The thing about following a TV series, especially one as complex as Game of Thrones is that we know almost everything about the characters. We know their secrets, the reasons why they have done some things and whether they are changed people or not.
As viewers, we have seen their story Arch’s and character development (or lack of) and so we sometimes have a better understanding of them.
Which is why seeing the trailer for the second episode of Game of Thrones’s final season made me think that Jaime Lannister will be beheaded by the end of the episode.
But it was not to be.
It struck me as ironic that Daenerys Targaryen would want to make Jaime pay for killing her father, the Mad King. Here was Dany once again being the victim and recounting the ways she and her brother, Viserys, would have liked to kill the man who robbed them off their father.
T he biggest irony? She coldly informed Samwell Tarly that she burnt both his father and brother because they didn’t bend the knee. Has she forgotten that her father was mad? That he wanted to burn half the population of King’s Landing with wildfire, ala Cersei in season 6?
The reason Jaime is in Winterfell? Well, he’s here to fight for the living. He reveals to everyone that Cersei lied and that she’s getting ready to fight whoever wins the Battle of Winterfell.
Even though Sansa at first is wary of Jaime but she is convinced by Brienne of Tarth, who boldly speaks up for her friend and that she would trust him with her life. And since Sansa trusts Brienne with hers, it makes it OK for Jaime to stay.
Once again, Dany’s power is slowly being usurped and I don’t think she’s taking it well.
She’s angry at Tyrion for trusting Cersei and for all his wise counsel that has led her to many mistakes. She still has concerns over whether he would choose her or his family.
Later, Jaime’s surprised that Bran didn’t tell anyone exactly what happened and who pushed him off the tower. The all knowing Three Eyed Raven basically says he’s of more use alive and helping them fight the undead.
Speaking of Bran, he finally reveals what the Night King really wants. "He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory,” Bran says.
And since Bran has the Night King’s mark, after he touched him in the episode where Hodor died, he will come for him. So they all bank on killing the Night King as he created the White Walkers and White Walkers create wights. Kill him and everything disappears. Everyone thinks this is an OK strategy. I’m so confused.
Anyway Theon, whose arrival made Sansa so happy, offers to stand guard and protect Bran. His redemption has been great to follow.
I was hopeful for Sansa and Dany to have a heart-to-heart and they finally did. Sizing each other up, it’s Sansa who is in control.
Dany, as usual, wants to rule the Seven Kingdoms, but Sansa won’t have it. She then tells Dany how stupid it was of her to trust Cersei. I do feel like they should like each other better and while Sansa is all for Jon and Dany’s love, she doesn’t want Winterfell to be a casualty of their affair.
As always, Sansa has her thinking cap on. I guess being in King’s Landing for all those years and being exposed to Cersei, Littlefinger and Olenna Tyrell has made her question everything.
And now for the fun parts. The reunions continue this week with Tormund Giantsbane, Dolorous Edd and Beric Dondarion making their way to Winterfell. Did you notice how the guards sounded their arrival, with one horn blast? That’s the Night’s Watch way of recognizing a returning ranger.
Of course Tormund is still obsessed with Brienne, who refuses his advances. Tyrion and Jaime also catch up the best way the Lannisters know- by drinking wine.
Later on, Brienne, Tormund, Davos and Podrick join them. Brienne gets knighted by Jaime, making her Ser Brienne, Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s a touching moment, one we have waited so long to see. And seeing Jaime once again pledge his loyalty to her and being willing to fight at her command, is heartwarmingly sad.
The gathering is like a final get together before the battle. And Podrick (who I hope doesn’t die) sings a beautiful song.
Speaking of get togethers, Arya and Gendry get together in the most sensual way. She didn’t want to die a virgin.
Jon finally tells Daenerys of his true identity and she responds with disbelief. She realises what this means. AS she processed this, three horns blasts are heard through the castle. The White Walkers have arrived and winter is truly here.
Where to watch "Game of Thrones"
Watch it on Mondays at 3am on (repeat at 10pm) on M-Net, or straight after with the DStv Now app .
South African creative, stylist and author Sam Scarborough is one of my favourite people.
Her ideas – be it interior decor or fun and games – don’t require going out of your way to live well or have a good time. She understands moms who want to adhere to a budget. She also understands us moms who want to raise our kids to value relationships before they value things.
