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Published by tasch, 2019-01-30 10:25:22

Khuluma Feb 2019

Keywords: Khuluma,Khuluma online,Online magazine,Travel magazine,Kulula,Kulula magazine


the topFROM

S ports started off as a means to demonstrate your practical competence in your profession.
So we saw competitions to cut down trees, to roll barrels, to carry bags of flour, to catch cows,
as well as many applications for soldiers, such as archery, wrestling, jousting, and cross-country
running. The Vikings had the melee – where everyone on a field beat each other up in the hope of being
the last person alive and conscious. Then the British classified the game of darts as a sport, and were
promptly and successfully invaded by the Vikings.

Sadly, sport lost its practical application with the invention of the ball, which went something
like this:

‘So you say that half of us must run with the inflated sheep’s bladder to that side of the field, while
the other half must try to take it away and run with it to the other side of the field?’

‘Yes! Exactly.’
‘And what is the purpose of taking the bladder to that side of the field? What happens to
it when it gets there?’
‘Well, you bring it back to the middle of the field again.’
‘So why can’t one of us just take it to that side of the field and bring it back here to the
middle, and the rest can wait here?’
‘Because if you play with it by yourself you will go blind.’
The inventor of the circular track had much the same challenge in convincing
athletes that they would not look stupid, because in the real world there was no
practical application for a short path that simply brought you back to where
you began. So it is quite astonishing how the use of the ball and the circular
track proliferated into almost every form of sport we know today.
Happily, in this edition of khuluma, you will come across many
sporting codes that don’t conform to these strange developments.
There are still wrestlers beating one another up, in and out of the
ring. And, to the dismay of our Viking forebears, there are now so-
called sports being played entirely in the digital realm.

Erik Venter, CEO: Comair Ltd FEBRUARY 2019 3

Sugar free – indulge guilt-free!

Remember your granny’s Apple Pie, your favourite aunt’s Milk tart, sitting around the kitchen table for
the birthday cake your mom baked? These memories are more precious than gold. As we become more
health-conscious and aware of the harmful effects of excess sugar, we deprive ourselves of these innocent
indulgences. And, when we do indulge, it leads to a guilt trip.

Although sugar provides energy for the body’s organs and brain to function properly, it has severe
consequences, when consumed in excess, over time.
In these stressful times, we are forced to watch our sugar consumption and severely limit our indulgences.
Not anymore! You now have the option of indulging without going on a guilt trip and, as a consequence,
continuing creating memories with your favourite sweet treat.
Zydus Healthcare’s consumer division has introduced its new range of sweeteners under the brand name,
Sugar Free. Sugar Free is a sugar substitute that replaces sugar without compromising on the sweetness.

There are three variants of Sugar Free

• Sugar Free Gold
• Sugar Free Natura
• Sugar Free Green

Sugar Free Natura contains sucralose, a sugar derivative and recommended as an additive in food and
dessert preparations. Sugar Free Green is made from the stevia leaf and is a 100% natural sweetener.
Sugar Free offers one of the biggest range of sweeteners to suit almost all consumer needs. Sugar Free is
available as tablets, baking concentrate and, most importantly, as concentrated drops (the only one of its
kind in South Africa).
Sugar Free is suitable for the health-conscious, diabetic patients and, most importantly, for those with a
sweet tooth. Now you can indulge guilt-free with Sugar Free.

For more information on Sugar Free, please visit

Contents 62

29 35 55

3 VIEW FROM THE TOP a cricket tourney; and make room 43 VOCAL GYMNASTS
If singing were an Olympic event,
You take the ball there and you bring in your schedule for films of French these acts would be on the podium.

it back? You start from here and you plays, a live roasting of AKA, and a 49 FOODIE FIGHT CLUB
The taste race is on.
run in circles? Our CEO ponders the walk through Cape Town to raise
silliness of sports that have become funds for charity. A trio of digs for active travellers.

untethered from reality. Explore

Hop in the saddle and check out
16 TRAINING DAZE Get ripped with Chicago’s the view.

Tracey-Lee Oliver shows us how dancing hunks. 62 BEND IT LIKE TRACEY-LEE
Between lie-in yoga and failed
leg ups are done. sack races, our cover star adds
birdwatching to her list of favourite
35 TIME OUT WITH spectator sports.

Experience AUNTY MERLE
Tracey-Lee Oliver and Marc
Lottering hang out between shows.

Head to the Elgin Valley for the
toughest triathlon in the land.

Lace up your takkies for a graffiti
festival and an art fair, for musicals
and comedies, and for a season of
Shakespeare in the Park. Prepare
for a drag queen, a trance party and




Oh, the places they have been, and the weird, wild and
wonderful things they have seen…

Gravity cannot
be faked.

Winning isn’t



Here’s how to stay in shape while having fun.

The games are electric, but the thrills are real.

Five gleaming sports machines on four wheels.

When your team loses, you
can still win at shopping…

Who really scores in the
uneven game of sports

Move the body that
your mama gave you.


