It is with great sadness that we announce the death of the legendary South African agent and casting director, Moonyeenn Lee. She passed away on Saturday morning, 18th of July 2020 in Johannesburg. Her death was due to complications caused by the coronavirus.
Her 47 years in the film industry earned her a formidable reputation. In 2003 Moonyeenn was nominated to the National Executive Committee of the Independent Producer’s Organisation and to the Film Board of Create South Africa. In the same year, she formed Khulisa Productions to make South African films. The first film produced by Khulisa was Promised Land. Moonyeenn’s passion for South African stories and local talent was well known. Over the years, she would travel around the world introducing producers and directors to South African actors. She would always do everything in her power to convince them to rather cast local actors over foreign actors. Her dedication eventually paid off as many international productions trusted her to cast locally.
She was renowned as one of South Africa’s leading agents and represented some of South Africa’s best-known actors through her company, Moonyeenn Lee; Associates (MLA). She cared deeply for actors and was a fearless defender of their rights.
Work was central to her life. Her actors were her family. The directors and producers she worked with were all her friends. She was brutally honest, a bit too much for some, but she believed in saying things as they were. Her quick wit, her wicked sense of humour and deep understanding of her craft made her interesting company. Her family and friends will remember her for her generosity and kindness to those in need, for her fighting spirit as well as for her unwavering commitment to the local industry.
She received the Lionel Ngakane Lifetime Achievement Award from the South African Film Television Awards in 2017. A highlight in her illustrious career was when she became the first South African member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which votes for the Oscars and the Television Academy, which votes for the Emmys.
She managed the casting of films such as The Bang Bang Club, Disgrace, the Oscar-winning Tsotsi, Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, the Oscar-nominated Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Hotel Rwanda and Blood Diamond; the Oscar-shortlisted Black Panther and Life, Above All; the Golden Globe nominees Machine Gun Preacher and Mandela and De Klerk; and Emmy-winning series like Homeland, as well as nominees like The Prisoner and No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, among others. Moonyeenn was nominated for two Emmy Awards for The Looming Tower and Roots.
Moonyeenn helped shape the lives of many actors, directors and writers through her fierce honesty and passion. The South African film industry has lost an icon and a formidable champion of the arts. She will be sorely missed by us all.
She is survived by her daughter, Cindy Lee, her son, David Lee and her pets, Hitchcock, Eva and Spice.
Universal Music group has announced the launch of Def Jam Africa, a new label division dedicated to supporting the best in African hip-hop, Afrobeats, and trap talent and culture across the continent. Def Jam Africa will follow the blueprint of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, which has led and influenced the cutting-edge in hip-hop and urban culture for over 35 years.
Def Jam Africa will be based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Lagos, Nigeria, but will identify and sign talent from across the continent. It will be supported by dedicated A&R, marketing, creative and digital teams from the UMG teams in both Nigeria and South Africa and will report to Sipho Dlamini, MD, Universal Music Sub-Saharan Africa & South Africa.
The label launches with a flagship roster including talent such as Boity (South Africa), Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Larry Gaaga (Nigeria) Nadia Nakai (South Africa), Nasty C (South Africa), Tshego (South Africa), Tellaman (South Africa), Ricky Tyler (South Africa) and Vector (Nigeria).
In making the announcement, Sipho Dlamini said, “Many of us in Africa grew up on music from legendary labels under the UMG umbrella. From Blue Note for jazz fans, to Mercury Records, which was Hugh Masekela’s first US label and Uptown Records, the home of Jodeci and Mary J Blige and many more. For those into hip-hop, no label has such cultural and historic relevance as Def Jam. From Run DMC, to LL Cool J, Disturbing the Peace, Jay-Z, Big Sean and Kanye West, Def Jam has always been the ultimate destination for hip-hop and urban culture worldwide. It is a historic achievement that we’re now able to bring this iconic label to Africa, to create an authentic and trusted home for those who aspire to be the best in hip-hop, Afrobeats and trap. Together, we will build a new community of artists, that will push the boundaries of hip-hop fromAfrica, to reach new audiences globally.
Jeff Harleston, interim Chairman & CEO, Def Jam Recordings said, “Def Jam is a globally recognized brand, synonymous with excellence in hip-hop, and we enthusiastically welcome the launch of Def Jam Africa as an opportunity for audiences worldwide to discover the incredibly talented hip-hop artists emerging from across the continent.”
