Thursday, 28 November 2013

Webjunkies leading the call to Action for the Africans for Africa Network

Social entrepreneurs across Africa rally to the call to unite in support of pan African networking by joining the Africans for Africa Network to change the media narrative from one driven by western European influence to one that reflects an authentic African voice.

The Africans for Africa Network is a bold initiative and one that is long overdue.  Heading the list of visionary Africans joining the Africans for Africa Network is Webjunkies.

Kevin Naidoo and Rajen Govender, the joint shareholders of 4sa Technologies  (Pty) Ltd, trading under a bouquet of brands (,,, and more) believe whole - heartedly in this initiative,  “As entrepreneurs, we face numerous challenges daily, but we remain committed to shaping the social landscape where we can. Joining this initiative was a way of us ‘paying it forward’ “, they said.

Webjunkies, also a division of 4sa Technologies that caters for website development and online “real estate” management, was deployed to create an online presence for the Africans for Africa Network.

The company is passionately and competently driven by Naidoo and Govender, both confident businessmen infused with drive and ambition. Kevin is primarily responsible for growth initiatives while Rajen, a Chartered Accountant (SA), takes care of all governance and strategic matters. With Naidoo’s strong background in Sales and Govender’s solid financial experience, they make a formidable team.

Govender explained that the 4sa Technologies Group was formed to enable the on-line presence of motor related businesses seeking to extend their reach to a continuously growing, ever demanding and tech - savvy community. “We are a fully empowered company, principally generating on-line leads with added website development capability. We have recently extended our offering to include design, manufacture and installation of all types of signage. “, he said.

They both hail from Chatsworth, Durban and met up in Johannesburg in 2010 at a mentorship programme. An immediate friendship was forged between these two determined, like-minded men.  After the programme they realised that they were eminently suited to working together and set about outlining an efficient business plan.

In 2011 they acquired an already established family concern and, came into being, offering a bouquet of signage services. This entity is currently the largest in the Group. They are supported and assisted by their experienced and capable staff.

From modest backgrounds – life was not easy – they both say that it was effort, determination and dedication that got them to where they are today.

Naidoo says he learned the “value of hard work” when he relocated to Johannesburg and in a short time worked through the ranks to become a Sales Director. The more voluble and bolder of the two, he talks passionately about “transferring skills” - they  both feel very strongly about “paying it forward” and putting back into the community. They like nothing better than developing emerging entrepreneurs within their group.

With a very strong work ethic, “we pride ourselves on the quality of our workmanship”, their group companies stimulate engagement and productivity by drawing on the natural talents and skills of their team.  Govender mentions that at an emotional level it is about cultivating positive emotions and encouraging individual initiatives.

With a reputation for excellence this Johannesburg-based group is driven by the belief that “any form of client engagement has to have the prominence and care it deserves”.  Each business within the group rates amongst the highest accredited Black empowered businesses. In a short space of just under two years the combined staff complement currently stands at 42 and is set to increase. They recently opened a Signs4sa branch in Durban.

Their vision is to create self-sustaining businesses that contribute meaningfully to the greater South Africa and looking into the future, the world is their oyster: “we stand toe to toe with anyone in the business”.

As for the Africans for Africa initiative: “We hope to see it achieve its objectives of ground-breaking, lasting change and creating the platform dialogue it wishes. It’s about time that Africans take control of their destiny”, they said.

The aims of the Africans for Africa Network, the brainchild of Vanessa Perumal, founder of JT Communications Solutions and the JT Comms African Media Resource Centre of Excellence, are to engage in a series of dialogues, set up exchanges between artists on the continent, create new markets for Africa’s cultural content and products and take ownership of the space in which Africa’s voice is expressed through music and culture in international arenas.

“We were delighted to have recently launched the website at the biggest world music festival (Womex 2013) in Cardiff, Wales. We are very grateful to have had Webjunkies, a key trade-exchange partner, design our website. We thank them for their generous support,” said Perumal.

Besides the key stakeholder and trade exchange, Webjunkies, Perumal also set up partnerships with South Africa’s Emthonjeni Arts and Mali’s renowned FestivalauDesert and various other African networks including  IMEXSA, iStart2, SA Women Engineers, Howiviewafrica, Woldegiorgis Ghebrehiwot from Mekelle University, Tigray, Ethiopia, Johnny Muteba from Democratic Republic of Congo, Sam Mokorosi’s Africa The Good News, Gcinamasiko Arts & Heritage Trust - Nozincwadi (Dr Gcina Mhlope) and Harem Clothing.

The first of the Africans for Africa Network’s pan African exchanges will be hosted by the Emthonjeni Arts with a two-week long residency with artists from the Malian Festival au Desert, in December 2013. This first-ever partnership between the two countries emerged out of Africans For Africa Network’s mission to change the prevailing narrative of Africa from one driven by Western media, to one that reflects the inherent strengths of the continent across various Afro-centric platforms.

About Africans for Africa
The Africans for Africa Network is instrumental in providing content and programming for a myriad of bilateral activations in Africa, realised through a network of partnerships with various groups and organisations.

Spearheaded by the JT Comms African Media Resource Centre of Excellence the network will focus on: ongoing exchanges, topic specific dialogues and the creation of platforms for African artists within and outside the continent throughout the year; an annual pan African Dialogue; hosting a Global Concert for Peace, featuring top African and international artists, performing for an international audience; and hosting dialogues.

Launched in October 2013 the Africans for Africa website was created by Webjunkies and will plug into open source networks like Howiviewafrica, Sam Mokorosi’s Africa The Good News and others.

