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Mike Mpofu

Black Coffee gets Beats 1 Show


DJ Black Coffee has joined the ranks of Pharrell and Frank Ocean after securing his own Beats 1 slot.

Black Coffee is easily one of South Africa’s finest exports in the entertainment industry.

He has gained international recognition more prominently in recent times, rubbing shoulders with the likes of P Diddy and Swizz Beats, among others.

Black Coffee’s Beats 1 show will stream every two weeks on Fridays.

Coffee has also recently spent a lot of his time playing international gigs. He is currently playing a summer residency in Ibiza, while touring at the same time.

His first mix on the show which premiered on Friday 28 July included an exclusive track with Swizz Beats and Burna Boy, demo remixes of Usher’s “Tell Me,” and a guest mix from fellow South African DJ and producer Da Capo.

“It’s been amazing… Such a pleasure for me to have such a platform to share the music. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. Just to show people my music world and what my interests are, the other things I do. I’m gonna bring more stuff like, even classical music, stuff I listen to that inspires what I do every single day. Thanks for lending us an ear,” said Black Coffee.

Make sure to look out for all Coffee has to offer on . It is without a doubt an exciting opportunity. And we look forward to coming along for the journey.

Theresa May finally strikes deal to govern


Almost a month after the UK’s snap election, UK Prime Minister, Theresa May has finally reached an agreement with the DUP in order to form a government.

This is the second hung parliament in seven years (when no party has a clear majority)- before that, there had not been a hung parliament in at least three decades.

One wonders if this will be the new norm for UK politics?

May, who initially called for the June 8 election – probably under the impression that her party, the Conservatives, would win an outright majority – has been working tirelessly to retain her position as Prime Minister.

Her party missed the target of 326 seats (or more) to govern with a majority, by just eight seats – forcing May to go into talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) from Northern Ireland.

It is believed the deal was struck on the basis that additional funding of up to £1 billion would be allocated to Northern Ireland.

In exchange, the DUP’s 10 MPs will support confidence motions, the Queen’s Speech, the budget and finance bills, Brexit legislation and national security legislation. Votes on other matters will be dealt with on a “case by case basis”.

At this stage, May is probably weaker than she was before she went into the snap election. And she is faced with the incredible task of entering the Brexit negotiations with the EU.

May will have to contend with a strengthened opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn – the Labour leader who has won the hearts of millions of young brits.

Many argue this is in the main due to his promises of free tertiary education for British students, an issue which resonated with hundreds of thousands of young people in debt over student fees.

The coming days will be interesting to see how the DUP – Conservative deal will unfold and whether the Tories get behind May in her efforts to lead the UK through uncharted territory.

Chance The Rapper and Beyoncé sweep BET Awards

Chance The Rapper walked away with a message from Michelle Obama and the prestigious Humanitarian Award, while Beyoncé swept key accolades at the 2017 Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards.

In addition to his prestigious accolade, Chance – who is only 24 – walked away with the awards for Best Collaboration (featuring 2 Chainz), for the song No Problem and Best New Artist.

Chance now becomes the youngest person to ever receive the BET Humanitarian Award.

In his acceptance speech, he was the Chance that we have all come to love:

“It feels a little early to be getting something like this, but my God doesn’t make mistakes”.

Former First Lady, Michelle Obama, also streamed in to give a message of support for the young rapper:

Meanwhile, Beyoncé, who sent a letter of gratitude in absentia – as she is busy nursing her new-born twins – scooped the awards for Best Female R&B/pop artist, Viewers’ Choice award for Sorry, Video of the Year for Lemonade and Album of the year for Lemonade.

Other notable achievers on the list include Steph Curry from the Golden State Warriors who took home the Sportsman of the Year Award, while Serena Williams was named the Sportswoman of the Year.

The Best Movie Award went to Hidden Figures, while Mahershala Ali, was named Best Actor.

Check out the full list of awards and winners here.

Book Review: ‘As By Fire – The End of the South African University’


2015 was a very difficult year for South Africa.

It began with Rhodes “falling” at the University of Cape Town (UCT), sparking a nationwide movement with a single call – #FeesMustFall.

The next year and a half was very unstable – politically – as students across the country did everything in their power to gain the attention of University management and ultimately the highest office in the country – the President, as they marched on the Union Buildings.

During the course of these protests, the people who absorbed a lot of the pressure were the Vice-Chancellors.

In his latest book, As By Fire – The End of the South African University, former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Free State, and Education Expert, Prof. Jonathan Jansen tells the story of #FeesMustFall from an entirely different perspective.

He notes that while turmoil raged across university campuses, Vice-Chancellors were under immense pressure – at times working up to 18 hours a day, with virtually no money left in the coffers while young people were banging on their doors demanding free education – for all!

Jansen interviews the Vice-Chancellors from South Africa’s 11 prominent public institutions who were most affected by the #FeesMustFall saga.

