"Firebrand" Simphiwe Dana named 2016 Woman of the Year

Simphiwe dana 16fLess than two weeks after the outspoken and fearless Simphiwe Dana rocked with the ‘… Symphony Experience’, the singer has been named the 2016 Woman of the Year by the internationally acclaimed magazine New African Woman.

An award-winning singer, the “Ndiredi”/"Firebrand" hitmaker joins the likes of the inimitable Esther Mahlangu, the unstoppable Lupita Nyongo and the triumphant Caster Semenya amongst other notable Africans who are making a big difference in the world and leaving an indelible mark. The induction into one of the most-coveted lists comes following her visible efforts to see the Mzansi child afforded the free and necessary education.

“Apart from being a phenomenal artist, Simphiwe use her public platform to address socio-political ills and renders a voice to the voiceless,” writes New Africa Woman magazine. “When a South African university protest demanding free education turned violent in the face of police resistance, she joined their cause without any hesitation and spoke out.”

“This year, she was appointed a stakeholder in the Arts sector to help foster ways that can help advance the African Union’s Agenda 2063. And she was one of the prominent voices that condemned South Africa’s new visa laws, leading the Minister of Home Affairs to make adjustments and to soften the country’s stance on African foreign visitors,” the magazine further notes. 

New African Woman released its 2016 list of African women who are shape-shifters, game changers and are taking ground breaking strides in making a global impact on the African continent.

The list is broken up into 10 categories spanning Politics, Arts, Science & Technology, Sports and Business and Finance, to name a few. These women are nominated by the magazine’s readers.

Nakhane Toure to dance again at US film festival

Nakhane Toure light fNakhane Toure, the voice on BlackCoffee’s hit “We dance again”, makes his first ever big screen outing on John Trengrove’s directoral debut, “The wound”, which makes its world premiere at the World Cinema Dramatic Competition, at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

The film festival takes place from January 19-29 with screenings in Park City, Salt Lake City and at Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah, in the United States of America. One of the most sought after platforms, Sundance introduced global audiences to some of the most ground breaking films of the past three decades, including “Boyhood”, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”, “Fruitvale Station”, “Whiplash”, “The End of the Tour”, “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Reservoir Dogs”, “An Inconvenient Truth”, “Precious” and “Napoleon Dynamite”.

Co-written by Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu, and produced by Urucu Media, the movie is set for a July 2017 release date in SA. The multi-talented musician and novelist stars alongside Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay Ncoyini in the flick that was shot entirely in Mzansi. Making it even more fascinating is that it is an all-male Xhosa cast vehicle/outing.

It tells the story of Xolani, a lonely Xhosa factory worker who joins the men of his community in the mountains of the Eastern Cape to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood. When a defiant initiate from the city discovers his best kept secret, Xolani's entire existence begins to unravel.

"What a privilege to have worked with this fearless cast and insanely talented team of collaborators,” says the director. “I am so grateful for the many Xhosa men who contributed in big ways and small ways, and, miraculously, trusted me to make this film. Whatever comes next, we made “The Wound” with our eyes and hearts wide open."

A co-production between South Africa, Germany, The Netherlands and France, it was shot on location in the northern region of South Africa. The film was developed with the assistance of The Hubert Bals Fund and ARTE International Prize. The Department of Trade and Industry and The National Film and Video Foundation supported production and the film pre-sold to broadcasters ARTE France and ZDF in Germany. International Sales will be handled by Pyramide in Paris.

For more information about the film, visit www.urucumedia.com/thewound

“How far will I go” - Lira goes global

Lira 16 picThere is no stopping Lira as she entrenches her art to the whole world.

“The Voice SA” and multi award-winning singer of “Feeling good” fame, has gone global thanks to her Disney flick “Moana” credits placed track “How far I will go”. Boasting over 24 000 views on YouTube, you can listen to the epic and powerful track on her website - misslira.com - link, or click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMllYJstZAk&feature=youtu.be .

The animated movie voiced by the likes of Dwayne Johnson, Auli'i Cravalho, and more has grossed over $120 millon in two weeks, in the United States. Worldwide, the movie that opened in SA last weekend (02 December), has looted well over $60m at theatres, including $206+ in South Africa. Perhaps one of this festive season’s family movies, it is still to open in the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Italy, France, Australia, Brazil and more territories.

Speaking on ‘Wide Awake with Adil’ on Metro FM, the star said that “if you watch the film you will get a great feeling. It’s about what we are all about. What I like about cartoons is that they are about appealing to kids only, but the whole family, and the music does that as well.”

The Walt Disney Animation Studios movie directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid”, “Aladdin”, “The Princess & the Frog”) is a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli'i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder.

Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfils the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she's always sought: her own identity.

