Monday, 12 September 2016

Sports icon brings cheer to winning school

Learners of Hermanus Private Pre and Primary School in the Western Cape were the envy of neighbouring schools when SA cricket icon, Dale Steyn, visited their school to present a cheque for R10 000.

Dale Steyn presents a cheque for R10 000 to Hermanus Private Pre and Primary School

The school emerged first in the primary category for having collected the most caps in the Western Cape region as part of the OMO Ready for Life Schools Challenge.

In 2015, FMCG giant Unilever’s OMO brand team embarked on a countrywide initiative to emphasise the importance of education, goal-setting and pushing the boundaries for success among scholars.

Over 200 primary and high schools in KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape participated in the challenge and were tasked with collecting OMO Auto liquid caps to qualify to win a host of prizes.

The winner of the first prize in the challenge received a visit to the school from Dale plus R10 000 which the school may use towards a sports tour, equipment or an upgrade.

The Department of Basic Education recognises the value of school sport and physical education in providing the foundation necessary for the holistic development of learners in support of the academic curriculum.

Dale Steyn at Hermanus Private Pre and Primary School
Renowned for his fast-bowling abilities and world-class performances, Dale emerged as the obvious choice for the campaign’s brand ambassador.

Through a series of visits by OMO brand ambassadors, the valuable lessons on goal-setting and the necessary steps to be taken by learners to achieve them, were welcomed by various schools across SA.

“Our school had participated in the challenge last year and won. When I heard that a cash prize was up for grabs, there was no question of participating a second time,” said Caronne Vermaak, Hermanus Private Pre and Primary School principal.

“We adopt a Montessori approach to education which promotes goal-setting and child development through the years. We inspire the children to set goals in order to develop a positive and stable direction in life, and to be successful.

“Our school is home to 87 children who were all enthusiastic about collecting caps with the hope of winning the challenge once more.”

She said Dale’s visit had a significant impact on the learners, particularly with the cricket season approaching. Motivational speakers like Dale were, therefore, most welcomed.
“Dale has reached his goals as a cricketer, and his words of wisdom on career choices have motivated and excited the learners.

“We are extremely grateful to OMO for the opportunity and will put the cash prize to good use,” concluded Vermaak.

To date, OMO has reached 200 000 learners through the Ready for Life campaign and will continue its journey to develop the potential of learners in 2016 and beyond.

Henry Muchauraya from the OMO South Africa brand team said: “OMO is geared towards unleashing human potential, and key to developing this is setting and achieving goals. Ready for Life seeks to build this responsible outlook with learners from a young age.

“Dale possesses all the key attributes a young and aspiring learner would find attractive in a mentor. He himself is young, successful and highly motivated. Thus he was identified as the ideal fit for the campaign, given his mentorship role to support budding talent.”

Winners of the challenge also nominate a less privileged school to win R5000 for school equipment or an upgrade. Hermanus Private Pre and Primary School nominated Mount Pleasant Primary School as the recipient. Pinehurst Primary School was declared the runner-up in the challenge and awarded R5000.

In each region, one class with the most caps collected wins a R10 000 Sportsman’s Warehouse voucher to be shared among the class.

One primary school class in each province with the most caps collected is selected as a winner for the class prize.

Issued on behalf of Unilever by:
Tanisha Ramshai
Meropa Communications
031 201 0550

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Hot chocolate with heart marshmallows

Feeling cold and you can’t drink cool drinks anymore? Well, don’t worry, we have the best hot chocolate with marshmallows recipe for you. It will keep you warm and warm-hearted. It is also a great drink for you if you are in bed or if you have flu. Your winter won't be perfect without a warm drink that will keep your body warm wherever you go. For you to enjoy this delicious drink, you need to open your heart as you are making it. Before you make anything, you need to have all the ingredients. Ok, you need to have:

  • ·         4 cups of full cream milk
  • ·         2 table spoons sugar
  • ·         2 tablespoons plus one teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ·         4 tablespoons of finely chopped or shaved semi-sweet chocolate
  • ·         Vegetable oil or cooking spray
  • ·         Large marshmallows

     Make sure you have all the required ingredients, so that you can have the best hot chocolate ever. If you don't want to spoil your winter, just follow the instructions that will lead you to the creation of this amazing hot chocolate:
     1. Bring milk, sugar, cocoa powder and chocolate to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the chocolate has melted (do not let boil). Pour into mugs.
     2. Grease a heart-shaped petit four cutter or aspic cutter with vegetable oil or cooking spray.
     3. Cut several marshmallows in half horizontally. Then press the cutter into the centre of each one.
     4. Float several marshmallows in half horizontally. Then press the cutter into the centre of each one.

