Skybok recently covered events for Rotary PE West as part of their “Medieval Festival”. It’s a whole weekend of festivities themed around the Middle Ages and it’s hosted at Victoria Park in Port Elizabeth. Their “Royal Banquet” is on a Friday night where everyone arrives dressed up in costumes from the Middle Ages. There is a dinner and lots of entertainment. During the Saturday, they host an entire day filled with arts, crafts and activities that people during those times used to play! Together with my brother, I filmed and photographed these events for them. I spent about two days editing and adding music and I am so excited about the final result! It was such a festive evening and day and we managed to capture the spirit and ambiance into two easy 2 minute video profiles. See both videos below. To watch in the best quality be sure to change the viewing settings to 1080 p HD (click on the cog in the toolbar at the bottom of the video). If you are in South Africa and would like to get in touch with us to film your business or event, see our facebook page here. We also have our twitter here, our YouTube Channel here and our website here.
Currently I am spearheading the launch of a brand new initiative at Doubell Machines as part of “Going Green”. This is something that I’m really excited about as the environment is something I care deeply about. As a manufacturing business, we release a lot of carbon when we make the machines. This is bad for the environment. To reduce our carbon footprint, for every ten Jumbos we sell we are adopting a penguin from SAMREC. SAMREC is an organisation dedicated to the rehabilitation of African penguins. They have a beautiful facility in Port Elizabeth located in the Cape Recife Nature Reserve. See their website here. This is our first penguin, Keith. He is suffering from a bad shark bite and bad circulation. He is an adult penguin and he will be released back into the wild once he is healthy again. I designed the logo for this initiative this week (see above) and unlocked a very creative streak in myself I never thought I had! It is now active both on our website and Facebook page here. This is the start of many initiatives to come. I am in the process of filling out the adoption papers – watch this space for photos!
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.
Easter was awesome, exhilarating, special and delicious. For me, as a Christian, Easter is the true new year. It is the period from Good Friday to Easter Sunday (when Christ was crucified and when he was resurrected). It is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, culminating in the celebration of the resurrection of Christ (Easter Sunday) on the third day after his crucifixion at Calvary as described in the New Testament. He died on the cross to pay for our sins and allow us entry into God’s kingdom after death. His resurrection symbolizes the resurrection of all of us after death into Heaven, where our souls are very much alive and immortal in His eternal Kingdom (if we lived as Christians according to His Word). In short, his resurrection symbolizes new life. It sets Him apart from all the other historical figures in those times who claimed to be the Son of God because none of them came alive again after they died. This was a true miracle. Through doing this he proved that what he had been saying all along was true; Every miracle he performed and everything he preached about God and the way man must live on earth was true. It renews your faith, this time of year, and for me it only cements it. You look again at the important lessons of the Bible and the Ten Commandments and re-commit yourself to living the loving Christian lifestyle. Satan will always be around to throw us off track and we need to be strong. Of course we will always sin, no matter how hard we try, because we live in a fallen world. What sets you apart is your repentance and prayers for forgiveness. God guarantees us He will always forgive us if we confess our sins and repent.
Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance which begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts forty days (not counting Sundays). The Sunday before Easter is Palm Sunday, with the Wednesday before Easter being known as Spy Wednesday. The last three days before Easter are Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday (sometimes referred to as Silent Saturday). Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively commemorate Jesus’ entry in Jerusalem, the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Easter is followed by a fifty-day period called Eastertide, or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday. The week beginning with Easter Sunday is called Easter Week or the Octave of Easter, and each day is prefaced with “Easter”, e.g. Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, etc.
It is a very holy time for me. I really enjoy the service on Easter Sunday, before sunrise on the day of resurrection. The service is very early and I am not usually a morning person, but for this I am! The Easter Vigil is performed during this service. This is the most important liturgy of the year, which begins in total darkness with the blessing of the Easter fire, the lighting of the large Paschal candle (symbolic of the Risen Christ) and the chanting of the Exultet or Easter Proclamation.
There’s something about the lighting of the fire and the candle that makes you feel reborn in a way. After this service of light, a number of readings from the Old Testament are read; these tell the stories of creation, the sacrifice of Isaac, the crossing of the Red Sea, and the foretold coming of the Messiah. This part of the service climaxes with the singing of the Gloria and the Alleluia and the proclamation of the Gospel of the resurrection. At this time, the lights are brought up and the church bells are rung, according to local custom. A sermon may be preached after the gospel. Then the focus moves from the lectern to the font. Anciently, Easter was considered the ideal time for converts to receive baptism, and this practice continues within Roman Catholicism and the Anglican Communion. It is traditional for the congregation to renew the vows of their baptismal faith at this point. The Easter Vigil concludes with the celebration of the Eucharist (known in some traditions as Holy Communion).
The whole service consists of 4 parts:
- The Service of Light.
- The Service of Lessons.
- Christian Initiation, or the Renewal of Baptismal Vows.
- The Holy Eucharist with the administration of Easter Communion.
Here is something interesting I found: The first recorded “Sunrise Service” took place in 1732 among the Single Brethren in the Moravian Congregation at Herrnhut, Saxony, in what is now Germany. Following an all-night vigil they went before dawn to the town graveyard, God’s Acre, on the hill above the town, to celebrate the Resurrection among the graves of the departed. This service was repeated the following year by the whole congregation and subsequently spread with the Moravian Missionaries around the world, including Old Salem in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
So you see then the chocolate eggs are just the cherry on top for me Eggs symbolize the beginning of new life, fertility and abundance. And of course, chicks come from eggs and represent rebirth and springtime. Rabbits are known for their rapid reproduction and therefore also represent fertility and new life. So this is why these are popular symbols at Easter and why we eat them
How about you? How was your Easter? How did you celebrate?
Here is a gorgeous photo I found of the celebration of the Easter vigil at the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Paris.
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.