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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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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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.

Standard Bank Joburg Polo in the Park

Formidable luxury events and marketing company African Deluxe Company has confirmed media personality and businesswoman, Minnie Dlamini, as the official host for the 2nd Standard Bank Joburg Polo in the Park taking place at Gauteng’s premium residential lifestyle estate Steyn City next weekend.

I attended the first Polo in the Park event pre-COVID in 2019 – Check that out here.

This year’s theme is SPLENDOUR which aims to showcase all things bright, colourful and grand. Being an all-round powerhouse South African media mogul made Minnie Dlamini the perfect choice to host this year’s Polo.

2019 Polo in the Park – Images by Mishkah Roman-Cassiem

The event will be attended by SA’s elite, including top business people, celebrities and media, while the backdrop of Steyn City will offer a scenic day filled with beautiful people, unforgettable experiences, great food, over the top fashion, as well as art and live music on the side lines.

 “The Standard Bank Polo in The Park is not only about polo, but also about the lifestyle and fashion that accompanies the sport of kings. Having hosted a hugely successful 2019 edition of this prestigious polo affair, we remain passionate about the African continent and plan to continue showcasing what our country has to offer to the rest of the world,” says The Africa Deluxe Company’s frontman and executive producer of the event Ben Moseme. He adds: “We are particularly excited to have Minnie Dlamini join the Joburg Polo in the Park family as she is the perfect fit for this exclusive Polo celebration, and a true reflection of South African excellence in Media.”

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Comic Con Africa & StreamerCon Africa 2022

I attended Comic Con Africa for the first time in 2019 and what an experience it was! Check out some images and footage from the 2019 expo here, here and here.

It looks like this year’s Comic Con Africa is going to be bigger and better than ever, so get all the details of what to expect below.

Comic Con Africa, Africa’s largest multi-genre pop-culture and gaming festival, which is taking place from 22-25 September 2022 at the Johannesburg Expo Centre, has announced another exciting addition to the event this year: StreamerCon – the place to celebrate and experience all of the online magic and wonder in real life.

Geared towards celebrating digital creators, platform innovators, and their fans all in one place – StreamerCon is bringing together everything that is a part of creating, watching, and promoting video content. More than that, StreamerCon will be the hub for creators to expand their reach, collaborations to spark, and for aspiring content creators to be guided by industry veterans.

Comic Con Africa’s Show Director, Carla Massmann, expressed her elation at the addition of StreamerCon by saying that local content creators are at the core of planning and bringing StreamerCon to life.

“We’ve seen the growth and talent of South African streamers – and want to offer these very talented individuals an opportunity to be celebrated.” Massmann added. “The influencer today is very different to what it was. Content creators today are the micro-influencers who drive  exceptional engagement through niche communities.”

“In the past year Comic Con Africa has worked to give local streamers and content creators a platform to promote themselves and we believe that now more than ever it is an imperative new addition to the show.”

StreamerCon aims to create awareness around the world-class local content creators irrelevant of their platform – be it Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, or anything else.

In 2021, Comic Con Africa launched Streamer Takeovers which allowed members of the South African streaming community to showcase themselves on Comic Con Africa’s Twitch channel. After engaging with this community, that displays great passion and comradery, Comic Con Africa has set out to highlight content creators – established and upcoming – across the continent.

StreamerCon is also excited to welcome streaming software companies, tech brands, high performance software and systems, peripherals, and components, streaming equipment, streaming and recording software, video editing and design software, vlogging kits, as well as so much more.

Follow *StreamerCon on Twitter to get the latest updates and see the website for more information on attending and exhibiting.

Twitter:               https://twitter.com/TheStreamerCon

Comic Con Africa returns bigger, better – and safer – than ever in 2022

Comic Con Africa 2022 is the ultimate pop-culture and gaming festival in Africa, and the biggest of its kind offering something for everyone in the pop culture space. With tickets on sale since December 2021, the festival is set to take place during the traditional Comic Con month of September, from the 22nd to the 25th. Ticket sales have been staggered into a phased approach to ensure the control of capacity as well as being of benefit to the early birds who buy their tickets in the early phases.

