Bonang Wins “African Influencer Of The Year”

South African icon leads the way towards international recognition for Africa

Bonang Matheba, affectionately known as ‘Queen B’, has been awarded the inaugural “African Influencer of the Year” award at the 45thannual E! People’s Choice Awards. After many years of recognition as one of South Africa’s leading celebrities, she has received her well-deserved global adulation, proudly validating South Africa’s significance on the international stage. The E! People’s Choice Awards will be broadcast live from Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Monday, 11 November 2019 from 04:00am CAT on E! (DStv channel 124) with E! Live From The Red Carpet beforehand at 02:00am CAT. The ceremony will also be repeated throughout the day on Monday at 12:25, 16:15 and 21:30 CAT.

Voted for by fans across the continent, she beat a host of other well-known African celebrities, including Cassper Nyovest (South Africa), Minnie Dlamini-Jones (South Africa), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Tiwa Savage (Nigeria), Davido (Nigeria), Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) and Wizkid (Nigeria).

Bonang comments: “I’m beyond thrilled to be the first ever winner of the African Influencer of the Year category at the E! People’s Choice Awards. I still can’t believe it – I cried when I found out! I can’t thank my fans enough for voting. Being able to represent Africa and all it has to offer on such a global scale really is a dream come true. Next stop Santa Monica!”

She will receive her award on the red carpet from E! Africa host Kat Sinivasan. Bonang joins A-list celebrity winners of the 2019 E! People’s Choice Awards including Gwen Stefani, the recipient of the “Fashion Icon Award”, Jennifer Aniston, who will be given “The People’s Icon of 2019” award and P!nk who will receive the “People’s Champion Award”.

The E! People’s Choice Awards will be broadcast live from Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Monday 11th November at 04:00am CAT, with E! Live From The Red Carpet: The E! People’s Choice Awards 2019 kicking off at 02:00am CAT on E! (DStv channel 124). The ceremony will also be repeated throughout the day on Monday at 12:25, 16:15 and 21:30 CAT.

Live From The Red Carpet: The E! People’s Choice Awards 2019 and the E! People’s Choice Awards are both produced by Den of Thieves with Executive Producers Jesse Ignjatovic, Evan Prager and Barb Bialkowski.


History And Lifetime Channels Remain On DStv

MultiChoice is delighted to have reached an agreement with A+E Networks Africa to extend the current contract to air HISTORY and LIFETIME channels on the DStv platform. The extension of the contract, which was set to expire at the end of October, will ensure that viewers continue to enjoy their favourite factual entertainment shows on HISTORY, alongside exciting entertainment series on LIFETIME.

This means that viewers won’t lose out on amazing Lifetime programmes which include the premiere of Heartbreak Island, new seasons of Married at First Sight and the upcoming series Surviving Jeffery Epstein.

Diehard History fans can look forward to new seasons of favourites including, Curse of Oak Island and Forged in Fire as well as factual series such as Watergate and Rise of the Superbombs.

“We are excited to have reached this agreement as it allows us to ensure we meet our commitment to get the best programming for our customers, based on commercial terms that make sense and provide a value for money offering to customers. We are pleased that Lifetime will also now be available to our Compact customers from Friday 1st November”, commented Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO for General Entertainment.

“We appreciate our customers’ patience and feedback and have their best interests in mind as we continue to work hard to improve our entertainment offering”, Phahle continued.

“We are pleased to have agreed a long-term renewal of our flagship brands, HISTORY and LIFETIME in Africa with our partners, DStv. As part of this renewal, the new distribution of LIFETIME in Compact presents an exciting opportunity to reach millions of new viewers with our unique programming offering”, commented Dean Possenniskie, Managing Director A+E Networks EMEA.


Petronel Baard Celebrates The Good Things In Life With Authentic South African Single

Petronel Baard, a passionate cabaret star with a soothing storytelling voice, has managed to establish a firm place for herself in the music industry over the past twenty-one years. Her new single, LIFE IS GOOD, is now being released and will definitely conquer the hearts of music lovers from across the country.

LIFE IS GOOD, written by the artist herself, is a contemporary track that combines elements of Folk and classical Pop with a unique South African sound. It’s about how short life is and how you should make the best of each moment that you have left. This hit is the perfect match for the musician’s strong, sweet voice and will definitely appeal to audiences of all ages.

