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Celebrate Women’s Month With Netflix

This Women’s Month, Netflix celebrates the different representations of what it means to be a woman living your truth, with strength and courage, in modern day South Africa. From Queen’s badass spy skills in Queen Sono, Puleng’s inquisitive mind in Blood & Water and Noni’s fire advice in Seriously Single, here’s a list of shows starring strong women leads to entertain you for the month of August.

Queen Sono

The action-packed series follows Queen Sono, the highly trained top spy in a South African agency whose purpose is to better the lives of African citizens. While taking on her most dangerous mission yet, she must also face changing relationships in her personal life.

Blood & Water

Set in the surroundings of Parkhurst College, the prestigious inner-city school for elite scholars and academic overachievers. Blood & Water follows the exploits of 16-year-old Puleng Khumalo, as she engineers her transfer to the school to investigate the 17-year-old cold case of the abducted-at-birth older sister she’s never met.

Seriously Single

Set in Johannesburg, Seriously Single tells the tale of the serial monogamist Dineo (Fulu Mugovhani), as she navigates the modern-day dating world alongside her best friend and partner in crime, the commitment-phobe Noni (Tumi Morake). When Dineo meets Lunga (Bohang Moeko) who appears to be the man of her dreams, she begins to uncover what she wants in life and love, as Noni unfolds her own story with Max (Yonda Thomas), the bar owner with a heart of gold. The wonderfully comedic misadventures of Dineo and Noni shows the beautiful power of having strong friendships.

Self-Made: Inspired By The Life of Madam C.J. Walker

Academy Award® winner Octavia Spencer stars as Madam C.J. Walker, the trailblazing African American hair care entrepreneur who was America’s first female self-made millionaire. Inspired by the book, On Her Own Ground, written by Walker’s great-great-granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, the Netflix original series, SELF MADE: INSPIRED BY THE LIFE OF MADAM C.J. WALKER brings the uplifting story of this cultural icon to the screen for the first time. Against all odds, Walker overcame post-slavery racial and gender biases, personal betrayals, and business rivalries to build a ground-breaking brand that revolutionized black haircare, as she simultaneously fought for social change.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

After living in a cult for fifteen years, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix.

Warrior Nun

Inspired by the Manga novels, Warrior Nun revolves around a 19-year-old woman who wakes up in a morgue with a new lease on life and a divine artefact embedded in her back. She discovers she is now part of an ancient order that has been tasked with fighting demons on Earth, and powerful forces representing both heaven and hell want to find and control her.

Becoming: Michelle Obama

Becoming is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.

Sweet Magnolias

Based on the popular series of books, Sweet Magnolias follows lifelong best friends Maddie (Joanna Garcia Swisher), Helen (Heather Headley), and Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott) as they juggle relationships, family and careers in the charming small town of Serenity, SC.

Unorthodox

Based on the New York Times bestselling memoir of the same name by Deborah Feldman, Unorthodox is a story about a girl who rejects her radicalized upbringing and leaves to start a new life. One part coming of age story, and one part thriller, set in the fun world of Berlin, we watch as a girl discovers all parts of life, of herself and as she follows the dark trails to uncover the dangerous mysteries of her family’s past.

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music

Nathan Smith Releases Music Video For “Here’s to The Now”

“Plan your best for tomorrow, but live for today and enjoy what you have, because tomorrow will take care of itself.” – Nathan Smith

Renowned guitarist, singer and songwriter Nathan Smith’s brand-new album of original works, Here’s to the Now, was released in July this year and fellow artists and musicians like Bobby van Jaarsveld, Riana Nel, Francois van Coke, Ricus Nel and many others describes it as a masterpiece!

The first two singles taken from this album and released to radio stations nationwide simultaneously during June, DECISIONS and CLOSER had and incredible reception!

The title track, HERE’S TO THE NOW, is about being so distracted by what we need to do or still want to achieve, or a situation, that we totally miss the good we have in our lives at the very moment. “In my case, it was missing great moments with my wife, Jackie. Being there, but not present, not enjoying, or missing the opportunity of the small things in life, which are actually in fact the big things in life and saying sorry about that and that I will live one day at a time, so HERE’S TO THE NOW!”, says Nathan.

Willem Viljoen from SASC was the director of photography and directed the music video and it was produced by Zap High Speed Studios www.facebook.com/ZAPhighspeed and TA Group Media www.tagroup.co.za The band performances was shot at Foghound studios in Midrand www.facebook.com/foghoundstudios and was recorded in only 5 hours. A lot of the performance footage was shot using a Talos Motion Control Rig (a robot arm with a camera which runs on a track) with a 9m x 3m LED screen as a backdrop. The home video type footage was shot on the lovely Western Breeze game farm in Limpopo www.facebook.com/thewesternbreeze with 3 hours of footage compacted into the video.

“The concept was to capture everyday home type moments and of my wife, along with me performing the song, stating that I am now aware of my mistakes and I see it clearly now, what really matters and the good I have right now”, Nathan concludes.

The album, HERE’S TO THE NOW, named after the opening song, features twelve original tracks and is available on all digital platforms here https://bit.ly/3eB7Mvw

TRACK LIST

  • Here’s to the now
  • Dry Cry Smile
  • Running Out of Control
  • It Feels Good
  • Alice
  • The First and The Last
  • The Investment
  • Plastic Man
  • Scientists Say
  • Decisions
  • Closer
  • Aidan
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Uncategorized

MultiChoice Partners With Government And Civil Society Organisations For GBV Initiative

In honour of Women’s Month, MultiChoice Group (MCG) has partnered with the Department of Social Development (DSD), People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA) and the Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation to speak out against the injustices of Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The partnership aims to educate and mobilise citizens in order to eradicate acts of violence against women and children. To advance these efforts, MCG will use its DStv general entertainment channels and social media platforms to amplify the partnership’s messages in the fight against GBV. MultiChoice will broadcast a message from the DSD that profiles some of the work it is doing to give women voices, in the face of such intolerable cruelty.

