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Since March, we’ve all watched as the coronavirus forced the closures of nearly every border around the globe. Countries around the world are starting to welcome back tourism by reopening their borders to international travelers. After nearly six months of lockdown, South Africa is one of the latest countries on that list.

‘We are ready to open our doors again to the world,” South African president Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement announcing the decision, “and invite travelers to enjoy our mountains, our beaches, our vibrant cities, and our wildlife game parks in safety and confidence.”

High-risk travellers: are those who come from countries with higher numbers of COVID-19 infections and reported deaths compared to South Africa.

Medium risk travellers: are from countries with relatively equal number of infections and death toll to South Africa

Low risk travellers: obviously originate from countries with lesser number of infections of COVID-19 and death toll than South Africa.

Leisure travellers from high-risk countries will not be permitted, amongst them includes the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

“Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test,” said Pandor.

Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.

Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person(s), they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test. This test will be at the traveller’s cost. If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at a designated site. The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.

However, South Africans are able to travel to any country that currently allows travellers from the country to visit.

Tourism in Africa: Here are the countries on the continent that are currently open to tourism.

Here is the list of high-risk countries:

  • Albania
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • India
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Luxemburg
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Suriname
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine
  • United Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Venezuela

Data for the mentioned countries will be reviewed every two weeks, and categories may change based on the data.

All visas that may have expired during the lockdown period remain valid until January 31, 2021.

Three airports will be opened and operational for international air travel. These airports are OR Tambo International (in Johannesburg, Gauteng), Cape Town International (in Cape Town, Western Cape) and King Shaka International ( in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal).

 

Diversity is what makes South Africa one of the most beautiful countries in the world. With 11 official languages, each culture embraces the essence of what it means to be an African through food, music, dance and fashion..

Heritage Day was originally known as Shaka Day, in commemoration of King Shaka Zulu. In 1996, during an address marking Heritage Day, former President Nelson Mandela said:

“When our first democratically-elected government decided to make Heritage Day one of our national days, we did so because we knew that our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our new nation.”

Heritage Day is celebrated on the 24th of September and it recognises and celebrates the cultural wealth of  South Africa. South Africans celebrate the day by remembering the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. Various events are staged throughout the country to commemorate this day.

This Heritage Month, we take a look at some of the traditional clothing worn by South Africans.

Xhosa

Xhosa regalia. Picture: lwaziphotography

For Xhosa women, the most common traditional wear is umbhaco. It is a long skirt and apron made from printed or embroidered fabrics. The Xhosa attire includes beaded necklaces, called ithumbu.

Zulu

Worn by married women as a sign of respect to one’s husband and his family, isicholo is a flared disk-shaped hat. This hat is accompanied by a thick, cowhide skirt which has been softened with animal fat and charcoal, called isidwaba.

Isicholo. Picture: Instagram/@zulu_traditional_love

Men wear a front apron, known as an isinene, and a rear apron, ibheshu, to cover the genitals and buttocks

Ndebele

This culture is big on colours and beads. Worn by married women, idzila is an accessory placed around the neck, arms, and legs. Their colourful blanket, umbalo, is also for married women. And then there is the signature beaded headband known as amacubi.

The main item of clothing for men is an iporiyana. Decorated with beads, it hangs on the neck. They also wear animal skin called karos to keep warm.

OStudioPost Culture Corner with the Ndebele Heritage - OStudio Post

Venda

The Vavenda wear munwenda, a multi-coloured striped cloth that comes in two pieces – a top and a bottom. It is paired with beads such as lutomola tsie, mapala, tshithivho vivho, zwifudzi, magidipho, and makunda. They also have musisi, a skirt-like garment made from the munwenda material.

THIS IS AFRICA- EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Tsonga

The most iconic clothing item in the Xitsonga culture is xibelani. It is a knee-length skirt typically worn by Xitsonga women. It is made from a bolt of cloth, a fabric called salempur, about 18m long. They also have a top called a yele that they wear with a tightly fitting T-shirt.

Tsonga culture, people, language, music, food and traditional attire

Swati

The Swati culture is complex as their clothing style varies according to age and gender. Some items are reserved for specific ceremonies, such as the incwala or the umhlanga (reed dance).

However, married women wear skin aprons and skin skirts. They also have another apron they wear under the armpits; after the birth of their first child they put the same apron over one shoulder and style their hair in a bun. Married men wear loin skins.

Tswana

Tswana women wear an apron called a khiba, with a skirt called a mosese. Men wear a kaross, a blanket made from animal skin, to cover up.

Basotho

They wear a traditional Basotho dress called the seshoeshoe. However, a statement piece is the Basotho blanket, worn by both men and women over the shoulders.

VISIT HERITAGE SITES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Did you know South Africa is home to nine world heritage sites and many more national heritage sites? A heritage site is categorised as a place with cultural and historical importance. The World Heritage Sites are:

  1. Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa in Sterkfontein
  2. Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape in Limpopo
  3. Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape in Northern Cape
  4. Robben Island in Western Cape
  5. Cape Floral Region Protected Areas in the Western and Eastern Cape
  6. iSimangaliso Wetland Park in KwaZulu-Natal
  7. Vredefort Dome in the Free State
  8. uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park in KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho
  9. Barberton Makhonjwa Mountains in Mpumalanga

South Africa’s nine World Heritage Sites offer a diversity and abundance of cultural and natural values that encapsulate the value systems of the country.