Outings are great fun, but home and it’s special sanctity is hard to match. Sam’s latest book 01 of the best ideas and her project 365 Creative Ideas to do with your kids include many activities you may already know but have surely forgotten about.
She says, "The daily ideas range from very easy craft projects to indoor and outdoor activities and kiddies games. All the ideas are quick and easy to follow and fun to do.
"Some ideas may be reminiscent of your own childhood and others are simple family-time activities such as spending a few minutes cloud gazing with your kids."
If it sounds simple – try it anyway: you may be surprised at how rewarding life’s simple pleasures can be.
For more ideas watch https://www.youtube.com/user/kidsdecor. To win a book, 101 of the best ideas, follow, comment and share on Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/365creativeideas/
Traffic volume has started to increase on the N1 between Polokwane and Pretoria as holiday makers and Zion Christian Church pilgrims are returning to various destinations after spending the Easter weekend in Limpopo.
Liverpool moved back top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Cardiff, but Manchester United and Arsenal did little for their chances of Champions League qualification for next season in shock defeats to Everton and Crystal Palace respectively on Sunday.
Cape Town – A grassroots citizen movement with political ambitions has been quietly garnering support as Tunisia prepares for elections later in 2019.
Its founder, Olfa Terras, has been driving its people-first philosophy, hearing from Tunisians themselves about what’s wrong with their country and how they would like to go about fixing it. The movement, 3ich Tounsi – which in Tunisian Arabic translates roughly as "Tunisians dreaming and striving towards a brighter future" – has interviewed 400 000 citizens, something which has never been done in the country before.
"After Arab Spring in 2011, we emerged as a democracy," Terras said. "But a lot has changed. Our people are frustrated with the corruption within the government, they are tired of being worried about walking down the street in constant fear of being mugged. They want to send their children to school without being worried that the roof will collapse on their children. These are the challenges we are facing. The cost of living has also become unbearable for most Tunisians."
Terras is a philanthropist who heads up the Rambourg Foundation, and her philanthropic nature shines through in everything she says and does. The people first, and all else after.
As the northernmost country in Africa, Tunisia has always traditionally looked north for its inspiration and help, she said.
"Being on the Mediterranean, we assume we are more part of Europe; we identify with Greece, or Italy, and of course there’s the colonial French connection. But we are African. I would like for us to look towards our African brothers and sisters. We must stand together. We are part of this continent and we need to unite and learn from each other, and trade with each other," Terras said.
"Together, we are strong. We need to stand together. Stand together as citizens, but also as Africans. My detractors want to exploit the fact that my husband is French, and they say I am an agent wanting to re-institute colonialism by the French, that I am an agent of (French president Emmanuel) Macron. This couldn’t be further from the truth," Terras said.
It is for this reason that she visited South Africa, to connect Africa’s northernmost country, Tunisia, and its southernmost.
"There is more that unites us than divides us," Terras said.
Standing atop Table Mountain, Terras said the next item on her movement’s agenda is to go back to Tunisians with 3ich Tounsi’s 12-point plan to address the major challenges her country faces.
"Now I’m here on top of Table Mountain, and it’s so indicative of this idea that as Africans we must all see each other as on the same level. I want Africa to be united. I want Tunisia to take up its place among Africans because the time for Africa is now," Terras said.
Anna Wintour has been impressed by Duchess Meghan’s pregnancy style and the way she walks daily in "tall" heels.
The Vogue editor-in-chief has praised the former ‘Suits’ actress – who is expecting her first child with Prince Harry in the coming weeks – for attending engagements in "tall" heels and having "incredible" maternity style that "flaunts" her baby bump.
She told Vogue’s YouTube video series, Go Ask Anna: "I’ve been very taken by how Meghan Markle has been dressing, the Duchess of Sussex has been dressing throughout her pregnancy. Her heels actually seem to be getting taller every time I look at a picture of her!
"When pregnant I think it is very important to continue wearing your own personal style. I never understand why women suddenly decide they want to hide their pregnancy. Why not celebrate it. It is an incredibly joyful time in a woman’s life. It is nothing to be hidden and be ashamed of. It is much better to flaunt it, so go for it."
The 68-year-old fashionista – who is know for her big sunglasses and fitted dresses – also praised the Duchess of Sussex for making her want to wear "suits" again.
