Monday, October 30, 2006


Seether - its lekker innie Kaap

This afternoon my long time friend and colleague Stormin’ Norman/Puddles the Clown/ Mr Action stopped by as he was in town, so to speak. Living out in Scarborough, just before Cape Point, one technically is a bit of a country-bumpkin – but some of us have to suffer in paradise! We can’t just leave it all to the Brits and Germans! (pictured right - like the guy invading MY spot! He's got the whole bloody beach, and he has to stand right next to me!)

Ahem... Norman will be fire-blowing for us tomorrow evening, at sunset, on the beach at Maidens Cove, as a feature for the World President’s Organisation who will be dining there. The WPO is a very exclusive group of people who turn over huge amounts of money and are then invited to meet in interesting places around the world as part of this group. Shame.

We are just hoping that the weather holds out, and that Windguru is right! I have referred to this site many times and found it to be pretty spot-on when I haven’t needed it – so tomorrow will be a test!

Lenny and I have got the Orient Community Cape Minstrels meeting and greeting our guests, and leading them down to the sea front where they’ll be able to take part in a small West Coast fishing scene we have created.

We’ve got loads of bokkems and fresh snoek, some mama’s fixing the nets, and some strapping young fishermen bringing the catch of the day ashore and other characters supplied by this community group. (pictured left - even Jas & his buddy Stan tried to audition...)

Then my good friend, Abie and the Starlight Rhythms will set the evening alight with his Cape style tunes on his trumpet, and during his breaks we’ve got a guitarist and banjo player, and a penny-whistler to fill in the atmosphere – Djij! Ek smaaket innie Kaap!

So in honour of the fresh snoek that’ll be part of our set tomorrow, I thought I would post a little classic. Nirvana had absolutely nothing to do with South Africa, except that their music inspired one local band to go out there to make a name for themselves, and Seether have gone and done just that, selling over 2 million albums!

Here’s a live acoustic version of Nirvana’s “Something in the way” by Shaun Morgan of Seether – because “it’s ok to eat fish, because they don’t have any feelings”… Bokkom anyone?

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Friday, October 27, 2006


Kai bops to Bongo Maffin

It’s Friday people! That means another week is behind us, we’ve got the weekend ahead, and Christmas is around the corner – that’s how it feels – time is just flying by!

We’ve had another hectic week in the office; work is piling up on our desks, staff getting sick, non-existent power-cuts, and so are looking forward to being able to just work quietly without the phone going every 3 minutes! We were going to go away, but clearly we are needed!

I was chatting to another well-known artist representative from Johannesburg, and he warned me about a virus that has been attacking his system – so I thought I would check it out before it hits me!

Seems it is the Stration Virus – comes with the zip file and the following message:

Mail server report.

Our firewall determined the e-mails containing worm copies are being sent from your computer.

Nowadays it happens from many computers, because this is a new virus type (Network Worms).

Using the new bug in the Windows, these viruses infect the computer unnoticeably.
After the penetrating into the computer the virus harvests all the e-mail addresses and sends the copies of itself to these e-mail addresses

Please install updates for worm elimination and your computer restoring.

Best regards,
Customers support service

Would you trust that nice English?
So, I suppose if you do open the zip file and download it, and your computer gets infested – you’re a doffie! Surely people understand that unless it comes directly from the virus protection program, you’re not going to open it?

Anyway – it’s Friday, and so I decided to post a little more insight into the Peak family. Our boys Jasper & Kai are often heard in the background of telephone conversations, and so I’m going to show you how Kai has been an integral part of the behind-the-scenes creative process – when he can keep his eyes open that is!

Hope you have a great weekend, keep the music playing, and remember to protect yourself! It’s a nasty virus.

Thursday, October 26, 2006


International dialing codes to change!

Today is such a stunner – another early spring day without a breath of wind, blue skies, and it’s a Thursday – meaning the weekend is just around the corner! And we’re off camping in Swellendam again!

But this morning I want to get a little international, and provide some useful information that was passed on to me by Peter Metcalf who runs the Foundation for the Development of Africa that we are affiliated to.

