Thursday, 22 March 2012

The Circus is in Town: My 21st Birthday

I have always been fascinated with the circus, but not the circus of today. I much prefer the traveling circus, the circus where clowns were funny, lions jumped through flaming hoops and elephants were the main attraction. Okay I haven’t seen a proper circus before but I remember going to a similar circus in Wynberg as a child. It was a circus in a tent; we were greeted by the ringmaster and entertained by clowns, monkeys, dogs, snakes, elephants and horses. I still remember buying a huge bag of popcorn and enjoying every minute of the show while munching away.

I don’t know if many of you will remember this but many years ago SABC 3 use to show various circus and magic shows on Sunday afternoons. After Sunday lunch my father and I use to spend the rest of the day entrapped in a world of fantasy and entertainment. In 2010 The Great Moscow Circus was in Cape Town and I was lucky enough to score a free ticket from my aunty. My hopes for the show were high but I left there rather disappointed. The circus wasn’t in a tent, there were no animals, the clowns were boring and there was no magical atmosphere what so ever.

Most of my high school and College design work was inspired by the circus. It’s a great theme to run with as there is so much to it. Take a look at a couple of my circus themed designs:

So naturally for my 21st theme I decided to go with… yes you guessed it a Circus theme. The party planning was an enormous task, and it was up to my mom and I to plan an awesome party on a small budget (as I am traveling to London for a year, blog post coming soon).

I had my party at home so that I could spend more money on the important things like d├ęcor, food and alcohol of course. We put a circus tent by the front door and had welcome shots for all the guests who arrived. The welcome shots were Apple Sourz accompanied with a sour worm.

The sweet table was also by the entrance and was filled with some of the yummiest candies, like candy floss, gum balls, chocolate marshmallows, popcorn, cupcakes and gummibears. Needless to say we had very little left over by the end of the night.

There was a jumping castle for the all the people who felt like being a kid again.

Bashews were a must at my party. Not only are they everyone’s most memorable childhood drink but the bright colours and glass bottles gave my party an extra edge.

We had a hubbly area which we decorated with bales of straw, colourful bean bags and red draping. This was by far my favourite section of the party.

The night came with a special surprise, a carnival games section. I wasn’t sure if my friends would enjoy it so I had to entice them with a prize, a bottle of Ponchos! Points were collected for each game and by the end of the night the points were tallied up and the winner was revealed which was Renaldo Da Silva. (He cheated though, and popped all the balloons with the tickets in it, not giving anyone else a chance to compete!)

The rest of the formalities followed including embarrassing yet touching speeches from my friends and family, with a beautiful song sung by my sister and her friend. The BLACKPANNDJAT gave me a wonderful surprise birthday gift, an iPod Touch and a charm bracelet. The charms represented my friendship with each member of the BLACKPANNDJAT.

One of the highlights of my night was definitely my Manchester United Ice cream cake and the ice cream fight that followed! Yes I picked out the design but I felt really proud trying to blow out the sparkles on the cake.

Good food, good drink, good music and great company. I couldn’t have asked for a better 21st and a better bunch of friends and family to share it with!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Support a Cause

Prestige Academy Bursary Fundraiser 2012 

When it comes to supporting a specific cause, I become overly passionate and try to spread the word as much as I can. For example the #KONY2012 campaign (if you don’t know about this campaign read more about it here) had a really big impact on me. I want to help in any way possible, but the thought of donating money online always freaks me out. Not knowing where the money is going to and freely giving my banking details online is a risk I am not willing to take. I believe that spreading the word via social media is truly beneficial even though thousands of critics think otherwise. But instead of starting big, start small, help out causes within your community, spread the word to get others involved. I attended a fundraiser hosted by Prestige Academy in aid of student bursary funds. I was a bursary student myself so I know how important a benefit like this is. The greatest gift you can give a person is education so that they too can fulfill their lifelong dreams.

A message from the director:

“On 2 March 2012 Prestige Academy hosted their first bursary fundraiser at the Barnyard in Willowbridge. The evening was filled with the talent of the musicians of the Six of the Best show as well as great laughter, delicious food and open hearts.

Prestige Academy donates R150 000 from their annual profits towards the bursary fund. This money is then allocated to the study fees of students who are academically qualified to study at our institution but financially unable to do so. The bursary fund makes it possible for these students to take another step closer to the better future they desire. However, this amount is not enough to fulfil in so many disadvantaged students’ needs.

We decided to host a fundraiser this year in an effort to raise more money which will give more students the opportunity to further their education. The fundraiser also gave us the opportunity to build closer relationships with the parents, schools and suppliers who form a large part of the Prestige Academy family. Some of the companies that shared the evening with us was Bornman and Hayward; Konika Minolta; Jackson Neethling Accountants; Milkjug; Mineral Spring Boerdery and Futura. We also had tremendous support from the parents of current students. Several head masters and teachers of high schools attended the events as well.

