Over the weekend I judged a freeze flash mob at my hometown’s beautiful seaside entertainment complex, the Boardwalk. It was a flash mob as part of the Salvation Army’s anti-trafficking campaign to stop human trafficking. Visit their website by clicking here.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
My job was to walk around when the participants froze, and award who I thought was exceptional with a prize. The kids who took part were all really great and it was hard deciding which pose was best out of what I saw when I walked around!
It was a thrilling experience and I was pleased with the winner, Mutsa Mahwehwe, who won overall (not just because he was the one I spotted!) He won a trip for 6 to Jeffrey’s Bay. There were also great prizes for other exceptional poses, including the honeymoon suite for a couple at a local hotel, a limo ride to a restaurant for dinner and various meal vouchers. The awards ceremony afterwards saw a lot of excitement as the winners had to re-enact their poses. For more photos from the day click here. To support the church that organised this event (Salvation Army PE Central) follow them on Facebook here.
Boy oh boy can Port Elizabeth thank its lucky stars that it’s got a fresh & talented young photographer like Sarah Keogh!
What a gem!
Studying in her final year at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Sarah recently did some photos for me and I was so impressed with her work!
We shot at a studio at NMMU which was really divine and much bigger than I expected!!
Here are my favourites from the results:
For more photos click HERE.
Get Hold of Sarah on Facebook HERE.
And on Twitter HERE.
Also check out her website HERE.
Move over Bruno Mars, Port Elizabeth’s very own Gino Lee is about to take centre stage!
Winner of M-net’s acclaimed Young Stars televised competition in 2010, BAMA award winner, Bay FM award winner, sought-after corporate and festival performer in the Eastern Cape, and still only a Matric student, this talented young rock star has the world at his feet.
I say ‘rock star’ with a sort of giggle, as that is precisely not what Gino wants to be..
I performed in Port Elizabeth last night at Pool City, and I was a bit nervous as the crowd there is very rock-oriented and I’m not like that at all! My vibe when I perform my original music is very relaxed, very laid back. I was worried how they would feel about my music.
As could be expected, they received him well – as is the case in every other instance in which he finds himself in front of the mic.
Having started at the young age of thirteen, Gino’s been performing his music across the province ever since.
He performs cover songs of famous tunes, as well as some of his own stuff – a lot of which he co-writes with his talented brother.
Pop is my genre. I love it! I’m starting to introduce the element of dance into my routines, as the crowd really likes that.
Well, he might not want to be a rock star, but he certainly moves like one and has the crowds of followers to attest to it!
With nearly 2, 000 subscribers on his personal Facebook page alone – not to mention his 1, 000 + fans on his public Facebook page – Gino’s a hit at the tender age of seventeen.
-Especially with the ladies
Meeting him at Friendly Stranger in Port Elizabeth, I was honoured to meet his dynamic mother along with him.
My parents are my managers. I am so blessed to have them. They truly have my best interests at heart.
I personally can’t wait to get to work on the interview!
Tamika: Where are you from originally?
Gino: Port Elizabeth.
Tamika: Where do you attend school?
Gino: Theodor Herzl.
Tamika: What kind of training did you do for singing?
Gino: None. When I was in grade seven (thirteen) I was in a band called River Road. I played keyboard. We didn’t have a singer, and so one day I stepped up to the plate. Soon after that I went solo and in 2010, I won M-net’s Young Stars. I started taking my singing more seriously and I pushed myself forward into performing at all kinds of things. There were festivals, corporates, schools, competitions, you name it! I needed experience and I needed to get my name out there.
Tamika: What are some of the biggest performances you’ve ever done?
Gino: The Splash Festivals in 2010 and 2011. They were held at Hobie Beach in PE. They were big ones for me. Then an event for Volkswagen always ranks among the top ones. I remember all the big cheeses of VW were there, and I was terrified! But it went so well…
Tamika: Ever got stage fright?
Gino: Haha! No. For me, the most stressful part of the performance is always the waiting to go on. But once I’m on stage I’m fine.
