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The highly-anticipated SAIFTA Awards unfolded at the Durban ICC Arena on Friday night (September 6), to an appreciative audience of top South African and Indian filmmakers, actors and adoring fans.

The backers, The Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and Durban Tourism, shared the platform at the stylish awards, which are the brainchild of SAIFTA creative director, Kedhar Gawde.

In his speech, Tourism KwaZulu-Natal chairperson, Sadha Naidoo, said “A vision has just been born.”

Fans screamed wildly at the Durban ICC red carpet arrival, which saw some of Bollywood’s hottest stars and local actors like Jack Devnarain, Robert Whitehead, Latoya Mangezi, Donnalee Roberts and Mutodi Neshehe, make their grand entrance.  South African personalities, Simba and Tatum Keshwar were red-carpet hosts.

The most popular arrivals were those of Bollywood heartthrob John Abraham, Siddharth Malhotra, dancing queen Madhuri Dixit, co-host Dia Mirza and the gorgeous former Miss World and highest-paid Bollywood actress, Priyanka Chopra.  Tamil actress, Isha Talwar wore a stunning Alpa and Reena creation which featured a striking combination of Indian and African influences.

The amazing entertainment line-up wowed the audience with more blitz, bling and glamour than the ICC has ever seen.  It included a hilarious aerial entrance by popular Ranveer Singh from the expansive Arena ceiling, colourful pyro-technics and special effects. The event kicked off with performances from Tamil dance groups and a stunning fashion show by local designer Haroun Hansrot and Alpa and Reena of Mumbai.

The electric dance sequences gave local performers the opportunity and honour of performing on the same stage as stars like Madhuri Dixit, Priyanka Chopra, Siddharth Malhotra and Ranveer Singh.

A highlight was the special lifetime achievement Madiba award bestowed on Nelson Mandela and accepted by his grand-daughter, Ndileka Mandela, from veteran actress, Waheeda Rehman.

Ndileka said; “I thank you for honouring my grandfather who is still at home and is still ill.  We cherish every moment with him and thank everyone for their prayers.”

In a true mix of cultures, it was Afrikaans film “Die Wonderwerker” and TV Series “7de Laan”, that emerged as winners of the Best Film and Best TV Show for the Awards competition period which ran from 1st June 2012 – 31 May 2013.

Craig Strydom, who accepted a special award for “Searching For Sugar Man” which won “The Documentary that Brought the Most Recognition to South Africa,” commented; “I found the evening highly entertaining and am most impressed with this unique initiative. In fact I would love to work with some of these stars, especially the extraordinarily-talented ” Ranveer Singh, who has such stage presence.

The charismatic Muthodi Nesheshe won the “Best Film Actor” award for his part in “Little One”  and “Best TV Actor” title went to Robert Whitehead for his role as Barker Heyns in Isidingo.

“Best Actress Award” went to Lindiwe Ndlovu (for her role in Little One) and “Best TV Actress” was Baby Cele for her role in Zabalaza.  Best debut honours went to Sidharth Malhotra (for Student of the Year) and Huma Qureshi (for Gangs of Wassepur.

John Abraham won the coveted “Youth Icon of the Year” award.

Kedhar Gawde, SAIFTA creative director, said;  “I am more than happy with the first SAIFTA show.  It was great to see the interaction of the two countries and to watch the expressions of the mixed audience as they saw local artists like Jailoshini Naidoo performing as Auntie Rhambha and Aaron McIlroy interacting with Indian stars.

The direct and indirect economic impact of the inaugural SAIFTA event on KwaZulu-Natal is expected to exceed R80 million, however an economic impact analysis study is yet to be finalised.

The media coverage which includes television programmes beamed around the world, is valued at R700 million.

Mr Desmond Golding, Head of Department, KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism, commented; “This evening marks a major step in positioning KwaZulu-Natal as a film capital.  We launched the KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission to facilitate film production In the province and tonight proves the value of  SAIFTA as a means of attracting top directors and producers to shoot their films in our province.  For example, Mukesh Bhatt, who has never filmed an entire film in Durban before, indicated his intention to do so, now that he will have the support of the KZN Film Commission.”

Mr Sadha Naidoo commented; “Tourism research indicates that the Indian tourism market is one of the most attractive and fastest growing, both in volume and value of its outbound travel flows. Globally, India is one of the fastest growing markets for outbound travel.”


