Brittany Smith Breaks the Stigma

Brittany Smith Breaks the Stigma

Brittany Smith is a talented opera singer with heart. From debuting in the role of Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute to performing as Juliet in Capuleti e i Montecchi and Amour in Orphée and Eurydice, Brittany has already made an impression on CTO audiences and now we get to see her play the role of Susanna in Mozart’s famous masterpiece, Le Nozze di Fargo.

Brittany has been serious about opera since she was introduced to the discipline by her choir mistress and has recently spent time exploring its power to bring hope and inspiration. She holds her Postgraduate Diploma in Opera Performance at UCT and a BMus (Opera) and is an advocate for tuberculosis sufferers: once diagnosed with the disease just 4 centimeters away from her vocal cords, she makes it her mission to address the stigma still attached to the illness. I recently caught up with Brittany to share her inspirational story.

Congratulations on a fantastic career and on all that you have achieved. Why do you love being an Opera singer and could you share with us a career highlight?
Thank you! If I have to narrow down the reason, I love being an opera singer, it would be because of all the freedom I have while performing on stage. There’s nothing better than hearing the orchestra tune while you’re backstage and having the feeling like you have wings to soar high with when you sing your very first phrase. The highlight of my career was when I had to step in to sing the role of Priestess Leïla in Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. It showed me just how far I could push myself and the determination to prove to myself that I could sing a big role with only one rehearsal to walk through.

Please could you share with us your healing/recovery process from the time you were diagnosed with Tuberculosis to your recovery?
It was tough, especially since I was starting to sing the big girl roles. I remember the worst part about my recovery being the five tablets I had to take every morning for five months and then trying to keep them down. I had an amazing support system at home and from the few friends I still had. I also remember praying quite a bit – my strength came from my Maker. I was comforted by that.

How long was your recovery process?
My full recovery took six months. After that, it took a while longer to recover from the mental stress I had endured as well.

Is Tuberculosis (TB) contagious?
If untreated, TB is EXTREMELY contagious. Something as simple as speaking to someone face to face who is infected puts you at a very high risk of contracting the disease.

I can only imagine the fear that you faced with the disease being just a few centimeters away from your vocal cords. Who or what motivated you to keep fighting to get better so that you could be back on stage doing what you love?
It was actually 4 cm away from my vocal cords upon consultation with my pulmonologist and after hearing that, I came to the realisation of just how dangerous the type of TB I had, had been. I’d say my fighting spirit, my family and a lot of prayer as well as wanting to feel the freedom I felt while singing, gave me my motivation back.

As a TB survivor, what are some of the stigmas that you faced not just as an opera singer, but as a human being fighting a disease that could have potentially ended your career?
People didn’t want to touch me or come close to me and when I mentioned that I had HAD TB, they would instantly take a step back from me or put their hands over their mouths and noses so as to not catch anything from me, even after I told them that I am not contagious anymore or that I didn’t have TB anymore and that hurt. I also understood that they were not as educated on TB as they should be and that sort of made the shun a bit easier to handle.

You speak strongly about secondary stigma, what is secondary stigma and who does it come from?
Secondary stigma is when the family or friends shun you from their social circles after they have heard that you had TB. In my case, it was friends I had made in varsity, that even when I was not contagious anymore and still wore a mask to protect myself, they’d back away or just not associate themselves with me because they saw me as, and I quote, “dirty”. Unfortunately, this is the case with many TB survivors and sufferers alike. Why is that? It is that way because people are not educated enough to know and understand more about TB.

Do you think people find it taboo to talk about having/had TB?
In some communities and cultures, yes. Many TB sufferers and survivors do not want a target on their backs when it comes to opening up about the disease, so instead they don’t talk about it at all. In many cases we are judged so badly after people find out – we’re almost shamed upon. It’s actually really sad.

From the challenges and stigmas that you faced, what would you like people to take away from your story?
You can make a full recovery. Life does not stop because you’ve contracted TB. I want people to know that there are support groups that they could reach out to and that someone will welcome them with open arms because “you are not your disease.”

What can we do to educate people on Tuberculosis and to break these stigmas?
It’s this simple: Talk about Tuberculosis more. Talk until you’re blue in the face. Once people are no longer afraid of something they do not understand, the faster stigma will disappear until it is but a foreign concept.

From 06 to 15 July 2022, we get to see you live on stage performing the role of Susanna in Le Nozze Di Figaro at the Roodepoort Theatre. What can audiences expect from Susanna?
Audiences can expect a show of a lifetime. Susanna is naughty, nice, fierce and a delight…like a breath of fresh air. We need that after a 2 and a half year darkness.

Le Nozze di Figaro runs from 06 to 15 July 2022 at the Roodepoort Theatre. Tickets are R220 and are on sale through Webtickets.

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Anna Ngarachu Makes an Impact

Anna Ngarachu Makes an Impact

“The best way to predict the future is to create it!”

This is the motto of how impact storyteller Anna Ngarachu, chooses to live her life and she has uttered it to everyone around her so that they know that they too can create a life they choose…not a life of default but a truly intentional life and an unconventional one.

Anna is one of eight musketeers (siblings) and hails from Kenya. She has been in South Africa for about 15 years. Not much can be said about those early days, but the photos tell us that she was a photogenic child…always near a microphone or drawing something but not particularly keen to eat her food. Even as a child, she was a true adventurer and artist. Her favourite thing was hanging out with her siblings and her book reflects some of those interesting stories.

