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Thursday, November 30, 2023



The novel explores two concepts that are cleverly interwoven. First, the power and mystery of love. Second, the power of books and the written word. Strangely, both have the power to heal, inspire and connect us with our deepest emotions and desires. (Review by Carol King)

‘If Love is the poetry of the senses, books are the poetry of the impossible.’

It is around these words that the actions of this novel Nina George are woven.

Marie-Jeanne has had a tough start to life. With her mother dead, she is in the care of her grandmother. However, while still in her cradle, Marie-Jeanne loses her grandmother. She is left in the care of Love (by whom the story is told), the olive tree (which offers wise words) and her foster-parents, Francis and Elsa.

At a young age, Marie-Jeanne discovers she has a special gift – she sees the sparks of love (not lust!) in people’s faces and hands. She then uses this gift, in an unusual way, to bring soulmates together. This she does while searching for her own true love.

Francis, her foster-father, starts up a lending library in the village and surrounding areas. Marie-Jeanne accompanies him on his visits and this allows her to meet different people and see how relationships falter (even when people love each other). It also allows her to read, read, read. The books open up worlds of possibility to Marie-Jeanne and the locals. Most of the locals have had no time or inclination to read and they view books with suspicion (because they can bring about change and they can make people think beyond their everyday lives).

The novel explores two concepts that are cleverly interwoven. First, the power and mystery of love. Second, the power of books and the written word. Strangely, both have the power to heal, inspire and connect us with our deepest emotions and desires.

The story is set in Nyons – a small village in Provence – which is surrounded by four mountains and fairly cut off from the outside world. There are vivid descriptions of the landscape and the local cuisine, as well as the characters (who are three-dimensional and to whom the reader can easily relate).

The novel is different to the novels I usually choose to read. It is slow-paced and character-driven – but this allows the reader to look at their own loves and relationships with new eyes and possibly a new understanding. There is a sense of mystery and magic about Marie-Jeanne’s special gift – and really, the same is true about love and books. It took me a while to get into the novel but I am glad I persevered.

It is not easy to put the novel into a category. It is a romance – with Love and books. It is a mystery. It also seems, at times, fantastical.


Some favourite quotes:

‘”My dear Francis, books are not for cowards.”’


‘”Love is. It exists. It is here. That much is certain. We don’t know anything more about it and we cannot describe it.”’


‘”That’s how to read – like a butterfly. It flutters around aimlessly until suddenly it stumbles upon an uncharted paradise. Don’t listen to your teacher about what you should and shouldn’t have read. Never be arrogant about certain books. Be a butterfly!”’


‘”Books are the last alchemy of our age. They make anything possible. Anything.”’


‘Falling in love is when two people can’t stop looking at each other.

Being in love is when two people look in the same direction.’


The Little French Village Of Book Lovers is published by PenguinRandomHouse South Africa. ISBN 9780241436615 -  Carol King


Monday, November 27, 2023


Above: Aiden Luo, Zonke Zincume, Bjorn Kruger, Dhenishta Chetty, Amy Luo, Magugu Duma & Owethu Makula. Not in the picture: Joshua Griffiths and Nolwazi Nkwanyana. Pic by Val Adamson)

Other than it being a heart-warming occasion to hear a group of young artists performing with great passion and not inconsiderable skill, the importance of a concert such as this cannot be underestimated. (Review by Keith Millar)

Sunday’s Baroque 2000 concert which took place at the Mariannhill Monastery Church featured a line-up of gifted young musicians who performed a programme of concerti and arias by Handel, Bach, Purcell, and Corelli.

Other than it being a heart-warming occasion to hear a group of young artists performing with great passion and not inconsiderable skill, the importance of a concert such as this cannot be underestimated.

The wonderful and vast repertoire of baroque music is often under-appreciated and it is young people such as this who will carry the genre forward for the enjoyment of all in future generations.

The first Young Barocker on stage was Trumpeter Joshua Griffiths, a Grade 10 music student from Kearsney College. He played the Sonata in D major Z850 for trumpet by the great English composer of the middle baroque period, Henry Purcell. A performance of aplomb and confidence.

He was followed by the lovely soprano voice of Durban Girls College’s Owethu Makaula. This Grade 11 student sang the aria Lashia ch’io Pianga from George Frederic Handel’s opera Rinaldo.

