Schlagwort-Archive: career

Ubuntu in Germany Column

The Pistorius case has done a great deal of damage to the South African nation. A German press view

(Editor: Alex Smit-Stachowski is speaking in her column about life as a South African now living in Germany. The South African journalist lives in Krefeld, in North Rhine-Westphalia/ Germany).

Germans have given the Oscar Pistorius case top billing in newspapers, on websites and on TV – they, like South Africans take their sport idols very seriously and there’s a feeling of shocked dismay from the press here.

© Germans have given the Oscar Pistorius case top billing in media. The Pistorius case has done a great deal of damage to the South African nation. The tourism country has to restore respect, said Ubuntu columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski. (Quelle: flickr/ Global Sports Forum)

© Germans have given the Oscar Pistorius case top billing in media. The Pistorius case has done a great deal of damage to the South African nation. The tourism country has to restore respect, said Ubuntu columnist Alex Smit-Stachowski. (Quelle: flickr/ Global Sports Forum)

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Miss Lira in interview

„Aaaah Germany! I could live in Germany“

(Autorin/ Editor: Nadja Krupke)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Die Top-Musikerin Lira gab ihre Karriere als Wirtschaftsprüferin auf, um die südafrikanische Gesellschaft mit ihren eigenen künstlerischen Interpretationen zu bereichern und Gefühle greifbar zu gestalten. Lira sieht die Musik als Zufluchtsort, den der Mensch braucht, um Erfahrungen und Realitäten zu verarbeiten. Inspiriert wird sie zum Beispiel von Ikonen wie Nelson Mandela und Oprah Winfrey, die ein enormes soziales Engagement bewiesen haben. Ihr neues Album soll Hoffnung, Geborgenheit und Glück versprühen, sagt sie. Negative Eigenschaften, die den Alltag prägen, will sie mit ihrer Musik bekämpfen und den Seelen der Menschen eine Pause gönnen. Lira wurde in Deutschland schon mehrfach vom Publikum herzlich empfangen – ob in Stuttgart, Berlin, Würzburg, Frankfurt oder Konstanz. Die Sängerin schätzt Deutschland sehr und könnte hier sogar leben, sagt sie. Ihr großes Ziel für die Zukunft ist es aber in den USA ihren Durchbruch als Musikstar zu schaffen und anderen südafrikanischen Künstlern Hoffnung auf internationalen Erfolg zu ermöglichen.

© Miss Lira, one of the most famous singer from South Africa. She is counting to the handful of really successful musicians. A superstar, who ist using her voice to create a positive change in South African society and to be an example of possibility for all citizens.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome the singer Miss Lira on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“, the German gateway to South Africa . You started your career towards the business world. Why did you choose to study Internal Auditing and Financial Accounting?

Answer: It came about because Accounting was my favourite subject at school. I was not allowed to study music as my parents felt that it would be wiser to have something more “solid” to fall back on. A career in finance seemed logical because I enjoyed accounting and Business studies as subjects.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff:  When first did you realize that you were born to sing and not sit behind a desk and what was the essential reason for you to give up everything you knew and to go in a completely different direction?

Answer: Growing up I saw the power of music at work among my family members and within my South African community. The elders would play music night and day and I observed what it could do to a people, but did not understand how. There were songs of struggle that seemed to give words to what people were feeling but could not articulate. It seemed to comfort those who could not express their pain. It seemed to give people an escape from their undesired reality. I was intrigued by this and wanted to be able to do the same – – make people feel that they could express their emotions when my music played.

When I was an undergraduate student, studying accounting I used my skills to exchange for recording time at a local studio. I had my first demo at the age of 18. When I graduated, I continued in accounting for a couple years. But soon turned in my letter of resignation and created a five-year plan for my music career. My mother made it kind of easy for me because she said “well since you have something to fall back on I’d rather have you happy”. So in those initial days, my mother was the motivation I needed. It helps when a parent is open to the idea of you pursuing your dreams.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Since you have devoted your life to music, you have been extremely successful, where do you get your inspiration?

