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Its a battle of the sexes as Thami takes on Noma in "Idols SA" finalé

Thami Noma 16Although the over 11 million votes have dictated that Thami Shobede (voting number 09 - pictured left) and Noma Khumalo (04 - right) will face off at this year’s Idols finale on 27th November, third placed contestant Tebogo has a sniff at sudden commercial success as well.

For the first time in the contest, all Top 3 finalists got to perform the track they prepared in case they it made all the way. These three tracks – Tebogo’s Crighton Goodwill prodced “Do it again”, Sthandwa by Thami (produced by Khaya Mthethwa) , and Noma’s “Want it to feel like it did with you” that was done by Kurt Herman- are now available for download on iTunes and Apple Music.

Thami's catchy track set the pace and hit the Itunes SA 100 songs chart before even the show was over. Interesting to note is that Thami, whose people started buying right at show, has a leading 71 525 followers on Facebook, to Noma's 67 811. Noma and tebogo's tracks have that crossover appeal that might work in their favour as well. 

Sadly though, tickets to the finale at Carnival City are already sold out. For those who left it too late, they will have to watch performances by the likes of AKA, Cassper Nyovest, Kelly Khumalo, Nathi, and Karabo Mogane on TV. Early last week AKA posted on twitter that he will be breaking two new songs on the show. Proverb also said that word has it that Unathi will be performing on the day.

Back to the scene as it transpired towards the R1.2 million worth first prize journey that hits the finish line on 27th November: presenter Proverb asked the judges who the finalists will be, with most getting it wrong like the US and British pols did. Albeit Gareth thought Noma was “sabotaged” with one of her song choices that would affect her position. Somizi and Randall concurred that the finale would be between Thami and Tebogo, while Unathi was noncommittal. Unathi did plead with women to stop this notion of ‘women not voting for women’, perhaps fearing that would affect Noma.

But as is the case right now, this did prove to be “anyone’s game” and Noma’s name was the first to be called as one of the two who will be in the finale. A few seconds later, Thami was announced as her challenger for next week’s Idols crown. Interestingly, Thami’s Afro-soul track struck a chord immediately on the online stores, and hit the Top 10 (position 6) within an hour.

Of course the two still had to fight for their votes, and the race to the finish started in earnest when Noma and Thami battled it out over two rounds.  First up was Noma serenading with Jennifer Hudson’s “I’m Not Going”, which led Gareth to proclaiming that she “absolutely” deserves her place in the final. “When I see Zwai Bala on his feet cheering like a fan, you should know you are good baby,” he said.

Thami’s counter song was a ballad version of “Sorry” by Justin Bieber. “Your voice is like izambane ene butter (potato with butter),” was Somizi’s assertion. Randall put the cherry on top when he said Thami’s “hard work and dynamism” were testament that “you haven’t just returned; you’ve arrived”.

Round 2 of favourite track from the season saw Noma come back with an emotive performance of Rihanna’s “Stay”, to which Randall responded “Shine bright like a diamond.” Thami closed off the show with a stirring performance of Etta James’ “All I Could Do Was Cry”. “Take me to the water and drop me in the river!” Randall cried out.

To vote by SMS, you need to text the voting number of your favourite contestant or Idol to 37400. Each SMS vote costs R1.50, and you will be limited to 100 SMS votes per voting period.  To vote via WeChat, you will need to log on to the WeChat application on your mobile phone. Voting on WeChat is free, but do note that the data costs of your Internet Service Provider will apply. Voting closes at 10pm on Thursday this week.

For more on “Idols SA” action, visit www.idolssa.tv or be part of the conversation via the following social media platforms: Facebook: Idols South Africa (www.facebook.com/IdolsSA), Twitter: @IdolsSA #IdolsSA, Instagram: @IdolsSA, WeChat ID: IdolsSA . By Mandla Motau

Attend Thandiswa’s album launch and be the first to experience her new album

Thandiswa 2016Following the release of her first single “Jikijela” that has been available as an instant download on iTunes and Apple Music upon her highly anticipated 3rd solo album, “Belede” - a jazz tribute album named after her mother -, pre-order on iTunes, it has now been announced that the album launch is set for the iconic Soweto Theatre.