No strangers to the Durban stage are violinists 15 year-old Weien (Amy), and 12 year-old Xizhi (Aiden) Luo. They performed Arcangelo Corelli’s Concerto Gosso Op6 No4 in D major. These multi-talented siblings are equally adept at the piano and between them have won many awards for their performances. Both are members of the KZN Youth Orchestra where Amy has been concertmaster for the past two years.

The Herr Dein Mitleid aria from Johan Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio was next on the programme. This was sung by the striking Dhenishta Chetty, who has a beautiful coloratura soprano voice. She is an opera student at the University of KZN.

Joining her was Bjorn Kruger a bass from Kearsney College. He previously studied at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School.

Later in the programme Dhenishta was joined by trumpeter Joshua Griffiths to perform George Frideric Handel’s Eternal Source of Love Devine.

Dido’s Lament from Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell was sung with emotion and skill by Mezzo Soprano Zonke Zincume. She is another student studying opera at the University of KZN’s excellent Opera School.

Completing the programme of Young Barockers was another impressive soprano from the University of KZN’s Opera School. Magugu Duma displayed a strong and effortless voice as she sang Handel’s Piangero La Sorte Mia from Giulio Ceasare. 

The final Baroque 2000 concert for the year will take place at the Mariannhill Monastery Church at 11h30 on December 17.

For more information, contact Michel Schneuwly at or on 0823035241. – Keith Millar

Baroque 2000 is sponsored by Die Rupert Musiekstigting.

Friday, November 24, 2023



(Lisa Bobbert & Aaron Mcilroy at their energetic best!)


This crazy collaboration works. The seamless integration between performers and musicians (especially the Concerto for Typewriter) made for a great evening out. (Review by Romi Schumann)

The Christmas season is racing in, almost catching us unawares, so if you need to find a way to get into the festive flow, pop along to the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre for a dose of light-hearted holiday fun. Classic Comedy featuring Lisa Bobbert (Mcilroy), Aaron Mcilroy and the Durban City Orchestra allows you to ‘leave your troubles outside’ and laugh and sing yourself into a merry mood.

This husband-and-wife team literally gambol through the scenes and costume changes, with musical interludes, and very entertaining AV clips, proving that they have the lungs for the long and high notes and the legs for Daisy Spencer’s high-kicking choreography.

A highlight for me was our ‘favourite car guard’ singing a very South African version of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables. ‘Pavarotti’ also made an hilarious appearance and demonstrated that ageing is not for sissies and that the show must go on. With some familiar characters and some new, this duo plays any age, any social status, and gives it stick with a range of accents. The costumes also cover every character profile and I would have loved to have seen Bobbert spend longer in her Act 2 opening frock; it was magnificent.

Adding to the production with their talents and multitasking skills - the beautiful Fiona and Kaylee Mcilroy danced, sang, and moved props and equipment with the aplomb of experienced performers and stage hands. If there was a theme, family and marriage was it and the audience was invited along to celebrate.

This crazy collaboration works. The seamless integration between performers and musicians (especially the Concerto for Typewriter) made for a great evening out. Watch out for Mcilroy playing in the orchestra! The energy of the performers is enormous and filters into the orchestra who rose to the occasion and showed some acting chops, especially the conductor, Charl van der Merwe, who clearly enjoys being the showman. The music was marvellous! Familiar, crowd-pleasing choices, across a range of genres had the audience clapping their hands and at times, up on their feet and dancing. Once again, the audience did not escape inclusion! The carol sing-a-long at the end left us with a reminder of the real meaning of Christmas.

A lighted hearted look at orchestras, a party atmosphere, and lots of music and laughs, such a Christmas season treat.

The show runs the rest of this weekend and next weekend till December 3, 2023,at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the UKZN campus.

Tickets: R205.00 - R220.00. Booking at Computicket - Romi Schumann

Thursday, November 23, 2023


 Deadline: November 30, 2023

Billy Suter has published an important notice for a new musical theatre academy. Visit for the full article.

A taste of things to come from award-winning performer Lisa Bobbert. She is one of the founding members of Durban’s International School of Performing Arts, scheduled to open in Florida Road in February 2024. – Billy Suter

Many top theatre personalities and behind-scenes experts are linked to a new Durban tertiary musical theatre academy, International School of Performing Arts (ISPA), which is currently auditioning prospective students for a launch in February.

Longtime theatre darlings Lisa Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy, together with seasoned vocal and performance coach Des Govender and her technical and production fundi husband Anthony Govender, are the collective brainchild of this exciting new venture.

