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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Nechama Brodie: Inside a World of Art Toys; and Interview with FHM Magazine’s Editor Hagen Engler

MunnyInside Joburg author Nechama Brodie peeks into the arty world of vinyl dolls, in particular the seven-inch Munny, produced by American company Kidrobot. The dolls come fully customizable, and 20 of the Munny figurines customised by local artists will go on display in an exhibition titled “Show Me the Munny” at Toitoy in Cape Town:

Forget the metric system — vinyl always sounds cooler when it’s measured in inches. Take the seven-inch Munny, a best-selling soft vinyl doll produced by American company Kidrobot, the world’s “premier creator of limited edition art toys and apparel”.

The Munny, and Kidrobot’s other big seller, the Dunny, has been included in the permanent design collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art. And when it comes to the Munny, the only acceptable conversion is the DIY kind.

Inside JoburgBrodie’s column “My Cultural Life” featured FHM Magazine editor Hagen Engler. The writer/poet/editor writes about his wife’s weakness for Keeping up with the Kardashians and playing songs with Toast Coetzer:

I’m busy working on my third novel, typing away on my laptop. My books really take form only once the writing’s done and I start editing.

Now, it’s just a stream of consciousness about the little world I’ve created. It’s hard to escape outside reality though. I don’t have a decent desk, so I sit at a coffee table in my lounge. I’ll be watching TV, reading a newspaper, on Twitter…

My wife loves reality television and celebrity shows. I love sport. Often, I have to swap my wife a Stormers-Sharks game for a Keeping up with the Kardashians. It’s popular culture.

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Photo courtesy MailandGuardian

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Nechama Brodie Weighs up the Pros and Cons of Different Diaper Deals

Inside JoburgNechama Brodie, author of Inside Joburg, talks about the “Bum Deal” of choosing between disposable versus cloth nappies, and is not particularly proud of contributing 10 000 of them to South Africa’s landfills:

When my first child was born I had every intention of being the World’s Greenest Mom. I scoured the Yellow Pages and found a nappy service – one of the few remaining ones in Joburg – who delivered a hamper of perfectly folded cloth nappies together with a big black bin (for the soiled ones), which they promised to empty every few days when they brought fresh supplies. The real nappy plan lasted about 3 days after which, frustrated by my own ineptness as a new mom, my baby’s inability to remain perfectly still during changes, and the surprising leakiness of newborn poo, I simply gave up and went back to disposables.

The average baby goes through around 5000 nappies before he or she is potty trained. That means, in the course of raising my 2 boys (who are now nearly 4 and 7), I’ve contributed around 10 000 nappies to South Africa’s landfills. I’m not particularly proud of this – disposable diapers are made of things like plastic and super-absorbent polymers that don’t biodegrade. But in those heady, scary early days of being a new parent I had bigger things to worry about than my carbon footprint. Like sleep. Or when I’d next get the chance to use the bathroom.

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Nechama Brodie: Diamonds, Suspended in Epoxy Resin, Are Forever

Inside JoburgNechama Brodie, author or Inside Joburg, visits Cape Town jewellery company Situ, created by architect and diamantaire Gregory Katz and jewellery designers Philippa Green and Ida Elsje. Situ recently decided to investigate new ways of encasing and displaying diamonds, with “organically inspired metalwork”, freeing diamond jewellery from the traditional confines of geometric fittings. Brodie is dazzled by the result:

Marilyn Monroe had it right in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes when she saw a tiara and chirped: “I just love finding new places to wear diamonds!”

Seven years ago jewellery designers Philippa Green and Ida Elsje collaborated with architect and diamantaire (isn’t that a lovely word?) Gregory Katz to create Situ — an innovative range of diamonds suspended in epoxy resin. They won’t reveal exactly how they do it but the concept is literally brilliant, liberating precious facets from the fixed grasp of traditional metal claws or prongs.

Until recently Situ has emphasised its high-tech origins, producing pieces that are modern, largely geometric or symmetrical — solitaires hovering in perfect circles or squares of plastic. But this month, Elsje introduced something different — her signature organically inspired metalwork with an “imperfectly” placed perfect gem. The end product is called the Rococo, a ring of startling beauty — gold filigree encased in clear resin, with a diamond winking off-centre. It is bold, outsized and very light.

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Nechama Brodie on the creative designs of Dokter and Misses

Inside JoburgNechama Brodie, author of Inside Joburg, spoke to Adriaan Hugo of the design studio Dokter and Misses which produces creative furniture, lighting and other objects. This Johannesburg based studio uses ordinary household objects and turns them into something extraordinary.

Hugo told Brodie: “We don’t want to be making generic things. That’s boring. It’s not what we set out to do. We’d like our pieces to be handed over to the kids. The stuff you keep because it’s ­amazing.”

Award-winning designer Adriaan Hugo, half of the dynamic design crime-fighting duo, Dokter and Misses, has a knack for taking household commodities and transforming them into something simpler, better and much, much cooler. A powder-coated steel container that turns your plastic bag into a cool rubbish bin? Sure. (It’s called Chekas Bin.)

“Our aesthetic is driven by function quite a lot. I work with very strict parameters and try to push as far as I possibly can. [I] try to add something without making it look like I’ve added bells and whistles. I want to make the functional as beautiful as possible. It usually starts from a need — how Katy [his wife, Katy Taplin, the other half of Dokter and Misses] and I live; what our space needs.

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Nechama Brodie Gets (and Gives) a Good Punch or Two – and Enjoys Late-Nite Laughs on TV

Inside JoburgNechama Brodie, Inside Joburg author, takes a look at local “white collar boxing” – in which she is an only-slightly-banged-up participant – and a local comedy tv show that has taken off with audiences and critics alike.

