Siphokazi Jonas brings Around The Fire to Artscape this week

IMG_8392

Following the success of her Wrestling With Dawn production, in late 2015, and 2016’s sold-out masterpiece, Around The Fire, the much-applauded producer, playwright, performer,poet and UCT Masters graduate, Siphokazi Jonas, is rekindling Around The Fire this week in Cape Town.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Jonas has unpacked, rebuilt and infused the original 90-minute stage production for its Artscape, Arena reveal from 7 to 11 August 2018 in Cape Town.

With the world having been tossed and turned in all directions, both socially and politically, so many of the original production’s themes have evolved to acknowledge the like of the #metoo movement and other global social media realities touching almost everyone’s lives today.

Staying true to the original South African script, the entirely accessible and adapted narrative unfolds within a unique fusion of theatre, poetry and live music.

IMG_8368

I spoke to Siphokazi last week during rehearsals at Artscape.

When are you happiest?

Spending guilt-free time with family and friends or at the beach; these are the times when I am most at ease.

What does poetry mean to you?

The ability to imagine new worlds and experiences through the written and spoken word. Speaking gives life and I love to give life through poetry to our better selves, healing, hope, and faith.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work?

How people respond to it. When the work impacts another person and opens them up emotionally, I am always blown away. It means we find common ground in our humanity; there are few things more satisfying than that. I also just love playing with words, to find the most creative way to express something completely ordinary.

What drives you…? Ego or Humility?

Surely saying “humility” would be the most egotistical answer! I am striving towards humility and away from ego; it is a lifelong pursuit. Ego gets in the way of truth.

Any funny moments on stage?

Plenty! Usually bantering with lively audiences. I love weaving humor with storytelling.

Your heroes?

People who choose conviction over public opinion.

SIPHOKAZI 2

Which living person do you admire most and why?

I’m going to choose two: Dr. Trevor Jones (the film composer ) and Serena Williams.

It simply doesn’t get more “on top of your game’ than that. Both started on the back foot and have put in more than their ten thousand hours in their craft. They value relationships and are completely unfazed by the magnitude of their achievements.

What is your most treasured possession?

A dollar I kept from my first ever trip to the USA. It represents the first time that the world “shrunk” for me and my goals became much bigger.

It’s your round what are you drinking?

Cappuccino.

Dream gig to do?

I’ve already done one of them in LA in 2016. The second would be a super bowl half time with Beyoncé. I’ve actually dreamed about this twice… The second would be on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah, just for that South African connection!

What makes you stand out?

I care deeply about both the work and the people on the other side of the microphone or pen. I am always willing to learn.

Nicknames?

Nonkie.

If you were not a poet what would you do?

I would be an inventor/MacGyver type.

Pick five words to describe yourself?

Relentless. Empathetic. Flawed. Trier. Does-not-like-to-be-limited-to-five-words.

5 poets books we must read?

Job (in the Bible), Koleka Putuma’s Collective Amnesia, Ron Villanueva’s Reliquaria, Anything by Gabeba Baderoon and my upcoming poetry collection.

Greatest Movie Ever Made?

The Lion King!

What poem changed your life?

I will wait for you” by Jeanette Watson. It wasn’t necessarily the poem but watching her perform it was life-changing and led me down a path which ended up in friendship and performing on the same stage in LA 5 years later.

Who do you love?

Quite a few people. I am working to add myself to that list without reservation.

What is your favorite word?

Asemrowend.

Favorite Fashion Garment

Pyjamas.

Give us some real proper slang and what it means

Cava (Zulu) – to understand/“get it”

Top of your bucket list?

Travel to every continent in the world.

Your greatest achievement?

Trying to make a living as a full-time artist even though I have tried and failed before. I am convinced that I can do it.

IMG_8270

What do you complain about most often?

Being busy.

What is your fear?

Not being able to show my parents appreciation for supporting me on this path despite their own fears and reservations.

Happiness is?

Living out your purpose.

On stage I tend to?

Lose sense of where I am.

The best life lesson I have been taught.

Pursue excellence not perfection.

Where would you like to be right now?

The USA collaborating with some of my favorite poets and working to improve in a different environment. Also trying to connect with Beyoncé and Trevor so that we can put together those dream gigs. Maybe I can also get Dr Trevor Jones to recommend my upcoming poetry collection as a must-read!