Their joint initiative has been quick to attract interest from both theatre practitioners and prospective students alike. In fact, 25 showbiz personalities are already committed to contributing their talents to empowering young performers with the necessary skills to work locally and internationally in all forms of the performing arts, as well as create and develop their own work.

Besides ISPA’s four founding members, this impressive team includes Daisy Spencer, Simone Mann, Steven Stead, Greg King, Patrick Kenny, Evan Roberts, Bryan Hiles, Shelley McLean, Marion Loudon, Roland Perold, Darren King, Mthokozisi Zulu, Cara Roberts, Jaco van Rensburg, Liesl Coppin, Clare Mortimer, Sibongiseni Sheizi, Charon Williams-Ros, Kaylee McIlroy, Lauren Machanick and Illa Thompson.

The three ISPA courses on offer, each running fulltime for a year, will be affiliated to, and examined by, representatives of the Trinity College of London.

Initially, to launch the academy, only the first-year course will be available with a maximum of 32 students accepted. Prospective students will need to audition for the limited number of places available.

The academy website offers a full breakdown on how to apply to be a student and what will be involved. To apply, visit or mail

The phone number for the school is +27 65 385 9226.

Note that online applications must be in by November 30, 2023.

For the full article visit Billy Suter’s website -



Epworth School in Pietermaritzburg is bringing their 125th birthday celebrations to a close this Saturday, November 25, with a festive concert featuring the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

Maritzburg has been a favoured stop over the years for the Orchestra, with Symphony in the City and Handel’s Messiah being top drawcards. In recent years, there have been fewer opportunities for 'Maritzburgers to enjoy the beautiful music of the KZN Philharmonic, and it is with great pleasure that Epworth School, along with event sponsors, Parklane Spar, SpecSavers and the United Methodist Church, have put together a programme of festive music for Pietermaritzburg to celebrate and enjoy.

Dutch-born conductor Lykele Temmingh, a past winner of the SAA Performing Arts Award, will lead the Orchestra through a lively 75-minute celebration of all things musical. Soloists include Hilton College’s Luke Holder playing the organ, Nontobeko Bhengu, Pietermaritzburg’s very own Andrew Butler and Njabulo Nzuza, as well as 11-year-old Oliver Pentz who will play the bagpipes.

The Epworth choir of over 60 pupils from Grade 8 to Grade 12, will be led by Simon Bester, Epworth’s Head of High School Music and choir conductor, himself an accomplished cellist. There will be opportunities for the audience to sing along, moments of quiet reflection and moments of pure joy. The concert tickets have been subsidised to make it affordable for everyone to be able to attend this special event.

Tickets R100 can be booked online through Quicket or email to book.

The concert takes place on Saturday November 25, 2023. Doors open at 12h30 for 13h00 (concert start). Seating is unreserved.

The concert will take place in the Epworth Chapel, Epworth School in Golf Road, Pietermaritzburg.

For more information about the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra, click on the advert at the top right-hand of this page.


(Right: Christopher Duigan. Pic by Val Adamson)

Popular Steinway pianist Christopher Duigan, who runs Music Revival, announces: “In November we are trying something special. This unique experience is the result of many years of planning and development!”

Duigan plays a gentle selection of classics from the albums Nocturne Café 1, Nocturne Café 2 plus Music of the Night (available on Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube). The programme includes the popular Clair de lune - Debussy, Nocturne in C-sharp minor - Chopin, Adagio from Beethoven’s ‘Pathetique’ and Resphigi’s ravishing Notturno.

This unique experience is the result of many years of planning and development, which now sees guests seated at tables adjacent to the mirror-like swimming pool at Casa Mexicana, while Duigan plays ‘alfresco’ on a Steinway acoustic piano. A perfect musical accompaniment for balmy evenings!

This special performance (60 mins) will be enjoyed by guests seated outdoors but under cover, with the music interleaved with a delicious home-cooked meal. 

Bookings are now open where tables of four or more are preferred. A select number of tables of two are also now available on request. The Supper Soirée tickets: R300 including a two-course meal and concert performance

The garden lit at night, a small gallery space of selling artworks from top local artists, along with wine, food and the company of your friends, provide an all-embracing attraction for the evening’s experience. An experience to please all the senses!  The meal for this event is provided by La Popote (based at The Knoll, Hilton).

The concert starts at 19h00, venue opens at 18h30.   

Please bring your own wine/drinks. Please advise vegetarian preference on booking.

