Friday, 31 May 2013

Win a family hike worth R585!

You could be the lucky winner of a family ticket to the Hi-Tec Knysna Forest Family Hike, during the 2013 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival, worth R585!

The prize includes:
  • Entry to the hike for 2 adults and up to 2 kids
  • A goodie bag for each participant
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee and juice
  • A Hi-Tec Dakota Fleece Top for each adult valued at R250

Three easy steps to enter:
  1. Read the press release entitled 2013 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival programme full of new highlights posted on 20 May 2013.
  2. Answer the following question: Name any one thing that older kids will enjoy at the 2013 Pick n Pay Oyster Festival.

Send your full name, contact details and answer to or 082 814 1981 before midnight on 18 June 2013. The winner will be announced on 16 June 2013.*

*Terms and conditions apply.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Bestselling author Chris Bradford in Johannesburg

Penguin South Africa has organised an author talk by best selling international children’s author, Chris Bradford on Monday, 3 June at Novel Books in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
The talk will focus on his Young Samurai series (targeted at children aged 9 – 12), but his presentation will be fun for the whole family, including moms and dads. Don't miss this event!

Monday, 27 May 2013

BK Publishing at your school!

On Friday 17 May 2013, Director/Publisher Benoit Knox and new addition to the Supernova team Waldo Swart visited St Peter's Boys School in Johannesburg to give talks to grades 5  to 7 about publishing and Supernova magazine. The learners were very enthusiastic to hear what Mr Knox had to say, who was aided by a new, improved, super funky slideshow courtesy of Mr Swart's talents.

Below are a few photographs of the exciting morning of many past and many more to follow!

If you would like BK Publishing to visit your school to chat to the learners about Supernova magazine or publishing as a career option, please contact Benoit Knox at +27 12 342 5347 or email him at Please note that we are based in Gauteng, so only schools in this region may apply.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Inkling: a very dairy milk tart recipe

1 packet (200g) tennis biscuits
75g (80 ml) butter or margarine

1,5 litres milk
50g (60ml) butter or margarine
4 eggs
200g (250ml) white sugar
70g (150ml) corn flour
70g (125ml) cake flour
Pinch of salt
5ml vanilla essence

Electric mixer
30 x 23cm tart or pie dish
Microwave (if you do not have a microwave you can do this on the stove)

Step 1: Make your crust
Crush your biscuits until they are fine and smooth. Microwave the butter or margarine until its melted. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter or margarine, and layer your tart or pie dish with the mixture.

Step 2: Start your filling
Microwave the milk and the butter or margarine for more or less 15 minutes in an open 3,5 litre bowl at 100% power until it boils.

Step 3
Use a mixer, and beat the eggs and white sugar until it's spongy. Sift the corn flour, cake flour and salt together, and sift the mixture bit-by-bit over the spongy egg and white sugar mixture, while you beat it rapidly with the mixer. Lastly, add the vanilla to the mixture and beat everything together.

Step 4
Add the boiling milk mixture (Step 2) into the mixture above (Step 3), and mix together with the mixer.

Step 5
Microwave it open for between 10 and 12 minutes at 70% power. Remember to stir the mixture every few minutes.

Step 6
Add the mixture into your tart or pie dish and sift some cinnamon over it. Place it in your fridge. It will be ready when it has set.

Step 7
Spoil yourself with a slice of milk tart and some berry juice. Either hot or cold, a milk tart never gets old!

Good idea
Ask your mom or dad to help you with your milk tart. Substitute your tennis biscuits with digestive or ginger biscuits. For healthier milk tart, use low fat milk rather than full cream milk, and artificial sweetener rather than white sugar.

Bad idea
Never add the spongy egg mixture (Step 3) into the boiling milk. You will make scrambled eggs rather than a milk tart!

Words by Julia Hopkirk

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Improving Education… the Power is In Your Hands

One entrepreneur has a vision for improving the nation’s pass rates by harnessing the power of technology and parental involvement

Salah ElBaba came to Cape Town for a holiday in 2003 and ended up marrying a local, moving here permanently and becoming a very successful tech entrepreneur.

Salah, whose exotic name comes from his Lebanese father, originates from London and started life as a partner in a very successful UK recruitment company where he remained for twenty years. His last two years there were spent developing an online reminder service for universities to help students keep track of tests and assignments; this experience was to come in handy shortly after he decided to visit South Africa on holiday.
“I originally planned on visiting Cape Town for two weeks, but ended up staying for six weeks, during which time I met my wife-to-be, Irene. I knew I wanted to marry her and live in Cape Town so I went back home to wrap things up and a month later was back in Cape Town. I proposed to her the day I landed and we were married a year later.”
Salah is someone who knows a good thing when he sees it. He’s also decisive enough to take hold of his dream and make it his own. “I wanted to make a difference in this beautiful country I had now made my new home, and I had an idea of a way to help schools communicate more effectively to parents using sms's.” In March 2004 he met Andre Roux and together they started SMSWEB, a company that now has more than 550 schools nationally using their service.