Adam Granite, EVP, Market Development said, “Def Jam has always been a respected mark of hip-hop quality, and the calibre of artists already on the roster, shows that this is a label, truly dedicated to helping the very best rap talent from Africa, reach new audiences on a global level.”
Forthcoming releases on Def Jam Africa include singles from Ricky Tyler, Boity, Nasty C, Tellaman feat. Alpha P, Vector, Cassper Nyovest, and Tshego. South African rapper Nasty C will release his forthcoming album Zulu Man with Some Power in partnership with Def Jam Recordings in the U.S., during Summer 2020.
New York artist, Jarren Frame, has made a mark in the art scene and is currently on display at world-renowned hotels and celeb hotspots such as Socialista, Sixty Hotel Soho, Mamo, Casa Malca, The Bowery Hotel, and Faena, alongside Damien Hirst’s iconic Golden Mammoth.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1990, Frame was inspired to step into the art world as a child from his grandfather, Philip Frame — a Sunday painter and founder of Frame Textiles Group (one time the largest blanket manufacturing business in the world). Philip would teach his grandson to paint flowers on weekends, igniting a spark leading him to pursue art full-time.
In October 2017, Frame displayed a series of James Bond-inspired works known as “The Playboy Paintings” during his first solo exhibition alongside photographer Peter Cary Peterson at The SIXTY SoHo Hotel. Following its success, he collaborated with Puerto Rican artist Jorge Zeno on “Zeno Gravity” on another Bond-inspired piece.
A rotating selection of artworks from his first collection titled “Bond, James Bond,” debuted in December 2017 at 77 Greene Street in New York. The series of 33 acrylic-on-wood pieces featured the recontextualization of vintage James Bond imagery over modern-day landscapes. The idea was born during a trip to Sardinia, where the 1977 classic film The Spy Who Loved Me was shot. ‘‘’Bond, James Bond’ was created on such an impulse. What I sought to do with those paintings was neutralize some of the shame around sex and masculinity. That’s really what those paintings are about: Fun, sex and champagne.”All 33 pieces sold out within a year, attracting a number of bold-face name buyers such as Chris Burch, Steve Wynn, Barron Hilton, former United States Secretary of Commerce Peter George Peterson, Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers, and hoteliers including Jason Pomeranc andJason Strauss.
Frame’s current collection, “Colors,” is another series of 33 paintings – this time acrylic-on-canvas and was inspired by the meaning we assign to colors and is meant to confront the viewer with the enormous diversity of choice we have. “‘Colors’ are a way of bottling up excitement and happiness that provide the power to inspire and uplift in addition to capturing and championing the spirit of individuality.” The series premiered, for a limited-time at Socialista and Surf Lodge in July 2019.
With United Airlines’ new direct flight launching from Newark to Cape Town this December, South Africa is becoming more accessible than ever before. As an increasing number of travelers move beyond typical bucket list trips and seek out meaningful, unique experiences, they will find South Africa has everything they’re looking for. The South African Tourism Board has launched the #MeetSouthAfricaMondays campaign to introduce travelers to some of the country’s lesser-known but most compelling experiences, curated by long-term citizens and lovers of South Africa.
• Accessible Art in Woodstock
• Rediscover Durban
• Johannesburg’s Revitalized Art Scene
• Marine Life of the South African Coast
• Adventures in Drakensburg
• Panoramic Views on the Panorama Route
• World-Class Winelands
• Tastes of a Township: 4Roomed eKasi Culture
The Urban: Arts and Culture Redefined
Accessible Art in Woodstock
All across Woodstock, a suburb of Cape Town, buildings are covered in colorful art, painted by local and international artists. “The movement was founded by a longstanding group of artists that were painting in Woodstock but who wanted to take their art from the studios into the streets,” says Juma Mkwela, a tour guide who leads visitors on street art walking tours of the area. “We wanted to inspire, we wanted to educate, and we wanted to tell stories that hadn’t been told. Today, we have more than 100 pieces here by local and international artists.” High-end restaurants like The Test Kitchen and bustling, artsy watering holes like Casa Woodstock Bar populate the neighborhood, creating a vibrancy to match that of Woodstock’s colorful painted buildings.