Wishes and dreams for 2018?

Being better with taking care of the “vessel”. The success of my current production, Around the Fire enough to tour with it. Launching a schools’ poetry project, Page the Stage. Add more hours in my craft towards the ten thousand goal.

You tube links to go with article



Social media links

Facebook: Siphokazi Jonas

Twitter and Instagram: @Siphokazi_J

Reece Baker – a rising star I met at BMI songwriting Camp in July

image4

Earlier last month I was invited to be part of the BMI Abbey Road 2018 song writing camp. BMI invited me to attend the camp as part of their ongoing support of Music Exchange.

BMI hosted 2 camps in South Africa over the last two years and my job at the camp was to understand and learn about best practice so as to be able to implement these ideas back home.

The camp was held in Abbey Road studio 3 it’s where Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side Of The Moon, Frank Ocean recorded large parts of Blonde and Amy Winehouse recorded her final tracks.

The co-host of the camp Christian Wright will be coming to SA in Sept to host a number of keynote talks and engagements at Music Exchange on 1 September and 2nd September 2018

I spoke to one of the writers from Essex the mutli talented Reece Baker who is 26 from Basildon in Essex, He is Songwriter, Guitar and keyboard player in the band Courts. Reece also writes music for commercials

Currently working with some amazing songwriters and artists: Paul usher, Mary Leay, Blakey, Devon Wright  

When are you happiest?

Probable when in the thick of songwriting and everything starts to come together

image6

What does music mean to you?

Hits a universal language that needs no words to speak to your soul. It’s everything.

What is the most enjoyable aspect of your work ?

Working and writing with new people, feeling the creative energy.

What drives you…. Ego or Humility?

Definitely humility, I’m grateful for everything I have in my life

And the people I’ve met. There’s so much to learn from others I feel having an ego would hinder that.

Your heroes?

Nile Rodgers & Kasif. Two absolutely incredible masters of the craft who know how to write a hit.

Which living person do you admire most and why?Again, Nile Rodgers… so many of his records gave and spoke to me

And moved me.

 

image5

 

What is your most treasured possession?

My Yamaha DX7

It’s your round what are you drinking?

Spiced rum and coke

image2

Dream gig to do?

It’s always been Brixton Academy

If you were not a musician what would you do?

Hmm I’d probably be somewhere in the sun selling deck chairs on a beach

image7

5 Desert Island Discs?

Change – The essential Collection

The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac

George Benson – Breezin’

George Michael – Ladies & Gentlemen

Niki & the Dove – Everybody’s Heart is Broken Now

What song changed your life?

Sister Sledge – Lost In Music

Who do you love?

My two brothers Dan & Luke and Luke’s Little baby Luna

Give us some real proper slang and what it means

“ Peng” – it’s nice/good

Top of your bucket list?

Write

image3

What is your fear?

Moving slowly

Happiness is?

Being lost in music

On stage I tend to?

Get a little too rowdy

The best life lesson you have been taught

We’re all the same, we’re all on our own difficult journey

Cherish the ones you love and be kind to compassionate to all.

Where would you like to be right now?

A studio with open French doors, backing on to a beach with palm trees and sun.

Wishes and dreams for 2018?

Just to carry on being able to write music everyday.

Social media links

https://www.youtube.com/user/courtsmusic

I compose music for adverts 

Vimeo.com/reecebakermusic 

vimeo.com/reecebakermusic

IG: @reecebakermusic

image1.jpeg

 

 

Mike Tshehla Phahlane is the man who gave Soweto its name back in 1963

Mike Tshehla Phahlane, the man who gave Soweto its name back in 1963, slipped away quietly two weeks ago without a single mention in local media despite the fact that he was the pioneer of black South African journalism and one of its finest wordsmiths.

Only the Sowetan carried a 31-word funeral notice accompanied by the standard black and white photo in the weekly In Memoriam section. He didn’t make it in the obituaries page.

His huge significance in South African journalism in general and jazz writing in particularly was a fact that the paper’s editorial team was evidently unaware of. He was just another dead Sowetan.

The man nicknamed The Indestructible because of his legendary reputation for having survived a number of near-death experiences, lived most of his life in obscurity and died in obscurity, thanks to an uncaring, insensitive and oblivious society. He was the invisible man in the real sense because all South Africans simply refused to recognise the squat, forlon figure who roamed the streets of Johannesburg as one of the city’s homeless people. He lived a hard and undignified existence, not out of his own choice but because as a country we failed him.