You may be aware that the international code when dialing from one country to another has now been standardised as ‘00’ to meet international standards. You may recall the international code was prefixed as ‘+’ - to reach South Africa, you would have to dial ‘09’

When researching the way telephone numbers are written on business cards, we are faced with a zillion combinations - making it very difficult to select the right option. Surprisingly, some business-cards, circulated into the international market, fail to provide the full international codes required to connect.

Most of us who regularly deal throughout the African continent will identify with this issue. All too often we endeavor to call a number in a foreign country, and receive no response or an engaged signal and then we all too often blame the situation on the lack infrastructure. I am not insinuating that there is NO problem with telecommunication infrastructure - I am just trying to highlight the possibility of how the inclusion or exclusion of one digit could cause great frustration.

Therefore, when listing a number we should follow certain basics. A telephone number in Table View, Cape Town, South Africa should now be listed as follows:

00 27 (0)21 556 5132 (our office telephone number)

00 = The International Dialing Code
27 = This code designates the country - South Africa
(0) = This digit is only required when dialing the number locally e.g. in South Africa - therefore listed in brackets
21 = This is the code for a particular region or area – Cape Town
556 = This is the code that further defines the region or area – Table View
5132 = The dedicated number.

In South Africa the ‘+’ or ‘09’ codes will prevail parallel with the new ‘00’ code until 16 January 2007, thereafter ‘00’ for international access will be mandatory while dialing the area code ‘021’ as for Cape Town from within Cape Town will also be mandatory.

You have been warned!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


David Newton - Cape Town Comedy!

I felt we needed a little bit of comedy for today. Eskom, or Eksdom (I'm Stupid in Afrikaans) as some posters were reading earlier this year, delivered a little green note to inform us that they were going to be upgrading the system in Table View, and so we could expect the power to be off between 07h45 & 16h00.

So we unplugged
everything, to avoid the power-surges blowing up hard-drives, and sat and waited. And waited. And waited.

But nothing happened.

So we called the Eskom toll free number to confirm that they are working today, only to be sweetly told that, 'Oh no - we decided to cancel today's work. Sorry about that.' And that's that.

A comedy of errors - nothing else explains it.

At least I had abit of a laugh yesterday, when David Newton, one of the newer comedians on our books came by to visit, dropping off his DVD 'Defending the Laid Man' so I could get more of a feel of his style.

David is your regular guy next door, nice, clean-cut kinda guy, but put him on stage and he defends his manhood with very funny answers to the questions about relationships we all ask!

And his answers are obviously hitting home, because his "Defending the Laid Man" shows have been sold out in Cape Town for four seasons, two massively successful Grahamstown Festivals, and most recently in Durban - whose audiences loved him even though he wasn't a local-boy! And not only that, but after starting out on the Main Arena at the Cape Town International Comedy Festival, he was promptly featured in the Danger Zone and then the Best of the Fest!

David has had excellent reviews; Yazeed Kamaldien said, "You've got to see it to believe it. And he doesn't simply push the right button; he gives blokes jokes a pulsating new spin..."; while Derek Wilson enjoyed "watching the spikey, spunky David Newton work a willing audience into paroxysms of laughter. He has a quick mind which is as sharp as a scalpel, and thrives on audience input."

So... an actor, a very good comedian, a spunky MC... all rolled into one! Enjoy this snippet from "Defending the Laid Man"!

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Brenda Fassie - Vulindlela

It was a hell of a shock hearing yesterday’s news about Lebo, as I mentioned in my previous post. Today’s news tells more of her last moments; of how she had been thrown clear of her Land Cruiser Prado meaning she wasn’t wearing safety-belts; that there were so few injuries visible, but that she had been crushed internally; that the driver either fell asleep behind the wheel, or was distracted – enough to lose control.

There are so many lessons to be learnt by this tragedy.

It seems to be a sad time for South Africa, also having recently lost Moses Kumalo to death that could have been prevented.

Sipho Gumede, Moses Molelekwa, TK, Ben Shabalala, Chas Smit, Gito Baloi & Brenda Fassie (UPDATE - and now Jabu Khanyile...)– these are all artists in the last number of years – all huge talents that are lost to us well before their time.

