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Vatiswa Ndara vs The Fergusons – SA’s Big TV War

Things are pretty serious right now.

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Vatiswa Ndara’s open letter to the incumbent Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, has not only set in motion a series of events which have dominated recent headlines – including reports of legal action against her by her bosses.

It has also started a movement amongst actors.

Since the letter came out, a number of actors have also come forward in her support. This despite the said threat of blackballing for those who speak publicly about a reality far removed from the glamorous perceptions most hold about the local television and film production industry.

Some, such as Keke Mphuthi, have since come out to make shocking claims about how they’ve been treated by production companies.

It all started when the veteran actress detailed her grievance in a letter lengthy directed at the Minister.

In it, Vatiswa announced that she would not be proceeding with her role as NomaRussia on the third season of popular Mzansi Magic drama series, Igazi.

Her departure from the show follows strife between her and Ferguson Films, who refused to match her R1 million charge for her service.

According to the letter, the production company made a final offer of R110 000 for the 13 part series, which would be filmed over a five-week period.

Further to quitting the show, Vatiswa says she is risking her livelihood by coming forward to fight the system.

“This particular interaction with Ferguson Films has made me evaluate my own being and sustenance within the industry”, she jotted, “but also the plight of my fellow actors, crew and other creative contributors…”

The letter address several issues, including alleged unfair contractual agreements and expectations, poor renumeration and unfair treatment by producers.

Several actors have come forth to stand with the actress. Rami Chuene, who currently stars on The Queen, a Ferguson Films production, expressed her unreserved support for Ndara, who’s acts were also lauded by the likes of Bonnie Mbuli and Florence Masebe.

According to EWN, Vatiswa has yet to receive notification of the reported legal action said to have been undertaken by Connie and Shona Ferguson.

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Amonge Sinxoto Featured Amongst Global Influential Thinkers On BBC Rethink Podcast

Global Thought Leader Recognised on BBC Podcast.

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Amnge Sinxoto

Amonge Sinxoto got the best co-sign for her social impact as a thought leader. The teenage social entrepreneur and co-founder of Blackboard Africa was recognised as an influential thought leader on BBC podcast.

The BBC World Service asked “thinkers” from across the globe to imagine the most inspirational and meaningful changes that might result from the coronavirus crisis under the “Rethink” title for their Rethink podcast. Amonge is featured alongside The Pope, The Dalai Lama, Caleb Femi, Lady Hale, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Andy Murray and the South Korean foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha.

The BBC’s Rethink podcast series are short essays sent in by the likes of academics, philosophers, national security advisers, and poets. Named amongst the 100 Most Influential Young South Africans of 2019 by leading PR & Rating firm, Avance Media, earlier this year, Global Teen Leader and game changer, Amonge remains one of the most important voices of her generation.

The social activist took to Instagram to share the news.

 

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“It has been interesting to see the urgency with which the world closed up shop to prioritize the preservation of life. However, it makes me sad to know that the pandemic of systemic racism has plagued black people for hundreds of years, with nothing as swift and decisive done to mitigate the problem. Women in South Africa have also been living in a pandemic for years. 40% of women in South Africa are predicted to experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime. That is a Pandemic!” The real test of progress is the action and initiatives that come AFTER awareness is created. Progress to me will be when the “new normal” entails preservation of life for ALL. BBC World Service asked “thinkers” from across the globe to imagine the most inspirational and meaningful changes that might result from the coronavirus crisis under the Rethink title. BBC’s Rethink podcast series are short essays sent in by academics, philosophers, national security advisers, and poets. The South Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, Andy Murray, The Pope, The Dalai Lama, Caleb Femi, Lady Hale, Kwame Anthony Appiah and myself to name a few. Listen to my podcast as well as that of other influential thinkers on the BBC (link in bio) Thank you to my @wearefamilyfdtn fam and @jessteutonico for facilitating this

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You can listen to Amonge’s Rethink podcast titled “Rethinking Safety” here.