Born 26 March 1921 in old Sophiatown, in 1943 he joined Zonk, the first English magazine for African readers. He covered a number of beats but distinguished himself as a jazz critic, definitely the first one on the continent. He wore his passion for this noble art on his sleeve and with his elegant but cheeky prose, championed its beauty and cause on the pages of the racy publication. Jazz introduced him to a young and lanky pianist from Cape Town. He loved the shy musician’s efforts on the ivories but he didn’t like his name. Johannes Adolphus Botha didn’t have a ring of showbiz to it. So he gave his protégé a new identity – Dollar Brand.

He reasoned that a dollar was the world’s most powerful note and his charge was destined for bigger things in the US, a brand everyone wanted to experience its dream. Years later the protégé expressed his gratitude when he recorded Tintinyana, an evocative jazz tune dedicated to Mr Phahlane’s daughter, for Tintinyana was her name.

She grew up to become a fine lady and brilliant medical doctor but sadly she passed away in the prime of her life. He also lost his only son, Dr Michael Phahlane. The US-based psychiatrist was killed in a car crash in 1981. In 1983 he was diagnosed with amnesia and confined to Sterkfontein Hospital, a psychiatric institution for the mentally challenged as a state patient. One of his inmates was Dimitri Tsafendas.

When Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd was assassinated on 6 September 1966, Phahlane had quipped that Tsafendas had exterminated apartheid. The authorities never forgave him for that. His institutionalisation cost him enormously. He lost his Soweto house and other priceless belongings. It was reportedly auctioned off at the behest of a vengeful ex-father-in-law.

Since his discharge from the psychiatric institution, Ntatemoholo Phahlane, as the indomitable nanogenarian preferred to be referred to in his twilight years, has been struggling to get an RDP house. He initiatiated a series of correspondence with the former Gauteng premier, Mbhazima Shilowa and the Gauteng Department of Housing. His pleas fell on deaf ears.

By Sam Mathe

Music Exchange masterclass : Sponsorship for artists & events and what is retail radio ,Sat 28 July

Sponsorship for artists & events and what is retail radio.

Two big topics being covered :

1) Sponsorship for artists & events with Darren Sandras from One Eyed Jack

• Creating a proposal to get sponsorship, key things to include, tips on design, who to target

• Negotiating fees

• Managing a campaign and deliverables

• Tips for reporting, meetings and contracts

• Case studies on great brand / artist collaborations

• Any PR related tips to amplify a partnership

2) What is retail radio with Benito Vergotine

• What is retail radio?

• How artists can access this platform in South Africa

There will be plenty of time for Q&A’s at the end of each session.

Date: Saturday, 28 July 2018

Venue: Paul Bothner Music, Plumstead

Time: 10h30 to 12h45

Cost: R50.00 for tickets purchased online or R70.00 at the door

Enquiries: 021 761 4828 – Paul Bothner Music, Plumstead

Fostering Fever, spearheaded by Sophia Foster at the Artscape Arena Theatre on 20 and 21 July 2018

Fostering Fever, spearheaded by Sophia Foster, will showcase 12 young artists backed by a young seven-piece band at the Artscape Arena Theatre on 20 and 21 July 2018.

Each act in Fostering Fever will present their creative journey in the face of challenging odds. These are real-life stories

This Fostering Fever empowerment initiative includes the first-hand retelling of real-life stories of each artist, depicting what happens in their neighbourhoods.

Mentored by Sophia Foster, one of South Africa’s entertainment pioneers, the cast will present two performances guided by Sophia and musical director Celeste Williams.

Celeste has worked with Loyiso, Emo Adams, Soli Philander, Alistair Izobell and Gloria Bosman. She has also collaborated with Josh Groban, Diana Ross, Michael Bublé and Foreigner. Her TV work has included being the anchor for Lieriekeraai.

Sophia Foster will feature in the show as the catalyst who opened the door to mentor and train these young performers through her foundation, The Fostering Foundation. She will share the stage with her students in showcasing their journey and the development of their talent.

