Archive | October, 2017

The Angolan Goddess and media mogul: Weza Solange.

31 Oct

Weza Solange

As I continue profiling my Waka talent, today I would like to introduce you
Weza Solange, our Angolan Goddess and media mogul.
Weza is a TV presenter, actor, producer and digital influencer from Luanda, Angola.
She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and a Diploma in Business Management, is a familiar face to Channel O audiences who have seen her as a presenter on screen.
Weza Solange first got introduced to the whole of Africa during Big Brother’s amplified 6 season.The Angolan beauty caught our attention with her exotic and captivating accent, not forgetting bold personality. 
Weza still remains a household name within the Pan African entertainment industry and with a new role on one of South Africa’s most popular soapie, Weza still has a lot to offer the industry.

She also starred as Fumi Uche in the Mzansi Magic telenovela Inkaba, from 2012-2013.

Weza produced her first TV show, called Acceso VIP.  It’s a lifestyle entertainment show that aired on Jango Magic, DSTV channel 513. Many people don’t know about it because it was in Portuguese, specifically for the Angolan and Mozambican market.

Weza presents the first Portuguese PanAfrican travel show of its kind. It is called Conheca Mzansi, meaning Meet Mzansi. It is aired on Zimbo TV.


Her showreel bouquet includes:

10 Over 10 – Season 2 – Commentator – Herself

Big Brother Africa – Season 6 (Amplified) – Housemate – Herself

Generations – Season 1 – Hope

iNkaba – Season 1 – Fumi Uche

The Channel O Africa Music Video Awards – Season 8 (Channel O Music Video Awards) – Red Carpet Host – Herself

Her TV hosting roles include:

Host of ‘Top Mais’: A music and lifestyle show, aired on Channel O.
Host of the first Miss Africa pageant, 2016.
Host of TV Show Extrem Conversar
V-reporter for the voice of Angola
Co-host on 2016 Miss Africa Calabar for Climate change.
Guest presenter at 2016 MTV Africa awards.
Angola and Mozambique brand ambassador for Sadia foods.
Angolan ambassador for the Africa International Hair expo.
Involved with Adopt A School Charity Organisation.
Doctors Without Borders.

Weza has received many accolades including:
Voted Angola’s most influential celebrity in social media.
Johannesburg fashion week.
Africa fashion week

Her production credits include:
Production of Acesso VIP- Entertainment show on DSTV
Producer of Nzianga guesthouse, TVC
The Voice Angola
Project manager of the Online team for ‘ Big Brother Angola’.

Passion driven Slam dunks: The Jerome Du Plooy story.

30 Oct


It was 2012, I received a call from young man who automatically called me Aunty Rosie. He said this is Jerome, your nephew, please could you come by and give some advice on m TV work. As I have said many times before, I believe that people come into our lives for a reason and if the timing is right, a great synergy can be created. As I listened to this voice on the other end of the phone, I heard a voice of an eager young man, I knew that this was a relationship to be cemented. I immediately obliged. On meeting up I was energised by the passion and ambition that exploded from this amazing young man. He was incredibly polite, respectful and determined, qualities that still live in him today. From that day on, I knew that as much as I could provide advice and wisdom on his career, Jerome was sent to me to teach me a few lessons. The lessons being humility, respect and living a life full of passion.

Who is Jerome Du Plooy, a.k.a SLIM?

Val Sham Photography054.jpg

Slim, as he is commonly called, grew up in Kliptown, Soweto. Slim and his single mom lived without electricity for around 16 years and faced many trials and tribulations, but the light was never switched off on Du Plooy’s aspirations.
“When you come up the way I came up, you’re tempted by a lot of things,” Slim says, explaining the difficulties and challenges he faced growing up. “You’re surrounded by people who sell drugs, you’re surrounded by poverty and you have to decide what you want to do, if you want to be different, and I chose to be different… You’ve got to keep positive and follow positive people; that way you avoid all of the negativity going around.”
Slim remained dedicated to his schooling and completed high school with good marks. On growing up, he said he was fortunate to be raised in a home instilled with discipline and he never got involved in unlawful things in his neighbourhood.He decided to stay indoors and surrounded himself with positive thinkers at his church and to keep the focus.
In 2006 he was selected to represent South Africa in an after-school programme called City Year. He was then chosen to go to the global City Years’ CCG Conference in New York.
That was when his inspiration for bringing change and giving back to the community
He said that ever since he was four years old his mum knew that he was going to be an entertainer because he could sing all Michael Jackson songs. “Art gives me freedom it makes me invincible,”
While still at school (Klipspruit West Secondary in Soweto), he attended the Soweto Kliptown Youth (SKY) after-school program sponsored by the NBA (American National Basketball Association) and took up basketball. As a member of Soweto Kliptown Youth (SKY), a non-governmental organisation that provides an array of services and support to neighbourhood children, Slim caught the attention of NBA Africa while playing basketball for the SKY basketball team. “The NBA saw something in me and ever since then they’ve adopted me,” he says. He loved playing basketball and talking about basketball – it was the beginning of a great passion. Great things followed: the NBA took him on a trip to America and sponsored his academic studies at Boston Media House in Johannesburg. In 2009, he graduated with a Boston diploma in media, majoring in radio broadcasting. Shortly thereafter, he was offered a presenting job at Eldoz FM, after being mentored by Kieno Kammies. Basketball opened up the world for Slim, and now he is using what he has learned and earned to help other children out of a world of poverty and deprivation in the south of Joburg.