    By Boitshoko Hobyane

Friday, 10 June 2016

GeekFest 2016: Cosplay, Characters and Comics

GeekFest, sponsored by The Dark Carnival, is an event for the whole family - even your pets! It was held this year on 7 and 8 May 2016 at the Inanda Country Base, Kyalami. For those who are not familiar with GeekFest, it caters for the nerds, geeks, cosplay enthusiasts and everyone in-between. It’s been running for three years, with events and entertainment created to educate and celebrate comics and other related art forms.

With events for the young and old, patrons could experience every aspect of all things geeky. Patrons enjoyed two days of fun in the sun with LARPing (Live Action Role Playing), Robo-Wars, Fight a Knight, a Magic the Gathering Tourney, helicopter flips, the Hashtag Escape room, a Black Ops course, the Zombie Run, archery, axe throwing and more.

There was something for everyone. Parents relaxed in the beer garden, listening to live music and sampling the dishes from the various food stalls as the little ones had a special area with jumping castles, inflatable courses and other activities to keep them entertained. Men, women, children and dogs dressed up as fictional characters from their favourite movies, games, comics and books.

Padawan and Pet Cosplay competitions entertained the crowds with miniature Darth Vadars and furry E.T.s strutting their stuff on the main stage. Prizes were awarded to the sounds of roaring cheers from friends, family and GeekFest supporters. Fans could take photos with KITT (from Knight Rider), the Ectomobile (from the Ghostbusters movies) or BB-8 (from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens).  

The outdoor market held over 150 stalls filled with gadgets, comics, figurines and merchandise; catering to every whim and desire. Fans could buy anything from a Squirtle hat to a zombie apocalypse guide and survival kit. Those looking to sell second-hand items could visit the Jawa Trading Post and leave GeekFest with a bit of money in their pockets.

Patrons trundled back to their cars, contentedly full from the delicious food, perhaps a bit sunburnt, and carrying bags filled with GeekFest booty. Friends and family enjoyed the day and hoped that GeekFest will be even bigger and better in 2017.  

Review by Lauren Brewin

Friday, 27 May 2016

Supernova team supports Tekkie Tax

The Supernova team supported a variety of different causes on Tekkie Tax Day, 27 May 2016. The team bought Tekkie Tax Day stickers and donned their coolest pairs of tekkies to work.

Supernova team's super cool tekkies

This great campaign gives Supernova team members the opportunity to give to a few of SA’s largest and most accountable welfare organisations. There are 11 National Beneficiaries, representing more than 1000 local non-profit organisations. If that isn’t a good cause, we don’t know what is!

Did you put your best foot forward on Tekkie Tax Day? Did your school or work place show support? Tell us what you got up to on Tekkie Tax Day!

By Andrea Vermaak

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Nickelodeon's 'Dora the Explorer Live! Dora's Pirate Adventure'

Two new Jo'burg dates added for South African tour

Nickelodeon has teamed up with Life Like Touring and Blu Blood to bring Dora the Explorer and her friends to South Africa this winter. Dora the Explorer Live! Dora’s Pirate Adventure will take place at the ICC, Durban (1-3 July), Emperors Palace, Johannesburg (7-12 July), and finally dropping anchor at the Grand Arena, GrandWest Casino in Cape Town (15-17 July).

In response to popular demand, the producers have added two new Johannesburg dates for Dora fans: the show will now run 6 days and 18 performances at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg,  from 7-12 July.

Families and kids are invited to join Dora and her pals, Boots and Diego, on a voyage of discovery as they embark on an exciting trip to Treasure Island in search of the ultimate pirate party. Help them navigate over the Dancing Mountain and through the Silly Singing Bridge in pursuit of the Pirate Piggies. Along the way, Dora the Explorer fans will use their map-reading, counting, musical and language skills to help Dora successfully reach Treasure Island and avoid that pesky fox, Swiper!  

"We are pleased to partner with Life Like Touring to bring their new production of Dora’s Pirate Adventure to audiences in South Africa,” said Thomas Kingsley, Senior Manager, Recreation Business Development at Nickelodeon. “Now seen by families in more than 30 countries worldwide, our Dora Live! productions continue to engage fans of Nickelodeon’s beloved television show, while introducing children to the unbeatable experience of live theatre.” 

Commented Tasania Parsadh, Channel Director, Nickelodeon, Africa, “Dora’s Pirate Adventure incorporates the interactive and educational elements that make Dora the Explorer such a hit with kids - both here in South Africa and around the world. Live shows allow Nickelodeon to bring Dora and her world vividly to life on stage for kids and families.”

Added Osman Osman, Managing Director, Blu Blood, “We are pleased to be partnered with Life Like Touring and Nickelodeon in this new stage production of Dora’s Pirate Adventure.  The show has travelled around the globe, and we are thrilled to add South Africa to the list of countries that Dora has visited on her latest adventure.”

