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Nigerian film studio set to ROK SA

ROK 16 LogoRok, the award-winning Nigerian film studio and entertainment brand, will launch on DStv in South Africa on 1 December 2016. The Lagos-based film studio will bring DStv customers, exciting original TV series and Nollywood movies.

The new channel will launch with Rok Studios’ exclusively-produced content, including Husbands of Lagos, Festac Town, Banks Chronicles and Bloodline, with all the TV series and movies showcasing for the first time on African television. Rok will be available to DStv Premium, DStv Extra and DStv Compact customers, and some of the shows will be on DStv Catch Up.

Nigerian cinema, known colloquially as Nollywood, is the second largest film industry in the world, in terms of production output. In its short history, Rok has become one of the industry’s most prolific producers of new, original content, with arguably Africa’s most extensive Nollywood catalogue of 12 TV series and over 150 movies.

The new, exclusively Nollywood channel will be fully programmed, produced and developed in-house, by Rok’s Lagos-based team. Mary Njoku, award-winning Nollywood actress and film producer who has spent over 12 years at the heart of Nigerian filmmaking, will head up the channel.

Speaking on the launch, Rok CEO Mary Njoku  says: “Joining the DStv family is the next step in Rok’s evolution as Nollywood’s leading film production house and brand. Broadcasting our original content to millions of movie fans across the African continent, on a platform as far-reaching and illustrious as DStv, is an exhilarating prospect.

“What lies beneath every Rok production, the Rok brand, be it movies or TV series, is our fanatical love of African storytelling; we want to relate amazing African stories that our fans can recognise, be swept away by and be entertained with. We work with Nigeria’s most exceptional talent, in front of and behind the camera, and we continue to push the boundaries in terms of production values. This has given us the edge, in our short history, and has helped us build a fanbase around the world. Rok on DStv allows us to bring Rok to every corner of the continent and connect viewers with content they love”.  

“One of the cornerstones of our customer promise is to deliver content that our customers love and enjoy, and that is why we’re excited to introduce Rok which will boost DStv’s local content and further diversify our offering”, says Aletta Alberts Head of Content at MultiChoice.

Rok launched across the continent on 01 November 2016.

For further information about the channel and programming to look forward to on Rok, visit DStv.com

Carte Blanche presenter wins R250 000 for charity!

Spell BoundDevi Sankaree Govender is the first jackpot winner of M-Net’s new game show Spellbound

In the very first edition of M-Net’s new Sunday night game show Spellbound, an uncharacteristically nervous Carte Blanche presenter Devi Sankaree Govender employed her impeccable spelling skills to win just over a quarter of a million Rand for a charity close to her heart - the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust.

Not only did Devi first out-spell three famous television personalities, she also bravely continued to climb the money ladder all the way to the to top, knowing that one misstep at any stage could make her lose all of the funds that could be used to upgrade paediatric units in State hospitals and save the lives of thousands of children around the country. But her good faith, tenacity – and flawless word skills – paid off. Devi nabbed the show’s jackpot prize of R100 000 which was generously doubled by M-Net for this special kick-off episode of Spellbound, as well as the surprise R50 000 which was given to the charities of all four the celebs who participated in this special show. Added to that, she also received the small extra amount of cash that she’d accumulated in the beginning rounds of the spelling contest.

Devi’s fiercest competition came from Rapport newspaper editor and kykNET Verslag host Waldimar Pelser, who was still chasing the unstoppable Devi to great spelling heights up until the penultimate round. In previous stages of the competition they eliminated The Voice SA V-reporter and 94.7 radio personality Stacey Norman as well as VUZU AMP’s Dineo Ranake from Dineo’s Diary fame. 

While Devi, who told Spellbound show hosts Vanessa Marawa and Jason Greer how difficult it is to continue to raise funds for the Carte Blanche Making A Difference Trust, described her win for the Trust as “the best experience of her life”, the three other charities that will benefit from this week’s Spellbound show are: Little Eden, chosen by Dineo, which cares for persons with intellectual disabilities, Waldimar’s charity Die Rapport Onderwysfonds which provides financial support to students who are studying towards a teacher’s qualification and Dignity Dreams, a cause which helps girls gain access to sanitary wear that they can’t otherwise afford and which is very close to Stacey’s heart.

“This was indeed a wonderful way to start this new fun-filled and family-friendly game show,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “This is the only episode featuring celebrities, however. From next week, we will see how super-spellers from different age groups handle the pressure of being more word perfect than their peers – whether they’re still in primary school or are graduates.”

The Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust will put all of Devi’s prize money towards the creation of, and equipping paediatric units in State hospitals around the country, and in this week’s episode of Carte Blanche viewers were given a glimpse of the Trust’s latest project – a brand new Infant High Care Unit at Sebokeng Hospital in the Vaal area. With the help of the private sector, especially mining company South 32, the Trust has has managed to raise a considerable amount of money in order to upgrade the paediatric units of nine hospitals nationwide, which now includes Sebokeng.