This 24th November event, a day before the album release date, is also open to the public and limited tickets are already on sale. Building up to be one major experience, this will be the first time the star gives the public a taste of her interpretation of Jazz classics that were her mother’s loved songs, including the legendary Caiphus Semenya’s penned classic, as sung by his iconic wife Letta Mbulu. Thandiswa co-created the album that she will be performing with her jazz band, with a core trio of drummer Ayanda Sikade, pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and bassist Herbie Tsoaeli.

Posting of Facebook about the show, the star who recently signed a distribution deal with Universal Music, wrote: “I grew up in Soweto. It gave me my resilience & creativity. So excited to be launching my album in the legendary South Western Township 24Nov. I am so excited to be launching my album ekasi lam.”

“There is no place on earth with the energy that Soweto has. its hip, it's fresh, bold & rebellious. That's where I'm from kid. Ikasi lamakasi,” she further shared.

Commenting on the choice of Soweto Theatre as the launch venue, the general manager, Nomsa “Nomisupasta” Mazwai, who is also Thandiswa’s sister, said she had to put in lots of energy into getting the event there. “I had to make my case. I fought for this album launch. The team and I at Soweto Theatre negotiated a deal, and we are so excited that Thandiswa is to bring the launch to our theatre.”

“The Soweto Theatre has the best technical offering in the Gauteng region and our rates are competitive,” she stated. “This booking provides us with a great opportunity to showcase what we have on offer, especially for singers wishing to launch their albums. Not only that, our building is spectacular and was voted best building in Africa a few years back. We feel the best building is best suited for arguably the best musician of our time - Miss Thandiswa Mazwai.”

Joburg City Theatres Group CEO Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema said, ‘We are thrilled to be the venue for Thandiswa’s “Belede” album launch. We pride ourselves in the services we provide and are honoured to be the venue of choice for not only South Africa but Africa’s premier musicians. Soweto Theatre in particular has been attracting first class performers and shows such as “SA’s Got Talent” and will be staging a tribute to the Manhattan Brothers choreographed by Somizi Mhlongo starring Mmatema, Idols runner-up from the 8th to the 18th of December.”

The album launch will be taking place on the 24th of November and ticket sales have gone LIVE as of 1pm on Friday the 11th of November on the Soweto Theatre website www.sowetotheatre.com

SA, perfect location for international TV series

Hooten SA 16When it comes to filming diverse terrain and stand-in locations, it seems like nothing can beat good old Southern Africa.

So when the producers of a brand new adventure series - think Indiana Jones - needed to shoot scenes in Egypt, Ethiopia, the Amazon jungle and the Caribbean, they chose Namibia, KwaZulu Natal and Cape Town instead. The series, titled “Hooten and the Lady”, is set to premiere on ITV CHOICE (DStv 123) on Tuesday, December 13 at 8pm and will run for six weeks. 

“Hooten” revolves around a rogue adventurer (Hooten, played by Michael Landes) who, in every episode, travels to a different country in search of lost treasure, complete with a British Museum curator in tow (aka the Lady, played by Ophelia Lovibond).

Apart from scenes filmed on location in Rome, Moscow and at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Landes reveals that some episodes were shot in Southern Africa due to various factors: "We weren’t allowed to go to Egypt or Ethiopia, so we shot those two episodes in Namibia," he says.

"As for the Amazon jungle in which Hooten and the Lady find themselves in episode one, that's really South African jungle. We were in KwaZulu-Natal, about two hours away from Durban, where we filmed for two and a half weeks and where our snake wranglers caught 42 snakes, including black mambas," says Landes.

The last episode in the series was also shot in South Africa, although this time around it doubled for the Caribbean. "When you go to the jungle in South Africa, it's tropical versus the dry heat of Cape Town – it's hard to believe it's the same country, Landes concludes."

Hooten and the Lady was a big hit with critics and audiences alike when it broadcast in the UK recently with The Mirror describing the series as "Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone in this adrenaline-fuelled action adventure ... (that) packs in breathtaking stunts, exotic locations, thrills, spills and romance."

Hooten and the Lady also stars Shaun Parkes (Line of Duty, Silent Witness), Jessica Hynes (Bridget Jones' Baby) and Jonathan Bailey (Broadchurch).