Anna and her family moved to Uganda for three years, which was utter bliss, and a chance to discover life in another African country. When she was 16, they moved to South Africa which came with its challenges of navigating a new culture, but it became home and still is. Anna went on to study Economics at the University of Witwatersrand; although looking back, she imagines that she should have studied writing, literature, or something along those lines. Currently, Anna is navigating adult life with the support of her best friend and partner Grant. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Anna is the creator of Impact Storyteller, which she started in July 2021 off the back of publishing her book 10,000 Steps Towards Me. “I realised that other people were bursting to write a book; either to leave a legacy or to build their brands but were too busy with their endeavours. Having written my book whilst pursuing a consulting career; I realised the demands behind it but having walked that path, I wanted to make it a reality for others too.”

With Impact Storyteller Anna aims to do two things: Ghost-writing and co-writing services. This is for anyone who wants to write a book (that aims to make an impact) but has no time or skill. This is catered to those that are looking to BUILD A PERSONAL BRAND (as a business owner or professional) or share their LIFE STORY. She believes that by telling your story through a book you attain credibility in your networks. This can be in the form of a personal development book or a Life Story (Memoir).

On a personal level, publishing her book has given Anna the courage to offer Personal Development Coaching and Personal Development Retreats where she gives talks to high school and university students and professionals on the aspects that she covers in her book. Here Anna assists to uncover their stories and try to steer them to find answers or question things from their authentic viewpoints.

All of this is in the backdrop of her consulting career. Anna works as an economic consultant for a boutique consulting firm in Johannesburg. She is a seasoned senior economic researcher with five years’ experience in the development sector, having been involved in several regional and continental projects in recent years.

Please tell us about your podcast impact storyteller and what exactly is an impact storyteller.
An impact storyteller aims to share stories that make an impact for an individual, a cause, or a situation. The aim is to change mindsets so that we can move towards acting and living more authentically and boldly. I believe stories should inspire and challenge us for the better.

The Impact Storyteller Show is a YouTube Show. It assists me in building content and getting exposure. It’s a show that gets down to real talk with a selective calibre of guests, focusing on personal development and self-discovery. This is for people who want to consume fast, and impactful insights – to raise awareness of how important personal development is and the importance of talking about issues that go unsaid. It aims to allow people to reflect on whether they are growing as an individual or not. Basically, I provide a platform for people to be vulnerable, share their stories and that allows people to ask themselves some real hard questions and reflect on that. It is when we start having conversations with ourselves and making authentic choices do we live boldly. Otherwise, we continue to live on autopilot, and we all know that doesn’t do anyone any good.

How has writing 10 000 Steps Towards Me helped you grow as an individual?
Writing my book allowed me to put my creations out in the world…the utmost expression of vulnerability. I have understood that vulnerability isn’t something to fear to behold as it is a reflection of bravery and that is something I want to teach others. It has helped me come to terms with who I am and celebrate that with all flaws and great values together.

I have learned that not everything has to be going well for you to achieve your dream, even in lockdown, I managed to launch my book. I understand now that I need to live my dream daily and it needs to be an active manifestation. I have procrastinated for so long to complete this book and I’m glad it came to fruition! It has allowed me to learn how action conquers fear. It has helped me set up a writing business, which I had never even imagined before and to have the courage to get out there and showcase it. Above all, it has taught me how much I love creative writing and that this is what I am meant to be doing.

Who do you hope is helped in reading this book?
Those that dare to change…

I intend to help people know who they are, know what they want, and help guide them towards their true north (and the best version of themselves). Those who dare to change are the people I hope to help. Anyone that wants to see a significant shift in their lives or has a lot of questions as to why they feel/felt stagnant. I aim to help them realise their worth and help them reflect on their own life and look at what needs to change and what needs to be celebrated.

What is next for Anna?
Currently, I am doing a memoir writing course as I’m working on my memoir which is an exciting task.

Look out for more books down the line! My aim is to make a career out of writing, so I am currently working with some clients to get that set up nicely. The rest I will leave as a mystery, intertwined with some interesting characters and adventures to come.

If you would like to get in touch with Anna you can visit her website, or by sending an email to or by booking a discovery call with her here. Connect with Anna on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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Joburg Theatre’s Annual Pantomime Bounces Back

After having had to postpone their annual festive season pantomime production in 2020 because of the pandemic and ensuing government restrictions, Joburg Theatre and executive producer Bernard Jay are delighted to announce that Janice Honeyman’s Cinderella will be on the Nelson Mandela Theatre stage at Joburg Theatre from 5 November to 24 December 2021.

In Janice Honeyman’s telling of Cinderella, you know that the show will be packed with an abundance of comedy, stunning spectacle, hundreds of beautiful costumes and, of course, the legendary panto moment when Cinderella is transformed from rags to riches and whisked off to the Ball – with the help of a little dusting of Fairy Godmother magic.

Now this favourite of all South African family stage shows promises to be more spectacular than ever. South African Andrew Timm has joined the team for the first time as Production Designer in order to transform the stage into a high-tech, 21st century riot of innovative and spectacular special effects – combining live performance with projections and 3D graphics on over 500 LED screens and bringing in hologram effects, giant props, magic techniques and pyrotechnics to surprise and delight audiences of all ages.

Andrew Timm is an award-winning creative director of TV shows, large scale music events, music videos and corporate theatre. Through three decades of experience as a director, designer and writer in the entertainment industry, Andrew’s career highlights include creative director of staging for the live broadcasts of X Factor South Africa and five years of staging gospel’s acclaimed Joyous Celebration. He currently also directs music videos for the world famous Ndlovu Youth Choir.