For our first fundraiser we had a full house of guests. Mr Justin Afrika of New Orleans Senior Secondary in Paarl was the lucky winner of the raffle, which consisted of a table for 10 at the Barnyard, valued at R1200. The prize was sponsored by the Barnyard, Willowbridge.

After months of planning the evening proofed once again that Cape Town’s hearts are open to support community outreach, and in this case to empower the youth of South Africa.”

I have added some photos of the event:

I designed the banner on the right (yay me)


Follow Prestige Academy on Twitter or like their page on Facebook if you are interested in finding out more. Let’s all get together and support causes that can make an immediate difference within our mother city. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts: GoldFish Live

While most people spent Sunday stomping and head banging at Ramfest, I decided to go for a more subtle approach to end off my spectacularly relaxed weekend, jamming to the awesome beats of Goldfish. The Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts are held every year, it is a great opportunity for old and young, families and friends to come together and watch their favourite South African artists perform. I’ve been to a summer concert once before where I watched The Dirty Skirts perform. Live music with a superb backdrop of mountain and trees accompanied with your own wine and snacks, a lovely way to spend your Sunday evening.

I have always been a fishie fan but my mom however, takes the cake. Whenever I’m playing one of their tracks at home I can be sure that my mom will run into my room waving her arms and moving her hips singing along to their songs. Not a pleasant site for any child to see. So when news broke that Goldfish was indeed part of the 2012 summer concert line up, I made sure I purchased tickets well in advanced just so that my mom could hear them live and hopefully not pester me with any more of her ‘I wana see GoldFish live’ grunts.

The long ass line:

I’ve seen GoldFish a couple of times, and my favourite performance of theirs was at Rezonance NYE fest back in 2010. I haven’t seen them perform in a while, so seeing them again yesterday was a lovely treat. Tickets for the show sold out fast, when we got there the line was long and it was a scorcher of a day but as they say ‘We come together, no matter the weather’. Once inside we found a lovely spot where we set out our blanket and started to nibble on our snacks while awaiting Goldfish. Their performance was amazing as always, everyone got up to dance to their killer tunes. They have a whole lot of new remixes and there is nothing quite like new music.

The thing that I enjoy most about GoldFish is that they play their own classical instruments and mix it with the music, which is different to any other electronic DJ. It allows them to engage with the crowd on a higher level. During the instrumental bits of their songs, goosebumps covered my flesh and I believe that only great music is hair razing. The best part of the concert was when the GoldFish mascot graced us with his presence and awesome dance moves! Yes, GoldFish is definitely one of South Africa’s best exports. It’s because of local artists like them that I am Proudly Capetonian.

GoldFish Live:

Dancing Goldfish:

If you haven’t heard their music before (which I’m sure you all have) check out their website:

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Design Indaba 2012

Cape Town’s Design Indaba is the biggest highlight of the year for young creatives. It gives them an opportunity to showcase their work and ideas on a national scale. It is a time where innovation and creativity take a front seat. The indaba is celebrated by thousands across the country and with the announcement of Cape Town being 2014’s World Design Capital this year’s indaba promised to be bigger and better than ever before.

As a designer I love attending the event and have been an annual attendee since 2007. One might think that each year offers the same old thing, but I will challenge that. If one takes the time to chat to each designer and look at the effort that goes into their ideas and designs, one might find that beauty can be found in the simplest of things. It also gives me an idea of what the current design trends are for the year ahead.

I was very impressed with this year’s Design Indaba. I came across some very interest concepts, and if everything wasn’t so darn expensive I would have definitely splurged on a number of items. Jewellery, product and fashion design were once again the focal elements of the Indaba. Every year I hope for more advertising, more packaging, more printed artwork but I feel that the Design Indaba falls short on these elements. I suppose selling work like that is difficult but it would be great if the Indaba showcased, for example, the best performing campaigns/advertisements in South Africa from the previous year. They will then cater to various design lovers.

I would like to share a couple of my favourite stalls and products. These designs were like none I’ve ever seen before and I applaud the effort that went into each of these concepts:

Anomali is a jewellery design label which was started by Moniek van Zyl and Marlet Strauss. I fell in love with their vintage inspired designs and the craftsmanship that went into each piece. I adored their spoon necklaces:

I really like the African inspired handcrafted elements by High Thorn:

The most innovative product I saw was most definitely the Consol Sonar Jar, it uses solar powered LED lights. Although the light isn’t very bright it creates a beautiful effect and is affordable to purchase:

The most creative stand I saw was created by a designer called Mike van Heerden. The theme of his stand is based around the "Wonder Years". Take a look at his concept (here). I absolutely loved it and spent a long time staring at his stand adoring his intricate craftsmanship:

My favourite architectural design was created by AM ArchitectsInterior. Their display was beautiful, and had a lot of African influences:

