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first_img29 December 2003The Soweto Gospel Choir, drawing from the churches and communities of South Africa’s most famous township, mixes earthy rhythms with rich harmonies to uplift the soul and express the energy of South Africa.After a 32-date tour of Australia and New Zealand, and four weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the choir has yet to go without a standing ovation. Now they’re planning to take their unique brand of gospel magic to Asia, the US, and again to Europe and Australia. Not bad for a group that’s only been together since November 2002.The choir was the surprise hit of the 2003 Edinburgh Festival: they were the fourth-highest selling act out of 1 600 acts booked for the festival, putting on extra shows to meet the demand and eventually performing 29 concerts in the space of a month – delighting the reviewers as much as the audiences.Fiona Shepherd, writing for The Scotsman, had this to say of their concert performance, “Voices of Heaven”: “A capella groups Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Black Umfolozi have already cracked open the western market for indigenous South African song, but nothing can really prepare you for the riot of exuberance and depth of emotion emanating from this 24-piece ensemble …“This is a seamless show brimming with spot-on multi-lingual performances which, for all their technical precision, are universally expressive and unfettered, charged by the choir’s constant movement.”When they toured Australia and New Zealand earlier this year, the choir bowled audiences over with their powerful performances, receiving standing ovations after every show, including a performance at the Sydney Opera House.The choir ended their tour by winning a Helpmann award in the category “Best contemporary concert presentation”. The Helpmann awards, established in Australia in 2001 for excellence and achievement in the live entertainment industry, are similar to the Tony Awards on Broadway or the Olivier Awards in London.With their fast-growing international profile and the rapid success of their first album (also entitled “Voices of Heaven”), the Soweto Gospel Choir is perhaps better known to foreigners than those at home!Choir master David Mulovhedzi attributes the success of the 34-member choir to the fact that it is tapping into South Africa’s enormous talent pool. Its members, whose ages range from 16 to 40, hail from churches and communities in and around Soweto, and are all lead singers in their own community choirs.The choir includes a four-piece band and some thrilling drummers and dancers in the African tradition where song, dance and drumming are an integral part of life and faith.The choir sings traditional African gospel and a cappella. Their overseas performances also included other gospel greats like “Amazing Grace”, “Paradise Road” and music by Otis Redding and reggae artist Jimmy Cliff. According to the Australian ABC Shop online, the “Voices from Heaven” CD “showcases an inspirational programme of a capella and African gospel.“Ranging from traditional African gospel to songs drawn from Western and contemporary gospel traditions, South African gospel music is indeed unique. It has strong roots in traditional music and conveys a powerful spiritual message.”To order the CD, visit the ABC Shop or the choir’s online shop.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more


first_img17 Febuary 2010 South African taxpayers will breathe a collective sigh of relief at the government’s decision not to raise tax rates for businesses or individuals to make up for this year’s R69-billion tax shortfall, while offering “moderate” tax relief of R6.5-billion for 2010/11. Delivering his maiden Budget speech in Parliament, Cape Town on Wednesday, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said a quarter of this tax relief would go to taxpayers with annual incomes of less than R150 000. The value of tax relief to households this year is half that which was handed out to individual taxpayers last year, following a year described by Gordhan as one of the “most challenging” for revenue collection since 1994, with revenue from value-added tax (VAT) down 5.1% and revenue from corporate income tax down 20% compared to 2008/09.‘Green’ taxes under consideration Among the National Treasury’s recommendations for 2010/11 is a carbon emissions tax on new passenger vehicles, which will see the owners of more fuel-efficient cars paying less tax. It has been recommended that the original tax proposal, announced in last year’s Budget Speech, be converted into a flat rate emissions tax effective from 1 September 2010. The government is also looking at how to implement a comprehensive carbon tax, with the National Treasury set to release a discussion document for public comment in the first half of the year.Tax-free interest: threshold increased Gordhan said the annual tax-free interest income will be increased from R21 000 to R22 300 for those below 65 years old, and from R30 000 to R32 000 for those aged 65 years and older. The monthly monetary caps for deductible medical scheme contributions have also been increased – from R625 to R670 for each of the first two beneficiaries, and from R380 to R410 for each additional beneficiary. The proposed conversion of these deductions into non-refundable tax credits will be postponed to 1 March 2012. Taxes on fuel, gambling The Treasury has also proposed a 25.5 cents/litre increase in the fuel tax, of which 7.5c/l will go towards funding a new multi-product petroleum pipeline between Durban and Gauteng, and 8c/l will go to the Road Accident Fund levy. Gordhan also proposed a review of the current treatment of winnings in the hands of gamblers as exempt from personal income tax. Measures will also be considered to limit opportunities for money laundering, unlicensed online gambling and other abuses. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more