He tries to understand how the process unfolded from the perspective of the Vice-Chancellors – something that had not been done yet.

Jansen does well to write in simple, clear language.

He delves into the harsh reality of running an institution like his Alma Mater – the UFS – in a country like South Africa: more students entering universities meant that the government subsidy for higher education was shrinking in attempt to accommodate more people. This in turn meant universities needed to raise their fees from elsewhere – student fees and other donors. But these streams could only carry universities so far. Which begs the question: if Government and student fees are not enough to cover fees, where would the additional funding come from?

Jansen also explores the other factors that surrounded the protests. They weren’t just about fees but other issues were at play – racial and cultural tensions fuelled the flames coupled with the fact that the #FeesMustFall movement was leaderless – it has a flat structure, making it difficult for university leadership to engage and reach an agreement with a single group. This also meant that agreements from the previous day could not be relied on.

This book is an incredible insight into the pressures faced by University management, who bore the brunt of much of the country’s mismanagement at various levels.

It is worth a read for anyone looking to understand the current political climate across South Africa’s University campuses.

NBA Awards 2017


The 2017 NBA Awards saw Russel Westbrook finally crowned the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the season.

Westbrook achieved the unthinkable after averaging a triple double for the season, earning him the nickname Mr ‘Triple Double’.

The Oklahoma City Thunder Point Guard won the award ahead of his former team-mate and now Houston Rockets guard, James Harden and San Antonio Spurs player Kawhi Leonard.

The evening was hosted by Canadian Pop star, Drake, who provided some comic relief – including his skit with Will Ferrell as basketball coaches:

Other awards included the 2017 Defensive Player of the year, which went to Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green – who was also named on the NBA All-Defensive team of 2017. Green is famous for his role as the ‘passion’ and ‘heart’ of the Golden State Squad:

The 2017 Most Improved Player Award went to “The Greek Freak”, Giannis Antetokounmpo, from the Milwaukee Bucks.

Former MVP and now a Champion and finals MVP, Kevin Durant took home the #BestPlayOffMoment Award for his 3-point shot late in Game 3 of the 2017 final series against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Surprisingly, Lebron James and Kyrie Irving both walked away empty-handed. Irving had been a contender for the Game Winner of the year Award, but Russel Westbrook took that one home.

You can view the full list of award winners here.

DJ Khaled’s ‘Grateful’ is finally here


The much-anticipated offering from DJ Khaled, Grateful is finally here.

And it certainly was worth the wait.

Khaled, who had been working on this album for much of this year, dedicated his latest work to his son – Asahd, who seems to already have a global following.

Asahd is also listed as the Executive producer. (He can barely talk but he has a job and earns a bigger salary than most).

The 22 track album includes two singles releases earlier this year – Shining featuring Jay Z and Beyoncé and I am the one featuring Chance the Rapper, Justin Bieber, Quavo and Lil Wayne.

It seems fans have already picked one of their favourites in the song I love you so much which features Chance the Rapper.

Both Chance and Khaled, who recently became fathers, dedicated that track to their children.

Chance explained the process of writing the song and putting it all together in a series of tweets:

Fans across the world over seem to be loving the track and the rest of the album.

It’s safe to say the hype around this album was well worth it.

You can check out Grateful on iTunes or TIDAL.

Here’s to “ANOTHER ONE!”

Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History – Season Two

Malcolm Gladwell is back with season two of his podcast series Revisionist History.

The podcast series takes a look at past events and asks critical questions of how they were handled – and how that ultimately influenced the way these events have been recorded in our history.

In Season One, he considered some interesting phenomena such as the alleged infamous Toyota vehicle defect – where hundreds of customers believed their accelerators were malfunctioning, leading to a series of crashes across the US and the rest of the world.

Gladwell however uncovers the mystery and suggest that the alleged malfunction had nothing to do with oversize mats – which had been identified as a possible cause for the “stuck” accelerators – instead, people had simply failed to “hit the brakes”.

The renowned journalist’s second season has already started on a great note, opening with a podcast focusing one of his pet hates – golf.

Gladwell explores how for centuries, lovers of the game have not only taken up much-needed real estate space in parts of the USA, but the extent to which its enthusiasts will go, to protect their rights to pay lower taxes on these properties.

At the same time, the CEOs and multimillionaires who play make it almost impossible for ordinary people to join in their elite game.

Gladwell, being the avid runner that he is, also points out that some golf estates simply mess with his running route.

At the time of writing, episode two of the Revisionist History Season Two has just been released.

In “The Road to Damascus”, Gladwell uses the biblical reference to talk about a terrorist turned CIA spy simply referred to as Al Capone.

For 42 minutes, Gladwell takes a peek into how the CIA operates – as a spy agency in an open democracy with free media compared to places like Russia or even the UK.

It makes for exceptional listening.

