Category Archives: Entertainment

DStv makes more SuperSport channels available for non-premium subscribers

DStv has announced that non-premium subscribers can now have access to more SuperSport channels from 19 March, 2020 until 30 April, 2020.

In a statement on its website, DStv said SuperSport 1, which was exclusively available on the DStv Premium package, will now be available on DStv Compact Plus and DStv Compact.

It added, “Furthermore, SuperSport 7, which is only available on the DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact packages, will now be available on DStv Family and DStv Access as well.”

COVID-19 to affect SuperSport schedule

Following the government’s declaration of a national state of disaster in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions have been placed on the number of people restaurants and public other entertainment places may admit.

More South Africans may therefore find themselves spending more time at home and would thus welcome DStv’s announcement.

Nevertheless, the outbreak has led to the cancellation or postponement of several sporting events around the world.

In an update on its website on Thursday, SuperSport said, “This will have an impact on SuperSport’s ability to broadcast the relevant sporting events. We will continue to monitor the situation and make the necessary changes to our broadcast schedule as developments occur.”

More free channels on DSTV Now

Earlier this week, DStv Now also announced that it was making available 13 channels for all South Africans to watch free of charge.

It said the decision is aimed at expanding access to news channels so that more South Africans can stay up to date regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

The free channels are now available to all South Africans who have an internet connection and not just subscribers.

The following 24-hour news channels are now available for free on DSTV Now: BBC World, CNN, Sky News, eNCA, SABC News, Newzroom Afrika, and Euronews Now.

Other free channels include DStv (100), TBN, People’s Weather, SuperSport Play, PBS Kids and Channel O.

South Africans can also watch episodes of popular Mzansi series such as IgaziThe RiverIsibayaBinnelandersSuidooster, and Die Ware Naarheid via the Catch Up portal on the free service.

Mthethwa’s spokesperson Masechaba Ndlovu apologises for COVID-19 ‘death toll’ error

Masechaba Ndlovu, the spokesperson of Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, has apologised after mistakenly tweeting about a non-existent coronavirus death toll in South Africa.

Ndlovu was reporting on Mthethwa’s comments during an interview with Sakina Kamwendo on SAfm on Wednesday when she made the error.

In a now-deleted tweet, she wrote, “The message is unambiguous. People must listen to what the President has said. There is no ‘if’ or ‘maybe,’ people are dying. The death toll was at 64 yesterday; we now stand at 116. – Minister @NathiMthethwa #OneMessageManyVoices.”

‘My apologies for giving you a fright’

Twitter users immediately alerted Ndlovu about the error and she subsequently tweeted her apology.

“To clarify, ‘the number of people infected with #CoronaVirusSA now stands at 116.’ Thank you Twitter family. Let’s continue to take the necessary measures to curb the spread of this virus. My apologies for giving you a fright,” she wrote.

Image credit: Twitter/Masechaba Ndlovu

This is Ndlovu’s first full week as Mthethwa’s spokesperson after her appointment on Thursday last week.

Announcing her appointment, Mthethwa described her as “a dynamic trailblazer who has made an immense contribution towards the African media landscape.”

Controversy surrounding Asanda Magaqa’s firing

He added, “Masechaba Ndlovu is a Pan-African brand and a seasoned media practitioner who has played a significant role in the arts fraternity.

“As someone who possesses passion for people, she has constantly been in the forefront of advocating for truth and justice.”

However, Nldovu’s appointment and the apparent firing of Mthethwa’s previous spokesperson, Asanda Magaqa, was not without controversy.

Writing on Twitter, Magaqa suggested that she had learnt of her firing on social media and described it as a “devastating moment.”

She wrote, “What has shattered my heart most… is not the news I woke up to; not your collective ‘whys and ‘hows,’ but seeing my name as a subject of speculation, jokes, and damaging insinuations… and seeing strangers mock and laugh at me as I undergo a devastating moment in my life…

“Under the circumstances, I am taking a brief sabbatical from social media. If you derive some kind of titillation from these developments, good for you. Just know that God has carried me through far worse.”

Somizi ‘shocked’ at pricey coronavirus test, calls for free tests on mobile clinics

Mega entertainer Somizi Mhlongo has expressed shock at the cost of testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) at a private hospital he visited in Johannesburg on Monday.

In a video on Instagram, he said decided to go for the test after experiencing a cough. When he asked how much it would cost, he was told R4,500.