Answer: I’m inspired by so much – Nelson Mandela and Oprah are at the top of my list. I am inspired by the fact that these two individuals have done so much with their lives and impacted so many. I recently was moved by Steve Jobs achievements in a similar way. I’m also inspired by observing people going about their lives and by my own life experiences.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What are your messages you wish to utter through your music?

Answer: The music upbeat, it’s a real feel good album. I want listeners to feel great when listening to it. I know life is tough and the global economy places people is an uneasy space… my music brings messages of hope, comfort, celebration. It’s meant to make you feel good through all of life’s trials and tribulations. I think there’s enough negativity out there in the world and I have no desire to add to it. People seek solace in music and I want mine to be an uplifting experience. We’ve all gone through hardships and we have had to overcome a lot. My music stand’s out because it focuses on the possibilities of life.

Lira in concert during World Cup 2010: Pata Pata composed by Miriam Makeba

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Do your songs capture a certain reality that is found in South Africa ?

Answer: I’ve noticed that some of my perceptions are influenced by my South Africa upbringing, which is the experience of apartheid, the transition into a democratic government and then having to figure out what to do with our new found freedom. I was determined if nothing else to use my voice and gift to create a positive change and to be an example of possibility for South Africans. There are only a handful of really successful musicians in South Africa and there’s only so much we can do in our small territory but I’ve been fortunate to break many barriers.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: How much would it mean to you, to seize the international music industrie and what do you think this would mean for South Africa?

Answer: It means that anything is truly possible for anyone who focuses on achieving a goal. South Africans know my journey and they have seen me turn my failures into a success. I have positively influenced many people by merely following my dreams – Having a successful international career I believe would boost the confidence of many South Africans. In as far as what is possible for us out there.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Have you been already in Germany and which impressions do you have from Germans?

Answer: Aaaah Germany! I could live in Germany. I have had amazing experiences over there. The people are so appreciative of African Music, they are so warm. I have been to Stuttgart, Berlin, Würzburg, Frankfurt and Konstanz. I have an appreciation for Germany!

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2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What are your ambitions, hopes and dreams for the future?

Answer: I have a very specific vision for myself because – I’m at a stage where I want to explore new markets, to see how far I can go with my career. I have the rare opportunity to enter the world’s largest music market (U.S.) and see if I can transform my appeal to a global offering. It’s a dream I’ve always had. My focus is reaching and growing my American fan base.

I would also love to do an African Tour… I have my heart set on it in 2013.

You can get up to date information on what I’m doing at my website www.misslira.com.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Miss Lira, South Africas top musician, thank you very much for this interview!

Pieter-Dirk Uys – Comedian in interview

„Freedom of speech means we have the right to opinions“

(Editor/ Autor: Serge Aka)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Als Frauen verkleidete Comedians, wie Hape Kerkeling in Deutschland, sind in fast allen westlich-orientierten Staaten vorzufinden; auch in Südafrika. Pieter-Dirk Uys ist am Kap dafür bekannt, dass er sich in die Rolle von impulsiven Damen begibt und mit Zynismus, Ironie und Provokation auf sein Gegenüber einwirkt. Insbesondere um seine Rolle als Evita Bezuidenhout/ Tannie Evita lieben ihn die Südafrikaner.  So stellte er einmal die These auf, dass Frauen zurück in die Küche müssten (siehe das unten abgebildete Video). Der in Kapstadt geborene Comedian kritisierte auf einer literarisch-künstlerischen Ebene das Apartheidregime und machte sich somit zum Gegner der weißen Minderheitsregierung.  Mit Mut und Ehrgeiz engagierte er sich als Evita immer wieder gegen die Apartheid, sodass er eines Tages sogar den  persönlichen Lob von Nelson Mandela erhielt. Mit Berlin verbindet Pieter-Dirk Uys viel Zuneigung, da ein Teil seiner Familie aus der Bundeshauptstadt stammt. Das Erlernen der deutschen Sprache, so verriet uns der Comedian während seines Berlin-Aufenthaltes exklusiv, wird angestrebt, um dessen Shows eines Tages auch in Deutsch anbieten zu können. Wir freuen uns, dass auch diese Person des öffentlichen Lebens den Fragen des Portals „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ zur Verfügung stand.