MMA16 entry period closes on Friday

Metro FM Music Awards 16A few days remain before the entry period for next year’s MMA16 (Metro FM Music Awards) closes on the 9th of December in anticipation of the nominees announcement event that will take place on 12 January 2017, leading to the highly awaited awards ceremony in February.

Artists who have had their tracks or albums play listed on the urban radio station between 25th November 2015, and this year’s 09 December need to enter their music on any of the relevant 17 categories before the closing date. These are Best Hip Hop Album, Best Hit Single, Best Collaboration, Best Male Album, Best Gospel Album, Best African Pop Album, Best Music Video, Best Female Album, Song Of The Year, Best Kwaito Album, Best Group Album, Best New Artist, Best Compilation Album, Best R&B Single, Best Urban Jazz Album, Best Dance Album, and Best Remixed Single.

The most sought after and unmatched awards that are decided by public vote have become the biggest in the market with each winner taking a guaranteed R100k cheque, and the gong to match it. This is expected to be one of the biggest awards and hottest contest as far as SA music is concerned, as artists compete in the year when the 90% quota was implemented on the radio station (…and all SABC radio platforms).

As has been the case in the last few years, the awards ceremony is scheduled to take place on Saturday, the 25th of February 2017 at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban. This great spectacle will once again be carried live on SABC 1 with live crossings to the public viewing area in Durban.

The 16th edition of the Metro FM Music Awards is themed ‘What’s Next Is All That Matters,’ building onto last year’s theme, ‘Legends Don’t Stop, They Ask What’s Next’. The theme indicates that it’s not just about getting that hit song play-listed on Metro FM, it’s not about finishing off a great album and it’s not about having a great video to go with your track, but about what you do next to continue building onto your glories.

“We had a successful event with the 2015 Metro FM Music Awards and taking from our theme, the question is not about repetition but what matters is what’s next and what the 2016 Metro FM Music Awards will have in store,” said METRO FM Station Manager, Sibongile Mtyali.” The success of the MMA15 is something of the past; we can’t keep blowing that trumpet, we have to sing a different tune in the next edition and keep growing the event and the artists involved with it.”

In the past 15 editions, the MMAs categories have increased reflecting growth in the local music industry, a development that can partly be attributed to the contribution made by the awards. Once again the awards will see winners walk away with a mouth-watering R100k prize money for each category winner.

Entry forms, MMA16 Entry Rules, regulations, Indemnity and Checklist, and more information on how to enter are available on www.metrofm.co.za. Entry forms must be downloaded, completed and hand delivered to the METRO FM Offices - Office 826, 8th Floor SABC Radio Park, in Auckland Park. All queries must be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 011 714 3151.

Joyous Celebration ready to record & tour in the US

JC 20 Choir fThe award-winning and multi-platinum selling MTN Joyous Celebration have jetted off to Dallas, Texas, for the live recording of their 21st instalment.

Staging their debut performance at the Potter’s House of Dallas on Saturday 3 December in collaboration with the Grammy award winning Potter’s House Choir and hosted by the renowned Bishop T.D. Jakes, the show promises to be electric. The theme of the recording is “Heal our Land” as both choirs come together representing 2 countries that have experienced great turmoil in the last year.

“The timing and significance of these 2 choirs coming together and collaborating at this time is no coincidence and we will unite in thanksgiving and prayer for peace, healing and restoration not only for our individual ministries but for our countries as well,” commented Lindelani Mkhize – Founder of Joyous Celebration.

Following Dallas and looking to win fans in the US, the ensemble will embark on an East Coast Tour which will include performances at the Duke Ellington Performing Arts School in Washington, Bishop Hezekiah Walker’s Love Fellowship Church in Brooklyn, New York, Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown in Pennsylvania as well as Abundant Life Family Worship Centre in New Jersey under Bishop George Searight’s leadership amongst others. 

Just as Joyous Celebration has captivated the hearts of millions of Africans across the continent with its unique cross-genre infused gospel sounds, signature dance moves, melodic harmonies and show stopping garments, it hopes to infect the American audiences with much of the same magic. 

“We have been working tirelessly to ensure that fans receive a quality produced album, and the choir has spent long hours in rehearsals learning new songs and exciting choreography,” added co-founder Jabu Hlongwane. “We are ready for the Joyous 21 live recording in the USA and look forward to proudly carrying and flying the South African flag.”

Mthunzi Namba concluded: “Our local family who are unable to join us in the USA can catch snippets on our social media platforms and diarise Sunday 25 December @ 8PM when SABC 1 will broadcast Joyous 21 recorded live in the USA.”

For a detailed itinerary of Joyous’ USA Heal our Land Tour and to join the conversation on the MTN Joyous Celebration social platforms; Facebook: My Joyous Celebration and Twitter: @JoyousSA