For information on the Carte Blanche Making a Difference Trust, visit the link on the official Carte Blanche site: http://carteblanche.dstv.com/mad/mad-projects/ . Catch Spellbound every Sunday at 17:00 on M-Net channel 101, and Carte Blanche at 19:00.

Terra not so 'Terrafic'/"Idols SA" vote for final 2 is on

Noma and terra cox outOne of this year’s favourite on “Idols SA” proved to be not so ‘Terrafic’ after all, and missed out on a spot in the last three outing this coming Sunday, 20th November.

This happened as Terra Cox (pictured right) got the least votes of the over 10 million cast last week after the Top 4 left for New York and was booted out of the show. His exit sees him also miss out on the Top 3 spot from the over 10million votes cast last week, and a chance to be announced as the final two on Sunday, 20th November. Add to that that R1.2 million first prize that is now some two weeks away.

The singer who was leading the pack during the first few spectacular dates says “Nothing went wrong” that saw him lose his perceived lea. “I think the other kids just grew,” he says about the rise of the others, whom he admits “raised their game” in the contest. “The singer says he is not heartbroken to about being kicked out of the show. “I am just bruised. I am bruised, I never break. From here on I am gonna push myself. I am a bit tired, just need to rest for week and then I start working on my music.”

Before finishing asking who will win this year, terra jumps in and says “Noma” (left). “You don’t even have to finish the question,” he says wryly. “She is young and still growing. She has that X factor. She is winning this,” he predicted.

That’s interesting considering that the ladies started on the back end when the Top 10 was announced. In fact, Noma (voting number 02) had performed the Babyface/Toni Braxton duet “Hurt you” at the start of the show before the results were announced.

Tebogo (09) and Thami (08) opened the show with a duet of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down” by George Michael feat Elton John. This week the Top 3 performed twice more, and their spirited acts showed how much they were fighting to get to the finish line that has been described as the biggest and “most important votes this year”.

Tebogo led with “Lengoma” by Zahara, followed by Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” on piano. The judges were bowled over. “Your range is extraordinary,” declared Gareth. Somizi proclaimed: “You have done your best and your best is good enough.” Unathi followed with “You are making all the right decisions at the right time. First we said you are the only act who plays the guitar in the contest, and then now you are like oh!, I am the only one who plays the Piano” And Randall announced that “tonight you have made the right choices.”

Thami followed with an emotive “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele and channelled his inner Motown funk with “Let’s Get It on” by Marvin Gaye. Somizi told him he deserves to be on that stage as part of the Top Three, while an impressed Gareth showered him with compliments and called Thami “an old soul”. Randall also added his accolades. “This is testimony to how hard you’ve worked and how much you want to be here.”

The last woman standing, Noma started off with Kelly Price’s “As We Lay” by Kelly Price and closed the show with Beyoncé’s “Daddy Lessons”. While Randall and Gareth were underwhelmed by the first song, Unathi showered her with compliments. “You killed it! I’m proud of you, you are deserving to be here. Randall and Gareth did not like the first song.”

 With the race to the finale as tight as a drum, Randall reiterated that this is anyone’s game. It’s going to be a phenomenal finish! Tickets to the finale are now and sale and are expected to be snapped up in a flash.

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.

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

No honour amongst thieves as “Heist” returns

Heist pic 2016f rturnThe legendary Jerry Mofokeng (second left) leads an interesting cast that includes Solomon Twalo (far left), Warren Masemola (2nd left), Wright Ngubeni (3rd left), Mbali Ka Ngwenya (middle), and Sayitsheni Mdaki (far right) are back to pull off another Heist.

Of course this follows the dramatization of the “Heist” that was pulled off at Justin Bieber’s FNB concert some years earlier. The action drama series captured TV viewers’ interest with a money hungry gang of 6 pulling off the dramatic cash heist earlier this year.

In season one, gang leader, Talent (Jerry Mofokeng) and his counterpart Justice (Vincent Vilakazi) got fired from their jobs. They walked away with no pension and no dignity. Justice committed suicide. Talent formed a gang of five men and one sassy streetwise girl and they planned a heist. The gang consists of Mark the inside man (Sayitsheni Mdaki), Merci the con-artist (Mbali Ka Ngwenya) , Flash the get-away driver (Solomon Twalo), Cosatu the bomb specialist (Warren Masemola) and 5Bob the street Hustler (Wright Ngubeni).

After a successful heist, Talent distributed some of the stolen money to the gang and a share to his late colleague, Justice’s family as his “pension”. He stashed the rest away in a secret place. He then instructed the gang to lie low.