Parental involvement improves student performance

Many studies have shown the impact of parental involvement in learner pass rates. One study’s results indicated that school, family, and community partnership practices can significantly decrease chronic absenteeism, even after school level and prior rates of absenteeism are taken into account. In particular, communicating with families about attendance, celebrating good attendance with students and families, and connecting chronically absent students with community mentors measurably reduced students’ chronic absenteeism from one year to the next. Also, schools that conducted a greater total number of attendance-focused activities were more likely to decrease the percentage of students who missed twenty or more days of school each year. (

“We will send over 19 million SMS’s in 2013 and reach over a million parents,” says Salah. Parents receive messages from the school via SMS, email, social media or instant messaging, telling them about key events or important information pertaining to their child. Our schools tell us that “Parents love receiving these notifications and being on top of what’s happening. We filter our messages by grade, subject, gender, extra curriculum and even language so our messages are targeted and specific to each child. We’ve seen truancy reduced, school fees paid on time, as well as general discipline improve now that parents don’t have to rely on us sending a note home with the child,” says Salah

Salah recently announced the launch of his new product EduCals which allows parents to see their school’s calendar live on their phone, tablet or PC, updated in real time. “The logical next step in the evolution of our vision was for us to create an online calendar service that allows schools to add events like exams, tests, assignments, homework or sports days into the calendar, and allows parents to synchronise their child’s calendar with their phone/tablet/laptop/computer using MS-Outlook, Google Calendar, iCalendar (Apple), or any other calendar service around,” says Salah. “As a father of three I saw how much Irene battled with coordinating our diary with that of each child’s school curriculum, which led me to the idea of EduCal.”

I can’t wait to have my children’s school calendars on my iPhone,” says entrepreneur and mother of two Sonja D. “I get pages of notes and events from each teacher and spend hours pouring over them trying to figure out where each child needs to be on what day and at what time. Balance that with my meetings and work load and you have a recipe for disaster, with kids being left waiting or appointments being missed.”

“Every time I ask my teenage son about homework and tests he says he’s done it or he has none,” says Sonja. “Now I get a reminder on my phone and make sure I take the time to sit with him and help him with anything he’s battling with, which will definitely improve his marks now and his career prospects later.”

EduCal integrates seamlessly with SMSWEB, giving schools a powerful way to reach out to parents to keep them in the loop with important events. It also reduces the amount of admin that goes into running a school, making it quicker, easier and cheaper for schools to communicate with parents.

“We’re going to take education in South Africa to the next level,” says Salah. “Eventually calendar reminders will also contain digital content that is aligned with the curriculum so parents will be able to open the course content and review the work with the child. It will also contain videos to online training resources, like Khan Academy, so parents will be able to actively participate and direct their child’s education without relying entirely on teachers to do so.”

South Africa has hundreds of thousands of children whose parents are not actively involved in their schooling. Eventually, EduCal will be able to fulfil the role of reminding them of homework, as well as providing course content digitally.

“Technology is the solution for the challenges education faces in South Africa, and those technologies have to take into account that not everyone uses smart phones, although that number is ever on the increase,” says Salah. “Parents don’t need to have a smart phone to receive these reminders, but can elect to receive them via whichever channel suits them best be it SMS, instant messaging like BBM, Mxit, WeChat or viaEemail or Social Media. We’re blown away by the feedback we’ve received from principals, teachers and parents alike. We set out to make a difference in South Africa and we can happily say that we are doing just that, one pupil at a time.”

Connect with Salah ElBaba on:

Call (021) 914 4681 or 0861 767 932
SMSWeb´s official site
EduCal’s official site
LinkedIn profile

Article by Dylan Kohlstädt: Shift ONE

Monday, 20 May 2013

2013 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival Programme full of New Highlights


The programme for the 2013 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival is growing, with new and exciting events joining the stable of old favourites. “Last year’s programme sported more than 100 events,” said Festival Manager Nicci Rousseau-Schmidt. “And it is already clear that we’ll top that number this year.”