Actor Jody Abrahams has thrown his support behind the foundation and will direct the show. Abraham’s began his professional acting career in the role of Broertjie in David Kramer and Taliep Petersen’s District Six – The Musical and worked for almost two years on this show, including a tour to Johannesburg and finally Edinburgh. Other roles include Kat and the Kings, Poison, Ghoema and Second Time Around.

Through the involvement of the Fostering Foundation in the Youth Jazz Festival, held in March 2018 at Steenberg High School, Sophia auditioned singers and dancers. Out of that experience, a group of girl dancers were enrolled into The Fostering Foundation and will appear as part of the Fostering Fever showcase.

The band members were sourced through the Celeste Williams development project, which is focused on the development of previously disadvantaged young musicians of the Western Cape.

“Local support is fundamental in providing a platform for the development of our youth within the arts. We need to ensure that the talent of our kids is encouraged, appreciated and showcased whenever the opportunity arises,” Sophia Foster adds. “We are truly grateful for the opportunity that Artscape has afforded us enabling dreams to turn into reality through the Fostering Foundation Initiative.”

What: Fostering Fever
Where: Artscape Arena Theatre
When: 20, 21 July 2018 at 8pm
Fostering Fever tickets Artscape: R120 each

Info: Martin Myers martmyers

MASTERCLASS on Sat 23rd June with 3 great speakers : How to get your music talked about using print, social media and JOOX


1) The Business of Music with Thabiet Allie (COO) from JOOX Music

• How JOOX works for YOU the South African Artist

• How does the platform work and how do you engage with the platform

2) Talking about Media (magazines and daily press) with Jason Curtis

• Moment of truth: What’s your unique selling point and is it truly marketable?

• Moment of action: Where do you go to tell people that? Does traditional media have a place in your future?

• Moment of growth: How to attract and build your own audiences and communities

3) Social Media with Candice Mills from Socialbuzz SA

• Establishing your brand – treating your social media assets as business assets

• Choosing your platforms

• Tips on content

• The importance of engaging with your fan base

• When & how to use hashtags

• Tools to help you manage your profiles more easily.

There will be plenty of time for Q&A’s at the end of each session.

Date: Saturday, 23 June 2018
Venue: Paul Bothner Music Claremont
Time: 10h30 to 12h45
Cost: R50.00 for tickets purchased online at Quicket or R70.00 at the door
Enquiries: 021 674 4030 – Paul Bothner Music Claremont

Team Brunel complete comeback to win Leg 10 – now equal first on leaderboard for Volvo Ocean race 20 17/18

The final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race will determine the winner after the finish in Gothenburg leaves the top three teams in a dead heat…

Team Brunel has completed one of the great comebacks in sailing, setting up an epic final leg to The Hague next week in what will be the closest Volvo Ocean Race in history.

Three teams – MAPFRE, Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team – will start the final leg in a dead heat at the top of the table, with the overall title on the line. It’s an unprecedented scenario in the 45-year history of the race.


On a rainy, blustery Thursday evening in Gothenburg, skipper Bouwe Bekking led his Team Brunel to a come-from-behind win in Leg 10 over Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE squad, who claimed second place, less than two-minutes behind after nearly 1,500 nautical miles of bow to bow racing.

“We did a fantastic job as a team and of course the result was better than we could have dreamed,” Bekking said. “We wanted to beat the two red boats but a win to get the bonus point is really nice…

“The pressure was on but we knew we just needed to sail the boat the best we could and not do any crazy things. Very happy how it all ended up.”

Bekking has led his team on an incredible comeback pace, following a dismal opening half to the race. At the conclusion of Leg 6 into Auckland, the team was mired in sixth place, on just 20 points. In comparison, MAPFRE, the race leader at the time, had already won 39 points.

But since then, Team Brunel has been on fire, posting a 1-2-1-1 scoreline over the past four legs, to bully its way to equal first at the top of the leaderboard, after collecting 45 out of a possible 47 points, an incredible scoring ratio.

The Leg 10 results mean MAPFRE and Team Brunel sit equal at the top of the leaderboard with 65 points. MAPFRE will be ranked in first place by virtue of leading the In-Port Race Series, which is the tie-break mechanism for the Volvo Ocean Race.

Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team, who was the leader at the beginning of Leg 10, had a fourth place finish into Gothenburg, putting Dongfeng on 64 points (although the team is in pole position to earn an additional bonus point for best elapsed time which will be added after the Leg 11 finish).

