national Arts Festival Banner

Thursday, January 21, 2021


“Can You Make This Thing Go Faster?” is Jeremy Clarkson at his very best and will not only appeal to his committed fans but will be enjoyed by all who appreciate unconventional humour. (Review by Keith Millar)

Jeremy Clarkson, writer, journalist, and broadcaster is probably best known as that crazy petrol head from the BBC motoring show, Top Gear, of which he was the undoubted star until his departure a few years ago after one too many altercations.

Opinionated, caustic, mischievous and irreverent, he is the absolute epitome of a grumpy old man. The only difference is that he is very funny and fabulously entertaining along with it. His version of the Top Gear show was so popular that it is still repeated ad infinitum on the BBC Brit TV channel.

Of course, he is not only a broadcaster he is also a prolific writer and has published a whole host of books.

Amongst them are several compilations of the articles he writes for his regular column in the British Sunday Times newspaper. Can you Make This Thing Go Faster? is his eighth book in this series.

At the outset it must be said that his utterings in this book are typically Clarkson. So it goes without saying that they are absolutely off the wall, wickedly funny and in many cases rather insightful.

There are no less than 77 articles in this compilation, all from 2018 and 2019.

Other than still making wacky motoring shows for Amazon TV along with his friends, Richard Hammond and James May, Clarkson has acquired a farm in Chipping Norton in the Cotswolds which he has named Diddly Squat farm - and these days he regards himself as a gentleman farmer.

The cover of this book shows him appropriately dressed as said gentleman farmer and sitting in front of a Masse Ferguson tractor. The title is self-explanatory as Clarkson is always trying to make any vehicle go faster.

However, despite the cover and the title, the book does not have much to do with his farming activities. Only a few of the articles discuss his farming experiences. Although there is apparently a TV series in the making about Clarkson’s farm.  That is something to look forward to.

The book rather discusses any subject that may be topical in a particular week. So issues like Brexit are recurring while the leader of the labour party, Jeremy Corbyn gets absolutely hammered and even Boris Johnson gets roasted.

Other subjects include The Downside of relaxing in a bath of crude oil; Why fishing is for people who hate their kids; Why saving the planet means soggy straws and no more children; Whether there are noise-cancelling headphones with the power to silence James May, and Scottish independence.

I found that sometimes the subject matter was a little too homegrown to fully understandable but the usual Clarkson exasperation and frustration - and his vintage left field wit - still makes it most enjoyable.

Can You Make This Thing Go Faster? is Jeremy Clarkson at his very best and will not only appeal to his committed fans but will be enjoyed by all who appreciate unconventional humour.

Can You Make This Thing Go Faster? is published by Michael Joseph (Penguin Random House) The ISBN is 978-0-241-46448-9 (Paperback). The recommended retail price is R350. – Keith Millar



(Leonardo DiCaprio & Brad Pitt
appear inOnce Upon a Time in Hollywood”)

Could the sinking of the Titanic come down to the mythical lack of binoculars on the boat? It’s 109 years later and we’re still trying to uncover the secrets behind one of History’s Greatest Mysteries - which is why it’s the perfect topic for the Laurence Fishburne-narrated series. In the first episode, the Emmy Award winner looks at the cover-ups behind the cruiser and reveals the contents of a box that’s been sealed since the sinking.

Here are some of the DStv highlights for January 22 to 28, 2021:

Lioness S1

January 28 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 20h20

A life-altering exploration into relationships, lost love, betrayal, heartache, evil and revenge – this is a story about people who lie to each other and to themselves. Be prepared for a thrilling South African drama set in the world of corporate crime, greed and financial scams. A woman is wrongly convicted of fraud and, in the process, loses her children. She emerges from prison eight years later, intent on reuniting with her family and clearing her name.

Harvie and the Magic Museum (Animated Adventure)

January 23 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 16h00

Harvie, a smart but lively boy, is looking for some adventure. He misses a school trip and has to spend the day at his father’s work - at the local puppet museum. Harvie discovers that a way to make the puppets in an old museum come to life. Just as he begins to enjoy his new friends, he realises that a dangerous old puppet master is on the loose. Harvie and his father must stop the evil Bastor before it’s too late.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Comedy Drama)

January 24 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 20h30

Set in 1969, Quentin Tarantino's epic tale of the rise and fall of the first Golden Age of Hollywood sees Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt shine in a collage of life-meets-art. The film marries lore and history to tell the tale of an actor struggling to find his place in established Hollywood and his stunt double who is looking for attention from his own name. Other big names include Margaret Qualley, Luke Perry, Dakota Fanning and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, complete with flashbacks to her acting days.