Speaking at the 10th Anniversary Women In The World Summit in New York City, Anna said: "I think [wearing Wintour’s signature look] that’s an entirely personal decision … It’s probably an easier decision to wear the same thing every day and not have to be concerned.
"Maybe it’s a little bit boring and time to change. I’ve been thinking a lot about suits recently so … thank you to the Duchess of Sussex!
"Obviously, her style is fantastic. When she went on that trip to Australia and New Zealand, she was very respectful in choosing a lot of unknown Australian designers to wear, which was great. But I think, more importantly, she’s really bringing modernity to the royal family in a way that is inspiring."
DURBAN – Durban-based Van Dyck Floors, South Africa’s oldest carpet manufacturer, and Harrismith-based Nouwens Carpets have announced that they will consolidate their operations to streamline and optimise their manufacturing and supply chains.
Dr Mehran Zarrebini, chief executive of PFE International, the family- owned British investment company that acquired what was then Van Dyck Carpets in 2004, said that the consolidation was still subject to Competition Board approval. However, in a challenging market where carpet manufacturers had to contend not only with rocketing input costs, an unreliable electrical supply and shrinking disposable income for home improvements, but also competition from other flooring solutions, it made sense for the two companies to consolidate.
Although specific details of the restructuring are not yet available, both Zarrebini and Nouwens Carpets chairman, Oscar Grobler, said that this would impact some of the 400-plus employees at the two manufacturing plants in KwaZulu-Natal.
Nouwens, launched in 1962, employs close to 200 people while PFE International has about 600 employees across the group in South Africa and 205 within its carpeting division.
The multibrand strategy that the combined companies intend continuing to apply going forward will allow each of them to retain their own independent brands, products, and sales and marketing teams.
Zarrebini and Van Dyck Floors, whose longer-term vision encompasses sustainability rather than short-term profit, has weathered two economic recessions – the global meltdown in 2008 and the current difficulties that manifested in 2017.
“Due to the economic turmoil in the construction and manufacturing industries over the past few years and added economic pressures, a fresh approach to doing business is needed,” said Grobler. “At Nouwens, we believe this consolidation with Van Dyck Floors will be a game-changer, not only for our respective businesses but also for our customers and the industry as a whole. We feel that it will add value to both of our customer bases and enable both companies to leverage each other’s strengths.”
Zarrrebini said the consolidation of Van Dyck Floors and Nouwens Carpets would also enhance the impact of future investment. “This will ensure that efficiencies are gained from both manufacturing operations and will enhance our ability to innovate.”
Smart, funny, confident and sincere. That’s Masechaba Ndlovu. That she’s insanely gorgeous and immaculately put together is something many have become accustomed to.
Sitting opposite her at one of Melrose Arch’s five-star establishments, it’s easy to see why she’s revered by many. Aside from being attentive and friendly, her sentiments are heartfelt. A rare trait in showbiz.
With Ndlovu hailing from a media background, there was a sort of kindred spirit during our tête-à-tête.
She started her career at eNCA with eNews Africa. “I pioneered the platform with Tony Ndoro. And after two or three years, I was approached to do a debate show on SABC1. It was hard to leave,” she said.
Finding herself at a crossroads and declining the offer three times, it was only after happening upon a talk that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs gave at Stanford University that she took a leap of faith.
“It was called Connect The Dots. There are multiple facets to making a decision like this. It’s about feeding your purpose as much as it is about feeding your stomach. taking a leap of faith, regardless of the industry you’re in, requires preparation, mentally and financially,” Ndlovu said.
“Look at me today, I can get up on stage and give talks. I run classes.”
Experience, of course, was key to her progress.
“Every show and every experience has, in one way or another, equipped me. I hosted a wrestling show, a while back. Mind you, I have no interest in sport, definitely no interest in wrestling, but what I took away from that show (she has since removed it from her profile) – and this is the first time I’m speaking about it in an interview – is that it gave me a live studio audience experience.”
Just for the record, she did wear a skimpy outfit… but she had lines, too.
Another one of Ndlovu’s learning experiences was working at Urban Brew Studios where she encountered what at first appeared to be exploitation.
“I teach young people that when you don’t have the experience, technically, you cannot be exploited. You exploit the company. You take that experience, turn that mentality around, and let them use you. I did anything and everything you can imagine from researching, writing, content producing, voiceovers, and didn’t get an extra cent for any of it, which was good for me.