Watch the trailer here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TQe-zz9DyY

Tumi of Tumi and the Volume fame uses new moniker/drops new album

Stogie T 2016 Press Photo by Ricardo Marcus K 2016 Motif RecordsFirst there was Tumi & The Volume, then Tumi, and now Mzansi stand up to welcome Stogie T.

The artist formerly known as Tumi is back as ‘Stogie T’ with a tour, a new single ‘Diamond Walk’ and a self-titled album that signifies the powerful SA Hip Hop Movement. This change sees the respected rapper featuring interesting names such as Nasty C on “Clean stuff”, Emtee & Yanga (“By any means”), Nadi Nakai (#FF), former collaboraters Da LES (“Freakend”), and AKA ("Ms Joburg"). Dropping on 25 November, those who pre-order the album will get the first single instantly.

A release from the artist reads that ‘Tumi’s latest incarnation as Stogie T is as real as keepin' it real can get. He's not the same man he was 10 years ago. And he's brave; almost too brave, if ever there's such. Willing to dispense of a decade-plus worth of labour as an artist, producer, label owner; rocking shows solo or with his former band The Volume; dropping knowledge by the busloads on Mzansi and overseas audiences.’

Apparently Stogie T has shed some of the seriousness he has been known for since 2004 when he began releasing albums, but on his new album he says he still offer a perfect balance of “Depth, consciousness and entertaining new generation Mzansi Hip-Hop (hence the feature of all these exciting younger names above). This offering is a true indicator of the success of the genre in South Africa and beyond.”

Under the new moniker, the artist brings a reinvention that speaks to “The new generation with a sound inspired by today’s finest talent in hip-hop, production and lyricism.” To top it all, hit makers Tweezy (famous for producing AKA’s ‘Baddest’ and ‘All Eyes On Me’ plus tracks for L-Tido and Cassper Nyovest) and Tru Hitz (behind songs for Stilo Magolidie, Riky Rick and Boyz n Bucks) provided the beats. 

Working with fresh talent is not something new for him. As a hip-hop artist Stogie T contributed to shaping today’s urban Mzansi sound not only with his unique style and consistency, but also through his label Motif Records, having developed artists such as Reason, Riky Rick and co-signing The Soil, AKA and Nasty C in their early come-up days. 

Stogie T shows commitment to the art of the game to the extent that he has never missed a season. Since 2004 the artist formally known as Tumi consistently released an album every year, whether solo or with Tumi And The Volume or a side project. The album’s lyrical themes steer towards an economic freedom. This means booking holidays at off-shore hotels and affording whatever his partner wants, as he tells us in the lead single ‘Diamond Walk’ and ‘Big Dreams’, or zoning in on the life his mother carved out for him by highlighting her cause.

“I see your sacrifice in my children’s eyes. They were born free. Incredible!” he exclaims in the intro to “Son of a soldier”. This goes a long way to humanize a concept that mainly exists in a vacuum, obscured from actuality by smoke screens, haunted by a legacy of stale and regurgitated tales told by former slaves who are now oppressive masters.

‘In 2016, Stogie T's not content with his story alone; not anymore. He wants to be a repository for all our stories, and he wishes to tell them with only the skill he can master. In order to achieve that, he needs to be true to – and to reflect -- his own reality.’

Preview & pre-order the new album here: https://listento.lnk.to/StogieT , and see the larger than life rapper at Bassline in Newtown Joburg on 18th November, Vanity in Pretoria (19th November), Rocebannk’s Starbucks (20th November), Da Side in Krugersdorp (25th November), Durban’s 47 Avenue (26th November), The Establishment in Soweto (27th November), landing at The Good Luck Bar in Newtown (2nd December), and then stopping at Blue Room, Pretoria (3rd December) so far.

Follow the artist on Instagram @Stogie_T, Twitter @StogieT, and Facebook @TumiAndTheVolume

Carissa Cupido wins TLC's Next Great Presenter

Carissa 16 win“Ready or not…” Goodhope FM’s Carissa Cupido plans to take the showbiz world by storm after winning TLC’s “Next Great Presenter” contest.