2021’s Cinderella stars Desmond Dube and Ben Voss as the hilarious Ugly Sisters Fanny Flatulina and Flossie Flemerina, Bongi Mthombeni as Buttons, Kiruna-Lind Devar in the title role, Kyle Grant as her Prince Charming, Dolly Louw as GogoMama the Merry-Fairy Godmother, Graham Hopkins as Baron Horace Hard-Up and Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri as the prince’s sidekick Dandini.  The company also features (in alphabetical order) Tarryn Heard, Venolia Manale, Arno Meyer, Kenneth Meyer, Noni Mkhonto, Brian Ngobese, Funeka Peppeta, Kaylan Sabbadin, Musanete Sakupwanya, Jonathan Blaine Shore, Justin Swartz and Dezlenne Ulster-Weale. 

In an Exclusive I had the opportunity to ask Ben Voss and Desmond Dube a few questions. Here is what they had to say.

What do you love the most about theatre?

What do you enjoy the most about playing the ugly sisters?

The pantomime will be choreographed by Nicol Sheraton; Dale-Ray Scheepers serves as both music arranger and musical director, Bronwen Lovegrove is costume co-ordinator and the sound design will be by Akhona Bozo.

Please visit my YouTube channel for more from this interview. Tickets for Cinderella are now on sale from R240 through visiting or by calling 0861 670 670.  Terrific group, family and senior citizen discounts are available.

Information courtesy of BSharp Entertainment.

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Getting to Know Mo Malele

Mo Malele is a doer of many things, a wearer of many hats and a lover of people! As a poet, recording artist, award winning entrepreneur, wordsmith extraordinaire and content producer she has no shortage of creativity and determination. I recently interviewed Mo and have been left inspired…

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.
With a finance and accounting background, I often describe myself as a creative at heart but with a business brain. I am a poet, recording artist, award winning entrepreneur, wordsmith extraordinaire and content producer. My dynamic personality has led me to build a career in a wide array of industries as I pursue all things that inspire, grow, and challenge me, as well as contribute positively to my community. My poetry style can be described as conscious, self-aware, self-reflective, critical, and extremely honest as I tackle various social issues like love, loss, mental health, hope, politics, economics, inequality and much more through my poetry and challenge my listeners to live life to their fullest potential as the best versions of themselves. 

Please tell us about your events company.
NK Innovations is a creative, dynamic and innovative marketing and events agency that delivers problem solving solutions and always exceeds expectation. We are a young but experienced team of highly ambitious marketing professionals. As a marketing agency we offer a wide array of ATL and BTL services, including event and project management. We have a unique ability to reach and engage with diverse consumer groups across South Africa, with relevant and receptive brand messaging that delivers ROI accretive campaigns for our clients.

What is Shopapolitan?
The expanded unemployment rate in SA sits at 42.6%, meaning almost half our workforce is economically inactive, majority of which are in townships and rural communities. We know that we need to stimulate the economy in order to create jobs and the only way to do that is through the creation of profitable, sustainable, tech-enabled businesses. Many of these entrepreneurs lack the infrastructure, resources, knowledge, and funding required to implement tech in their businesses. This is where we come in – our vision is to build economically self-sustainable communities by making innovative tech affordable and accessible to township and rural based businesses and in doing so help them to techify and digify their business. How do we do this? In a word Shopapolitan. Shopapolitan is an end-to-end e-commerce marketplace that gives township and rural based businesses everything they need to operate a profitable e-commerce business. We offer:

  1. a safe, secure, and compliant platform and payment gateway.
  2. Data analytics & Digital marketing services.
  3. Distribution and Logistics management.

What are some of the biggest challenges that you face with Shopapolitan?
The challenges we face are the very same challenges that inspired the Shopapolitan business concept which continues to drive us despite the roadblocks; lack of access to market opportunities, lack of funding and necessary infrastructure to take advantage of available opportunities. Many of these we have overcome to some extent in order to get to where we are today, however our biggest challenge is still funding to launch the platform on a wider scale so we can reach more communities, merchants and customers.  

What or who inspired the Shopapolitan concept?
Entrepreneurs and small business owners like us, who have great ideas, ambition and hard work ethic to match those great ideas, but have little to no access to markets, opportunities, resources, infrastructure, knowledge, networks and funding required to bring those ideas to life. Ironically enough, we draw inspiration and motivation from our challenges and pain points as well as those of our fellow hustlers, dreamers, entrepreneurs and small business owners.

What or who has kept you going during the pandemic?
Honestly speaking, a brutal understanding that I am back against the wall, stuck between a rock and a hard place, shipwrecked or plane-wrecked in the middle of nowhere and no-one is coming for me…no-one is coming to save me. If I am to survive, I will have to save myself, and the only way to do that is to hustle hard, hustle smart, hustle relentlessly, hustle humbly but hustle like my life depended on it because it did! And I always say the hustle never stops, it just changes form! So, keep hustling!

You are a poet, recording artist and content producer, what inspires your creativity?
Everything and everyone I get to experience! I believe that as a creative, inspiration is everywhere, provided you are listening and tuned in…provided you are conscious and aware of the life you are living. If you live on autopilot, you will miss the creative inspiration that lives hidden in the seemingly mundane moments of life. I am also inspired by how as ordinary people we all have a little bit of extraordinariness in us and if we just gave into that the world would be filled with ordinary people living their truth and creating extraordinary things, we can all experience and benefit from. The idea of living in a world where we are all consciously and constantly striving to live life as our truest and best selves both excites and inspires me because therein lies the magic!