10 FEBRUARY 2019

Editor Keith Bain
Content Manager Raina Julies – [email protected]
Content Co-ordinator Vanessa Payne
Copy Editor Julia Freemantle

Head of Design Studio Jayne Macé-Ferguson
Senior Designers Mfundo Archie Ndzo, Lesley-Ann van Schalkwyk

Advert Designer Bulelwa Sotashe
Production Editor Shamiela Brenner
Cover Photographer and retouching Sven Kristian
Makeup Artist Colleen van Rensburg

Project Manager Richard White
khlassifieds Project Manager Steve Norval
Sales Consultants Stephen Crawford, Jay Deary, Bonnie Eksteen,
Randall Grace, Nazeem Hoosen, Nikita Moore, Gavin Payne,
Andre Potgieter, Alec Rompelman, Roman Ross, Clint Smith, Zelda Stein
Advertising Co-ordinators Johan Labuschagne, Peace Guga (Intern)

Paarl Media Gauteng

Business Manager Lodewyk van der Walt – [email protected]

Senior Bookkeeper Deidre Musha
General Manager, Magazines Jocelyne Bayer

CEO Comair Limited Erik Venter
Executive Director - Airline Division Comair Limited Wrenelle Stander
Head of Marketing, Loyalty and Customer Experience, Shaun Pozyn
Marketing Manager, Bridgette Ramuluvhana
Brand Communications Manager, Luane Lavery

1 Marignane Drive, Bonaero Park, Kempton Park, 1619
Tel: 011 921 0111 | contact centre: 0861 KULULA (585852)

To advertise in this magazine, please contact
Richard White (Sales Project Manager) at +27 21 469 2542

or email [email protected]
To advertise in the khlassifieds section, please contact
Steve Norval (khlassifieds Project Manager) at +27 21 469 2435

or email [email protected]

Copyright: No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent of the
publisher. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited material. khuluma is published monthly by
Picasso Headline. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Picasso Headline, kulula or the Tiso
Blackstar Group. All advertisements/advertorials and promotions have been paid for and therefore do not
carry any endorsement by the publisher. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of its
contents, neither kulula, nor the publisher can be held responsible for any omissions or errors, or for any
misfortune, injury or damages that may arise therefrom. We reserve the right to edit interviews for

layout purposes.


Discovery Vitality members travel and
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Keep an eye on

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more information and offers.
Limits, T&Cs apply.

Dear customers:
check in now closes 45 minutes

ahead of your flight!

Choose your favourite Protea Hotel by
Marriot® or Tsogo Sun Hotel and let kulula
book your room. Now that’s luxury you
can afford.

We are cashless! Silence your hunger and
thirst craving on one of our green machines
paying for those snacks by “zipping and
zapping” using your credit or debit card.



We’re spreading some kulula love
on our social pages this month!
Stand a chance to win fabulous
prizes for you and your loved one.
All  SM icons to be shown.
#kululaLove #kululaCompetitions

14 MAY 2018


S ports mad? Me? Hardly. I am
the least sporty person I know.
I am a singer, though, and I believe that vocal
training is a form of fitness. People forget that the voice
is a muscle that needs to be exercised every day. I started

singing when I was three, so in a way I’ve been in training

nearly all my life. If you think I’m kidding, just give this one

basic vocal exercise a bash: Try singing ‘Zoo-hoo-la-ha-

raaaahhh’ while doing a piano scale. Go ahead and give it

a bash right now… I’m sure the person seated next to you

won’t mind at all. Maybe you can do it together, or try getting

everyone on this plane to sing in harmony.

I might not be sporty, but I think competitiveness is probably hardwired

into me. It comes with the territory when you’re a performer - auditions are

tough, and building a career takes blood, sweat and tears as you go after your

goals. I’ve done quite a few of those talent shows, putting my skills to the test on

TV shows like Afrikaans Idols and The Voice. Reaching the finals of M-Net’s Project

Fame back in 2004 was a game-changer for me and that was what motivated me

to throw everything I have into a career in entertainment. Thanks to that show, I

packed my life into my Toyota Tazz and trekked to Joburg where I still live.

I’ve worked as a cabaret artist, done musicals, and was in the movie Blitz Patrollie

alongside comedians Joey Rasdien and David Kau. I started doing stand-up comedy

a few years back.

Each performance makes demands on a different set of ‘muscles’, Tracey-Lee Oliver Interview: Keith Bain, Picture: Sven Kristian
but you’ve got to keep them all in shape, because you never know is a singer, comedian and
when you’re going to need them. And although I’m not sporty, I actress, and is currently starring
still sometimes get in a bit of a workout. Like in Aunty Merle, the alongside Marc Lottering in Aunty
musical I’ve been doing with Marc Lottering – in one scene, I Merle, e Musical, which plays at the

have this one move where I have to lay on a table and kick up

my leg. It’s a live show, you know, so there’s no stunt double. Joburg eatre until 3 March. Read her

I just do it. I kick it right up into the air. I make it look like I’m conversation with Marc about the

a natural athlete. But that kick is the result of tireless training show on page 35, and see what she

during long hours of rehearsal. Because when you’re a performer, has to say about organised

you have to be mad about everything, including sport. sports on page 62.