“It was good for my profile. It was my university. I did it all with love.”
That pretty much sums up her entire approach to her career.
Her ability to listen attentively to people is what makes her such an amazing fit for BET Africa’s second season of The Big Secret.
“It’s about being in the moment,” she noted. And her followers agree on social media, too – something she cherishes and acknowledges in her interactions with them.
Going back to an episode I watched before our chat, the one where she was helping Smangaliso purge himself of a secret that had tormented him since childhood, she opened up about how her stepfather had sexually abused her.
It wasn’t revealed for shock value or to boost ratings. She simply connected with him and wanted him to know he wasn’t alone.
That kind of genuineness is a hard find in a host.
“I was thinking about how on the show, you are dealing with one person’s secret but when you really look at the whole family, you go, ‘this isn’t just eating him up… it actually the reason why this family is rotting’.
By revealing one person’s secret, you will be amazed by how liberating it is to other family members.”
Healing is the outcome of the show and it’s a mitigating factor on her wanting to be a part of it.
“We are almost breaking generational curses on the show. We have a big job on our hands. I’m someone who reveres the truth and knows and understands that power of living a liberated life.
“I’ve lived a life where I’ve been through a lot as a young person, a teenager and as a child. I’ve seen what harbouring negative or toxic energies or secrets can do in my own family with a mother who eventually developed cancer as a result of bottling things up. And I saw the power in facilitating conversations to really change peoples lives.”
On revealing her secret, she said: “That was huge because none of my family members knew except for my mom. The moment I watched the show, the minute I heard myself say that… my heart skipped a beat. I can feel the heads rolling in my family already. So, ja, that’s how my secret came out.”
Determined to change the narrative of how she was raised, she maintains open discussions with her 10 and six-year-old sons as a means to equip them better for the world.
And she encourages them to be solutions-driven.
“My six-year-old started washing dishes when he was five. They take turns. Yes, we have a helper. As boys, they help with breakfast in the morning. The five-year-old knows how to bath himself. The only way to stop the social ills of the world is to start by empowering our children.”
In case you’re wondering whether she’s is still on radio, she was quick to point out: “I haven’t left”.
Ndlovu is a woman breaking down barriers. She might not be everyone’s favourite but she isn’t trying to be. “I am still Masechaba Ndlovu.
If I were not comfortable with my decisions in being who I am, a lot of the spotlight I’m under would shake me; it doesn’t because I’m true to myself.
“I wake up with joy in my heart every day. I raise kids I’m proud to say are my sons. I have amazing relationships, personally and professionally. Both my ex-husbands are in my life, regardless of what people have to say about that.”
* The Big Secret is on BET Africa (DStv channel 129) on Wednesday, 9:30pm.
Robin Peterson has hit the winning runs in two World Cup matches, saving South Africa’s blushes in 2007 against Sri Lanka, and four years later giving them a sense that perhaps they had overcome their demons.
As it turned out, that scorching final over against Ashish Nehra in Nagpur when Peterson, pictured, smacked 13 runs to take South Africa across the line, proved to be a facade. A few weeks later, New Zealand harshly reminded South Africa of their World Cup history and the players succumbed.
But Peterson’s two efforts – the first in Guyana when Lasith Malinga took four wickets in four balls, and Peterson then edged him for four to win by one wicket – are illustrations of times South Africa didn’t choke.
“You can train your mind for those situations. I would go into the nets, and practice playing in those situations. It really is up to the individual, your coach is not able to do it for you, you have to do it for yourself.”
That mental resilience is the great unknown about this team. What can’t be doubted is the skill set, particularly in one area that Peterson, like many, feels is the team’s strength.
“The bowling obviously. You look at all of them, they all take wickets, they all have that x-factor with the ball. It’s a well rounded attack that comes at you in so many different ways and it’s capable of even defending mediocre totals,” said Peterson, who played 10 World Cup matches across three tournaments.
Faf du Plessis recognised last year that the best chance for South Africa to win the World Cup was to pick wicket-taking bowlers; Lungi Ngidi, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.
Because of the pressure they create, when all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo bowls he picks up wickets too – 17 in his last 13 ODIs. Despite that success Peterson worries about how Du Plessis might manage his fifth bowler if Phehlukwayo gets put under pressure.
“It could be a combination of JP Duminy or Aiden Markram, but it will be an interesting challenge for Faf."