Undergoing its second wave of urban revitalisation, Durban has elements that appeal to every kind of tourist — everything from beautiful beaches and perfect weather to high-caliber musicians, fusion food, and world-class distilleries can be found along the city’s streets. According to Jonas Barausse, urban storyteller and Durban local, “Durban really appeals to someone who wants to discover, who wants to peel back the layers of a city. Entrepreneurs are doing some really amazing stuff.” Florida Road, one of Durban’s main strips, is full of life, energy, and color, embodying the city’s spirit. The road is lined with local coffee places and Durban dining staples for travelers who love the bustling atmosphere of city life. Durban’s proximity to coastline, mountains, and some of the world’s best game parks and wildlife make it a perfect stop on a South African vacation.
Johannesburg’s Revitalized Art Scene
One of South Africa’s more well-visited areas, Jo’burg is known for its social life, spirit, and history. Maboneng is the modern center of the art scene in Johannesburg, populated by galleries, boutiques, bars, and restaurants. For a lesser known side of Jo’burg, Charles Nbube suggests visiting his home township of Soweto. “Despite past struggles, it’s a very progressive township, full of historical sights and activities and reignited life,” Charles says. “There’s bungee jumping and quad biking at the Soweto Towers; cycling and tuk tuk tours from Leto’s Backpackers. And there’s Hector Pieterson Memorial, where you can learn about the 1976 Soweto Uprising. The wounds are the scars of the past are still open in this township, but nobody’s crying here.”
The Wild Side: Pursuing Natural Splendors Beyond the Safari
Marine Life of the South African Coast
Take a safari path less traveled by hopping on a boat. Voyage around the Dyer Island system in Gansbaai to spot the Marine Big Five: the great white shark, African penguin, southern right whale, cape fur seal and dolphins. “I challenge anyone to find another place on Earth that can offer such diversity so close to shore,” says Alison Towner, marine expert and guide with Marine Dynamics. For the ultimate shark cage diving experience, try to visit from May to September when they’re in the highest density. Also according to Alison, “peak season for southern right whale watching is October and November.”
Adventures in Drakensberg
South African topography is much more than its famed safari plains. The mountains and valleys of the Drakensberg contain the largest concentration of hiking trails in South Africa, as well as around 300 species of plants that aren’t found anywhere else in the world. Beyond hiking, the mountains are the perfect host for adventure activities such as rock climbing, ziplining, horseback riding, paragliding, whitewater rafting, hot air ballooning, and abseiling. According to James Seymour, a South African mountaineering guide, the mountains’ most “unmissable” activity is a helicopter trip over the Drakensberg. Unique flora and fauna, dense population of antelopes, and ancient rock art hidden in stunning vistas make the Drakensberg one of only 20 places in the world that have been recognized twice by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.
Panoramic Views on the Panorama Route
The most scenic and diverse geographical features of South Africa can be found along the Panorama Route, an aptly named 1,242 miles of road in the often-overlooked province of Mpumalanga. The road passes around the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world and provides access to unique geographical features such as Lisbon Falls, Graskop Gorge, and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. From God’s Window, a viewpoint 2,297 feet above the lush forest below, it is said that on a clear day you can see to the ocean in Mozambique. Beyond natural marvels, the Panorama Route allows a glimpse of local culture outside of urban centers. “Support the local community by buying their arts and crafts that they sell at sights along The Panorama Route,” suggests David Quihampton, who has been a Mpumalanga tour guide for fifteen years.
The Gourmet: Wine and Food
Less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, South Africa’s Cape Winelands are “the best wine destination in the world,” according to Andre Morgenthal, who has worked in the wine industry for nearly thirty years. Within a three-hour radius visitors can easily see ten different wine regions, from Constantia to Stellenbosch, each with their own specialty varietals. Like other wine power-houses of the world, the Winelands have a long history of excellence. In recent decades, however, the Winelands have redefined themselves, bringing together European influence with their own country’s flair. “Pinotage is our national grape,” says Andre, claiming the grape as the region’s flag bearer for red wine. “It’s producing beautiful, world-acclaimed wines.”