Today, ‘Slim’ du Plooy is a sought-after MC, actor, radio and television personality as well as a motivational speaker and a brand ambassador for Nike SA. He has represented South Africa on the global basketball development and scouting programme run by NBA, the Basketball Without Borders programme, where he rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in basketball, such as Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving and Caron Butler.
“I keep telling young people what I often tell myself: don’t limit yourself, think big,”
“If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect other people to believe in you?
Despite a busy schedule, Slim makes time to mentor youth and play his part in ensuring that youth from underprivileged backgrounds don’t have to struggle the way he did.
“I have always wanted to give back but I had to wait until such a time that I was in the position to do so. I was one of the few who made it, and when you make it, you make it for all of us,” he says.

Slim Cares.
In 2011, he started his Slim Cares organisation through which he has made a difference to the lives of a number of youngsters in Soweto. He has, for example, partnered with organisations such as Boston City Campus and the Sunday School Foundation to provide clothing and study bursaries.
He also started out with ‘100 toys for 100 kids’ and a project called 100 meals for 100 families,”. He was also involved in raising 600 meals and 300 toys for the less fortunate in his neighbourhood.He says people lived on borrowed time and therefore it is difficult to tell where he will be in ten or 20 years from now.
“Slim Care endeavours to empower youngsters who will make their families proud. I despise a person who was proactive in school but ends up as a begger because of sheer laziness,” says Slim. He looks to play his part in ensuring that youth from underprivileged backgrounds don’t have to struggle the way he did. Since founding the initiative he has fed and clothed hundreds of children living in the south of Johannesburg. Slim Cares has partnered with a number of different organisations, such as Boston City Campus and the Sunday School Foundation on its initiatives.
He advises people “to declare ‘good things are going to happen today and that you are a success’. As the saying goes: The tallest tree catches the strongest wind”.
“Giving back is key,” says Du Plooy. “You have to be a blessing to others. I don’t give back because I have much, but because I know what it’s like growing up with nothing. I didn’t want these kids to grow up this way, which is why I started Slim Cares, which was inspired by the NBA.”


He has represented South Africa on the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders programme, where he rubbed shoulder with some of the biggest names in basketball, such as Dwight Howard, Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony. Basketball Without Borders is the global basketball development and scouting programme run by NBA and FIBA. It has reached more than 1 700 players from more than 120 countries, and 28 of the programme players have been drafted into the NBA.
Du Plooy was the MC at the NBA All-Star Jam Session at the Orange County Convention Centre in Orlando, in the United States in February 2012 and has featured on the annual Basketball Without Borders programmes in Africa since 2009. He says: ”Seeing guys like Dwight Howard and Kyrie Irving going out of their way to help people less fortunate than them is part of the reason why I strive to be better.”
On experience at AL Star NBA:
I enjoyed rocking with JJ on the mic who works for the Box 97.9 in Houston. One day I hope me and her could rock a centre court event together because of the chemistry we had. Met great DJ’s like the DJ Supastar, DJ Irie as well as a brother and friend Freestyle Steve who is Timbaland’s official DJ. I was honoured to meet some All Stars like Kyrie Irving, Swinn Cash, Chris Bosh, Dwight Howard and Luol Deng who is like a brother and close friend.
Slim and NBA Commissioner, David Stern
To describe the All Star Game is almost impossible as the experience in itself was so surreal! I spotted Jay and Bey court side and also managed to catch a glimpse of Diddy, Usain Bolt and even 2 Chainz showed up to the game. Ne-Yo and Alicia Keys delivered killer performances!The feedback I received from the crowd was amazing. They really loved what I did at Jam Session and want to take in everything this opportunity made possible and continue to work hard so that next year, hopefully, I could go back to New Orleans and New York after that (if I’m lucky).

Slim and power forward-center for the Miami Heat, Chris Bosh

I was blessed to be part of the experience in Orlando, Florida last year (2012) and being called up to MC for a second year was an absolute privilege. Jam session is this amazing experience that gives fans the opportunity to experience what would actually happen during the All Star Weekend; events like the Taco Bell Skills challenge and the centre court events. All Stars would show up and fans would have the chance to get autographs as well as pictures with their favourite players. A highlight that comes to mind is that Iman Shumpert of the New York Knicks happened to cook on the sport court, one of the courts I was an MC on! The Houston Rockets Power Dancers and Texas Legends Dancers were also on those very courts.

Slim and LA Lakers’ Dwight Howard

Slim and NBA small forward for the Chicago Bulls, Lloul Deng

Overall, Houston was a great place to be working in and the hotel in which I was living in was more like an apartment than a hotel 🙂 The Residence Inn Hotel Downtown was good to me. I was also privileged to make a speech at the Rotary which does a lot of great work internationally .If you ever have enough money I would encourage you to save up and head out to All Star Weekend. You will not regret it!

Slim and Swin Cash, WNBA player for the Chicago Sky

His on Screen work includes:
Rhythm City where he played Twakkie
He had an entertainment slot on YFM
He also appeared in a Disprin advert; hence the nickname ‘Headache Man’.
He hosted the Basketball Show on SABC1.

Passion driven life!
When speaking to him on passion and purpose, his response was: Turning your passion into a career is no big deal when you know how to do it. Problem is, not many of us know how to do it.
Passion tips from Slim
Choose one thing that you love and at which you excel. Passion needs to be backed by ability and talent.
Get started, no matter how small a step, take it so you can start heading in the right direction.
Make sure you study, because skills and knowledge increase your chances of success
Choose a motto for yourself; Slim stands for Success Lies In Me.
Don’t limit yourself, dream big.
Network non-stop. Let people know about your dreams and aspirations so they can help you reach them.
Look for opportunities in unexpected places because one thing may lead to another great thing. With a media diploma, you can for example become 1) the public relations officer for a sports company or a sports team or club; 2) events organizer for a sport organization/ club or work for yourself; 3) a sports writer for a media or sports activation company; 4) a sports commentator for radio and TV.
Always be and do good to others.
Being humble takes you the extra mile – Just believe
“The neighbourhood has nothing to do with influencing you but certain people living in it. If you are weak you will fall prey to these unscrupulous people,” said Du Plooy.