The 24-year-old Cape Town contestant clinched the title after getting the most of the 200 000 combined votes against Zimbabwe’s Karen Paida Mukwedeya and Kenya’s Charlie Karumi. Announced by show presenter Thando Thabethe (“My Perfect family”, “Club 808”, “Generations”), the win will see her jet off to London to present TLC’s MOST EXTREME, a new four-part series coming to TLC Entertainment (DStv 135) in early 2017. This new show will showcase some of the channel’s most gripping, exciting and thrilling clips from the TLC archive.

On top of the one year contract prize with the channel, Carissa will also receive an all-expenses paid holiday to the Palace of the Lost City, courtesy of Sun International.

Speaking to www.showbizone.co.za after the win that was filmed and screened live on Facebook, the Friday (10pm – 2am) and Saturday (3 -6pm) radio name said viewers had better be ready for her. “Ready or not, I am coming”, she promised with a smile. “Hopefully this is the start I have been looking for to build a media empire.”

The rising star, who studied English, anthropology and media studies at varsity, stated that all Top 3 had something special to give, but believes that it was her “realness and bubbliness” that resonated with voters. “I went in to get this from the beginning. I needed this,” she said. “Being part of TLC is the best thing that could happen to me, and the fact that I will now do both radio and TV will mean that I get do both of the best, as I have always wished. This is the time to realise this dream in full.”  

“We are extremely proud of Carissa, her passion and love of TLC was evident throughout the competition and Africa definitely saw something special in her. This year the competition was bigger and better and showcased the incredible talent that Africa as to offer. It’s fantastic to have Carissa join the TLC family and we know our viewers are going to love watching her,” says Lee Hobbs, said Lee Hobbs VP of Brand and Content for Discovery Networks CEEMEA.

“All three contestants were amazing the all had something unique to offer. I wish Carissa all the best and look forward to seeing her on the red carpet,” added Thando Thabethe, who also acted a judge on the show.

Carissa’s journey to the top is the story of only one of 1,500 hopefuls from all over Africa who aimed to make it as the new TLC presenting star. Tune in to “NEXT GREAT PRESENTER: THE WINNERS STORY” on Thursday, 22 December at 20:55 as the TLC Entertainment (DStv 135) follows the full competition journey. From the selection of the “Lucky 13” semi-finalists who made it to Boot Camp, to the top 3 finalists who made to the final stage of their glittering journey to the public vote..

For further updates, keep watching TLC Entertainment (DStv 135) and join the conversation on Facebook at “TLC Africa”, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TLC_Africa and on Instagram TLC_Africa.

‘Simphiwe Dana Symphony Experience’ to die for

Simphiwe dana 16fIn an unprecedented and certainly a South African first, the much-lauded Afro soul artist Simphiwe Dana will stage a symphonic experience on 26 November at the Theatre on the Track in Kyalami, Johannesburg.

Billed as the Simphiwe Dana Symphony Experience, this concert will feature two internationally acclaimed artistes who trace their roots in Africa: the melodically gracious Asa from Nigeria and the imperiously vocal Concha Buika (Equitorial Guinea) will add a wholesome sound to this auditory treat. In partnership with BET and Kaya FM, this concert will feature a 60-piece orchestra, 30-piece vocal ensemble and a dance troupe.

The “Ndiredi”/”Firebrand”/’Steve Biko Street” star comments: “From my end, I will present my music in a different style from what I usually do. It’ll still be familiar sounds for people to sing along, but it’ll be rearranged slightly, keeping the essence of who I am. People can expect stunning duets and trios between the three artists. It’s going to be a wonder. I’m just beside myself with anticipation.”

Simpiwe says she decided to go with the two names because ‘I absolutely love these two women and respect their craft”. Their musical style complements mine very well and I know the audience is in for a very good treat. Asa is like a sister to me and for years we've talked of performing together. I’m just happy that it’s finally happening. Buika is a deep, round husky voice. I love her music and she’s always wanted to perform in SA. So, I presented this opportunity to her and I’m glad she's accepted.”

