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Thursday, December 8, 2016


The 2016/2017 PPC Imaginarium Awards assembles a formidable panel of judges.

The PPC Imaginarium Awards was established by PPC Ltd as a means to give emerging designers and artists the opportunity to showcase their talent and creative thinking by using cement as their primary medium. Now in its third year, the competition is the most supportive of its kind in the country and has seen many of its past entrants and finalists go on to become recognised in the art and business community.

The PPC Imaginarium encompasses six categories, namely, architecture, fashion, film, industrial design, jewellery and sculpture. This year, the competition has assembled an extraordinary group of some of the industry’s most influential and outstanding creatives on the national and regional judging panel, who will evaluate the various category submissions, choose category finalists and the overall winner.

Fashion and design consultant Allana Finely, will fill the role of judging the fashion category and that of national judge. Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the US, Finley has worked on fashion brands such as Eileen Fisher, Tiffany & Co. and Gucci America, and is currently a board member of the Museum of African Design. Over the past 13 years, her focus has been on telling the story of the African continent in innovative ways through fashion, design, television and film production. Joining her on the national judging panel is architect Daniel van der Merwe and curator Stephen Hobbs.

The film category panel sees the return of award-winning filmmaker Wessel van Huyssteen as a judge. Over the past 11 years, Van Huyssteen has conceptualised, proposed, produced and directed scores of inserts for various programmes broadcast on SABC, and M-Net.

Joining him on the film judging panel is award-winning filmmaker Rethabile Molatela, who produces and directs films for Rififi Pictures. Molatela has just produced her first feature film, Vaya, which was directed by acclaimed actor and director Akin Omotoso and screened at the 2016 Toronto Film Festival.

Other notable artists and industry experts on the judging panel include award-winning artist Ndikhumbule Ngqinambi who serves as a member of the board of trustees at Greatmore Studios, an art studio in Cape Town which serves as a creative hub for artists; Igsaan Martin, a director of the world-renowned contemporary art gallery, Gallery MOMO Cape Town; Tshwane University of Technology Art Theory lecturer Pfunzo Sidogi; University of the Free State Fine Arts lecturer Adelheid von Maltitz; painter, sculptor and a graphic artist Thami Jali and art curator Zanele Mashumi.

The judging process consists of three phases. The first phase is based on entrants’ written conceptual proposals to determine who makes it to the production phase. The second phase of judging, in which regional judging takes place and finalists are chosen, will be based on physical submissions. The finalists will then be judged in the third and final phase at the national level.

The winner of each category will receive a cash prize of R50 000, with runners-up walking away with R15,000. The overall PPC Imaginarium Awards winner will receive the grand prize of R100,000.

The category winners and overall competition winner announcement will take place at the UJ Art Gallery at the University of Johannesburg on May 18, 2017.

For more information about the competition and the judges, visit the PPC Imaginarium Awards website at


(Tracey-Anne Buckley Aggett)

If travel and fashion are your passion, an exclusive tour to Milan, Rome and Venice is the perfect fit.

Conceived by dynamic Durban businesswoman and fashion expert Tracey-Anne Buckley Aggett, the exclusive seven-night tour debuts on February 11, 2017. It’s a chance to savour the sights and sensations of three of Europe’s most exciting cities and to rub shoulders with its fashion stars.

Tracey-Anne, who is Mrs KwaZulu-Natal 2016 and Mrs Universe 2016 first princess, has harnessed her fashion and beauty experience to create the perfect pamper holiday under her Le-Fem Workshop banner.

“I have always had a love and passion for fashion and travel,” said Tracey-Anne. “After years of networking, I have built up a reputable team of Italian fashion experts. Being a visionary, as well as an entrepreneur, I used my career skills and love of travel and fashion to create a unique luxury tour.

“I would love to help people create memories that last a lifetime, as well as being impactful in their day to day lives. I believe this is a niche type of travel with loads of potential and growth to further expand around the world.

“Fashion styling is a far bigger picture than just styling clothes; it really changes lives and empowers individuals – starting from the inside out. Le-Fem Workshops, with the slogan ‘Love being you’, is all about helping women to love themselves.”

The tour will include private runway shows, VIP trunk shows and fashion events, meet-and-greets with top international designers like Jamal Tsalaq and Massimo Crivilli, personal style advice, cultural activities, sightseeing, shopping and spa pamper time.