This craft piece by Art Magazine South Africa was also rather smart:

I also really loved this hand beaded packaging of the famous South African brands done by Monkey Biz:

Dstv’s indaba campaign was definitely the highlight of the event. It allowed the attendee’s to interact with characters on a huge screen. I really enjoyed taking part in this experience:

As one knows there isn't a party without alcohol, Golsch was there once again with a stunning bar area and an awesome free-bee campaign:

I was also very impressed with Cape Town Tourism’s campaign “You don’t need a holiday, you need Cape Town”:

I had a great deal of fun and I can’t wait to attend the Design Indaba again next year, who knows maybe one day I will also be able to share my design ideas on a large scale like that. I admire the opportunity events like these give to people like us. Never give up, because in the end hard work always pays off.

Monday, 5 March 2012

5 Gum S.A. presents: Two Door Cinema Club

When we look at the power of social media marketing, one brand has really stood out above the rest in South Africa and that is 5 Gum SA. They have created some truly memorable experiences for people and have generated a buzz online through their competitions and marketing campaigns. Last year 5 Gum brought us a first ever user generated 3D mapping projection project whereby people entered in their own ideas and the best were selected and revealed at the launch of the brand in South Africa. To refresh your memory I have added a clip of their promotion:

This year 5 Gum truly outdid themselves. On the 8th of February 2012, 5 Gum announced that they were bringing an Irish band called Two Door Cinema Club (TDCC) to South Africa for two exclusive shows in Cape Town and Jozi. A limited amount of tickets for the show could be won by entering online, there were no ticket sales available for the concert. News of this event spread in a matter of seconds across all the social networks. I honestly never knew that TDCC had such a great following in South Africa. As I am a fan, I decided to enter online too. Everyone anxiously waited for the announcement of the winners and when my SMS didn’t arrive I thought it was all over. I was quite relieved when bloggers across S.A. were giving fans a second chance to win tickets to the show. With a glimpse of hope in sight, I decided to enter once more, my plan was to enter every blogger’s competition but half way through my efforts my friend messaged me saying ‘How much do you love me?’ she was kind enough to give me her plus one ticket and I couldn’t have been happier. People did almost anything to win tickets, I saw some crazy entries and I’m glad that I didn’t have to compete for it because I would’ve most definitely lost.

On Saturday evening a large group of us headed to the event. We were instructed to park the car by the airport where we were then all taken to a secret location on a double-decker PEP stores bus. It felt like I was going on a school outing again. The secret location was an abandoned warehouse in the middle of Nyanga. I was literally speechless when I saw the brilliant set up of the event, I pulled out my camera faster than a gun in a duel. The lights, projections and layout on the outside resembled a mini outdoor music festival. When we took the corner into the stage area, I was blown away at the sheer awesomeness of the stage and the building’s interior itself. The crowd, concert and 5 Gum logo was projected onto the walls rather than a large white screen in the front, quite original and cost effective. The floor was covered in small wood carvings which prevented the accumulation of dust in the vicinity. The sound and lighting on stage was of the highest quality and performances by the bands went off without a glitch.

My friends and I managed to grab front row once again and we were determined not to lose our spot until the very end of the concert. The Plastics opened and I must say they have improved tremendously since the last time I saw them, I truly believe that South African bands are right up there with the best. Next up was Ashtray Electric, it was the first time I had the opportunity of listening to them live, not really my type of music but they were pretty good.

After Ashtray Electric there was a short break before the headlining act TDCC took the stage, while people cleared for bathroom breaks and refills we moved our way closer to the centre of the stage. Constant chants of I Can Talk’s “Uh Oh Uh Uh Oh” could be heard by the crowd while the stage team was setting up. The lights dimmed and the sweet sound of Cigarettes in the Theatre filled the stage. The band played all their songs including Undercover Martyn which is by far my favourite song of theirs, as well as songs from their up and coming album. They seemed overjoyed to be in South Africa and I feel us Cape Tonians impressed them with our enthusiasm as everyone sang along to all their songs. They were brilliant live and I would have gladly paid to see them, but as they say the best things in life are free.

It terms of marketing, 5 Gum promoters were walking around handing out their new flavour gums, I tried almost all their flavours and I’m sure everyone else did too. The organisers also encouraged the people to tweet, facebook, etc. about the event using the #5GumExperience hash tag as a means of forming an online community and to promote their brand. For those of you who were not there or would simply like to relive the moment, I have added some videos I took on the night. (Please excuse the rather poor quality)

Cigarettes in the Theatre:

Undercover Martyn:

Something Good Can Work:

What You Know:

I Can Talk:

Eat That Up, It's Good For You:
(I Love the lighting at the end of this clip)

I left the concert with gum on my shoes, deaf ears and a sore throat, but it was all part of the wonderful #5GumExperience.