Dora the Explorer live stage shows have enjoyed success around the world and have now been seen by more than four million people including audiences in Australia, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Kuwait, Russia, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and New Zealand.

Dora the Explorer is a play-along, animated adventure TV series, following Dora and her best friend, Boots, as they explore their world. Since its launch on Nickelodeon in 2000, Dora the Explorer has emerged as a global phenomenon, seen around the world and translated into more than 30 languages. The show has received numerous international industry awards including the Peabody, NAACP, Alma, Latino Spirit, Gracie Allen, several Parents' Choice Awards, the Television Critics Association Award and 15 Daytime Emmy nominations.

Tickets for Dora’s Pirate Adventure are on sale at Computicket outlets, on or 0861 915 8000, and at Checkers and Shoprite stores nationwide.  Tickets are also available at the Emperor’s Palace Box Office and the Box Office at GrandWest Casino. Supernova, the mag for curious kids is also giving away tickets in June on Facebook!

Dora’s Pirate Adventure is brought to South Africa by Blu Blood and Life Like Touring in association with Nickelodeon.

For more information on Dora’s Pirate Adventure, please go to, follow us on Twitter @NickAfrica, on Instagram @Nickelodeon_Africa, or like us on Facebook at Nickelodeon. To join the conversation about the show, please use the hashtag #DoraLiveSA.

Press release by MS Publicity.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Teen talent named Forever Changed Brand Ambassador

Up-and-coming 15-year-old actor JC Du Toit’s career has skyrocketed in an incredibly short space of time. The recent winner of Mr Personality and 1st Prince at the Mr and Miss Willowridge High School competition, JC has also been selected as an ambassador for the Forever Changed cancer awareness campaign. The talented teenager is not only aiming to make his mark as a performer, but is totally committed to raising awareness for a worthy cause – Forever Changed.

Du Toit became interested in the world of entertainment at a young age. As a child, he was fascinated by movies. He would watch TV for hours on end. “I love powerful characters and good storylines. I was mesmerised by movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas,” notes Du Toit. “I would rerun the scenes in my head and act them out.”

At the age of 10, Du Toit asked his mom if he could take drama classes. At first, she wasn’t convinced. She thought it was a passing phase, but he kept asking and showing interest. He also took part in all his school productions. Eventually, she realised he was serious. The school’s drama teacher encouraged him, realising his potential. Eventually, his mom contacted Melissa Lottering, a professional acting coach, who immediately saw his incredible talent.

The rest of the story follows a whirlwind of acting classes and auditions. Lottering introduced Du Toit to casting agent Addi Lang. “JC has a natural ability to act. He is determined to do his best to make his mark on the entertainment industry,” says Lang. "He is well on his way to being a sought-after performer.”

Du Toit has also been selected to attend the Applause Rising Talent Showcase (ARTS) held in the USA in July 2016. ARTS is a highly competitive talent showcase. “We are proud of what JC has accomplished in a short time,” says Lang, “and we are thrilled to have his voice behind the Forever Changed cancer awareness campaign as one of our acclaimed brand ambassadors. He is incredibly talented, and his natural empathy and willingness to be part of an international campaign will be highly beneficial for all involved.”

As part of his role as an ambassador, Du Toit will assist in creating awareness for the 
campaign  through community events. Brand ambassadors may choose to arrange a 
screening  of the Forever Changed documentaries, or set up a talent contest at their school 
or in their community. 

JC is the first ambassador to be hosting the Dance of The Butterfly event on 28 May 2016 
in South Africa with guest  performers Robyn Angela Leal, Winston and Delia Ho and 
Jezriel Skei. 

“Being a Forever Changed Brand Ambassador means I can make a difference by helping those who have been affected by cancer.”  Du Toit is thrilled to be involved in a cause that is close to his heart “because this campaign can change so many people and their perceptions, and can save lives”

His career to date has included several auditions for a selection of films, TV shows and print advertising campaigns, including the Ford Motor Company and Rand Merchant Bank. “I will always be grateful to Addi Lang for her guidance and help in getting my career going,” says Du Toit.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Mystic India

Travel to the heart and soul of India on a wave of brilliant colours, signature sounds, sensual fragrances and explosive energy. Mystic India: The World Tour is a masterpiece that has left audiences worldwide in breathless awe. It’s a true dance spectacle complete with world-class dancers, renowned musicians, opulent costumes, extravagant sets, and mesmerising visual effects.

The internationally acclaimed Bollywood music and dance spectacular is based on the concept of ancient India’s transition into modern India. Your senses are joyously overwhelmed with everything that is India from Hindu gods and traditional festivals, to life in rural villages, and the evolution of Bollywood. Whether you have visited India or not, you will leave the theatre, feeling like you’ve known India your whole life.

