Launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Series

This week I attended the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S23 Series at Artistry in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. unveiled the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S23, marking a new era of Galaxy’s ultimate premium phone experience. Samsung Galaxy’s most epic camera gives users more freedom to explore their creativity, like capturing truly cinematic Nightography videos with transformative artificial intelligence (AI). The Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy unleashes a future-ready mobile gaming experience and powerfully sustained game play, supported by exclusive chipset enhancements made possible by Samsung’s close collaboration with Qualcomm. Galaxy S23 series’ new standard-setting innovations are housed within a striking design that advances Samsung’s sustainability commitment with the more recycled materials of any Galaxy smartphone.

“The most impactful technology is measured, not just by what it enables for people today, but also how it contributes to a better future,” said TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics. “Galaxy S23 Ultra and the entire Galaxy S series line-up are the new standard-bearers of a trustworthy premium smartphone experience that merges industry-leading innovation and future-forward sustainability.”

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New Host for Ultimate Braai Master (Season 8)

Tapfuma Makina, one of South Africa’s favourite news and sports anchors, has been announced as the new Ultimate Braai Master (UBM) host for Season 8 (S8).

Rhodes University scholar, Tapfuma Makina’s plans to continue on and study medicine after completing his BSc in Biochemistry and Microbiology changed direction after becoming a presenter on campus radio revealed a natural talent for storytelling.

Now, after almost two decades in radio and television, as well as hosting and presenting premieres and awards across sports, enterprise and entertainment, broadcasting is in his professional DNA.

His distinctive voice, familiar to many from HeartFM, Top Billing, eNCA and beyond, has captured many SA broadcasting highlights in recent years.

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Shazam Shares 2023 Predictions

Every day, Shazam receives tens of millions of requests from users around the world who want to know more about the artist behind the song they’ve just discovered. These Shazams can come from anywhere—social media, car commercials, coffee shops, the mall —making them a powerful tool for predicting the next class of global superstars. 
 
Today, Shazam unveils its annual Predictions 2023 playlist, a 50-track selection of artists that are perfectly poised to have a breakthrough year. Additionally, Shazam is spotlighting 5 artists from the list who have the potential to break out globally in 2023 and, for the first time, 5 artists who are gaining popularity regionally. Based on Shazam’s uniquely predictive data and algorithms, and coupled with the expertise of Apple Music’s global editorial team, this incredible selection of artists show early indicators of future growth — early and consistent momentum in Shazam activity, as well as discovery trends in more than one country.

Looking back at last year’s predictions, Shazam demonstrated, once again, its ability to uncover talent from every corner of the world earlier than any other service. Artists like the incredible Ayra Starr, who was one of Shazam’s five featured predictions last January, made Shazam’s Global Top 10 in October and is now being heralded as an artist to watch in 2023 by other platforms. Looking at streams, several listed artists saw their plays more than double on Apple Music worldwide from Dec. 1, 2021 through Nov. 30, 2022, compared to the previous 12 months, including Ivan Cornejo (+329%), DannyLux (+189%), Mina Okabe(+217%), La Zarra (+308%) and Lojay (+696%)
 
Overall, around half the artists featured in the Shazam Predictions 2022 playlist made Shazam’s Top 200 National charts and Apple Music’s Daily Top 100 charts. These artists were featured on 44 Shazam charts and 148 Apple Music charts. Three artists made Shazam’s national Top 10 and 13 made Apple Music’s. And two artists made national  No. 1 on Shazam, and seven did the same in Apple Music, showing a plethora of amazing accomplishments by these artists over the course of 2022.
 
This year’s selection represents another remarkably global and diverse group of talented artists, hailing from all corners of the globe including Japan, Colombia, Spain, France, and Nigeria. 
 

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Festive Feast of Live Sport on ESPN

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers waves to fans before the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and sports fans across Africa are in for a festive feast with the best American sports set to broadcast live across the continent on ESPN (DStv 218, Starsat 248) and ESPN2 (DStv 219, Starsat 249) on Christmas Day, with additional treats in store for Boxing Day.