He has been involved in various programmes such as hosting the NBA All Star weekend for the last four years which was held in Orlando in 2012; in 2013 it was held Houston, 2014 in New Orleans and 2015 in New York.

His concluding quote:
“ Life is short but I know that God holds a bright future and something good for me and every person who is reading this.
You can make plans but the Big Man directs your actions,”

For more information on slim contact
Watch his interview on:

The Liberian Warrior Queen

27 Oct

WAKA 3-1

In 2011 when I started Waka Talent Agency, my first casting assignment was with MNET. Our project title was to run casting/auditions for the Nigerian soapie, Tinsel. The casting/auditions sessions were to find characters from Ghana and Kenya. As I took off with my Nigerian based crew and producer, Rogers Office, we set on finding some of Africa’s most promising talent.
Our first stop was Accra, Ghana. We spent two days auditioning men and women who wished to ignite their passion and pursue their dreams of becoming great African TV stars. On the second day of auditions, this beautiful and vibrant women came into the room, wearing an amazing bright red African inspired jump suit. She was a truly proud woman. When I looked at her audition form, I noticed that she was not Ghanaian but in fact Liberian. I had never visited Liberia but I remember one of my colleagues on Studio 53 once covered stories from there. This dynamic lady was Patrice Juah. She gave an amazing audition and I knew the and there that our paths wold cross again and I knew that I had to work with her.
We remained in contact from then and I followed her career, activism and journey and a few years back, I knew I had to sign her to Waka Talent. I will give a brief description of who she is and what she represents and you will understand why the synergy was so necessary.

WAKA 2-1

Patrice is a writer, poet, entrepreneur, broadcaster, Girls’ Education Advocate, Communications Professional, Activist, and former Miss Liberia. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications, an advanced certificate in Fashion Design, and a certificate in Business & Entrepreneurship.
She is also a Mandela Washington Fellow of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)

Patrice is dedicated to changing Liberia’s image within the international community. She strives to motivate and empower young women by supporting several local non-profit organisations’ efforts in educating women on topics such as HIV/AIDs, teenage pregnancy, education, and workforce development.

She is also the Founder and Managing Director of Moie, an ethnic brand promoting Liberia’s textile industry and creative sector, while empowering rural weavers and artisans.
MOIE is an ethnic textile and fashion company that brands and promotes the local Liberian fashion industry and the traditional woven fabric “country cloth”.

Changing Africa entails creating sustainable projects to systemise and pro-mote industries with great potential, such as the Liberian Fashion Industry. Moie is at the forefront of forging avenues in the Liberian Fashion Industry.

Her writings have featured on PBS NewsHour, African Feminist Forum, Liberian Observer, Conversations on Liberia and the Sea Breeze Journal of Contemporary Liberian Writings. In 2013, she was invited by UNFPA to present her poem, “Fistula, I Have Conquered You”, written to honour the survivors of Fistula at the 1st International Day to End Obstetric Fistula.
Patrice is the Chairperson and Founder of the Miss Education Awareness Pageant, Africa’s first Pan-African education pageant, which promotes and advocates for girls’ education on the continent. She’s also the founder of “Sexy Like A Book”, an academic initiative designed to inspire young women and girls to improve their perspective on reading, literacy and education. She’s a regular contributor to the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) radio show, ‘Girl Power’ that promotes self-esteem, confidence, and the importance of leadership in local communities.


She has just published her book titled: Enchanting Voices.

Ms. Juah founded the Martha Juah Educational Foundation, named in honour of her mother, a retired primary school teacher of 47 years, to advocate for scholarships for young girls in rural Liberia.

She was invited by First Lady Michelle Obama in July 2014, for a roundtable discussion on Girls’ Education in Africa, and served as an advisory committee member for the 2015 African Creative Economy Conference, held in Yaoundé, Cameroon. During the West African Ebola outbreak, she launched the “Ebola Is Not My Identity” campaign along with other artists to combat the problem of stigmatisation. The goal of the campaign was to showcase creative works of art that reflected hope for Liberia on her path to recovery, other than the images of despair shown on the new wires at the time.

In 2015, she was featured in Amina Magazine as one of the new female faces of the African Creative Economy, and was also spotlighted by Brand Woman Africa in the same year as one of the women whose efforts are positively changing Africa one community at a time.

This young, driven and vivacious woman believes that for Africa to succeed, Africans must make education a powerful driver and the strongest instrument in the reduction of poverty, improving health, gender equality, peace and stability. She’s a member of UN Women’s Civil Society Advisory Group on Liberia and recently served as keynote speaker at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Week in Geneva, Switzerland, as a guest of the U.S government. She describes herself as a “gem of unimaginable proportions”.

WAKA 5-1

She will be in South Africa in November to promote her book: Enchanted Voices as have partnered with Xarra Book stores.
If you wish to meet with her or listen to one of her thought provoking talks on her work, please do let us know.

On the Ebola crisis, Patrice took time to write a poem on the anguish and pain that it brought. She also became determined to not let the disease define her or her country.

The Ebola Ride

By Patrice Juah

On the Ebola ride,

paranoia is the driver.

It takes you on a high

leaving your senses hanging in the wild.

Fear is its deputy,

and panic, the conductor.

