Monday, June 28, 2010

Marley and Me

Well, Ziggy, Robbie and Rohan Marley and me ;)

The three brothers, and sons of legendary Bob Marley, are travelling around Africa for a documentary series along the lines of Long Way Down and Long Way Round that Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman did a few years ago. In fact, the series is produced by the same company that filmed their adventures. Marley Africa Roadtrip sees the brothers riding on Ducati Multistrada 1200 motorcycles. From speaking to Ziggy, it seems they're taking things at a more relaxed pace, allowing the journey to lead them to their next destination, rather than having a set plan as the McGregor and Boorman did.

They're also aiming to bring some of the Marley magic back to the continent. 30 years ago, Bob travelled to the continent and performed a unity concert in Zimbabwe. Ziggy says the World Cup presents a great opportunity to think beyond the tournament and how Africa can grow its next leaders. Or as he puts it: "The FIFA World Cup is just a celebration. It’s not a finale. It’s the road leading to the finale."

Ziggy will be performing a free concert in Soweto in the next two weeks and the details for that are being finalised. But in the meantime, according to Ziggy, the brothers have been stopping over in some interesting places all over the continent and country - like Parys!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Team USA!

So while my gal pals ogle at Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Cannavaro, I have set my sights on Landon Donovan. He managed to score the winning goal against Algeria - in the 91st minute!! And yes, I think he's a cutie. Apparently Bill Clinton was watching the match and went to the lockeroom afterwards to congratulate the team. He also told Ryan Seacrest that South Africa is a "pretty cool country" and everyone here has been very welcoming.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tea with the Princes

So the World Cup is in full swing - and the celebs are out and about. Their Royal Highnesses Prince William and Prince Harry have been visiting Lesotho, Botswana and South Africa, combining fun with charity. They both have organizations based in these countries, and they're also rooting for England to host the 2018 World Cup so they spent Saturday morning meeting with FIFA in Johannesburg. And David Beckham.

Saturday afternoon? Well, that they spent that with me...Technically, it was me and a few handfuls of other guests who attended a party in honour of Queen Elizabeth the II's birthday (which is also recognized as the Monarchy's official birthday) at a house in Hyde Park. But when Prince William looked into my eyes as he spoke about how he felt about the England team's performance a few days ago, it may as well just have been me.

I've met the Prince and his Royal sibling before - in fact it was the subject of the first entry on this blog - but this time I felt a little caught under His Royal Highness' spell. Yes, you may joke about his balding hair (I'm short, it doesn't bother me if I can't see it!) or that he is so like his dad Charles, but my, oh my, is he one charming, sophisticated man. He's funny and sincere too. When he came over to our table and found out some of us were journalists, he zipped up his lips and joked, 'oohh,, better not say anything here!' Of course the first question was about Team England. To which he replied, 'I should just write my thoughts down on a piece of paper and stick it to my pocket', and that 'walking into the changeroom afterwards was like walking into a morgue'. But then he changed tack and said he felt that the team was nervous, playing out of fear that if any one of them stepped out they risked being vilified, much like Robert Green has been.

I also got to speak to him about the Port Edward encounter, when he and Harry took part in the EnduroAfrica. He said he had so much fun, and is looking for something bigger and better to do next. Also found London Mayor Boris Johnson to be quite a character. He was bubbly and chatty, raving about the World Cup, and talking to Paul Elliot (an ambassador for England's 2018 bid) about finding something as unique as the vuvuzela to boost their chances. He also said that he hoped that 'when the World Cup is over, after the hangover,' that the media is positive about the event and how good it has been.

More pics to follow!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

One of my Fave World Cup Tracks

Kicking off the Cup

The  Fifa World Cup Kickoff Celebration Concert will go down as one of the best shows I have ever been to. Mostly because the vibe was just indescribable - with an undercurrent of goodness and positivity vaulting through Orlando Stadium.
Before the highlights, some behind the scenes. The day before I went to interview some of the artists (and heard Alicia Keys soundchecking 'Empire State of Mind - just glorious!)
Here the artists took to the "red carpet" that had been laid out on the pitch of Soccer City, where the opening match would take place on Friday, to ceremoniously kick a ball.

Here's John Legend...

He wasn't on the bill for the Kickoff Concert, but John Travolta flying into South Africa was another highlight of this past week. He's here to support the Australian team - the Qantas Socceroos. Why, you ask? Because he has been involved in the company for some years now, since having bought a 707 from them. It's this 707 that he flew into Lanseria on Thursday morning.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wave Your Flag - Highlights from the World Cup Kickoff Celebration Concert

There were so many - but the man who practically stole the show was undoubtedly Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

Some other highlights include:

* Alicia Keys and Blk Jks covering the late Brenda Fassie's Too Late for Mama. The creative producer of the show later told me this was all Blk Jks' idea and Alicia ran with it.
* John Legend giving us the Green Light and performing with Soweto Gospel Choir and Angelique Kidjo.

* Shakira doing Hips Don't Lie with Tumi Molekane rapping Wyclef Jean's part, and then Freshlyground joining her in an explosion of colour on stage.

* Vusi Mahlasela bringing the 30 000-strong audience to its knees with the spectacular story-telling of his song Say Africa

* The closing song - a cover of Arrested Development's Everyday People - when all the artists came on stage to sing and dance and take pictures of each other!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Woza World Cup

And World Cup Week begins! Woke up before my usual gym-time to catch Shakira at the airport. She's here to perform the 2010 Fifa World Cup official song - Waka Waka: This Time for Africa, together with Freshlyground. It all seemed pretty low-key, until the Colombian popstar came out the terminal arrival doors...

Here is the brief interview I had with her:

Later in the evening I went to the first ever Captain's Dinner hosted by Bafana Bafana's main man, Aaron Mokoena. The auction helped raise money for the Aaron Mokoena Foundation, which uses sport to help disadvantaged children.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Football Fever!

Babel and Biutiful director Alejandro González Iñárritu's Nike Football TV ad - love it!