This means the top three boats in the Volvo Ocean Race will start the final sprint into The Hague on June 21 in a dead heat, with the overall title on the line.

“For the fans it’s going to be an exciting last leg,” said Caudrelier after the finish. “And for us as well. We will give all we have and try for our first leg victory. But really we just have to be ahead of the other two. We can do it!”

“It was a very good leg for us and a good result as well, but a little bit painful the way it happened,” Fernández said. “We felt we did the hardest part of the leg, up the coast of Scotland, and managed to be in the lead there, but we just couldn’t hold Brunel on the tight reaching… They’ve been improving a lot on the last legs, but it was a surprise to see such a speed difference.”

Team AkzoNobel was third into Gothenburg, another strong podium finish for Simeon Tienpont’s team.

“I don’t think you can get any better racing than this in the sport of sailing,” he said. “It was intense racing in the most competitive fleet you can find in the world. Pretty stoked to have a podium. We pushed to be first but MAPFRE and Brunel did an unbelievable job and we had to let them go.”

Turn the Tide on Plastic had a strong leg, battling with the leading group from start to finish. In the end, Dee Caffari’s squad would take a fifth place finish, moving them to within one point of over-hauling Scallywag.

“We’ve been racing in sight of five boats for the entire leg,” Caffari said at the pontoon after finishing. “To have the racing that close right up until the finish is immense…

“We were ahead of AkzoNobel and Dongfeng at times but they put the afterburners on at the end and we couldn’t quite hold them. But we were really competitive and I’m very proud of my team.”

It was an uneventful, if disappointing leg for Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing squad, who posted a sixth place finish.

“It was a tough leg and not our best performance by any means, but we have one more leg to end it on a high note,” Enright said. “We were pushing right until the end. It was our worst result with a sixth place, but the deltas were really close. We were battling with Brunel who ended up winning the leg and we were pushing hard until it was a foregone conclusion.”

David Witt’s Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag finished in seventh place, after falling behind the fleet on the first evening and never fully recovering into a competitive position.

“We made it pretty hard for ourselves being anchored in Cardiff while we watched the rest of the fleet sail away from us for 100 miles,” Witt said.

“But I’m really proud of the team and I know the boss is too. I’ve been involved in team sports all my life and I’ve never seen a group of people who keep rising and work harder when it starts to get hard. We’ve had our ups and downs but we’re going to do our best in the last leg.”

But all eyes will be on the top three boats for the start of the final leg as they battle for their positions on the podium for this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. The results have never been closer and the pressure has never been higher.

“We need intensity, focus and to sail the best we can… that’s all we can do,” said Team Brunel navigator Andrew Cape when asked to describe how he will approach the final leg.

Leg 11 from Gothenburg to The Hague features a fly-by dogleg past Aarhus, Denmark, and starts at 1400 local time in Gothenburg (1200 UTC) on 21 June, 2018.

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 10 — Results
1. Team Brunel – Finished – 4 days, 5 hours, 12 minutes, 1 second
2. MAPFRE – Finished – 4 days, 5 hours, 13 minutes, 56 seconds
3. team AkzoNobel – 4 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes, 53 seconds
4. Dongfeng Race Team – 4 days, 5 hours, 45 minutes, 52 seconds
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 4 days, 6 hours, 02 minutes, 00 seconds
6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 4 days, 6 hours, 26 minutes, 40 seconds
7. SHK / Scallywag – Racing – 4 days, 8 hours, 25 minutes, 03 seconds

Volvo Ocean Race Points Table after Leg 10
1. MAPFRE – 65 points
2. Team Brunel – 65 points
3. Dongfeng Race Team – 64 points *
4. team AkzoNobel – 53 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 38 points
6. SHK / Scallywag – 30 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 29 points

* One additional point will be awarded to the team with the best elapsed time at the conclusion of the race in The Hague. Currently, Dongfeng would win this point.
** Should there be a tie on the overall race leaderboard at the end of the offshore legs, the In-Port Race Series standings will be used to break the tie.

Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Points Table
1. MAPFRE – 56 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 49 points
4. Team Brunel – 41 points
3. team AkzoNobel – 39 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 26 points
6. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 21 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 17 points

Credit -volvo ocean race blog

%d bloggers like this: