with 40, take her place in the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Dream Team and be named DHL Impact Player of the Series.

Nominees: Ghislaine Landry (Canada), Ruby Tui (New Zealand)

World Rugby Referee Award – Joy Neville (Ireland)

A veteran of 70 caps for Ireland, Joy Neville is now creating history in the world of refereeing in a year that has seen her take charge of the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 final in August and referee her first men’s international in Rugby Europe’s Conference 2 North in October. This month she is acting as assistant referee for three men’s matches, having recently signed a professional contract with the IRFU.

Award for Character – Eduardo Oderigo (Argentina)

A criminal lawyer, Eduardo “Coco” Oderigo spent 15 years working in the courts of Buenos Aires before a visit to Unit 48 at San Martin prison gave him the idea of teaching rugby and its core values to the inmates. Fundación Espartanos was born out of his desire to help prisoners reintegrate into society and weekly training sessions began in 2009. Eight years on, more than 500 prisoners are involved in the programme which has spread throughout Argentina, supported by local clubs and coaches. In this time many prisoners have changed their lives and learnt new values, helping to reduce the reoffending rate of those released from Espartanos to fall dramatically to just two per cent.

Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service – Marcel Martin (France)

Regarded as a pioneer and visionary figure, Marcel Martin spent more than 50 years involved in the development of rugby in France and was one of the main architects of the major political and sporting changes in rugby. A long-time Board member of the Fédération Française de Rugby Board and Ligue Nationale de Rugby, he was also an IRB Council Member. His service to the game he loved was recognised with the IRB Chairman’s Award in 2005 and he was made an Officier de la Legion d’Honneur in 2014. He passed away in May, aged 83.

IRPA Try of the Year – Joaquin Tuculet (Argentina, v England)
After more than 14,000 votes were cast by rugby fans on Twitter and guests at the World Rugby Awards, Joaquin Tuculet’s score for Argentina in the first test against England in June was named the IRPA (International Rugby Players’ Association) Try of the Year 2017. A breakout that began deep in his team’s own 22 after Juan Manuel Leguizamon fielded an England kick and the ball found its way to Matias Orlando, the centre slicing through the visitor’s defence with ease. He found Emiliano Boffelli in support, the test debutant straightening the attack before releasing Tuculet to sprint away from the defence to finish off the free-flowing move.

Nominees: Gela Aprasidze (Georgia U20 v Ireland U20), Sean O’Brien (British and Irish Lions v New Zealand), Portia Woodman (New Zealand v USA)

IRPA Special Merit Award – Richie McCaw (New Zealand) and Rachael Burford (England)

Two-time Rugby World Cup winning captain Richie McCaw is the world’s most capped player with 148 tests for the All Blacks, 110 of them as captain. A three-time World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year, the 36-year-old was an outstanding leader on the field but also off it, continually demonstrating the highest levels of awareness and responsibility. The inaugural IRPA Southern Hemisphere President, McCaw was an active NZRPA Board member for 13 years, focusing on creating environments for players to thrive on and off the field. He is also Patron of the New Zealand Rugby Foundation and the Catwalk Trust, supporting players and their families following serious injuries and funding research aiming to overcome paralysis after spinal court injuries. He is also co-found and Patron of iSport, a charity focused on inspiring young people through sport to create a brighter future.

Rachael Burford is also a Rugby World Cup winner, having won the title with England in 2014. The 31-year-old’s other three Women’s Rugby World Cup appearances have ended in final defeats, including earlier this year in Ireland. A former England Player of the Year, Burford has also contributed extensively to player welfare and the game in general by sitting on a number of panels over the last four years, including the World Rugby Laws Review Group, Rugby Committee and Women’s Advisory Committee. She became the first female Board Member of the Rugby Players’ Association in 2014 and has been an IRPA representative and Rugby Athletes’ Commissions since then as well. Burford also runs her own girls’ rugby academy, helping to develop the next generation of players on and off the field.

Full list of World Rugby Awards winners

World Rugby Men’s Player of the Year, in association with Mastercard – Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
World Rugby Women’s Player of the Year, in association with Mastercard – Portia Woodman (New Zealand)
World Rugby Team of the Year – New Zealand Women’s 15s
World Rugby Coach of the Year – Eddie Jones (England)
World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year in association with TUDOR – Rieko Ioane (New Zealand)
World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC – Perry Baker (USA)
World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the Year in association with HSBC – Michaela Blyde (New Zealand)
World Rugby Referee Award – Joy Neville (Ireland)
Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service – Marcel Martin (France)
Award for Character – Eduardo Oderigo (Argentina)
IRPA Special Merit Award – Richie McCaw (New Zealand) and Rachael Burford (England)
IRPA Try of the Year – Joaquin Tuculet (Argentina, v England)

The All Blacks team to play Wales tonight is :

The All Blacks team has been named to play Wales in the third Test of the Vista 2017 All Blacks Northern Tour at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday 25 November, with lock Samuel Whitelock to captain the All Blacks for the first time.

This is the last game of the season for the 2017 team.
The matchday 23 is (with Test caps):

1. Kane Hames (8)
2. Codie Taylor (28)
3. Nepo Laulala (12)
4. Patrick Tuipulotu (15)
5. Samuel Whitelock (95) – captain
6. Liam Squire (14)
7. Sam Cane (52)
8. Luke Whitelock (1)
9. Aaron Smith (70)
10. Beauden Barrett (61)
11. Rieko Ioane (12)
12. Sonny Bill Williams (45)
13. Ryan Crotty (34)
14. Waisake Naholo (17)
15. Damian McKenzie (11)

16. Nathan Harris (10)
17. Wyatt Crockett (70)
18. Ofa Tu’ungafasi (13)
19. Scott Barrett (13)
20. Matt Todd (12)
21. TJ Perenara (41)
22. Lima Sopoaga (15)
23. Anton Lienert-Brown (21)

29-year-old Whitelock, the most capped All Blacks lock of all time, takes over as Captain for Kieran Read, who will miss the Test because of injury.

Read pictured at Newlands doing captains press conference prior to 7 Oct Match watched by Martin Myers ,Craig Marais ,Grant Shub

Read has been replaced at number eight by Luke Whitelock.

There is one other injury-enforced change to the matchday 23 which played Scotland last week: Patrick Tuipulotu comes in for Luke Romano. Meanwhile, Liam Squire will start at blindside flanker, and lock Scott Barrett comes onto the bench in the 19 jersey.

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said: “Whilst it’s disappointing to not have ‘Reado’ available, it’s a great opportunity to further grow the leadership of the team and, in this case, Sam Whitelock gets the opportunity to captain the side. On behalf of the team, we’d like to congratulate him on this special honour.

“With his brother Luke captaining the All Blacks against the French XV, it will create a unique, All Blacks family history, and one which their family can be proud of.”

Steve Hansen added: “There’s been a real energy and buzz in the team this week as we prepare for the Test against Wales. The group has worked hard on its preparation, we’ve asked them to go bone deep and they’re looking to deliver a performance we can all be proud of.

“It’s always a pleasure to play in stadiums like the Millennium. We experienced a magnificent atmosphere last week up in Murrayfield and looking forward to a full house on Saturday. The Welsh are well known for their singing and that, in itself, creates something special. As always, we have been treated incredibly well here in Cardiff and have thoroughly enjoyed our week.”

Key notes

* The All Blacks have played Wales 33 times since 1905, with 30 wins to the All Blacks and three wins to Wales. The last match between the two sides was in Dunedin in June 2016, which the All Blacks won 46-6. The last Test in Cardiff was in November 2014, which the All Blacks won 24-16.

* Sam and Luke Whitelock will join Wellington brothers Harry and Marcus Nicholls (from the 1920s) as the only set of brothers to have captained the All Blacks. Sam Whitelock will be the 69th player to captain the All Blacks in a Test.

* Beauden Barrett has kicked a record 41 conversions this year and scored 160 points in total in Test matches for the All Blacks this year – there have been just four higher totals by an All Black.

* The All Blacks have scored 468 points in Test matches this year – for an average of 36 points per Test – and scored 62 tries.

* The most points Wales has scored against the All Blacks was 37 at Rugby World Cup 2003 – when Wales were coached by Steve Hansen.