first_imgCAREER PLANET is an enthusiastic, national NPO (not for profit) organisation committed to helping the unemployed youth of South Africa through our web, mobi and USSD sites.We, at CAREER PLANET, are extremely passionate about what we’re doing and the difference we are making in the lives of our youth.We provide a wide selection of resources to assist learners, students, job hunters and all opportunity providers which include institutions, corporates, small businesses and individuals.Here are a few examples of topics covered:• Choosing subjects at school• Bridging courses• Getting finance• Bursaries, apprenticeships, learnerships, etc• 100’s of job definitions• How to write a good CV• Preparing for job interviews• Personal development articles• Job opportunities• … and much, much MORE!We also have an interactive section, called “ASK US” where registered users can communicate directly with CAREER PLANET, where we offer career advice on any related question they have.Throughout the year, we facilitate workshops at schools and other educational institutions and attend relevant conferences, expos, seminars etc.We are dedicated to improving the lives of our South African youth.Due to the backgrounds of a large percentage of our target audience, we would love to leave a lasting impression – FREEBIES go a long way to getting our message home.Some of our biggest challenges we face – not having enough stationery to be able to conduct an effective workshop (notepads & pens for every learner) and not having enough prizes e.g. (cellphones, airtime vouchers, food vouchers etc.) to entice our youth or to reward registered users when they reach certain targets or milestones.Contact person: Thandy TyhalitiTelephone: 021 447 4661/ 071 271 8249Address: 2nd Floor The Cape Town Science Centre, 370 B Main Road, Observatory, 7925E-mail: [email protected]last_img read more


first_imgFlags of the members of the African Union. Photo by: GCIS / CC BY-ND         The month of May is recognized as Africa month – a time when the continent of Africa commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). Celebrated on the 25th May since its establishment in 1963 – Africa Day as it is now known, marks the beginning of a quest for the unity of the continent and for the political and economic emancipation of its people as well as co-operation among them.As part of the celebrations, Brand South Africa in collaboration with its stakeholders will host dialogues on Africa Day, Constitutional Awareness and the role of the creative arts in fostering democratic values throughout the country.Follow the conversations on social media #SANationBrand for more information on the dialogues.Some interesting facts about Africa Day;“May This Convention of Union Last 1000 Years”Five years later on May 25, 1963, following the sentiments of the conference held in Ghana, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was formed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, hosted by Emperor of Ethiopia, Haile Selassie.  The OAU was formed in a meeting seating over thirty African nations with the aim to influence the decolonization of African countries including Angola, South Africa, Mozambique, and Southern Rhodesia.  The organisation covenanted to support freedom fighters and remove military access to colonial nations, and a charter was established to improve the livelihood of member states across Africa, where Selassie pledged, “May this convention of union last 1,000 years.”Common African Unity and IdentityThe first Conference of Independent African States convened on April 15, 1958, in Ghana and further encouraged and stamped a common African identity of unity and fighting against colonialism. The conference further called for the observance of African Freedom Day once a year to mark, “The onward progress of the liberation movement, and to symbolise the determination of the People of Africa to free themselves from foreign domination and exploitation.” April 15th was therein enacted as African Freedom Day or Africa Liberation Day, and countries all over the continent celebrate and mark the commemoration each year, with South Africa celebrating its Freedom Day on April 27th of each year.South Africa’s Rise in African UnionFrom South Africa, the liberation party against Apartheid Rule, the African National Congress (ANC) could not formally attend the first Conference of Independent African States in Ghana as it was prevented by the ruling apartheid government.  However, a memorandum was sent to the conference.  On behalf of the party, was a member of the ANC in the Transvaal and a 1956 Treason Trialist, Alfred Hutchinson, who left the country after his acquittal, and attended the AAPC (All African People’s Conference), which was held a few months later.South Africa only became part of the Organisation of the African Union (OAU) in 1994 following the end of Apartheid rule, where 21 more member states had joined the OAU since its foundation in 1963.  Thirty-eight years after its formation, the OAU evolved into the African Union (AU) on May 25, 2001, where South Africa paved the way as a founding member. Although the organisation of the AU remains headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, its legislative arm, the Pan-African Parliament, is situated in Midrand, South Africa.Women Empowerment in the African UnionUpon welcoming the sitting of Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as the first woman chair of the UA Commission, many argued that the continent was not ready for a woman to take that position.  However, Dlamini-Zuma managed leaps in her tenure and cracked the assumption that women are incapable of being involved in the continental organisation.Opportunities for two more women out of five candidates, who are in the running for succeeding Dlamini-Zuma’s position as the AU Commission’s Chairperson.   This indicates that she has laddered up on the advocacy of women’s involvement in the AU and in continuing the fundamental objectives of Africa Day.During her tenure, Dlamini-Zuma made women’s rights the theme of two consecutive AU summits, where the continental body started a major campaign to end child marriage, which has seen notable results. While the success of the campaigns relies on the implementation by member states, she did manage to get political buy-in for the plan and popularise it.Following up to the implementation plans, the President of the Republic of Zambia, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, hosted a high-level breakfast on the Implementation of the Common African Position on Ending Child Marriage in Africa in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC).Continent-wide Disease Control and PreventionJanuary of 2017 marked the launch of Africa’s continent-wide public health agency, the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), which was established to help African member states of the African Union to respond to public health emergencies. The African Union Assembly of Heads of State authorised an annual contribution from the overall African Union operating budget for 2016 to safeguard Africa’s health, seeing the importance of public as an impactful element on national, social and economic development.The need for an Africa CDC is to safeguard the required support to African countries in their monitoring and response methodologies to public health threats as was recognised by the African Union in 2013 and formalised in 2015.An Emergency Operations Center has also been set up at the Addis Ababa Headquarters, where 10 highly qualified epidemiologists are ready to monitor for disease threats across the continent. The epidemiologists will be responsible for disease surveillance, analysis, investigations, and reporting trends and anomalies from the continent, and all information on the surveyed public health threats will be shared with international networks.Follow the conversation on #SANationBrandSource www.africa.comlast_img read more


