As a qualified and proficient journalist, I have enjoyed an extensive career in the media publishing arena in my role as both an Editor and a Managing Editor responsible for producing 22 titles per annum, working with top South African brand marketing and management teams.
With in-depth experience covering a variety of industries, I have since adapted my communication skills to encompass the digital platform. These include content marketing, social media management, and public relations.
Enthusiastic and receptive to new ideas and methodologies, I am currently looking for a challenging position which aligns with my professional abilities.
Berea Girls High Matric
Journalism Higher Diploma: Natal Technikon 1990
Anton van der Post: Effective Speaking
Targeted Account Selling (TAS)
Professional Selling Skills I
Professional Sales Negotiation II
Best Autodesk Reseller Award (x 5)
Transformational Writing 1 & 2
Four PICA Magazine Awards from the Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA).
Areas of Expertise:
- Writing, editing, proof reading, speaking, teaching, training, design principles, editorial development, commercial awareness, budgeting.
- Hiring and Management of teams over multiple titles/projects, interfacing with high-profile accounts and company directors, sales negotiation, sales and lead management, marketing, and reseller channel principles.
- Digital content, knowledge and experience with online social media marketing, website, and digital content management.
- Public relations and media liaison across various national brands in South Africa.
- Project management/ Administrative structuring/ Mentorship.
(Jan 2015 – current)
Clients & Products:
- Publicist and Social Media Manager for 5-star Hayward’s Grand Safari Company (October 2016 – Aug 2020).
- Publicist and Social Media Manager for 4-star De Bergkant Lodge (current).
- Social Media Marketing for 4-star Devonport House Tamboerskloof (current).
- Content, copywriting and press release writing support for Jhb-based PR and media companies Media Ink and iCandiCQ working with clients: Nielsen, Investec, immedia, House of Brave, KFC, Crosse&Blackwell, SA Institute of Welding and the Stainless Steel Association for both external and internal communications channels (current).
- PR Account manager for GrandWest, consulting to The Mailroom PR: Sun International account (a period of two and a half years ending June 2017).
- Consulting Communications Manager for digital media buying agency Atmosphere Orange (www.atmosphereorange.co.za). Responsible for Content Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media Management (Hootsuite), User Engagement over multiple digital platforms, Email Marketing, Website Content, Newsletters and Copywriting.
- Publicity, project management, editing, proofing, copy writing, blogging and ghost writing of digital ebooks for a portfolio of both local and Jhb based clients and consultancies.
(Jan 2010 – March 2015)
Stationery, Home & Office Products Association of Southern Africa (SHOP-SA)
Position: Print Publications & Online Editor, Marketing Manager and Office Management.
- Office Manager in charge of Advertising, Membership, Events & Publications (5 staff reporting to me)
- Editor & Publisher of a monthly print publication My Office magazine, an Annual Office Products Directory, Member E-mailers and Crime Alerts, Strategy sessions with 12 Board Directors, Event management which included an annual Golf Day, monthly Annual General Meetings and Minutes, regular Member Infotainment Events and Industry Speakers
- Website Content www.myofficemagazine.co.za and Social Media Management on Facebook.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the association across all platforms. Recruited three staff members. Attended and presented at regular board meetings with the 12 board directors regarding revenue streams, opportunities, and membership management. Together with the accountant as a co-signatory, we acted as stand in for the then absent Executive Director organising, managing, motivating, and mentoring the five other staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Hosted events. Worked with Events and Membership staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure membership and readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for Leaving: Following my divorce, I requested a transfer to Cape Town to open and manage a Cape agency for the shop-sa association. This was approved and I established myself here in Cape Town. Two years later, new management within shop-sa requested I return to my Editorial role in Jhb. Wishing to stay in the Cape, I declined the offer and resigned from the company.
(Oct 2004 – Jan 2009)
Push Media Solutions: Independent Publisher
Position: Managing Editor
Clients & Products:
- Publication Editor: International Marketing Council (IMC) of South Africa – Journal of Trade & Industry (monthly business magazine distributed internationally to foster trade into and with South Africa).
- Publication Editor, Website Management: Link Pharmacy Group – Editor Life & Family monthly magazine (health and wellness).
- Publication Editor: Wit’s University – Arena monthly magazine for Wits Alumni.
- Publication Editor: Sun International – Editor Privé monthly magazine (gambling/lifestyle).
- Website Management: Online Health – Content Editor for www.onlinehealth.co.za on the Web 2.0 platform.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the five brands, and online platform of two of the brands. Recruited two editorial staff members. Worked closely with the publisher Grant Viljoen. Attended and presented at management, marketing and sales meetings internally and with client brand team members regarding revenue streams, opportunities and brand initiatives. Managed, motivated and mentored staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Made a consistent and effective brand statement across all client brands. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: Publisher Grant Viljoen closed the company when the International Marketing Council of South Africa did not renew their publishing contract.
(Sept 2001 – Sept 2004)
Cadplan: Autodesk reseller of Architectural Design software, a family-owned business.
Position: Marketing & Sales working within the Autodesk Reseller Channel.