Below are some images from when I attended Comic Con Africa in 2019:

The team at Comic Con Africa HQ have spent the past two years performing the necessary due diligence to ensure that the event in 2022 will be bigger, better and safer than ever before – with the strictest of Covid protocols and measures in place, to ensure peace of mind for all attendees and vendors.

Comic Con Africa 2022 will see more activations and international talent, and in order to accommodate this growth (and social distancing measures) the event has found a new home – the Johannesburg Expo Centre at Nasrec. This venue boasts a capacity that is a great size for the anticipated 80 000 plus visitors, while still offering further growth potential for years to come with its extensive indoor and outdoor areas.

The show floor will play host to international celebrities, the best in gaming and gear, Artist Alley, pop culture merch, table top games, and of course the highly anticipated Cosplay Competitions alongside various activations leading up to the event. Not only is this a pop culture playground for enthusiasts and professionals, but there will also be the KidsCon edition, creating a space for the entire family to enjoy the ultimate day out!

Brands and individuals interested in exhibiting at Comic Con Africa 2022 can contact info@comicconafrica.co.za.

Tickets for the festival and more information can be found on the official Comic Con Africa website.

For the latest Comic Con Africa 2022 news and updates, be sure to connect online:

Facebook:          https://www.facebook.com/AfricaComicCon/
Twitter:               https://twitter.com/ComicConAfrica
Instagram:         https://www.instagram.com/comicconafrica_official/
YouTube:              https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyeKw1HRrkpSJ5FJgXmtVCQ
Get tickets:         https://bit.ly/CCA2022_Tickets

*For the latest StreamerCon 2022 news and updates, check out:

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheStreamerCon
Website: https://www.comicconafrica.co.za/streamercon

If you have never heard of Comic Con, here’s what it’s all about:

Comic Con Africa is Africa’s largest multi-genre pop-culture, gaming and fan festival. 

The festival features a large range of pop culture and entertainment elements including cosplay, comic books, anime, manga, tech, film and series, gaming (including video, mobile and esports) toys, gadgets, clothing, collectible card games, fantasy/sci-fi books and authors as well as the ever-popular Artists’ Alley. The inaugural 2018 event welcomed over 42 000 visitors (ABC Audited) and 2019 saw over 70 000.  In 2019 KidsCon was a new addition to the festival, allowing for the festival to be the ultimate family day out with loads of activities for all to enjoy. A single Comic Con Africa ticket gets you access to both Cons at Johannesburg Expo Centre NASREC on 22 – 25 September 2022. (www.comicconafrica.co.za)

Comic Con Africa is owned by Reed Exhibitions (Pty) Ltd and used under license by Mogull Media Proprietary Limited.

SA Fashion Week 2022

Ecological sustainability, women’s empowerment, inter brand collaboration and proudly local production investment are some of the dynamic developments that mark SA Fashion Week’s 25th Spring/Summer Collections.
 
The SAFW’22 Spring Summer Collections will be showcased from 28 – 30 April, Parkade G5, Entrance 24 at Mall of Africa in Johannesburg.

Twenty iconic names including Ephraim Molingoana for Ephymol,  Amanda Laird Cherry and Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho as well as cult Kasi brand, Loxion Kulca, now designed by Olé Ledimo, will launch their 2022 collections to the media, buyers, selected VIPs and a limited edition of public tickets through Quicket, alongside exciting new stars including 2021 New Talent winner Artho Eksteen as well as Fikile Zamagcino Sokhulu and Sipho Mbuto who both participated in the Fashion Bridges collaboration with Milan Fashion Week last year. 
 

