What to watch on National Geographic this Summer

Cinematographer Tom Fitz stands semi-submerged in the ocean waters of Biscayne National Park, filming the bird life and the surrounding mangrove coastline landscape. (photo credit: National Geographic/Phoebe Fitz)

Do you want to feast your eyes on some of the best programming and content that is due to arrive on screen this summer? I was one of 50 selected media to join a live stream today, to showcase National Geographic’s new slate of programmes in the coming weeks. As a surprise, we were honoured to have none other than Bear Grylls, as a special guest, who answered questions about his National Geographic show called “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge.”

The Walt Disney Company Africa announced the upcoming content slate for both National Geographic and National Geographic Wild for Spring/Summer 2022, with channels that now broadcast in high-definition. With a promise to ignite the explorer in all of us, and with a 133-year legacy, viewers across the continent will also be able to immerse themselves in the very latest and ground-breaking storytelling in stunning high definition for the very first time, taking them further than ever before.

Featuring the best and brightest scientists, explorers, photographers and filmmakers in the world, the coming months’ content highlights offer something for everyone, as several new natural history series, feature documentaries, and programming stunts, will showcase the wonder of the natural world, take them on exhilarating adventures and illuminate historical figures who epitomize the strength and triumphs of humankind.

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INX PRIME launches on DSTV Channel 345

INX Prime is a new channel on DSTV that comprises a host of shows with an Islamic ethos at its core. Content on the channel is set to be vibrant, entertaining, informative and spiritually uplifting. The channel launched on 24 August 2022 on DStv channel 345.

The channel will feature fresh shows that brings both Muslims and non-Muslims of all ages together with topics ranging from current affairs and community upliftment, to cooking and comedy. Shows to look out for on INX Prime include the flagship show, Prime Live, as well as The Muslim Gallery, Prime Culture, You Are Not Alone and one for the children: INX Kids.

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La Parada Tapas Bar opens in Rosebank, Johannesburg

Last week I attended the media launch of La Parada Tapas Bar in The Firs Centre, Rosebank, Johannesburg. It was a colourful night, filled with ladies in feathers and lots of food and drinks!

La Parada has about 8 branches nationally with Rosebank being the most recent launch. It is known for its tapas, which is an appetizer or snack in Spanish cuisine. Tapas may be cold or hot. In some bars and restaurants in Spain and across the globe, tapas have evolved into a more sophisticated cuisine. Tapas can be combined to make a full meal and it is a social type of cuisine, ideal for sharing. We were able to taste a selection of the tapas, that were served by waiters floating around the floor. The prawns were my favourite, followed by the tantalising pizzas and sliders.          

                                               

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National Geographic Photo Competition 2022

 © Nat Geo Explorer Tessa Barlin

As part of its Planet Possible initiative, which aims to inform, inspire and empower consumers to live more lightly on the planet, National Geographic invites photographers across South Africa to participate in 2022 edition of the National Geographic Photo Competition. Themed #ExploreNaturalAreas, this year’s competition, supported by Sunday Times and TimeLIVE, aims to celebrate South Africa’s natural spaces and highlight the need for their protection.

© Nat Geo Explorer Tessa Barlin

While the 2021 competition was only open to amateurs, a large number of entries were submitted by professional photographers. This year, both groups of enthusiasts may participate as the competition will feature both an amateur and professional category. Entrants stand in line to win a share of R 100 000 in cash, with each category offering prizes of R 25 000 for first place, R 15 000 for second place and R 5 000 for third place. Additionally, the top 10 images in each category will be published on TimesLIVE on 4 September. The winning shots be showcased in the Sunday Times, on TimesLIVE and on the National Geographic Africa social media platforms on 11 September.

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TikTok x SAMA28

I recently attended a launch event where TikTok announced that it has partnered with the 28th South African Music Awards (SAMA28), to introduce the inaugural public-voted “TikTok Viral Song of the Year” category. This award recognises and celebrates local songs and artists that have dominated the entertainment platform in South Africa in the past year.