After the family festivities ends and bellies are full on 25 December, NBA basketball kicks off with a live game between the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers at 19:00 (CAT) followed by the Dallas Mavericks vs the Los Angeles Lakers at 21:30. The action from the world’s top basketball league continues when the Boston Celtics take on the Milwaukee Bucks at midnight. These basketball games will air on ESPN.

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Just Teddy Unveiled in Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton

I recently attended the launch of the fine boutique pâtisserie and boulangerie Just Teddy in Nelson Mandela Square. The event was spectacular, with belly dancers showing off their mystical moves, which mesmerized those in attendance.

Just Teddy is renowned for having redefined heritage haute cuisine, curating a fashion-inspired fusion of Parisian delights fused with Middle Eastern flair. Now, visitors to Nelson Mandela Square can savour and experience the luxury café dining and world-class confectionery creations that accompany Just Teddy’s signature savoir-faire, with a new dining destination that was unveiled recently in Africa’s richest square mile.

The emerald of Nelson Mandela Square, Just Teddy, takes its Middle Eastern flavour even further.  The décor was inspired by the chic decadence of Dubai, offering purveyors of fine banqueting everything the brand is renowned for, and more, now with a sumptuous dinner menu added to the bespoke experience. Additionally, a champagne bar and semifreddo station will add to the exclusive artistry of the Nelson Mandela Square experience.

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Maserati Grecale Launches in South Africa


A few years ago I got to experience the magic of Maserati when I test drove one of their convertibles at the GeroTech driving range. So I was excited when the invitation to the new Maserati Grecale popped into my inbox!

So off we went, to the launch of the new Maserati Grecale in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Grecale strikes the right balance between versatilityeleganceperformance and innovation, guaranteeing performance, comfort and safety, all at the same time. These features are combined with off-road capabilities and uncompromising driving pleasure.
Developed at the Maserati Innovation Lab in Modena, the new SUV is produced at the Cassino plant.

Grecale is a range within the range, the Trident brand’s fullest ever. An extremely wide range of engines is available: conventional internal combustion, hybrid and, in a year’s time, Grecale will also be the first full-electric SUV in Maserati history.

Three versions are coming to South Africa:

GT, powered by a four-cylinder mild hybrid engine capable of delivering 300 hp; 

Modena, with a four-cylinder 330-hp mild hybrid engine;

and the powerful Trofeo, equipped with a high-performance 3.0L 530-hp petrol V6 based on the Nettuno engine fitted to the MC20.

At launch, the Grecale is also available in the PrimaSerie Launch Edition, a limited edition featuring exclusive content.

To complete the range, the Grecale Folgore, the 100% electric version with 400V technology.

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Sandton City Launches Iconic Festive Season Campaign

Tansey Coetzee & daughter Peyton with Santa Claus at Sandton City

As the festive lights start sparkling, and families start counting down to the upcoming holidays, South Africa’s most iconic shopping centre, Sandton City, has unveiled its festive season campaign. Titled The Festive City, it’s everything Christmas dreams are made of, featuring the most sought-after brands and more.

For starters, the centre court (outside Checkers) will play host to festive brand immersions for shoppers of all ages, by two beloved brands. LEGO®’s zone will feature a maze filled with ever changing play zones, once-in-a-lifetime building experiences, a chance to also add your brick to the South African flag build, two LEGO® brick pits, a Duplo zone for the small ones and the chance to shop the latest LEGO® collections with promotional offers.

The Little Generosity Shop by Cadbury Dairy Milk will provide you with ways to spread generosity and kindness. Here, you can donate toys to children in need, enjoy a reading corner, get Cadbury’s branded gift wrapping and do exclusive shopping in a generous chocolate world filled with treats.

Santa Claus himself will make his much-anticipated arrival to Sandton City on the 1st of December and will also be stationed in the centre court, where photo opportunities and merchandise extensions will make any heart sing.

Fan favourite brand Chuckles® will stage a Life’s a Ball activation on level 6 outside Woolworths. Visitors to this area will be able to shop the exclusive Chuckles gifting range, and personalise their Chuckles purchases right there, making these gifts even more special.