Belgravia S1

January 25 on BBC Brit (DStv Channel 120) at 20h00

For those who enjoyed the award-winning Downton Abbey, this limited series will be a real treat. Creator Julian Fellowes’ latest project is sure to be peppered with drama and dry wit. Set in late 19th-century London, it tells a sweeping story of an ambitious young heroine who defies convention to establish herself as the leading society photographer of her day.

History’s Greatest Mysteries

January 24 on History (DStv Channel 186) at 20h15

Master narrator Laurence Fishburne hosts a new series about some of the unanswered questions to some of the world’s greatest events. When the RMS Titanic sank, over 1,600 people died. Possibly the most famous maritime disaster of all time, it is still commemorated in films and books today. The sinking of the Titanic prompted an investigation by Lord Mersey, a respected British jurist who was chosen to lead an official British inquiry into what had happened. For more than a century, Lord Mersey's notes have remained hidden away – unseen by anyone outside his family. Breaking history, they are about to be revealed for the first time.

Two Sentence Horror Stories S1

Starts on January 22 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 22h30

This nine-episode horror anthology series tells a different twisted tale in each episode, which can be summed up in chilling phrases like, “She was stiff and cold in my arms. And then the doll blinked,” or "I didn't lock my door that night. It made it so much easier to catch my prey." The show covers many genres of horror and common fears, from straight-forward home-invasion thrillers and serial killers, to ghost stories, doppelgangers and body horror. Perfect for fans of The Twilight Zone.

Titanic’s Lost Evidence S1

Watch on January 24 on History (DStv Channel 186) at 20h15

Lord Mersey, the British jurist and politician who was appointed to investigate the sinking of Titanic in 1912 (he was also responsible for investigating the sinking of the Lusitania), kept his personal notes on the incident. They’ve stayed neglected in his manor house in a dust-covered box for the past 107 years. Now, for the first time, the History channel has secured the rights to open the box and track the course of his investigation, including interviews with shipping officials and architects, survivors and the rescuers.

The Stand S1

January, 25 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 22h30

Based on Stephen King’s 1978 apocalyptic horror-fantasy novel of the same name, The Stand is set in a plague-stricken world where the forces of good and evil are engaged in battle over the scraps of humanity who’ve survived. On the side of good is 108-year-old Mother Abigail (Whoopi Goldberg), who guides a handful of survivors, including ordinary factory worker Stu Redman (James Marsden). On the side of evil: Randal Flagg (Alexander Skarsgård), the Dark Man with a sinister smile, who has supernatural powers.

The Oval S2

Starts on January 27 on BET (DStv Channel 129) at 22h30

Tyler Perry’s deliciously spicy White House drama promises scandal galore for philandering President Hunter Franklin and the First Lady with an axe, Victoria Franklin. All the action in the upcoming 22 episodes will take place over three to four days, so expect a major political and personal uproar. There’s plenty in the season 1 finale that could get there, from ex-Press Secretary Diana’s explosive tell-all press conference to the Franklins’ son, Jason, murdering White House staffer Jean and stuffing her corpse under his bed.

Blindspot S5

Starts on January 27 on M-Net City (DStv Channel 115) at 19h10

As season 4 ended, Madeline framed the team as the suspects in a far-reaching corruption case. And as the new season begins, she uses her influence to create a civilian oversight committee – a team that polices the FBI. With her place in the organisation fully cemented, she wiggles her way into the position of Director of Federal Law Enforcement. And as the big, big boss, she turns up the heat on the team and goes to extreme measures, including banding together with terrorists, to get them out of her hair for good.