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Miss SA 2020 Top 15 Finalists Announced

Top 15 Miss SA 2020 contestants revealed!

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After much deliberation, the 15 finalists in the running for the Miss SA 2020 pageant have been announced. The reigning Miss South Africa Sasha-Lee Olivier made the announcement on Wednesday night in a virtual reveal.

The finalist are representative of the kaleidoscope of shades and personalities that make up the rainbow nation that is South Aahh. Almost every province in the land is represented, women from all walks of life ready to take up space as poignantly coined by current Miss Universe Zonzibini Tunzi.

In these odd times, the beauty pageant has forced to operate differently from what we are used. Contestants had to send in their entries digitally and the judges had to rely solely on the footage and pictures to make their shortlist.

The ball is in the audience’s hands now. Followers of the pageant can vote for their favourite contestant to make all the way and be crowned the 2020 Miss South Africa. Here’s a list of the finalist in the running for Miss SA 2020:

 

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Thato Mosehle (25) from Klerksdorp in the North West is a medical doctor currently completing her internship with the aim of becoming an anaesthesiologist. She has won numerous pageants which she started entering after a knee injury halted her ambition to be a Protea netball player. She loves burgers, enjoys knitting scarves, trying new recipes, watching make-up tutorials and perfecting her make-up skills on herself and friends. She says: “’What an honour. I’m overwhelmed with joy! I had already made my community proud by being part of the top 35, and now to be a top 15 semi-finalist is absolutely amazing! I’m here because it’s simply my time. She says: “The journey has been exciting, a little challenging, but overall a course of self-discovery and realising what I can contribute to my country. I’m especially moved by how people, the majority being women, have cheered me on in pursuing my dreams.” Photographer & edits: Willem Botha (@willembotha ) Hair & make-up: Dyllan Morais (@artistry_by_dyllan ) #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Shudufhadzo Musida (23) comes from Ha-Masia in Limpopo and has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Pretoria. She is currently doing a BA Honours in International Relations at the University of Witwatersrand. Musida says her role models include Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Toni Morrison, Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Gcuka and Amina J. Mohammed. In her spare time, she reads, sings and practices the keyboard. She says: “I feel so blessed and excited to be a part of the Top 15, as the journey to this point alone has introduced me to myself and helped me refine my dreams through the opportunities it has presented me with. I find myself embracing myself more and embracing my voice every single day. I am truly excited for the journey that lies ahead.” Photographer & edits: Willem Botha (@willembotha ) Hair & make-up: Dyllan Morais (@artistry_by_dyllan ) #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Savannah Schutzler (24), from Rondebosch in the Western Cape, is an actress who graduated with a BA Degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Stellenbosch University. She then went to AFDA and graduated with honours in live performance. She has also completed a diploma in media makeup and styling. Her family live in Swaziland and she has one brother. She is an accomplished equestrian who doesn’t have a coccyx following a horse-riding accident. She says: “I am so honored to be part of Miss SA Top 15. I am beyond excited and grateful. I started this as a learning experience that freed me up to be myself; open to learning and not trying to be perfect. I cannot say this has been my own doing, God has blessed me with opportunities which I never thought were possible which allows me to enjoy the journey of learning more about myself in a new world.” Photographer: Will Brown (@willl.brown ) Edited: Willem Botha (@willembotha ) #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Palesa Keswa (23) is from Sasolburg in the Free State and has an undergraduate degree in economics and risk management. She is currently doing her honours in economics at the North West University. She has spent lockdown conducting research for her dissertation, attending online classes and completing assignments. She’d love to meet Siya Kholisi, is a sucker for lamb chops and mash and has crushes on Maps Maponyane and Michael B Jordan. She says: “I don’t think it has fully sunk in that I am in the Top 15. I have been working towards this dream for years and I am grateful that I get to be part of this strong group of women. The support I have received thus far has once again reinstated the fact that this journey is not only for me, but for every single person rooting for me. This is by far the most exciting time of my life.” Photographer & edits: Willem Botha (@willembotha ) Hair & make-up: Dyllan Morais (@artistry_by_dyllan ) #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Natasha Joubert (22), from Centurion, Tshwane, Gauteng is a Public Relations Officer at RFJ Inc. Attorneys and founder and owner of Natalia Jefferys (Pty) Ltd. She has a B.Com Marketing Management Graduate from Boston City Campus. She says she was a tomboy as a little girl and would much rather play outside with boys and was the only girl in her karate class. She describes herself as unwavering, compassionate and