first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Many farmers across the Buckeye State are making a lot of progress when it comes to harvesting soybeans. The hot, dry early fall weather is causing the moisture levels of soybeans to be lower than they should be for optimum yield. In this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report, the Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visits with Field Agronomist Ryan Terry about the implications of harvesting low moisture soybeans.last_img


first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Standouts from the independent scene, the three showed that they are here to stay in the developmental ranks, outlasting the NXT Tag Team Champions SaNitY and the team of Roderick Strong and the Authors of Pain inside War Games, a match that hasn’t been seen in almost two decades.It was a hellacious match between the three groups, but Cole had the last laugh for his squad as he hit the flying knee and drove a steel chair right into Eric Young to score the pinfall and truly shock the system.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt was the same case for the NXT Championship, as Andrade “Cien” Almas beat Drew McIntyre to win the title and trigger the changing of the guards.The brash El Idolo was about to fumble his chance for the title after getting hit with the Scot champion’s Claymore, but his manager Zelina Vega put Almas’ foot on the bottom rope to break the count. McIntyre attempted one more Claymore, but Almas evaded the attempt and trapped the Celtic Colossus on the top rope, allowing him to nail the La Sombra and the three-count.Ember Moon also captured the vacant NXT Women’s Championship, beating Nikki Cross, Peyton Royce, and Kairi Sane in their fatal-4-way match.The War Goddess finally ascended to the top of the women’s division after nailing Royce and Cross with her Eclipse, pinning Cross for the win.After the match, former champion Asuka took the title and awarded it to Moon in a show of respect between the former rivals.In the night’s other matches, Aleister Black scored a huge victory over The Velveteen Dream after hitting his sultry foe with the Black Mass.ADVERTISEMENT Lars Sullivan also showed that he’s the new force to be reckoned with, beating Kassius Ohno with the Freak Accident. Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH LATEST STORIES MOST READ For the first time in two decades, War Games saw the light once more at NXT TakeOver: War Games. Photo from WWE.comNXT enters a new era — an undisputed era.Bursting to the scene last August, the trio of Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish, collectively known as the Undisputed Era, backed up their hype as they ruled the main event of NXT TakeOver: War Games Saturday (Sunday Manila time) in Houston.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Kris Aquino ‘pretty chill about becoming irrelevant’ Read Next Andray Blatche finally back with Gilas Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games View commentslast_img read more


first_imgThe Northern Territory State Titles will commence Friday, 1 May 2009.Men’s Open, Women’s Open, 18’s Mixed and Senior Mixed divisions will be contested  at Touch Headquarters, Inner Race Track, Darwin Turf Club.To keep an eye on results, visit the NT State Titles website – http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=920&pID=14last_img


first_imgzoom After the United States backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement, shipowners have encouraged the EU and China leadership to intensify cooperation in achieving a global climate deal for shipping.The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) informed that indications of such cooperation materialised during the 19th EU-China Summit held in Brussels last week.EU and Chinese leaders reaffirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change. They also looked forward to co-hosting, along with Canada, a major ministerial gathering in September to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the clean energy transition.“The withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement should not jeopardise an ambitious global strategy to reduce the CO2 emissions of shipping,” Patrick Verhoeven, ECSA Secretary General, said.“We are therefore pleased that the EU and China appear to be working towards reinforced co-operation on delivering a climate agreement for shipping at the International Maritime Organization,” Verhoeven added.last_img read more


Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who in February announced that he was gay, may not be among the 256 men chosen in this year’s NFL draft, which begins Thursday. In fact, based on a historical assessment of players who were rated similarly by media scouting projections, Sam’s chances of being drafted are only about 50-50.Sam, the 2013 SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, is rated as a sixth-round pick on the Scouts Inc. draft board, which is available through ESPN Insider. That might seem to imply that he’s likely to be drafted, because the NFL draft has seven rounds.But players projected to be chosen late in the draft are hard to differentiate from one another. You can think of NFL prospects as representing the tail end of a bell curve. At the extreme end of the tail are a small number of potential franchise talents, such as Andrew Luck and Bo Jackson. The curve gets denser and denser with players the farther down the draft board you go, however. Players who are projected as sixth-round picks often fall out of the draft entirely.I looked at what happened to projected sixth-round picks since 2005, as according to the Scouts Inc. draft board. Specifically, I looked at defensive ends and outside linebackers, the two positions that Sam might play in the NFL. (That some scouts regard Sam as a “tweener” is one reason he may not be drafted highly.)There were 67 such players between 2005 and 2013. Of those, 37 players — 55 percent — were not drafted. Twenty-four others were drafted between the fifth and seventh rounds, while six were chosen in the fourth round or higher. Only about 10 percent were chosen in the sixth round exactly.Isn’t it a bit contradictory to describe prospects as sixth-round draft picks when they’re far more likely not to be drafted than to be chosen in the that round? There are more projected sixth-round picks than sixth-round slots. This year, for example, Scouts Inc. lists 71 players as sixth-round picks, but there are only 39 selections in that round (this includes a number of compensatory picks given to teams who lost free agents).The alternative, however, would imply a false precision in differentiating between sixth-round picks, seventh-round picks, guys just off the draft board and so forth. Picks late in the draft are intrinsically hard to project, because each team has different assessments of the players, and some teams prioritize need while others look for talent.But leave these semantics aside. There’s a more pressing issue in the case of Sam. Has his draft status been harmed by his public declaration of his sexuality?Sam’s ranking has fallen on some news media draft boards, including the one prepared by ESPN and Scouts Inc., since he came out as gay. Determining the cause and effect is harder. On the one hand, Sam got middling reviews at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. On the other hand, some NFL scouts and general managers have told members of the media that they’re worried Sam could be a “distraction.” In a league that has employed the likes of Aaron Hernandez, that could be cover for homophobia.But suppose that Sam were projected as a fourth-round pick, which is how he was often described at the time he came out. Would he be assured of being drafted?Not quite. Among the 70 defensive ends and outside linebackers projected by Scouts Inc. as fourth-round picks since 2005, 15 — 21 percent — weren’t drafted. Others were chosen as high as the second round.In other words, if Sam is not chosen in the draft, we won’t be able to say for sure it’s because of his sexuality. Draft projections are an inexact science, especially in the late stages of the process. (If Sam is neither drafted nor signed as a free agent, that would be a clearer signal that the league is evaluating him on something other than his football talent.)Personally, however, if the odds are something like 50-50 on Sam being drafted, I think I’d take his side of the bet. Why? A player only needs one team to draft him. A player like Sam who generates polarized opinions might have a better chance of being chosen in a late round by a team like the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks than one who everyone agrees is mediocre. read more


Ohio State then-junior guard Kelsey Mitchell looks to the basket in her drive against Penn State’s defense during the Buckeyes’ game on Feb. 1. Credit: Summer Cartwright | Campus EditorOhio State women’s basketball guard Kelsey Mitchell has been invited to the 2017 USA Women’s National Team Training Camp, which will be held Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 in Santa Barbara, California.The senior is one of just five collegiate athletes — including Connecticut forward Napheesa Collier, Connecticut guard/forward Katie Lou Samuelson, Louisville guard Asia Durr, South Carolina forward A’ja Wilson — invited to the training camp. Twenty-five WNBA players earned invites as well.The training camp — which will be led by USA National Team and South Carolina coach Dawn Staley — will be used to help identify and prepare athletes for future events, including the 2018 FIBA World Cup of Basketball, according to a release.This will be the second opportunity for Mitchell to represent her country on the court. The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year earned a spot on the USA Basketball Women’s Under-23 National Team, which competed in the Four Nations Tournament in mid-August.Last season, Mitchell led the Big Ten with 22.6 points per game and was named a second-team All-American for the second time in her career. The Associated Press also named her a first-team All-American after the 2015-16 season.Ohio State opens the season on Nov. 10 when the Buckeyes host Stanford as part of the Countdown to Columbus, an event marking the beginning of the college women’s basketball 2017-18 season. read more