Wild Bill S1

Starts on January 28 on 1Magic (DStv Channel 103) at 21h30

Former US Police chief Bill Hixon (Rob Lowe) relocates from Miami to rural Lincolnshire in the UK after he's fired for beating up a boy who posted sexual images of his 14-year-old daughter, Kelsey (Aloreia Spencer), online. This dramedy follows Bill as he tries whipping the local cops into shape, with the help of eager-beaver trainee detective Muriel Yeardsley (Bronwyn James). Through it all, Bill investigates every crime the British countryside can offer – from corpses in Dead Man’s Wood to heads in freezers and bodies in suitcases.


DStv Disclaimer: Please note these broadcast details are subject to change. Keep checking your TV Guide on for the most up-to-date details or press “OK” on your remote while watching any channel. You can also visit the press portal at to download images and more comprehensive highlights for the month.


(Charmaine Soobramoney: BASA Chairman & Ashraf Johaardien: BASA CEO. Photos by Theana Breugem)

Deadline: January 22, 2021

In 2021, BASA’s Supporting Grants Programme continues to synergise business and art relationships and is currently open for applications.

Since inception, Business and Arts South Africa NPC (BASA) has been a significant catalyst and connector, both cementing and amplifying powerful partnerships between more than 1,600 business and arts partners, to effect meaningful social change.

“Over the years, volatile economic conditions have incrementally increased the pressure on business to justify the value and benefit of partnering with the creative sector, as arts-related benefits are often deemed to be intangible; difficult to quantify in terms of return on investment,” says BASA Chairman, Charmaine Soobramoney. “The BASA model has continued to deliver value to our stakeholders, partners and sponsors, with every R1 million of Supporting Grant funding allocated to projects leveraging R10 million in support from the private sector during the last financial year,” she adds.

BASA CEO, Ashraf Johaardien explains that BASA’s Supporting Grant Programme assists in activating sponsorship for a cross-section of arts projects in different regions of the country, by providing vital financial support to a project that is in an existing business and art relationship: “To date, BASA has disbursed over R40 million to more than 1,600 projects, which in turn has leveraged in excess of R515 million in sponsorship from the business sector.

“BASA Grants have a slightly different lens to conventional funding and development agencies, in that our focus is on amplifying and extending existing partnerships between arts and businesses that aim to meaningfully impact society through shared value and social cohesion. So, it is important for prospective applicants to note that the purpose of Supporting Grants has never been to fund projects per se, but rather to support partnerships between the business sector and the creative sector.”

The application process for Supporting Grants has been simplified, with interested parties simply submitting a formal letter of interest as a first step, and BASA then inviting eligible applicants to complete an online application. The first deadline for letters of interest is January 22, 2021.

Visit, click on the ‘Grants’ tab and navigate to ‘Supporting Grants’ for detailed criteria and further guidelines. Note that the decision of the BASA Board of Directors with regard to the outcomes of Supporting Grant Programme applications is final and no further correspondence will be entered into. Enquiries may be directed to Sipho Mthiyane at

(To link direct to the BASA website, click on the advert to the right of this article or visit 


(Afzal Khan)

Afzal Khan, a popular face and voice on stage plays, television, radio and comedy shows died in Durban on January 16, 2021, from Covid-19 complications.

Music producer and cultural activist, Tansen Nepaul, pays tribute:

“Really saddened to hear of the passing on of acting stalwart Afzal Khan.

I remember seeing him in Rajesh Gopie’s Coolie Odyssey and was enthralled at his brilliant acting and stage presence. His role as Narayan Rana in the SABC 1 drama Fallen and SABC 1 Bay of Plenty, introduced him to the masses.

“I have fond memories of working with him with the Nateshwar Dance Academy’s Chalo Cinema shows at the Playhouse as well as Mershan Ramaloo's productions. He was amazing as an actor and had the ability to draw you into the character he played which was just magical. At times he could achieve this even before uttering a single word on stage.

He was a great companion on road shows and the long trips. He will be missed by many that followed his productions and by the colleagues that he worked with. Afzal Khan’s demise is a great loss to the arts industry and a talent that will be hard to replace.

My heartfelt condolences to his wife Summaya and his family. I wish them strength during this trying time.” Tansen Nepaul

Tuesday, January 19, 2021


(Afzal Khan)

Afzal Khan, a life celebrated. Tribute by director and playwright Rajesh Gopie.

On Saturday night at 8.30 pm, my friend and fellow actor, Afzal Khan passed away at St Augustine’s hospital in Durban from Covid-19 complications. He was a month short of his 65th birthday.