- Our company received 5 awards by Autodesk South Africa as the top South African Reseller in the South African marketing channel.
Duties: Over the many years spent working in my husband’s business I covered all departments of the business including management of front office and the architectural training centre, accounts and bank recons, events and public relations promotions, marketing research and the publication of success stories, sales targets and sales teams within the Autodesk reseller channel. I concurrently ran corporate accommodation at Westbrook Suites for incoming architects who were booked on Autodesk software training at Cadplan.
Reason for leaving: I left my husband’s reseller business Cadplan to return to the publishing world and earn an independent means of income.
(Feb 2001 – August 2001)
Position: Executive Publicist
Clients: 702 Talk Radio, Decorex SA, Delapse, Plascon Paints, VWV and worked in tandem on accounts: Association of Marketers, Red Nail Advertising, and AMASA for which I compiled and produced the Loeries Annual for the Annual Loeries Advertising Awards. We also hosted the AdVantage Ad Mag Awards for Primedia.
Duties: all written work and press releases as required, attended client and association meetings, copy-editing and publication of the Loeries Advertising Awards Annual.
Reason for leaving: Retrenched
(July 1998 – Dec 2000)
Redsand Interactive (Pty) Ltd:
Position: Editorial Director:
Clients & Products:
- Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) – monthly AA Motorist magazine.
- National Tourism Departments for Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana – produced four annual country directories: Namibia Focus, South Africa Focus, Zimbabwe Focus, and Botswana Focus.
- SA Golf Association – Golf Focus sport and travel magazine.
- Launch of the first edition of Maxim men’s magazine into South Africa.
- SA Rugby & Football Union – SAFU bi-monthly magazine.
- International Marketing Council (IMC) – South Africa: Journal for Trade & Investment.
- South African Bureau of Standards – SABS Standards Directory.
- SA Independent Builders Association – Home magazine (building/interiors).
**Four PICA Magazine Awards received – Magazine Publishers Association of South Africa (MPASA).
Duties: Managed the content and profile of all the client brands across 12 publications produced either monthly, bi-monthly or annually. Recruited three editors and managed and maintained relationships with satellite editors nationally and worked with international syndication libraries. Attended and presented at regular board meetings regarding revenue streams, opportunities and client brand management. Managed, motivated and mentored four in-house Editors and Sub-editors. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product together with the Production manager. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended international events such as World Travel Market in London. Worked with client marketing and management teams to expand commercial focus areas to ensure brand facilitation and growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: Redsand Interactive was bought out by the Core Group and was eventually liquidated.
(March 1998 – June 1998)
CBM Publishing: Independent Publisher
Position: Editor AirTales magazine, Jhb Editor Bon Vivant magazine.
- British Airways Comair – Air Tales magazine (monthly in-flight publication for BA Comair airlines).
- Bon Vivant Food & Travel magazine – Johannesburg.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of Air Tales magazine and contributed copy and columns to Bon Vivant magazine. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Worked with sales staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers both nationally and internationally. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals.
Reason for Leaving: Personal/Family reasons.
(Oct 1997 – Feb 1998)
David Barritt & Company: Public Relation/Photographic Library Services
Position: Head of Publishing
Clients & Products:
- Sun International – Winners newspaper and Gaming Gazette tabloid.
- Standard Bank – Editor of Standard Bank’s Plus magazine
- The Blue Train coffee table book and various pamphlets and promotional brochures.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of all client publications and books. Recruited a sub-editor. Organised, managed, motivated and mentored the Editorial and Design department staff members. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador with clients. Hosted and attended events with the owner including the M-Net Face of Africa pageant in Zimbabwe. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms. Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for Leaving: Owner was downsizing with a view to immigrating so I accepted a position in a publishing environment.
(May 1996 – Oct 1997)
Panorama Publications: Independent Publisher
- SA Airlink airlines – monthly Skyways magazine (in-flight publication).
- African Panorama bi-monthly magazine (wildlife).
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the brand. Oversaw the design and production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Worked with internal staff and external consultants to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals across all platforms, Signed all copies off to the printers.
Reason for leaving: The company was experiencing financial difficulties. I was offered an advertising sales position or retrenchment package, I accepted the latter.
(Aug 1991 – April 1996)
Contact Publications: Independent Publisher
Position: Editor, Jhb Office Manager.
Clients & Products:
- South African Association for the Conference Industry (SAACI) – SA Conference Guide monthly magazine and Annual Directory.
- Security Association of South Africa (SASA) – monthly Security Focus magazine.
Duties: Managed the content and profile of the associations across all platforms. Oversaw the production process from concept to final product. Proactively networked and presented as a brand ambassador. Attended and presented at local events and attended travel events and media tours internationally. Worked with sales, design and production staff to expand commercial focus areas to ensure readership growth and monetization of the printed products. Attended client meetings and cultivated new relationships with potential advertisers. Ensured the content across all platforms was compelling and cutting-edge. Created and maintained content that generated audience growth and engagement and assisted advertising targets. Conducted copy editing, editing and visuals for the printed products. Facilitated with marketing and advertising sales where required.