© Pieter-Dirk Uys - South African comedian with German ties

© Pieter-Dirk Uys – South African comedian with German ties

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome on „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ the South African comedian Pieter-Dirk Uys. Mr. Uys, how did you get in comedy? Was it a dream of your childhood or the result of a challenge?

Answer: It was more a challenge to try and fight the fear of authorities and politics, apartheid. There were various ways to fight it and I just thought to fight it with humor might involve many people because a lot of politics was very stupid and needed to be pointed out.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You are known as a satirist, who has the gift of gab. You love to play female Characters. Your performance is inspired by desperate first ladies. How do you choose them and what message do you want to communicate?

Answer: Well there are so many interesting women in politics, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel,…I mean there is a sort of really they offer themselves as theatrical characters. I think in this case it is very interesting to look at women in politics, their strength in a world of men, how they use their body language, make-up, hair to get away I think they are very successful in politics and it is very theatrical, I think the audience finds it funny and interesting to see a man suddenly become a female character.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: With your character Evita Bezuidenhout you have criticized during Apartheid the racial segregation between white, black, colored and asiatic. How have the reactions of the government and the white public to your shows been?

Answer: You know the old days I was censored and there was a lot of police harassment to trouble which was expected. In the democracy we have freedom of speech, so within the framework of that I had a very successful career. There are some of the politicians that are uncomfortable with what I say, but that is ok I don´t mind, I don´t particularly want them to be a fan, I mean they give my material and in case they do like what I say they can resign.

Evita Bezuidenhout: „Women should be go back to the citchen“

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Don´t you fear for your life?

Answer: No no no, you know I keep on saying if you fear for anything, you can´t tell the truth. If I don´t tell the truth I am going to be fearful because a lie is serious, the truth is serious enough, you don´t have actually to lie more to make it entertain.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: In the past, you interviewed the most famous hero of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. He told to you following phrase: „You are one of my heroes“. Which feelings did you have at that time?

Answer: I mean first of all I am sitting in a character as Evita, and there is Nelson Mandela talking to Evita but saying to me you are one of my heroes, I think it was wonderful, it was such a great. The man´s humanity and its humor is extraordinary and I have been blessed with my friendship with him and it is something that changed my life.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: About this friendship, can we say that it is something you have been expecting before?

Answer: Well, for most of his life he was in jail and he was away, but he used to see my videos in prison, there used to show videos on robben island and so, I used to get messages from Winnie Mandela, from Nelson through Winnie. So I was looking forward to meeting him when he came out.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Mr. Uys, you know the public figure Desmond Tutu too. He is still condemning the Israeli occupation of Palestine as „Apartheid“. What is your opinion in this matter?

Answer: Freedom of speech means we have the right to opinions and I think he was right to talk about that aspect, he was very verbal during Apartheid about cultural boycott. I personally was not very convinced about cultural boycott during apartheid, because the culture that was not sent to South Africa was in fact the culture that would have destroyed Apartheid. I was glad that he brought it up, so that the companies of which ninety per cent were young black people had to think about that. How do they feel about going into a place where Palestinians are not allowed to go? But Desmond Tutu always leads in its criticisms and his prayers; he is a very special human being.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: What do you feel when you come to Berlin knowing that your mother is originating from this place? Do you have ties to Germany and German comedians or even a German part-identity?

Answer: I do not have ties to people here other than friends, but I feel very familiar here in Berlin. Having been here many times and doing show here makes me feel well, that is why I want to come and live here for a year and really learn the language, so that I can also perform in German language.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which dreams would you still realize in your private and professional career?

Answer: One of my dreams is to establish my German language to the extent that I can also do a performance here. You know also the year use to have 365 days whereas my year has only two days, today and tomorrow. Today is the most important day and I do not want to look across tomorrow and ignore what today has to offer.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Does it mean you do not plan the future?

Answer: Of course I do plan years in advance but in pencil so that you can rub it out and write again. It is very important to plan but also very important to listen and to see how quickly things go. Look at Egypt, in a week has completely changed from one thing to another. It is very exciting.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: So you live the present?