16 FEBRUARY 2019


Win a hybrid smartwatch from Garmin

A stylish hybrid smartwatch, the vívomove HR features
a crystal touchscreen with a discreet display. Precision
hands show the time and dynamically move away when
you swipe through your messages, heart rate and more. It
counts your steps and calories while monitoring wellness,
including all-day stress tracking. We have one of these handsome
watches, valued at R4199, to give away – there are four colours to
choose from. For a chance to win, visit, click
on the competition tab and enter your details.

Win a Smart Watch from Cash Crusaders

With 220 stores nationwide, Cash Crusaders offers the ideal way to sell all your
pre-loved goods – and thanks to the chain’s online presence, you can even do so
without leaving your home. Sell your goods online using – simply
submit your product details and Cash Crusaders will contact you with three quotes. In
the meantime, Cash Crusaders is giving away a DIXON Fitness Tracker Smart Watch to
one lucky reader. For a chance to win, visit, click on the competition
tab and tell us how many Cash Crusaders stores there are around the country.


Win tickets to see Chicago

On page 29, we go behind the scenes with the cast of Chicago, one of the world’s sexiest
musicals. While we’re there, we see how the men who dance and sing up a storm in the
show train their bodies to ensure they’re lean, ripped and in peak condition. With a plot that
twists and weaves around a nightclub singer, a double-murderess, a smooth-talking lawyer
and a cell block of sin, it’s got plenty of razzle dazzle and some very t, athletic bods on
stage. We have four sets of double tickets to the show to give away – two winning couples
will get to see it in Cape Town at Artscape on 26 March, and two couples will receive
tickets to see it in Joburg at Montecasino’s Teatro on 30 April. For a chance to win, visit, click on the competition tab and tell us who plays the lawyer,
Billy Flynn, in Chicago. The answer is on page 32.



out & abou
Words: Keith Bain, Picture: Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull Content Pool

Don’t look back

By no means for hacks, wannabes or fuddy-duddies, XTERRA Grabouw is an
unforgiving test of personal endurance. It’s also said to be the biggest event of
its kind in the world, a gruelling outdoor, off-road, nature-fuelled triathlon in one
of the Western Cape’s most engaging settings. The young athlete pictured here
is Jamie Riddle who won last year’s XTERRA Lite – consisting of a 400m swim,

a 14km MTB slog, and a 6.5km trail run across rugged terrain. It may be the
shorter, faster version of the competition, but doesn’t skimp on challenge. The full
XTERRA - an even more gruesome battle combining 1.5km in the dam, 25.6km on

a bike and a 12.4km run – is the XTERRA South African Championship and a leg
of the competition’s world circuit which culminates with the world champs held
annually in October in Hawaii. For XTERRA warriors, it’s riveting terrain in which

to compete, while for anyone else it’s a great excuse to make an outing to the
Elgin Valley and do more than forage for pies at the farm stalls. Spectators will
get to witness some of the finest triathletes in action – global superstar Richard

Murray took first place in 2017 (more about him on page 76).
Elgin-Grabouw Country Club, 23–24 February, FEBRUARY 2019 23


Get out & aboutON OUR RADAR 1
1 Adam Metcalfe (aka Headroom) is the 4 Kristina Burge (as pleasantly plump 2
country’s leading exponent of psytrance, a teenager Tracy Turnblad) and Mark Wilkes 6 4
hardworking producer-DJ who has taken his (as Tracy’s mom, Edna) star in the Pinelands
brand of uplifting, edge-pushing electronic Players’ full-scale rendition of Hairspray, 5
music to every corner of the globe and knows the off-the-wall musical based on John
how to get a dance floor pumping. Catch Waters’ super-camp anti-prejudice film set in 7
him live – alongside nine of South Africa’s racially divided 1960s Baltimore. Expect
best-loved psytrance wizards – at pumping song-and-dance numbers, big hair,
Psymedia’s Under The African Sky festival and a few thoroughly awful villains.
on 23 February. The sonic mayhem kicks off at Artscape, Cape Town, 2–16 February,
10am at Hillcrest Quarry in Durbanville The
first 50 readers who use the code KHULUMA
when buying tickets from Quicket will score a 5 Fabulous female impersonator,
generous discount courtesy of Psymedia. Ceri Dupree, is back in Cape Town with, her world-touring show, Immaculate
Deception. Featuring super-fast costume
2 Loyiso Gola will perform his one-man changes and a bevy of female characters –
show, Unlearning, as part of the from Cilla Black and Cher to the Queen of
Johannesburg International Comedy England and Dolly Parton – Ms Dupree does
Festival next month. Other local comedians drag like no other. Gate 69, Bree Street,
on the bill are John Vlismas, Tumi Morake, 6 February–16 March,
Conrad Koch and Chester Missing, Kagiso
Lediga, Schalk Bezuidenhout, Tsitsi Chiumya, 6 Happy New Year is David Kramer’s
KG Mokgadi and Prins; international acts South Africanised adaptation of the
include the UK’s Dane Baptiste, Malawi’s award-winning romantic comedy
Daliso Chaponda, and the UAE’s Ali Al Sayed. Midsummer (A Play With Songs). When
Joburg Theatre, 14–17 March, a high-flying divorce lawyer meets a
small-time crook-cum-car salesman in
3 He may be one of our finest stand-up a bar, a weekend of alcohol-fuelled
comedians, but Alan Committie is also a adventure ensues. Starring Bianca
serious actor whose fascination with Flanders and Dean Balie, the play
psychologically complex characters makes premieres at The Fugard Studio Theatre
him perfect for the title role in Richard III, this in Cape Town on 19 February.
year’s Shakespeare In The Park production that
forms part of the Maynardville Open-Air 7 A sequence of social eccentricities
Festival. Pack a picnic and don’t forget a threatens young love in Marivaux’s
jersey for the evening chill. Maynardville, classic French comedy, The Fop Reformed,
Cape Town, 7 February–9 March, which shows at The Fugard Bioscope on, 17 February. The show forms part of an FEBRUARY 2019 25