Ma Brrrr, as Brenda was known, is one of the most famous residents of Langa Township, just outside Cape Town. Ma Brrr was the undisputed queen of SA music, and even felt she had the right to class herself as the Madonna of Africa. And she was – she sold more albums than Madonna did, and enjoyed shocking her audiences just as much! But she lived life in the fast lane, and it eventually caught up with her.

So, in honour of fallen hero’s, I would like to feature Ma Brrr’s hit Vulindlela. That we can all enjoy every day as if it is our last that; we look around and appreciate who we are, and where we are, and most of all that we think, and take care of ourselves.

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Monday, October 23, 2006


Lebo Mathosa is gone!

It was with great sadness that we heard the reports this morning about the tragic passing of Lebo Mathosa.

It has been reported that she was the passenger in a vehicle that lost control, rolled and skided off the road, leaving the driver with minor injuries. Lebo sustained fatal injuries.

Lebo is an icon in SA Music, from her early days as part of Boom Shaka, to her success as a solo artist, and just a few months ago she was nominated for a MOBO award for Best African Act, having previously won Best Dance Album for Dream, Best Dance Single for intro and Best Female Vocalist at the South AFrican Music Awards.

"You can't deny death, you can't fear it. I'm sure God has a better place for us, if you're a believer." Lebo said in November 2004, just after learning of Brenda Fassie's passing.

Lebo Mathosa's talent will be missed by the whole industry.

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Friday, October 20, 2006


iaminawe - show reel 2006

I have mentioned the iaminawe crew a few times this last week – Gregg and I have had some contact, as he is going to be assisting me with upgrading my websites at the beginning of November. (Whoohooo - excitement!) Angella is visiting her family in Canada, and I am sure will be visiting the UK too, so poor Gregg is pretty snowed under at the moment.

I love hearing that small companies are too busy for words.

The funky thing about Gregg, is that he is not only a pretty pro animator – having produced works for artists such as David Kramer and Goldfish, and the Corne & Twakkie comedy duo, but he is a very good VJ – that’s a Visual DJ for those who thought it sounded abit strange: an artist who accompanies a regular DJ or band, and produces visual images to compliment the music.

Iaminawe's high quality motion graphics and animations can be used for a variety of different mediums for broadcast, live events and also web delivery. And in order for Gregg to be able to create the animations he does, he needs Angella's illustrations and design - and what a pro?! She has developed such a unique style, that no mater how different the product, you can feel Angella's vision making it alive. You can see some of their work here, but know it involves some crazy creativeness!

These were some cliches Angella and Gregg created for our Freedom to Celebrate range of CD's & DVD's (more info coming soon) - and without them The African Music Collective would've been drab!

So whether in design, or as a funky VJ combination, they are pure artistic expression. Incorporating live footage into the visual mix, and abit of style and professionalism iaminawe is all of the above and more.

Check out their show reel for 2006 – and all of us at Peak hope you enjoy your weekend as much as we plan on doing!

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Just Jinjer - What He Means

Last night we watched Top Billing's feature on Just Jinjer, filmed during their quick visit to SA recently to promote their new album. The guys have really done some great work, still being the biggest selling rock band in South African history with over 240,000 units sold of their 6 albums, and showing really down-to-earth guys out there pushing to make it.

Today I am featuring What He Means from their latest album - Just Jinjer. And what an awesome track, as you’ll be able to hear and see from the music vid in a mo – when I’m finished telling you how impressed I am. Art, or Ard as he is named on his birth certificate – hauntingly begs for Peace, Love, More Tolerance, Faith, Hope, Trust in the same name of God – and all of it wearing a Nelson Mandela 46664 t-shirt. This is very cool stuff!

They've have performed and toured with groups like U2, Counting Crows and Def Leopard; as well as performing for hundreds of thousands of fans all around the world from the UK to Dubai to Durban – and think of what a positive South African message they're sending out? We need more South African’s who understand where we have come from, to help other people see where they can go – and music is such a sexy medium in which to preach!

Just Jinjer is... Art Matthews (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar), Brent Harris (Drums/Vocals), Denholm Harding (Bass/Vocals) and Sandy Chila (Guitar/Keyboards). They’re all cool. Someone send them a few bottles of Mrs Balls!