Heritage Day is a public holiday in South Africa.

 

 

 

 

 

As air travel continues to slowly pick up amid the ongoing pandemic, many airlines are completely reimagining their route networks. For United Airlines, that means announcing seven new long-haul routes, including three new destinations in Africa. United says it’s adding international flights where there’s existing demand, especially tapping into traffic from travelers from the African diaspora visiting their friends and families

Tourism in Africa: Here are the countries on the continent that are currently open to tourism.

The new routes include:

  •     Newark, New Jersey—Johannesburg: beginning spring 2021

  •     Washington, D.C.—Accra, Ghana: beginning late spring 2021

  •     Washington, D.C.—Lagos, Nigeria: beginning late spring 2021

Tickets will be available for purchase on united.com and the United app in the coming weeks, the airline says.

“Now is the right time to take a bold step in evolving our global network to help our customers reconnect with friends, family, and colleagues around the world,” Patrick Quayle, United’s vice president of international network and alliances, said in a statement.

Throughout the crisis, United has been taking an “opportunistic approach” to expanding its network, driven by demand, says Patrick Quayle.

United highlighted that when its new nonstop Accra service launches, the airline will be the only U.S. carrier offering the nonstop flight from Washington, D.C., home to the second-largest population Ghanaians in the United States, according to United.

In addition to Africa, United is adding nonstop flight routes to Israel, India, and Hawaii.

The new routes include:

  •     Chicago—Tel Aviv, Israel: beginning September 2020

  •     Chicago—New Delhi, India: beginning December 2020

  •     San Francisco—Bangalore, India: beginning spring 2021

  •     Chicago—Kona (Big Island), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021

  •     Newark—Kahului (Maui), Hawaii: beginning summer 2021

Last week, the carrier announced that it would end change fees for all domestic flights in premium and regular economy cabins. On Wednesday, it also expanded that policy to flights to Mexico and the Caribbean.

Johannesburg-based Studio Yezi, an animation studio founded by Thandiwe Mlauli, has announced its first project in development – which will also be South Africa’s first independently produced and women-led afro-animation, with Mlauli acting as producer, director and showrunner. The production, titled SOLA, will comprise a series and accompanying short film

SOLA is an action-adventure, fantasy and coming-of-age series about the adventures of a girl named Sola who experiences her magic awakening in a world where magic is dangerous and deadly

Sola
Sola

Per the company’s website, “Yezi” is short for “inkanyezi,” which means “star” in isiZulu. The development and animation shop intends “to be a symbol of hope and light, we intend to serve the world with our storytelling.”

As the studio’s founder, Mlauli is already carving out a unique space in the South African animation and entertainment industries that focuses on heart-warming local stories, diverse narratives and character representations, as well as nurturing and developing fresh local talent.

Having graduated with a BFA in Producing for Film & TV from the New York Film Academy, the studio founder spent time in Los Angeles studying the international animation game by attending workshops like the first-of-its-kind Black Women Animate Bootcamp in 2018, and returned to her home country having built a network of like-minded creatives all over the globe.

Netflix to offer over R8,3 Million relief fund for hard-hit South Africans in them and television space.

Studio Yezi – true to Mlauli’s driven and creative nature – has launched an ambitious global fund-raising campaign (#MakeSOLAHappen) to complete production on the SOLA series and shorts. Having already begun the development process thanks to independent funding efforts, Mlauli and her team are giving everyday South Africans and lovers of representative storytelling all over the world an opportunity to invest in a project set to make a mark not only in local animation but international territories too.

To learn more or to make a contribution that will help the production team, cast and developers move closer to getting SOLA on national and international screens, visit www.studioyezi.co.za.

 

Today, the South African Screen Federation (SASFED), supported by the Independent Producers Organisation (IPO), announced the establishment of a COVID-19 Film and Television Relief Fund in collaboration with Netflix to provide emergency relief to the hardest-hit workers in South Africa’s creative community.

The streaming service will donate over R8.3 million, which will be administered by Tshikululu Social Investment, who will screen the applications for eligibility as well as payout the funds to beneficiaries

“SASFED is delighted about the announcement that the Netflix Covid-19 Film and Television Relief Fund will provide relief for workers in the screen sector that were not eligible for other available relief funds. The SA economy has been hard-hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, said SASFED executive director, Unathi Malunga.

“The Netflix fund supporting the local film industry brings hope to struggling industry professionals. We hope other potential partners will follow Netflix’s example and support SASFED’s broader initiatives which offer assistance to industry professionals across the whole value chain – an initiative undertaken by industry, for the industry. SASFED applauds Netflix’ support of the local screen sector during the global crisis.”

Sisanda Henna, IPO co-Chairperson said: “Following months of extreme hardship for most of our sector, the IPO is overjoyed that Netflix is providing this desperately-needed relief for those most hard hit by the pandemic – the industry’s below-the-line freelancers to whom no other relief has been available.