“White collar boxing” is the term given to men and women in professional backgrounds who participate in public boxing matches, with little of no experience in boxing. Brodie got pummeled by female boxer Shayvonne Pattison who left her with a tender jaw and a neck which felt “like it had been in a car accident”:

“Get used to it. It’s a man’s sport,” Shayvonne Pattison said to me, when I asked her to stop hitting me quite so hard in the head.

Pattison — more than a decade younger than me and several kilos lighter — was training for an upcoming professional bout (on Tuesday night, she fought Rita Mwrebi at Emperor’s Palace, losing on a split decision).

I was getting some much-needed sparring experience before I fought in two “white collar” boxing matches, one in Jo’burg the other in Cape Town.

Brodie has also been watching eTV’s weekly satirical news show, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola, which features Kagiso Lediga, Riaad Moosa, David Kibuuka and a host of other comedians:

How many comedians does it take to create a light bulb moment? Four. Or maybe it’s six. It all depends on who’s making a guest appearance on Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola.

The weekly satirical news show, which launched on eTV at the end of September and normally airs on Wednesday nights at 9:30, is a surprising hit with audiences and critics.

It drew more than 1,1-million viewers by early December, according to the station.

Besides Gola, the show’s anchor, Late Nite News features Kagiso Lediga, Riaad Moosa, David Kibuuka and “as many other comedians as possible. It’s a team effort,” says Lediga, who, with Gola and producer Tamsin Andersson, launched the show.

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Tweet! Win a Copy of Nechama Brodie’s Inside Joburg

Inside JoburgStand a chance to win a copy of Nechama Brodie‘s Inside Joburg by visiting Pan Macmillan’s Facebook Page and leaving a comment on your favourite place in Joburg, or by tweeting your favourite Joburg destination with the hashtag #InsideJoburg. Go, Go Go!



Here are tweets from those who’ve entered so far…


…and here are some of our own tweets about Joburg’s hot spots taken from Brodie’s book. Call it a mini #InsideJoburg Twitter guide!

Did you Know: In the 1950s, Nelson Mandela lunched daily (Meal: Mince Curry) at Kapitan’s restaurant on Kort Street, near his law offices.less than a minute ago via Facebook

Did you know: Johannesburg covers a geographical area slightly larger than that of Greater London – some 1644 km2,… than a minute ago via Facebook

recommends the sinful Bundt cakes, mini lemon meringues & Brioches at Moemas than a minute ago via TweetDeck

The Best of Joburg: Bean There-have a cup on the premises together with a small snack or pastry… than a minute ago via TweetDeck

A day out with the Family visit the National Museum of Military History! @brodiegal than a minute ago via TweetDeck

Museum Africa (121 Bree Street) houses an astonishing collection of Africana, historical images and artefacts @brodiegalless than a minute ago via TweetDeck

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Nechama Brodie Picks Another Man’s Flowers – Sculpted Fynbos

Inside JoburgNechama Brodie, author of Inside Joburg, investigates the work of sculptor, jeweller and metalsmith Nic Bladen, who uses fire and metal to create his botanical castings:

Fynbos is fire-dependent vegetation: it needs to burn around every 15 years to stimulate new growth.

Over millennia, fynbos plants have developed remarkable adaptations — some only release their seeds after the heat of a fire has cracked the hard seedcoat; others, like Protea cynaroides, the King Protea (our national flower), have a “lignotuber”, a thick and woody underground stem that produces new growth after a burn.

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Oppikoppi 2010: Nechama Brodie Falls in Love with DJ Haezer

Nechama Brodie

Inside JoburgIt was love at first bassline beat: 26 year old DJ Haezer’s unique stylings and hypnotic rhthyms had even Nechama Brodie in a trance. Brodie learns that it’s Haezer’s fusion of his own tracks with popular remixes that gives him that special edge. As for his secret to success; it’s all about the crowd for Haezer:

Haezer’s sound falls under what he calls the “trash electro genre. It’s distinguished by the heavy, distorted basslines that have more of a guitarish sound then a clean synth.” It’s the kind of music that’s hard to sing back to the guy at the CD shop, but sounds just right when you’re in a club — or at a wild party under the stars.

I fell in love with Haezer a little before 1.41am on August 8 at Oppikoppi. I posted it on Twitter: “I think I am in love with the DJ.” And, I swear, that never happens to me. I blame it on the dust, the Red Bull and the energy of a slightly scruffy 26-year-old who doesn’t like interviews very much (our entire correspondence is conducted by email, at his request) but loves performing for a crowd.

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Beyond Joburg: Nechama Brodie Goes to Oppikoppi

Oppikoppi posterAt Oppikoppi by Nadine Hutton

Inside JoburgFirst she brought you the ultimate guide for what to do in Johannesburg. Emboldened, Nechama Brodie cast her gaze further afield – much further. From the bright lights of Jozi she went to the, erm, flickering lighters and small fires at the Oppikoppi festival near Northam in Limpopo.

It certainly was an experience and Brodie has the “dirty boots and hangover to prove it”:

“So, what have you heard about Oppikoppi?” I ask Narch, Mike and Disco of Cape Town-based rap-electronic outfit PH Fat. It’s four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon and it’s their first time at Africa’s biggest rock festival. It’s my first time too, except I’ve already been in camp for two days and have the dirty boots and hangover to prove it.

“Uh, we heard it’s really dusty and cold. The messiest, biggest festival in South Africa,” Mike, or maybe Narch, says. “We heard it gets messy in a brandy and coke kind of way,” Narch, or maybe Mike, adds. “And that everyone shouts ‘Oppikoppi’ a lot,” they finish.

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Image courtesy JHBLive and Nadine Hutton

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