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DJ Kyeezi Opens Destiny – New Upmarket Lounge in Cape Town

Together with three industry friends, popular radio and media personality DJ Kyeezi announced his latest business endeavor DESTINY, a luxury champagne lounge that opened in the Cape Town inner city this week – just in time for the festive season.

Radio personality Khanya ‘Kyeezi’ Siyengo earlier this year joined forces with three partners, restaurateur extraordinaire Theo Pearson, experiential event specialist Bevan Chetty and marketing guru (and my personal friend) Natano Brache, to come up with a luxury destination, set to change the face of entertainment in the Cape Town CBD.

Having officially opened its doors, the launch was attended by local celebrities, media and other key industry players including AKA, Clarissa Cupido, DJ Milkshake, Tamara Snow, Danine Naidoo, Chad Saaiman, Shahan Ramkissoon, Neevas Harris, culture kings Hayden Manuel and Rolo Rozay. 

This premium champagne lounge targets a young discerning, affluent local and international clientele. Nestled in the heart of the city, DESTINY plans to set the precedent for the highest quality entertainment with a combination of class, luxury and style offering the ultimate summer experience.

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Winners of the 2022 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards

Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, John Norris-Rogers & Siv Pillay

The top restaurants in South Africa were announced at the 2022 Eat Out Woolworths Restaurant Awards on Sunday 20 November at GrandWest in Cape Town. The industry was celebrated in a spectacular display of gourmet food, creative drinks and top-notch entertainment, which had over 700 guests, including some of SA’s favourite celebrities, on their feet.

The new star rating system results were announced, with restaurants being awarded either one, two or three stars. To be included on the shortlist, each restaurant had to achieve a minimum rating of 70 points out of 100. This was based on several factors, including the quality of their offering – from the décor, ambience and service to the wine list, ingredients used and quality of the food. One star was awarded to those restaurants who scored 70 – 80, two stars to those scoring 80 – 90, and three stars to those scoring 90+, with Restaurant of the Year awarded to the establishment with the highest score.

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‘WE ARE EGG’ Officially Launches in Johannesburg

Last week, I attended the official launch of the award-winning, next generation, experiential department store called We Are EGG at the Zone in Rosebank, with over 650 esteemed guests.

Boasting a long list of the whose who of the fashion and entertainment world in attendance, including TV royalty Candice Modiselle,  Angel Sithole, Thandy  Matlaila, Cedric Fourie, Jason Willemse and Sipho Eric Ndlovu, media personalities Kim Jayde, Taryn Louch and Luthando ‘Lootz’ Shosha, artists Leanne Dlamini and Gigi Lamayne and many more.

Also in attendance was former Miss SA Shudufhadzo Musida and newly crowned Mrs South Africa Palesa Matjekane. Award winners Yaya Mavunda and Tumi ‘Itumeleng ‘Powerhouse’ Mokwwatlo delivered the fashion. We are EGG brand partners Amanda Du Pont of Lelive and Roxy Burger of The Piercery also attended the official opening. Fashion designers Paledi Segapo, Hangwani Nengovhela, Sello Medupe and Craig Jacobs also showed up to support the opening.  

Guests were welcomed by retail pioneers, We are EGG owners Paul Simon and Arie Fabian who handled formalities, followed by a night of colourful fashion, live entertainment and an endless flow of Patron Paloma cocktails and cold servings of Heineken. The Jagermeister Brass Cartel were a huge highlight of the evening, while various DJs entertained the guests. Guests got a taste of what to expect from Mamasamba, We are EGG’s Restaurant set to open next month, with delicious plates.

Having officially opened last month, the store not only offers the ultimate curated shopping experience under one roof, but really is more of a lifestyle destination, with a coffee shop and soon-to-open restaurant. Featuring some of the freshest fashion brands for men, women and kids, this beautifully curated fashion hub includes over 150 carefully selected brands, 85% of which are South African owned, with a significant percentage being female owned.

The carefully curated, multi-faceted department store operates from Monday – Wednesday 9am-6pm, Thursday to Saturday 9am-7pm and Sunday 9am-5pm.

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