“After two months of anxiety attacks, I had a dream one night. My family (and friends) and I walked through the streets of a beautiful city. I remember the chorus, the green trees and the large glass windows of the buildings. The incredible feeling of love and certainty that we must love one another. When I woke up, I immediately wrote down the melody and words, because I just knew that the world needed this message of love,” the singer says. “Shortly after, I got engaged and two days later, a good friend suddenly passed away. I sang it at her funeral and dedicated the song to her. Little did I know that we would lose my sister-in-law almost a month after our wedding, too. The song is dedicated to both of them; Sonja Pretorius and Marion Baard. It is still hard to believe that so much positive energy was created by so much sadness.”

A music video of the song, created by Efpe Senekal Produksies’s Efpe Senekal, was recently filmed and includes the most beautiful scenery (from Kleinbrak River, Grootbrak River and Mossel Bay), as well as footage of family and friends. “The video shows me, in a wedding dress, singing the song in the most beautiful places. These scenes are complemented by inserts of various people and places from our area who sing and dance to show that life is good… despite of, for the sake of, because of. It’s an absolute celebration of life,” she explains.

Petronel grew up in Villiersdorp. The singer’s mother and uncle (who was a principal and conductor of the Drakensberg Boys Choir) inspired her love for choir music. Her exceptional solo voice was discovered at the age of twelve during a school production of Sleeping Beauty and that was also the moment that she fell in love with both acting and singing. After school she studied Drama at Stellenbosch and started acting professionally in 1998. At the end of her honours year, she won ATKV’s Crescendo competition and became involved in the entertainment industry full-time.

Over the past few years, she has done numerous performances and plays and has had the opportunity to work with a few highly respected artists, such as Stef Kruger and Riku Lätti. She also recently had the opportunity of recording her sixth album, Die Heelal Draai, and credits it as one of her biggest career highlights so far. The album was produced by Soetmelk’s Schalk Maas and David Cruickshank and is described by Vrouekeur as “one of the most beautiful creations in Afrikaans”. Her debut album, Lank Al, was nominated for a SAMA and two Geraas Music Awards.

Petronel enjoys listening to a wide variety of music, but shares that Annie Lennox and Diana Krall has always been her greatest inspiration. She also reveals that she is very excited about the fact that meaningful music is becoming more evident in the industry, because she believes that melodies and lyrics should speak to the heart.

When asked about what else she keeps herself busy with, she explains: “Developing structures for local arts is my second career and passion. I therefore serve on the Western Cape Cultural Commission and chair our local cultural forum in Mossel Bay. I have been doing rural development through the arts for years. At the time, we had TISK Theatre Cafes in the Southern Cape which then became TEO (Theater Cafe Development). Among these, I serve with the work of our cultural forum, Mocca and Oer Moer Kultuur where we hold special functions with artists who perform by the age-old principle of ‘the hat’.”

The music industry has taught Petronel Baard that it is important to stay true to your own style and that you should never be afraid to live your passion. LIFE IS GOOD is the perfect combination of inspirational lyrics and a feel-good tune that not only showcases her voice at its best, but also invites listeners to sing along and celebrate life to the fullest.

The song is available here:


Valeska Muller Releases Heartfelt Love Song

True love is the inspiration behind South Africa’s favourite pop star and songwriter, Valeska Muller’s, brand new single, NABY MY NABY JOU, which has just been released and is already a firm favourite with music lovers across the country.

“This song is for my soulmate. When I wrote it, I was envisioning what my true love would be like. By singing it, I wanted to invite him into my life.” the singer explains about the meaning behind this soulful single. “I imagine I know how it feels to touch his hand for the first time and to look into his loving eyes. After all of my failed relationships and horrible Tinder dates, I have not given up and still believe in that once-in-a-lifetime kind of love. I hope that he hears this single and knows that he is the one I am waiting for. Whoever he is, I hope he gets here soon, because I am tired of waiting,” she adds with a smile.

NABY MY NABY JOU is a beautiful modern ballad, which manages to capture that euphoric feeling of being in love. It’s a team effort by Valeska and her producer, BIGG-T, and combines three genres, Pop, Reggae and Deep House Music, to create a remarkable end-result. The catchy and relatable tune will remind listeners of a special summer romance, and make them look forward to lazy days around the pool.

The song is the latest release off her first electronic pop dance album, My Simfonie, which is available now and follows in the footsteps of previous hits such as Verlange Van Jou, Skyn Jou Liggie Vir My and Verdwaal Saam Met Jou, which can all still be heard on the radio. Saint Nic Media’s Nic Billington is the creative brain behind her beautiful music videos that can be seen on TV and have already raked in thousands of views on YouTube.