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006


David Kramer's Onnerwater

I have mentioned before, with a sense of pride and belonging, my ‘boere’ blood and how my roots run deep into the South African earth. My mother, Gaynor Brand, born and raised in the Boland town of Worcester was raised in an English speaking household, and so the tradition has continued – which is why this blog is in English, and not Afrikaans.

But it wasn’t always so. I mean President Brand was pretty Afrikaans, as was the Springbok Gerry Brand (who I think still holds the record for the longest drop-goal scored against the English at Twickenham, and whose 100 conversions were only equalled by Percy Montgomery this year!), as was the Portkeeper of Simonstown Christoffel Brand, who regularly hosted Lady Anne Barnard at his home, as well as officers like Captain Cook. Pictured right are my grandparents with their Wolseley (I stand to be corrected...)

I always enjoyed the stories my mom told me of her childhood in the Hex River Valley, and all the people she knew there.

One such person was David Kramer, an icon of the South African music industry since the mid seventies. David or ‘Sweetpea’ as he was known as a kid, was slightly younger than my mother, and went to Worcester Boys High School before going to study textile design at Leeds University in the UK.

David wasn’t your regular Bolander, and my mom always said that she knew he would end up doing something different to his peers. He released his first album in 1980 – Bakgat – but it was immediately banned by the SABC and government, because of the language he used to portray a satirical look at life, politics and because of the way he mixed his languages.

David had a number of hits such as Blokkies Joubert, Royal Hotel & So Long Skipskop – a song about forced removals of people in small fishing villages around the Cape. But David really became something special to us all after he was asked to become the image of Volkswagens microbus in 1983. With his red veldskoene, his bicycle, old guitar and lekka grin, David was seen travelling up and down the country-side dusty roads for 13-years, winning the hearts of South Africans.

David collaborated over the years with a number of artists, producing many hits such as District Six with Taliep Petersen, The Eyes of their Whites with Paul Slabolepszy, Fairyland and Poison, another successful collaboration with Peterson. He directed Marc Lottering’s From the Cape Flats with Love & Big Stakes and Slap Chips, shows such as Karoo Kitaar Blues and his latest CD release Huistoe, which looked at the development of Roots music in the dry Karoo. And of course there is Goema, once again a magical pairing with Taliep Peterson, where he explores the roots of Cape Music.

David is proud of his roots, that much is evident looking back at his 25 year career.

So we were very excited when our friends at iaminawe came and brought us a copy of David’s new music video for Onnerwater at the end of last year – and we’re pleased to be able to present it to you now!

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Jasper van den Berg sings

Ahh, the joys of being a parent when you have as wonderful boys as Lenny and I do. Jasper (6) & Kai (3) bring so much fresh air into our lives daily, and though we might be accused of being somewhat biased, I feel myself swell with pride at having two of the most beautiful, clever and well-behaved boys in the world!

Working from home we are able to spend more time with them in that we can be there when they need our help to get off the jungle-gym, pour them a chocolate milk or cycle down the Rietvlei; while at the same time we do also spend long hours in the office to get through the loads of work that we have to deal with every day – so in some ways we win, and others we lose.

But being there when your son comes home from school, as Jasper did one afternoon at the end of last year, and he says, “Papa, I want to sing you a song”, I couldn’t be happier being able to see it first hand, and fresh from the mouth of babe, then that I was holed up in some office far away at that moment!

So, today I introduce a new voice on the South African music scene; a star in the making; a gem that gleems and sparkles even though its as yet uncut; and the pride of Papa’s eye – Jasper van den Berg.

PS – please note, all fan mail can be sent directly to me, all marriage proposals will be dealt with, though do expect delays due to the masses of proposals we know will arrive!


Goldfish'ing all night

The wind just hasn’t stopped pumping in the last few days; battering the entire peninsula with and endless howl and whistle as it squeezes through every little crack in the house; under every closed window; rattling every door in its effort to go through, instead of over the top.

So we’ve been living in a sort of goldfish bowl, unable to open anything for fear of it landing on Robben Island, looking at the world outside and wondering when its going to end.

It’s quieter now. The Cape of Storms is taking a breather.