Reason for leaving: I was asked by the Durban-based Publisher Godfrey King to open a Jhb-based office which I accepted and ran for two years before deciding to extend my career opportunities with other publishers in Johannesburg.
Bespoke safari outfitter Peter Hayward is justifiably proud to carry the international title of ‘World’s Best’ by the World Travel Awards bequeathed to his two-decade mobile, and undoubtedly 5-star luxury, tented safari camps in South Africa, East Africa, Botswana and Namibia.
He is also renowned as the African continent’s Best Mobile Safari by the Safari Guild for four consecutive years – and not just because he’s hosted presidents and visiting heads of state, kings, queens, Hollywood stars, talk show hosts and international rock bands wanting anonymity.
Peter Hayward puts his ‘adventure extraordinaire’ work-week accolades down to his ability to produce authentic world-class safari experiences which can’t be matched by modern incentives or other so-called safari services, ones’ offering big group capacity either.
“The Hayward’s Grand Safari epitomizes the great safaris of yesteryear. You won’t find a 5-star lodge for 200 illustrious guests in the Namib Desert, in the Okavango Delta, on a beach in Mozambique or in the heart of the Kruger National Park. Our safari charters, backed by our world-class safari service team can take you there however, with as much Moet, spa treatments, 8-course silver service themed dinners, conference room and lights and staged entertainment as you need. We have a mobile luxury tented safari camp and our guests charter their own bespoke game lodge experience to take them anywhere they want it.”
Big 5 Game Lodge on the edge of Sandton
For top performers with a sharp eye on carbon credits and event planners looking to cut the heavy time-lags and costs of logistics getting incentive winners in front of a safari’s Big 5 tick list, the Hayward’s #GrandSafari is not only 100% sustainable and eco-friendly; its Safari Headquarters are in prime position for busy corporates encouraged by the only-one-hour travel commute from bustling Sandton or OR Tambo International Airport.
Set within 55 000 acres of adjacent Big 5 Dinokeng Game Reserve concession and Bobbejaansberg Private Nature Reserve, the Hayward’s Safari Sanctuary hosts both Big 5 incentives for a safari experience to match the Kruger National Park; as well as corporate events and product launches in its own private concession where you, its 1 000 mammals and prolific birdlife inhabitants are not disturbed by predators.
“At our headquarters we offer the best of both worlds. The Big 5 safari game experience is highly private, guests don’t see another game vehicle. In the private concession, the giraffe, zebra and kudu don’t mind sharing our guest’s hot air balloon, horse riding and walking safari activities,” says Peter.
Experienced Event Planning in 5-star style
As leaders of the pack in top-class safari incentives and events, any travel and corporate hospitality owner is only as good as their last guest review. With Hayward’s there’s no contest. Guest responses haven’t dropped below a 9.7 since they first set out to deliver a luxury safari experience in some of the most pristine natural reserves on the continent. And with Production Director Celia du Preez as the incentive point of contact – with her own title of Top 40 Women in MICE – each incentive event is a flawless affair from the ordering of the first crate of oysters, to the honoring of the corporate or celebrity group’s non-disclosure contract, to that very last morning as you greet the dawn glowing pink in response to your steaming cup of coffee delivered to your en-suite tented bedroom by your own safari butler on standby.
As a long-standing SATSA member, which verifies Hayward’s Grand Safari Company as a bonded travel operator, the #GrandSafari experience is your most royal welcome to unexplored Africa.
Discover more at www.haywardsafaris.com or call 0861 732 583.
Need content? Contact Mercedes Westbrook of Firehorse Media at firstname.lastname@example.org for all your corporate, travel and business communication needs, including press releases, blogs, publicity, content strategy and website design.
South Africa is a vast and diverse landscape encompassing a rich cultural history. International safari travelers to its world class wildlife reserves and heritage sites are always curious regarding both is past dynamics as well as the country’s modern-day political characteristics.
We have compiled a list of rich and inviting fiction and non-fiction books and films by South African authors and playwrights which portray a glimpse into some of its past and present events, people and influences which blend into a many-hued interpretation of South Africa as it is today.
Fair Game: A Hidden History of the Kruger National Park
By David Fleminger
Fair Game is the story of the hidden history and heritage of the Kruger National Park. It’s an engrossing and little-known tale filled with boisterous personalities, twists of fate, unlikely heroes, stubborn perseverance, greedy villains and (luckily) a very happy ending. So, prepare yourself for a grand historical safari as it recounts the unlikely tale of an unwanted wasteland that grew into the one of the greatest game reserves in the world.
Conversations with my Sons and Daughters
By Mamphela Ramphele
In these conversations with people of a younger generation Mamphela Ramphele responds to the growing despair among young South Africans about the cracks that are appearing in South Africa’s system of governance and threatening the idealism of the country that reinvented itself with the dawn of democracy in 1994.
Born a Crime – Stories of a South African Childhood
By Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting.
No Future Without Forgiveness
By Desmond Tutu
Desmond Mpilo Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and was only the second black person ever to receive it. In 1986 he was elected archbishop of Cape Town, the highest position in the Anglican Church in South Africa. In 1994, after the end of apartheid and the election of Nelson Mandela, Tutu was appointed as chair of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate apartheid-era crimes. His policy as described in his book is one of forgiveness and reconciliation and serves as an international example of conflict resolution, and remains a trusted method of post conflict reconstruction.