I met Afzal in 2001, and immediately liked him. He was affectionate, effusive and he possessed a natural disposition towards humour. He was not someone you would forget easily and very rarely did I ever meet him without his wife Sumayya and his children by his side. Afzal was deeply family orientated, something engrained in his upbringing. Raised in a large joint family in Reservoir Hills, he was the last born and he lovingly shared stories of his childhood. He openly regaled me with family anecdotes, both hilarious and compelling. He cried at the drop of a hat when it came to matters of the heart. His kids teased, “Papa cries for everything”. There was never a dull moment around Afzal.

In 2002, I cast him in my play, The Coolie Odyssey, a story about indentured labour and the coming of Indians to South Africa, commissioned by the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown as part of the main festival. It was a big deal at the time, and it turned out to be an experience we would never forget. The play was critically acclaimed, and the cast brimmed with pride knowing that we had added an important chapter to our country’s burgeoning democracy, one in which Indian stories previously occupied a minimal space at best. Afzal held his own amongst a cast that boasted the likes of the late greats Franz Dobrovsky and Allister Dube. He had made his mark on the national theatre scene and there was no holding him back.

In the years since, whenever we met, Afzal would recount so much of that tour; random moments, a collage of memories that only someone like him would appreciate. He was a rare breed of a yesteryear person, the type that held human experience and relationships precious above money and cheap fame. His word was his bond, and he was never late for a rehearsal, nor did he avoid hard work and long hours in our creative endeavor.

We worked again four more times; The Coolie Odyssey (restaged) at the Market Theatre in 2003 and The Playhouse Company in 2005, Kismet Court a popular radio drama for SABC radio in 2006, and Tamasha on Hope Street at the Market Theatre in 2017, for which his performance earned him a Naledi Theatre nomination for Best Supporting Actor. He also worked steadily with a host of other names in the Durban theatre scene and found his way into films and television as well. He achieved so much for a man who hardly had any formal training in the performing arts.

Afzal and Sumayya often came over to my home for family birthdays and dinners. How could we ever forget his Michael Jackson impersonation with a South Indian twist? The provocateur, Afzal, would gyrate to MJ’s BAD, while singing the lyrics in Tamil mumbo jumbo. And, he had a gift for pulling faces. The “Hanuman” face cracked me up every time! A comedic feast, to say the least.

Afzal’s death was sudden and shocking, and the sadness is felt by all who knew him as indicated in the deluge of social media posts. For me it is certainly a case of gone too soon. I would have loved to work with him again and had proposed that to him a few months ago. Sadly, this was not to be.

However, Afzal Khan’s legacy should be celebrated, and he rightfully takes his place in the celestial theatre of treasured South African performers. Let us honour Afzal, a man of warm heart and comedic generosity that lived and died in the time of Corona.

Go in peace my dear friend. - Rajesh Gopie, 18/01/21

Monday, January 18, 2021


The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) is delighted to announce the successful outcomes for the Development Grant Bursary Open Call.

In November 2020, ACT invited students accepted for masters or doctoral programmes in the 2021 academic year to apply for one of 10 ACT bursaries valued at R30,000 each. The bursaries were made available for study in any arts discipline.

The ACT Bursary Programme forms part of the ACT Development Programme, which is a long-standing arts development initiative sponsored by Nedbank and administered by ACT. Nedbank contributes to the South African arts and culture sector through its Arts Affinity. As the flagship programme of the partnership between ACT and Nedbank, the ACT Development Programme has supported more than 850 organisations and projects nationwide over the past 24 years, a contribution valued at more than R25 million in total.

A large number of excellent applications were received from across the country and the adjudication panel considered many viable and valuable research interests.

Marcus Desando, ACT CEO, says, “If there is one thing the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us, it is the value of knowledge creation and preservation within the arts and culture sector. This has been exactly the calibre of applications we received; a group of very exciting and encouraging research initiatives that will be highly beneficial to our sector.