Tastes of a Township
For authentic South African cuisine, visit the Cape Town restaurant 4Roomed eKasi Culture. The restaurant’s founder, Abigail Mbalo, a contestant on Master Chef South Africa, named her restaurant in honor of the standard four-roomed homes found in townships across the country. “With our cuisine, we want to tell stories about growing up in a township. We want to evoke nostalgia and pride,” Abigail says. Her restaurant revamps traditional recipes with fresh ideas and fresh ingredients from the backyard garden. Guests enjoy offerings such as a pumpkin and pap dish called umqa, to which Abigail adds butternut, nutmeg, and truffle oil, or the dessert, amkhekhe, based on a popular scone and made modern with citrus, chocolate, and a yuzu syrup. Surrounded by fast food and frantic lifestyles, the restaurant allows guests to slow down and get a delicious taste of South Africa’s history and culture.
This February, Hip-Hop Entrepreneurs are making black history by advancing the technology industry. Clifford Harris Jr, known as “T.I.,” launches a new syndicated investment vehicle called Tech Cypha with business partner Jason Geter and Brandon “BL” Lewis; son of late great boxing promoter and entrepreneur Butch Lewis. Leveraging technologies such as Airbnb, Lyft and Lime through the eyes of hip-hop culture, the team also launched a Los Angeles-based entertainment startup called Culture Genesis. Together, the new collaborative investment strategy allows high-net-worth individuals to participate in trending tech startup deals.
The strategy evolved when Geter and Harris made their first investment 12 years ago into a company calledStreetcred.com, a site that allowed fans to go online and share opinions about street culture. While that first deal didn’t work out, Geter and Harris maintained interest in the technology and startup scene to create opportunities for their networks and promote new businesses.
“We learned a lot,” says Harris. “Now, we know where our demographic is.”
For Geter, that demographic is taking advantage of Atlanta’s surging position as a cultural and technological mecca in the United States. Indeed, Atlanta-area startups raised roughly $1.15 billion in 2018, a record for the region, according to data from PitchBook and the National Venture Capital Association.
“Being in the city of Atlanta and with Georgia Tech producing so much talent, and coming from us being within the hip-hop culture, which is always influencing and promoting things, we saw an opportunity,” says Geter. “In the past, we were always looking through the glass window and looking at ways we can participate earlier. And that’s by coming together to pool our resources so we can invest more.”
Through informed mentorship programs and partnerships, Tech Cypha will include using influencers in various fields. Currently, the syndicate includes Lil Duval, Killer Mike, Tamika ‘Tiny’ Harris, Tai Green, Korey Roberson, Stephanie Shirley, and BJ Kerr among others. As an industry leader, Lewis is known for his talent in branding, marketing and partnership deals.
“Often times, we drive technology like social media and apps, but we are never apart of the ownership,”Lewis continues, “Tech Cypha is going to be an investment vehicle looking for promising, early and late-stage startups to invest capital in, assist with marketing and give branding directions. It’s our way of bridging the gap between the culture and technology.”
Detroit born, LA based, prolific singer/songwriter Jesse Palter releases debut EP The Paper Trail October 22 on Artistry Music, featuring five tracks of aggressive, piano-pounding pop/rock in the vein of Carole King, Sarah McLachlan and Sara Bareilles. The first single going to radio is “Heavy Is The Crown,” an edgy, incisive pop-rocker examining narcisscism and victim-hood at is best. Check it outhere.
Comments Palter: “All of these songs are paving the way towards establishing myself as an artist and songwriter. My approach throughout this project was to find a way to capture a full snapshot of my life and what I’ve been going through. This is the beginning of what I hope will be a long, fulfilling journey.”
Palter, who launched her career in Detroit and Chicago before moving to Los Angeles to focus on her development as a pop artist, was supported in her sound and overall vision by producer Doug Petty, a veteran keyboardist who has worked with Celine Dion, Britney Spears, Nick Lachey and Lisa Loeb, among others. Petty kept the integrity of Palter’s songs from demo stage through the various layers and textures brought forth to compliment her unique artistry. A high caliber of studio musicians played on the project including bassists Tim Lefebvre and Alex Al and drummers Matt Chamberlain and Aaron Sterling.
With The Paper Trail EP, Palter has committed herself to the discipline of perfecting the craft of songwriting. She focused on strengthening her creative muscles to discover what melodies, lyrics and chord changes work best, allowing herself to be vulnerable, brave and brutally honest at the same time. The songs are autobiographical, representing her life and what’s she’s been through.
Palter launched her jazz career as a teenager, performing oboe and trumpet in the school jazz band. She connected with singer/songwriter Andrew Gold (“Thank You For Being A Friend”), who brought her to Nashville to work on original material and record a demo, which generated interest with several major labels. At 15, she began working with the Grammy-winning production team the Bass Brothers (Eminem). Her skill for improvisational singing and a developing passion for legendary jazz vocalists, led to her shift towards jazz. She studied at the University Of Michigan as a jazz and contemplative studies major.
Her eclectic musical upbringing includes exposure to a wide array of music that inspired her to deeply respect the art of great songs and songwriters, from Carole King and Joni Mitchell, to Prince, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and The Beatles. Music and singing was always in her blood. Her grandmother, Doris Raynor, was once an opera prodigy in NY.
In early 2019, Artistry Music will follow up The Paper Trail EP with the single “Sever The Ties” and a full-length debut album.
Recently, 360 Magazine traveled to South Africa during one of the largest travel conventions on the continent. One hundred journalists from Northern America joined Indaba Media in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday.
Nelson Mandela is respected as the “Father of the Nation.” He was an anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist, who served as President from 1994 to 1999. Mandela also served as the President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.
Mandela was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His vision was to dismantle apartheid (a system of segregation based on race) by tackling discrimination and fostering reconciliation. Mandela looked ahead and realized the law must change in order for a better future. Twenty-four years after the corrupt system was terminated, South Africa has been in overdrive to establish a firm democracy.
The great city of Durban took the 360 team by storm with Indaba – a meet and greet of media and travel agents to express their lives views and attractions on what the city and South Africa has to offer.
Day one of the Indaba Convention, journalists met at the Maharani Hotel for an opening ceremony. Later, trade show floor booths opened for business at the Durban International Convention Center in addition to presentations from various industry professionals. During the press conference, it was said that the trip’s airline, British Airways would now offer direct non-stop flights between Heathrow Airport and Durban.
Indaba also touched on other tourist attractions. South Africa offers an unbelievable amount of restaurants, markets, bars and lounges, but take pride that they surpass expectations in their food & drink festivals. The Whisky Live Festival and South African Cheese Festival are two major events – just to name a few.
Human rights were another important topic discussed at the convention. The South African people continue to exuberate equality and fairness along with an effort to amend the ways in which the LGBT and minority communities are treated while traveling.
As the evening winded down, an opportunity for networking commenced. Soon after, journalists engaged in conversation while devouring traditional eats coupled with a small beer/wine reception followed by a brief fashion presentation.
On day two of Indaba, Durban Tourism celebrated a dinner cruise on La Vue Floating Restaurant. The 85-foot luxury catamaran (200-person capacity) features two amazing decks, two full bars and a dance floor. Cozy with great cocktails – it’s perfect for groups.
Durban’s population is just over 595,000. The metropolitan area has a population of over 3.8 million and is known for its golden beaches, relaxed surf culture and vibrant culinary scene (some of the best spicy curry dishes said to rival India’s). Culture stems from the blend of Zulu, Indian, European and remnants of British roots that make up the city’s diverse heritage. South Africa’s Station Drive Precinct, once a rundown warehouse district has been transformed to a major tourist attraction with exceptional fine dining, drinking and shopping. Thanks to a collaborative group of artistic individuals, businesses range from homegrown distilleries and breweries to local art galleries.I Heart Market is a good and design market held on the first Saturday of each month. Presented with locally produced goods and artisanal creations such as ceramics, crochet toys and original prints – shoppers will not be disappointed. Nearby tourists can partake in an exquisite gin tasting at Distillery 031 along with lunch at Lion’s Match Factory.
The feasting does not stop there – Durban’s own, House of Curries restaurant, blends bold Indian spices and flavors for extravagant curry dishes. House of Curries has been a staple on the Florida Road strip since 1999 and a perfect attraction for relaxation on their patio deck.
Much like a market, BAT Centre is a place where local artists and crafters work on-site, exhibiting and selling their works in a vibrant complex. This nonprofit arts center is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and celebration of the visual arts, crafts, music, dance and literature of the Province.
Street art has found new life in redevelopment projects across various neighborhoods. These street artists were inspired by their surroundings with many exploring themes of politics and nature, all whilst using their work for social activism.