So in celebration… (I am so excited!...) I am going to let you watch a very cool Goldfish vid, made by some friends of ours on the other side of the peninsula in Fishhoek – Gregg & Angela from iaminawe (I-am-in-awe for all those thinking you had suddenly stumbled on a Xhosa site!) Greg & Angela do some of the most awesome work – see for yourself – and are involved with some of Cape Town’s most progressive entertainers, musicians & corporate clients, and as they describe the work they do
Iaminawe is a nomadic experiment in lateral living. It is travel, passion, culture, movement, originality and creativity."

Damn – that wind was blowing all day, and All Night!

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SA Artists shine at MTV Awards!

I have had a few days off, recovering from a bit of bronchitis & a fever, which is never easy when the summer weather starts rolling in! One isn’t sure if you’re sweating from outer or inner heat! And this is exaggerated by the wind that has been beating around our heads the last few days, not allowing windows or doors to be opened for fear of all paperwork ending in the neighbour’s garden!

It’s also been a weekend with lots of news about South African artists coming in – leaving me wondering about who and what to feature first!

Sadly, Busi Mhlongo (pictured left) was featured in a double spread article in the Sunday Times Life Style supplement; Bongani Masondo wrote a beautiful article not only as a fan but also a very concerned friend of Busi’s, who has made it known that she has been ill for awhile with breast cancer. I don’t what this means for her future, and I will be speaking to her later this week when I will have more news, but at this stage we can only wish her all the strength and love to pull herself through this obstacle in her life.

We also heard on Monday that Presely Chweneyagae was one of the artists nominated for Film Life's 2006 Black Movie Awards - A Celebration of Black Cinema: Past, Present and Future. And he won!

The young actor was up for an Outstanding Performance by an Actor award for his role in the movie Tsotsi - which also won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year.

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Kinky Boots), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Shadowboxer), Tyrese Gibson (Waist Deep) and Denzel Washington (Inside Man) were also gunning for the same award – and so bringing more respect to his talents, but also to the SA Film industry as a whole – awesome stuff!

And it was the Channel O Spirit of Africa Music Video Awards this weekend! Most of SA’s top groups were represented there, with live performances from Freshlyground, Mzekezeke & Arthur amongst others. Zola was recognized by receiving the Special Recognition Award for work he has done for the upliftment of youth on the continent, in particular as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in East Africa. You can see the winners here - pretty cool.

So in celebration of some of the awards that have been floating around here… (Floating trophy? There was also a Curry Cup that couldn’t be secured this weekend…) I wanted to feature another great South African award winning production, U-Carmen eKhayelitsha, featuring the vivacious Pauline Malefane (pictured right) as Carmen.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006


Abie & the Jazz Gorilla

No peace for the wicked! We're as busy as ever and I just haven't had the time to write again this week, even though the Sunday Times Horoscope promised me that I would!

But that’s just the way it goes!

I was able to enjoy a good chat this week with my good friend Abie Thomas, who came to see us with his wife Rose after having performed for us this past weekend. Abie was special request at a 70th birthday party, and today we heard from the birthday boy's son - the manager of the Constantia Uitsig Hotel - that Stilbaai will never be the same! Abie got a real party going that even got the locals bopping!

Abie and Rose joined us for a great stir-fry lunch, made by Nicole, and we sat reminiscing about the good old days at the V&A Waterfront when we first met, and started performing there.

Abie, myself and another Cape Town character, Miles Shorter the Jazz Gorilla, spent so much time together; arguing performers rights with Maureen Thompson & David Jack; drinking coffees after long sweaty days entertaining the crowds; until Myles threw off the guide-ropes to his yacht and sailed off into the sunset with his family. And none of us have ever heard from him again…

So if anyone out there has seen or heard a gorilla blowing away at a sax, tell him we miss him in Cape Town!

Abie, at the ripe old age of 77-year young, says he is only planning on retiring after the 2010 World Cup – he recons enough people will have enjoyed his music by then – it shows you what a clean lifestyle ensures you. You can continue to make plans long into the future!

This is why I am featuring a little clip produced by my friends at Pistoleros Films in Cape Town, which was sent to me recently. This is their latest Viral Ad, from their humour director John Warner. Pistoleros Films has 3 of its viral commercials in the Spun Gold UK Television show featuring the world’s top virals, 2 of which are from their director John Warner.

