Silver Spirit’s epic trek on TV

first_imgCar meets lion on a Zambian road. (Image: Silver Spirit Adventure)The adventures of South African septuagenarians Mike and Jeanette van Ginkel, who undertook an ambitious trans-Africa journey that would have daunted many a younger person, are to debut on international television in September 2009.The 10-part series, titled Silver Spirit – An Epic African Adventure, shows in the UK on Southern Direct on Sky channel 270, starting at 19h30 UK time. The first episode can be seen on Wednesday 9 September, with successive episodes following on a weekly basis.The series is also accessible via internet streaming on the Southern Africa Direct website. South African viewers will have to add an hour to the UK screening time. SA Direct has said that it is working towards getting the series onto local television stations.For those who don’t have access to Sky or a fast internet connection, the series may be purchased on DVD – enquiries may be emailed to SA Direct.Age no barrierThe elegant couple, who have been married for 53 years, decided towards the end of 2007 that age was no barrier to a life of excitement, and began to envision the ultimate road trip – a journey in their 1981 Rolls Royce Silver Spirit from Cape Town to London, via Cairo.This would be the first time a Rolls had ever made such a journey and although she only had 100 000km on the clock, a few modifications, such as a raised suspension and reinforced undercarriage, would still be necessary.Six months in the planning, the adventure took to the road at the end of March 2008. On 29 May they reached London, having negotiated 17 800km through 12 countries.Adventure clearly runs in their blood: in 1969 and 1972 the van Ginkels won the prestigious State President’s Air Race, a double win that has not been repeated. Mike ran a flying school in George for many years, while Jeanette in 1977 became the first licensed hot air balloon pilot in South Africa. Around the same time the couple started the Pioneer Balloon Club.For the epic overland trip Mike and Jeanette recruited a host of experts. For planning, support and backup they turned to veteran explorer Roger Pearce, mechanic Steve Pickering and paramedic Marc Campbell-Gibson. Filmmaker and cameraman Koos Roets, who directed the 1991 South African comedy The Angel, the Bicycle and the Chinaman’s Finger, among other productions, came on board to capture the trip on film.A trial run over the Sani Pass, the road that connects Lesotho with KwaZulu-Natal province, proved successful. Normally the Sani Pass is accessible only to 4×4 vehicles, unless with prior approval from the administrator.Having obtained the necessary permission and made the modifications, the team set off, and the Rolls took the treacherous road in her stride, proving that she was capable of tackling the cross-continental journey.Cape to UK in 60 daysThe goal was to make the trip, which ran up the eastern side of the continent, in 60 days. The expedition set off from Cape Town on 30 March 2008, taking four days to pass through Stellenbosch, the small Victorian town of Matjiesfontein in the Klein Karoo, Kimberley, and Johannesburg.The team left South Africa on 3 April, crossing into Botswana at the border post of Groblarsbrug and spending a night in Francistown before driving to Kazangula Ferry to cross into Zambia. Here they spent a couple of days, and enjoyed a stay at the Mutinondo private game lodge in the north of the country.From Zambia the team crossed into Tanzania at the Mbeya border post. From Mbeya they travelled to Morogoro, then to Arusha in northern Tanzania – without catching a glimpse of the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro, as she was clouded over – and from Arusha to Nairobi in Kenya.From Nairobi they drove to the Sarova Shaba Lodge on the periphery of Shaba National Reserve, where they spent a few days. Sarova Shaba was at one time the home of renowned conservationists George and Joy Adamson.Still in Kenya, next they travelled to Marsabit and then to Moyale, on the Ethiopian border. After just 17 days, they were already halfway across the continent. The team spent about a week in Addis Ababa, an unfortunate delay while waiting for Sudanese authorities to approve their visas but an opportunity to explore Africa’s fourth largest city.While travelling through the Ethiopian highlands on the way to Sudan, the team recorded a record high altitude of 3 109m above sea level, higher even than the Sani pass. Soon after, they crossed the Nile river, and from the ancient city of Gondar in northern Ethiopia, they headed for the Sudanese border.By that stage the Silver Spirit was taking some strain and suffering from a leaky radiator and loose engine mountings, among other glitches. But she pushed on and they made it to historic Khartoum, where they spent five days having the car repaired – and enjoying some South African fare in the form of fast food chains Steers and Debonairs.Heading for EuropeOn day 29 it was back on the road, heading for Wadi Halfa, on the Egyptian border, via Dongola. They encountered another delay getting into Egypt, as the cars were held back for an extra few days, and they were forced to spend some time in Aswan.Finally the cars were released and they hit the roads of Egypt, driving along the Nile to the ancient city of Luxor and from there to Port Ghalib on the shore of the Red Sea, Hurghada, and finally Cairo – 42 days after setting out.Once there they met Cairo governor Abdul Azim Wazir and presented him with a letter of goodwill given to them by then Cape Town mayor Helen Zille, now premier of the Western Cape.After a few days’ rest in Cairo it was off to Alexandria, where the cars were loaded into containers for the ferry crossing to Naples. The team travelled back to Cairo and flew to Rome, where they were able to spend a few days sightseeing in Naples, Pisa, Florence, Capri and Pompeii before the arrival of the cars.The cars were finally good to go on day 55 and the drive straight across Europe began. From Naples the team drove up to Maranello, then Cannes, over the world’s highest bridge at Millau, through Arras and Calais, and finally arrived on schedule in Goodwood in south-east England, the modern home of Rolls Royce. After 60 thrilling days the historic trip was over, and it was time to relax.The team arrived back in South Africa on 26 June, day 89, after travelling around the UK and Wales and attending an annual rally with over 1 000 other Rolls Royces.last_img read more

