Thursday, 28 March 2013

Inside City: A day in Cape Town

Notoriously distinct for its Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and slightly wet winters, Cape Town is the seat of the National Parliament of South Africa and the most popular tourist destination in Africa.

Situated on the coast of Table Bay, Cape Town is the capital of the Western Cape Province and the second most populated cosmopolitan city after Johannesburg. A tourist is spoilt for choice in this city as you can do just about anything and go absolutely anywhere. Here is how you can choose to spend your first day.

Your first stop will be at Robben Island, a prison 10 kilometers from the city. It engages its visitors in a sobering experience of what was home to many political prisoners during the Apartheid regime such as the likes of Nelson Mandela and other prominent political activists who spent decades living in this prison.
From Robben Island, take the time to appreciate the beauty of the city at the Peak of Table Mountain. At its highest peak of 1 085m (3 560ft) Table Mountain has beautiful views of the city centre, surrounding suburbs and the Atlantic Ocean. Other landmarks in view include the Cape Town Stadium, Robben Island and Camps Bay beach. Table Mountain is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to over 1 500 species of plants.

At this point you will be starving and the best place to gratify your appetite is at Mzoli’s Place a ‘Chisa nyama’ (a local term for barbequing meet) in a township called Gugulethu. The butchery and restaurant sells meat that you can braai while you are entertained by a live band. By the late afternoon, over 200 people including celebrities, swarm the restaurant and enjoy the ultimate township cultural experience.

And If you are not yet ready to retire for the day, Long Street will be your next pit stop.  It has been described as the ‘party’ capital of Cape Town with some of the best bars, night clubs and cultured restaurants. Here you will be surrounded by a diverse population of people, who represent a piece of the South African Rainbow nation.


Koketso Dlongolo

The Rant in media space

The death of 13 South African military troops in the Central African Republican

The 2013 BRICS Summit held in Durban, South Africa

Death of Motown songwriter and producer Deke Richards

US Golfer Tiger Woods reclaims the number one spot

New Zealand Cricketer Jesse Ryder in coma after being attacked

Compiled by
Ashley Mokwena

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Tech Bite: Swedish e-commerce company Klarna strengthens position

Rivalry between e-commerce companies Klarna and Paypal seems to prove to be exciting. It’s similar to sporting rivalries such as Barcelona and Real Madrid in the footballing world or similar to that of Redbull Racing and Ferrari in motorsports. 

Klarna is popular within Nordic countries, but have shown interest in branching out across the European Union. With headquarters in Stockholm and a research team based in Israel, the company has mentioned that this year it would be focusing its firepower on Germany while keeping an eye on the United States, the home of Paypal, owned by eBay.

The e-commerce company has a near $1 billion valuation based on its latest financing round and has shown growth in the northern countries of Europe since its inception in 2005.

How it works is Klarna affords the customer with an opportunity to order an item without paying, and get a chance to feel and touch the product, and if the customer is satisfied with the product then they can pay.

So far, no company has managed to snatch market share from online payment leaders PayPal, which was acquired in 2002 by eBay for $1,5 billion and which makes over a third of total revenue. Klarna completes an average of 70 000 transactions per day, with its 20 000 merchants and over 8 million customers.
Co-founder NiklasAdalberth mentioned that it would be fun to challenge PayPal, but taking on Paypal in its own background would be an uphill battle.

With Klarna showing magnificent growth, PayPal’s executives cannot afford the luxury of being complacent or they will find themselves eating a smaller piece of the pie.

Ashley Mokwena

In social media space

Yesterday Facebook announced at the Gaming Developers Conference that around 200 games on its platform boasts more than 1 million active users and that they have paid $2 billion to game developers during 2012.

Digg have hinted that it plans to go beyond being a Reader clone, revealing it wants to design a tool that can rope in news and content from other sources, including social media sites.

Google’s social networking site Google+ added a few minor changes and improved the look by adding filters and photo editing. Thanks to photo enhancement Snapseed, users can now rotate and crop pictures and add filters such as Drama and Retrolux.

Ashley Mokwena

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Couture Corner: An inspiration for handwork

Dutch fashion designer, Iris Van Herpen, showcased her 2013 autumn/winter collection recently at the Paris Fashion Week. The collection symbolises a new way of thinking and an inspiration for handwork, combining different worlds and finding out new ways of gifting fashionistas with exquisite garments.

Known as modern days leading fashion designer in the usage of 3D printing, the Artez Institute of Arts graduate still bears her characteristic interests in visualisation of elusive concepts and intangible elements and inventiveness in material use and treatment.

Ashley Mokwena

“Making the Unimaginable Fashionable”…

Fashion One launches new original reality TV show, Design Genius
Hong Kong, March 25, 2013

Talented emerging fashion designers from around the world gather with one goal in mind: to be crowned the new fashion prodigy and win the title of Design Genius. This fashion-packed competition series pits three designers against each other competing for recognition and the chance to win US $25 000. Outrageous fashion designer-turned-reality star, Indashio, host and judges the series.

