Zoo Lake Bowling Club: Great food, great people

25 views October 21st, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

zoo-lake-bowling-club-cheerBy Dianne Bayley

The old Zoo Lake Bowling Club is an institution in Johannesburg. Some of South Africa’s top bowlers have played on their greens, which still look in pristine condition - but the players now don’t wear whites or shoes and enjoy a beer while they’re playing!

Threatened with closure for some time now, the club is still serving the local community the way it always has . . . and many of the people who enjoy it are trying to ensure the club is allowed to continue to operate. I want to add my voice to those who are calling for the Zoo Lake Bowling Club to stay as it is - and my reasons are many.

Firstly, it’s one of the few places in Johannesburg you can go to and enjoy among the cheapest and best “home cooking” in the country. Bangers and mash - two pork sausages, fluffy mashed potatoes and peas - R32. No, really - and it’s enough food for two meals. Pork chop, chips and a veggie, also R32. A complete roast dinner on a Sunday (like Grandma used to make) - R65.

These are prices Johannesburg hasn’t seen in twenty years. The food tastes fabulous and the service is excellent. I went there recently with 29 other family members. Booked a table and had James as our server. Nobody could believe how quickly we got served (we all ordered different things) and how efficient the staff were. Everyone - from 14 up to 80-something - had a wonderful meal and a fun-filled day. So much so that we stayed there from midday to 7pm.

Here’s another reason we don’t want to lose the club: We make friends every time we go there. Last Sunday, the crowd comprised people from all over Africa, Ireland, Greece, Italy, England and probably more. Those were just the people we spoke to! There are families, young couples, elderly people, regulars, teenagers meeting their friends and the entire financial spectrum of Johannesburg. It’s a snapshot of Joburgers across the board.

Johannesburg: The City of Gold - and more

2,517 views October 11th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

By Dianne Bayley

It’s the city those who don’t live here thinks is “bland and boring” - but Egoli, the City of Gold, is far more than just a business hub. Johannesburg is a vibrant and bustling city, with a melting pot of cultures that offer both locals and visitors a kaleidoscope of entertainment and learning. Here are some facts you may find interesting about the city called Johannesburg . . .

The Fairest Cape: Far from the madding crowd

1,000 views October 10th, 2014 By Jen Stern

By Jennifer Stern

I’ve always thought those people who say you need a holiday to recover from one are just being silly. But now I see what they’re getting at. As a travel writer, of course, I’m often away – sometimes staying at stunning places – but I rarely go on holiday. And the last couple of days weren’t really a holiday, either. I was actually doing a story but – and this is a big but – I was not alone. Again that travel writer thing – I’m often in lovely places but, firstly, I’m working and, secondly, I usually travel on my own. So, when I got an invite to check out the accommodation at De Hoop, I asked if I could take a few friends. And the reply was, “Of course. Enjoy yourself.”

Summer delights: Tomato and basil bruschetta

79 views October 6th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

It’s pronounced “brusketta” – and it’s even easier to make it than say it! It’s one of the most delicious things you can serve up to the kids after school, or have with sundowners on a warm summer evening. Not only does it taste of Italy, it’s not expensive to make – and it’s very filling.


  • 1 French-style baguette or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 6-7 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, more or less to taste


  • The “true foodies” like to peel their tomatoes by popping them into boiling water first. We like them with their glowing, healthy skins on – just wash them and chop then into small squares.
  • Place the tomato into a medium-sized bowl, add the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
  • Cut the baguette into 1cm thick slices and brush one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush.
  • Place the slices olive oil-side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan and pop it under the grill to lightly toast the bread.
  • Place the toasted bread slices olive-oil side up on a serving plate, and scoop the tomato mix onto each piece. Serve immediately.

If you’re not serving immediately, serve the tomato mix separately from the toast to avoid sogginess. Enjoy your crisp, fresh bruschetta – and share! Italian food is for sharing! Feel free to add fresh avo, a bit of mozzarella - or anything else your family enjoys to pump up the taste.