You never know which way the bus will go,

but you are told that as long as you stay put, constantly wash your hands,

and limit human contact; you’re in a “safe” place, at least for a while.

You do your best, to secure your seat,

making sure your loved ones are safely on board,

but as the death news come in, you’re reminded that this isn’t a normal ride.

You get a sudden kick, a silent voice asking why you’re still here;

perhaps on a mission, or for a purpose, you think.

Then suddenly humility takes over, the only calm you’ll feel in a while,

as you give thanks for still being alive.

And this is all happening on the Ebola ride.

Still on the road, Pickups rush by with men dressed like aliens,

either carrying or going to pick up fallen victims.

And somewhere at a Containment Unit, a baby cries in horror,

as his mother takes her last breath.

As you peek through the window,

crowded streets create the illusion of a normal life,

but as alive as everything appears from the outside, fear is killing us slowly on the inside.

Sometimes we wonder who’ll get off next.

But that’s the Ebola ride: no traffic lights, no horns,

no road signs, just us against an unseen enemy.

The night brings relative calm, but we rarely sleep,

as the nightmare of what’s to come the day ahead, haunts our dreams.

If you’re a diehard patriot, you remain on the ride for the love of country.

If you’re poor, the ride is your only choice.

If your survivor is your priority, you’re left with more choices then one:

to flee for dear life, with hope of returning when normal days are back?

Well, in the midst of this chaos, no one can tell.

And on the other side, the ocean wind sets the flames in the Crematorium ablaze,

as our hearts leap, for the souls of the ones we loved so dearly.

No last goodbyes, only memories, anguish, pain and grief.

The road is too narrow, the ride long and bumpy.

When will we arrive? No one really knows.

We’re stuck on this ride, with tiny doses of hope.

And though help arrives, we’re still in doubt,

as they too are clueless about when the ride will end.

So world, we’re here,

on this hand washing, temperature taking,

friends avoiding, hugs and handshakes prohibiting,

nonstop Ebola ride.

The Little Stunner takes on the world!

26 Oct

Source: The Little Stunner takes on the world!

The Little Stunner takes on the world!

26 Oct


When I started WAKA talent agency, my aim was to create Pan African synergies within the entertainment industry, manage and represent some of Africa’s finest talent and to nurture and train young talent. As I embarked on my journey, I have been blessed that most of my clients have found me, we have seen where the necessary synergy lies and joined forces. When deciding on working with an individual, I always look to see where their passion lies, how they understand the industry and brand value and what their vision is. As I have traveled many times to Uganda, I have really researched the market, the trends and celebrity bouquet. I was fortunate to work with a young dynamic individual, called Sheilah Gashumba. I monitored her for a while as I was rather intrigued by her strong work ethic and ethos. At such a young age she has achieved so much. What intrigued me most is her level of humility, grace and charm but her willingness to learn more and take her rand further.


She has branded herself as the Little stunner, this is her story:
Sheilah studied at The City Varsity Media and Creative arts school in Cape Town.
She is definitely one of the most recognisable faces in Uganda, Sheilah was literally raised on television, having first graced the silver screen at a tender age of 10, as a News Anchor and Reporter of the Kids News show on WBS TV. The gig saw her land a role as a brand ambassador of AQUA SAFE WATER to promote clean and safe drinking water for children.

Two years later, she upgraded to TEENS CLUB, a live entertainment programme that also tackled issues that resonated with teens, as the youngest amongst a team of five teen presenters. The show used to air for two hours every Saturday.
In 2009, Sheila Gashumba garnered another milestone as the youngest journalist to cover the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which was presided over by The Queen of England, in Kampala, Uganda. During this momentous period, she stringed for Daily Monitor, Uganda’s most widely read and respected independent newspaper, in the CHOGM Teens column.
Always looking for constant growth, Sheilah upgraded to THE BEAT, a musical show on NTV, Uganda alongside Douglas Lwanga where she presents the highly acclaimed Exclusive Access segment. Exclusive Access is a 15 minutes show on THE BEAT that provides exclusive information, studio sessions, behind the scenes of the entertainment industry and the people that run it.

Sheilah has interviewed the following celebrities: Wiz Kid, Davido, D’banj, Yemi Alade, Patoranking and others. Sheilah has also interviewed former Principal Private Secretary to the President of Uganda and Minister of Trade and Industry and Member of Uganda’s Parliament Mr.s Amelia Kyambadde and the Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago in her Exclusive Access segment.

She is the first and only Ugandan TV presenter who covered the Channel O Music Video Awards, which were held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2014 and the Big Brother Africa Finals in the same year and the most recent prestigious MTV MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS 2016 in Johannesburg
She has received many awards in her lifetime and these are just a few:
Best Teeniez TV Show Buzz Awards 2012 &2013 (T-Nation)
Best Teens TV Show Radio & TV Awards 2012& 2013 (T-Nation)
Best Music Show Radio & TV Awards 2014, 2015
Radio & TV Awards – (Ntv The Beat)
Teeniez Favourite TV Show; Buzz Teeniez Awards 2014 & 2015
Best Entertainment TV Show
Uganda Entertainment Awards – (NTV The Beat)


Business Mogul
Sheilah Gashumba is on her way to becoming a business mogul. In late 2014, she started her own brand house GASH GLAM that deals in 100 per cent human hair extensions, trendy sunglasses, waist trainers and stylish clothes, which took Ugandan style lovers by storm. Celebrities, socialites and fashionistas have her number on speed dial to keep up with the trends.
She has also ventured into events management and is behind Sarafina Events that organised the old out UG-Rwanda night.
She is a revered emcee and show host, these are a few of her prior gigs:
(2014- 2015)


Sheilah has signed a year contract with Africell, Uganda.
Africell unveiled Celebrated TV Star Sheila Gashumba as their Face of the Popularly Trending Triple Data offer
KAMPALA, Uganda: Africell last night officially unveiled the #TripleData offer to the Ugandan data market. This launch is in pursuit of Africell’s promise to offer the most competitive voice and data deals to their current and prospective customers countrywide.