Adding: “I’m always awed, yet overwhelmed by the love I receive from my audience here at home. We’ve come a long way. They love me and I love them. I’ve staged concerts recently where I’d literally sing the first two notes of a song and then they take over the rest of the concert with me backing them up. It is great. It’s when I realize that it’s all worth it. So, with this concert I want to give them a beautiful year-end treat. They are in for something amazing. And yes, the bonus part will be a DVD release that will follow from this concert,” she promises.

Tickets are available now via Computicket from R350 - R500.

Amanda Du Pont to hold "BET A-list"

Amanda Du Pont 16fAs the heavily pregnant Nandi Madida is getting to pop, actress, TV presenter, model and girl-about-town Amanda du-Pont has stepped in to fill in the role as the co-presenter on “BET A-List”.

Amanda of "RGB" fame will be co-hosting the weekly entertainment and lifestyle magazine show with Ayanda Thabethe for the next three months, shooting segments with A-listers and celebrities from across the continent. Nandi taped her last episode last week before heading off on maternity leave.

Ayanda and Amanda will keep audiences captivated weekly with the latest trends from around the African continent and abroad, unpacking everything from fashion, to music, movies and more, covering the hottest red carpet events and interviewing A-Listers from home and abroad.

Amanda spent her first day shooting at Endemol Shine Studios in Randburg on 10 November, and her first episode of BET A-List will premiere on BET on Thursday 17 November at 18:35 CAT. Highlights from the episode will include an exclusive behind-the-scenes peek at Anatii and Omarion’s new music video, an interview with the cast & crew of the new movie, “Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu”, and a profile on Hip Hop’s most prolific photographer, Jonathan Mannion, the man responsible for iconic shots of artists like Jay Z and Lauryn Hill.

Commented Amanda du-Pont; "I'm excited and incredibly blessed to have joined the BET A-List family. It's an absolute honour to be able to fill in for my dear friend Nandi Madida while she is on maternity leave. I love both Nandi and Ayanda dearly – they areboth such powerful and humble women. I love the show as it reaches throughout Africa, unifies Africa as a whole and still has international presence and opportunities."

BETA-List has been brightening up Thursday nights on BET (DStv channel 129) since 8 September. Among the many stars and celebrities who have featured on the show are Bonang Matheba, Cassper Nyovest, DJ Sbu, Boity, Monique Bingham, Wizkid, and many more.

For more information on BETA-List, visit www.betafrica.tv, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BETinAfrica or join the conversation about the new show on Twitter and Instagram @BET_Africa using the hashtag #BETAList.

Major changes on 702 as John Robbie leaves, Xolani Gwala/Redi Tlhabi shift

TXolani Gwala 16fimes are achanging on 702 as long standing breakfast host John Robbie bids the Gauteng based talk radio station farewell at the end of the year.

Having been with the radio station for some 30 years, and the breakfast show for half that time, the award-winning host leaves the radio station just after he turns 61 this month. Current afternoon drive host Xolani Gwala (pictured) will take over the 6-9am slot from the beginning of next year - 09 January to be exact.

Also making a major move on the radio station that has been making major changes in the last two years is Redi Tlhabi, who will now take over the afternoon drive show. She is currently on maternity leave and her show being taken care of by Eusibius MaKaiser. Following these changes, Eusebius will host the midday (9 – 12midday) slot full time.

One other change that is coming is that of veteran journalist Karima Brown who will be hosting Talk @ Nine on Sundays. ‘Karima was the Friday Stand-In for Redi Tlhabi earlier this year, and took to the radio medium with positive response from the audiences’. She will be hosting a current affairs show that discusses and analyses the stories and issues that come out of the Sunday newspapers, as we kick off the new week.

Speaking on his show about the mixed responses about his departure just this morning, the radio icon said that originally he wanted to leave in June, but the all considered that Redi was going on maternity leave, and that they could lose Eusebius, they all agreed to do this around “Christmas”. He also said that he is in not really retiring as there are things that he always wanted to do. “If I don’t do them now, I never will,” he said rubbishing claims that he might have been pushed.  

Earlier commenting on the retirement move, John is quoted on the 702 website saying: “Just as I ended my rugby career, I knew when it was time to go and informed my bosses. Thirty years at 702 has been a blast. I am proud of my contribution and proud of the station. It is one of the most transformed businesses in SA and has a massive role to play going forward. In thirty years, many on the morning show, I was never late once. Good luck to my dear colleagues and friends who are listeners and advertisers and to my family who have shared the journey. It has been a privilege to serve.”