On returning home, guests will have the opportunity to continue their experience with image workshops, bespoke social events, interior decorating and life coaching.

“From hidden boutiques in the cobblestone alleyways of Milan and the enchanting architecture of Rome to the captivating waterways of Venice, guests will be able to soak up the history and artistic flair of these Italian treasures,” said Tracey-Anne.

Accommodation is in carefully selected four and five-star hotels and guests will have the services of experienced tour guides during their trip. Groups will depart and return via King Shaka International Airport.

The tour itinerary is Milan (February 11 to 14), Venice (February 14 to 16) and Rome (February 16 to 18.)

The land-based tour cost is Euros 3552 (single) and Euros 3276 (double). The price excludes flights, visa and travel insurance, spa bookings, lunches, drinks and teas, unless arranged by the designer show.

Le-Fem has an in house travel expert, who will be able to help with 24-hour travel assistance during the tour and can also help with flight arrangements. Tours are also planned for March and April 2017.
Bookings can be made via Flight Centre or through Le-Fem at Bookings need to be made at least 60 days before departure.


(“Jumper 1” by Zemba Luzamba, Mixed media on fabric on board)

Following months of refurbishment, the Durban Art Gallery reopens to the public on December 11, with a new exhibition throughout all gallery spaces entitled Beyond Binaries.

Beyond Binaries is a curated exhibition featuring work by 26 artists. The exhibition aims to open up discussion on the current climate of polarization and intolerance, and the increasing trend towards fixed, essentialised identities.

Beyond Binaries features works with video, photography, paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, wire and mixed media works on show. South African-born artists are complemented by their peers born in African countries as well as artists born in India, China and Germany. The exhibition has been curated by Qala!, a fledgling curatorial collective comprising three Durban-born cultural workers: Mario Pissarra, Robin Moodley and Russel Hlongwane.

Several exhibits address critical questions concerning race, gender, national identity and heritage. The relationship of people to the natural environment provides another sub-theme that is prominently featured. Several exhibits bring binaries into vivid focus, whilst others attempt to transcend these to create or suggest hybrid, fluid or emerging notions of identity.

KwaZulu-Natal is well represented by a healthy mix of acclaimed and emerging talents: Cedric Nunn (photography), Sfiso ka Mkame, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Mhlonishwa Chiliza, Eugene Hlophe (drawings), Paul Sibisi and Nicole Pletts (paintings), Thembi Nala and Sbonelo Tau Luthuli (pottery), Hlengiwe Dube (wirework), and Kristin NG-Yang (photography and mixed media).

Sister cities to Durban, Bulawayo and Libreville, are represented by Nonhlanhla Mathe (painting) and Nathalie Anguezomo Mba Bikoro (video). The exhibition also features Namibian photographer Julia Hango as well as work by African nationals living in South Africa, namely Lizette Chirrime (Mozambique), Robert Machiri (Zimbabwe), and Zemba Luzamba (DRC).

Also exhibiting are Ayesha Price, Donovan Ward, Garth Erasmus, Jeannette Unite, Jill Joubert, Manfred Zylla, Meghna Singh, Nomusa Makhubu and Thania Petersen.

The artists were selected following a process where 54 artists identified by a curatorial panel were invited to propose works on the theme of the exhibition.

Beyond Binaries was originally commissioned by the City of eThekwini for the recent Essence Festival Durban, where it was exhibited at the International Convention Centre under the banner of ARTiculate Africa.

The exhibition runs until February 19, 2017, at the Durban Art Gallery on the second floor of the magnificent Durban City Hall building; enter opposite the Playhouse in the heart of the city of Durban. DAG is open seven days a week: Monday to Saturday from 08h30 until 15h45 and Sundays from 11h00 until 15h45. Entry is free and all are welcome!

For more information, contact the Gallery on 031 311 2264 / 9 or (weekdays).


(Jason Andrew, Dawn Selby, Barry Thomson, Colin Peddie, Mali Sewell & Marion Loudon)

The Reals will be back at the Rhumbelow for the next two weekends, this time paying tribute to one of the world’s biggest hit-making machines – Fleetwood Mac.

The Fleetwood Mac Story is an episodic saga that spans more than 30 years, starting in 1967 as a British blues band that later became a California-based pop group in the mid-70s. In between came a period where Fleetwood Mac shuffled personnel and experimented with styles, all the while releasing solid albums with chart topping hits.