Tamika: So what’s in the pipeline for you right now?
Gino: Well there’s some pretty exciting stuff! I’m off to America in a few months.
Gino: Yip! I was very lucky to be scouted last year at a gig I was doing at Montecasino, Johannesburg. A talent scout called Kim Myers selected me to perform at a talent showcase going on this year in Orlando. It’s called The Applause Rising Talent Showcase.
The Applause Rising Talent Showcase, or ARTS, is a family owned and operated international organization. With hand selected mother agencies, dance centers, performing arts organizations, theater companies, and more… coming together to offer a unique week long experience, like no other. ARTS is recognized by top industry leaders as the simply the best and safest place in the world to pursue the entertainment industry, without spending a life savings, and education dollars.
Aspiring actors, singers, dancers and fashion/commercial models with have their time on stage performing in various capacities. ARTS offers a state of the art experience on a Hollywood set and Broadway style stage! Live performance in front of hundreds of agents worldwide and a live audience! On-camera auditions for Television, Cold-Read, Comedy, and Improvisation… like no other! We unite agencies looking for the brightest and best new talent to the very best quality talent of all ages worldwide.
So everything right now is about preparing for that. There’s a group of us that were selected here in the Eastern Cape. Together we’ve started a project to raise funds for the trip. We’ve called it “Persuing Arts” and we intend to put on a showcase of our own in April this year in Port Elizabeth as a fundraising event.
Tamika: And school? What do you intend to do after school?
Gino: Well that’s a tricky one. A lot depends on what happens in America. But I do know that no matter what, I want to be educated and I’d like to study medicine.
Tamika: Wow! Brains and beauty! Have you won any awards?
Gino: Haha! Umm… yes I have, I’ve won three BAMA Awards (Bay Area Music Awards) and two Bay FM Awards.
Tamika: What instruments do you play?
Gino: Keyboard / Piano.
Tamika: What is the most recent job you’ve done?
Gino: I performed at Pool City with a band called “Shut Up It’s Sunday”.
Tamika: Do you act as well?
Gino: Look I’m open to everything. In fact, at the moment I’m the lead in my school play! It’s called Aida and it starts on March 4th. It runs until March 10th. I also love dancing. Right now I’m working with an amazing choreographer, Bennie Gerber, who has his own dance studio called Vertical Expression. I get all my cool moves and back-up dancers from him
Tamika: Do you also model?
Gino: Not professionally.
Tamika: Which singers do you look up to?
Gino: Pop music artists!
Tamika: Where do you party?
Gino: Gosh, I don’t hey! I’m not really a party person. There’s too much to do! I would far rather be at home creating, producing, brainstorming and planning – let’s put it this way, I’d rather have my music playing in the club.
Tamika: What’s in the boot of your car right now?
Gino: Sound equipment!
Tamika: Do you have siblings?
Gino: Yes, two brothers.
Tamika: What does your family do?
Gino: My dad’s a doctor and my mom is a retired teacher.
Tamika: What is your health routine like?
Gino: In the past I didn’t focus as much on my body as I’m starting to now. I work out now – mainly to build strength and stamina so I can be my best on stage.
Tamika: Where do you see yourself in ten years from now?
Gino: Winning a Grammy.
Tamika: Name a place you love.
Gino: Anywhere with my parents.
Tamika: Do you do any charity work?
Gino: Yes, absolutely! I do a lot for the HMA Charity (Heaven’s Missing Angels), for the Eastern Cape Children’s Home, for the Mfundu Children’s Home and for the POPS Foundation (People Opposing Poverty in Society).
Tamika: What do you tell yourself when you walk away from a performance?
Gino: No matter what, I’m kind to myself. I always make sure that even if I mess up, I turn it into a good thing. So I would say to myself; “Great performance!”
