Mzansi Life & Style showcases the best that South Africa has to offer in terms of entertainment, fashion, lifestyle, culture, cuisine, travel, beauty and celebrity news. Subscribe to my website by adding your email address in the "follow" button below.
Things can get a little awkward when you realise that you forgot to buy a Christmas gift for your loved ones. But don’t be too hard on yourself, we’ve all been there. Despite the best laid plans, Christmas always manages to appear out of nowhere and surprise us. Between all the shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, and prepping for the big day, something is bound to fall through the cracks. The good news is that you’ve realised before it’s too late, and there is still plenty of time to muster up a meaningful gift.
Let’s face it, figuring out what to gift someone can be quite challenging. Even more so when you only have a matter of days to pull something together. While you could grab a holiday card and stuff it with cash, the best gifts are thoughtful ones. That’s why the gift of experiences is an amazing idea as experiences are meaningful, surprising, and often, much more impactful. And what bigger impact can you make when you give the gift of experiencing the Kruger National Park? Kruger National Park, and its surrounds, boast some of South Africa, and the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders. From the iconic wildlife, such as the Big Five, to majestic rivers and waterfalls, and vast forest canopies to unique outdoor experiences.
Below is a last-minute Christmas gift guide to suit any budget and what’s even better is that you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home.
I recently attended the ESPN Sports Fest which showcased what one can look forward to on the Disney owned channel this summer.
The mainly American sports channel, ESPN, also has an African component highlighting some African Sports content.
I got to play some American Football and pretend I was an NBA player by shooting some hoops on the mini basketball court. Others in attendance tried their hand at shadow boxing, at the media event.
Kyle de Klerk, Director of Sports Commercial and Business at The Walt Disney Company, addressed the audience and showcased what locals can look forward to in a short promo video – as can be seen in my TikTok & Instagram video below.
TCL, one of the dominant players in the global TV industry and a leading consumer electronics brand, launched its latest line of Google LED TVs in a glittering event held at the Galleria Sandton. Adding to an already impressive range of televisions, TCL unveiled the feature packed C835, C735, C635, P735 and P635 products, with the brand quickly making headway into the South African market.
Globally, TCL is now the No.2 ranked LCD TV brand and holds the top positions in many key markets. It also ranks as the No.1 Android TV brand in the world and its smart TVs rank in the top five in more than 20 countries and regions by sales volume, growing by over 52% YoY in European and over 38% in emerging markets respectively. It is also the No. 2 and No. 3 ranked LCD TV Brand in the US and France respectively in terms of Sales Volume in 2021.
With the brand growing at rapid pace globally, TCL announced its worldwide partnership with the Brazil football team, revealing their four football brand ambassadors – English midfielder Phil Foden, rising superstar and Spanish international Pedri, Brazilian winger Rodrygo and famed French defender Raphaël Varane to symbolize and reflect their brand motto – Inspire Greatness.
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.”
TheWalt 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I was super excited to learn that Disney+, the streaming service from The Walt Disney Company, has confirmed launch dates for the 42 countries and 11 new territories set to launch this winter.
The streaming service will launch in South Africa on 18 May 2022. South African pricing has also been announced at R119.00 per month, or R1 190.00 for an annual subscription.
With exclusive original content and thousands of episodes and movies from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and general entertainment from Star, Disney+ is the streaming home for some of the world’s most beloved stories.
Subscribers will have access to Star Wars’ “The Book of Boba Fett” and “The Mandalorian” from Executive Producer and Writer Jon Favreau. In addition, the Marvel Studios’ series “Moon Knight” starring Oscar Isaac as Steven Grant, which sees a mild-mannered gift-shop employee becoming plagued with blackouts and memories of another life as well as Academy Award®-nominated “Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings” starring Simu Liu and Awkwafina, will also be available at launch.
Subscribers will also be able to enjoy Disney and Pixar’s Academy Award®-nominated “Luca”, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award®-winning “Encanto”, which tells the tale of an extraordinary family called the Madrigals and Academy Award®-winning “Cruella” starring Emma Stone as the legendary “Cruella de Vil”.
In general entertainment, subscribers will also be able to watch titles including “The Simpsons”, “Queens” and “The Kardashians”. From National Geographic, fans will have access to both seasons of “The World According To Jeff Goldblum” that sees Jeff take us on an entertaining, insightful and playful ride. In each episode of these 12-part series, he pulls on the thread of a deceptively familiar object to unravel a world of astonishing connections and fascinating science and history.
Disney+ offers access to high-quality viewing up to four concurrent streams, unlimited downloads on up to ten devices, and the ability to set up to seven different profiles, including the ability for parents to set Kids Profiles that have an easy-to-navigate, child-friendly interface to access age-appropriate content.
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 Abelhave 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.