Power of One
By Bryce Courtney
In 1939, as Hitler casts cruel shadow across the world, the seeds of apartheid take root in South Africa. There, a boy called Peekay is born. His childhood is marked by humiliation and abandonment, yet he vows to survive and conceives heroic dreams, which are nothing compared to what life actually has in store for him. He embarks on an epic journey through a land of tribal superstition and modern prejudice where he will learn the power of words, the power to transform lives and the power of one.
Life and Times of Michael K
By JM Coetzee
Written by South African novelist J.M. Coetzee, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003, and the Man Booker Prize for both this novel and another book of his, Disgrace, is a bleak, but haunting and entirely captivating novel about the physical and spiritual journey of a man who travels throughout war-torn South Africa on a mission to return his ailing mother to her rural home.
by James A. Michener
Set in South Africa, beginning 15,000 years ago and ending with the Boer War, this is a novel about people caught up in the march of world history. It is a story of adventure and heroism, love and loyalty, and cruelty and betrayal.
The Day of the Dead Moon – 5 part Audio book series
by David Rattray
The Day of the Dead Moon is a beautifully narrated and captivating chronicle of the events leading up to the destruction of the Zulu capital at Ulundi and the subsequent impact of this campaign on the Zulu people, including the battles of Hlobane, Khambula and the death of the Prince Imperial. David Rattray devoted much of his life to the exploration of these troubled times by studying books and documents relating to this period and collecting stories handed down through the oral tradition of the Zulu people.
Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa
By Martin Meredith
Southern Africa was once regarded as a worthless jumble of British colonies, Boer republics, and African chiefdoms, a troublesome region of little interest to the outside world. But then prospectors chanced upon the world’s richest deposits of diamonds and gold, setting off a titanic struggle between the British and the Boers for control of the land.
The result was the costliest, bloodiest, and most humiliating war that Britain had waged in nearly a century, and the devastation of the Boer republics. Meredith expertly shows how the exigencies of the diamond (and then gold) rush laid the foundation for apartheid.
In his review, celebrated author in his own right, Wilber Smith writes: “Despite the depth of scholarly research it contains, this book reads not as dry history but as a vivid and thrilling account of the forging of southern Africa into its present distinctive shape and character. Martin Meredith captures the colours and textures of the land and brings to life the extraordinary figures who peopled it and whose influence lingers on. His descriptions of Rhodes and Kruger, of Robinson and Barnato and all the other actors, rogues and heroes of this epic drama played out upon the scorched African veldt are filled with fascinating insights and rich with anecdotes which bring them bursting from these pages.”
Jock of the Bushveld
By Percy Fitzpatrick
Jock of the Bushveld is the classic and much-loved South African story based on the true experiences of Sir Percy Fitzpatrick and his Staffordshire bull terrier, Jock. The story begins in the 1880s, at the time of the South African gold rush, when a young Fitzpatrick worked as an ox-wagon transport rider in the old Transvaal. There he came across a man who was in the process of drowning a puppy, the runt of the litter. He saved the dog and the story of his ever-faithful and loving companion was born. This book can be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Long Walk to Freedom
“Long Walk to Freedom” the autobiography of Nelson Mandela, describes the South African anti-apartheid struggle; his childhood; his development into a freedom fighter; his twenty-seven years in prison; and his remarkable role in the construction of a new, democratic South Africa. A must read.
By Nadine Gordimer
A selection of short stories written over the years sees characters from every corner of society come to life, along with the South African landscape they inhabit. The stories have a strong focus on racial issues, yet their implications are universal. They include moments of vision, often ironic, sometimes shocking, mostly dealing with the hair’s breadth balance of racial tension still current in many different parts of the world today.
Mafeking Road and Other Stories
By Herman Charles Bosman
These slyly simple stories of the unforgiving South African Transvaal reveal a little-described (and rarely romanticized) world of Afrikaner life in the late 19th Century. Much like Mark Twain, Herman Charles Bosman wields a laughing intolerance of foolishness and prejudice, a dazzling use of wit and clear- sighted judgment.
An Instant in the Wind
By Andre Brink
An Instant In The Wind is arguably André Brink’s masterpiece. In the guise of an historical novel set in the eighteenth century, Brink presents a superb portrait in miniature of the dilemmas and contradictions facing a South Africa organised by an assumption of apartheid. Unlike many stories of conflict, however, an Instant In The Wind is no tragedy. Unusually, the novel is a remarkable tale of fear, struggle and eventual survival that leaves the reader with an uplifting positive message on the value and potential of human cooperation. This is a historical novel, it’s a travel book, it’s a road story, it deals with relationships between consenting adults and there are several battles with nature.
Cape Town: The Making of a City
By Nigel Worden, Elizabeth van Heyningen and Vivian Bickford-Smith
This richly illustrated history of Cape Town under Dutch and British rule tells the story of its residents, the world they inhabited and the city they made – beginning in the seventeenth century with the tiny Dutch settlement, hemmed in by mountains and looking out to sea, and ending with the well-established British colonial city, poised confidently on the threshold of the twentieth century.