“We congratulate the following 10 successful applicants”:

Nadia van der Walt (PhD in History of Art)

Temara Prem (PhD in Film and Television)

Mohau Mogale (Master of Arts in Music)

Gcotyelwa Mashiqa (Master of History in Advanced Issues in Museum and Heritage Studies and Visual History)

Camilla Pontiggia (Master of Arts in Fine Arts)

Nicole Clare Fraser (Master of Arts in Fine Arts)

Keitumetse Mbatha (Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management)

Ntombifuthi Nkuna (Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management)

Simangaliso Siyathemba Thango (Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management)

Thuto Nnena-Noko (Master of Arts in Cultural Policy and Management)

Tobie Badenhorst, Head of Group Sponsorships and Cause Marketing at Nedbank, says, “The cultural and creative industries are essential for the development of our society, our people and our economy. We need to recognise and embrace that people studying and working in the arts and culture sector as they are the flagbearers of a more humane, more conscious, more self-inquiring nation. To achieve this we need postgraduates to research new ways of seeing and being in this changed world. We are incredibly excited about this year’s choice of candidates and we look forward to witnessing what they produce and who they become.

We wish the successful ACT Bursary Programme applicants all the best for their studies in 2021.”

For more information email

To link direct to the Arts & Culture Trust’s site, click on the ACT logo to the right of this article or visit


(Steven Stead)

Top South African theatre director Steven Stead is offering online acting coaching.

Steven Stead is a multi-award winning, widely-praised theatre director with over 30 years of experience in the professional industry, and a wealth of national and international experience directing plays, musicals and operas. He holds an Honours degree in Drama (cum laude) from the University of Natal (now UKZN), and for eight years was a Senior Staff Director at the English National Opera in London. Currently, he is the Executive Director of KickstArt Theatre, Durban’s top theatre company.

In 2020, he began a highly successful series of online, one-on-one acting coaching sessions, in response to the limitations imposed on the live theatre industry by the Corona-19 pandemic. After a break over the Festive Season, he will be resuming online coaching at the end of January 2021.

What Stead's past students have to say about their time with him:

“A thoroughly educational and enlightening experience that leaves you feeling supported and prepared for what the world has to offer!” - Madison Opland, 16 years old, Eden College

"These acting classes were exactly what I needed in preparation for my matric drama practical finals and I received so much invaluable advice." -Sarah Donkin, 17 years old, Reddam House

"My online acting lessons with Steven were the highlight of my week!" - Keryn Lynne Scott, 16 years old, Westville Girls High School

“There may be many great coaches, but there is only one Steven Stead... a truly special experience."- Carl Oosthuisen, 17 years old, Reddam House

“My sessions with Steven were nothing short of incredible. From classic texts to contemporary comedy, each lesson was its own journey with Steven oozing knowledge on theory, text analysis and physical techniques. My passion for performance was re-ignited and fuelled in each 45 minute session.” - Amy Russell

These sessions are aimed at improving acting, or public speaking, by giving young drama students and budding young professionals the opportunity to work in detail on monologues or even songs, prepare for exams or auditions, or just flex acting muscles, with a highly experienced, dedicated, professional director.

Sessions will involve the preparation and performance of set pieces, and the discussion and teaching of acting techniques specifically for live theatre. The sessions will not be syllabus oriented, nor is there any sort of qualification awarded. This is a process-based, personally tailored series of masterclasses with a professional director. The work will consist of practical work, acting theory, warm-ups, textual analysis, vocal technique, physicality, and character.

Those interested in booking sessions with Stead or finding out more about the procedure and pricing, email him at:

For more information on KickstArt Theatre visit


(“The Shadows of the Past” by Ledelle Moe)

Explore the work of Durban-born sculptor, Ledelle Moe, at the KwaMuhle Museum.

If you’re passionate about the arts and love exploring local talent, it is well worth a visit to the KwaMuhle Museum.

A unique, and outdoor, element of the museum is Ledelle Moe’s remarkable concrete sculpture entitled The Shadows of the Past. The piece can be seen in the eastern section of the museum’s courtyard and is composed of three naked concrete figures. These figures embody mineworkers, and their nakedness speaks to the lack of support and protection that they experience.