If you like the spot please let us know. If you have friends who could benefit from this message please forward it on. And let’s all be able to make plans for well after the World Cup!

Monday, October 09, 2006


Mandela The Authorised Portrait

I went out today to treat myself to a new book I spotted yesterday at Canal Walk - Mandela: The Authorised Portrait, published by Wild Dogs Press in association with PQ Blackwell it was released on 02 October 2006.

I sat in the setting sun a little earlier paging through it, and was glad that I had – not only did it the sun warm me up a little – yep, it was only 17 degreed today – but mostly I was warmed again by the beauty of this man.

Speed reading through the different chapters in excitement, I was seeing photographs I hadn’t seen before, hand-written letters and official government documents, and was again warmed that we are so fortunate to be alive in his time. To be able to witness for ourselves what a great man he is, and has been, in the short time we’ve really gotten to know him.

It is a stunning book – and will look damn good on anyone’s coffee table! Be that Kofi Annan’s, who wrote the foreword; Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s, who wrote the introduction; or even President Bill Clinton who is quoted in a number of chapters – though it’ll have to hold a place of pride on my bookshelf! I’ve got a 6 & 3-year old, and I doubt the old man would take kindly to Yogurt-drink being spilt all over him.

Kofi Annan writes, “To this day, Madiba remains probably the single most admired, most respected international figure in the entire world. He continues to inspire millions of people and several generations throughout the globe, by continuing to fight for reconciliation before recrimination, healing before bitterness, peace before conflict; by fighting for health, for education, for the right of every child to have a better start to life; by fighting against the destruction wrought by HIV/Aids; by spelling out the right and duty of not only South Africa, but all Africa, to take charge of it’s own future and fate.

This has been touted as the most complete collection of images of Madiba, ever collected, and with its 60 odd interviews is a magnificent tribute to the Man of the Century! It's a personal look at him, stories of his humility and great leadership, stories of how he moves people in the most powerful way.

Mandela: The Authorised Portrait is available at Exclusive books. Get it.

Sunday, October 08, 2006


Kalahari Surfers at In-San-ity

It’s late Sunday night, and I am preparing for the week ahead. Last week we were very busy, and though not all of it was fun and games, there were some good shows that we presented around the country – it just left us feeling very drained at the end of it all and in need of a good break.

One of my oldest performing friends, Abe Thomas from the Starlight Rhythms, or as most people know him – the guy with the trumpet from the Waterfront – performed as a surprise at a 70th birthday party on Saturday; Arno Carstens and his band got a party going in East London on Friday (even after he had been incorrectly billed as the Springbok Nude Girls - tut tut tut); Zolani Mkiva, the Poet of Africa, and official praise-singer at Nelson Mandela and both of Thabo Mbeki’s inaugurations, appeared for us at the Mount Nelson – so lots of interesting things.

The girls had to do a fair amount of over-time in the office last week when we had a number of hiccups, but these things happen when dealing with the ‘human element’, and we are just happy that when things do go wrong, we strive to solve the problem before panicking! Once everything is back on track its always a good idea to go out and shout at the heavens, dance a jig of madness or jump into my freezing swimming pool!

Which is of course why I am preparing for the coming week!

I was very happy to read more about an upcoming festival, wonderfully titled the ‘In-San-ity Khoisan Benefit Festival’ happening at Clanwilliam in the Cederberg from 13 – 15 October. We just happen to have booked some camping sites at the dam, so will definitely be popping in to see some of S.A.’s coolest acts.

Who can turn their nose up at Goldfish, the Kalahari Surfers, Hog Hoggidy Hog, Godessa, Pops Mohamed and even 109 year-old !Gube Tee Tee from SanScapes and Bushmen of the Kalahari fame! There are over 80 groups appearing over the 3 days, with loads of stuff happening around the festival to make it an awesome weekend.

Len & I talk about the fact that when we were living in Holland there were African music festivals happening in every corner of that small country – when at home, in South Africa, at the bottom of the continent that has been the flavour to the rest of the world for years now, there are such a few!