If anything, it seems season two is sounding great and will only get better.

Listen to Season One here.

Season Two can be found here – you can also subscribe and get notified when a podcast becomes available every week.

Happy listening.

Forbes 100 richest celebrities 2017

The 2017 Forbes list of the 100 richest celebrities is out and P Diddy is leading the pack with a whopping USD 130 million.

The annual list is basically dominated by US and UK celebrities, entertainers and sports professionals, as generally expected.

Music sensation Beyoncé and JK Rowling, best known for her role as author of the Harry Potter series, are in second and third place respectively – with USD 105 million and USD 95 million.

P Diddy, a.k.a Sean Combs, made most of his earnings this year from the lucrative sale of his Sean Jean clothing equity. While he continues to enjoy his profitable partnership with Ciroc Vodka – the alcoholic beverage.

Other notable names from this year include, Drake (USD 94 million), The Weeknd (USD 92 million), Justin Bieber (USD 83.5 million), Kevin Durant (USD 60.4 million), among others.

While the list is dominated by US, UK and Canadian personalities, other high earning celebrities from elsewhere in the world include Roger Federer from Switzerland (USD 64 million), Lionel Messi (USD 80 million), Jackie Chan (USD 49 million), Tiësto (USD 39 million), Usain Bolt (USD 34.2 million), Conor McGregor (USD 34 million) and tennis player Kei Nishikori (USD 33.9 million).

The full list can be found here.  

Golden State Warriors crowned 2017 NBA Champions


Kevin Durant is finally a champion!

Not only that, he can add “Finals MVP” to his resume.

On Monday night (12 June), Golden State Warriors defeated Lebron James and his Cavaliers 129 – 120, winning the series 4-1.

While the Cavs came out fighting, they were just no match for the Golden State firepower – both Kevin Durant and Steph Curry were hot and unstoppable.

Durant – who won his first championship ring on Monday – finished with 39 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists on 14-for-20 shooting in 40 minutes. He averaged 35.2 points, 8.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists in the Finals, with a 55.6 field goal percentage.

Curry – who played the best he ever has, in a final series – had 34 points, 10 assists and six rebounds

Lebron James and Kyrie Irving certainly did their bit to carry the Cavs.

James dominated the paint and proved to be unstoppable from below the post – and wound up with 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists.

James also walked away with a triple double average in a finals series – an impressive record.

While these figures are impressive, the storyline really belongs to Kevin Durant who was criticized for leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder – which saw him fall out with longtime friend and former team-mate Russel Wesbrook.

Wesbrook and many others had criticized Durant for leaving OKC and simply joining a “super team” – all to chase a championship.

Many critics had indicated that if Durant had failed to win a championship with Golden State, then the move would have been in vain.

Durant on the other hand responded, prior to the series, indicating that win or lose, he was happy with his decision.

But I was sure he was on the winning side this time. In a way, it vindicates him and proves many wrong – that is truly a champion.

Golden State will be going on a championship parade through the Bay area later tonight and I am sure they will relish the moment.

No doubt, James and Irving will be sharpening their weapons during the off-season to make sure they fight to regain their title.

We’re already looking forward to next season!

The UK Decides


The outcome of the recent elections in the UK were certainly a shock to many – at least in the Conservative benches, led by Prime Minister Theresa May.

May, who took over from David Cameron, after a defeat in the Brexit vote, called for an early election, earlier this year – believing her party was in a strong position to win an increased majority in the House of Commons.

However last week Thursday’s election seemed to provide a different response.

May’s party – The Conservatives – failed to gain the increased majority she had hoped for.

In order to retain a majority in the UK parliament, a party needs to obtain 326 seats – May’s party managed 318 seats, followed by the Labour Party with 262 seats.

The result: a hung parliament – meaning no one party holds an outright majority.

It is believed that young people played a significant role in contributing to the improved performance of the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn.

The turnout of 18 to 24-year-olds to vote on Thursday was 66.4 per cent, according to Sky News, compared to 43 per cent in the 2015 general election.

And various polls indicate that the majority of the young people who showed up to vote, chose to vote Labour.

This is because for a very long time, the Conservatives have been seen as “the establishment” or “the old guard”.

And Corbyn is viewed as somewhat of a disruptor to “politics” as usual.

Corbyn hit the right notes by gaining the favour of British celebrities including Ricky Gervais, among others.

At this stage, Theresa May is weaker after the election than before calling it.

Her party is also being forced into coalition with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) – a right-wing unionist political party in Northern Ireland. This marriage is hardly convenient, but is what is required if the Conservatives are to remain in power.

What is clear about the results is that younger people in the UK are calling for a different approach in their politics.

It remains to be seen if it will change the way May and her colleagues change their approach in government.

At this stage, she will be seized with keeping the UK on track to exit the EU, beginning with the negotiations later this month.

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