Nocturne Café at Casa Mexicana, 35 Montgomery Drive, Pietermaritzburg, takes place tomorrow, Friday November 24, 2023.  Street parking is patrolled.

Book via WhatsApp 083 417 4473 or Payment by EFT or cash at the door.


BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL Please include your contact numbers in all e-mail bookings.



Flying into life – by Heather Dugmore


Thando Silinda

“It feels surreal being in Boston in the United States at one of the top music colleges in the world, living in a different country and pursuing my dream.”

Thando Silinda (21) from Mbombela, Mpumalanga, has just started a four-year Bachelor of Music degree at Berklee College of Music. She was one of the finalists in the 2022 Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) Nyoloha Scholarship Programme (NSP). In partnership with Nedbank, Sun International and Business and Arts South Africa, two fully-paid scholarships are awarded every year to young people who want to pursue a tertiary qualification in South African in the visual and performing arts.

While Silinda did not win the ACT Nyoloha Scholarship, she says the three-month mentorship programme for all 68 of the shortlisted applicants helped to improve her musical and presentation skills. “During the Nyoloha mentorship I was with other young people who are just as hungry to pursue a career in the arts as I am, and this was so important for my journey,” she explains. “What was also very powerful for me was learning the importance of me as an artist and getting to know myself, which greatly contributed to my confidence in my audition with Berklee.”

And so it was that Silinda landed in Boston “in this very big, unfamiliar city” and is now settled in on the Berklee campus in one of the residences. “The level of talent here is phenomenal, and I work incredibly hard. You must apply yourself from day 1 and practise continually. I play the piano, guitar and drums, and my favourite instrument is the piano. It has so much range and it is the heart of all instruments. I am also receiving formal vocal training.”

Her musical preference is South African gospel, neo soul and R&B. “I’m exploring the kind of music I want to make. Being here, I realise how many music styles there are in the world as there is a large international community at the school.”

Poovandran Pillay, Executive Head for Corporate Social Investment at Nedbank, says: “Nyoloha means 'to rise' in Sesotho, and our goal is for all the talented young people participating in this programme to pursue bright careers in the arts and culture sector. Although there are only two ACT NSP winners every year, it opens many doors to the world.”


Naledi Lebelo

Also starting out on her musical studies journey is the winner of the 2023 Nyoloha Performing Arts scholarship, Naledi Lebelo (24) from Bloemfontein, who will start her three-year diploma at the Campus of Performing Arts in Midrand at the beginning of 2024.

“I feel so blessed and lucky,” says Lebelo who sings, and plays the guitar and djembe drums. “I get to study my number 1 passion, which is music, and I am one step closer to becoming the artist I have always imagined myself to be, impacting people’s hearts and minds.”

Lebelo has always loved music and wanted to be a musician from a young age. “My family was concerned about me pursuing such a challenging career where only a few make it. But I still wanted to do music, and after matric I collaborated with other musicians and recorded songs. I have a couple of my own songs under my belt in the soul and pop genre. I write about what I’m experiencing and about God, and to encourage others not to give up. It’s a healthy outlet for expressing deep emotions.”

Lebelo started a degree in music at Wits University, but Covid-19 put an end to this as funding became too difficult. ‘Now I have been given a second chance, and after bringing the scholarship home and showing my Mom the videos from the gala awards evening, she said “Wow, you really can sing!” and she showed all her co-workers.


Azanda Nyangintsimbi

At the same awards in the visual arts category, the winner of the 2023 Nyoloha scholarship is Azanda Nyangintsimbi (18) from Pretoria who says: “This scholarship is a symbol of faith in my potential and abilities. It's a sign that people believe in my dreams as much as I do.”

He is currently completing matric at Pretoria Boys High and has applied to study fine art next year at either the University of Pretoria or the University of Cape Town.

“I started drawing as a child and when I was 10, I wanted to be a fashion designer,” he explains. “In high school I chose art as one of my subjects and although I could draw when I started learning about what art is, I fell in love with it, and I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.”

His primary medium at present is charcoal and he has ‘a hyper-realistic way of drawing’. “Through my art I express the complexities of identity, our social, racial, cultural and self-identity. My work is very introspective, like an autobiography of what I see. I look at gender, masculinity and femininity and where people are along that spectrum. South Africa is a very diverse country. There are 1,500 boys at Pretoria Boys and we are all different but everyone finds their place and we accommodate each other.”