“When John first discussed his plans to retire, earlier this year, we were saddened by his loss to the line-up but are in an exceedingly fortunate position to have the depth of talent on our station that we do,” said 702 station manager, Thabisile Mbete, on the 702 post. “This new line-up strongly reflects South Africa. It is balanced and will take the station into the future.”

“Xolani has extensive experience on a breakfast show from before he re-joined 702, some four years ago. He’s an excellent broadcaster who we are proud to have on our station and as our new breakfast host,” she added.

The forthcoming breakfast host stated: “I have an immense respect for John and what he has done for 702 and South African radio in general. I know that taking over from him will be a great challenge, but I’m humbled by it and looking forward to it.”

Redi, who came out of her leave to stand in for herself and conduct an interview with former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s last month, commented: “The afternoon drive is perfectly placed to reflect the news of the day, capture breaking news as it unfolds and provide a platform for debate and reflection. I am looking forward to the show’s fast pace and unpredictability. I feel like I am going back to my newsroom roots with the added advantage of interacting with listeners.”

Donald and Mobi Dixon search for iRock talent

Donald 16“Denial”/ “l deserve” star Donald (left) and Mobi Dixon (right) of “City Rains”/”Love colour spin” fame will be lending their musical ears and skills to help budding singers to be part of the Rustenburg DStv iRock Festival, and have a better chance at surviving at this cut throat industry.

Through the DStv iRock Rustenburg Battle for the Stage competition, the two Mobi Dixon 16fnames will conduct live auditions, with the platform, for entrants at mall activations in and around Rustenburg. A panel of entertainment industry professionals will shortlist entries and the chosen winner will get R10 000 in cash; a mentorship from the two music names, an opportunity to be featured on V-Entertainment on Vuzu (DStv Channel 116); and an interview in The Daily Sun Newspaper amongst other thing.

The competition is open to solo artists or groups; and a winner will be selected in each of the following categories: any music genre to open for Mobi Dixon at the DStv iRock Pre-party on Friday, 9 December; and a hip hop act to open the DStv iRock Rustenburg Music Festival Main Stage at The Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday, 10 December 2016.

To follow in Jay Makopo’s (last year’s winner) footsteps, all you need to do is to record a one-minute long audio or video clip of your performance. Upload the clip to your own Facebook page and tag @DStv as well as DStv iRock Music Festival on Facebook (#DStviRock). Entrants can also send clips with the keyword DStviRock via Whatsapp on 072 359 6488, or SMS to 44899 (SMS costs R1.50). Finalists will be required to provide a clear, high resolution image and short biography.

A panel of entertainment industry professionals will shortlist entries from which a winner will be chosen. The competition is open from 00:01 on Wednesday, 09 November to midnight (00:00) on Saturday, 03 December 2016. The winner will be announced on the DStv website; the DStv iRock Facebook page and in the entertainment section of The Daily Sun. Apart from the mentorship, the winner will get access to the DStv iRock VIP area, where they will rub shoulders with media, and celebrities and other performers. 

“The festive season is just around the corner and we are excited to start it with the DStv iRock Rustenburg Battle for the Stage competition,” says Nomsa Chabeli Mazibuko, MultiChoice General Manager for Marketing. “The competition formula has worked wonders in the past as it gives local talent a platform to shine and extensive publicity and networking opportunities to launch a career.”

“This year, we’ve added a mentorship element to give new talent the best chance to survive in the music industry. DStv, together with Donald and Mobi Dixon, will hold live auditions for entrants at mall activations in and around Rustenburg. Make sure you keep an eye on DStv.com for more details,” continues Mazibuko.

To ensure that you keep connected, follow DStv iRock Music Festival on Instagram and Twitter on @irockmusicfest #DStviRock or visit the Facebook page: @iRockmusicfestival.

Presented by Daily Sun, Sunday Sun, Bacardi, Royal Marang and Rustenburg Local Municipality this year, the DStv iRock Rustenburg Music Festival will kick off at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium from 4pm on Saturday, 10 December 2016. General Access tickets are selling at R200 and VIP at R1000.