Complex doccie, Buddha in Africa, has been a labour of love for its creator


Set against China’s expanding influence on the continent, Buddha in Africa provides a unique insight into the forces of cultural soft power on the identity and imagination of an African boy and his school friends growing up between two cultures.

GETTING her award-winning documentary, Buddha in Africa, to the big screen has been a labour of love for KZN Midlands filmmaker Nicole Schafer, writes ESTELLE SINKINS.

The powerful documentary, which follows the intimate story of a Malawian teenager growing up in a Chinese Buddhist orphanage in Africa, won the best South African documentary prize at the Durban International Film Festival in July, an accolade which means that the film is being considered for the documentary feature qualifying festival hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences.

Schafer is trying to play down the news, but the truth is her documentary could automatically qualify for consideration for an Oscar nomination in 2020. Continue reading


‘Pride and Prejudice’ – powerful, poignant and thought-provoking

Pride and Prejudice

ESTELLE SINKINS reviews Pride and Prejudice – The Gerald Kraak Anthology. African Perspectives on Gender, Social Justice and Sexuality (various authors, published by Jacana Media)

THOUGHT-provoking, funny and poignant sums up the collection of short stories, photography, poetry and journalistic work, which makes up the inaugural Gerald Kraak Anthology – Pride and Prejudice. Continue reading

Bright young minds debate global issues

THE South African Model United Nations (SAMUN) International Conference 2015 will see some of the country’s bright young minds go head to head over global issues, humans rights and international relations. Held at the Cape Town Metro Council on 12 Hertzog Boulevard from October 15 to 19, the winning teams from the provincial rounds will engage in debates based on the principles and format of the UN General Assembly. Continue reading

Africa in All her Glory at Iziko

The winners of the Nature’s Best Photography (NBP) Africa competition will be announced at a gala awards ceremony at the Iziko South African Museum (ISAM) in Cape Town on June 23.

The winning entries will then be showcased as part of an exhibition entitled: Nature’s Best Photography Africa, on public display from June 24 until September 16. There will be 70 photographs on show in the exhibition which captures the splendour of Africa with a single shutter of the camera lens. Nature and photographic enthusiasts should not to miss this spectacular showcase.

Organised by NBP Africa, in partnership with Iziko Museums of South Africa, NBP USA, and Nikon South Africa, the competition was launched on April 2 and ran until May 2. Photographers from all over the world were invited to enter the competition by submitting photographs taken on their travels in Africa.

“Showcasing the majesty and splendour of Africa through these (art) works, evokes a sense of enthralment, respect and concern – not only for our continent, but for our planet,” said Hamish Robertson, Director of Natural History, Iziko Museums of South Africa. “The preservation of our natural resources is not an activity we can or should leave for future generations. Museums have an important role in educating, creating awareness, and providing solutions-based platforms of public engagement. It is acutely apt, on the eve of its 190th year of existence, to host this phenomenal photographic exhibition at the oldest Natural History Museum in Southern Africa.”

The 12 winning categories are: African Landscapes, African Culture, Wild Cats of Africa, Birds of Africa, Mammals of Africa, Reptiles of Africa, Africa Underwater, Africa Up Close, Africa Wildlife Story, Youth Award Under 13 Years, Youth Award 13 – 18 years, and Video.

“The judging panel was very impressed by the quality of many of the entries and it was not easy to select the winners to represent the 12 categories,” said Lou Coetzer, the head adjudicator.

Adult category winners will be awarded prizes in the form of specialist photographic safaris to the combined value of R1 million. The awards, sponsored by Coetzer Nature Photography Safaris and the &Beyond Group, will take the winners to the Masai Mara in Kenya or to the Serengeti in Tanzania for an unforgettable experience in Africa’s finest wildlife environs. Winners in the youth categories will receive world-class accommodation at the luxurious Thulani Lodge in Hoedspruit, sponsored by A Spring of Hope and Coetzer Nature Photography.

Iziko Museums of South Africa has partnered with Natures Best Photography Africa and will host the annual competition, gala awards and exhibition. The winning photographs from NBP Africa will be showcased as part of the African category in the Natures Best Photography USA exhibition, hosted annually at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

“Our core objectives are to encourage photographic excellence amongst existing photographers, to attract new audiences to photography, to foster an appreciation for and conservation of our natural resources and to promote the continent of Africa to a massive global audience,” says Craig Mark, director of NBPAfrica.

Lou Coetzer will be conducting a walkabout on June 24 at 10 am and will share his insight on the judging criteria, and the reasons for the selection of these particular images. The walkabout is free-of-charge and open to the public.

To find out more about Natures Best Photography Africa, or to order the catalogue visit the website or email