Liam Rose

Last year’s winner of the Nyoloha Visual Arts scholarship is Liam Rose (21), who is about to complete the 1st year of his degree in digital arts and game design at Wits University.

“I am so happy at Wits. The lecturers and tutors are wonderful and the facilities are forward-thinking. I always wanted to go to university and winning the scholarship has shifted the trajectory of my life. It’s absolutely brilliant.

“I chose digital arts and game design because people are so focused on technology now, and it is important for us as artists to move with the times. I’ve been learning about story-writing and animation, and I would like to get my Masters and then work as an animator with the goal of becoming an animation director which would give me the platform to use my voice and vision to tell the stories I want to tell: personal, original South African stories that express the diversity of cultures here.”

Rose is also learning sign language at Wits. “We had to choose a language class and I chose sign language. It’s a fascinating visual language with a lot of hand movements, which have loosened up my hands and enabled me to draw faster. I’ve learnt so much about people who are hard of hearing and it has given me a deeper perspective into their world and lifestyle.”


Marang Qhamisa Gwatyu

Winner of the 2022 Nyoloha Performing Arts scholarship Marang Qhamisa Gwatyu (20) from Pretoria is completing her first year of the three-year diploma at the Luitingh Alexander Musical Theatre Academy (LAMTA) in Cape Town.

“When I arrived here, it took a bit of time to adjust as I was not used to being in Cape Town by myself, but I have definitely found my place at LAMTA,” Gwatyu explains. “The lecturers are inspiring, experienced and patient. I’m being taught by people who have worked very hard to be where they are and they have all had performance experience.

“I’m a dancer but we do singing, dancing and acting here at a high level,” she continues. “It’s pressured as you have rehearsals after school, you are in musical theatre productions and constantly on your feet as they are preparing us for the world of work. I also work backstage as you have to learn the whole production side of things, including lighting, sound, wardrobe and stage management.

Gwatyu stays in residence at LAMTA in Camps Bay. “It’s pretty amazing as it’s so close to the beach where I go whenever I can. The ACT Nyoloha scholarship is the reason that I am here in this beautiful place studying at LAMTA. It has given me the opportunity to live a life that I could not have imagined. I have so many dreams, and I would love to one day be on Broadway and tour in a big musical.”

Commenting on the students, Jessica Denyschen, ACT Chief Executive Officer says: ‘We’re beaming with joy to witness our 2022 scholarship alumni Liam, Marang and Thando soaring to great heights in their studies. What is also inspiring to witness are the professional leaps that the 2023 scholarship winners are already making in their careers, with musician Naledi having already recorded some of her own songs and visual arts scholarship recipient Azanda Nyangintsimbi having sold original artworks as part of the 2023 Nyoloha Visual Arts exhibition.’

For more information on ACT, click on the ACT logo to the right of this article to link to their website.




This wit and wordplay are important parts of Lovell’s poems. For her, words are lively, amusing things to play with, and the words themselves can sometimes create the humour. (Review by Margaret von Klemperer, courtesy of The Witness)

Late in October, Moira Lovell, well known in Pietermaritzburg as a poet, writer, teacher and, to readers of the Witness, a book reviewer, launched her fifth collection of poems, Notes. This elegantly produced collection of more than 50 poems shows Lovell’s skill as a crafter of, or as she describes it, a player with, words. There is also her characteristic humour and wit, even where the subject matter is ostensibly dark.

Some of the poems are about poetry and its power to speak calmly and rationally, an example being Soliloquist:



Having few listeners,

The poet delivers his thoughts

In a soliloquy on the page,

The way, on stage, Hamlet reviews

The state of his soul, the soul of the state,

Finding the one wretched, the other rotten,

While outside the crowds raise

To the rank of demigod the ranting demagogues,

Hoarding all the syllables of their sophistry

In the dusty storerooms of their heads.

If only they would hear, instead, the poet,

Unpacking his soul, unpicking the state,

If only they would try his words and test them,

They might just concede that the poet is

The author of infinite dialogue.


I ask Lovell, in view of the increasing popularity of spoken and Slam poetry, how she feels about this more “ranting” approach. “I opt for careful, highly wrought poetry,” she says. “But at the launch, a number of people said they so enjoyed hearing some of the poems read aloud. They felt as though they accessed the poems more.” Lovell feels that readers have to be careful how they read poetry. She says that when she writes, she plays with the sound of the words, and if someone reads silently, they may miss that aspect. But while she accepts that Slam poetry has a place and a following, she will be sticking with the written word.