This social history of Cape Town under Dutch and British rule traces the changing character of the city and portrays the varied lives and experiences of its inhabitants – black and white, rich and poor, slave and free, Christian and Muslim.
This is the extraordinary story of two inseparable South African children which follows an inspirational story line against the breathtaking backdrops of a dramatic African landscape and New York City in the mid-1970s “e’Lollipop” is a life-changing story that reminds us of the true value of friendship, community, sacrifice and family – despite our colour or creed.”A South African classic of international stature it manages to transcend the boundaries of its day imposed by Apartheid
Made in 1987, Cry Freedom is based on the best-selling book by South African newspaper editor Donald Woods. It tells the story of Woods’ attempts to uncover the truth about the arrest and subsequent death of black activist Steve Biko, and the way in which he was forced to leave South Africa because of it. Directed by Richard Attenborough, it stars Kevin Kline and Denzel Washington. With South Africa still firmly in the grip of apartheid at the time, Zimbabwe stood in as the location, with filming taking place in Harare. It was nominated for three Oscars and numerous other awards.
Winner of the 2006 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Movie, Tsotsi is gritty, raw and profoundly moving. A tale of teenage angst in modern South Africa, it is set in the hard world of the Johannesburg townships. Tsotsi (which means “thug” in township patois) gets more than he bargains for when he steals a car and finds he’s got a baby to look after. Directed by Gavin Hood, it is based on a novel by South African writer, Athol Fugard, originally written in 1960, but left unpublished for 20 years. The protagonist is played by Sowetan native Presley Chweneyagae.
Catch a Fire
Directed by Philip Noyce and starring Tim Robbins and Derek Luke, this movie follows the story of the apartheid struggle, starting with the armed insurrection of Umkhonto we Sizwe (the military wing of the ANC) in the 1960s. It focuses on the story of a young black man who unwittingly gets caught up in the struggle and the policeman who arrests him. The real Patrick Chamusso, on whom the film is based, appears as a walk-on, while writer Shawn Slovo’s parents, leaders of the South African Communist Party and famous anti-apartheid activists, Joe Slovo and Ruth First, also appear.
This science-fiction fable, directed by newcomer Neill Blomkamp and produced by Peter (“The Lord of the Rings”) Jackson, takes the form of a mockumentary about ugly aliens which invade South Africa and are herded into a slum. The film’s South African setting brings up inescapable parallels with its now-defunct apartheid system of racial segregation. The title “District 9” evokes Cape Town’s historic District 6, where Cape Coloureds owned homes and businesses for many years before being bulldozed out and relocated.
A luxury home? An art collector’s gallery? Or a Castle of Views in one of the finest positions to take in the beauty of Chapman’s Peak on Cape Town’s internationally sought-after Atlantic Seaboard coastline? We’ll let you decide… Private viewing to purchase by appointment below.
With priceless 180-degree views across the Bay of the most famous tourist attraction in Cape Town – Chapman’s Peak Drive look out point – this designer Hout Bay home, built by German travel author and international lifestyle personality Dieter Losskarn, is now available for sale on the private property market.
Commanding attention from its front row position in Hout Bay Heights overlooking the Bay’s private Yacht Club, popular Bay Harbour Market and vibrant fishermen’s wharf, its three-story elevation is a marvel of expansive space which stretches across three levels of floor to ceiling windows.
Designed and built by owner Dieter Losskarn, just four years ago, it stands as homage to his passion for German precision, sleek lines and superlative lifestyle living. Having travelled the world in his pursuit of a lifelong passion for fast and rare cars, Dieter Losskarn chose South Africa’s freestyle living as his home over 25 years ago.
Bay Harbour House is his fourth designer home in the country, and third home he has dreamt, designed and brought to life from a ground up vision. It’s no surprise he is a celebrated figure in Cape Town’s society circles with a life lived without template, where days are filled with fine dining, fine destinations and fine… well everything actually.
Architecturally exact, Bay Harbour House maintains a light-steel ‘bone’ structure complete with exposed ceilings which anchors a ‘rib cage’ of steel lines as an interior design feature. The intention is a replica of a classic luxury car showroom, mirrored by smooth polyurethane floors and vast silent sliding steel-framed doors and windows. Offering character all its own, there’s no showmanship, rather a call for simple elegance as a backdrop for his particular passion… cars, bikes, luxury classics and vintage memorabilia.
Bay Harbour House is open plan living at its finest, and its expansiveness begins the moment you find yourself idling on the crest of the driveway as the gate quietly slides open; the yellow-flowering devil thorn trees parallel to the perimeter wall there to witness your first ‘oh wow’ moment of taking in the Bay and sheltering mountains. This is a panorama offering the first of many such views to reveal themselves on your tour, with all the drama of a theatre’s red velvet curtain being drawn across the stage on the Greatest Show on Earth… one in the panorama of Hout Bay, that is.