Moe uses concrete as her primary medium, highlighting the fact that it is both an “historical and industrial idiom” that is able to explore a range of paradoxes, including “monumentality and fragility, permanence and impermanence, (and) personal and political mythologies.” Her latest work explores themes such as land displacements and transitions. Moe sometimes uses soil in her sculptures, noting:

“…how ground, land, soil, and earth reference a sense of belonging. Perhaps the very act of taking dirt and including it in these works was a momentary act of appropriation of the land and soil, for by including it in the work I take it, I replace it. This small gesture for me, spoke to a larger issue of land as identity.”

Moe played a role in the arts in Durban in the early 1990s as one of the founding members of the FLAT Gallery. This gallery sought to challenge the limits and restrictions of the artistic scene in Durban and highlighted how informal spaces can also showcase the arts and make them accessible. The gallery housed a number of performances, exhibitions, and multi-media events.

Moe has created an impressive body of work throughout her ambitious career and has taught on university campuses across the United States and in South Africa. She is currently the head of sculpture at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town. She has exhibited her work across the globe, including in Miami, Stockholm, Switzerland, New York, and more.

The KwaMuhle Museum, a remarkable “double-storey, Union-style building”, was once the headquarters of the Native Administration Department, an infamous space that regulated harsh systems of labour control. The building has since been transformed and now reflects the growth of Durban as an urban city centre and the various stories of its inhabitants. Once a place of extreme repression, the museum’s exhibitions now have a different goal:

The vision of all the exhibits centres on correcting the inaccuracies in the historical record left by apartheid, to create a heritage and context for South Africa’s new democracy that is forthright, candid and honest.

The KwaMuhle Museum is situated at 130 Bram Fischer Road in Durban. For more information contact 031 311 2237, email: or visit

Sunday, January 17, 2021


(Whoopi Goldberg appears in “The Stand”)

Valentine’s Day is a month away, and to help you feel the love, there’s a line-up of entertainment on DStv.

Here are some of the highlights:


The Stand

January 18 on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) at 22h30

Based on the novel by horror icon Stephen King, this new series focuses on post-apocalyptic life after the world is ravaged by a man-made plague. The only way to overcome the chaos lies within 108-year-old Mother Abigail (played by the talented Whoopi Goldberg). The cast includes other stellar actors with a penchant for dystopian dramas such as James Marsden (Westworld), Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood) and Owen Teague (Black Mirror). Fresh from the US, a preview is available from January 11.


Bears About The House S1

January 18 on BBC Earth (DStv Channel 184) at 19h00

Giles Clark is a conservationist who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to animal rescue. Having previously spent time raising endangered big cats in his home, Giles decides to move his family to Laos to help a rescue centre for sun and moon bears. While tackling the heavy task of raising three curious and precocious bear cubs, he also takes viewers across South East Asia to rescue bears and help them live a life of freedom and peace.


Celebrity IOU S2

January 19 on HGTV (DStv Channel 177) at 19h45

This feel-good show returns for another heart-warming new season. Before they were famous, celebrities had many hurdles to overcome. For many, a supportive friend or family member was the push they needed to succeed. Watch as A-list stars take an opportunity to share their thanks and love for the people who believed in them when they had nothing to offer with a show-stopping renovation by The Property Brothers. This season Zooey Deschanel, Justin Hartley, Rainn Wilson and Allison Janney are some of the stars that step up to transform homes and share the incredible kindness of people in their lives.


In The Dark S2

Starts on January 15 on M-Net (DStv 101) at 20h00

At the end of S1, crooked detective Dean kidnapped Murphy after she figured out that he murdered Tyson, and Dean's car went over a bridge as Murphy was fighting with him. While Murphy was in hospital, drug boss Nia approached Murphy to launder money for her at Guided Hope, Murphy's school for training guide dogs for the blind. S2 picks up from that moment. Now, as Murphy tries to keep her friends, especially Felix, out of Nia’s claws this season, she’s expecting more trouble when Max returns.


We Are Who We Are S1

January 16 on M-Net (DStv 101) at 21h00

In this coming-of-age drama from the director of 2017 film Call Me By Your Name, two American teens are growing up on a US Army base in Italy in 2016. Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer) has two moms, and Harper (Jordan Kristine Seamón) is battling with gender identity issues and a possessive boyfriend. Together, they’ll start exploring and embracing life and their changing bodies, and pushing back against a world that wants them to fit between narrow lines.