You can catch Gino here:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/gino.lee?fref=ts
The 1820 Settler’s National Monument, Grahamstown
Algoa FM, Port Elizabeth
African Dawn, Jeffreys Bay
Die Walskipper, Jeffreys Bay
The Mexican, Jeffreys Bay
SAMREC, Port Elizabeth
Friar Tucks, Grahamstown
Rat & Parrot, Grahamstown
The Highlander, Grahamstown
Albany Museum, Grahamstown
Bridge Street Brewery, Port Elizabeth
Roastmaster Cafe, Port Elizabeth
Bocadillos, Port Elizabeth
Mangiamo / Wickerwoods, Port Elizabeth
Nanaga Farm Stall, Port Elizabeth
Ron Belling Art Gallery, Port Elizabeth
Che Restrobar, Port Elizabeth
Castros, Port Elizabeth
Charlie Superstar, Port Elizabeth
For The Love of Wine, Port Elizabeth
Salt, Port Elizabeth
Yias Yias, Port Elizabeth
Deli Street Cafe, Port Elizabeth
Flava, Port Elizabeth
The ACVV Khayalethu Youth Centre, Port Elizabeth
Memory Lane, Port Elizabeth
Urban Espress, Port Elizabeth
East London Golf Club
Coming soon from Cape Town, Western Cape: Caprice Camps Bay, The Grand Beach Club Granger Bay, The Grand Beach Club Camps Bay, The Bay Hotel Camps Bay, Vovo Telo V&A Waterfront and more!! Follow us on Twitter & Facebook @Skybok_ZA & Skybok Profiles
Recently I had the honour of meeting South African Olympic gold medalist, Cameron Van Der Burgh.
He flew to Port Elizabeth to give a talk at a corporate breakfast at The Granary in Stanley Street.
What struck me most about him as he spoke us through his vigorous training routine leading up to the Olympics was his humility.
He seemed very down to earth as he explained his typical schedule for a day in preparation for his life-altering race.
Let me put it to you simply – a lot of training in the pool and in the gym, as well as meetings with his physios and a lot of studying towards his degree through UNISA each day.
He trains with Dirk Lange and is based in Pretoria.
Talking about his history, he elaborated on some of his highlights; he’s won numerous World Championship medals since his debut in 2007 when he took a bronze medal. His first world long-course record (27.06s) was obtained in the 50 m breaststroke in the semifinals at South African nationals in April 2009. He won the 50m breaststroke at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in a time of 27.18 seconds – a new games record – and the 100m world title at the 2010 short course world championships.
He’s represented South Africa at the 2008 Summer Olympics and, most recently, at the 2012 Summer Olympics where he won the gold medal at the 100 meter breaststroke in a new world record of 58.46 seconds!
He’s won the FINA overall World Cup twice.
He certainly seemed very chuffed with his successes but still had a nice sense of humour and was able to laugh at himself easily, which was great to see.
On Twitter he describes himself as “Olympic Champion and self proclaimed Fifa king ” – Follow him at https://twitter.com/Cameronvdburgh
I didn’t know he was born in 1988, making him the same age as me!
Check out his website at: http://www.cameronvanderburgh.com
It was a fantastic morning with a continental breakfast buffet available to all the guests afterwards.
I was also very happy to see I got some coverage with him in the October issue of the ‘Sport Elizabeth’ sports publication!
It’s the video for the song ‘Hold On’ by popular South African band Mac Stanley, previously known as Flat Stanley.
It was a huge honour for me to do this video – I play ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and I come in toward the end of the video when my prince charming finds me after searching through a forest and we share a very long on-screen kiss!
I absolutely love the song and its message is very beautiful!
The video has already had close to 1000 views on YouTube after being out for just 2 weeks!
Watch this space – This band is going places!!
Check out the band’s website: http://www.macstanley.com/
Last weekend I had the fantastic honour of being a judge at the Mzansi Magic Market Day in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.
The Market Day is an M-net Cares initiative.
It was previously known as ‘KTV Market Day’ and is an entrepreneurial day for children between the ages of 7 and 15.
The TV station was there to document the whole day.