The Vista 2017 All Blacks Northern Tour

1. Barbarians 22 All Blacks 31, Saturday 4 November, Twickenham, LONDON

2. France 18 All Blacks 38, Saturday 11 November, Stade de France, PARIS

3. France XV 23 All Blacks 28, Tuesday 14 November, Groupama Stadium, LYON

4. Scotland 17 All Blacks 22, Saturday 18 November, Murrayfield, EDINBURGH

5. vs. WALES, Saturday 25 November, Millennium Stadium, CARDIFF

Kick-off: 5.15PM BST

All Blacks building depth that is set to prove a game-changer at 2019 World Cup

Steve Hansen has used 55 All Blacks in 2017, and 44 of them on this northern tour. This does not apply to the Boks at present under Coetzee

As insurance policies go, Steve Hansen may just have a dandy a couple of years out from the next World Cup. The All Blacks have been better, for sure, but have they ever been deeper than they are right now?

It’s a legitimate question to ask as Hansen leads a 43-strong leviathan around France and the UK this November. They will briefly number 44 when Akira Ioane joins them from his Maori commitments in Bordeaux and then return to a more modest 37 following the Lyon midweeker, by which time the injured Jerome Kaino and a half-dozen Baabaas ring-ins will have jetted back to New Zealand.

The answer to the earlier question is almost certainly no. This may not be an All Blacks squad humming on all cylinders, a la the 2015 World Cup champions, or their 2016 successors, or even the 2013 perfect year men, but they are deeper than Voltaire, which could yet be the single most important advantage they hold over their global rivals heading towards Japan in 2019.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has taken the biggest All Blacks squad to the northern hemisphere.

Rugby is a brutal, gladiatorial game, and only getting more so. The professional level of the sport is played nigh on 10 months of the year, and it is exacting a massive toll. Injuries are becoming not just a part of the game, but the dominant factor any coach has to combat when preparing for a campaign of any sort.

France had 19 players officially unavailable for their test against the All Blacks at Stade de France, and that’s just nine games into the new Top 14 season. Clubs in the UK and France are already dealing with long-term injury lists as high as 15 or 16, with some struggling to put full squads on the park.

Of course Hansen knows this. And his 2017 campaign has been mapped out to reflect it. It’s no coincidence that the All Blacks added a Barbarians and midweek French XV match to their three mandated tests on this tour.

That created, in effect, two non-test matchups, and gave Hansen the ideal stage on which to run his dirty-dirties, or second-tier men. It’s all very well bringing people on tour for experience, but if you can give them legitimate international matches as well, then even better.

Ironically injuries in his own group have also helped Hansen further build his depth this year. He had seven top players either crocked or unavailable for personal reasons when he set out for London, and Kaino became the eighth when a knee injury forced him out after the Baabaas clash.

By manager Darren Shand’s count the All Blacks have used 55 players in and around their various engagements in 2017, and that is an unprecedented number.

It is also a number that won’t upset Hansen and assistant Ian Foster as they look to build a depth chart that their chasing rivals, such as England, Ireland, the Springboks and Australia, can only look at with envy.

The All Blacks have legitimate international quality three deep in probably every position bar halfback. And you can bet finding a successor to the departing Tawera Kerr-Barlow will be their No 1 priority in 2018.

“We’re trying to grow some more depth, and we’re doing that,” says Hansen. “People don’t understand just how tough it is when you first come into the All Blacks. They expect the result to be clinical and precise, but the reality is that’s not the case.

“Sometimes, particularly when you’ve got a young group, there is going to be inconsistency. You’ve just got to be patient and take your time. I know for a fact we’ll end up with some quality people [at the end of this tour] and have a good group to be able to select from in 2019.

“The key thing this year is we’ve had a number of injuries, suspensions and personal tragedies that have exposed a wider base than we probably thought we would do this year. But at the beginning of next year when everyone is available we should have a bigger pool to pick from, and more experienced people too which should give us a boost to the next level.’

Think about it. Bring back Ben Smith, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Israel Dagg and maybe even a rejuvenated Julian Savea, and suddenly you have all sorts of options in the back three. Same when you add Owen Franks and Joe Moody to the suddenly bulging prop stock.

Halfback is the only position where Hansen would have just a little concern. Maybe No 8 too, but there are not a lot of opportunities there behind the skipper.

At No 9, behind Aaron Smith and TJ Perrenara, he does not have an obvious backup. It’s why he brought Kerr-Barlow on one final tour, even though he is departing at its end.