8 ongoing season of screenings of filmed Town. Stride, saunter, march or amble for
10 versions of some of Europe’s most acclaimed either 5 or 10 km and show your support for
theatre productions – the month’s line-up six cancer-focused organisations, namely
includes The Misanthrope (3 February) and CANSA, the Cancer Alliance, Love Your Nuts,
Scapin the Schemer (10 February), and on People Living With Cancer, the Sunflower
24 February, The Queen of Spades, Fund, and CHOC. Lighthouse, Mouille Point,
Tchaikovsky’s intense Russian opera. 24 February,,

9 8 The hallowed hip-hop superstar has 12 The theme for this month’s
11 opened for Snoop Dogg, Kanye West and International Public Art Festival, which
Kendrick Lamar. Now AKA will be subjected happens across Cape Town’s Salt River
12 to the ultimate honour: a roasting by a team precinct over a period of nine days from 9 to
of comedians in front of an audience. The 17 February, is ‘Generation Next: Educate,
13 Showmax special, Comedy Central Roast Collaborate, Empower’. Throughout the
14 of AKA, is being recorded at The Teatro at festival, there will be walking tours and
Montecasino, Joburg, so if you’re keen to opportunities to watch some of the world’s
witness Supermega being verbally lashed, best street artists in action, transforming
catch it live on 21 February, or wait for the TV blank walls and outdoor surfaces into
version on Showmax and Comedy Central artworks that’ll hopefully stop passersby in
Africa (DStv channel 122)., their tracks and prompt some kind of, reflection.

9 Aside from the six-a-side cricket and 13 Set at a time of momentous social Words: Keith Bain, Pictures: Maggie Gericke, Jesse Kate Kramer, Lauge Sorensen, My favourite sport is
soccer action, organisers of the Cape Town upheaval, David Kramer’s Langarm is an channel surfing by Sitaara Stodel courtesy of Sitaara Stodel and SMITH, Oliver Petrie
Sixes tournament have summoned enough intimate musical with fantastic dance
peripheral entertainment – notably live music sequences set in a small hotel in District Six
and lots of booze – to keep even the most at the very moment apartheid’s social
sports-disinclined party animals happy. It’s all engineers were plotting ways to rid the vibrant
happening in and around Green Point Cricket neighbourhood of its people. Playing at Cape
Club. 23–24 February, Town’s Fugard Theatre since late last year,
its run has been extended until 3 March.
10 More than 100 galleries and exhibitors
are participating in the Investec Cape Town
Art Fair – among the artists you can catch 14 At the height of apartheid, two actors –
is Sitaara Stodel, who created this work, Mbongeni Ngema and Percy Mtwa – posed
entitled My favourite sport is channel surfing. the question, ‘What would happen if Christ
Stodel is participating in SOLO, a section of returned to present-day South Africa?’ The
the fair dedicated to individual artists who resulting political satire, Woza Albert,
are looking at the relationship between remains poignant and moving four decades
physical reality and the digital world. CTICC, later. And, astonishingly, these two actors
15–17 February, have reprised the roles that they toured
the world playing in the 1970s and 1980s.
11 Lace Up for Cancer is a mass outdoor It’s being staged at The Baxter in Cape
fundraiser with the encouragement to dress Town from 5 February until 2 March.
up or dress down for a fun walk across Cape

26 FEBRUARY 2019


You needn’t be a fan of musicals or
dancing to recognise the athletic beauty

of these dance-trained bodies.
The bodies in question are dancers
strutting their stuff in Chicago, which
reopens in Cape Town next month. We
sent Lesley Stones backstage, where
she witnessed what goes into keeping the

performers in peak condition FEBRUARY 2019 29

Chicago runs
at Artscape in
Cape Town from 15 March
to 14 April, and at
Montecasino’s Teatro in
Joburg from 20 April to
26 May.