Lovell quotes a statistic that claims only one percent of the population reads poetry – though she admits that may be just a sour poet’s reflection. “But it must be accessible,” she says. “There’s no point writing something that readers can’t understand.” Martin Amis said of James Joyce that the writer must respect the reader, and Lovell firmly believes that the poet has to combine accessibility with wit and wordplay.

This wit and wordplay are important parts of Lovell’s poems. For her, words are lively, amusing things to play with, and the words themselves can sometimes create the humour. An example is her Defence of the Hadedas – not every suburban dweller’s favourite bird, particularly when they strike up in the early morning. But for Lovell, they are infinitely preferable to living under the flight path of incoming planes.


Defence of the Hadedas

(following accusations of noise pollution)

Accused of littering obscenities

Across suburban skyscapes, we defend

Our vocal scores, intended to be sung

Fortissimo, as written by the Great

Composer, who, despite the common view,

Is not averse to dissonance and din.

Or, maybe if you so prefer, cacophony

In birdsong might be evolution’s work.

Complaints, we feel, should be directed at

That plucked and painted pseud, the avion,

(Attempting to be classed as avian,)

Which regularly takes a direct flight

Across the territory reserved by us

In manicured upmarket yards beyond

The city centre stench, where we can strut

And grub, deworming lawns, or perch among

Majestic trees. Stiff-winged, unflappable,

Intoning in a constant drone, it dips

Its beak imperially and heads towards

Its nesting zone. It clearly bores the sun,

Which cannot nuance silver monochrome,

And lights, instead, on us, transforming grey

To opalescence. When we feel its warmth

We rise like jewels, a necklace in the sky –

Not crude of speech, but loud with ecstasy.


Many of the poems in Notes convey a sense of time passing, of the frailty of life. Lovell admits she has always been conscious of transience – her second collection was Departures, dealing with emigration and death. “It’s something I have always been concerned about, and that feeling does get stronger as you get older,” she says. When she first submitted this latest collection, Jackie Kalley, her publisher at Otterley Press, said it was too dark, so she jettisoned some of the poems and replaced them with lighter ones. But even where the subject matter is dark, the trademark humour is still there. As Lovell says, she is not a confessional poet, writing about her own angst – and even when she does, the wit still comes to the fore.

One section in the collection deals with the Covid pandemic, which for so many people made the sense of time passing and fragility worse. Over the months of lockdown, people became homebound, which now gives an event like the well-attended launch of the collection the sense of being a rare cultural celebration. But in the lockdown days, Lovell says she wrote a lot, capturing those strange times when the usual noise around us all was silenced. “I’m pleased that I could capture those moments, turn that world into words,” she says. “A poem can become a word album, like a photograph album.”

Notes is a collection reflecting the world we live in, with both its good and bad aspects. There are poems about friends, the weather, the seasons and the wider world. To end, here is a poem that speaks to us about what we are experiencing right now: the return of the rainy season.


The Weight of Wetness

At this first hint of sunlight

We peg our sodden spirits on the line:

They hang moodily, redolent of damp towels.

The day cannot be warm or wild enough

To tumble them dry.

Perforce we must forever wear

The weight of wetness.


Notes: Poems by Moira Lovell is published by Otterley Press and is available at Exclusive Books. It can also be ordered directly from or purchased online at ISBN 978-1-7764473-2-9 – Margaret von Klemperer




MultiChoice zones in on the dangers of piracy in the latest Carte Blanche episode

In the digital era, the global content industry is under constant siege from a relentless adversary: piracy. This challenge is particularly acute in Africa, where piracy rates have reached alarming levels. Carte Blanche, a renowned investigative journalism programme, recently delved into the world of piracy, exposing its devastating impact on the industry.

International cybercrime syndicates are proliferating, infiltrating South African homes with illicit and inexpensive TV boxes. Carte Blanche embarked on an undercover mission to purchase an illegal TV box from a reseller named Tawanda, who was later confronted about his involvement in this illicit activity.

The act of piracy attracts crime syndicates from around the world. This is another form of organised crime, and organised crime is far-reaching and interconnected. While online content piracy may not immediately strike one as a crime, it is indeed illegal and has extensive consequences. It robs content creators and the entire entertainment industry of vital revenue, stifling creativity and economic growth.