So here’s a track to celebrate the In-San-ity team and all their efforts! It’s Gangsta by the Kalahari Surfers and Mdu Mbutuma from the Akasic Record, released by the African Dope Records crew – Have a great week people!

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Friday, October 06, 2006


Verity & the Lucky Packet Project

I was visited last week by Kirsten, who represents Verity, a very innovative artist from Cape Town. Verity has become something of an icon in the way she has created a campaign around selling, what could almost be called shares or ‘future-ownership, in an album she hasn’t yet recorded, and we’re excited to be featuring her on our database!

Her campaign, called the Lucky Packet Project, was launched at the end of last year, and Verity has had varied success in that she has sold ’future copies’ to people from 20 different countries, so she is reaching audiences far and wide. I suppose that I am just a little disappointed that she hasn’t had more success and already recorded the album, but this is still a very cool idea. Selling 5000 copies, while also raising R80 000 for two charities - POWA and a new project Verity has set up, the Live your Dream Foundation to empower other South African artists.

She has been written about in most of the major blogs in SA and even some abroad, and she’s had newspaper articles, television pieces, and I just heard today, that her form of marketing her product has even been as discussion topic at a conference to alternative marketing in Sweden. So why has she only sold 710 copies?

At least she is building an impressive appearance list, having performed with her band at evens such as the Kirstenbosch Winter Concert series, at the Up the Creek Music Festival, the Media 24 Annual Awards and the Levi’s Origional Blues Festival.

And she has a very cool band backing her up. Her band consists of; Nelson Malela on keyboards, from Congo and who came to South Africa to play keyboards for Brenda Fassie just before she passed away & since then has become a well respected pianist on the local scene; Helder Gonzaga hails from Mozambique and is a final year Jazz student at UCT while also working as a full time session musician in and around Southern Africa; Tony Paco hails from Mozambique and is a sought after drummer and percussionist for some of SA's top bands and has recently returned from touring the East.

Verity has been working with Helder and Tony for the last two years and they bring their Mozambiquan magic to the rhythm section of the band. Their incredible combined musical experience adds a distinctly African flavour to Verity's melodic folk/rock songs. Nelson is a relatively new addition to the band and brings his beautiful playing style and charming stage presence to Verity's shows.

Here is a small video snippet of some of her live shows. So come on South Africa – let me know if you would like to help fulfil an innovative idea that’ll give you pleasure in the end too! Contact me so that we can get the orders streaming in, and better still, book her for your next event!

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I am an African

My dad called me up last night, “I have to read on your blog that my grandson had stitches, and there haven’t been many updates since!” – I know it’s been awhile since I added! But I have been roughing it in the country-side!

We had such a hectic week last week, that the Bergies escaped the Cape with our friend Wendy and her kids, Stanley & Rosie. And so we ended up at the foot of the majestic Langberg mountain range just outside Swellendam, at a small camping site called Hoopoe Camping, which is part of Braham van Zyl's Swellendam Kloof Holiday Farm. Its nestled right below what is known as 12 o’clock Peak, surrounded by Pine forests, hills covered in fynbos and a patch-work quilt of green farmlands.

We needed to re-energise. And what a place to do it in.

Ok – we had quite abit of rain over the last 2 days, and today wasn’t as much fun getting caught in several rain storms while trying to pack up camp! But even that couldn’t take away from the beauty!

Swellendam is special to me, as my dad & I used to come to Bontebok National Park every December/January, and because our camping partner Wendy used to live here. The national park has been under renovation since April this year (opening in December again hopefully) and so we ended up at the foot of this kloof, one I didn’t even know existed – it’s so like Natures Valley in its natural beauty and wild, green growth! Just stunning!

I think most importantly, it reminded me of what a proud South African I am. I drive just along the road and am just amazed at this country moves me. How much there is here for us to work for, not only to preserve for generations to come, but to enjoy ourselves too, so that we can share with others!

So to start my week, I want to remind everyone of President Thabo Mbeki’s words – before he had the official title – made in May 1996 – I am an African! And damn proud too!

Here I have been raving about how beautiful this start to summer has been, but while driving through the Hex River Valley we were shocked to see that there was actually snow on the mountains! No wonder we had to buy extra blankets, and made use of our heater every night!

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