joe! His name is Jarryd their lovers under the influence of drink
Nurden and he is outrageously and jazz.
gorgeous. Talented, too, of
course, but please just look at all those It isn’t a musical like Cats, with inane
ripples! Jarryd might shrug off such songs and a flimsy plot. It’s certainly not
compliments, but we all know you don’t The Phantom, with tumbling chandeliers
spend half your life in the gym just to and shew-wow technical trickery.
be ignored. Fortunately for him (and Chicago lives or dies by the quality of its
us), Jarryd also spends a lot of time on performers, who are cast – believe it or
stage when his hard work (and body) not – not only for their svelte physiques,
can be appreciated. And right now he’s but also for vocal stamina, quality dance
getting a lot of attention as he reprises technique, and ability to act. Looking
his role in Chicago, the steamy, sexy, delicious in flimsy outfits is a bonus, no
sophisticated musical known for its doubt, but the complete package is what
groundbreaking choreography by makes each cast member an asset to
Bob Fosse. the show.
Chicago was created by Fosse along
with musician John Kander and lyricist To add to the effect are the sexy songs
Fred Ebb, based on real crimes in the and slinky sounds of a live jazz band.
1920s whereby two women murdered ‘This is a dance musical and an acting
musical – it’s not a vocal challenge
for the ensemble – but that doesn’t

30 FEBRUARY 2019



from the far left:
Chicago’s toned and

talented cast; dancers

Thami Njoko and Jarryd

Nurden honing their

muscles; and Jarryd
poised and en pointe

mean the singing isn’t important,’ says The South African cast and crew has laughs, and says he’s suffering from
musical supervisor Bryan Schimmel, been on a 10-city tour of New Zealand a dodgy gut. Jarryd believes diet fuels
who leads the 11-piece band that and China, receiving standing ovations his ability to look great and perform
performs live. and praise from international audiences well, and finding healthy foods on tour
before returning home for a new run in is tough. ‘My typical regime is eating
There’s also an intriguing tale of South Africa. clean. I start with celery juice and
murder, greed, corruption, exploitation, apple cider vinegar to keep lean. In Asia
adultery and treachery – familiar What really makes Chicago appealing it’s difficult because you can’t read or
territory for South Africans, but the is its sophisticated elegance, Jarryd understand anything so it’s hard to
jazzy context definitely takes the tells me when I call him in China to find healthy food and identify the right
edge off. hear how the tour is going. ‘Chicago is nutrients. I’m cooking broccoli and eggs
sexy, but not vulgar. These days sex is in my hotel room!’
On the other hand, the dancing may so much in your face, and with Chicago
well have you on the edge of your you don’t get that. It’s subtle, classy Jarryd’s routne includes a yoga
seat. Jarryd is just one of several sensuality where you have a bit of warm-up before each show to keep
sizzling powerhouse performers in the cleavage and brawn – but it’s all very him centred, prepare his body and fend
ensemble, which includes Samantha tastefully done.’ off pre-stage nerves. He’s also a big
Peo, a seasoned pro who plays one of fan of Switch, an hour-long session of
the leading ladies, and Craig Urbani Jarryd might sound upbeat about switching between different exercise
(known for lighting up the stage with the pleasures of performing in such a stations for two-minute bursts of free
his voice), who embodies Billy Flynn, seemingly hallowed musical, but he’s weights, machines, band work and
a lawyer. taking strain. ‘I’m falling apart,’ he FEBRUARY 2019 31


other workouts. ‘At the end of that BECOMING THAT PERSON everybody works together as a team to Pictures: David Watson, Christiaan Kotze
hour you’re lean, sweaty and hot – and achieve our goal – to razzle dazzle ‘em.’
like a machine,’ he says. ‘And that’s a Actor Craig Urbani (pictured right)
really cool way for me to stay toned.’ is used to holding a pose. But the Thami keeps in shape with a daily
pose he’s holding while we chat is ballet class and gym, with warm-up
Jarryd isn’t the only toned machine ridiculous. He’s doing a push-up stretches, abdominal exercises to
in the cast, though. Fellow performer balanced on kettlebells, biceps strengthen his core, 20 minutes of
Thami Njoko has a body to die for. bulging, legs taut, and cracking jokes jogging and three short sprints to get
‘You’re selling yourself as sexy on without wobbling. the blood pumping. Then it’s bench
stage,’ he says, downplaying his natural presses for his back and legs and
physical charisma. Craig gyms for 90 minutes a day arm-toning with dumbbells.
and looks fabulous, and at 48 he’s
Thami’s love of hip-hop led him into inspiring cast members half his age. He found the singing training more
ballet, and his ballet training has challenging than the dancing, mentally
prepared him for the steps, which as a It’s utter overkill for his role as the especially. But his biggest challenge
result aren’t difficult for him. The art is suave lawyer Billy Flynn, whose most was to perfect an American accent to
in moving as a unified team, and making taxing movement is a brief tap dance play a judge convincingly.
sure each movement fits hand in hand and the sardonic raise of an eyebrow.
with the dialogue. ‘The hardest part Thami isn’t the only one obsessed with
is not to fight it by thinking “I can’t do Fitness is part of a lifestyle the gym, says resident choreographer
this”,’ he says. ‘When you allow yourself revolution Craig chose four years Darren Greeff. ‘It’s a really sexy show
to be a toddler and take instructions ago when he stopped drinking. ‘I’ve with everybody in skin-tight costumes
and apply it as brilliantly as you can, become one of those people who used that show off all the muscles and
that’s when you grow. It’s everything to to annoy me – they’d miss gym for curves and the bodies are all toned
do with mindset. In the rehearsal room a day and feel bad that they hadn’t and beautiful. There was a feeling
we spent hours trying to get everything gone and now I’m exactly like that. I among the crew that their bodies aren’t
in sync. What makes it amazing is when enjoy the routine – it’s good for you as good, so we’ve even got the wig
mentally as well as physically.’ department in the gym now!’