“South African women have driven political change and carried entire families on their backs for generations. However, the unacceptably high levels of gender-based violence and femicide remain a major barrier for women and girls to reach their full potential. The recent annual crime statistics show an increase in the number of violent sexual crimes against women and girls compared with the year before. Of major concern is that most of these crimes go under-reported and overlooked, leaving many victims and survivors with life-long trauma. The partnership with Multichoice will enable us to reach a wider audience in our efforts to prevent violence before it starts while at the same ensuring that all women are aware of the critical social services they have at their disposal aimed at protection, counselling and rehabilitation. We stand alongside our vulnerable citizens for a battle nobody should have to fight alone,” says Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu.

The Uyinene Mrwetyana Foundation was founded in celebration of the life of Uyinene Mrwetyana, aimed at empowering young people to stand against violence. The foundation aims to prevent GBV through advocacy and awareness campaigns, community education, holistic support services and a youth leadership development programme. “We are driven to honour the name of Uyinene and keep her spirit alive by ensuring that no woman or child ever suffers the fate that she did,” says Foundation Managing Director, Masimbulele Buso. “This year, we encourage women and children from across the country, to speak out – we will not rest until gender-based violence is eradicated from our land.”

Established more than 40 years ago, POWA was the first organisation in South Africa to set up a shelter for abused women in 1981 and pioneered second stage (or transitional) housing for women in 2009 in Gauteng. They now work with other shelters around the country, counselling and legal advice for survivors of gender-based violence. POWA offers direct counselling services, legal advice, court support, sheltering as well as skills development for survivors of GBV. It operates countrywide though its offices, with its shelter services in Gauteng.

“We welcome the opportunity to reach millions of households across the country with a message that should be so obvious that we should not have to utter it: any form of violence is wrong – but violence against women and children must end immediately,” says Mary Makgaba, Chief Executive Officerof POWA. “We condemn all forms of violence against women.”

“There should be no place or tolerance in our society for anyone and any behaviour that hurts and marginalizes women,” says Calvo Mawela, MultiChoice Group CEO. “Using our DStv platform and partnerships with organisations that are working everyday to protect and save women, we hope to add a powerful voice that says enough is enough.”

MultiChoice has worked with the partner organisations to develop on-air educational material aimed at driving awareness and curtailing acts of violence against women and children. Starting in the month of August, through its DStv platform and reach, MultiChoice will place a spotlight on the work of these partner organisations and messages in line with the call to combat GBV in South Africa.

Categories
Awards

Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards Judging Takes Place

Judging the nearly 400 entries in this year’s Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards from the 27 July to 3 August, the judging panel reviewed 14 categories as well as the South African Story of the Year, Journalist of the Year, Upcoming/Rising Star of the Year and the Lifetime Achiever Award – the Allan Kirkland Soga Achievement Award.

Dinesh Balliah, Henry Jeffreys, Mike Siluma, Tyrone August, Phindile Xaba, Shona Bagley, Pippa Green, Liesl Louw-Vaudran, Mary Papayya, Ryland Fisher, Neo Ntsoma, Maud Motanyane, Themba Hadebe, Gus Silber and Thabo Leshilo made up this years judging panel with Lizeka Mda, this year’s convener judge.

While judging took place virtually, but Mda says the end goal is the same as previous years, that is to give recognition and to celebrate the best work produced by the nation’s journalists, that also adheres to the highest journalistic principles.

“Journalism is supposed to shine a light in all corners of society, the darker the corner, the brighter the light. So much happens in a country in a calendar year, that one hopes to find in the entries the most important stories that define us as a country, with all our curves and angles,” she says.

She adds that this is an even more challenging year, because of the environment in which the industry is operating. “When citizens are struggling to put food on the table, the last thing they will do with their hard-earned cash is to pay for journalism.”

The South African media industry has not been immune to challenges brought on by an economy that has been contracting, rather than growing. “Add to those challenges COVID-19 and you are talking about media companies having to be super creative in order to survive, while ensuring the survival of our democracy through a free, vibrant and fearless press,” she says.

The awards event will be held virtually on 15 October where the winners will receive R15 000, a trophy and a certificate.

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Uncategorized

Microsoft Joins The Blender Development Fund

Microsoft makes use of Blender to generate synthetic 3D models and images of humans that can be used to train AI models. For researchers, having access to high quality free/opensource 3D software has proven to be of great benefit for scientific projects. You can check some of their work here.

To express their support, Microsoft is joining the Blender Foundation’s Development Fund as a Corporate Gold member per July 1st, 2020.

We at Blender are very proud of this support statement, it’s another important signal that the industry migrates to open source and finds ways to contribute to it.

Ton Roosendaal,
Chairman Blender Foundation

What is the Blender Development Fund?

The Blender Development Fund accepts donations to support activities to provide free and open accessible services for all Blender contributors – including professionals and corporations – on the blender.org websites. Support activities include bug fixing, code reviews, technical documentation and onboarding.

The fund will also provide grants and subsidies to developers on generic and widely agreed development projects.