Hosted by SA’s favourite social personality, Maps Maponyane, the 24th New Talent Search will again open the event with a line-up of six of the most promising young designers to watch. This year’s contenders are:


·       Thando Ntuli – MUNKUS
·       Nichole Smith – Ipikoko
·       Mikhile du Plessis – MeKay Designs
·       Calvin Lunga Cebekhulu – Czene.24
·       Sanelisiwe Gcabashe – Gjenelo Couture
·       Mimangaliso Ndiko – Sixx6

Other highlights of the first day is the CRUZ COLLECTIVE featuring Sokhulu and Mbuto as well as another new generation notable, Michael Ludwig Studio.

Day two opens with The OPPO COLLECTIONS which brings Artho EksteenEzokhetho, the gender-neutral signature, The BAM Collective, and the much revered, Amanda Laird Cherry, together in a celebration of technology and perfection that will speak to OPPO’s Reno 5 mobile phone as the quintessential tool with which to capture the ethos of contemporary living as “the new spectator sport” which happens where everyone, everywhere engages, interacts, captivates and comments.

“We are excited to go into our second year of partnership with SA Fashion Week. This is an important partnership for OPPO, as it gives us the space to connect with our customers and it shows our commitment to empowering local talent through our technology to curate a line of sustainably resourced fashion that represents both the heartbeat and heritage of our country. We are looking forward to our second collection and what our designers will come up with this year. For us, it is all about the creative collaboration that translates South African culture into design, which is the essence of what the OPPO brand represents both locally and globally.”  says Avashnee Moodley, Head of Marketing at Oppo South Africa.
 
This is followed by the high-profile trio of Cape Town-based Helon Melon who wowed audiences in 2021 with her all-white, sustainable collection, fashion forward Judith Atelier, an ardent supporter of South African mohair and perennial fashion week darling, Palesa Mokubung of Mantsho.

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Launch of Africarare – Africa’s First Metaverse Collaboration

Boity Thulo in the Africarare Metaverse

Africarare, Africa’s first metaverse is set to unlock African creativity and connect Africa to the global digital economy. At an event in Johannesburg on 28 February 2022, plans were announced for commercialisation of the 3D virtual reality experience, that is set in Ubuntuland, a virtual world that marries creativity, cryptocurrency and commerce. 

Firstly, virtual land will soon be available to purchase and develop with MTN, Africa’s largest multinational mobile telecommunications company, joining Africarare with an upcoming 12×12 village (144 plots of real estate) secured in Ubuntuland. Additionally, M&C Saatchi Abel have entered the metaverse as the first South African advertising agency to do so. There will only ever be 204 642 plots of land available, made up of different village sizes in various community hubs. The land is positioned and priced according to a tiered value system.

Landholders will be able to customize their 3-D land spaces, such as hosting shops, producing resources, renting virtual services and developing games or other applications. Designated spaces will serve the community for work, play and wellness purposes, including state of the art meeting rooms, online therapy rooms (with optional anonymity), concert stages, film festival spaces, meditation lounges and other dynamic interactive environments. And, there’s more to come, such as staking, DAO (decentralized autonomous organization) and blockchain play-to-earn gaming.

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Cotton Fest is back this March

Organisers of the highly anticipated entertainment and lifestyle gathering, announced the return of the 3rd annual Cotton Fest, which is set to take place in March 2022 in Newtown, Johannesburg. The theme for 2021 is “university and campus” and the organisers have created their very own university of COTTON FEST campus through which the festival will offer a multi-layered university campus experience including a concert, merch, cafeteria, sport area and even lockers for you to store your personal belongings. 
 
With the return of the class of COTTON FEST 2019 and the sophomores from 2020, together with the freshers of 2022, it’s almost time for the graduation of the Class of 2022 at The University of COTTON FEST
 
Known for merging both established and upcoming South African talent,  COTTON FEST not only showcases the diversities in music while fusing the gaps within the different local current movements. With the best South African artists expected to perform over 3 stages, this action packed two-day festival returns to The Station in Newtown on the 19th & 20th March 2022.
Celebrating all South African talent, Cotton Fest not only showcases the diversities in music at large, but it also celebrates various lifestyle elements within our ‘culture,’ including fashion and sport. 
 