He’s delighted to be reviving the
role he rst played 10 years ago.
‘Billy Flynn is a suave, established
gentleman lawyer, so my age is on
my side now. He’s an unscrupulous,
somewhat immoral, very intelligent,
debonair guy who has three numbers
in the show, and the rest of the time
I just cruise around.’

32 FEBRUARY 2019


Following three rip-roaring seasons in Cape Town, Aunty Merle, The Musical finally lands in
Joburg this month. Tracey-Lee Oliver, who plays Merle’s daughter Abigail, took some time

between performances to chat with the show’s creator and star FEBRUARY 2019 35


racey-Lee Oliver: Marc, thank Do you remember that show? Flats, I know a lot about people there.
you for casting me as a lead in Marc: Of course I remember The And Merle is a combination of different
your show. Golden Girls. women I’ve known.
Marc Lottering: I didn’t cast you, Tracey-Lee: She’s like an amalgam of Tracey-Lee: And why do you think
Tracey. You arrived at the Baxter with a all those women. But mostly Sophia. she’s been such a successful character?
suitcase and said you could sing, so… Because Sophia was the one who had Marc: I think it’s because she’s
Tracey-Lee: Yes, but the show is those lines about Sicily back in the day. endearing. She’s allowed to say a whole
about my character, Abigail, isn’t it? Marc: Yes. ‘Picture it: Sicily 1951…’. lot of inappropriate things and people
So I am like the lead… That’s Merle – full of stories. don’t dislike her despite what comes out
Marc: Well, it’s not called Abigail, Tracey-Lee: Is she based on a of her mouth. She’s a perfect character
The Musical. real person? for comedy. She’s a housewife from
Tracey-Lee: I guess not. So perhaps Marc: I believe that comedians should Belgravia Road in Athlone and she lives
I could ask you how Aunty Merle draw from their own realities, so I take in a freestanding house and she has a
came about? inspiration from my own life. I’ve always double garage with a remote. And she’s
Marc: Sjoe! Merle Abrahams is a believed in talking about things that proud of those things.
character I created 20 years back – she I’ve been through, things that I know, or Tracey-Lee: Because she’s come up in
was one of the first characters I came up people I know really well. I often meet the world.
with and used in my stand-up comedy people who tell me I should do some Marc: Yes, you know the type…
shows. white characters, but I don’t think I Tracey-Lee: Yes, in her world, those
Tracey-Lee: She reminds me a little know enough about them to do them things are a big deal.
bit of those women in The Golden Girls. justice. Having grown up on the Cape Marc: I mean her husband even

36 FEBRUARY 2019


has his own business. So, they’re doing really want you to mess around with shows where I don’t have to cross my
well, and they – in Merle’s words – come other genres. They like you because you fingers, because audiences are in for a
from ‘a good stock’. do stand-up, so you shouldn’t suddenly treat with Aunty Merle. It has a lot to
Tracey-Lee: She has status. appear in a soap opera. The times when offer: we go from outrageously funny
Marc: Yes. So, I thought it would be fun I did cross over to TV, my fans were moments to very deep, serious South
to write a musical around her. It was horrified. Very upset. They were like, African commentary in the show. And
probably a bit of a gamble. ‘What are you doing? Get back onto the it really works. It works so well that I’m
Tracey-Lee: Because you’re stand-up stage with a microphone!’ nervous at the thought of writing anything
comedian who wanted to do a musical? Tracey-Lee: And have your fans else after this because whatever else I do
Marc: Yes. But, there’s been a trend accepted you crossing over to do a will be compared to this show…
internationally for stand-up comedians musical now? Tracey-Lee: I have been getting
to dabble in theatre. And you do see rock Marc: Apparently. Although a lot of comments on social media from people
stars writing songs for musicals. people turned up to see the show wanting a sequel…
Tracey-Lee: Well, Tina Turner did that. thinking it would be a Marc Lottering Marc: Is that true or are you looking
She turned her whole life into a musical. stand-up show. for work?
Marc: Yes, Tracey – and maybe one day Tracey-Lee: Oops. Tracey-Lee: Well, I know I’m going to
you can turn your life into a musical. Marc: But by the time they’re at the be in it. You just need to write it.
Tracey-Lee: Or maybe mine will be a theatre with tickets in their hands, it’s Marc: A lot of people say the show is
drama… One doesn’t like to be boxed in. too late. They’re there, so all I can do is screaming to be turned into a TV series.
Marc: Exactly. Except, when you’re cross my fingers and hope they enjoy it Tracey-Lee: Yes, it has a sitcom vibe.
a stand-up comedian, your fans don’t anyway. Fortunately, this is one of those Marc: Yes, and people watch it like FEBRUARY 2019 39