Valeska, who owns her own music school – Valeska Muller Vocal Academy (VMVA), has been working in the music for the past nineteen years and credits being part of the Top 7 contestants on the reality program, Zing, as one of the biggest highlights of her career.

Since then she has had lead roles in various stage productions and made appearances in several television shows, including Generations, Roer Jou Voete, One Way and Binnelanders. One of her songs were also used as the theme song for the Via TV program, ’n Ster Vir My Bed. Over the years, she has performed at different functions and at some of the country’s biggest festivals, including a performance for King Swandile at the Royal Swazi Sun, Aardklop, Innibos, The Mulberry Festival, KKNK and more.

Valeska Muller has never been afraid to share her heart or shift boundaries with her music; qualities that definitely make her (as an artist) and her latest single unforgettable. NABY MY NABY JOU is not only the perfect song to take along on your holiday road trip, but also a fun way to get any party going.

This song is available on Valeska Muller’s album, MY SIMFONIE which is on all digital platforms:


Last Call For Four Points, Last Direct Shot At Cannes

You are almost out of time to register for this year’s Four Points Film Project (Nov 8th-11th), which means that you are also almost out of time to make a film that could screen at the Cannes Film Festival Short Film Corner in 2020!

That’s right–the Best Film winner from Four Points will automatically be a part of the 48 Hour Film Project’s official screening next year in Cannes at the Short Film Corner.

Last year’s winning film was “To Have and to Hold” by Pan-American Film Division (Buffalo, NY), and screened at Cannes earlier this year–check it out below.

And now it’s your turn. The Four Points Film Project is just like the 48HFP, but you get more time and everything is online. Read all of the official rules on the website.

This can be your gateway to Cannes, as a part of next year’s Short Film Corner.

Sign up for your shot while you can:

Register for the Four Points Film Project


Heartbreak And Joy Are At The Core Of Acclaimed Director’s New Film

The acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film – a tale of memory, regret and making peace with his past – isn’t just his most personal, it is also one of his greatest. PAIN AND GLORY blurs the line between art and life and mixes autobiography with fiction to powerful effect. As the title suggests, the result is a swirl of heartbreak and joy.

Antonio Banderas gives the performance of his career as the aging filmmaker and onetime provocateur Salvador Mallo – a role for which he was outfitted with Almodóvar’s colourful shirts and high-tops. Sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and a shock of hair (not unlike Almodóvar’s), the actor seems to shrink and grow simultaneously, perfectly capturing both the strengths and weaknesses of his character.

Salvador is afflicted by multiple ailments, the worst of which is his inability to continue filming. Racked by pain, both physical and metaphysical, he has retreated into a depressive cycle. Explaining the reasoning behind this, the director said: “I know very intimately the fear that you might not be able to shoot because you’re not in the shape that it requires.”

A chance meeting puts him back in touch with an old collaborator, Alberto (Asier Etxeandia), who became estranged from Salvador during the making of their last film due to his drug addiction. Alberto hasn’t fully kicked his heroin habit, but it’s Salvador who is more at risk of falling into the lap of addiction. The pair’s newly rediscovered friendship is tested after a disastrous – and hilarious – drug-fuelled appearance at a screening of an old film of theirs.

After sneaking a look at a confessional monologue on Salvador’s laptop, Alberto convinces Salvador to let him perform the monologue as a one-man play. Salvador agrees, on the condition that he is not credited as the writer. This simple action sets in motion a chain of events which prompts a remarkable and tender reunion.

Fundamentally, PAIN AND GLORY has two tracks: The present, in which Salvador makes amends with Alberto and then promptly gets hooked on heroin which, mixed with his painkillers and generous helpings of alcohol, makes him drift further and further into his memories – the second track of the film.

The flashbacks gradually reveal Salvador’s childhood with his mother, Jacinta (beautifully played in the flashbacks by Penelope Cruz), in their meagre, cave-like rural home. Special mention is due to Julieta Serrano, who magnificently presents Salvador’s mother in her 80s. In a moment of pin-sharp, bittersweet perfection she tells Salvador offhandedly that he was never a good son.

The present day and flashback sequences are linked through a white and red colour scheme which dominates PAIN AND GLORY’s mise en scène. The film offers blocks of highly choreographed colour that have become Almodóvar’s trademark and is as visually striking as any movie the director has ever made. In addition, the narrative is elegantly structured and the tone contemplative. Alberto Iglesias’s lovely score perfectly matches the shifting tones of the film – from the warmth of the early childhood scenes, to the poignancy of Jacinta’s last days and the tensions and anxieties of Salvador’s life. All of this adds up to a richly satisfying work from a filmmaker whose love of cinema, in all its pain and glory, shines through every frame.