Below is a picture of us, the judges of the talent show, with the film crew.
It was such a super experience, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the talent show and seeing what the performers came up with.
A day filled with total fun while some kids host a stall somewhere in the mall to sell an item of their choice (these are the ‘moguls’) and other kids take part in the talent competition (these are the ‘stars’).
There were many acts in the talent show, ranging from dancing and singing to more.
There were gorgeous prizes up for grabs including huge cash prizes and opportunities to perform at other events in the city.
On the day there were 95 stalls throughout Walmer Park shopping centre and over 350 kids!
The foot count at 3pm was a staggering 19, 000!
I recommend you go check out the Mzansi Magic website, it’s very nice: http://www.mzansimarket.co.za/
P.E.’s regional winners for the talent show were two boys who danced to Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’.
They are twins and their performance was incredible.
They will now compete online, per a video entry, and voters will decide!
I also attended a very quaint event hosted at The Granary here in Stanley Street in Port Elizabeth.
It was a High Tea in aid of Lake Farm.
Lake Farm is a home for 90 intellectually disabled adults who live in 7 hostels.
Most of the residents work in 10 different work groups or workshops and contribute to the upkeep and running of the centre.
The village started in 1959, opened in 1960 and celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010.
Set in the rural Kragga Kamma area, 15 km from Port Elizabeth , Lake Farm Centre offers a tranquil and picturesque environment that provides a permanent home for 90 mentally challenged adults; living and working together in harmonious co-operation.
He gave us some excellent tips on shopping as well as on all the latest trends in fashion.
Everyone got a goodie bag to take home and music was provided by a band of Lake Farm residents.
See the gallery for more photos.
Coming from Cape Town I’m used to my fair share of nightlife ………….. but Friar Tucks was something else altogether!
A classic nightclub in the heart of Grahamstown, South Africa, with a massive dance floor and 2 bars, you won’t be coming home until the early hours of the morning!
We filmed the club’s video profile for Skybok.net – Online Video Profiles Showcasing South Africa.
It’s been voted as South Africa’s number 1 nightclub.
You can find them on our website under ‘Grahamstown’ (change your city in the top right-hand corner) under ‘Nightclubs’ and ‘Bars and Pubs’.
I absolutely loved the vibe at this venue………. it was packed with students and everyone was having a great time!
I love the music – they often have popular DJs in for the night.
Listen to DJ Skullet’s mix from when he played there in August last year:
For more official photos Skybok took click HERE.
Shooting the famous ‘Highlander’ in Grahamstown for Skybok was an absolute delight.
It’s video profile appears on our website under ‘Grahamstown’ (change your city in the top right-hand corner) under ‘Pubs & Bars’, ‘Restaurants’, ‘Conference Centres’ and ‘Bed and Breakfasts’ seeing as it offers accommodation as well.
It’s a fantastic spot to come for a drink and a meal in the evening and socialize with friends or simply watch the latest sporting event.
They serve fantastic meals and I personally think it’s a winning spot to hire out for a function you are having.
My brother and I were joined by two friends during the shoot – Nick, my cousin, and Siphokazi my long-time friend.
We made a great ‘Crew’ on the shoot as together we kept it fun and easy.
(Definitely needed after a long day of hard work shooting venues all over Grahamstown!)
Click HERE for official pictures Skybok took of The Highlander, as well as The Lowlander downstairs.
The Lowlander is also a bar and space for people to have private functions.
We shot the Highlander during the day and actually came back to get The Lowlander that night – where we were met by a massive 21st party which we soon joined in with after we shot!
The whole Highlander venue lies adjacent to Saint Andrews College, and I have a feeling this spot is very popular for birthday parties and special occasions celebrated by students!
Fully licensed and with wheelchair access, the Lowlander also opens up (just like the Highlander above it) to an area where smokers can go.
It was absolute madness and loads of fun.
We took some hilarious pictures – see them HERE.
If you have a place you would like us to film, get in touch with me!
Click ‘Email Me’ at the top of this blog.