She will be hosting this years STARQT awards to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa on 4 November 2017.
Whilst in the country she will be embarking on a few new projects, which will be revealed in 2018.

Sheilah Gashumba is living proof that dynamite comes in small packages. I can honestly say that she is a true Ugandan and and Pan African representative.

Pan African heritage: Zambia

25 Oct

Source: Pan African heritage: Zambia

Unleashing Africa’s feminine power

25 Oct

D-Empress: Dianne Regisford
profile upclose J Dearing photography

The entertainment industry across the world is a great avenue to meet beautifully gifted and free spirited individuals. Like every industry, there are the negatives, I choose to focus on the positive. I met an amazing women many years back, who exuded true African pride, beauty and passion. She embodied it all at a time when myself and many other South Africans had not realised or rather lived our truly African spirit. This powerful force was Dianne Regisford. We had met though mutual friends at various artistic inspired events. Over the past two years, she appeared on my radar through the social media space and once again I was enthralled by her strong energy and powerful stature. We began speaking, and soon we decided to embark on a new partnership.
I am a strong believer that every single person we meet is not by coincidence but for a reason. I believe she has so much wisdom that needs t be unleashed. Wisdom on our feminine power, our souls, or heritage and understanding the strength that lies in the African matriarch.
D-empress, soon became a Waka star representing Jamaica and the African diaspora.

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Dianne Regisford is a Feminine Fyah Priestess, inspirational speaker & Intuitive Energy healer. She is a revered Visual & Performance Artiste
The Artivist:
As an artivist (artist-activist), Dianne is particularly interested in creating spaces for sensory engagement, storytelling and encounter.

Her current collections include; Evoking Belonging & The Venus Sensorium: Imbibing Hersto-Rhetoric and other musings…
Both collections, currently in development, are multi-media assemblage of paintings, poetry and spoken word performance, offered as provocations to act.
D-Empress was a participating artist at the world’s leading contemporary art platform for African art, the Dakar Biennale in 2014. She has also exhibited in France & the UK, and has performed in South Africa, Ethiopia, France, Malta and the UK.

D-Empress merges artistry with Kahuna Lomi Lomi – a transformative energy bodywork practice. Trained in the ancient Kahuna Temple Lomi Lomi style indigenous to the Polynesian Islands, Dianne, a practicing healer, visions all of her oeuvres as offerings for healing. Lomi lomi is the word used today to mean “massage therapist” or “Hawaiian massage.” Traditionally in ancient Hawaii lomilomi was practiced in four contexts:

1. As a healing practice of native healers — kahuna lāʻau lapaʻau (healers) and kahuna hāhā (diagnosticians)
2. As a luxury and an aid to digestion, especially by the ruling chiefs (aliʻi)
3. As restorative massage within the family
4. By ʻōlohe lua (masters of the Hawaiian martial arts)

I was privileged to experience a session by D-empress. The experience was truly magical for me. I felt so relaxed and at peace during the massage It really released some long held fatigue and I felt so energized afterwards. I felt like I was surrounded by love and felt pampered beyond words. I walked out feeling like my whole body was on a cloud. I would highly recommend this beautiful journey.


Currently a Social Sculpture PhD researcher and practitioner based at Oxford Brookes University, UK. Entitled, Evoking Belonging, Dianne’s doctoral research explores intersections between the African Bantu philosophy of ubuntu and the cultural imaginary as a dynamic portal to crafting belonging amongst African-Caribbean Diaspora and migrant communities in the context of urban

The Soulfyah Sanctuary: Passion, Purpose, Poetics for Soulful Success

A generative power, healing space for women, their sisters, daughters and mothers, created by D-Empress Dianne Regisford. In the Soulfyah Sanctuary D-Empress inspires, mentors and evokes successful women to cultivate Soulful Success by igniting their Feminine Fyah.

In the Soulfyah Sanctuary, D-Empress offers online & in-person immersive sacred healing journeys to support successful women who yearn to cultivate Soulful Success. Success which embraces their passions, their values, Success which makes a lasting contribution to society and, success which enables impact and legacy.

As a Feminine Fyah Priestess, D-Empress creates sacred healing journey which include heartful teachings, rituals & ceremonies inspired by ancient wisdoms of the African Matriarchal tradition.

An intuitive healer, D-Empress also incorporates immersive hands-on healing treatments in the programmes. These elements combine to create sacred pathways for women: mothers, sisters and daughters as support through modern day rites of passage to live passionate, powerful, purpose-filled lives of legacy.

Watch this space as we plan to create beautiful spaces across the continent for women to indulge in the Soulfyah sanctuary experience.

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24 Oct

On Monday I received a notification regarding the arrest of one of our South African warriors, Sibongile Ndashe. On 17th October 2017, she was one of twelve other people to be arrested in Tanzania. She was in a meeting with twelve lawyers and defenders who were discussing a potential lawsuit on the obstruction of access to health services for certain populations.