You have a new album in the works, please could you tell us a bit about it and how it differs from your last album ‘My Country Needs Me.’
For starters ‘My Country Needs Me’ was my first album and producing that project independently taught me a lot about the business of music and what it takes to release a proper project you can be proud of, so you can definitely expect to see those “business of music” lessons learnt coming through in this album. This new album will be different in a couple of ways; 1) I am producing all the beats on it. 2) This is most likely going to have more visuals attached to it and if all goes well it will also be a visual album. 3) It is going to be shorter than the previous one and a lot more personal for all of us, not just me! 4) A lot of the pieces were written during Covid so it will be very Covid relevant.

Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who are starting out?

  • Fail forward, fail fast and implement the lessons prospectively…don’t torture yourself over the past.
  • When they say no, you say next and don’t be afraid to punch above your weight!
  • It’s ok if you don’t hit gold the first time you start digging. It doesn’t mean there isn’t gold, just that you must dig deeper, longer and differently.
  • BELIEVE! Believe in yourself, your team, your idea, your project, your market etc, whatever it is, BELIEVE IN IT! And when you don’t believe, put your head down and WORK AT IT, until you believe in it again!
  • Be conscious and aware of the life you are living and the business you are building. This will help you identify the pivots and see the gaps earlier.
  • If you are getting paid in exposure or experience, find ways to monetize/commercialise that exposure/experience…remember the bank doesn’t take exposure cheques.
  • Your network is your net worth! Find a tribe of like-minded, like-hearted people and build your social capital because they will help you build your financial capital.
  • The best way to create value is to first give away value! So don’t think of what you are losing when you are giving, focus on what you are gaining by giving and that will help you create incremental value.
  • HAVE FUN! Live and work your passion! Work is an integral part of life and life is an integral part of work. Find ways, projects, people, activities to bring the 2 into harmony where your passion is at the centre of both, and they will become 1! Which in my philosophical opinion is the only way life should be lived and businesses should be built. Life and work should be in harmony with each other.

Here are the ways that you can get in contact with Mo:
NK Innovations:

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and visit her website.

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My Year of Becoming

My Year of Becoming

Moneeloa Chaane is a 36-year-old mother of 3 and is married to Thabiso Chaane. She is a Self-leadership Coach with a specific love for family development. She teaches effective communication skills for relationship building in the home, between the parent and child as well as between couples. She shares the journey with the parents/couples who are on a coaching journey, where through the process she shares consciousness and self-leadership tools that further empower their self-character. When Moneeloa is not doing what she loves as a coach, she is sharing her journey as a Mrs South Africa semi-finalist. I had the privilege of interviewing this phenomenal woman and now I get to share her story.

Please could you tell us more about Self-leadership.

Self-Leadership is built on the principle that success starts with knowing oneself, being able to generate clarity on what resonates and does not, the vision, mission, values and principles one stands for, mastering being in alignment, being able to effectively communicate these to others and being able to meet your most important needs. At the centre of it, building a healthy relationship with yourself and with others, being aware and mindful of your impact on others. My mission is to bring self-leadership to families. For couples and parents to be intentional about knowing themselves as a family, their family vision, value, principles, and their relationship. To respect and support meeting each other’s most important needs. I wish for family structures to experience less disconnect, less anxiety and resentment amongst each other and most of all more fulfilment in marriage and parent-child relationships. I wish to teach this to our youth as a key foundation to creating their own lives.

What inspired me to go into coaching was finally deciding to respond to my heart’s prompting that I have lived with for years, that I am meant to be in the humanities field of work, teaching and empowering people. It was really about taking that step out and the rest in terms of how I am meant to serve in this field is unfolding as my journey unfolds.

What inspired you to enter the Mrs South Africa 2021 pageant?

After some time of feeling discontentment, doubt in myself and really feeling insecure about my vision, fear and drown in the pressures and pains of life, I decided on this year to be the year of getting up, pulling myself together and doing it. My year of becoming, both in myself and in my business. I then decided to enter the Mrs South Africa pageant as I really wanted to step out and step out big. I wanted my business to be known and I wanted my vision and my mission to be known.

My Year of Becoming

Have you always wanted to enter the Mrs South Africa pageant, or have you entered previous pageants? How far did you go in the pageant?

The only pageant I have ever done was back in high school, winning Miss Millennium College. I had a wish to enter Miss Jam Alley back in the days and have always held a wish in me, even today to walk a Mercedes Benz fashion show. Entering Mrs SA was me saying you know what, I’ve always wished to be on a stage and this it, I am going for it.

What are your goals and aspirations that you would like to achieve in the Mrs South Africa 2021 pageant?

By being in this journey I wish to inspire:

  1. The youth to know that life starts with a desire, a dream and that is what will keep them awake to who they are and are going to be. It will keep them awake to being intentional creators of their own lives. I wish to inspire them to Dream, to SEE themselves, connect with the rhythm of their souls and dare to Be it. To go for it.
  2. To raise the volume on the message that we are developers and shapers of society, and we do so in how we parent and do family. I wish to drive my vision to help families shift how they experience each other by shifting how they communicate.
  3. I wish to be known for the vision I stand for.

What are you passionate about in life?

I am passionate about my growth, to actualise and experience the highest, truest version of myself and to always be true to my soul.

Do you have a role model or who is your greatest motivator in life to achieve your goals?

I don’t have one role model that I can say I intentionally follow, that’s my greatest motivator to achieve my dreams. Dare I say my desire to succeed and realise the powerhouse inside me is my greatest motivator.