ambitious and says her guilty pleasure is salted caramel Häagen-Dazs ice cream. She says: “What a humbling experience thus far. I truly feel honoured to be amongst one of the Top 15 semi-finalists. In this amount of time I have experienced self-growth, vulnerability and stepping outside of my comfort zone. Miss South Africa is now, more than ever, a platform to empower women and it’s something I’ve experienced first-hand. I have learnt how to use my voice to add value, to lead by example and will continue my efforts to do so in every opportunity that comes my way.” Photographer & edits: Willem Botha (@willembotha ) Hair & make-up: Dyllan Morais (@artistry_by_dyllan ) #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Olin-Shae De La Cruz (26) comes from Bryanston, Gauteng and is in her final year of a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Media Operations Management at Boston Media House. She co-founded her own marketing company called Swish EP, works as an account manager for a media and advertising company, is a netball coach on weekends with ActionKidzSA and is also a model represented by Pace Model Management. Her celebrity crush is Ricky Whittle. She says: “I am grateful to be a part of the Top 15. It is quite an achievement. I’m glad I can continue to look within, own my story and be another step closer to an opportunity of a lifetime. And I’m excited for what the future holds. What I will share, the people I will meet and of course working with the Miss South Africa Organisation. The journey thus far has been rewarding and all the messages of support and encouragement means the world to me.” Photographer & edits: Willem Botha (@willembotha ) Hair & make-up: Dyllan Morais (@artistry_by_dyllan ) #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Melissa Nayimuli (24), from Butterworth in the Eastern Cape now lives in Sunninghill, Joburg where she works as an account manager for a marketing agency. She has a BA in Motion Picture Medium from AFDA and majored in television writing. Her role models are Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, because “she is not afraid to speak the truth no matter the cost” and Ava DuVerney “whose commitment to writing stories that challenge the way one sees the world and thinks is inspiring.” She says: “This is my third time entering Miss South Africa, but my first time making it through any round. I entered in 2016 and 2018, and both times, I did not make it past the first judging round. Getting rejected was really disappointing, so coming back this year took a lot of courage, and I am so happy I took that brave step because here I am now, part of the top 15. This journey has been nothing short of amazing.” Photographer & edits: Willem Botha (@willembotha ) Hair & make-up: Dyllan Morais (@artistry_by_dyllan ) #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Matsepo Sithole (21) is from Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal and is a full-time 4th year law student at the University of Pretoria. Her goal in getting her degree is transformation and justice in South Africa. She says current Miss SA Sasha-Lee Olivier has inspired her to remind her why it is so important to be comfortable in your own skin and that every shape and size that women come in are nothing but beautiful. She describes herself as an introvert but also optimistic, caring and assertive. She says: “I feel powerful because I have been given the opportunity to be a mouthpiece for the creative industry. Moreover, excited and thankful for such an amazing achievement. The journey has been both wonderful and challenging. I have had to operate under the notion of ‘against all odds’.” Photographer: Yuveer Karunchund (@yuvikphoto ) Edited: Willem Botha (@willembotha ) Hair & make-up: Kay-Leigh Heneke (@fancy.fiction ) #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Lebogang Mahlangu (24) from Soshanguve, Gauteng, is a food scientist working in research and development for a large multi-national. She is also a social entrepreneur and owns a community bakery in Soshanguve. She loves the feeling of adrenalin and adventure and enjoys exploring new hiking routes, running and exercising. She says people would be surprised to learn that she was once an aspiring professional soccer player, represented Gauteng and went to a sports school in hopes of playing for Banyana Banyana! She says: “It has been inspiring to see how my presence in the Top 35 has encouraged people to reach for their goals and fulfil their potential. Being part of Miss SA Top 15 will not only change my life, but I believe it will inspire the young women in my community to dream again. I am excited and hope that this shows everyone that they can achieve anything if they truly believe and put in the effort to make it happen.” Photographer: Yuveer Karunchund(@yuvikphoto ) Edited: Willem Botha @willembotha Hair & make-up: Kay-Leigh Heneke @fancy.fiction #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Karishma Ramdev (25) comes from Chatsworth in KwaZulu-Natal but lives in Johannesburg where she is a qualified medical doctor working at the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital. She says she is blessed to have had her family as her support structure during this time as working on the frontline has been stressful “as we are one of the main COVID hospitals dealing with the Coronavirus.” If she wins Miss SA, she says she would like to meet Queen Elizabeth II so that she could ask her advice on how to keep her crown shiny! She says: “Grateful is an understatement. I feel honoured to have been selected as one of the Top 15. Each girl has such amazing qualities and