This semi-autobiographical piece about a master filmmaker reflecting on his career is undoubtedly one of Almodóvar’s best works. Commenting on the film, Banderas said: “Are we only the things that we have done and that we have said? Or are we also the things that we have never said? The things we wanted to do and never did? In this case, Pedro Almodóvar’s movie is more Almodóvar than Almodóvar. In a way, he completed certain areas from that passage of his life by making this film.”

PAIN AND GLORY is a study of acceptance, revelation and reconciliation; it is about cinema’s relationship with the past and its power to reshape memories as a means of coming to terms with it.

The film, which will be showcased at the European Film Festival from 27 November to 8 December, is Spain’s official entry for the Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards. It has also won two Cannes Film Festival Awards – Best Actor (Antonio Banderas) and Best Composer (Alberto Iglesias).

PAIN AND GLORY is distributed by Filmfinity (Pty) Ltd. and will be released in South African cinemas on 6 December 2019.


Melissa Massyn Launches New Stage Production With Exclusive Opening Concert!

The screenplay has been written, auditions have been done, repetitions have begun and costumes are being made … because the long-awaited brand new stage production by well-known entertainer, Melissa Massyn, is heading to the stage soon.

UNWRITE ME, which she co-wrote with Eunice Stoltz, was created to give young talent a platform where they can not only learn more about the acting industry, but also get the chance to perform in front of large audiences.

This concert, which combines acting, singing and dancing, tells the tale of Abi (Annette Havenga) who is in a constant battle with the voices in her head. She is a forty-year-old writer who tries to find herself through her stories. It helps her to come to the conclusion that she will never truly experience contentment if she does not stop making enemies of her friends, family, career and her subconscious.

“Audiences can look forward to a highly entertaining show and will definitely be able to relate to the main character and learn a lot from her,” the actress reveals. “The actors are truly talented and I am very grateful for each of them.”

Melissa, who is best-known for her roles in Hoofmeisie, Agent 2000 and Erfsondes, feels that it is a nice challenge for her to be behind the scenes as a director and writer, as it gives her exposure to new aspects of the entertainment industry that she has never dealt with before. It is also the first time that she does not star in a production that she is part of and she looks forward to sharing the talent and skills of her entire team (Annette Havenga, Eunice Stoltz, Almarie Coetzee, Rynhardt Strydom, Havard Koegelenberg, Ree Brink, Chanelle Matthee , Suné Brink and André Myburgh) with the rest of the country.

“As an artist, it is very important to stay busy and to keep creating. That is the main reason why I decided to launch this new project. I am looking forward to being part of a group of people who share my goals, and also to teach upcoming entertainers what it takes to create a theatre production from scratch,” she explains.

The opening concert will take place on Saturday, 30 November 2019, at the Corpus Christi Congregation in the Cape. Doors will open at 6pm and the show will start promptly at 7pm. There is only a limited number of seats available, which can be booked in advance (until 28 November) at R85 per person. Tickets can also be purchased at the door on night at R100 per person. A selected group of celebrities and members of the media will also be attending this special event.

Although there will only be one performance this year, festivalgoers can look forward to seeing the play at festivals around the country in 2020. According to Massyn, a videographer is also capturing the process on camera and she plans to broadcast it as a web series on her own YouTube channel.

Melissa Massyn is a well-known local actress, television personality, videographer, social media specialist, graphic designer, master of ceremonies and motivational speaker. She has been working in the entertainment industry since 2011 and become famous for her role as Susan in The Film Factory’s film, Hoofmeisie. Since then she has starred in numerous films, television shows, short films, stage productions and television adverts. This versatile star also does regular voice overs for radio advertisements, creates video content for businesses, hosts drama workshops on a regular basis and also gives drama classes on request.

With UNWRITE ME, she not only introduces a brand-new side of herself to the public, but also gives others the opportunity to be noticed.

To book tickets for this show, email


Ibiza Meets South Africa

Experience a night out in Ibiza without the expense of an air ticket. Limitless is going all out this summer with a celebration like no other. Inspired by the Ibiza party culture, there is a whole new world to discover. Ibiza Meets South Africa is making an entrance with this exciting new concept on the 9th November at Nicci Beach.

This powerhouse DJ’s line-up includes: Household Funk featuring Justin Chalice, Austin Cassim, Shane-Ohh, Stallion, Haylo, John Lyra and Ray Squared.