Durban’s hosting SAIFTA for the next three years presents an exciting opportunity for Tourism KwaZulu-Natal to strategically leverage awareness of the province and its tourism offerings internationally, particularly within the Indian market, which continues to show tremendous growth potential. In 2010, the total number of outbound trips from India exceeded 12.5 million and in 2011 this grew by 11%


Outbound trips from India are expected to exceed 22 million per year by 2015. In 2012, KZN received a mere 2.4% of the over-100,000 Indian tourist arrivals into South Africa, which was valued to be in the order of 2.3 billion Rand. Tourism KwaZulu-Natal therefore has much to do in ensuring that KwaZulu-Natal becomes a key stop on the Indian traveller’s South African itinerary.  And the best way to promote the province to these tourists is by Durban and KwaZulu-Natal being the location for Bollywood films.


Photo credits:

Robert Whitehead pic: Terry Haywood

Pic of Ndileka Mandela receiving Madiba Award:  Rogan Ward

Priyanka Chopra dancing :  Rogan Ward

Priyanka Chopra, with local dancers: Rajesh Jantilall

Priyanka Chopra on podium: Rajesh Jantilall


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Durban Mother’s Day Concert: Top 5 reasons why the Old Mutual Music at the Lake concert is the ultimate Mother’s Day outing this Sunday.



Top 5 reasons why the Old Mutual Music at the Lake concert is the ultimate Mother’s Day outing this Sunday.


Tickets on sale from Webtickets.


Old Mutual Music at the Lake: Mother’s Day featuring Mango Groove and Aaron McIlroy

As Mother’s Day approaches, families in Durban have the perfect opportunity to celebrate in style at the highly anticipated Old Mutual Music at the Lake concert. Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Durban Botanic Gardens, this special concert on Sunday, May 12 promises an unforgettable experience for all.


Here are the top five reasons why you should spend Mother’s Day at Music at the Lake:


Legendary Live Performance:

Prepare to be mesmerized by the legendary Mango Groove as they take the stage with their unique blend of pop, rock, and traditional South African music. Their infectious energy and timeless hits will create a magical atmosphere that’s perfect for celebrating Mother’s Day.


Comedic Entertainment:

Alongside Mango Groove, comedian Aaron McIlroy will keep the laughter flowing with his comedic talents. From hilarious anecdotes to clever observations, Aaron’s performance guarantees a side-splitting experience for all ages.


Spectacular Venue:

Nestled around the picturesque Lake area of the Durban Botanic Gardens, this event offers more than just music. Attendees can immerse themselves in the beauty of one of Africa’s oldest botanic gardens, surrounded by lush greenery and serene waters.


Community Spirit:

Sponsored by Old Mutual, the Music at the Lake series is a testament to the power of community and cultural heritage. Through their support, Old Mutual aims to create lasting memories and bring people together through the universal language of music.


Picnic-Style Experience:

Bring your own food and drinks and relax on the shaded lawns of the gardens as you enjoy a delightful picnic-style afternoon. With Cooler boxes charged at only R50 at the gate, attendees can indulge in a feast for the senses while soaking in the vibrant sounds of the live performance.


“We’re thrilled to be part of such a special event, celebrating love, connection, and kindness on Mother’s Day,” said Claire Johnston from Mango Groove. “Join us at the Durban Botanic Gardens for an unforgettable afternoon of music, laughter, and cherished moments.”


Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day with your loved ones in a setting that blends nature, music, and laughter. Secure your tickets now from Webtickets and make memories that will last a lifetime.




Old Mutual Music at the Lake: Mother’s Day featuring Mango Groove and Aaron McIlroy

Date: Sunday 12 May

Venue: Durban Botanic Gardens

Times: Gates open 13h00 – Music starts 14h00 – Show ends 17h00.

PLEASE NOTE: Cooler boxes charged R50 at the gate. Bring your own picnic, drinks, chairs and blankets.

Ticket link:


Follow Music at The Lake online:

Official Website:



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Durban Mother’s Day Concert: The Old Mutual Music at the Lake



The Old Mutual Music at the Lake series returns for a special Mother’s Day concert on 12 May at the Durban Botanic Gardens.


Old Mutual Music at the Lake: Mother’s Day featuring Mango Groove and Aaron McIlroy

Date: Sunday 12 May
Venue: Durban Botanic Gardens
Times: Gates open 13h00 – Music starts 14h00 – Show ends 17h00.