According to a report from, written by Mia Lindeque:
‘Police raided their meeting venue last week and detained 13 people including two South Africans before releasing them on bail. But that bail has now been revoked, they were both detained early on Friday afternoon. Shortly before her phone was taken away by Tanzanian police, Sibongile Ndashe, the executive director for Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa, told Eyewitness News authorities were trying to frighten them. “That is an offence that does not exist under Tanzanian law, for starters. So there is nothing like that in the penal code.” Ndashe says she was told that the preliminary findings by the police have been rejected by the authorities and now they’re back behind bars. “We were supposed to be re-interviewed by another unit. Just as that process started, they stopped it and said that bail has been revoked and that we need to go to the police cell.”


I felt that I needed to write about this so we can all collectively support her work and thus campaign to get her release.
Please share and sign this petition to have them released:

Here is some insight into who Sibongile Ndashe is and what she does.
Sibongile Ndashe is the founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Strategic Litigation Africa, ISLA. ISLA is a Pan- African and feminist led initiative that uses the rule of law and African domestic and regional courts to advance women’s human rights and sexual rights.
Sibongile studied law at the University of the Western Cape. She is a feminist who has worked as a public interest lawyer for the past 18 years. She started her legal career as an Article Clerk in South Africa, working for the Legal Resources Centre (1999-2000). She moved to the South African Constitutional Court as a Research Clerk in the chambers of Justice Kriegler and Justice O’regan (2001). She then worked as an attorney at the Women’s Legal Centre, leading the work on women’s property rights and women’s access to resources (2002 – 2007). Sibongile later worked as the lead lawyer on equality in Africa at Interights. Her focus was on litigating women’s human rights and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and Expression (2007 – 2013). In 2014 she founded ISLA.
Sibongile’s three objectives are; to see the development of jurisprudence of gender and sexuality before the African Human Rights Systems; to develop a pool of feminist litigators with expertise on gender and sexuality; and to equip and support social movements as they make decisions about litigation, including whether to litigate or not.
Sibongile’s work focuses on litigating gender and sexuality cases before the African Human Rights Systems. She litigates before the African Commission and the African Court. She also works with domestic lawyers from a range of African countries to provide technical legal expertise on litigating gender and sexuality cases before domestic courts. She has designed capacity strengthening programmes for lawyers working in public interest litigation such as; ‘litigation surgeries’, ‘litigation institutes’ and ‘in-depth seminars’. She teaches and has published on gender, sexuality, and strategic litigation. Sibongile works with the law but believes in justice.
Please see information on ISLA, taken from
The Initiative for Strategic Litigation in Africa (ISLA) is a Pan-African and feminist led initiative that aims to contribute to the development of jurisprudence on sexual rights and women’s human rights on the continent by providing expertise on strategic litigation. We began operations in July 2014 and were incorporated in February 2015. The need for an organisation like ours was born out of a concern of the dearth of jurisprudence before the African Human Rights Systems and domestic courts, which focus on the violations of women’s human rights and sexual rights.
Despite persistent and visible human rights violations based on gender and sexuality, current legal efforts to hold states accountable for the violations of human rights have not produced a lot of jurisprudence. At ISLA, we believe that a sustained investment in local institutions and individuals is the key to creating a critical mass of domestic lawyers who can engage in strategic litigation. This method is used to bring about significant change, via taking carefully selected cases to court and using them to change law, practice and public awareness. We work side-by-side with targeted institutions and individuals to provide ongoing capacity strengthening programmes. We aim to create a network of African women’s rights organisations, sexual rights and legal practitioners, who will identify and engage with issues at a regional level with the end-goal of social transformation.
Why We Exist
We seek to revolutionise the way that strategic litigation is used to enable broader access to justice and support those who seek to hold states accountable for violations of women’s human rights and sexual rights.
We want to develop jurisprudence before domestic courts, the African Human Rights Systems and UN treaty bodies on ISLA’s thematic areas of focus areas.
We want to nurture and facilitate a critical mass of lawyers who can do strategic litigation and support a culture of social justice lawyering. We provide the necessary training in strategic litigation that is needed for lawyers to contribute to strategic litigation cases. We provide quality and long-term support to partner institutions to provide individual and institutional support, an essential component of successful legal outcomes.
We believe that an enabling environment needs to exist to facilitate strategic litigation. We work with our partners to change laws and practices that constitute barriers to strategic litigation. These laws include restrictive amicus curiae provisions, adverse cost orders against complainants in human rights cases and prohibition of Non-Governmental Organisations from providing legal representation.
Ultimately, we want to hold states accountable for human rights violations.

Please share this information as much as possible, after all their arrests are arbitrary and they need to be released now.

Please sign this petition:


Zambia’s Geshgroove!!!

23 Oct


My love for the continent began with my time as a presenter and producer for Studio 53, a Lifestyle magazine show that was aired on MNET. Through my work travels I had the wonderful opportunity of travelling the continent, exploring its rich traditions and cultures and the best of it all, creating and cementing fruitful relationships with people that I can now call family. One relationship is with my brother from Zambia, Chishala Chitoshi Jnr. We were introduced when he became the official Zambian presenter and producer for the show. On my first trip to Zambia, the whole cast and crew was flown into Lusaka and travelled the country broadcasting different stories and highlighting the countries, tradition, culture and food.


August 1, 2008 saw the entire African operations of Celtel being rebranded from Celtel to Zain. This marked the end of the Celtel Brand. Celtel was a telecommunications company that operated in several African countries. The ceremony was hosted in various African countries, Chishala and myself compered the Zambian cross over. The event took place at a VIP gala event in Lusaka, Zambia.

Since our early days, Chishala has worked hard on his brand at becoming one of Zambia most highly rated exports as an emcee and international DJ.
Chishala is a qualified lawyer and decided to pursue his first love, that being music. Whilst studying at university, he learnt the ropes as a dj and soon earned the nickname, Geshgroove, which is his stage name up to date. He worked at The Zambia National Broadcasting corporation radio presenter, from 1995- 1996. He worked at Radio Phoenix, radio presenter and producer, 1999- 2006.
He has played in many venues across the world from Australia, to the United Kingdom, South Africa and of course Zambia. In South Africa, he has become a resident dj at News Cafe Randburg, where he has played to full houses.