I am so happy to stand beside all of them representing strong women in South Africa; women who are ready to make a difference. The journey has been nerve-wrecking but so wonderful. South Africa has been incredible and encouraging to me and I do not take it for granted. I cannot wait for the ride of a lifetime! Photographer & edits: @willembotha Hair & make-up: @artistry_by_dyllan #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Jordan van der Vyver (24) comes from Greenpoint in Cape Town and is an international model who usually spends half the year working in the US. The lockdown has taught her to appreciate the meaningful things in life. She is inspired by her mother who is currently finishing her honours in psychology and has an older sister. Her role model is the late Audrey Hepburn and it was because of meeting Jo-Ann Strauss that she entered the pageant. She says: “I am truly overjoyed being chosen as one of the Top 15! I am thankful for the opportunity to further join the Miss South Africa Organisation in facilitating positive change. My journey has been informative, gratifying and exciting. I have enjoyed all the tasks, videos and interviews, as well as virtually meeting everyone involved. During such a complex time in our world, this pageant has been a beacon of hope in my life. Continuing this journey, I could not be happier!” Photographer: @sjvanzyl Edited: @willembotha Make-up: Reneé de Sambento @reneedewitmakeupartist #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI- FINALIST Chantelle Pretorius (24) from Tshwane, Gauteng, is a full-time model and spends six to nine months a year working in Europe. She is also finishing her B.Com Business Management degree through Unisa and completed a diploma in nutrition at The Blackford Centre in the UK. If she won the Miss South Africa crown and was able to meet one person it would be Nataniël because of his sense of humour, his cooking and the way he is always unapologetically himself. She says: “I am extremely excited and overwhelmed that I get to continue with the Miss South Africa journey and cannot wait to share my heart with the country! I am ready for South Africa to get to know me better. The process has been very enjoyable so far and I’ve had the opportunity to push myself to new limits. The Miss South Africa Organisation has been amazing at managing the contest so far, despite the current logistic hurdles. I am excited for the road ahead.” Photographer & edits: @willembotha Hair & make-up: @artistry_by_dyllan #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Busisiwe Mmotla (27) hails from Soweto and is a Senior & FET Phase teacher who graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 2017 with a Bachelor of Education degree. She is currently studying towards a Diploma in Personal Training at Trifocus Fitness Academy with the goal of becoming a wellness coach. She was previously crowned Miss Soweto in 2017 and won USN Face of Fitness 2019. Her favourite meal is spaghetti bolognaise and her dream destination is Paris, France. She says: “I feel very proud of myself as this is another step closer to the title of my dreams. It is so unbelievable at the same time; I pinch myself every morning. It is literally insane. The journey is very eye opening because the Miss South Africa Organisation and the judges asked me about my dreams, desires and thoughts. This was very new to me as no-one has really looked at me and asked me about my dreams or how I will achieve them.” Photographer & edits: @willembotha Hair & make-up: @artistry_by_dyllan #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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MISS SA 2020- TOP 15 SEMI-FINALIST Aphelele Mbiyo (24) was born in Mthata and raised in Port Elizabeth but currently lives in Lonehill, Johannesburg. She holds a BA in Integrated Marketing Communications and describes herself as calm, positive and ambitious. She loves to host dinners parties as she enjoys bringing people together over good food and says people would be surprised to hear that she plays the trombone. She says:” I feel incredibly honoured to be a part of the Top 15 for Miss South African 2020. I am grateful to have been selected from more than 2000 entrants for the Top 35 and thrilled to make further progress. So far, the journey has been a range of mixed emotions, ranging from excitement, nervousness and anxiety, but I remain focused and I am ready to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead and have an impact on society” Photographer & edits: @willembotha Hair & make-up: @artistry_by_dyllan #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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Miss SA 2020- Top 15 SEMI-FINALIST Anarzade Omar (21) from Crown Gardens in Johannesburg has a BA Strategic Communication in Marketing from the University of Johannesburg and says she enjoys cooking and recently taught herself how to make sushi because the craving was real during lockdown. She admires Oprah Winfrey and Beyoncé and would love to meet Trevor Noah. She says: “It is an absolute honour to be a part of the Top 15 for Miss South Africa 2020 and be amongst a beautiful and strong group of ladies. I pinch myself every morning and cannot believe this is my reality. The journey so far has been so rewarding and exciting. Since everything is mostly virtual this year, the Miss South Africa Organisation has gone above and beyond to make the experience fun and memorable. I cannot wait for what is yet to come.” Photographer & edits: Willem Botha @willembotha Hair & make-up: Dyllan Morais @artistry_by_dyllan #misssa2020 #faceyourpower #embraceyourfuture