This time around viewers can expect to see the gang failing to keep their new life of luxury under the radar. 5Bob makes sure people know he is a rich man, as he hosts parties and starts indulging in drugs. Cosatu associates himself with politicians and starts bribing them for tenders. Afraid that the gang members wayward behaviour will attract unwanted attention from the cops, Talent calls them to order and refuses to give them the rest of their share until they lie low.

The money woes continue, as the gang members all try to figure out where Talent has kept the rest of the money. Gang members turn against each other. In the midst of all the drama, one of the gang members is killed and no one knows who is responsible for the murder.

The police are on their trail. Who will get to the money first? Will it be the police or one of the gang members?

“Heist is an awesome show with great production value. We are excited to bring our viewers another compelling season of the show,” says Marlon Davids, Managing Director of e.tv Channels Division

Find out who will be the last man standing on this returning season at 9:30PM on e.tv.

 Viewers will get the opportunity to watch in HD quality on eHD on OpenView HD

A futuristic looking farmer & entrepreneurs working from their homes enter Shark tank

Taryn SharkNow that all five of the Sharks in M-Net and Telkom SA’s “Shark Tank South Africa” have invested in a number of diverse local businesses, the gloves come off this week as they start snapping at each other in the face of some brand new budding business owners.

Amongst the entrepreneurs who are brave enough to step into the tank this week are a farmer who wants to bring tech to agriculture, a young biokineticist with a unique invention to relieve pain, and two sets of entrepreneurs who are running their small businesses straight out of their homes and need some capital to grow – and fast.

As usual the Sharks are not scared to let rip when faced with some outlandish claims and questionable financial projections, but between all of the harsh – and even sarcastic – commentary, this week’s episode will provide plenty of excellent tips for business owners who want to find out how to pitch their businesses to any investors, whether it be the Sharks themselves, venture capitalists or banks. As tech guru Vinny Lingham wisely puts it: “The best investments are made in entrepreneurs who are going to be successful without you, not because of you.”

This episode follows last week’s one were two more deals were struck, with the youngest Shark in the tank, Marnus Broodryk, finally making his first investment in a delicious micro brewed beer company. This was in geologist Jacques Nel and his four-legged friend and mascot of his brand, bulldog Lady Trinity, who were looking for an investment in his micro-brewery named “Ja Brew”. The Sharks loved Jacques’ branding and the potential for growth in the micro brewing market, but had concerns around the fact that he was still waiting for his liquor license. However, Shark Marnus, who has previously owned a vegan restaurant and understood the challenges that come with acquiring a liquor license, felt that he could have a lot of fun developing the business with Jacques, rather than simply investing.

Marnus offered Jacques a R250 000 loan in exchange for a 50% stake in “Ja Brew” and committed to helping Jacques lay the essential ground work to get his business up and running properly. “Take the deal!” fellow Shark Gil Oved advised Jacques, which he was happy to do.

Furthermore, 40-year-old media consultant Taryn Gill (pictured) also excited the sharks with her company “Perfect Hair”, a collection of proudly African products for African women. Taryn’s naturally made hair care products are targeted at all different hair texture types, for women, children and men, and she wanted to use the Sharks’ investment to open up concept stores. Most of the Sharks told her that this was an unrealistic idea, and not the right direction required to successfully grow her business.

But Taryn’s personality and hustling attitude is what really got the Sharks excited. She received her first deal offer from marketing guru Gil Oved, who offered her R250 000 for 50% equity in her business, with the view to take the marketing of her products to the next level. Romeo, however, came on board with a deal that included his secure base of distribution channels, as well as more money for less equity. Romeo’s offer was R400 000 for a 40% share in Taryn’s business, but it wasn’t over yet! Vinny also chipped in on the basis of his experience in e-commerce. Wanting Taryn to keep her business sales online, Vinny offered to partner with Gil for the same offer that Romeo gave her, which Gil also agreed to. As if this wasn’t already an incredibly hard decision for Taryn to make, Romeo then introduced a game-changer by offering his wife, business woman and former Miss South Africa Basetsana Kumalo, as a partner in the business, specifically to focus on the marketing side of things. It was an offer that Taryn simply couldn’t refuse, and with that, Romeo clinched his second deal of the season.

To find out more about the businesses that have been featured on the series so far, especially if you’re interested in supporting them with an order or purchase, go to www.mnet.tv/sharktank or follow the conversation about the show on Twitter @MNetSharkTank with the hashtag #SharkTankSA.

Shark Tank SA, sponsored by Telkom SA, is screened on Sundays between 6 and 7pm on M-Net 101. This corresponds with the timeslot on a Sunday when all DStv customers can get a taste of what’s available on M-Net 101, so if you’re not a DStv Premium customer, you can also go to channel 101 to watch “Shark Tank SA”. The series will also be available on DStv Catch Up and streamed live on DStv Now.