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He founded his own radio station called FlavaFM, in Kitwe, on the Copper belt. Flava FM 87.7 is a broadcast radio station from Kitwe, Zambia, providing hits from way back, including 1970s and 1980s R&B, rock, house, jazz, soul,
You are now able to download the FLAVAFM App from the Google Play Store, Apple Store and Blackberry World.

Chishala then saw a need for training and passing the baton on so he founded The DJ Academy. It has been in the forefront of securing and promoting events involving International artists.

Apart from possessing 3 sets of state of the art Public Announcement & music equipment, they also provide video filming & editing services and projector & screen services and have a very large collection of music covering a wide spectrum of musical tastes – from African and Zambian classics, hi-life, township jazz to gospel, motown , 60’s rock n roll, 70’s & 80’s disco to everything contemporary – to name but a few.

They also have reputable Master of ceremonies for hire for corporate & social events.

The DJ Academy Zambia is a professional arts organisation that offers a range of DJ courses for absolute beginners to advanced DJ’s. The DJ Academy Zambia has since promoted and tutored many students and professionals into the field.
With access to some of the world’s finest DJs and tutors, along with a proven curriculum, they teach all the necessary skills and techniques, not just in DJ’ing, but also tips on how to develop a successful DJ Career with their learning experience.
The in-depth courses provide technical know-how as well as practical knowledge. So if you are a young artist or an upcoming artist, TheDJ Academy Zambia is the place for you!

DJ Courses
The Dj Academy Zambia offers you absolutely the best and offers you training with various and flexible courses, as mentioned below:

CDJ Course (CD Console)
A Course for beginners teaching you from scratch including brief theory helping you understand and learn the art of DJing. The basic course gives you an introduction to the equipments and covers all the modules which are required to become a DJ.
The second half will include Beat Matching, Mixing, Looping and more other basic techniques. The basic would take 15 working days. (2 hours every day). Time could be fixed as preferred.

CD Turntable
This course also called the VINYL DJ Course which includes an all new art & technique like sampling, basic scratching, advance scratching and also to do the same on turntables using LP’s, 45s and 16s. This is an advance course training to the students to play and master turntables. The Professional Course would be for a duration of 1month, 2 hour class every day.

To commemorate Zambian Independence Day, Geshgroove will be playing at two venues in Johannesburg South Africa.

On Saturday 28 October, he will play at NewsCafe, Randburg from 21h00. On Sunday 29th October, he will broadcast live, 14h00 to 16h00, from Katjushas Lounge in Bryanston. 277 Main road, Cramerview, Village centre, Bryanston JHB.

To creating more #PanAfrican synergies, this week we salute our sisters and brothers from Zambia.

#MeToo: Its time to expose the Harvey Weinsteins of the world.

19 Oct

Since the large number of reports of sexual harassment and assault, actresses in Hollywood have inspired women to speak up about their experiences, using the hashtag #MeToo. Actresses such as Alyssa Milano gave momentum to the campaign that has spread far beyond the entertainment industry.

Alyssa Milano took to Twitter on Sunday with an idea, suggested by a friend, she said.
She urged any women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to write two words on Twitter: “Me too.”
“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

This came days after award winning filmmaker Harvey Weinstein fell into the spotlight as many women have spoken up and brought to the forefront that they had been sexually harassed by him.

According to online artifice on, this is the story behind the Harvey Weinstein: Jason Kravarik and Brian Stelter contributed to this report.

It started with Ashley Judd.
The New York Times story that unearthed the first of what would become more than 40 accusations of sexual harassment, and in some cases assault, against Harvey Weinstein started with an account from Judd. The actress told the story of an encounter that happened more than two decades ago, when she was in the midst of filming 1997’s “Kiss the Girls.”

Judd claimed to the Times that she went to the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a business breakfast meeting with Weinstein but once there, a bathrobe-clad Weinstein asked if he could give her a massage or she could watch him shower. Her account to the Times was confirmed to CNN by her publicist.
Judd went on say: “Women have been talking about Harvey amongst ourselves for a long time, and it’s simply beyond time to have the conversation publicly.”
The Times’ initial piece said a total of eight women made claims of sexual harassment in interviews. They wouldn’t be the last.

After Judd became the first actor to go public with an accusation against Weinstein, she was joined by a chorus of others who believed a dialogue about the alleged harassment they faced by Weinstein was well overdue.

The next wave
The New Yorker’s exposé on Weinstein came just days later and the accusations were even more damning. Weinstein was accused of rape by multiple women.
One of the accusers, actress Asia Argento, confirmed her account to CNN.
“This is our truth,” she said.
A spokeswoman for Weinstein denied the rape allegations in a statement provided to CNN.
“Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein,” the statement read. “Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances.”
Italian model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, actress Mira Sorvino, actress and producer Jessica Barth, French actress Emma de Caunes, and former aspiring actress Lucia Evans also gave their accounts in the New Yorker piece.
Gutierrez can be heard in an audio tape that accompanied the article having an exchange with Weinstein in which he admits to groping her.
She wore a wire as part of a New York Police Department sting operation to investigate her allegations. The district attorney determined that he didn’t have enough evidence to charge Weinstein.
On the same day, more big names came forward in a follow-up report from the Times, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Rosanna Arquette — all telling similiar stories of sexual harassment by the movie mogul.
Paltrow said it happened at a meeting that “ended with Mr. Weinstein placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages.”
Paltrow said she refused Weinstein’s alleged advances, immediately left, and told then boyfriend, actor Brad Pitt, about the incident. He later confronted the producer in a “heated” exchange, a source confirmed to CNN.
French actress Judith Godrèche, once aspiring actress Katherine Kendall and costume designer Dawn Dunning, then an aspiring actress, also accused Weinstein of wrongdoing.
Still, they would not be the last.
To date, the accusations total more than 40 and span from 1980 to March 2015.
Judd will be honoured by the Women’s Media Centre later this month for kicking off a domino effect that collapsed decades of silence.
In a release, Gloria Steinem, co-founder of the Women’s Media Center, said the organization chose to honor Judd, a longtime humanitarian and political activist, for leading “global truth-telling in the most powerful way — by example.”