~ Cooler boxes charged R50 at the gate.
~ Bring your own picnic, drinks, chairs and blankets.


Ticket Prices

Phase 1:

Adults (Over 12) R195
Kids (U12) R100
Kids (U4) R10

Phase 2:

Adults (Over 12) R225
Kids (U12) R110
Kids (U4) R10

Phase 3:

Adults (Over 12) R250
Kids (U12) R120
Kids (U4) R10


Ticket Link:


The highly anticipated Old Mutual Music at the Lake series is back with a special concert in celebration of Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 12. The event will take place at the stunning Durban Botanic Gardens, nestled around the picturesque Lake area.

Music enthusiasts and families alike can look forward to an unforgettable live performance by the legendary Mango Groove, known for their unique sound that blends pop, rock, and traditional South African music. In addition, comedian Aaron McIlroy will entertain the audience with his comedic talents, making this concert an unmissable experience for all ages.

Claire Johnston from Mango Groove is excited to return to Durban Botanic Gardens for the concert, saying “We’re so thrilled to be coming back to this glorious venue for the first time in several years. Mothers’ Day is the perfect opportunity as we get to celebrate love, connection and kindness”.

The Old Mutual Music at the Lake series is the longest-running live music series in KwaZulu-Natal, offering a relaxing and entertaining Sunday afternoon in a beautiful outdoor setting. The event is staged at the Durban Botanic Gardens Lake area, the oldest botanic gardens in Africa, providing a serene backdrop with its lush gardens and abundant wildlife.

“Old Mutual’s sponsorship of the Music at the Lake series underscores our deep-rooted commitment to nurturing community spirit and celebrating cultural heritage. We believe in the power of music to bring people together and create lasting memories, especially on occasions as special as Mother’s Day. Our support for this series shows our dedication to the arts and the communities we serve. We are proud to create platforms where talent, laughter, and family joy can flourish in the heart of Durban’s historic Botanic Gardens,” said Thobile Tshabalala, Head of Brand at Old Mutual.

Attendees are invited to bring their own food and drinks (cooler boxes charged R50 at the gate), blankets, and camping chairs to enjoy a delightful picnic-style afternoon on the shaded lawns of the gardens. Concert-goers can soak in the vibrant sounds of the live performance while observing an array of birdlife, including pelicans and spoonbills flying overhead.

Celebrate Mother’s Day with your loved ones at the Durban Botanic Gardens and experience an afternoon of exceptional music and comedy. Don’t miss out on this unique event that blends nature, music, and laughter! Get your tickets now from Webtickets.


Follow Music at The Lake online:

Official Website:



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Durbanite Spotlight: The Kickstands



In our latest Durbanite encounter, we step into the world of The Kickstands, a band that’s as vibrant and energetic as the city we all love. Welcome to another feature on Durbanart, where today we’re hanging out with Gary Nixon from The Kickstands. As they get ready for Splashy Fen and continue to make music that resonates with so many, we’re excited to chat with Gary about a few things: their tunes, what they love about Durban, and some fun, little-known facts.

Let’s jump into our chat with Gary and discover some new angles on both the band and our beloved Durban.


1. What draws you to Durban?

An active, outdoors lifestyle and the strong sense of community people share here.

2. Where is your favourite place to have breakfast in Durban, and why?

Mayfair, Durban North! Delicious, consistent and holds loads of memories

3. What Durban experience do all visitors need to try?

Promenade run/walk in the morning, swim around the peer and a Springbok game at Kings Park.


4. Nothing beats water, but where is a good Café or Bar in Durban?

Surf Riders


5. If you had to recommend a Durban spot to stay for the weekend, to an out-of-towner, where would you suggest?

If you’ve got the bucks, Oyster Box is mint! Otherwise come crash on my couch!


6. When did you know that music was your thing?

When people started paying me to do what I loved doing anyway


7. What’s your go-to shower song?

NOFX – Linoleum

8. You’re playing at Splashy Fen again this year. How many Splashy Fen’s have you been to? How many of those have you performed at?

I’ve been to 12 Splashy Fens, this will be my 11th time performing.


9. What’s your favourite thing about Splashy Fen?

The people, it’s what makes it what it is. Revelry.


10. Your Top Three Things to take to Splashy Fen?

My guitar, the vibes, and every year I try to convince a friend that’s never been to Splashy to come with me!

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