But this is New Zealand rugby. That hole will be plugged soon enough. Mitchell Drummond has had a week with the Baabaas, and now one with the All Blacks. Brad Weber remains a contender. Same with Auggie Pulu and Bryn Hall. The national coaches just need to see more from them.

“We’re giving other people an opportunity to grow and get an understanding of what All Blacks rugby is about,” adds Hansen. “Northern tours have always been about bringing extra people so we can develop them. It’s a good platform, you’re in a touring environment where things are quite intense for a month, and you get a good look at the young guys.

“One of our big aims for the year was to expose young guys to touring, test match rugby and playing for the All Blacks. By the end of this season we would have done that in bulk.”

Have a look at this depth chart, and judge for yourself where Hansen’s All Blacks stand less than two years from the World Cup.

Sure, they’ve had a wobble or two, but simply no one – England included – can match them for depth.

ALL BLACKS’ DEPTH CHART

Fullback: Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett, Damian McKenzie, David Havili.

Wings: Rieko Ioane, Israel Dagg, Nehe Milner-Skudder, Waisake Naholo, Seta Tamanivalu, Matt Duffie, Julian Savea.

Midfield: Sonny Bill Williams, Ryan Crotty, Anton Liennert-Brown, Ngani Laumape, Jack Goodhue, Charlie Ngatai.

First fives: Beauden Barrett, Lima Sopoaga, Richie Mo’unga, Damian McKenzie.

Halfback: Aaron Smith, TJ Perenara.

Loose forwards: Kieran Read, Sam Cane, Liam Squire, Ardie Savea, Matt Todd, Vaea Fifita, Jerome Kaino, Akira Ioane, Luke Whitelock.

Locks: Brodie Retllick, Sam Whhitelock, Luke Romano, Scott Barrett, Patrick Tuipulotu, Dominic Bird.

Props: Owen Franks, Joe Moody, Nepo Laulala, Kane Hames, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Tim Perry, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen, Atu Moli.

Hookers: Dane Coles, Codie Taylor, Nathan Harris, Asafo Aumua.

source Sunday Star Times

TurnUp Music launches on Samsung Z Series

TurnUp Music on Tizen

Being the ultimate gateway that has been successfully hosting local talent for over a year now, TurnUp Music has joined forces with Samsung and officially announced the launch of a streaming service on the Samsung Z Series mobile devices.

 

TurnUp Music has been turning heads over the past year as a disruptor in the local music industry. The mission continues to grow as the service has now partnered with one of the world’s largest tech companies, Samsung, to host local music on their Z Series mobile devices.

 

Through this incredible partnership, TurnUp Music and Samsung are focussed on the development and growth of local artists’ careers through various collaborative opportunities and a strong market reach.

 

“Samsung, as the global smartphone leader, is the perfect partner to accelerate not just the streaming platform, but also to reduce barriers to entry across Africa. The 4G enabled Z Series devices are both accessible and affordable, making it a great tool for listening to music and watching videos” said Thabiet Allie, CEO of TurnUp Music.

 

The announcement of the partnership was unveiled at AfricaCom, one of the largest African telecoms, media and technology events and met with great support from key industry experts and delegates at the event.

 

“Because Samsung always strives to create technology that enriches people’s lives, we are delighted to partner with TurnUp Music in this initiative, bringing local sounds to users and helping to promote local musicians,” said Craige Fleisher, Director Integrated Mobility, Samsung.

 

The TurnUp Music app will soon be available on the Z series, which can be purchased at Ackermans, PEP, Jet and CNA.   

 
About TurnUp Music

TurnUp Music is exclusively focused on local talent and hosts content from various South African superstars like Euphonik, DJ Tira and Vusi Nova. It is also the home to undiscovered artists keen to make their music available to the large South African audience connecting to the internet via their mobile phones.

 

TurnUp is focused on creating opportunities to grow artists and amplify their careers. Our platform will allow you to upload your music, market it and make it available for streaming/download.

 

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at http://news.samsung.com.

 

For more details, go to: www.turnupmusic.com

 

Looks a great read -Watched all the games regarding the Lions 2017 tour to NZ

In the Line of Fire: The Inside Story from the Lions Head Coach

Looks a top read -just bought it from Amazon

RJ BENJAMINS 5TH STORY ALBUM OUT NOW AND RADIO LOVE THE LEAD SINGLE “NEVER GIVE UP “

Since his last, self-imposed, sabbatical that ended in 2013 RJ Benjamin’s creative and collaborative world has quite simply exploded!