There are people that have touched and inspired me and who I have looked up to in my journey such as Lisa Nichols, Valorie Button, Khanyi Dlomo and one that I would like to intentionally choose model after is Zamakhize Mkhize.

What/who keeps you going through challenging times?

  1. Keeping the principle “All things work out for my good” alive in me.
  2. Prayer, meditation, and coaching (talk it all out).
  3. Hiking and dance sessions with my kids.
  4. Mirror work – spend time with me.
My Year of Becoming

Do you have a self-care routine/what do you do to keep your cup full or to keep you grounded?

Oh, I have quite a number of things I love for my self-care:

  1. I love Time to Think with Sibylle Sharon – I never miss her monthly Thinking Time for Women sessions; it always leaves me feeling light in my head and renewed in my motivation.
  2. I discovered that I looove facials thanks to Netsense Beauty Spa, they have introduced me to doing facials and I absolutely love it.
  3. Trauma Release Exercise (TRE) with Jade Coaching.
  4. Mirror work
  5. Engaging with like-minded people (monthly Creative Consciousness trainings- absolutely fill me up).

Do you have any advice to those who would like to enter a pageant like Mrs South Africa?

Your why will be your best asset throughout the journey. Be asserted in your why and carve out your own experience.

Do you have any hobbies? I love Hiking

Where can we vote for you to get you to the next round?

To vote you can sms “Moneeloa Chaane” to 35959
10x smses per person make a huge difference.

Do you have any charities that you support? If yes, please name them and why you support them?

I am a monthly donor to Unicef because of its alignment to passion for driving positive child development through educating and supporting parents and family development. Through this journey I have registered a foundation that will be focused on youth self-leadership development.

Thank you to Moneeloa Chaane for sharing her inspiring story. Please follow her on Facebook and Instagram, as well as connect with her on Foundations and Bonds Coaching and Skills Development Facebook and Instagram pages.

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Globes Countdown Live

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) and dick clark productions (dcp) has announced their partnership with Twitter for “HFPA Presents: Globes Countdown Live,” the official pre-show for the “78th Annual Golden Globe Awards®.”

Actress and recording artist Sofia Carson and NBC Access Hollywood entertainment reporter Zuri Hall will host the 90-minute countdown live from The Beverly Hilton.

The pre-show will stream live from the official Golden Globes Twitter account and at 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM PST/6:30 PM – 8 PM EST in the United States and 3:00am in South Africa.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the bicoastal “78th Annual Golden Globe Awards®” airing live on NBC coast-to-coast on Sunday, February 28, 2021 at 8:00 PM EST/5:00 PM PST on NBC and will be available to stream the next day on Peacock.

Viewers can engage with the pre-show directly by participating in the ongoing polls from, the results of which will be revealed by the panel, as well as Tweet their questions for a chance to have them asked during the interviews.

Twitter Fleets will also be updated with live content from the pre-show and ceremony. Frontline workers will be included throughout the show during vignettes in which they share their favourite nominated films and television shows that have helped get them through the pandemic.

“This year more than ever, fans have been at home consuming the best in film and television and coming to Twitter to talk about it,” said Sarah Rosen, Head of US Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter. “Partnering with the Golden Globes to bring the official pre-show to Twitter will give fans the opportunity to celebrate the best of entertainment, live and in real time, where the conversation happens.”

About the Hollywood Foreign Press Association:

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) was founded in 1943 – then known as the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association – by a group of entertainment journalists based in Los Angeles. During World War II, the non-profit organization established a cultural bridge between Tinseltown and millions of cinema fans around the world who demanded drama and inspiration through entertainment. The HFPA continues to do so today with a membership representing more than 55 countries. Since 1944, the group has hosted the annual Golden Globe® Awards – the premier ceremony which honors achievements in both television and film. The licensing fees from the Golden Globe® Awards has enabled the organization to donate more than $44.5 million to more than 70 entertainment-related charities, film restoration, scholarship programs and humanitarian efforts over the last 25 years. For more information, please visit the Golden Globes website and follow them on Twitter (@GoldenGlobes), Instagram (, and Facebook (

About Zuri Hall:
Zuri Hall (born June 2, 1988) is an American entertainment reporter, television personality, actress and producer. Hall serves as a correspondent for Access Hollywood on NBC. She is also the side-line reporter for NBC’s primetime summer competition show American Ninja Warrior. Zuri is currently the host of the ‘Hot Happy Mess’ — a new podcast, in partnership with iHeartRadio’s Black Effect Podcast Network. HHM is your new go-to podcast for mindfully ambitious Millennial women; committed to sharing diverse stories and point of views.

Information and Image Courtesy of Jarred Doyle Consulting.

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Gone Too Soon: Featured Artists

Gone Too Soon is finally here and in just a few hours we get to experience and enjoy one of the most anticipated shows of the year. You’ve been hearing all about the show and I hope you have booked your tickets!

You can read more about the show Here.

Gone Too Soon is a proud production under The Colab Network and is Directed and Produced by Collett Dawson.

I recently interviewed the featured artists Mariechan, Timothy Moloi and Joseph Clark about the show and who their favourite musical influences are, that have gone Too Soon.

Here is a bit about the stars and what they had to say:


Gone Too Soon

Mariechan, originally from Cape Town, became known for her vocal ability during her 10 year career with the hugely successful Jamali.  As the engine for Jamali’s vocal strength, her effortless vocal ability, with her natural feminine character is her signature style.