And if they decide to change the composition of the starting XI, Peterson fears Dwaine Pretorius’s medium pace will be targeted as well, which is why he is perplexed about Chris Morris’s omission.
“I understand that he frustrates everyone, because he blows hot and cold,” Peterson said of Morris, “but he does bowl 140, and can hit it far and you want someone like that around. He may not be in your starting team, but he can change a game quickly, and it’s nice having that kind of explosive option available.”
The batting is the big concern, particularly the over-reliance on Du Plessis and Quinton de Kock, and that one of the most experienced players, Hashim Amla, is not in form and seemingly devoid of confidence.
“It’s a steady batting line-up and Hashim’s pedigree and calmness was something the selectors couldn’t overlook. They won’t be relying on one superstar either, and that may not be a bad thing. It gives a sense of responsibility for everyone to perform.”
While Peterson believes South Africa can chase scores of 350 or more – “if conditions are flat,” – the big test will be different. “Can they chase 280 against India and their spinners on a worn track late in the tournament – like in a semi-final? That will test their skill and they will need to believe in themselves and have the mental strength to withstand that pressure.”
There are no expectations of South Africa for this year’s World Cup. They go into the tournament ranked at no.4 in the ODI format. Of late much of the talk has been about favourites England and India, Australia’s (currently ranked fifth) resurgence and West Indies’ (ranked ninth) awesome power.
“You don’t have to be the best team to win the World Cup,” said Peterson. “Pakistan have shown that, India showed it too in 2011. It’s an open tournament, any one of six teams could win it and you would include South Africa in that group because of their bowling.
DURBAN – A KwaZulu-Natal South Coast entrepreneur has grown a successful small business trading in air plants and other rare plants which she sells across the country.
Ruth Mathias, of Munster, who has a degree in history from the University of Edinburgh, did courses in horticulture through Unisa before launching her family-run business, Rare and Air, three years ago.
Mathias’s small home nursery is focused on importing and growing Tillandsia or air plants and other unusual and rare plants, such as ant plants, shingle plants and cacti. She is also constantly working on increasing her range of home-propagated Tillandsia, growing plants from seed and hybrids so that the business eventually won’t need imports. Tillandsia are indigenous to Central and South America and the south-eastern US, growing in rainforests, inland, in coastal deserts and swamps and up to 2 750m above sea level.
Mathias sells her plants to nurseries, to a florist in Durban, through her online shop, and she also creates plant features for cakes, wedding tables and for indoor and outdoor decor.
She has had to overcome several challenges to operate in this niche business space, although she says other small businesses have recently emerged in the field.
Mathias said the challenges of operating her business included having to “educate yourself about the rules of tax, the import rules and then educating people about the plants and encouraging them to give it a try”.
“I have also had to become knowledgeable enough to sell the plants to people who are already knowledgeable about plants,” she said.
But the niche opportunity is what drew Mathias to the field.
“We have always loved growing plants. We were growing them as a hobby and were looking for things I could do while being flexible to be around the children,” she said.
“There was no one focusing on Tillandsia on their own; most people grow orchids. I love that it is about growing and the plants don’t grow in soil so you can be creative with them and use them as gifts and if you have a small space, like a little windowsill or balcony in a flat, you can have a bit of nature in the city,” she said.
“I felt there was a broader market than standard potted plants because people can learn about them and use them as interior decor and then there are also people who collect them and are looking for new hybrids.”
The plants are the ideal product for her online store because they are easy to pack and send to customers anywhere in the country.
“The business is growing slowly – it takes time to grow them and to build up stock. We still import some plants but the plan is to become self-sustainable,” Mathias said.
A team from Greece are photographing thousands of fragile manuscripts, including some of the earliest copies of the Christian gospels and merging them with computer software to create a single high-quality colour digital picture.
DURBAN – Consumers are increasingly using digital technology for more than just shopping.
There is a revolution occurring in how customers access entertainment and media.
In South Africa, cord-cutting is also increasingly popular, with 22.9% of consumers streaming movies daily, and 23.9% streaming music daily.
These were some of the key findings from PwC’s 2019 Global Consumer Insights Survey released this month.
The survey assesses behaviour, habits and expectations of over 21 000 online consumers in 27 territories. PwC’s research reveals rapidly changing consumer behaviour in a host of areas other than entertainment and media.