105 views September 25th, 2014 By admin

Leadership 2020, an educational, social entrepreneurship driven movement led by DJ Sbu ‘Sbusiso’ Leope is about to launch a sub brand to its events bouquet called Sunday Circle.

The company formed in 2013 has been involved with a host of large scale leadership seminars and events featuring top international brand names such as Richard Branson, Robert Kiosaki, Robin Sharma to name a few. Most recently Leadership 2020 held a 4-day Mega-Fest sponsored by Ekurhuleni Municipality that saw the likes of home grown business tycoon Robert Gumede, the charismatic David Molapo.  Canadian JT Foxx, and Oprah Winfrey’s business partner Stedman Graham and more on the same stage.

Leadership 2020 CEO Nicolas Regisford said “Sunday Circle is designed for the progressive thinkers in Johannesburg who enjoy being around like-minded people strategizing on the next move in their business or personal career growth. It’s a space where egos are left at the door and members of the audience are compelled to help each other grow.”

At the first Sunday Circle event on 7th September, a young Durban based motivational speaker and author was awarded an all-expenses paid trip to Ireland to represent Leadership 2020 at ONE YOUNG WORLD SUMMIT and auctioned 4 of his self-published books for R1000 as well as picking up a clothing sponsorship from SIMONI clothing brand.

Regisford went on to say “The energy in the room is electric and people just feel compelled to give, which is a beautiful thing. Leope who is executive chairman of Leadership 2020 mentioned that “Education is critical and we can never stop learning. We have created Sunday Circle to speak to the continuously hungry go-getters who value a challenging, up market, quality experience to help sharpen their minds and of course increase their contacts. The whole idea of this is to introduce a network that increases the net-worth of each individual plugged in.”

Each Sunday Circle event features a headline/keynote speaker, poetry, comedy and LIVE music performances. The venue for Sunday Circle is Cantare Supper Club at Monte Casino. Leadership 2020 have 6 remaining events until the end of 2014 happening on the last and first Sunday of each month kicking off with a media launch on Sunday 28th September 2014. The follow on events will be 5th & 26th October 2nd & 30th November, 7th December 2014

Tickets are on sale in advance to the public, corporates and companies as well as individuals are welcome. Visit www.sundaycircle.co.za for more information, and a look at pictures from previous events as well as to book tickets for upcoming events.

Exclusive Books’ budget-busting weapon

222 views September 18th, 2014 By Jacqui Thompson

By Jacqui Thompson

Exclusive Books is a very well-known and popular chain of over 40 book stores in South Africa with a branch in Botswana. Being a bit of a bibliophile, I think I have been to every store but recently had the pleasure of popping in for a quick three hour shopping spree at Constantia Village shopping centre and met someone who could easily be the best Exclusive Books employee ever.

Alison is an extraordinary young woman who works at this CapeTown branch. Not only is she proactive in coming forward to offer her help instead of waiting for a customer to start rubber-necking but she has an even wider interest in books than I have.  I admit there are certain genres that I just don’t do.  Alison seems to read them all.

She chatted knowledgeably about all the new releases which included biographies and sports books, the fabulous selection of World War 1 books because of the 100 years commemoration, South African authors, the Classics, the latest coffee table books as well as chic lit.

Coolest, quickest salads for hot summer African days

132 views September 17th, 2014 By Dianne Bayley

sorrento-saladSouth Africans love getting out there, having a braai accompanied by fresh, cold salads on hot, balmy days. Everyone has their version of what a braai should be, but it’s always a surprise to see who brings which salad to the event!

Here are a couple of easy, quick-to-make salads to delight your guests or take along with you to the next braai you’re invited to.

Cool as a Cucumber Salad

Makes 4 servings - double up for parties


  • 2 seedless English cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Whisk vinegar, sugar, oil, soy sauce, and salt together in a separate bowl; pour over cucumbers. Stir to coat. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

Mpumalanga, land of the rising sun

1,405 views September 17th, 2014 By admin

mpumalangaThe sun rises on a mecca for adventure lovers, art lovers, beauty seekers, game seekers, fishermen and vast flocks of flamingo

The land of the rising sun. That’s what they call Mpumalanga. And its sun certainly has been rising in the past few years. Mpumalanga has undergone a tourism boom - and it’s not hard to see why. With easy access to the best parts of the Kruger National Park and the scenic Blyde River Canyon, as well as Swaziland and Mozambique, the province is pulling the crowds.