Travelers in search of nighttime adventures can visit Cubana Havana, a popular cigar/hookah lounge featuring handcrafted cocktails as well as a simple menu located on the highly revered Florida Road. Tourists shouldn’t miss Mahatma Ghandi Road in downtown Durban for an evening of fine music at a world – class Jazz bar known as The Chairman. Not only is there an assortment of signature cocktails and cigars, but also a gallery and sophisticated atmosphere that believes in justice for all.
Fun fact. Over 85% of all BMW 3 series vehicles are produced at the Rosslyn plant just outside of Durban and are shipped to various markets worldwide, including the USA, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Australia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Canada.
The expedition kicked off in Johannesburg aka “Joburg,” (approximately 8 million in population and largest city in the country), the epicenter of South Africa who’s currently in a state of revival. The team then headed to Nelson Mandela Square, a must-see tourist spot. The campus includes the DaVinci Hotel, indoor and outdoor shopping malls, upscale boutiques, a movie theatre, grocery stores, restaurant/bars and a casino.
In order to achieve a local feel, stop by Neighbourgoods Market for purchases of South African eats and assorted libations distributed from multiple vendors.
The following day we departed for Constitution Hill and embarked on a full tour of the visitor’s center. Constitution Hill was former fort site transformed into a prison. “The Robben Island of Johannesburg” included notable prisoners Mahatma Ghandi, Joe Slovo, Bram Fischer and Nelson Mandela. Mandela was imprisoned for more than twenty years at this location. “As an African American being able to stand inside the actual cell of Mandela was life-changing. The dark, ominous confined space gave me a newfound appreciation of what it means to be free. No human should ever have to endure such injustice because they yearn for social equality and justice for all,” says Lowery, President of 360 Magazine.
Lunch at Lebo’s Backpackers Outdoor Restaurant was set outside in various cabanas at a local Soweto hostel within its community park followed by the Soweto Tuk Tuk Tour. The team enjoyed riding in these three-wheeled taxis, while sipping on craft beers and witnessing the city’s rich history. Stops included Vilakazi Street, where Nelson Mandela’s house still stands, as well as Hector Peterson Memorial.
Art lovers be sure to drop by CIRCA Gallery which stands beside Everard Read headquarters, parading some of the most important contemporary art collections from around the world.
With regards to nightlife, music lovers can head to Taboo Night Club andNews Cafe to discover local and international DJ’s. News Cafe combines its food, services and venue into a coffee bar, cocktail bar, restaurant and entertainment venue all-in-one. It’s the perfect destination for relaxation or clubbing with a modern aesthetic.
From Johannesburg, the voyage shifted to Cape Town, a world renown entertainment and prestigious modeling hub for some of the industries top talents. With just under 4 million in population, it’s considered the second most populous city in South Africa. The group checked in at The Table Bay Hotel and visited Nobel Square for a photo opportunity followed by lunch at V&A Waterfront’s The Yard Restaurant. Just adjacent in the Silo District is the highly acclaimed Zeitz Mocaa Museum. It exhibits twenty-first century contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora with over 100 galleries throughout 9 floors, showcasing art from still photography to moving art installations.
Our local guide incorporated “Footsteps to Freedom” walking tour Mandela in Cape Town: From prisoner to President. “Dinner at Crypt Jazz Club was a personal favorite from the team as they feasted into the night while being enamored by some of the nation’s most prolific local musicians.
Table Mountain’s Cable Car Ride offers 360 degree spectacular views of the coastal town while being hoisted to the top. At the summit, clouds draped the surrounding view while journalists snapped selfies for Instagram. On the other hand, if winds are too strong for the cable ride, adventurers can hike alongside of the mountains during park hours to witness this landmark backdrop engulfed by condensation – similar in type to dry ice bucket. Just below, you can take in Bo-Kaap township, an area filled with colorful homes and cobblestone roads. Subsequently, lunch was served by famed chef Abigail Mbalo (from MasterChef South Africa) at 4ROOMED Ekasi Culture. She’s widely known to take indigenous delights and fuse them into gourmet bites fit for the Food Network. The day ended with a night of laughter at the Cape Town Comedy Club, a must-visit for all who enjoy pizzas infused with locally sourced ingredients coupled with barrel of laughs.