Anton Hugo, retail and consumer leader for PwC Africa, said: “Not only are consumers the strongest link in the global economic chain, but the survey results show that the technological tools available to them have put them in a position to demand a tailored, seamless and multichannel shopping and social-media-powered experience. Retailers can achieve this by using a blend of both physical and digital approaches. The result for companies will be a greater return on experience with the customer and gaining a competitive advantage.”
The study found that consumers – bombarded with a multitude of choices – were constantly seeking tools to help simplify their purchasing decisions. In addition to using digital technology, they were looking to their trusted communities and other experts:
According to those surveyed, the top three attributes that can improve an in-store shopping experience are easy store navigation, knowledgeable sales staff and easy payment options. In South Africa, consumers also stated that the use of technology could assist the shopping experience, for example, self-service kiosks and scanners.
Globally, 61% of consumers are influenced by social media for their purchases, either as inspiration or following positive reviews and 46.5% of South African consumers said they had been influenced to buy a product/service following positive reviews on social media.
Almost 50% of those surveyed globally let family and friends’ opinions guide their choice of a holiday travel provider. Almost half of South African consumers (49.4%) said they were influenced by special offers when choosing their holiday/travel provider and 46.1% were guided by their family and friends’ opinions.
The findings also confirmed that smartphones have become the go-to technology for online shopping, with more than half (51%) of our global sample of consumers saying they use a smartphone to pay bills and invoices online and the same percentage transferring money online.
Locally, 63.2% of consumers used digital channels to pay their bills and invoices in the past 12 months, while 67% have transferred money online. For the first time since PwC has conducted this survey, consumers surveyed were using smartphones rather than other mobile devices to shop online, with 24% of consumers globally (compared to 23.1% in South Africa) using a smartphone.
DURBAN – A wedding bouquet without real flowers. Would that really work? One entrepreneur has put on his thinking cap and come up with some unique ideas.
The first thing you need to accept about flowers says KZN artist and businessman Sphmandla Mdluli is that they are very expensive and will only live for a few days.
It’s this idea, he says that got him started on creating a range of wedding accessories from floral halos and bouquets to wedding cake decoration, that would last, not just as images in photographs, but in real time “for your whole life.”
He tells his story like this: “I was at a beautiful wedding. There had been no expense spared. The bride carried these lovely white lilies and roses. The bridesmaids also had lovely flowers and the groom and the groomsmen all had fancy buttonholes.”
He says that watching this event made him realize that there was a marketing opportunity that might work.
“It just seemed so sad to me that all these flowers had been cut for this one occasion and that the next day they would be all dying. What if you could have flowers that lasted for ever and you could show your children and your grandchildren – and they could touch them?”
Mdluli says he is one of those people that once he gets an idea in his head, he doesn’t let go of it.
“I spent the next few days with my sketchbook and pencils making drawings of flowers and leaves and thinking how I could do the same in beads. We have brilliant beaders in KZN, the best I think in the world. If I could come up with something with a real wow factor, it could become a good business and give a lot of families work.”
The prototypes of his beaded wedding range have proved him right.
“I have just done my first orders and I think there will be others, because the reaction was very positive. I think a lot of brides will still want real flowers, but there is no reason why you can’t combine both ideas, with say the central part of the bouquet in beads and the outside in real flowers. These are the ideas I am playing with at the moment.”
Mdluli who comes from the Kwa Nuyswa area near Bothas Hill, says that he grew up in a family of beaders and for eight years has been making and designing the famous “Little Traveller” doll range and exotically coloured butterflies for the Woza Moya craft centre in Hillcrest.
“But I have always dreamt of doing something that will be noticed in other parts of the world. I am hoping it will be my wedding range, but I am also working on other ideas. Sometimes you have to think like that to push yourself further.”
It’s a push for uniqueness and that has worked in more ways than one for Mdluli. He points to a felt-lined work board and a row of strawberries, that look so realistic you could almost eat them.
“Paula Thomson, who runs Woza Moya, asked me if I could design and make beaded fruit, like strawberries, grapes, pineapples and water melons and turn them into jewellery, even earrings. It was something I had never done before, but I love challenges, so I made hundreds of drawings. The first ones didn’t look anything like fruit, more like blobs. But I went on practicing and perfecting them. It took a few weeks, but I think you will agree they look like the real thing.”