A number of the most popular songs of the past year made their debut on the entertainment platform before shooting to the top of the music charts globally – earning the platform its well-deserved spot in the music industry.

The TikTok Viral Song of the Year nominations can be voted for exclusively on TikTok from Thursday, 11 August at midday until 24 August, and the winner will be announced at the live SAMA event taking place on 28 August 2022 in Sun City, North West.

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Cotton On Group unveils R300 million new headquarters and distribution centre for Southern Africa

The Cotton On Group has long been loved for the brands and trend-driven value products that it has brought to South Africa’s shores, such as Cotton On, Typo and Factorie. Now, the retail group has taken its presence in the region further by investing in a R300 million custom-built new central office and distribution centre in Johannesburg, that will further enhance their customer experience. Beyond signifying a commitment to the country, the new premises are an extension of the company’s pledge to Doing Good in all areas of its operations.

I was part of a handful of selected media to attend a VIP walk through of the new facility, and I got to see just how massive an operation it is to house millions of items, and to satisfy customers when they “add to cart” and order online.

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Winners of the inaugural Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards 

Mishkah Roman-Cassiem (Guest)

Just a day before commemorating the June 16 Soweto Students Uprising, Pat on Brands, a digital media platform that is always on the Pulse with Brands, announced the winners of its inaugural awards initiative – the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards (YOBA) brought to you by Sakhumnotho Group Holdings.  

The main aim of YOBA is to recognise South African youth-owned brands’ excellence, innovation and hard work across 16 categories. The honours were revealed and celebrated on the 15th of June 2022 under the theme ‘Real Recognises Real’ at The Capital On the Park hotel in Sandton. 

The Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands is a Pat on Brands initiative aimed at shining a light on brands that are established and run by South Africans between the ages of 18 and 35. The brand recognises brands that operate in 16 categories. Why 16? June 16. The initiative is born from the notion that the youth of 1976 fought a political fight and the youth of today is fighting an economic one, they are building brands that are contributing to the economy of South Africa. 

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Cell C Inanda Africa Cup 2022

The Cell C Inanda Africa Cup is a knockout polo championship that offers an action-packed day with a display of exceptional horsemanship amongst competing teams from all over the African continent. The polo season continues to bring together a premium audience, with a taste for fashion, delectable dining experiences and an action packed game of polo with teams competing for the opportunity to be crowned the winners. This year’s tournament is set to take place on Sunday 26 June 2022, returning to the picturesque Inanda Club, situated in the heart of Sandton, where the influential polo set will experience a high-octane polo demonstration of talent and horse power in the dual for the coveted trophy. Teams from South Africa, Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Tanzania as well as Zimbabwe have announced their return to the tournament to reclaim their winning title.

The polo season has had the country abuzz as fashion savants and polo novices all the way through to experts join in on enjoying and celebrating the fast-paced sport.  The Cell C Inanda Africa Cup is no exception to this experience and promises to bring together patrons to enjoy an afternoon of horsemanship, swinging mallets and a social experience like none other.

“We are excited to join forces with the Inanda Club as they continue to pioneer and create development opportunities while retaining the entertainment value of the sport of polo. At Cell C, we pride ourselves in meaningful projects that drive unique experiences for consumers and the Cell C Africa Polo Cup will do exactly that. We are excited to see our South African development team showcase their skills against teams from the continent.” – Chief Commercial Officer, Simo Mkhize.

Well-known as the Sport of Kings, polo has always been known as a spectator sport for equestrians and high society, however with Cell C’s support, it is now accessible to all. The Cell C Inanda Africa Cup promises to bring a luxe experience with its Africa Now theme celebrating Africa’s elite fashion and social experiences in the 21st century. The event invites patrons from all walks of life to enjoy unique experiences tailored to perfection.