THE CONCERT: The COTTON STAGE will feature headline and legacy artists. The Bettr  STAGE will feature the New Wave of young talent. The Jägermeister STAGE will bring the best nights featuring House and Electronic talent, alongside some of the biggest names on the Amapiano scene right now.

SPORTS AREA: A half-court will be set up for basketball fans, along with a skating ramp for skating enthusiasts.

FASHION: Various merchandise hubs will stock unique pieces, limited branded fashion items and other sought after accessories.

CAFETERIA: Food Court will bring you a huge variety of delectable options and several fully stocked bars positioned around the venue.

MORE: There’ll also be photo booths set up for content creation as well as various chill areas to relax, recharge and reboot.

   
“Following the past 20 months that we have all lived through, we are humbled to be back yet again to make an impact in the entertainment industry. With the huge support and backing from artists from around the country, we are ready to kickstart the road back to normality in a positive way, and get the Creator Economy going again” says founder Riky Rick. “ With the industry currently flipped on its head,  Cotton Fest, together with exciting partners hope to bring together the industry, and celebrate the graduation of the first class from the University of Cotton Fest 2022.”
 
In line with current government regulations,  tickets will be limited to 2000 per day. 
 
To ensure the safety of everyone attending the festival, ALL festival attendees – including all staff, partners and performing artists – will need one of the following to gain access into the venue:
 

  • Provide a personal fully vaccinated certificate (either printed or online)
  • Provide a negative PCR test, if only vaccinated with one dose, done within 48 hours of the festival (either printed or online)
  • Do an on-site Rapid Antigen Covid Test if you have not yet been vaccinated, which is available for R150 at the venue.

 
Tickets are on sale at Webtickets and Pick ‘n Pay outlets nationwide. Options include:

  • R200 Early Bird
  • R250 Day Pass
  • R500 Weekend Pass
  • R600 Merch and day pass package 

 
This year, the University of Cotton Fest 2022 is proud to be in collaboration with Bettr.app – Africa’s first digital banking app for creators, by creators — and supported by lifestyle giant, PUMA, iconic Elixir brand Jägermeister and global digital payments leader, Visa.
 
Synonymous with youth culture in SA, the festival will be powered by none other than the iconic South African youth radio station, YFM.
 
For more information, please follow these social media handles:
 
Instagram: cottonfestjhb
Facebook: CottonFestJHB
Twitter: CottonFestJHB
www.cottonfest.co.za

Halls gives creativity a space to breathe

A true artist doesn’t just create art: they breathe their passion into their work and give it a life of its own. Now, Halls is creating a place where artists can breathe for their craft.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people turned to the things that they cared about most for comfort in the face of uncertainty – passions like food, music and art. Now, in a world that’s slowly returning to normal, people are looking to brands with the question, “What are you passionate about?” Halls – South Africa’s #1 boiled candy – exists to help people breathe better so that they can focus on the things that really matter. That’s why Halls is founding The Breathing Space: a dedicated hub in the centre of Johannesburg where up-and-coming artists and designers can breathe for their craft and bring their flavour to life in the freshest ways, under the guidance and mentorship of Mzansi’s creative queen, Karabo Poppy.

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The Cell C Inanda Africa Cup Polo kicks off at the Inanda Polo Club on 19 June 2021

Inanda By Xavier

All roads lead to one of Johannesburg’s most anticipated events, the Cell C Inanda Africa Cup as it returns on Saturday, 19 June 2021.

Polo is known for its high paced action with this year being no different. The event will be set in the heart of Africa’s economic hub at the Inanda Polo Club in Sandton. 

The tournament over the years has brought together a display of exceptional horsemanship amongst teams from Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The 2021 Cell C Inanda Africa Cup will be presented as a 1-day format, introducing a headliner match between players from South Africa and players from Nigeria.  As anticipated, the match is set to provide a perfect platform for the best of African polo.

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