In South Africa:
The sad truth is that sexual harassment on set, at the workplace or any place for that matter is serious global issue. There are similar if not worse incidents that have happened within the South African TV and theatre community. Many years ago there were allegations that a well know theatre practitioner used to throw chairs at his his students and cast members, there were also allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct. When asked why did the cast member never fight back or leave, the response was always the same: What could they do, he is a ‘respected’ man in the community and plus they needed the work. A few years later he was cast in a local TV series and was accused by a few cast members for sexual harassment. Three of these ladies, who wish to remain anonymous have alleged that they were sexually harassed by this man. They went to the producer of the show and were made to sign non-disclose agreements. They were guaranteed that he was going to be dismissed but for other reasons. Neither of the three ladies received an apology and since they signed the non-disclosure agreements they were barred from pressing charges or talking about the incidents publicly.

One of the very disturbing factors surrounding the Harvey Weinstein’s and other sexual predators is that in many cases it is not just men who help in covering up the incidents but many times women stand in honour of the abusers, sometimes trying to convince the survivor that speaking out will do more harm. In 2015 when I complained about a production house not following protocol with adhering to the rights of women on set, my then agent told me that complaining would cause future trouble for me and the production houses will probably not want to work with me again. My response was that if that is how they operate the I would rather not work under those circumstances. The problem with such remarks is that if I was younger and just entering into the industry I would have kept quiet and allowed to be disrespected whilst working and then regretting my actions later on in my career.

What are the possible solutions?

There are many people who are working at changing these conditions on our local sets but we need to also call out those who are part of the cover up operations. The South African Guild of actors, have put in a tremendous amount of work with regard to changing legislation thus supporting the plight for women to receive dignity on sets.
With the rise of agencies and manager within the industry, I urge young actors (male and female) to know what your rights are. The general rule in life is that if something does not feel right with you, whether its entering into a dangerous place, signing a contract, meeting people, if you have a negative feeling about it, you have every right to act upon your feelings. If it goes against your feelings and out of your ethical zone at that point in time, you have every right to say no. No means no at any point in your life.

Know your rights.
When I entered the industry, over two decades ago, we did not have social media or platforms to discuss our concerns. Instead we sat in our change rooms with a few trusted actresses discussing what had been happening to us. Collectively we stood and refused to succumb to many of the sexual advances made by producers, directors and older men who were supposed to be there to guide us. This of course confused and infuriated these men but after some time, they left us alone and continued with the actresses that felt that they could not say no or perhaps the monetary compensation was sufficient for them. Granted we were never afforded the extra luxuries at that time but the rewards for that was that years after we did but through our own hard work and expense account, the rewards were much more higher and dignified. So in this era, these concerns can be put online and the information spread within seconds. If you are on set and being sexually harassed or forced to perform actions that you are not comfortable with or have not agreed to in your contract, step down. Request a meeting with your representation and the production company. Every South African contract should have a nudity clause in it. That is why it is essential to read your contracts thoroughly and if possible contact a lawyer who specialises in contractual agreements. The money will be worth it. I have attached a referral at the end of this blog. If the production company violate or contradict any clause within the contract, then you know you have a legal standing.
If you feel that correct procedures have still not been followed, then notify the head of the channel, if you still feel the same then take it to social media. Before you take it to social media, be sure to know all the facts and be sure to write down both sides of the story. There is no point in posting whilst upset or angry and the wrong sentiments will be sent out. Remember, once its online, it is there forever. Be strategic in your what you say and ensure the facts are all there.

If you are witnessing any form of violence on set or in public for that matter, it is sometime best not to intervene as you could get hurt or possibly be killed. Contact the authorities and find a safe place for yourself. Whatever you do, Please do NOT turn a blind eye and walk away. If possible record the incident on your phone, this can stand as evidence in court. You can also download the POWA App an request for help. If the police or the authorities refuse to intervene, go online and ask for help. Once again, ensure that you have all the facts and that you are in a safe place.

A special plea to all the producers, agents, directors out there who want to get show ratings up, perhaps work towards stronger story lines and direction. We will no longer stand for the comments and suggestions that women need to perform their scenes in their underwear as that is the only way to increase ratings. Granted there are genres and films and talent who want to follow that and there is nothing wrong with that but you need to respect that not all talent follow those sentiments and actually believe in the real craft at hand of telling stories through their craft, narrative and suspense factors.
To the management who cover up sexual harassment and sexism on set, the laws are changing in our favour, now it is not just the activists who are raising their voices but vigilant crew members and talent.

For actors living and working in South Africa, I urge you to join

If you need legal assistance with contracts, I strongly recommend that you contact:
Founding director at Vusi Ndlovu Incorporated
Contact details
O: +27117846532

If you need assistance with counselling or require information on abuse statistics, legal aid etc, contact

Collectively we can make a change.