Craig James, Polo Manager at Inanda Club concludes: “The Cell C Inanda Africa Cup is an exciting project for us at the Inanda Club. We are thrilled to be teaming up with an incredible partner such as Cell C who have made this prestigious event possible. Over the years we have seen a tremendous growth and interest in the sport of polo in communities where the sport was previously inaccessible and with every game we wish to execute bigger and better experiences so that patrons can come and enjoy an affair like none other.”

Patrons and guests can expect to be whisked away with upbeat sounds from Mzansi’s much loved DJs, while soaking up the sun, enjoying a delicious cocktail or drink of choice and, of course, enjoying the sport of polo and its well-known traditions such as divot stomping.

Let’s get ready to paint the polo field orange!

Packages include:

Picnic sites from R 3,000 for 5 pax OR R 5,500 for 10 Pax.


Go to Howler.co.za to book your tickets or click here: https://www.howler.co.za/cellcinandaafricapolo


Address Inanda Club, Forrest Rd & 6th Ave, Inanda, Sandton, 2196.

Panier des Sens Launches in South Africa

I recently attended the launch of luxury French brand Panier des Sens, at the gorgeous LUEUR Wellness Spa in Parkmore, Sandton in Johannesburg. Lush, exquisite and truly French, can best describe the event, set in a tropical looking garden filled with Panier des Sens (meaning basket of the senses) products around every corner.

Inspired by the natural resources of France and old Mediterranean know-how, the company creates perfumes, soaps, luxurious creams and oils as well as candles and home fragrances , all of which magnify the beauty of Provence in the south of France. Now South Africans can get a taste, or rather indulge in the botanical fragrance of France, right here!

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DISNEY+ Announces Full Content Line Up for South Africa

Image Copyright:
© 2022 Disney and its related entities

Launching on 18 May, Disney+ subscribers will have access to Star Wars’ “The Book of Boba Fett” and both seasons of “The Mandalorian”. In addition, Disney+ will be the home of the entire Skywalker saga, with Star Wars Episodes 1 through 9 streaming on the service.

Confirmed from launch, superhero fans will have access to over 60 Marvel films including Academy Award®-nominated “Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings”, “Eternals”, “Avengers: Endgame” and “Captain Marvel,” and over 80 Marvel series including “Moon Knight”, “Loki” and “WandaVision.”

Subscribers will also be able to enjoy over 100 titles from Disney and Pixar, including the entire “Toy Story” franchise, “Soul” and Academy Award®-nominated “Luca”, and from Walt Disney Animation Studios, Academy Award®-winning “Encanto” which tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, and Academy Award®-winning “Cruella” starring Emma Stone as the legendary “Cruella de Vil”.

National Geographic documentaries including “The Rescue” and “Free Solo”, from Academy Award®-winning directors and producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin, will sit alongside popular National Geographic series such as “The World According To Jeff Goldblum” and “Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted”.

In general entertainment, subscribers will also be able to watch titles including the hit original comedy series “Only Murders in the Building,” limited series “Pam and Tommy,” “The Kardashians,” “Queens,” and mystery thriller “Death on the Nile” directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh, as well as “The Simpsons” and back seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “9-1-1” and “Black-ish.”

With unprecedented access to Disney’s vault, beloved classics such as “Cinderella,” “Tangled”, “The Princess and the Frog,” and “The Little Mermaid,” will be available to stream alongside recent blockbusters like “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Mulan (2020)”. There will also be hundreds of Disney Channel series, shorts, and specials available to stream, including “Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir” and “Phineas and Ferb”.

Fans can currently register their interest to take advantage of an exclusive introductory offer to subscribe to Disney+ in South Africa for the price of R950. This pre-launch offer for the annual subscription is only available until mid-night 17 May and is equivalent to 12 months for the price of 8. Standard pricing at launch is confirmed at R119 per month, or R1190 for an annual subscription.

Users will have access to features like high-quality viewing, up to four concurrent streams, 4k video quality for select titles and the ability to set up to seven different profiles, including the ability for parents to create pin-protected profiles, ensuring kids access age-appropriate content.

Check out my Instagram Reel about this below:

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