SLEEK AND IMPERIAL LIVING
The exposed aggregate driveway mirroring the look of the surrounding granite descends the incline and sweeps right into the ground floor garage… ‘garage’ being a largely irrelevant term in its usual sense of the word. Here, one conjures five-star gallery space with private dining areas to be more apt… unless you’re a petrol head that is, but you better be a Mercedes Benz or Porsche driver if you want to give this ‘garage’ any credit.
Its high gloss polyurethane floor and uniformly spaced windows at both seated and standing eye-level provide the second ‘oh wow’ moment as you rip your gaze away from the polished luxury cars parked there to that mesmerizing and highly addictive view. Against the opposite wall are two separate alcoves, one serving as the Losskarn laundry and the other housing an overflow of vintage enamel signs which didn’t make it up onto the gallery-style walls upstairs.
Exit through the orange and black hazard-framed interior garage door and you enter the entrance hall featuring the first of two front doors to Bay Harbour House. One, being located at ground floor and serving as the main access to the first of the houses’ three en suite bedrooms with signature wrap around windows; and the ascending stairwell to the second floor, where the second and main front door is accessed from a hanging steel walkway leading from the property’s pedestrian access gate.
TAKE MY BREATHE AWAY
Mounting the stairs, bathed in the electric blue LED trim lighting and you’re met with the entire length of the home’s façade in picture windows confronting that magnificent view… third strike and the crowning glory of that ‘ow wow’ moment really hits home. The view is simply breathtaking.
Overlooking some much expansive space outside and across the bay to the blue sun-tipped mountains, it’s here the 7 metre high ceiling comes into play, providing as much space-play above and around your head as that offered by sea and mountains outside… it’s a surreal feeling of floating on a seascape of beauty.
LUXURY LOUNGES AND MANCAVES
The second-floor expanse is broken only by the stairwell opening you’ve just ascended, and the floor to ceiling fireplace which anchors the living room, dining area and kitchen where Dieter Losskarn’s hobby blends old with new. It’s a blank canvas waiting to be a Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Heat treated metal doors, metallic silver mosaic bathroom tiles and European interior fittings throughout the house reflect and deliver Dieter Losskarn’s straightforward luxury ascetic that speaks of focused intention rather than frills. It’s a modern interior take on simplicity delivered without slog… there is simply no place for dust to settle, the house offers a pristine backdrop waiting to be filled with the incoming owner’s own personal inspiration in interior intentions or their own classic design collections.
Step out onto the balcony and a fresh breeze rushes to meet you as you take in a visual cocktail from the Noordhoek side of Chapman Peak Drive and lookout point across the sweep of the Hout Bay harbor, beach, and Hout Bay village and into the lush hips of the Constantia valley and Kirstenbosch Gardens just beyond the lip.
The top and third floor in your ascent is dedicated solely to the main bedroom. Offering a separate alcove shower, enclosed toilet opened to its own majestic view and the coup de grace of the ablutions; a free-standing copper bathtub in prime position in front of the sliding doors and bedroom balcony looking out onto ‘that’ view, you reign over ten metres in elevation.
In the bedroom, Dieter Losskarn has filled his man cave with a bespoke petrol-head bed, hand-tooled cupboard constructed and adorned with man-cave emblems and memorabilia from Hollywood film companies and his bespoke writing desk which takes pride of place in his office facing Chapman’s Peak drive that if you were any closer you would be looking eye to eye with hikers traversing its jagged peaks. Across the bay however, the only thing you might see are the occasional vehicle headlights and Tintswalo’s private beach lights come on as a summer dusk falls like a velvet mantle on this piece of Cape Town heaven.
BESPOKE HOUSE FOR SALE: PRICE R5 950 000
There is no For Sale sign outside Bay Harbour House, neighbored by a church, an upmarket Guest House and an adjacent empty plot (the last one with a view!) waiting for a sharp-eyed business man wanting to make the most of its prime positioning. For those interested in the property for commercial use and the imminent development of the harbor, rest assured, no one else may build in front of your view and the rest of the mountainside is already claimed by a Russian business man continuing development of the renowned Lichtenstein Castle and surrounds.
Viewing by appointment: Mercédes Westbrook on C: +27 789707633 or E: email@example.com
My dinner date at BOCCA, the Italian word for ‘mouth’ taught me two things: don’t be late for a German appointment and BOCCA proprietors Guido and Adnana Brambilla mean to tantalise every single one of the
10 000 taste buds in your mouth.
Find BOCCA at the junction of Bree and Wale street in Cape Town’s trendy CBD just a short stroll up from the V&A Waterfront to share in romantic sunset dinners, family-gathering celebrations, or if you are one of the city’s many singular tech-head imports needing a shot of divine sustenance during one of your coding marathons… we saw all three varieties of patrons there on its split-level interior where the focus is firmly on fine food creation rather than just fancy interiors.
CELEBRATE WITH TASTE
Once you’ve dived into your first urban Italian cuisine experience offered up by maestro chef Guido, you will be loudly joining the buzzing fray as people revel in its flavour sensations offered up in a snappy array of sublime food, conversation and laughter .