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The beauty pageant is scheduled to take place towards the end of the year. Don’t miss the action to be broadcast live on both DSTV channels M-Net (103) and Mzansi Magic (161). Date to be confirmed at a last stage.

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Judges of Miss SA 2020 for the First Round Announced!

Panel of judges for the first round revealed!

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Photo Credit: Miss SA/Instagram

After all the drama had subsided regarding the Miss SA 2020 pageant, it is time to forge forward. The beauty competition enlisted four  first round judges including the outspoken radio personality and returning judge, Anele Mdoda and former Miss SA crown holders Bokang Montjane-Tshabalala (2010), Liesl Laurie (2015) and Adè van Heerden (2017).

miss south africa pageant 2020 competition

Following the former Miss SA title holder, Zonzibini Tunzi’s exploits across the globe, which earned her the coveted crown of Miss Universe, this years entries hit record numbers of more than 2 500 entries received.

The list needs to be reduced to 35 hopefuls that will take part in the virtual interview rounds before a Top 16 is announced. With the honour of being part of the panel of judges that handpicked Rolene Strauss and Zonzibini, both of whom went on to claim success on global stages, Anele was not fazed by the pressure of unearthing another gem.

RELATED: Miss SA 2020 to Stage First-Ever Digital Pageant

“It’s never about the judges; it is the belief the young women have in themselves. We just serve as a springboard; the crown finds the contestant whilst she is looking for it.”

Assisting Anele on the hot seat is former Miss SA Dr Adè van Heerden, who revealed the checklist that the contestants need to tick if they harbour any wishes of going far in the competition. “I am looking for a multifaceted woman. A woman who radiates a deep confidence within herself and in the potential of her nation…

…A woman who can embrace her unique beauty, couple it with the strength of her voice and move our nation forward. The potential winner must be authentic with the ability to learn.”

For the first time in the history of the Miss South Africa pageant, the top three finalists will represent the country at the world’s three most prestigious pageants.

Previously, the Miss South Africa Organisation has sent a representative to both Miss Universe and Miss World, but will also now be fielding an entrant to Miss Supranational.

Miss South Africa is presented by Weil Entertainment in association with M-Net, Mzansi Magic and Sun International.

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