Mystic India: The World Tour is directed and choreographed by the prominent choreographer and production master, Amit Shah, and produced by US-based AATMA Performing Arts, of which Shah is the founder and creative director.

Book your tickets now at Computicket to see Mystic India: The World Tour, in association with Zee TV, at the Teatro, Montecasino from 29 April to 1 May 2016. It's a must-see show of the year!

Review by Andrea Vermaak.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Let your feet speak for your heart

National Tekkie Tax Day has been part of the South African calendar for the last three years and this time around we're celebrating it on Friday 27 May. This campaign gives you the opportunity to show with your feet where your heart lies. Choose your sticker for a cause close to your heart, spunk up your tekkies with a funky pair of our Tekkie Tag shoelaces and you are ready for National Tekkie Tax Day!

The campaign started in 2013 when a few of South Africa’s biggest and most accountable welfare organisations joined forces. Marieta Kemp, Director Social Services from the SAVF says, “The large number of welfare organisations involved helps us to keep the costs structure low and this will ensure that the maximum of donations can be used by us to deliver our services on grass roots level.”

There are 11 National Beneficiaries and they represent more than 1000 local non-profit organisations.

·         Epilepsy SA
·         Child Welfare SA
·         SOS Children's Villages
·         CHOC (Childhood Cancer Foundation)
·         Special Olympics SA
·         CANSA
·         Imisebeyelanga Services
·         Meals on Wheels
·         VVA
·         NG Welsyn
·         SAVF

Tekkie Tax raised more than R13,7 million and the impact on ground level is remarkable. Gary Westwood, Director of Epilepsy SA in the Free State and North West provinces says,  “We used our Tekkie Tax donations in serving persons with epilepsy and other disabilities in our residential care facilities.” Imisebeyelanga Services used their Tekkie Tax donations to purchase tables and chairs for some of their Early Childhood Development centres. Samaritan's Feet SA bought shoes for the needy. The list is long and these are only a few examples of how the donations were utilised in the past. 

There is really no excuse not to participate in this year’s campaign. The stickers (R10 each) are available at all Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores. The Tekkie Tag shoelaces (R35) are available from all Clicks stores. There are also more than 250 participating non-profit organisations selling these items and together they aim to convince every South African to be part of the fun. Orders can also be placed online via the Tekkie Tax website:

The media, a whole bunch of celebrities, hundreds of companies and thousands of individuals have pledged their support to the campaign. I hope to add you to the list! 

Walk the extra mile for a welfare organisation close to your heart by wearing your sticker of choice on Friday 27 May and spunk up your tekkies with a pair of funky Tekkie Tag shoelaces. There is really no excuse – put your best foot forward and support National Tekkie Tax Day!

Press release by Tekkie Tax.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Only large talk Of Monsters and Men

Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir
Photo: Chelsea Ann Chalmers
Seed Experiences have organised some of the greatest, chilled out and super vibey events in South Africa, and they’re just getting better and better. The latest event that Andrea Vermaak, editor of Supernova, the mag for curious kids, could attend was the Sowing the Seeds Music and Lifestyle Festival, featuring Jungle, and the amazing Of Monsters and Men. The event took place at Emmarentia Dam on 2 April 2016. Supporting acts included local greats BCUC, December Streets, and the Matthew Mole.

Emmarentia Dam is the perfect venue for music festivals. You can take a picnic basket to enjoy with friends and family, while you to sit back and bask in the mesmerising sounds of the greatest local and international bands. If you forget to pack lunch, there are a variety of gourmet food stalls for even the most discernible tastes, including yummy gluten free pancakes!

Ragnar Thorhallsson
Photo: Chelsea Ann Chalmers
The music, however, is what makes each event so special. From The Lumineers to The Kooks, George Ezra, Ben Howard, Passenger, and many more, Seed Experiences makes sure that they know what SA music lovers want, and they deliver.

Of Monsters and Men was no exception. Hailing from Iceland, the indie folk band sounded as great live as on their albums. Vocalists and guitarists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Thorhallsson were simply…magical. They took us on a journey far away across the snow-topped mountains of their country with hit single favourites ‘Little Talks’, ‘Mountain Sound’ and ‘Dirty Paws’, among others. They were one of very few bands that also genuinely seemed to enjoy the crowd as much as the crowd enjoyed them.

Everyone left with songs in their hearts. We can’t wait to see what Seed Experiences has to offer next!

For more information:
Facebook: /SowingTheSeedsSA
Twitter: @SowingTheSeedSA
Instagram: @SowingTheSeedsOfficial

Review by Andrea Vermaak