they’re watching a show on TV. When Tracey-Lee: I love doing the show, Aunty Merle, The Musical Pictures: Oscar O’Ryan, Supplied
people in the audience are uncomfortable but I often can’t wait for it to end stars Marc Lottering as Merle
they even talk back. They’ll make so I can go out and meet the audience Abrahams, a proud Capetonian who lives
comments out loud, or express their relief and ask them what they thought. on Belgravia Road in Athlone. The story
after the tension builds. Marc: Shame. I’ve never had that revolves around the intrigue that follows
Tracey-Lee: Yes, sometimes we have problem... But I do believe there is the announcement that Merle’s daughter
to wait while people in the audience get help for people like you who need Abigail (played by Tracey-Lee Oliver) is marrying
it out of their systems. It’s like they’re the validation. ‘a good-looking white chap’ (played by Paul du
feeling it as hard as the characters on Tracey-Lee: Well they did put me on Toit). With a jealous ex in the wings, the plot takes
stage are feeling it. the cover of this magazine. various fun-filled turns with song-and-dance
Marc: Yes, they’re right there with you. Marc: Shame, my dear, is this your first routines aplenty. The Mandela Stage at
Emotionally invested. time on the cover? Joburg Theatre, 1 February–
Tracey-Lee: You’re obviously deeply Tracey-Lee: Yes. 3 March, 
invested too. Emotionally and physically. Marc: I’ve lost count of how many
Doesn’t it exhaust you? times I’ve been there. Do people still don’t want to disturb those folks in the
Marc: It doesn’t matter how you’re read this magazine? middle and aisle seats. And always leave
feeling, how many shows you’ve done this Tracey-Lee: Yes, I’m sure. Do home in a very, very good mood. There’s
week and how many you have still ahead you have a final word of advice for nothing worse than a moody person on a
of you today, you go all out and put on kulula passengers? plane. Because you’re all in this together.
a performance like it’s the last show of Marc: Use the loo at home. Especially You’re in an aeroplane with strangers
your life. if you have a window seat, because you and you can’t flee, so you might as well
check those bad moods in with your
baggage. And just be nice.

40 FEBRUARY 2019


These 10 sonic acts
are in a league of
their own

he sonic bromance between 10. In 2016, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, their the world’s biggest music festivals
Andrew Taggart (the younger, collaboration with Daya, became their love them. They’re also fantastically
prettier one who’s usually first top five single – it also won a energetic – in fact, just witnessing
gripping a mic), pictured on the right, Grammy for Best Dance Recording. fit-as-a-fiddle Taggart bouncing
and Alex Pall (the one mostly manning ‘Closer’ – featuring singer Halsey – around the stage while Pall tinkles
the decks and keyboards), pictured on became their first number-one single, the electronic ivories, might be reason
the left, has resulted in some of EDM’s and their first studio album, Memories... enough to catch them at Ultra SA next
most-hummed, earwormy, and chart- Do Not Open, debuted at number one on month – other artists on the bill include
topping tunes. The Chainsmokers the Billboard 200 in April 2017. Along Martin Garrix, Infected Mushroom,
started out making remixes of songs by with the Beatles and Bee Gees, they’re Vini Vici and many more. It’s happening
indie bands, and then broke out in 2014 one of only three acts ever to have had at the Ostrich Farm near Cape Town
with the song, ‘#Selfie’; the following three singles simultaneously in the top on 1 March, and at Nasrec Expo
year ‘Roses’ reached Billboard’s top 10. The jury is out on whether their Centre in Joburg on 2 March.
music is the kind that’ll be remembered
a decade or even a year from now, but
the fact is they’re producing songs that
garner attention from every imaginable
quarter – radio DJs love them, Coldplay
loves them, and the organisers of FEBRUARY 2019 43