Mpumalanga has also become something of an artists’ haven in the past few years, and the region boasts interesting art routes, wonderful curio and craft, as well as good shopping, music and contemporary festivals and happenings. The Mozambican influence is evident in the cuisine and local culture, and there’s a good Swazi mix too! And for action adventurers, Mpumalanga has everything from gorge swinging and bungee jumping to serious 4×4 trails and river rafting.

Scenic drama

Incredible canyons and wild gorges, ancient caves and vast tracts of bushveld … there’s plenty of natural drama in Mpumalanga. The province’s greatest wonder is the 25km-long Blyde River Canyon, third largest in the world. You can also check out the world’s oldest dolomite caves - we’re talking 2 000 million years - at Sudwala, near Nelspruit. And, of course, the world-famous Kruger National Park is also at the wild heart of Mpumalanga.

As fences have gone down between Mozambican, Zimbabwean and South African national parks, the Kruger has become part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP), also known as “the world’s greatest animal kingdom”. At 35 000km2, the GLTP is being developed for 4×4 adventures, hiking, game viewing, birding, fishing and eco-tourism.

Tourism regions

Mpumalanga is divided into seven different tourism regions:

Lowveld Legogote

Lowveld Legogote includes the capital city of Nelspruit, the wild-horse town of Kaapsehoop, creative and eccentric White River and the vibey township KaNyamazane. Seat of the provincial legislature, Lowveld Legogote is the urban centre of Mpumalanga, and the best place to restock, replenish, refuel. If it all gets too much, take a quick break in the Nelspruit Botanical Garden right in the heart of the city. The incredible Sudwala Caves fall within Lowveld Legogote, and are a must-see - especially for kids!


The flagship region of Mpumalanga is the Panorama. As the name suggests, this region scores a bit fat 10 on the Scenery Scale. And it’s all because of the Blyde River Canyon. The canyon is the world’s third largest and the most “green”, that is, the most treed. Take a self-drive adventure along the Panorama Route. Scenic highlights are God’s Window, the Three Rondavels and Bourke’s Luck Potholes. The Panorama region includes the small towns of Hazyview, Sabie, Graskop and Orighstad, and the quaint little village of Pilgrim’s Rest, a living museum of the gold-rush days. Hazyview is a major gateway to the Kruger National Park, and Graskop is a thriving forestry town, known for its arts and crafts (and pancakes). The awesome Long Tom Pass goes from Sabie to Lydenberg or vice versa. It’s 57km long and it reaches 2 149m above sea level at its summit.

Wild Frontier

The imposing Mkonjwa mountains are said to be of the oldest in the world, which makes for an interesting start to the region they call the Wild Frontier. The region borders Mozambique, Swaziland and the southern tip of the Kruger National Park, and includes the historic towns of Barberton, Komatipoort, Kaapmuiden and Badplaas. Explore the cradle of geological life, walk in the footsteps of gold-diggers and fortune-seekers, relive the heady days of pioneers, garter-snapping barmaids and highway robbers. The Wild Frontier region also offers access into Swaziland, and along the N4 into Mozambique.

Highlands Meander

Mpumalanga’s Highlands Meander is South Africa’s premier fly-fishing mecca, often referred to - by reason of the number of visitors from the province’s urbanised southern neighbour, Gauteng - as Trouteng. Set among its highlands and grasslands, streams, dams and wetlands, are the little towns of Belfast, Dullstroom, Lydenberg, Waterval Boven and Onder, and Machadodorp. Famed for its charm and mountain scenery, the region has some of the subcontinent’s rarest birds, amazing wild-flower displays and excellent rock climbing, and it is a mere two hours from Gauteng on the N4.