At Port Elizabeth, history unfolded. In 1820, it was established to house British settlers and boasts a population of 1.3 million, as its now a part of the newly formed Nelson Mandela Bay. This Vegas-style resort town is home to Sun International’s The Boardwalk Hotel that includes tons of shops, eateries, bars and casinos within walking distance. Named The Public Art City Tour: Route 67, stops included a visit to Voting Line Sculpture and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum. Lastly, dinner at Asada/Fushin was a meal to remember. The restaurant fabricates South African fusion flare with scrumptious fresh seafood and sushi.
Within two weeks, we received a first-hand account of the history and culture behind Nelson Mandela and his legacy in South Africa. With an intricate four major city tour, we were able to experience an amazing arts and culinary scene in the ever changing country of South Africa. Given the plethora of outdoor activities, architectural gems, gorgeous landscapes and tender-hearted people, this destination should be at the top of everyone’s bucket list if it’s not already.
Short on vacation time but still have the tendency to get out and explore before the summer ends? Look no more!
Discover how a trip to sundrenched South Africa can be an exciting and fun-filled getaway over just a long weekend.
With an unparalleled combination of nature, culture AND an exciting adventure, South African Tourism highlights how you can explore the destination in just 72 hours. That’s right.
With direct flights from major cities in the US, a favorable exchange rate and affordable packages it’s never been easier to explore the beauty that South Africa has to offer you.
Here are just some of the most to-do attractions for any visitor planning a quick getaway to this captivating yet marvelous country:
Bunny Chow & Beaches. Durban and KwaZulu-Natal. Visitors looking to experience the natural beauty South Africa has to offer should head on over to the KwaZulu-Natal region. It has a wealth of scenic and cultural attractions, stunning hot beaches, and also offers a unique blend of African-Indian influences.
Durban. A coastal city with a laid-back lifestyle and a favorite amongst you sun-lovers, It has the most beautiful sandy beaches along The Golden Mile. Serving as a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
The Drakensberg region in the uKhahlamba Drakensberg Park. A World Heritage Site that is only a two-hour drive from Durban, visitors will find a lush green countryside brimming with charming historic towns. Guests can catch a glimpse of The Big Five at the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Reserve, which is one of the best places in the country to see the endangered rhinos along with other members of The Big Five.
History and Wine adventures:
Cape Town. Known as the Mother City, it is renowned for its scenic beauty, bustling downtown, and old charm makes it a favorite destination for international travelers. Table Mountain and Robben Island are two of the most famous landmarks and are important stops for any first timers.
Constantia Valley. Nestled beneath the Table Mountain National Park, this stunning region is home to eight award-winning wine estates and miles of lushes vineyards. The most perfect place to indulge in some of the country’s best wines.
Culture and Nature adventures:
Johannesburg. Known as South Africa’s booming urban playground, packed with cultural sites, shops, and boutiques, it is a trendy culinary scene and contains vibrant art galleries.
The Mandela House. Located in the township of Soweto, it can’t be missed. A guided tour of the home of the iconic former President Nelson Mandela and his family, it provides guests with an insight into his life during the apartheid era. The house continues to stand as an unwavering symbol for the right for human rights.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your suitcase and get packing!
2018 is a momentous year for South Africa with the Nelson Mandela Centenary marking what would have been 100 years since the iconic leader’s birth.
Officially July 18, 2018 – Mandela Day – marks this historic milestone as throughout the nation, and across the world, people celebrate South Africa’s first black President who was an inspirational anti-apartheid revolutionary and one of the greatest human rights advocates the world has ever seen. This year, South African Tourism invites US travelers to explore his legacy.
In Mandela’s honor, national celebrations will see a series of high-profile events and memorials. In New York, the One World Trade Center’s spire will be lit with the colors of the South African flag to honor the occasion.
On July 17, a day before Mandela Day, former US president Barack Obama will deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture in Johannesburg. The theme will be “Renewing the Mandela Legacy and Promoting Active Citizenship in a Changing World,” and will honor the centennial of Mandela’s birth.
In other recent news, The Global Citizen Festival will expand from its regular location in New York City to Johannesburg for a special Mandela 100 edition this December, with Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran and Chris Martin as headliners in honor of his legacy.
In Cape Town’s City Hall, a life-sized statue of Madiba will be unveiled on 24th July in the place where he had his first speech upon release from his imprisonment in Robben Island.