Remembering Lundi, South African gospel star, 1979-2017

first_imgGospel singer Lundi Tyamara has died at the age of 38. Fans, friends and family have paid tribute to one of South Africa’s most popular singers.Lundi Tyamara was one of the biggest selling gospel artists in South Africa, selling over 3 million albums. Tyamara died, aged 38, on 27 January 2017. (Image: Gallo Music)CD AndersonLundi Tyamara’s former producer, Tshepo Nzimande, described the singer in an interview with eNCA news channel as a “go-getter”. Tyamara died at Edenvale Hospital in the early hours of 27 January 2017, following a battle with TB.“Lundi put up a gallant fight against his illness, but God’s will prevailed. We ask that his fans, supporters and followers join us in celebrating his life,” said Anele Hlazo, a family friend.Tyamara had a long music career, starting out as a back-up singer for fellow gospel singer Rebecca Malope when he was still a teenager.He released his debut album Mphefumlo Wami in 1998. It was an instant success, selling almost 400,000 copies. Over the course of his career Tyamara released more than 20 albums and won numerous South African Music and Kora All Africa Music awards.Nzimande said that Tyamara had a God-given talent, with a powerful stage presence that found audiences with both young and old. Despite some controversy during his career, including drug and money problems, returning to music and his faith always gave him his greatest pleasure.Tyamara was aware of the second chance he had at rebuilding his music career over the last few years. In an interview with Entertainment Online website in 2016, he said: “I’m lucky. It’s not easy after all the bad things I have done like the drugs and the alcohol. But my fans still love me. That shows that God has sent me to do this.”Commenting briefly to eNCA on his passing, Malope said she was in shock but would always have fond and special memories of Tyamara.Among the many messages, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa extended his condolences to Tyamara’s family and fans.Tyamara is survived by two sisters and a brother; his mother died in 2006, followed by his stepfather shortly thereafter.Despite his many hardships, Tyamara’s story was one of great triumph and success. Following his death, he will always be remembered by his fans as a prince of South African gospel.Watch some of Lundi’s greatest hits below.Source: eNCA News and Entertainment Online.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Innovation prized at this year’s Premier Business Awards

first_imgThe 5th annual South African Premier Business awards will take place on 7 December at the Sandton Convention Centre.Brand South Africa reporterThe South African Premier Business Awards, hosted by the dti, in partnership with Proudly South African and Brand South Africa, celebrates innovation and excellence. The awards recognise and reward entrepreneurs and businesses who have played their part in transforming and growing the South African economy.Lifetime Achievement winner, Dr Anna Mokgokong, with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and trade minister, Rob Davies. (Image: SA Premier Business Awards)Listen to Ms Mpumi Mabuza the general manager of stakeholder relations at Brand South Africa speaking to 702’s Early Breakfast host, Relebogile Mabotja, about the 2017 South African Premier Business Awards.Businesses are encouraged to enter before the closing date for entries on 13 October. Since its inception in 2013, the prestige of the awards has grown with 133 entries across the 10 categories.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more