His fruit collection created in tandem with his team of five beaders was so good it caught the eye of a South African fashion consultant and before long he was designing a special collection for the New York Fashion week earlier this year.
“It was really a dream come true for me. If you get successful at one think, it makes you want to do more and more. That’s me right now. There are so many themes I can do for weddings that I don’t think we would ever run out of ideas. My beaders are also coming up with their own designs which is really what we need to expand the business.
Mdluli says that although he has not followed the world of fashion before, he is now taking an interest in the new trends that are making the catwalks.
“I never thought that watermelons, paw paws and oranges would have a place in international fashion, but now I know they do. So my thinking clock is definitely working overtime.”
He believes that the entrepreneur lessons he has learnt over the years have stood him in good stead.
“I know that however way out your idea is you musn’t be embarrassed to share it. When I first suggested doing a wedding range, there wasn’t huge interest, but when I brought along what I made that changed everything. Now there is a lot of excitement!”
MILAN – Italian giants Juventus claimed an eighth consecutive Serie A title on Saturday after a 2-1 win at home against Fiorentina.
Here, AFP Sport looks at five things that helped the Turin giants lift a 35th Scudetto with five matches to spare, equalling the record for the earliest any team has won Serie A:
Cristiano Ronaldo was signed from Real Madrid for 100 million euros ($112 million) before the start of the season, in a bid to end the Turin giants’ 23-year wait for the Champions League trophy.
The 34-year-old left Real as their all-time top scorer, a record he also holds in the Champions League where he is the only player to have won five titles.
Despite their European exit to Ajax, the Portuguese superstar was a key player throughout the campaign with 19 league goals.
Both Juventus’ Serie A defeats came in his absence – 2-0 to Genoa on March 17 and 2-1 to SPAL on April 13 – the latter frustrating their bid to wrap up the title with a record six games to spare.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who was defended by Juve last year after being accused of rape, was slow off the mark, having to wait until their fourth game against Sassuolo before scoring a double in a 2-1 win.
“Cristiano is the future of Juventus, he has had an extraordinary season,” said coach Massimiliano Allegri after the Champions League loss.
Rising star Kean
Teenage sensation Moise Kean burst through during Ronaldo’s absence through injury, scoring six goals in the last seven matches for Juventus, having played just nine this season.
The 19-year-old, who provides an alternative to Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala up front, admitted: “I learn from Cristiano Ronaldo in training, I steal his secrets.”
Born in Italy to Ivorian parents, his first league appearance this season was just four minutes away against Fiorentina on December 1, with his first goals a double in a 4-1 win over Udinese on March 3.
Controversy overshadowed his only full match for the champions when he was subjected to racist abuse against Cagliari on April 2.
The youngster hit back by scoring in Sardinia and again in the following game against SPAL.
Leonardo Bonucci returned to Turin after an unhappy season at AC Milan to recreate the so-called ‘BBC’ defensive partnership alongside veterans Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli.
The absence of the trio through injury was felt when Juventus conceded six goals in two games including a 3-3 draw with Parma on February 2 — days after being eliminated from the Coppa Italia.
“Mr Bonucci and Mr Chiellini could teach lessons at Harvard University about how to be a central defender,” said Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho.
Juventus have conceded only 23 goals in 33 games, the best record in the division.
Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has proven to be a worthy successor to Juventus and Italy icon Gianluigi Buffon, who left for Paris Saint-Germain.
The ex-Arsenal player arrived in Turin in 2017 after falling down the pecking order at the Premier league club.
The 28-year-old got off to a stuttering start in the season opener, conceding two goals in a 3-2 win at Chievo, but has conceded only 15 goals in the 24 times he has played so far this season.
New arrival Mattia Perin, who joined from Genoa last summer, has proved less effective with eight conceded in nine games, and was between the posts for both their league defeats.
Massimiliano Allegri doesn’t mind winning ugly as he claimed his fifth league title in as many years with Juventus, and sixth in Serie A after leading AC Milan to their last title in 2011.
Allegri – who has now won 11 trophies with Juventus – has strenuously defended his team’s often-criticised style of play, despite Juve leading the way in the Italian top flight with 67 goals scored.
“Beautiful football doesn’t pay off, at the end of the day you’ve got to just kick it away from your goal,” the 51-year-old fumed after the draw with Parma.
“They need to realise there is no shame in hoofing the ball into the stands if needs be.”