Netflix ‘Made By Africans, For The World’- An ode to the richness, brilliance and creativity of African storytelling and its storytellers.

“This is a clear demonstration of Netflix’s commitment to the sustainability of the South African film and TV production industry, and we welcome them – with wide open arms – as a partner in our broader efforts to support the screen sector.”

From 3 August the members of the creative community will be able to apply by filling out an online application at Tshikululu’s website (tshikululu.org.za) or mailing physical applications. The eligibility criteria will be posted on the website when applications open.

The South African TV and film community has been dealing with the effects this pandemic has caused to their livelihoods because of the continuous disruptions to local productions. Thank you to SASFED, with the support of IPO, for collaborating with us in our efforts to provide short-term relief to the hardest-hit workers from the local creative industry, who most need our support in these unprecedented times.
Dorothy Ghettuba, Netflix’s lead for African Originals

In March, Netflix announced a $100 million hardship fund to help the hardest-hit workers in the creative community across the world affected by the pandemic, which has since been increased to $150 million. The R8,3 million contribution in South Africa is part of this initiative

 

On Wednesday, residents in South Africa and Brazil volunteered to begin the testing of a COVID-19 vaccination trial developed by the University of Oxford in Britain.

The trials are starting in South Africa because it is being said that the country was responsible for nearly one-third of the continent’s positive cases.

Although the continent of Africa as a whole was one of the last places to get hit by the pandemic, health officials are saying that numbers are now beginning to spike.

Netflix has launched its Made by Africans, Watched by the World campaign, which showcases talent from across the continent involved in Netflix’s African Originals.

The company released a video featuring local stars, including Pearl Thusi (who starred as Queen Sono in the Netflix Original of the same name) and Ama Qamata (from South African Original Blood & Water). On a not so normal Monday in Johannesburg, Netflix gathered 18 eclectic creatives from across the continent to speak to and celebrate their stories currently on, and soon to be on the streaming platform in a moment captured on film, entitled, ‘Made By Africans, Watched By The World’. These visionaries and storytellers, who have been at the forefront of African content on Netflix.

“Our aim at Netflix is to have stories that are made by Africans to be watched by the world. We are focused on giving our consumers in Africa, and globally, authentic African content. Having all of these incredible voices in the same room, and on the same platform going forward, is something to celebrate,” Dorothy Ghettuba, who leads African Originals for Netflix, said in a statement.

“We’ve always had our stories told by others from the outside-in but this time, we get to tell our own stories from the inside-out,” she adds.

Ghettuba is a Kenyan filmmaker. Before her position at Netflix, she was the CEO of Spielworks Media — a media production company based in Nairobi.

Netflix 'made in africa, watched by the world
Nao Serati, owner of NAOSERATI, a brand that specializes in unisex garments that explore the margins of gender, was tasked with the job of translating the importance of African creative stories through fashion for the campaign. “With some of the best African talent in one room coming together to celebrate African creativity, we knew we had to put African fashion at the forefront. To remain true to the messaging, we wanted to work with talented designers from the various countries where each of the creatives are from, ensuring we were being as authentic as possible. The direction for the styling had to be glamorous, fresh and rooted in Africa. Each of the creatives featured in this collaboration is so beautiful and dynamic that creating looks for each individual was a surreal experience,” said Serati.
Expressing his excitement to work with fellow creatives, Serati added “we as Africa are a world of our own. We tell stories through our craft. I was so inspired, as a designer myself, researching every country and its designers. I saw all the obstacles some of these designers had to overcome and I am humbled by the fact that they still see the beauty in our world and create the most moving work. We collaborated with each artist to ensure that each story worked and that they came together beautifully. Once the final firework went off, it was a defining moment for all of us”.
Netflix 'Made in Africa, Watched by the world
South African star of Catching Feelings and Queen Sono, Pearl Thusi, was dressed by Nao Serati and spoke enthusiastically about Netflix’s investment in the African continent. “Africa is so intriguing to the rest of the world as there really is nothing like the beat of the African drum. It resonates with everyone,” said Thusi. The writer of Mama K’s Team 4,  Malenga Mulendema of Zambia was dressed by Viviers and said, “like any other storyteller across the globe, we are just trying to tell our stories and explore our lives and communities that we live in, so it’s incredible that Netflix gave us a voice to do so globally”. Genevieve Nnaji, Nigerian all-round creative, dressed by Andrea Iyamah, echoed this statement and said “It’s a good thing, especially for upcoming artists who want a chance. We have so many more stories to tell in this part of the world.’’

If you want to browse African content on Netflix, simply search for “Made in Africa”. This will bring up content that the streaming service has licensed from African creators, as well as African Originals.

Meet Sean McCollet born in Johannesburg and raised in Cape-town, Sean McCollet’s is television presenter for the SABC 1 show Instapreneurs – a reality show that follows the lives of modern-day public figures who have created a brand for themselves online.

 

He’s also an artist manager and publicist who has managed the likes of Boity Thulo, Pearl Modiadie, Khanya Mkangisa, Lehasa Moloi and more.