Mariechan’s singular focus and dream of earning a living as an artist came to fruition as the winning girl group in Popstars in 2004. In the last 10 years, it became clear that there was a market for South African talent in the R&B/Pop and Soul industry. Currently a solo artist, she launched her first single ‘Let Me Live My Life’ in 2014 which took South Africa by storm and received airtime on radio stations, nationally!

Mariechan’s versatility & ability to work in any music genre, got her working & collaborating with some of SA’s biggest artists and Dj’s. She is currently working on her first solo project  & ready to share a side she rarely had a chance to show in her career…sexy, fun, vulnerable and uninhibited.

Shekhinah and Mariechan are currently burning up the airwaves with their popular hit “Different”.
Her new single, Missed Calls is the first single to her upcoming EP, titled, Cherry Blossom and is currently enjoying airplay across the country and on various digital platforms.

Please could you share with us one of the musical legends you will be performing and paying tribute to on stage in Gone Too Soon and how has their music influenced your musical journey to date?
Amy Winehouse, her raw talent, tenacious story telling & self-assurance was infectious & inspiring, she knew who she was & lived her truth unapologetically. 
Who is your favourite musical legend of all time who is no longer with us? 
It would almost be unjust to name one musical legend when so many of them influenced & inspired me growing up. At the age of 8, all I looked forward to was getting home from school so I could listen to the radio and record some of my favorite songs like: I will always love you(WH), You are not alone (MJ), Life is going on (BF) etc. my list is extensive, so I’ll save us both from my archives haha! 
Have you seen a musical legend live in concert who is no longer with us? If yes, where did the concert take place and how was the experience for you to watch them live on stage? 
Sadly I have not seen any of them live in concert, I had a “bucket list” but their sudden departure from this life took away any opportunity to fulfill that dream. It’s one of my biggest heartbreaks. 
Is there a musical legend you would have loved to perform with live on stage who is no longer with us? If yes why? 
There’s a few, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Aaliyah, Micheal Jackson to name but a few. I grew up listening to these artists who’s musical journey & life stories inspired me to pursue my dream as an artist. 
What would you like the audience to take away from the show? 
Euphoria…I want them to leave moved by the performances with a greater appreciation for the music gifted to us by these legends & to continue celebrating & supporting the arts. 


Gone Too Soon

Born and raised in Soweto,

Timothy Moloi has leda busy performance schedule since completing his studies at
Ohio Wesleyan University in the USA.

His critically-acclaimed debut album Love That Music wasnominated for two SAMA Awards and hisvideos on YouTube have received more than 500,000 views.

Television performances have included the South African Music Awards, Miss South Africa and the Naledi Awards.

Stage productions include Always & Forever – A Tribute to Luther Vandross, Motown Gold, Classics is Groot, Coming Home, Afrika in Afrikaans and two of Janice Honeyman’s festive season pantomimes, Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty to name just a few.

He performed at the Opening Ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, SA Golf Open, Cricket SA Season Launch, SA RugbyAwards and for the 2012 SA Olympic squad.

Timothy has sung the SA National Anthem for the Springboks and LaMarseillaise for the French Rugby Team. In 2017 he performed the National Anthem at the Currie Cup Final.

He has performed in both Moscow and
Saint Petersburgas part of the SA-Russia Cultural Exchange.

Other recentperformances include Stellenbosch University’s Centenary Concert, the Hermanus FynArts Festival and at Woordfeeswith with Judith Sephuma and Gloria Bosman, which won a 2018 Fiesta Award. He also performed at the grand opening of the new Sun Arena.

In December 2017, Timothy won the first
Great South African Bake Off Celebrity Festive Special.

Please could you share with us one the musical legends you will be performing and paying tribute to on stage in Gone Too Soon and how has their music influenced your musical journey to date?

One of the music legends I’m going to be paying tribute to, in GONE TOO SOON, is Luther Vandross. He has had an enormous influence on my singing career over the years, and I’ve been most honoured to have people say that I remind them of him, when I sing. I was privileged to do a show honouring him, called “Always and Forever – A Tribute To Luther Vandross” a few years ago, which was very successful, and I’m very excited to have the opportunity to once again perform his music live on stage.

Who is your favourite musical legend of all time who is no longer with us? Please could you name one of their songs that is your favourite. 

It would have to be the legendary Whitney Houston, who had a voice that comes along once in a lifetime. One of the very first cassettes I bought as a teenager, was a Whitney Houston album. I know that I am not alone, when I say that “I Will Always Love You”, is my favourite song of hers.

Have you seen a musical legend live in concert who is no longer with us? If yes, where did the concert take place and how was the experience for you to watch them live on stage? 

One of the musical legends I not only saw on stage, but had the pleasure of performing with, was the late South African songbird, TK. She was such an incredible talent, and a beautiful person, who was gone too soon, at such a young age.

Is there a musical legend you would have loved to perform with live on stage who is no longer with us? If yes why?

It would have been a dream come true, to have performed with Luther Vandross. And I would have loved to see Michael Jackson perform live. His concerts were such incredible events, and my friends who were fortunate enough to see him on stage, say it’s the best performance they have ever seen.

What would you like the audience to take away from the show?

I hope that we bring back wonderful memories for our audiences, as they recall where they were, when they first heard this music, and the personal meaning it has for each of them. We want to take them on a nostalgic journey, as they enjoy some of the most beautiful music of all time, from artists, who are sadly, no longer with us.


Gone Too Soon

Born and raised in Amarillo, Texas, Joseph Clark left his ballet career in New York and Salt Lake City when brought to South Africa by where he won immediate acclaim for the leading roles in Swan LakePapillionRomeo & Juliet and Witchy.