The statistics on piracy in South Africa and Africa as a whole paint a grim picture. According to the US Chamber of Commerce's Global Innovation Policy Center, digital video piracy costs the entertainment industry up to $71 billion annually, harming businesses, destroying jobs, and hindering economic development. The advent of digital streaming has further exacerbated these issues, making piracy even more accessible.

MultiChoice is clear that raising awareness of the pervasive issue of piracy and its detrimental consequences is critical.

The Carte Blanche episode serves as a powerful call to action, urging individuals to make informed choices and support legitimate content creators. By working together, we can combat piracy and ensure a thriving creative industry for generations to come.


Report Piracy

Piracy email address:

Piracy hotline number:  +27 11 289 2684

Monday, November 20, 2023



It was dubbed “a drama that sears itself into your consciousness” by the UK Independent, won four South African Television Awards and was nominated for two International Emmies. Now, M-Net’s primetime crime drama Reyka is back for Season 2 on Thursday, January 11, 2024 at 20h00, with a host of new characters and powerhouse performances.

Detective Reyka Gama (Kim Engelbrecht - Dominion, The Flash) returns and has been seconded to the Durban Harbour Police Station where she’s busy building the profile of a killer who targets couples at a coastal lookout spot called Lover’s Lane. The assailant is a sinister enigma who finishes his male victims off in a cold and clinical fashion yet shows remorse – even protectiveness – over female victims.

With the killings hitting headlines nationwide, Reyka has the added pressure of solving the murders before the province’s International Water Conference that will see scores of delegates coming to the city on top of that, Reyka’s past still haunts her. Angus Speelman (Iain Thorpe - Game of Thrones), the twisted Scottish immigrant farmer who kidnapped her when she was a young girl - is institutionalised in a facility for sex offenders, but Reyka is still tormented by the abuse she suffered.

However, a glimmer of hope appears when she partners with new detective Ayanda Jali – a source of courage and goodness reminiscent of Reyka's former partner. Despite Reyka’s precarious mental state and complex personal life, she’s determined to catch Durban’s latest predator.

Playing Detective Ayanda Jali is award-winning actress and musician Samkelo Ndlovu (iNkaba, Freedom) is Reyka’s new partner. She’s a tough and courageous detective with strong moral values and integrity. She becomes Reyka's friend and confidant and helps her navigate her cases and personal struggles.

Starring as her boyfriend, Zee, is multiple award-winning actor Pallance Dladla (Isibaya, Dam). Zee grew up in a children’s shelter and is now a social justice vlogger and internet personality. He struggles with issues of boundaries and self-esteem - caught between his feelings for Ayanda and his own insecurities.

The indomitable Head of the Search and Rescue unit, Captain Leon Lombard played by Frank Rautenbach (Lioness, The Bang Bang Club) is an adrenaline junkie like Tanner, and there’s a romantic attraction between him and Reyka.

Lemogang Tsipa (Shaka iLembe, The Republic) plays the handyman Tokkie. Isolated, he’s a good looking and slightly strange young man who was brought up in the children’s home where he now works.

Other new faces include legendary thespian Sello Maake Ncube (The Herd, The Queen), comic and actor Joey Rasdien (Bunny Chow), Zane Meas (Ludik), Tamara Skye, Kira Wilkinson (Black Beauty), Wayne van Rooyen (Fiela se Kind), Deon Lotz (Skoonheid,), Trudi van Rooy (Skemerdans) and Nicky Rebelo (Good Life).

Reyka Season 2 will plunge viewers into Durban’s murkier depths with its incendiary storyline. The second season premieres Thursday, January 11, 2024, on M-Net (DStv channel 101) – The Home of Entertainment - at 20h00 as well as live-streams on DStv Stream, and will be available on DStv Catch Up after broadcast.

Visit the M-Net Website and join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook using #Reyka.




(Anthony Stonier. Pic by Val Adamson)

Next up on the Mondays @ 6 at St Clements’ diary on December 4, 2023, will be Anthony Stonier’s: Songs for Stage & Screen.

Pieter Scholtz and friends invite patrons to a perfect start to the holidays. Kick back, relax, reminisce if the mood takes you and be entertained by the fabulous Anthony Stonier and his brand new “hits” and happening show, Songs for Stage & Screen.