A Confession S1

January 18 on M-Net (DStv 101) at 21h30

This BAFTA-nominated miniseries based on real-life events tells how DS Stephen Fulcher (Martin Freeman) risked his career and his reputation to hunt for a serial killer, Christopher Halliwell. Christopher was targeting women, including missing 22-year-old Sian O'Callaghan (Florence Howard). But Fulcher nearly saw the killer slip through his fingers when he contravened the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, and he wound up in court himself trying to justify his actions after the killer’s confessions were thrown out and became inadmissible as evidence.


The Oval S2

Starts on January 20 on BET (DStv 129) at 22h30

Tyler Perry’s deliciously spicy White House drama promises scandal galore for philandering President Hunter Franklin and First Lady with an axe, Victoria Franklin. All the action in the upcoming 22 episodes will take place over three to four days, so expect a major political and personal uproar. There’s plenty in the S1 finale that could get us there, from ex-Press Secretary Diana’s explosive tell-all press conference, to the Franklins’ son, Jason, murdering White House staffer Jean and stuffing her corpse under his bed.


Wild Bill S1

Starts on January 21 on 1Magic (DStv 103) at 21h30

Former US Police chief Bill Hixon (Rob Lowe) relocates from Miami to rural Lincolnshire in the UK after he's fired for beating up a boy who posted sexual images of his 14-year-old daughter, Kelsey (Aloreia Spencer), online. Now in this dramedy he’s trying to whip the local cops into shape, with the help of eager-beaver trainee detective Muriel Yeardsley (Bronwyn James). Bill investigates every crime the British countryside can offer from corpses in Dead Man’s Wood, to heads in freezers and bodies in suitcases.


The Street Lit Durban project has just received the donation of a lifetime – literally a room full of brilliant books thanks to the uber-generous team from Downsideup South Africa.

DownSideUp is a KZN non-profit company focused on creating awareness, furthering education and providing support for people with Down Syndrome and their families. It connects more than 50 local families, all with family members with Down Syndrome.

They recently held a fundraiser selling good books at Sica's Guest House, as an income generator and awareness creation project for the organisation. Books were all donated by generous members of the public to DownSideUp.

“The #book sale had run its course, and we were gifted the surplus books. But the books are far from left-overs – a brilliant selection of great novels, children’s books, autobiographies, cookery books, business and educational texts, and more: including signed copies and current best sellers,” says organiser Illa Thompson.

(Janus, Kelly, Nicholas & Ethan Horn)

“We were invited by Janus and Kelly Horn who were very happy to donate the books to us as Janus had an enduring friendship with Archbishop Denis Hurley. Janus and Kelly are directors of DownSideUp. Their son, Nicholas, an avid reader, has Down Syndrome.

“Now we just have to find space in our St John’s store-room for them! So dear readers – do us a favour and buy LOTS of books from our vendors! With lockdown continuing, now is the perfect time to disappear into the pages of a great novel…..and we have hundreds!

“Thank you DownSideUp – we are enormously grateful and will support you in any way that we can going forward,” concludes Thompson.

For more information on StreetLit Durban Shopping & Retail, check it out on Facebook or contact 078 038 1517.

Friday, January 15, 2021


(Ismail Jinnah)

Veteran SABC television and radio producer, Ismail Jinnah, passed away last week following Covid-19 complications at the age of 65. He retired in 2019.

Former colleague Izak Minnaar described Jinnah, who was resource coordinator in the SABC newsroom in KZN when he retired, as an outstanding researcher and trainer.

“He was passionate about training young journalists on how to use technology to advance their careers. He came up with lots of tricks and digital techniques that enabled journalists to excel in researching content for their stories and also to grow their digital skills in studio production,” he said.

Minnaar said Jinnah spent the last years of his career involved the planning and deployment of teams for major projects such as elections.

Former Durban colleague and SANEF KZN convenor Judy Sandison said: “Ismail was a very dedicated and hardworking person whose commitment to excellence shone through in every project he undertook at SABC news - during his time both in Johannesburg and in Durban. He was also a digital fundi who trained news staff to expand their work across digital platforms.”

Caroline Smart, owner/editor of artSMart says: “I remember Ismail well from the days when I worked as a freelance television presenter. I was always impressed by his knowledge and support.”