He soon moved to musical theatre, blowing audiences away in shows like Buddy Holly – The Buddy Holly StoryQueen at The OperaWest Side Story and others.

He is one of South Africa’s leading performers with over 40 years of experience as a professional singer/actor/ballet dancer, winning numerous awards for all 3 genres.

He has appeared as a lead soloist with all the Symphony Orchestras in South Africa as well as with orchestras in Europe and the USA. He has been the soloist for North Netherland Orchestra (NNO) since 2009.

Highlights include the honour to sing for former President Nelson Mandela’s 85th Birthday Celebration and singing in a packed Gelredome stadium in The Netherlands to an audience of over 30,000 people.

Currently, Joseph is touring South Africa and Europe with his internationally acclaimed production of Joseph Clark – The Music Of QUEEN.

He is known as a guest artist on Noot vir NootClassics is Groot and Strictly Come Dancing and has featured in numerous television and cinema commercials in South Africa, the USA, Israel and China.

When not touring he is in high demand as a corporate entertainer and as a voice-artist, talking and singing, for radio & television.

Please could you share with us one the musical legends you will be performing and paying tribute to on stage in Gone Too Soon and how has their music influenced your musical journey to date?

The most obvious “Legend” for me would be Freddie Mercury of course! The music of QUEEN has taken me to artistic heights over the last 28 years that just about no other body of music could possibly do. And it has taken me all over Southern Africa and Europe. Always challenging, always inspirational, never boring!

Who is your favourite musical legend of all time who is no longer with us? Please could you name one of their songs that is your favourite.

Besides Mr. Mercury, I think it would have to be Frank Sinatra and his version of Cole Porter’s “Just One Of Those Things”.

Have you seen a musical legend live in concert who is no longer with us? If yes, where did the concert take place and how was the experience for you to watch them live on stage?

Unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to see one of these “Legends” on stage, but would have loved seeing QUEEN (with Freddie Mercury), The Eagles (with Glenn Frey), Sammy Davis Jr., Michael Jackson, Ella Fitzgerald, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, the list goes on…

Is there a musical legend you would have loved to perform with live on stage who is no longer with us? If yes why?

I think George Michael would have been a great “Legend” to perform with! He was an immaculate performer and always seemed open and accommodating to other artists he performed with.

What would you like the audience to take away from the show?

Feeling the Joy and Emotion of Experiencing these legendary artists through their timeless music!

I would like to thank Mariechan, Timothy Moloi and Joseph Clark for their time and for doing this interview with me. A very special thank you to Collett Dawson for making all this happen and I wish her all the best for the show. 

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Gone Too Soon Interview With Collett Dawson

Collett Dawson is by no means a stranger to the entertainment industry. This amazing woman is the Owner of  The Colab Network, as well as the Director and Producer of the much anticipated show Gone Too Soon.
You can read more details about Gone Too Soon Here.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Collett Dawson to find out her thoughts on the show, and who some of her favourite musical influences are that are no longer with us:
Collett Dawson
Who was your favourite musical legend to listen to over the years and why?
Queen was my ultimate favourite band to listen to, most especially watching Freddie Mercury perform. Even before I entered the entertainment industry, I felt that Freddie was a creative artist way before his time, where each song written and recorded was a magnificent production in itself. Freddie’s stage persona for me as well, was incredible, I was drawn to the theatricality of his performances and then there were those killer vocals of his. I think another reason I was so drawn to him was his total lack of concern about what the industry thought of him – HE knew he was on a specific path and even though there were SO many people against them in the beginning, he stuck to his goals and dreams, and I couldn’t help but admire and respect him for that.
Have you had the opportunity to watch  a musical legend live in concert? If yes, where did this concert take place and how was the experience watching them live?

I have been blessed to have watched so many big names perform live in concert, but if we were choosing from this list, a real bucket list moment for me was seeing Michael Jackson live in London in 1991/1992 (can’t remember which year it was). I was living in London at the time and this was my first BIG NAME that I was going to see – then seeing tens of thousands of fans flood Wembley Stadium to join me… it felt like I was living a dream.

You must remember that that was still “the dark days” in South Africa and we were experiencing a cultural boycott at that time because of our country’s politics, so to be able to calmly go out and buy a ticket to see a huge legendary artist like Michael Jackson in London was so surreal for me.
The best news is that he didn’t disappoint – he was INCREDIBLE – what an experience – one I will never forget.

I’ve seen many huge international artists since then, but none will be able to replicate that feeling of the first time being in the presence of true music greatness.

Is there a musical legend that you would have loved to see live in concert? Please share one of their songs that is your favourite.

My biggest regret was not seeing Queen and Freddie live – especially since I was SUPPOSED to!! They were out at Sun City in the 80’s and I had tickets to see them for my 16h birthday present. I was so excited I could barely contain myself. But then in the earlier part of the tour, Freddie unfortunately lost his voice and cancelled a few shows, my one being one of them. I was devastated! When I began living in London in 1991, one of the thoughts in my mind was to ensure I got to see them perform. Of course, we didn’t realise at this time how sick Freddie was, and that he would die shortly after. It’s still my biggest regret.

Another one is not seeing George Michael perform. He’s a close 2nd to my favourite artist of all time. Such a skilled songwriter and performer – a friend of mine saw him in London perform about 10 years ago or so and said he was mind-blowing – I wish I could have experienced that.