The website will be managed by Di Sparks who comes from a Public Relations background. She enjoys working with people and particularly enjoys sharing knowledge and hopes to stimulate an excitement about the Africans for Africa network. She hopes to stimulate and push others in common networks to tell their own African stories that can re-shape and build closer partnerships.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

2013 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards prepare to honour Africa’s most gifted!

The voting is closed and organisers of the annual Channel O Africa Music Awards 
are furiously preparing to honour the continent’s most gifted musicians with a spectacular LIVE show.

Winners in the 14 categories will be announced at the event, which takes place this Saturday, 30 November at Walter Sisulu Square, in Kliptown Soweto. The 10th Annual Channel O Africa Music Awards will be broadcast live on Channel O at 20:00, giving music fans across the continent the chance to be part of the highs, the lows, the red-carpet glamour, the drama and the joy as the awards unfold in Soweto.

This year, the annual Channel O Africa Music Awards will confirm its standing as Africa’s leading and most consistently exciting music awards event with a superb line-up of live acts. Among those taking to the stage on Saturday night will be Cassper Nyovest featuring Okmalumkooklat, Burna Boy, The Soil, Khuli Chana, Victoria Kimani, Buffalo Souljah, Wizkid, Aka featuring Da L.E.S., KCee, Lizha James, and Mafikizolo.

In the host hot seat is the one-two star-studded combination of Nigerian muso Naeto C and South African hip hopper AKA – both artists already having proved their popularity with Channel O viewers over the past few years.

The only category not voted by Channel O viewers is the Special Recognition, which this year is being awarded to Nigerian R&B duo P-Square.

Twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye, are being honoured for their significant artistic contributions to music, which have helped place African music and its artists firmly on international stages. They follow in the footsteps of the likes of Oscar “Oskido” Mdlongwa (2012); Nigeria’s Koko Master D’Banj (2011); Somalian born K’NAAN (2010); South African Brenda Fassie (2009) and Ghana’s George Lee (2008).

So tune in at 20:00 when the 2013 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards finally get underway!

Follow us on twitter @ChannelOTV and @ChannelOAfrica and the 2013 Channel O Africa Music Video Awards official hashtag is #CHOAMVA.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Hustle On Your Grind EveryDay Hustlers

Hustle On Your Grind EveryDay Hustlers Trailer

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Meet Mrejo, the new kid on the motswako block

He has been mentored by none other than Zola, and now hip-hop singer-songwriter Mrejo is poised for recognition in his own right with the release of his debut solo album, 1000 Reflections.

This charismatic motswako artist from Mafikeng is releasing his long-awaited first album through BakTu Musik in November 2013, and all indications are that his decade-long journey to find his niche in the local music industry is finally starting to bear fruit.

Mrejo says of the 14-track CD: “The album is based on my personal journey through challenging times in the business. It’s titled 1000 Reflections as a metaphor, referring to someone looking at himself in a shattered mirror.”

He adds: “This project is a personal look at the ups and downs I have faced on my road to success. I really hope it will communicate messages of hope and inspiration to those following in my footsteps.”

The first single, Lehipi (featuring LTK), was released last year to much acclaim, and he will be performing at various venues and festivals throughout the country during November and December to promote the album. First up is an appearance with Mafikizolo at the Red-Ox Inn in Mafikeng on Friday, 15 November 2013 from 5pm.

Mrejo was born Reginald Thapelo Molalabangwe in Mmabatho and began exploring his love for music with a band called BLB in the late 1990s.

He went on to join the group TTC before forming the duo Matona, which released an album and shared stages across the country with the likes of Mandoza, Zola, Mapaputsi, Tshepo Tshola, Brown Dash and Mafikizolo.

Mrejo was steadily building a name for himself, particularly in North West music circles, as a talented songwriter of note. But the following few years were marked by hardship as Mrejo, who had relocated to Pretoria, struggled to balance the demands of a music career with the necessity to make ends meet.

The year 2010 proved to be a turning point for Mrejo, when he started working with Nigerian-born Afrobeat saxophonist Olufemi and was featured on his album. He also featured on a Zola track, and went on to dazzle audiences at the North West Cultural Calabash.

He has been increasingly garnering respect from his music peers as a motswako lyricist of note, including recording a song for the University of Motswako mixtape compilation – a cross-border project for up-and-coming motswako rappers from Botswana and South Africa.

The culmination of his long and eventful musical journey is the new album, 1000 Reflections. It sees Mrejo in a confident songwriting space, collaborating with the cream of the Mafikeng musical crop, with Mafikeng FM station manager LTK, Mo’ Molemi and OBK taking turns at the microphone.

Tshepo Vena and Jason Brown lent their veterans’ touch to the production of most of the tracks, while up-and-coming young producers Green Fingures and Wizzy Majwana also added a touch of magic.

The album is already causing a stir in local music circles. Paige Holmes of the Bassline in Newtown said of the laid-back track Monday Morning: “I like the smooth rhythm, which makes you feel like you’re still on the weekend, and is in great contrast to the lyrics – I LIKE!” And KG of Lesedi FM enthused: “The album is nice and balanced.”

Mrejo is also a co-founder of Pro5Media, a one-stop media solution company, and remains a passionate devotee of music who never misses an opportunity to spend time in the studio.

Check out Mrejo, one of local motswako hip-hop’s most exciting new voices, on Facebook ( or and Twitter (@mrejo_letsopaa), look out for 1000 Reflections at a record store near you, and see him in action at one of the following gigs.

View a video at

Mrejo’s upcoming gigs:
  • Friday, 15 November: Red-Ox Inn, Mafikeng
  • Thursday, 28 November: Ikageng Pub, Potchefstroom
  • Saturday, 7 December: Venue TBC, Welkom
  • Sunday, 15 December: Mmabatho Music Festival
  • Wednesday, 1 January 2014: Disaneng Music Festival