Answer: Of course.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Pieter-Dirk Uys, South African Comedian, thank you very much for this interview!

Jo-Ann Strauss about her life, fashion and Germany

Miss South Africa 2000 in interview

(Autor/ Editor: Ghassan Abid)

Deutsche Interview-Zusammenfassung:

Wer zu WM-Zeiten das ZDF eingeschaltet hatte, der sah eine junge südafrikanische Frau, die mit viel Stolz und Leidenschaft über ihr Land berichtete. Es handelte sich um Jo-Ann Strauss, Miss South Africa 2010, TV-Star und Moderatorin. Sie spricht neben Englisch, auch perfektes Deutsch, da ihr Partner aus München kommt. Die Kaptstädterin studierte an der Stellenbosch University den Studiengang Medien, wechselte dann in Recht um. Die Lösung südafrikanischer Probleme, wie Kriminalität, sieht Jo-Ann Strauss bei der Ausweitung von Bildungsmöglichkeiten für Jung und Alt sowie beim Arbeitsplatzausbau. Der Modebranche Südafrikas, so das Topmodel, spricht sie viel Potential zu, jedoch ist Fashion vom Kapland im internationalen Vergleich nach wie vor noch relativ unbedeutend. Mit Deutschland, so Jo-Ann Strauss, verknüpft sie das gute Organisationsvermögen. „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“ freut sich, diesen impulsiven VIP interviewt haben zu dürfen!

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© Jo-Ann Strauss – Miss South Africa 2000

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We would like to welcome Jo-Ann Strauss – Miss South Africa 2000, business woman and TV star – on the German based South Africa gateway „SÜDAFRIKA – Land der Kontraste“. You´re really a power woman with so many projects in different areas. Where are you getting this energy?

Answer: I’ve always believed: The more you do, the more you can do! There are so many opportunities in SA and I am blessed to be able to use them.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: You graduated at the Stellenbosch University in law. Which reasons stimulated you to study this course of studies?

Answer: I had planned to do my post-grad studies in media and wanted to get a good general basic degree so I opted out of medicine and changed to law and commerce.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: As a really famous and popular personality from South Africa, you are promoting the rainbow nation to the world. How do you would like to describe your country and where should South Africa still progress?

Answer: South Africa has come a long way, but it still has far to go. We surprised the world by hosting such a fantastic World Cup, but I wish that we could sustain the momentum and positive changes in crime statistics that existed in the month of the World Cup. Education of young and old is a key success factor. We have a generation that did not have access to training and basic education and I believe that that generation feels let down by the current situation. If we create meaningful jobs, poverty and crime will decrease dramatically.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Cape Town is your hometown, which is famous for his film industry, fashion scene and cosmopolitan charm. Which role is South Africa and especially Cape Town taken in the global fashion?

Answer: It’s a small role, but it’s growing. We have a number of Fashion Weeks in SA which doesn’t make sense as its a relatively small industry. I hope that our fashion industry will reconcile all the top players in our fashion game and grow the industry and create jobs.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Which personal projects would you like to realize?

Answer: So many 🙂 I want to be a balanced woman and have it all – family, career and happiness.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: We have taken notice, that your partner is from Germany. For what is Germany standing for and how would you like to describe „German“ fashion?

Answer: He is from Munich and would love me to have a dirndl 😉  German fashion is a great example to the world – Karl Lagerfeld, Hugo Boss … I also like that each city has a distinct dress sense. And of course, I enjoy browsing Maximillian Strasse 🙂

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: During the World Cup 2010, you worked as moderator for the German television station ZDF. Which experiences has you gained with your German TV colleagues?

Answer: Germans are a LOT more organised than any TV crew I have worked with! I had lots of fun and also learnt a lot in terms of planning and logistics. These experiences are helping me with current TV projects I am starting to produce.

2010sdafrika-editorial staff: Jo-Ann Strauss, former Miss South Africa and figurehead of  modern South Africa, thank you very much for this interview!


Fashion and Lifestyle Column by top model Sam Pegg:

https://2010sdafrika.wordpress.com/?s=fashion+and+lifestyle+column&x=0&y=0