Gone Too Soon is being staged in loving memory of two South African legends Matthew Stewardson and Gugu Zulu, who were also both close friends of yours. Please could you share with us one song (and the artist) that reminds you of both Matthew and Gugu or a song for each of them.

Both of them were such music lovers, I loved talking music with them, they also had vastly different tastes.

For me, the songs that remind me most of Matthew is the Ratpack numbers – he was known in our circles as “the Frank Sinatra of South Africa” and his voice certainly blended itself well to that, even though he performed a diverse range of music, he could do anything.
For me, even though it’s now nearly 8 years since Matthew’s death, I still battle to listen to anyone else perform “Mr Bojangles”, “My Way” and “That’s Life”. For me, those were “Matty’s songs” and I literally need to walk out a room, overcome with emotion, when anyone else sings them. Interestingly enough, the only other artist who I CAN listen to sing these songs is Timothy Moloi – who of course, is one of the frontline vocalists I just HAD to have in Gone Too Soon.
Gugu and I always spoke pop music – two of my fondest memories (of so many) regarding music was him attending two of my shows I was promoting “Michael Jackson: HIStory” as well as “Whitney Houston : The Greatest Love of All” – both staged at Joburg Theatre.
The memory that sticks with me most is during the Whitney Houston show in January 2015. Gugu and Letshego walked in with the hugest grin on their faces, they couldn’t keep the good news from me that Letshego was pregnant and they’d only just told their families, they hadn’t announced it to the general public yet so I felt so honoured they’d shared the news with me.
The song that stands out for me is when “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” began – Gugu jumped to his feet and started dancing totally spontaneously, and the audience followed suit. What a moment of pure unadulterated joy I witnessed in that moment, seeing my friend so happy that he was about to become a father. It’s a song that has since become to mean so much to me, and of course it’s ended up in GONE TOO SOON… In fact, the Whitney segment is a powerful segment in the show… I don’t want to say more than that… you’ll just need to come to the show to see it for yourself.
As the Director and producer of Gone Too Soon, what makes this production different to other productions that you have directed and produced?

Gone Too Soon has become more of a labour of love than I had first envisaged. Of course, it goes without saying because it’s inspired by the deaths of two SA legends who were dear friends of mine who had such an impact on life – in fact, their wouldn’t be a CoLab Network without both their encouragement and support.

But I realised it’s also more than that. I’ve realised along this journey of putting the show together that it’s also these incredible legends that really moved us and affected us. Their music and lives had SUCH an impact on me and all of us, we listen to them when we’re sad, happy, need to be motivated, inspired etc. What an incredible power they all had, to have such an influence on all of us, through their music.

I also believe their music is truly timeless and for that, I’m thrilled to be paying tribute to them as such leaders of their respective generations, and to invite the general public to celebrate in their lives along with me.

Which song are you looking forward to being performed on stage during Gone Too Soon?

I know it’s cliche, but all of them, really. Each song and artist was hand picked for a specific reason, to provide a truly unforgettable experience for the audience, and for us that are putting the show together, and even the performers are totally invested in the show.

But if I have to choose, of course it’ll be the Freddie Mercury segment, but I also can’t wait to hear Timothy perform Careless Whispers – the George Michael classic hit.
With the collaboration of the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra who will be performing in the show, how important is it for our youth to know the musical legends we grew up with and their music?

What I’m loving about this show experience is seeing these youngsters absolutely revelling in performing these hits, and none of them witnessed the songs first hand, they were all too young. To see these youngsters be just as moved and inspired by these artists and their music is such a thrill for me, and that in itself, for me, proves the point that the music these artists performed really ARE timeless and will live on through future generations continuing to perform these great hits.

Why have you decided to include some of Born To Perform’s young stars in to the show?

 I’ve been blessed to be part of the entertainment industry for the last 26 years so it’s really important for me to “give back” as much as I can. I am passionate about young talent and being part of nurturing it where I can and so when Gemma and Matthew Marinus came to me five years ago with their concept of Born To Perform and wanted to know whether I thought it was viable, I immediately jumped at the chance to be involved.

It’s been an honour and a privilege watching these incredibly talented youngsters grow and develop into our stars of tomorrow, so I made a commitment to Gemma and Matt that I will give professional opportunities wherever I could – for example, Marianthe Panas was one of the leading vocalists in Supreme Divas a few years back at Joburg Theatre while only being 14 years old!
A little while ago, when I was watching the Born To Perform 2018’s SHINE! rehearsal, I was once again blown away by this incredible talent and knew instinctively that I wanted them to be part of Gone Too Soon. We hadn’t cast the Backing Vocalists yet so I spoke with Timothy Moloi who then auditioned them and chose the best 7 bright young stars to be part of the show.
It’s humbling to see how keen and hungry they are to be part of the show and have really embraced the opportunity, and have had some amazing vocal workshops with Timothy already. I can’t wait to see how the audience responds to them!
What would you like the audience to take away from the show?

I want the audience to experience exactly the same journey down memory lane as we have while putting the show together. I want them to laugh, cry, sing along, tap their hands and feet to the beat, get up and dance, but mostly, celebrate along with us. These incredible artists who might not be with us physically anymore, but are JUST as relevant in the world now as they were then, through their incredible music.

Gone Too Soon
Gone Too Soon will be taking place on the Lyric Theatre Stage at Gold Reef City for two performances only:
– Saturday 20th October 2018 at 20:00
– Sunday 21st October 2018 at 14:00
Ticket prices range between R150-R280 and can be booked through the Gold Reef City Website or through Computicket
I would like to extend a huge thank you to Collett Dawson for this Interview opportunity. 
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