Internationally, the world’s largest musical tribute will also take place on Mandela Day through a series of charitable concerts held live across the world in support of improving literacy among poverty- stricken children. This important musical tribute is organized by Mandela Concerts with the goal of raising millions of dollars towards various projects including building 100 new library units in South Africa’s most vulnerable schools, developing a high school skills program, and providing 200 Toddler Trolley library programs for 5 to 6 year-old South African children by 2021.
Travelers interested to follow in Mandela’s footsteps can download Madiba’s Journey app. South African Tourism, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, recently re-launched the app to include 100 historic landmarks and sites that influenced Mandela’s life. From the Eastern Cape to Johannesburg to Cape Town and beyond, the app allows users to customize their own itineraries and helps guide them through key landmarks, offering context, photos and curated audio narration about Mandela’s life and the 27 years he spent as a political prisoner. A few notable landmarks are highlighted below:
● The Eastern Cape: Explore Nelson Mandela’s birthplace – an area of outstanding rugged beauty with pristine coastline, virgin bush and subtropical forests.
● Robben Island: Tour the jail cell where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of his life, through the eyes of those who experienced it first-hand. Many tours are led by ex-political prisoners.
● Constitution Hill in Johannesburg: Formerly used as a prison, it was here where hundreds of political prisoners were held, including Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. Constitution Hill is now a living museum and home to South Africa’s Constitutional Court.
South African Tourism encourages travelers to celebrate, honor and explore the legacy of Mandela through Mandela themed travel packages.
To book a Nelson Mandela inspired trip, speak to your travel agent or advisor. As a sample, South African Airways Vacation is currently offering a 10-day Mandela’s Journey to Freedom which gives visitors a first-hand, cultural experience following his footsteps as founding father of the New South Africa. Starts at US $2,999* per person. *Terms and conditions apply*
SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS HONORED FOR “BEST AIRLINE STAFF IN AFRICA” AT THE SKYTRAX 2018 WORLD AIRLINE AWARDS
South African Airways (SAA), the leading airline from the U.S. to South Africa with the most daily flights, was honored with the “Best Airline Staff in Africa” award at the 2018 World Airline Awards hosted by world renowned aviation experts Skytrax™. The award presented at a special ceremony held at the Farnborough International Airshow attributed South African Airways’ success to the efforts of all the ground and inflight staff in excelling to achieve high product quality and standards across all categories.
Skytrax™ is known worldwide as the leading, independent research authority on airline quality and service. The awards are based on a consumer satisfaction survey conducted each year by Skytrax™, giving travelers an opportunity to rate their experiences in the air and on the ground with over 200 airlines worldwide and ultimately serve as a global benchmark of airline excellence. “We are thrilled to, once again, be the proud recipient of the Best Airline Staff in Africa award from Skytrax” said Todd Neuman, executive vice president – North America for South African Airways. “This award is a reflection of the hard work and dedication of SAA employees globally as we showcase the very best in African hospitality. We will continue to strive to provide our customers with sterling service in our effort to maintain our standing as Africa’s most awarded airline.”SAA’slow cost carrier, Mango Airlines also secured the top spot for the “Best Low-Cost Carrier in Africa” for the third time at this year’s prestigious awards. SAA was also noted for “Best Business Class Lounge in Africa”, “Best Cabin Crew in Africa”, and “Best Airline Cabin Cleanliness in Africa”.
Earlier this year, Skytrax™, also awarded SAA with the 4-Star rating for the 16th year consecutive year, following detailed service audits of SAA Premium Business and Economy Class product and service across all customer-facing categories. For reservations and information, customers should visit www.flysaa.com or contact South African Airways at 1-(800) 722-9675.
About South African Airways
South African Airways (SAA), South Africa’s national flag carrier and the continent’s most awarded airline, serves over 75 destinations worldwide in partnership with SA Express, Airlink and its low cost carrier Mango. In North America, SAA operates daily nonstop flights from New York-JFK and direct flights from Washington D.C.-IAD (via Accra, Ghana and Dakar, Senegal) to Johannesburg. SAA has partnerships with United Airlines, Air Canada JetBlue Airways, American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines, which offer convenient connections from more than 100 cities in the U.S. and Canada to SAA’s flights. SAA is a Star Alliance member and the recipient of the Skytrax 4-star rating for 16 consecutive years.