Perhaps just as well known for their tangled relationships and addictions, as they were for their music, Fleetwood Mac had massive success and can be found on every list of the world’s top selling bands.

Mixing relationships and business together can either be a disaster or lead to success. With Fleetwood Mac, although the breakups of band members John and Christine McVie as well as Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks created chaos, it lead to the creation of the hit album Rumours with hit singles Go Your Own Way, Dreams and Don’t Stop. To date, Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.

The Reals, with Durban favourites Dawn Selby on the keyboard, Barry Thomson on the guitar, Jason Andrew on the bass and Mali Sewell on drums, will cover all the great hits of Fleetwood Mac, which will also feature regular guest, Durban singer Marion Loudon as well as guitarist Colin Peddie. Expect to hear all favourites such as Little Lies, 7 Wonders, Everywhere, Landslide, The Chain and more. Authentic-sounding and always respectful, The Reals will take the audience on a sweet ride down memory lane, replicating the sounds of one of the world’s best-loved bands.

The Fleetwood Mac Story has performances from December 9 to 11 and again from December 16 to 18 with shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 20h00 and on Sundays at 14h00 and 18h30. (Venue opens 90 minutes before show for picnic dinner). Tickets R140. Bring food picnic baskets (braais will be available). There is a cash bar (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises) and limited secure parking. Booking essential via Computicket or contact Roland on 082 499 8636 or email or visit


Fantastic, fun-filled “Festive Fusion”.  (Review by Keith Millar)

One of the highlights of the Durban festive celebrations every December is the uShaka Marine World’s delightful Dolphins by Starlight.

The show is a fantastic, fun-filled Festive Fusion. It features uShaka’s magnificent group of captive dolphins. They are supported by a bevy of singers and dancers who get the party spirit going with their enthusiastic performances of popular Christmas music.

As usual, the stars of the show are the dolphins with the females up first and setting the standard with their breathtaking aquatic gymnastics. They are wonderfully graceful and balletic as they race around the pool executing their high energy antics.

The male dolphins are not to be outdone and, in their segment, they show that they are quite capable of matching anything the girls could get up to.

The superstar of the uShaka Dolphin show is the fabulous Gambit. At 3.65m in length and weighing in at nearly 500kg, he is thought to be the biggest Bottlenose Dolphin in captivity in the world. He is the father of seven of the dolphins performing at uShaka and grandfather of one. He has been in captivity for 40 years.

This venerable “old man” exudes great presence in the pool and puts in a performance which is full of poise and dignity.

Creative Director and Producer of Dolphins by Starlight is uShaka’s Events Manager, Brendon Meiring-Pollock. He has gathered together a talented cast of singers and dancers to provide the musical content of the show. Included are Lindiwe Bungane of Project Fame and Dreamgirls, George Meiring - runner-up of SABC Supersterre, songbird Lauren Laing and newcomers Dehnishta Chetty, Robyn Skevington and Andrew Sutton.

Also providing entertainment are the uShaka Ocean Warrior Mascots – Slippy, Raggy, Rusty and Delia – entertainers, White Bread, Umlazi African Jingle Zulu Dancers, Lyra and Bungee acts and musical theatre performers from the Durban Actors Studio.

Songs performed include all-time favourites such as American Trilogy, Halleluiah, Santa is Coming to Town, Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The 12th Night of Christmas, I Will Follow Him and a rather strange R&B version of The Little Soldier Boy. There is also sing-a-long segment of Christmas carols. 

The dancers provided a variety of styles celebrating Durban’s diverse cultures from funky hip hop, pantsula, modern, western line dancing, a rather stylised Zulu dance and even a bit of Bollywood.

The two aerial acts by highly supple and acrobatic performers was astonishing, while the snowfall in the midst of the Durban humidity, as always, elicited much excitement from the audience. 

Dolphins by Starlight is very much a family show and as such would be enjoyed by everyone from three to 103.

The last word I leave to my four-year-old grandson, who was my co-reviewer for the show. After watching the huge Gambit do an impossible leap from the pool and land with barely a splash, he turned to us and in a voice full of awe said “This is the best day of my life.”

The show runs from December 8 to 14 at 18h30 for 19h00. Tickets R170 (R140 children) are available at Computicket or via uShaka’s online ticketing on

For more information visit - Keith Millar