Thursday, January 14, 2021


(Rain by Fiona Kirkwood)

Fiona Kirkwood, internationally recognized South African artist, exhibits new award-winning installation in China / online.

Durban artist, Fiona Kirkwood’s award-winning latest installation, Rain, will be exhibited at the 11th International Fiber Art Biennale: From Lausanne to Beijing”, curated out of Beijing China, which can be viewed online from this Saturday, January 16, 2021, exhibiting alongside some of the most respected global art makers working today.

In December, it was announced that Kirkwood had won a Silver Medal for Rain. The exhibition attracted 1,000 entries, from 54 countries, of which 313 (119 from China and 194 from other countries) finalists were selected by an international jury consisting of 21 leading artists and academics.

Rain is made out of nylon, beads, steel wool, aluminium and digitally-printed polyester and comments on how climate change is affecting rainfall patterns in South Africa and in different parts of the world.

“In this very troubled time of COVID-19 I am so grateful that my artwork is still being appreciated globally,” enthused Kirkwood.

Kirkwood, D A (Glasgow School of Art), M A F A (Natal) lives and works in Durban. She is a pioneer in her field in South Africa and internationally. She is noted for the cutting-edge manner in which she combines Fine Art and textiles to create highly textured, multi-media conceptual works.

Her works reflect her awareness of the spirit of South Africa and the energy and vibrancy of KwaZulu-Natal, where she lives and works. Her themes vary from human rights issues during the transition from apartheid to democracy to HIV/AIDS; the environmental issues of pollution, the endangerment of large mammals and climate change; life and death rituals; and her own self-identity influenced by her upbringing in Scotland and her lived experience of 45 years in South Africa. The underlying message which is central to her work is the desire to protect all forms of life.

Kirkwood’s unique way of mixing unorthodox materials to make sculptures and installations sets her apart. Her works are usually monumental and dramatic, and manifest a powerful physical presence. Since 1980, they have involved the exploration of magical, ritual, social, political, environmental and spiritual and identity themes.

Her 2001 work entitled Freedom Coat is currently on exhibition at the Central Museum of Textiles in Lodz, in Poland, and consists of giant beadwork pieces that commemorate the role of Nelson Mandela and other heroes of the South African Struggle for democracy.

Her work has been widely recognised and highly respected internationally, and she has exhibited in 24 countries. These include 12 solo exhibitions in South Africa, India and South Korea, and 66 group exhibitions in South Africa, Scotland, France, Italy, Poland, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Lithuania, Australia, Argentina, the United States, Canada, Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine, China, Portugal and Uruguay. She has received international awards and prizes for her work at exhibitions in South Africa, Lithuania, Latvia and China.

One of her highlights was in 2008 when she was chosen along with other top South African artists to exhibit her installation Survival on the Make Art/Stop AIDs exhibition at the Fowler Museum, University of California Los Angeles, in the United States. The work consisted of the word ‘Survival’ made of 2,500 male and female condoms and was subsequently also shown at the 5th International Biennial of Textile Art in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The same year, she exhibited her work Inceptions during the Miniartextil exhibition in St Francesco church in Como, Italy. The work involved digitally-printed phallic columns inspired by the seeds of the Natal mahogany tree and was a comment on the beginning of life and how to preserve it via seed and sperm banks.

Another highlight was the 2010 exhibition of her work Radiate(d) at the 13th International Triennial of Tapestry at the Central Museum of Textiles in Lodz, Poland. The work was made of colourful and white cable ties which signified how coral reefs around the world were being destroyed by global warming.

In 2013, Kirkwood showed All for Love on “Eros” Miniartextil, Villa Olmo, a palace that Napoleon had stayed in, on Lake Como Italy, while in 2017 she was selected as one of “22 Invited Artists” on V11 Biennial of Contemporary International Art textile, WTA, National Museum of Visual Arts, Montevideo, Uruguay in 2017.

Rain can be viewed online at the 11th International Fiber Art Biennale, organized in Beijing China to go online from January 16, 2021.

To visit the exhibition: LB Fiberart

For more info about the Biennale and other awards and work: Link 

To visit Fiona Kirkwood’s website – with images of Rain: 

Instagram: @fiona_mary_kirkwood

Facebook: @FionaKirkwoodArt @Fiona Kirkwood