BOCCA has an Italian calling for inspiring a food celebration, as only the Italians know how, delivered to your private table. It’s a recipe for never leaving and always returning. As petite hostess Adnana says “You can come by yourself and sit at the counter for a glass of wine and a few small plates or arrive as a group and experience a selection of dishes. It’s really a place for people to connect over food.”
There by invitation of a local foodie friend, my dinner partner and I were served a special BOCCA chef’s table, with each dish accompanied by detailed explanations from master chef Guido, so I benefited from an Italian lesson in the finer details of the variety and preparation of our particular dishes.
Putting his new menu into context, Guido says: “It’s all about uncomplicated Italian flavours, the kind you would enjoy if you were invited for dinner in an Italian household.”
We felt right at home at BOCCA with both of us delighting in each dishes unique sampling.
Guido and Adnana are particularly intent on sourcing the best local ingredients for their menu at BOCCA, adding their Italian flair to locally sourced South African products which they acknowledge as being of top-notch quality.
The local Stracciatella with roasted cherry tomatoes and confit eggplant was a first for me and I nearly swooned. Rich, creamy and almost the consistency of thick yoghurt, I was in heaven. The Polpo of Atlantic octopus with potatoes and basil pesto – a classic Mediterranean-inspired BOCCA dish was as breath-taking.
The star of the show for me however was the Polpettine; interesting for someone who ricochets between thoughts of turning vegetarian and eating all the crackling off the roast pork. Polpettine is a finely ground meatball of beef, pork and lamb to be dipped into a fresh ‘mayo verde’. Each bite is a series of new tastes unfolding one on top of the other and I couldn’t stop going back for more, nicking more than my fair share of it.
Before the arrival of the Brambilla’s, BOCCA was famous for its pizza and nothing has changed. With their imported Acunto oven – which cooks pizzas in 90 seconds, at temperatures topping 450°F – the dough sees a process of slow fermentation before being thrown by hand and pushed into its fiery heat.
The latest member of the BOCCA pizza family is their little PIZZETTE which is rolled smaller – about 16cm across – than a traditional pizza, and which means you can enjoy your favourite pizza flavours while still having space to try a variety of other new dishes served at the table.
We shared the Amatriciana with smoked cheeks of pork and pecorino on a puffy yet crisp base which was so ridiculously delicious it’s hard to view it as mere pizza – at least the takeaway sort of pizza I have previously come to know.
Not being a sweet tooth, I decided to forgo dessert for another glass of Sauvignon Blanc complements of Cape Town’s accessible Uber services but my dinner partner absolutely raved about the Tiramisu with Mascarpone Cream, declaring it the best he has ever tasted; high praise indeed with my own odious time-keeping long forgotten after a bacchanal of such fine fare.
Even as the happy last patron leaves BOCCA and midnight prepares to settle over the city, Guido is setting the next day’s fare in motion, placing his larger cuts of beef, lamb, poultry and port into the heat of the pizza oven for gentle slow roasting in preparation to start another staple Italian day in the kitchen.
Expect the menu of this upscale eatery to change four times a year as Guido works the South African seasons with his own brand of passion, dedication and hands-on approach extended with authentic Italian hospitality for every and all types of diners through their welcoming BOCCA doorway. It’s a guaranteed to be mouth-watering with the perfect selection of small plates ideal for sharing.
BOCCA is open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday from noon until 22h00 with last orders are taken at 21h30. Visit their website at https://bocca.co.za/.
Connect with Guido and Adnana Brambilla’s BOCCA on social media via @BoccaCT on Twitter; @boccaCT on Facebook; and bocca_ct on Instagram
Firehorse Media is a South African communications and PR consultancy owned and managed by Mercedes Westbrook, whose career as a journalist, editor, managing editor and communications consultant spans 22 years experience in the print and digital industry. Email her on firstname.lastname@example.org or C:+27 789707633.
It was our Great Escape! Five days of freedom from deadlines and the frenzy of the city sparked by the Christmas marketing glut that seems to binge earlier each year.
With Cape Town retreating in the review mirror of our new humming-bird blue 2019 Toyota Hilux, we dashed through touristy Hermanus and north along the mountain-fringed coastline, before turning left at the vintage village of Stanford and onto the R326 in our search for Napier, our first surprise stop on our small town writer’s road trip.
Enveloped by calm rolling farmlands as far as the eye could see, we must be forgiven for entertaining wild thoughts of an even deeper escape from the disruption of life in general. How wonderful it would be, we mused, to find a homestead here and simply disappear.
It seems Google maps was as distracted by the rolling peace because it could only find Napier in New Zealand at first shot. Finding my reading glasses, we landed back in the Western Cape both physically and digitally.
Tyre Tracks to Distant Horizons
Napier in the Western Cape is your next destination on the map when looking for a road less travelled. (Apologies to Dr M. Scott Peck for borrowing his book title, but I’m pretty sure he’d approve the likeness of horizons).
It’s the type of town you would miss if you blinked too rapidly, but most likely to become a firm and favorite getaway for travelers looking for small town quirk untainted by technology; tranquil farm stays; and idyllic day trips spent exploring the Cape Agulhas region.