While rooted in tradition, the a capella Believe it or not, Belgian tenor
trio comprising Buhlebendalo Mda Helmut Lotti started out as an Elvis Imogen Heap began writing songs
and brothers Luphindo Ngxanga and impersonator. For a time he was even when she was 13 and taught
Ntsika Fana Ngxanga have fantastic known as ‘De Nieuwe Elvis’ – The New herself guitar and drums. She
command of contemporary aural Elvis. His career really took off when began producing music on Atari
tastes. As The Soil, among Mzansi’s he branched into classical music in the computers while still at school
most sought-after musical exports, mid-1990s and began performing duets – and she’s still experimenting,
they perform incredible acts of vocal with such vocalists as Cliff Richard, making frequent use of
athleticism, weaving together such Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman, and manipulated electronic sounds
divergent musical styles as township Eros Ramazzotti. Having sold over to produce her angsty alternative
jazz, hip-hop, Afro-soul and Afro-pop. 13 million albums, he’s renowned for music. Her work is marvellously
They’re untrained and self-taught and singing in diverse languages – apart diverse, too. She recorded a cover
believe they channel their sound from from his native Dutch and also English, of the nursery rhyme ‘I’m a Lonely
the group’s fourth member, God. While Italian, French, Latin, Russian, Spanish Little Petunia (In an Onion Patch)’
Ntsika pairs perfectly with Buhle on and Ukranian, he sings in Afrikaans, for the TV series, Six Feet Under;
enchanting vocals, Luphindo – or Zulu, Xhosa and Ndebele. Hear him she collaborated with deadmau5
‘Master P’ – uses beatboxing to create in his Comeback Concert at Sun on ‘Telemiscommunications’, off
cadenced musical rhythms, apparently Arena, Time Square in Tshwane on his album, Album Title Goes Here;
summoning bass guitar chords out of 21 March. and she wrote the music for the
thin air. To hear why they’re so revered, West End play, Harry Potter and
catch them at Kirstenbosch Gardens the Cursed Child. In 2016, she
in Cape Town on 3 February, or at Jan was commissioned to write ‘The
Marais Nature Reserve in Stellenbosch Happy Song’, part of a University
where they’re performing as part of of London scientific experiment to
US Woordfees on 10 March. Next ‘create something to make babies
month, Ntsika performs solo at the even happier’ (it’s on Spotify and
Cape Town International Jazz Festival. quite delightful). You can hear,, her exquisite voice and watch her perform with her magic MI.
MU music gloves when she
brings her Mycelia World Tour to
South Africa next month. She’ll
be performing with Frou Frou
collaborator Guy Sigsworth at the
Baxter in Cape Town on 15 and
16 March, and at Montecasino
in Joburg on 19 and 20 March.,

44 FEBRUARY 2019


THE QUEEN OF number of emerging hip- THE GINGER NINJA
DANCE MUSIC hop artists, eventually
hitting the charts when Not only was he born missing one
Her debut solo she collaborated with of his eardrums, but as a boy
album, King Zamar, Junior Taurus on their Ed Sheeran stuttered. Surgery
not only achieved gold singles, ‘Mamelodi’ replaced his eardrum when he was
status, but won last and ‘Cotton Candy’. You 11, but he’s burst it several times
year’s SAMA for since – the last time while diving
Best Dance Album. could find out what all the off a yacht. He says he in any case
Lady Zamar has been fuss is about at the Heart only has 25% hearing in that ear, so
honing she sultry voice since she Cape Town Music Festival on doesn’t consider repeatedly bursting
was six – she says her entire family was 9 February, but it’s sold out. Instead, that eardrum a problem. And it’s in
music-crazy. Her mother would have the catch her at the Huawei KDay Music no way stopped him from becoming
family sing hymns together while her Festival at Meerendal Wine Estate in one of the most successful singer-
father made the family watch musicals Durbanville, Cape Town, on 2 March. songwriters in history. Much of
like Phantom of the Opera. She first Also performing are Chad Saaiman, that success, he claims, is thanks
sang in public in church at age 11 and in Mi Casa, The Kiffness, Jamali, Goodluck to Eminem. He says it was rapping
the early days of her career sang with a and others. along to The Marshall Mathers
LP that helped him overcome his
THE EYELINER best album ever!’ Indeed, the 1989 album stutter. He would also eventually
MONSTER was their top-seller, and ensured that The work with Eminem – the two
Cure became – for a short while at least collaborated on ‘River’, a song
Robert Smith’s voice didn’t help him – the biggest band on earth. Commercial recorded in 2017. Earlier that year,
through childhood. Although The Cure success was never Smith’s intention and Sheeran became the first artist to
was formed in the southerly UK town of fame so flabbergasted him that during have two songs debut in the US top
Crawley in West Sussex, Smith was born the early 1990s he claims to have hated 10 in the same week and he broke
in Blackpool and he says that because of the band’s most popular songs. Still, the UK record for the most top
his broad Northern accent, he had ‘the they are back. Last year marked the 10 singles from one album.
piss was taken out of [him] mercilessly 40th anniversary of their first concert He’ll be back in Joburg, performing
at school’. Fast-forward to 1998 and as The Cure (when they startedEod uShteienran at he FNB Stadium on 23 and
Smith’s voice featured in an episode of 1976 they were called Malice). It was 24 March, and has shows at Cape
South Park in which he played himself. In during the tour following the release of Town Stadium on 27 and 28 March.
it, Smith defeats Barbara Streisand after their Pornography album in 1982 that
she transforms into a giant mechanical the band wore red eye make-up so that
dinosaur. At the end of the episode, Kyle it looked like they were sweating blood
Broflovski calls out ‘Disintegration is the under the stage lights. Smeared lipstick,
black eyeliner and backcombed hair may
have become their visual signature, but
it is Smith’s haunting voice – in songs
like ‘Lullaby’, ‘Lovecats’ and ‘Friday I’m
In Love’ – that defines theirTgheenCiuures. Good
luck getting tickets to see them when
they perform at Rock on the Lawns, at
Carnival City in Joburg on 16 March and
at Kenilworth Racecourse in Cape Town
on 21 March. FEBRUARY 2019 45

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