Inspirational Peeps|Lifestyle

Javett Music Award competition at the University of Pretoria rewards talented students

I recently attended the first Annual Javett Music Awards at the University of Pretoria’s Musaion Theatre. After welcome drinks and canapes, we made our way to the theatre where we took our seats. As I sat front and centre, I felt my heart rate increase as I watched the incredibly talented performances of students, Sandisile and Olu.  Their performances were powerful and rendered an unbelievable amount of emotion.  I didn’t expect to be drawn into their performances the way I was, but I was left inspired and wanting for more.

They were later joined on the stage by Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, Professor Lenora Helm Hammonds.  Professor Helm Hammonds arrived in South Africa earlier in September from North Carolina Central University to take up her residency as the Javett Jazz Artist-in-Residence at the University of Pretoria‘s Department of Music.

Professor Lenora Helm Hammonds

At the end of the evening, Sandisile Gqweta and Olu Yakhe were announced as the winners of the 2018 Javett Music Awards at the University of Pretoria. Sandisile, a BMus (Performing Arts) final year jazz student at the University of Pretoria, won in the Jazz vocal category and Olu, who hails from Mdantsane, in the Eastern Cape, won in the classical singing category. They each won a cash prize of R25 000.

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Sandisile Gqweta and Olu Yakhe

The annual awards will alternate between composition and performing arts in any musical genre (classical, jazz or electro-acoustic). The awards acknowledge excellence, and celebrate outstanding, innovation and musical creativity, targeting the best young talent in the country.  The evening’s performances made it evident that South Africa is a country blessed with extremely talented individuals just waiting to be found and harnessed.  

Found and harnessed by the partnership between the Javett Foundation and the University of Pretoria.  The Javett Foundation is a South African trust, established to support philanthropic activities in line with the Javett family’s long-standing passion for and commitment to, the arts, education and culture. This fantastic partnership will be consolidated and strengthened in 2019, with the launch of the Javett Art Centre at the University of Pretoria (Javett-UP). 

Inspirational Peeps|Women

Left Empowered & Inspired as Sta-Sof-Fro wrapped up the #WearYou Seminar Series for 2018

Balancing Love, Life and Everything in Between

Sta-Sof-Fro, the No. 1 brand in South Africa for people who prefer to style their own natural hair, wrapped up a series of events focussed on empowering women with a final salon seminar for 2018 in Johannesburg. The series focussed on the following Seminar themes:-

  • Seminar #1 – Wealth
  • Seminar #2 – The Profitability of Passion
  • Seminar #3 – Balancing Act

I was pleasantly surprised with an invite to attend this prestigious, (invite-only) event. The event was held at the exclusive Fairlawns Boutique Hotel in Sandton.

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I won tickets to the event for my friend and I with Mapula Ndhlovu

Having a full-time career, being a working mom by day, who is also a blogger by night and balancing everyday life is something I have managed to master with time. Achieving balance is however different for every woman and can sometimes become extremely overwhelming. With some women having it all together, it begged the all-important question of …. “How?”

The third panel of #WearYou speakers came together to answer that very question. The panel of speakers included media personalities and business women Palesa Masiteng and Lerato Sengadi. The Queen of Fitness herself, Mapule Ndhlovu as well as medical doctor and fashionista Dr. Nandipha Sekeleni. These four remarkable women, each power-houses in their own rights, joined the stunning Nicole Bessick on stage.

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On the couch with Nicole Bessick

The unscripted Q & A session with the quick-thinking and witty Nicole, had these ladies share their personal experiences in career and life. Their individual and honest takes on how they have managed to achieve balance in their lives was not only refreshing but also inspiring. As we sat in the audience clinging to their every word, in the hopes of finding the key to achieving balance, we found ourselves laughing, smiling and even crying. Best of all, the women, who are all extremely different were in fact all relatable for various reasons. In fact, several of the women who attended the seminar agreed with the above statement.

For the past 7 months Sta-Sof-Fro opened the floor for women to engage and share their personal experiences. Their journey’s no doubt changed fellow woman’s lives. The intimate seminars, aimed to break stereotypes and create dynamic dialogue, allowing the #versastyle women to embrace their personal truths, reminding all, that it’s ok to be and #WearYou. The #WearYou campaign has been and continues to be an extension of what the Sta-Sof-Fro ethos stands for.

Final Words from the Brand Manager

“Watching this campaign take shape and to have these ladies breathe life into it has been an overwhelming experience,” commented Sta-Sof-Fro Brand Manager Lerato Selepe. “The speakers and guests have shared, laughed and cried, they have experienced “I thought I was the only one” and “aha” moments and #WearYou made a real impact on the lives of women which is what Sta-Sof-Fro believes in.”

Plans for the Future

Sta-Sof-Fro foresees keeping this movement alive with plans to involve more leaders in various industries on the continent. To allow them a platform to share their personal experiences, truths and narratives as real woman in an ever-changing world.

The Key to Living a Balanced Life

Women who attended the event reiterated the fact that they felt empowered and inspired in more ways than one at the end of each seminars. It dawned on them that self-love is indeed the greatest revolution. The focus on living a guilt-free life that encompasses being kinder to oneself is the actual key to living a balanced and fulfilled life.

Leave a comment below to let me know what your #VERSASTYLE is.