The Pick n Pay Women’s Walk will take place on Sunday 7 July. The Women’s Walk is a popular event that takes place across South Africa. Bronwen Rohland Marketing Director Pick n Pay said, “This 5km event raises funds for PinkDrive, an organisation that provides free breast cancer screening and health education for women who cannot afford it.”
The Young Oyster Festival is gaining in popularity each year, providing an environment for kids to have a blast. Aside from the regular events such as cooking lessons, arts and crafts, movie screenings, sport clinics, and exciting competitions, this year will see a dedicated Kids Zone complete with popcorn, candy floss and all things necessary for exciting and entertaining kids.
Older kids will enjoy an all-new fun fair, as well as obstacle courses and exciting events and competitions at The Yard, our local skate park,” Rousseau-Schmidt said. “This age group and their parents will also enjoy an all new 10-day local food and craft market at the main venue on Waterfront Drive and details of how to enter the Miss Knysna Oyster Festival will be available soon.”
Of course we wouldn’t have a festival if it weren’t for our oysters. This year’s Pick n Pay Flavours of Knysna will truly showcase Knysna’s restaurants as they once again prepare oysters according to their own, unique recipes, with other delectable treats prepared by Pick n Pay also available on the evening.
The oyster shucking and oyster eating competitions are always very entertaining and well attended, and this year we will combine these two fun events to both take place at the main venue on Waterfront Drive,” Rousseau-Schmidt said.
The festival has a long-standing relationship with the South African Navy, especially the local Sea Cadet unit from the Training Ship Knysna. “The Admiral’s Ball is a firm favourite on the festival’s calendar with music provided by the incredibly talented SA Navy Dance Band. Presented in co-operation with the Knysna Featherbed Company, the 2013 ball promises to be an event not to be missed,” said Rousseau-Schmidt “We are hoping to welcome two naval ships through the Knysna Heads this year – weather permitting,” she said. “The Navy also presents other fantastic events on the festival calendar, including the Right of Entry Parade which incorporates precision drilling and music from the marching band, displays by the Knysna Sea Cadets and the ever popular concert by the SA Navy Band which unofficially closes the festival.”
This year the Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon have already sold out, and we anticipate that Knysna will be buzzing with excitement,” said Rohland, “The festival is a great opportunity for us to meet our customers and be part of an event that showcases the best the region has to offer.”
We are looking forward to old favourites, such as the Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour, and the Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Marathon and Half Marathon, but we have many exciting developments on the programme to look forward to,” Rousseau-Schmidt concluded. “And what you’ve read about here is only a taste of what the 2013 Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival has on offer. Knysna is truly the place to be during the school holidays. So come along – I can guarantee that you’ll have the best ten days of your winter.”
Keep an eye on for regular updates to the programme, or contact Knysna Tourism on 044 382 5510 for more information.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

13 year old creates Springbok selection website


Rouxve Meyer

When a thirteen year old girl is absolutely mad about rugby, you could be forgiven for not taking her too seriously. She is taken very seriously at home though and her brother has also been able to turn her idea and her dream into a reality. Rather than merely chatting about ideal team selections for the Springbok side, Rouxve Meyer, a Grade 8 learner from Parel Vallei High School in Somerset West, thought it would be fun to see what other people thought about the perfect team too. So she hatched the idea for a website that allows you to do just that.

SA SELECT is a website that enables members to select their own Springbok team; the site then counts the total votes for each position and displays the most popular team, as selected by the fans themselves. Selectors – as registered members are termed – can then discuss or comment on the current popular team, view other users' teams by visiting their profiles and view the overall rankings of players for every position.

Cleverly and with true entrepreneurial spirit, Rouxve then enlisted the support of her brother, Francois to design and develop the site. Francois (18), who’s currently taking his gap year (after matriculating in 2012 as one of the top 20 students in the Western Cape), did this as a favour to his younger sister, but insists that he’s not going to be available for all her idle whims in the future. “I’m intending to use my development skills for myself and while it was nice to have the time to help Rouxve out this time – she is my kid sister after all – she does have a lot of ideas and I’m a bit nervous she’s going to expect the same levels of service in the future!”

Rouxve Meyer

Rouxve explains that while the site might seem very entrepreneurial and clever, really it’s just a dream of hers: “I am not looking to make any money out of this... I just wanted to give people a place to make their selection and to share their selections with everyone else... rather like we do at home, I wanted to see what other people think. I hope people like the idea.”

Although it only went live last month, SA SELECT already has 296 registered ‘selectors’.

So, if you’re an avid Springbok rugby fan and passionate about the South African rugby team, visit the website ( and register ( and start selecting your team!

For more information: visit

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Grade 10 learner honoured

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre learner invited to take part in the International Gateway for Global and Gifted Youth (IGGY) Junior Commission

Kamogelo Matjila

Kamogelo Matjila, a Grade 10 learner at Marlboro Gardens High School near Alexandra, has been invited to the UK and USA to take part in the International Gateway for Global and Gifted Youth (IGGY) Junior Commission in a year long global project. “This will be a life changing opportunity for Kamogelo,” says Mrs Louise Lochee-Bayne of the University of Warwick.

This year’s ten Junior Commissioners where selected via an International Competition where the quality of entries was extremely high with entries received from dozens of countries. The rest of the team consists of members from Australia, Canada, France, Pakistan, Singapore, the Netherlands and the UK. Kamogelo is the sole representative from Africa. “The application process was very competitive and Kamogelo did incredibly well to secure her place on the team,” according to Dr Adam Boddison, Academic Principal, IGGY.