Grass and wetlands

Mpumalanga’s best-kept secret is Chrissiesmeer, the subcontinent’s largest natural freshwater lake district. The village, situated in the central grass and wetlands region, is surrounded by 270 lakes and pans that attract more than 20 000 flamingo every year. The region borders Kwazulu-Natal and the Free State, as well as the kingdom of Swaziland, the last absolute monarchy in sub-Saharan Africa. It includes the agricultural centres of Carolina, Hendrina, Ermelo, Volksrust, Piet Retief, Amsterdam, Breyten, Lothair and Morgenzon. Chrissiesmeer also boasts a mysterious giant footprint in rock that matches one in Canada, and hosts an annual frog-watching festival in summer and stargazing festival in winter. It is a wetland of global importance and one of the premier birding spots in the country.

Cultural Heartland

Most famed for its Ndebele culture, the Cultural Heartland includes the north-western towns of Witbank, Middelburg, Siyabuswa, Groblersdal, Marble Hall and Roossenekal. You can take a self-drive route to visit cultural villages with painted houses, beadwork and arts and crafts on display. There’s also a Boer War history route for buffs.

The region is also home to assorted watersports, mainly on the Witbank Dam, the largest municipal dam in the southern hemisphere, with a catchment area of 3 540km2.

Cosmos Country

Cosmos Country is hardly the name you’d expect from a region that is the centre of South Africa’s fuel-from-coal production, but in late summer, the area redeems itself when the local cosmos flowers in a riot of pinks and whites. Cosmos Country lies in the south-western part of Mpumalanga against the Free State and Gauteng borders, and includes the towns of Secunda, Delmas, Leandra, Bethal, Standerton, Balfour and Greylingstad. East of Bethal, the areas of Carolina, Ermelo and Piet Retief are important for sheep farming, and this is also home to the Ndebele people, who are famous for their colourful house painting, beadwork and crafts.


Run Jozi with AKA!

123 views September 16th, 2014 By Nomfundo

Behind the scenes of AKA's latest offering titled Godly - also known as Run Jozi.

Behind the scenes of AKA's latest offering titled Godly - also known as Run Jozi.

AKA’s Run Jozi [Godly] music video featuring KO of Teargas fame was trending over the weekend after a world premier exclusive ‘AKA Friday’ dedication on Channel O.

Run Jozi [Godly] is the current single off the album #LEVELS which is firing up the airwaves and topping national retail charts.

#LEVELS has been No 1 on the streaming service Deezer since the album was released and held the No 1 chart position on iTunes.

Follow AKA / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook



iTunes - http://smarturl.it/AKALevels

Deezer - http://www.deezer.com/album/8023898

Music Videos:

Kontrol - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBYTL-yWSMI

Jealousy - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHiD9X-_UiA

Congratulate - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8hofUKu18M

Run Jozi [Godly] - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-ADxrqcyxY

Behind The Scenes:

Run Jozi [Godly] - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCbgg7d2WPk


126 views September 16th, 2014 By Nomfundo

It’s apt that South Africa’s beloved “first lady of song” celebrates her birthday on Heritage Day on September 24.

As a precursor to both events and in the last Road to Joy of Jazz concert before the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz, the legendary Sibongile Khumalo will be performing at Montecasino on Saturday, September 20 at 20h00.

She will be joined on stage at the Teatro at Montecasino by Kabomo Vilakazi, Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse and Mimi Ntenjwa.

Khumalo’s singing talents range from opera to jazz, choral music and musical theatre, always grounded by traditional and folk music of South Africa. She has been lauded as one of the great singing talents of her time, and has inspired the creation of new music by South African composers, both in the classical art song as well as jazz genres. She was a Standard Bank Young Artist (SBYA) winner for music in 1993.

Standard Bank Joy of Jazz takes place at the Sandton Convention Centre from September 25 to 27.
The 2014 Standard Bank Joy of Jazz is produced by T-Musicman and brought to audiences by Standard Bank in association with the Department of Arts & Culture; the City of Joburg, Gauteng Province and South African Tourism.

Go to:
 www.facebook.com/standardbankjoyofjazz

• Tickets for Road to Standard Bank Joy of Jazz with Sibongile Khumalo and Friends at Montecasino and the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz are available through Computicket.