In each episode, three designers are surprised with three unconventional materials and one inspirational element. They must create an accessory, undergarment and wardrobe using on the items provided. “it’s amazing to watch these designers create high fashion garments out of bicycles, beach balls and first-aid kits, and then bring these individual pieces together to create an overall vision.” Explains New York City’s famed Indashio. “It’s about making the unimaginable fashionable… its design or die!” with crippling time constraints, obscure materials and unpredictable inspirations, designers will battle it out and find their design skills pushed to the limit.

Each designer will have to be flexible, inventive, creative, and display a unique talent for designing with unconventional materials. In the end, however, there can be only one Design Genius!
“It’s all about creativity in design and material use. The contestants in this fashion-packed competition series are given the extreme inspirational and obscure elements to construct with. Viewers can expect amazing drama and design from these different contestants from all over the world,” remarked Ashley Jordan, CEO of Fashion One.

Alongside the show, the Fashion One Network will launch a worldwide competition for those who have what it takes to become a Design Genius. Everyone is invited to showcase their creativity by submitting photos using unconventional materials to create inventive clothing and/or accessories. The winner will be awarded with a cash prize of US $1000 and a chance to be interviewed as a participant for the next season of Design Genius.

Design Genius is screened every Tuesday at 21:30 (with repeats on Wednesdays) exclusively on Fashion One Network – only on TopTV on Channel 179.

The next season of Design Genius – Design Genius Asia- is casting the next group of upcoming designers. For more information or to learn how to apply, please contact

Get to know more about Design Genius by going to or follow Fashion One on twitter @fashion_one #DesignGenius and “like” us on Facebook

Design Genius is a production of Bigfoot Entertainment for Fashion One Network’s original programming. The show is created by executive producers, Michael Gleissner and Ashley Jordan, with Cara Salmeri as producer and Andrew McMennamy as Director.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Box Office: Identity theft and a sacrificing father

Identity Thief
Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy and Genesis Rodrigues
Running time: 1hr. 47 min
Genre: Comedy

Unlimited of funds has afforded a retail crazy Diana (McCarthy) with an opportunity to live it up on the outskirts of Miami, where she buys whatever strikes her fancy. But the problem is she’s doing all of this using an identity of “Sandy Bigelow Patterson” and it belongs to an accounts rep (Bateman) who resides halfway across the US. With only a week to find the con artist, the real Sandy Bigelow Patterson heads south to confront the woman with all the access to his life.


Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Cast: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Barry Pepper and Jon Bernthal
Running time:1hr. 35 min
Genre: Action Drama

In this fast paced action film Johnson plays a father of a teenage son who is wrongfully implicated of a drug distribution crime and could land up in prison for 10 years. Determined to rescue his son, he makes a deal with the US Attorney to work as an undercover informant and disrupt a drug cartel on a mission to disrupt.

Ashley Mokwena

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The interview

A friendly chat with Ambassador Esener over some sweet and bitter Turkish coffee

On Tuesday afternoon I stole some time from the busy Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Mr Kaan Esener at his Pretoria based office. On arrival I was greeted by the Ambassadors friendly colleagues who couldn’t stop sharing jokes. Minutes later the tall bold figure of Mr Kaan Esener showed up and shook my small hand. Both the Ambassador and I walked into his neat office and then we were joined by a young Turkish lady by the name of Gokae Gul Yilmat. Before we started the interview the three of us had a conversation over some sweet and bitter soothing Turkish Coffee.

 The reason for our visit was to get a thought or two regarding the Turkish Film Festival which kicks off tomorrow at Brooklyn Mall Cinema Nouveau.

Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Kaan Esener

Interviewer: Ashley Mokwena

Why bring the Turkish Film Festival to South Africa?
Ambassador Esener: “We as the Turkish embassy decided we going to share our culture and social experiences with South Africans, to obviously further strengthen our ties and to unite both countries.”

What are the expectations of such an event?
Ambassador Esener: “With the films we choose to show at the Festival, the aim is to portray the same social challenges Turks and South Africans face in modern times and there’s an expectation that the chosen films will grab some attention.”

What are the future prospects of the Turkish Film Festival in South Africa?
Ambassador Esener: “If there is interest shown by the South African film lover, we can build and make the event an annual thing with the vision of moving it to other South African cities.” 

How broad is the Turkish Film industry?
Ambassador Esener: “Turkish film industry lies first in Europe and sixth in the world.” “The Turkish film industry over the past decade has shown great signs of growth and the growth has been helped by the style in which Turkish films are told and by how they are put together, I must say in terms of screenplay and technology used by the film makers, it’s safe to say we on point.”   

Do you feel the Turkish film industry can produce delightful films to match the same standards as that of Bollywood, Nollywood or the Chinese film industry?
Ambassador Esener: “Yes, we have the all-round talent, but bear in mind technical we catching up and screenplay it’s an open competition.” 

What should South African’s expect the Turkish Film Festival?
Ambassador Esener: “South Africans can expect a lot of humour, fun filled moments and a great taste of real life drama.”

Complete the sentence “A Turkish film is like…?
Ambassador Esener: “Turkish Coffee.”

Ashley Mokwena