For a mind-watering taste teaser watch the 60 second Explorio clip here, it’s exactly what you will see and provides a wonderful celebration of Napier’s ‘sky line’ and country roads which feature regular sightings of Blue Crane, South Africa’s graceful national bird.
Secret Getaway Far from the Maddening Crowds
Headed towards a newly-opened accommodation establishment; Stellar Overberg Traveller’s Lodge is guaranteed to recall your connection with nature. No big branding, no brash marketing, instead Overberg Traveller’s Lodge is a small town secret which was whispered in our ear. One we are delighted to be able to share with you too.
Originally a working wine farm, Tibor and Doris Tokay, together with their two young children, sold up their home in Switzerland and bought the property in May this year to offer travelers genuine ‘Old World’ hospitality according to the individual visitor’s needs.
Sharing a bottle, made from their own Sauvignon Blanc grapes at the long table of their homestead patio where they so warmly welcomed us, their love of Africa really came to the fore.
Tibor has a strong association with South Africa having spent his childhood here. Doris’ began hers when Tibor first brought her here at 18 years of age, a journey which culminated in them celebrating their wedding vows shortly thereafter. So began their journey of nearly 30 years travelling with their two children through Southern Africa until they chose Napier to settle in as their new life and home.
Swiss Family Robinson in Napier
With admiration, I sat and enjoyed their view which evidenced the hard work and passion they have poured into their wine farm.
The winery has been converted into four double luxury rooms with a circular Boma and long lap pool stretched out before it. A family suite is situated closer to the main farmhouse. Tibor runs tours and day trips for international guests and locals make use of this luxurious but practical farm stay as a roadside stop for families and small private groups such as bike tours.
The farm cultivates four different types of wine and olives after which each of the four suites are named. Our suite was super spacious at 37m squared, with a gorgeous European flair evidenced in the bathrooms.
Tibor is a fantastic photographer and each suite features magnificent shots of wildlife and vast landscapes gathered on their family travels. Doris matches his skills in the garden. Apart from the grape vines which gently quiver in the breeze trimmed by beautiful hand-stacked stone walls, she has also recreated a Fynbos garden set with the loving care of a botanist. Buckets of fresh pink and green hues of flora colour the guest patios, followed through inside each bedroom with small touches of fresh flowers, stones and grass details in the bedroom and bathroom.
Everything thrives at Stellar Overberg. Their tousle-haired children can be seen running through the vineyards to feed the free-range chickens, nimbly ducking past the scarecrow in its pink Onesy and side stepping the myriad of baby tortoises which choose to call it home too.
In the evening as the sun sets in a dramatic display of orange, reds and purples, the frogs begin their chorus from the edge of the forest. As an avid dog-lover, their three pooches offer each a character all of their own. Their latest rescue Emma, showing strong cross breed connections with a jackal stole my heart completely but if you’re not a dog lover, the dogs can be kept away from the guest suite accommodation.
Free Range Al Fresco Fare
Apart from the delicious welcome bottle of wine, the highlight of our stay was our breakfast basket delivered to our patio table after our leisurely morning dip in the pool.
Using their own free-range eggs, it was the most flavourful scrambled eggs I have ever enjoyed. Using only local products from the surrounding farms, we were served fresh berries, cultured yoghurt, baked breads and aromatic coffee too.
We waved our goodbyes soon after, not with a slight twinge of regret for having to leave such peaceful freedom. With a well-functioning Internet connection, Stellar Overberg is a writer’s retreat heaven… or anyone for that matter who enjoys upmarket country living. As one of the newest guests to have enjoyed their unique blend of Swiss South African hospitality, this gem is going to become a firm favorite for all who first journey here.
In their own words and African travel experiences, Tibor and Doris offer you a chance to be “touched by this country so close to our hearts, that you may take home the jewels of adventure and the dust of its red earth to remind you to return again one day…”
Small Town Secrets
New on the Vine
For a short time only, Stellar Overberg Traveller’s Lodge is offering a 15% opening discount. Visit their website at https://stellar-sa.vacations/ and book your stay at their affordable rates. Expecting their first season of grapes on the vine, 2019 is set to be an exciting year for them.
Special Occasions and Tours
With a large international network of incoming guests, Tibor offers specialised travel services which include airport transfers all the way to extensive travel planning for trips into Southern Africa. Custom plan your African experience with a selection of Fatbike rentals, guided day tours, airplane safari flights, support vehicles for motorbike and mountain bike tours and hiking expeditions. Or plan your wedding there and commemorate your special day in a small and special setting and make memories forever.
Tibor and Doris Tokay are wonderfully warm hosts and ready to help you organise your custom tour.
Mercédes Westbrook is a business and travel editor with over 22 years in the custom magazine publishing industry writing for local and international inflight magazines, and conference and incentive travel publications. She currently runs her own media and content creation company Firehorse Media at www.firehorsemedia.co.za.
Dieter Losskarn is a celebrated German travel author with six travel books under his belt published and sold in Europe and now translated into Dutch. He has also held the title of Motoring Editor for GQ South Africa magazine for the past 14 years and runs his own Taxi Cab of Good Hope day tour business in an original New York Checker Cab in Cape Town. Find out more about him at www.lossis.com