 

img 4442

Armed with The Fifth Story, RJ Benjamin’s latest 13-track studio album, the award-winning composer, songwriter, producer, musical director and teacher continues to blend a rich brew of soul, pop, hip-hop, funk and jazz into songs filled with reflective storytelling and tailor-made grooves, all produced by RJ himself. “It’s a good mix of happy and reflective songs,” he unpacks. “Each mood punctuates the next in stark contrast.”

The lead single “NEVER GIVE UP “ has been well received by radio in the last few weeks with KAYA FM, SMILE FM, HEART FM, RADIO HELDERBERG, ALGOA FM all adding the song to their playlists

The Fifth Story arrives with last year’s smash hit single “Dali Wami”, featuring Wanda Baloyi. Better still it also includes his 2017 reworking of “Never Give Up”, and “All Tied Up” (featuring Emtee). A collection of songs that usher in the familiar, while introducing the reimagined and refined.

In 2002, televison personality Caz Abrahams accompanied Big Brother SA season 1 contestant Irvan (Swirve) Damon to a singing lesson he had booked with RJ. Soon after this chance encounter, Abrahams signed RJ to his independent label ‘One Up Music’ and supported the recording of RJ’s first three-song demo. Two of these songs would eventually end up on his first album, namely the title track “Who I Am” and “C U In My Dreams”, which became RJ’s first radio single. Abrahams entered into a joint venture with independent label ‘Ghetto Ruff’ who went on to release RJ’s debut album Who I Am in 2004, shortly after RJ had featured as the vocal coach on the music reality show Project Fame.

The critically acclaimed Who I Am featured collaborations with Tamara Dey, Amu, Ishmael and Pitch Black Afro. RJ wrote & produced the majority of the album, while 37mph, Bongani Fassie & Craig Massive lent their skills as collaborating producers. The album gained a nomination for Best Adult Contemporary at 2005 SAMA Awards.

His 2008 release, Swimming In The Soul Of Music, represented a more sophisticated artist, and showed off the hard work he’d poured into his craft. It went on to win a Metro FM award for Best R&B Album in the same year. Zubz, Nothende, Slikour, Dan Patlanksy and HHP all added their chemistry to an already powerful base of brilliance.

In 2009 RJ released Change The World with Soul Candi. An instant hit and an anthem on radio stations and dance floors all over the South Africa, the track received both a Channel O and SAMA nomination for Best Dance Video and Song of the Yearrespectively.

Following the huge success of “Change the World”, RJ released the album House Bound in 2010. The album showcased his vocal and song-writing skills in the House music genre which, ultimately, returned him to his RnB and soul roots when he released “soulified” versions of the same tracks on the album Inside shortly after . Inside is a reminder to people of his artistic versatility. In RJ’s words, “I’ve taken thirteen house tracks that I’ve sung on over the past five years and re-interpreted them in unexpected ways.” The album features collaborations with Dr Duda, DJ Clock, Danny K and Who I Am collaborator 37MPH.

Late in 2012, a new chapter began in RJ’s career when he reprised his television career, becoming Musical Director of the reality show ‘Clash Of The Choirs SA’. The show received a SAFTA award for ‘Best International Format Show’ in its second season. He has since worked as Musical Director on Idols SA Season 9, In-house Mentor for Idols SA from Seasons 10 to Season 12, Vocal Coach on the Voice SA Season 1 and Musical Director of The Voice Nigeria Season 1 and Season 2.

The 5th Story EP, released in 2015, was the teasing precursor to today’s complete album reveal. The EP featured five tracks – “So High” featuring Can Skylark, “Nobody Else”, “Only Ever Loved You” featuring Ziyon, “Never Give Up” and “All Falls Down” featuring Proverb.

The newly-released, complete album The 5th Story showcases the fact that RJ has sincerely arrived at a new and exciting stage in his career, and further cements his legacy on the South African music landscape.

For interviews and more information, please contact:

Triple M Entertainment

Martin Myers

E-mail: martmyers@gmail.com

Mobile: +27 83 448 4475

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