“If you have never had an opportunity to experience Ibiza, we are going to give you a glimpse by showcasing their music and scenes for only one magical night,” Comments Limitless Life director Bianca Bosnjak.

Expect a magical night with a stellar line-up of DJ’s, fire dancers, games, glamour girls, great music, stilts, go-go dancers and much more.

Early bird tickets are available through Howler. Door fee is R120 before 22h00 thereafter; tickets will be available from R150. VIP tables includes: entrance for four people, one Hubbly bubbly, one bottle and twelve mixes for R1400. Book your tables to avoid disappointment and contact 062 349 7747.

Doors open at 20h30. Rights of admissions are reserved and strictly no under 18’s.


Coming Up On Carte Blanche – 13 October 2019

On M-Net & M-Net HD [101], Sunday 13 October 2019 at 19:00 & again on M-Net Plus 1 [901] at 20:00


Inside the JMPD’s Crack Crimefighting Squad

With its bright lights and bustling business districts, Johannesburg remains one of the most attractive cities in the world, but drug dealers, hijackers and armed criminals are trying to take over these streets. Now, the JMPD’s K9 unit is fighting back, working to prevent criminals from gaining the upper hand. Leaving their homes and families to patrol the city’s streets every night, dedicated officers are primed for any and all situations. Carte Blanche rides shotgun with this elite unit.

Producer: Sasha Schwendenwein
Presenter: Macfarlane Moleli
Watch the trailer


Radon Alert

Millions of South Africans are exposed to radioactive radon gas in their homes and workplaces every day, as the naturally occurring gas escapes through cracks in the earth. The second leading cause of lung cancer in several countries, radon breaks down and when inhaled, decaying atoms emit alpha radiation that can damage the DNA. There are no safe levels of radon concentration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency emphasises any radon exposure has some risk of causing lung cancer. Carte Blanche investigates why South Africa has no regulations to protect against radon accumulation in the home and what you can do to test your home and prevent lung cancer.

Producer: Eugene Botha
Presenter: Devi Sankaree Govender

Going to Work in the 4th Industrial Revolution

From contact centres to production lines, artificial intelligence in the workplace can bring about great efficiency, faster services, and quick turnaround times for customers. For business owners, AI helps eliminate human error, waste and costs. But for workers, the fourth industrial revolution spells great unease and uncertainty. Carte Blanche unpacks the prospects for employees when automation threatens jobs in a country with nearly 30% unemployment.

Producer: Julian Sun
Presenter: Masa Kekana

A Defence against Allergies?

An asthma attack, the dreaded breakout of hives, and near-death experiences – that’s what many people suffering from food allergies risk every day with every meal. Research shows that high antibiotic exposure, environmental changes, genetics and fast food ingestion are just some of the factors which can cause allergies – but is there another way to prevent them early on in life? Now, results from a ground-breaking South African study focusing on the impact of exposure to a rural environment and farm animals, could hold the answers to reducing the prevalence of food allergies.

Producer: Mart-Marie Faure
Presenter: Claire Mawisa
Watch the trailer

Line-ups are subject to change. Stories can be viewed at

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The Darker Side Of Happily Ever After: Blueberry Toast

The Sugar-daddy Theatre Company is back with their new play, ‘Blueberry Toast’ coming soon to Artscape Arena from the 15th to the 25th October 2019.

Ever wonder what evil lurks in the heart of suburbia?

Get ready for this revenge comedy by Yale graduate Mary Laws. ‘Blueberry Toast’ puts the “dys” in family dysfunction!

On the surface, Barb (Marlisa Doubell) and Walt (Gavin Werner) may seem like your typical all-American suburban couple with two precocious children Jack (Daniel Wolsen/Jagger Cooper-Doubell) and Jill (Nikita Latimer/Chloé Gardner) but perhaps the demands to uphold their dream family are taking their toll. This dynamic cast is led by award-winning director Sue Diepeveen.

Experience the darker side of ‘happily ever after’ with this modern-day revenge comedy.

Duration: 1 hour
Dates: 15 October (preview) – 26 October 2019
Time: Evenings 19:30 / Sunday 16:00 / Saturday 16:00
Venue: Artscape Arena, DF Malan Street, Foreshore, Cape Town
Tickets: R90 via Computicket
Cast: Marlisa Doubell, Gavin Werner, Nikita Latimer, Daniel Wolson, Jagger Cooper-Doubell, Chloé Gardner
Director: Sue Diepeveen 
Fight choreographer: Richard Lothian

No under 16s