IGGY, in partnership with Sci-Bono Discovery Centre and the University of Warwick, is funding Kamogelo to take part in this project, and she will visit the UK and USA as a Junior Commissioner. As part of her role she will visit local schools, interview experts in the areas of technology and education, meet with academics, NGOs commerce and industry and public officials and agencies.

The topic for this year’s Junior Commissioners is ‘Education and the Internet’ and Junior Commissioners are undertaking a collaborative research exercise, examining the expansion and improvement of technology and how this will affect the future of education on a global scale.

Kamogelo is one of the learners attending the Abaholi Saturday School Programme, a tuition enrichment programme funded by the Sasol Inzalo Foundation and run by Sci-Bono Discovery Centre. “We are extremely proud of Kamogelo and honoured to have been able to provide her with additional support through one of our programmes,” says David Kramer, CEO of Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Press release: Supernova vol. 2.4

Supernova vol. 2.4 

Supernova vol. 2.4 is as exciting as ever, keeping the BK Publishing standard to always deliver content that is informative and relative, yet entertaining, in order to feed the inquisitive appetites of our children.

As Supernova approaches its second anniversary, we will continue to focus on bringing our audience a quality magazine, forever striving to be the best children's magazine in the country.

Amanda Petersen recently sent us an email: “Supernova is amazing! The content is fun and informative, gripping kids at such a crucial age.”

Here is a taste of what you can look forward to in the next issue of Supernova:
  • Aurora borealis
  • Dairy farming
  • Obsolete objects
  • Gems
  • Unicycling
  • South Africa's Roaming Ruminants


(239 words)

Note to Editors:
Supernova, the mag for curious kids
Supernova is an educational magazine which is targeted at children between the ages of 9 and 14. Through this bi-monthly publication, BK Publishing aims to make children aware of issues which affect them, their community and the environment, by giving them tools and inspiration to become active and responsible world citizens. The content of the magazine is fun, informative and entertaining and focuses on subjects such as ecology, history, sports, science, world cultures, arts and social issues. The magazine loosely follows and enhances the school curriculum and is used by educators as a class resource. The magazine is hand-illustrated and carefully designed to keep children engaged with the information.

Animation Generation Competition


Draw a wacky new character to join Finn and Jake from Adventure Time as they traverse the mystical land of OOO, in Animation Generation 2013!

Great prizes up for grabs from Cartoon Network!

Animation Generation 2013
Cartoon Network’s Animation Generation is celebrating its 8th year in South Africa. This exciting nationwide initiative by Cartoon Network is a drawing competition designed to promote the art of illustration and celebrates the imagination of the many talented young South Africans in schools across the country.

The competition is a unique initiative from Cartoon Network, which aims to harness the passion of their viewers and contribute something back to the local communities. It encourages their viewers to unleash their creativity by developing new fun characters which are limited by nothing but their imagination.

The campaign will target 1900 primary schools in South Africa with participating children between the ages of 6-14 years old. Students from all over the country are invited to enter and have the chance to win amazing prizes. Up for grabs are iPads, Blackberrys and iPods for the top three winners in every age group and the overall school with the most entries will receive R10 000.

This year’s Animation Generation theme is based on the hit show Adventure Time. Students are encouraged to design a new unlikely hero or heroine, villain or villainess to join Finn, Jake, Princess Bubblegum and Lady Rainicorn as they travel though cities and towns filled with bizarre characters in need of unique assistance.

The aim is to give students the chance to let their imaginations run wild and where better to do this than Cartoon Network, a world where anything can happen and absolutely nothing is impossible. All entries must be original and as inventive as possible and judging will take place by a selected panel which will consist of both local and international representatives from Turner Broadcasting.

The overall winning entry of the three age group categories (6 to 8 years old; 9 to 11 years old; and 12 to 14 years old) will also be aired on Cartoon Network, giving the lucky and talented student the thrill of having his/her artwork shown in a promo on television throughout Africa.

Winner of Animation Generation 2012: "Spidy the Spider" by Nico Smit

Tal Hewitt, VP & GM Middle East, Africa & Turkey for Turner Broadcasting System says: Cartoon Network is proud to hold the Animation Generation competition for an eighth year. We are seeing more and more creative South African learners enter each year and the talent just keeps getting better.”

This nationwide campaign will kick off in schools from 26 April 2013 with info packs and posters being distributed to students. The closing date for entries will be on 2 September 2013 and the prize-giving will be held at the winner’s school – so don’t wait… start to animate!

For more information on the competition and the Adventure Time show, you can visit:

All entries can be posted to:
HDI Youth Marketeers
Animation Generation Competition Entries
Postnet Suite 331
Private Bag X 51