In this, his new show, Anthony Stonier sings a selection of popular songs from both hit Broadway and West End shows and from Hollywood movies and musicals. Love ballads, theme songs, comedy numbers, dramatic ballads and evergreen classics. He will take the audience on a musical meander down memory lane. Songs from Cabaret, Oliver, The Lion King, My Fair Lady, Nottinghill, Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Fiddler on the Roof and more. The songs will be interspersed with little-known facts, trivia and behind-the-scenes details on some of the best loved movies and musicals of all time.

Theatre lovers need no introduction to award-winning performer Anthony Stonier who has been a luminary in the KZN and South African theatre industry for more than 30 years in capacities ranging from actor to composer to pianist to playwright to singer. He won a best supporting actor VITA Award in 1988 for Frank'n'Stein! and again in 1994 for Spring Awakening. He has also won Durban Theatre awards, twice, for best male vocalist: the first time in 2003 and again in 2007.

Fans will be aware that Anthony is synonymous with starring roles in the hugely popular Durban adult pantos, going back to 1996. In recent years his one-man shows have focused on songs from well-known musicals. In February this year, Anthony brought his popular Sinatra, Quite Frankly to Mondays at Six to St Clements.

The show takes place at 18h00 on December 4, 2023. Table Bookings essential: RSVP ST Clements 031 202 2511

When the donation box is passed around, Patrons are encouraged to be generous. A minimum of R50 per person.

The show plans to be outdoors. If it’s chilly, remember to dress warmly. If it rains, Val will perform her table-and-chair magic and set everything up indoors.

Bookings limited to diners in support of St Clements restaurant and staff. They stay open specially for us.

Be there in time to order and open your tab before the performance, scheduled to start at 18h00.

Please cancel if you book then can’t make it as they often close booking due to space constraints.

St Clements is situated at 191 Musgrave Road. Mondays @ Six run between 18h00 and 19h00. Table bookings are essential on 031 202 2511. There is no cover charge but there is a donations box to support presenters.

If you wish to dine after the presentation, place your order before 18h00.

Issued by: Wanda Hennig: 072-664-3170 and Pieter Scholtz: 082-856-6157



(Above and below: Cara Roberts. Pics supplied)

 “The King of Broken Things” is deserving of every local and international award it has won and I am sure there are many more to come. (Review by Romi Schumann)


Nestling in the campus of Northlands Primary School is The Bridge Theatre - a theatre space that has been transformed into the treasure trove of a boy who is the King of Broken Things. Michael Taylor-Broderick’s international award-winning one-man play mesmerises for an hour leaving us with a sense of hope and the idea that every man, woman, and child should see this play. 

The boy, skilfully and endearingly played by Cara Roberts, draws the audience in from the beginning with a dramatic entrance; from then, the actress holds us in the palm of her hand. Her well-crafted and nuanced portrayal has us believing that a mature (albeit petite) woman is a young boy, and one that everyone grows to love.

The playwright has wisely identified what the world needs to hear and he touches on the child’s pain of an absent father, the responsibility he feels for fixing his mother, bullying, the weight and magic of words and imagination. To use the word ‘recycling’ is too mundane and the miracle of fixing and reusing broken things seems all too exciting in this theatrical offering.

I first saw The King Of Broken Things a few years ago when it premiered at the Hilton Arts Festival. The organic evolution of the play and portrayal of the character is subtle but significant. Today, the issue of children on the autism spectrum is highly relevant and people who ‘don’t do people’ are being recognised more and more. The lack of understanding by children and adults alike is hurtful, and although a change in attitude is happening, this play could help it snowball. For all the seriousness of the topics, I found myself smiling and filled with delight at what I was seeing and hearing, so positive and uplifting.

Not only is Taylor-Broderick a writing genius but his vast experience as a lighting designer and theatre technical man has been brought into play and we are astonished even further. The ‘Boy’ shares his creations with us and Roberts handles this technical part of her portrayal effortlessly. Taylor-Broderick and Roberts have gifted the world with a message of hope and shown us the light at the end of the tunnel with the most exquisite, moving ending that there has ever been for any play.

As an educator and theatre person myself, I would highly recommend that schools offer this astounding piece of theatre to their learners (both prep and high school). They would have a valuable entertaining/educational theatrical experience, be moved by the story, and each take their own lesson to heart.

There is so much offered in an hour, but it is perfect. This short run is over, but keep your ear to the ground, there will be other performances. When you see the play, and you must, watch and listen well - You don't want to miss any of it. The King of Broken Things is deserving of every local and international award it has won and I am sure there are many more to come. - Romi Schumann

For more information contact Bryan Hiles on 082 393 4890.