Somizi said, “That broke my heart. I asked, ‘What happens to people who can’t afford it? What does this mean for people who either have no clinics around or can’t afford?'”

Mobile clinics, free tests

He continued, “Why is it so expensive to test for something that is an epidemic and a national crisis? I feel something needs to be done about that.

“Shouldn’t there be like, mobile clinics and stuff where it’s either done at a very affordable price or for free? I think this is where the Department of Health or the Presidency need to really step in and do something about it.”

The hugely popular Idols SA judge said in his view, people should not pay to be tested “for something like this.”

Somizi’s views were echoed by many of the more than 1,400 fans who commented on his video, including fellow celebrities Bontle Modiselle and Judith Sephuma.

Private tests ‘have to be verified’

During a briefing with Parliament’s portfolio committee on health earlier this month, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said coronavirus tests are primarily a state function carried out by public institutions.

At a media briefing in Polokwane last week, Mkhize also said results from both public and private hospitals have to be verified by the National Health Laboratory Service (NHLS) and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD).

He said, “The approach is, for the results to be finalised, whether the individual would have done them at a private hospital, at a private laboratory or public, it has to be verified through the NHLS and NICD.”

His comments followed the misdiagnosis of an individual in the Free State province whose positive diagnosis was withdrawn after further tests.

As of Monday, South Africa had a total of 62 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Mkhize indicated during a media briefing more possible cases were being verified.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a series of measures on Sunday to help curb the spread of the virus, including travel bans and closure of 37 land and sea ports of entry.

DStv Now makes 13 channels free to watch for all South Africans

DStv Now has made available 13 channels for all South Africans to watch free of charge.

DStv Now’s decision is aimed at expanding access to news channels so that more South Africans can stay up to date regarding the coronavirus outbreak.

The online streaming service is linked with DStv’s satellite broadcasting service. It enables subscribers to watch TV channels on mobile devices, laptops and smart TVs.

DStv Now free channels

The free channels are now available to all South Africans who have an internet connection and not just subscribers.

The following 24-hour news channels are now available for free on DSTV Now: BBC World, CNN, Sky News, eNCA, SABC News, Newzroom Afrika, and Euronews Now.

Other free channels include DStv (100), TBN, People’s Weather, SuperSport Play, PBS Kids and Channel O.

South Africans can also watch episodes of popular Mzansi series such as Igazi, The River, Isibaya, Binnelanders, Suidooster, and Die Ware Naarheid via the Catch Up portal on the free service.

How to sign up for DStv Now

To sign up, connect to now.dstv.com and click on “Sign Up.” From here, you need to fill in your details before clicking “Create An Account.”

The interface will now prompt you to fill in your ID, smartcard number or customer number. Scroll to the bottom of the interface and skip this step if you are not a subscriber.

The next step involves naming your profile and uploading a profile picture. Once you have done this, you can now start watching the free channels.

Viewers using tablets or smartphones would need to download the DStv Now app for Android or iOS depending on their device.

The DStv Now free service is only available in South Africa at the moment.

Mark Rayner, MultiChoice SA’s CEO, said in a statement, “While we are grateful that we have not yet had a single incident within our organisation, we are working hard to ensure that we keep our employees, suppliers and customers as safe as we can.”

British actor Idris Elba says he has tested positive for coronavirus

Popular British actor Idris Elba has announced that he has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Elba made the announcement on Twitter on Monday night, saying he got the results on Monday morning but felt okay.

He wrote, “I feel ok, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus. Stay home people and be pragmatic. I will keep you updated on how I’m doing. No panic.”

Got exposed to positive person

The Fast and Furious star accompanied his tweet with a video of himself and his wife Sabrina Dhowre.

In the video, he reiterated that he and Sabrina were doing okay, but said Sabrina hadn’t been tested yet.

Elba added, “I got tested because I realised I got exposed to someone who had also tested positive. I found out last Friday that they had tested positive.

“I quarantined myself and got tested immediately and got the results back today. Look, this is serious. Now is the time to really think about social distancing [and] washing your hands.”

‘Transparency the best thing’

Elba encouraged his fans to be vigilant because infected people may not display symptoms but could easily spread the virus.

“Transparency is probably the best thing for this right now. If you’re feeling ill or you feel like you should be tested or you’ve been exposed, then do something about it,” he said.

Elba’s tweet went viral, racking up more than 335,000 likes and 110,000 retweets in just over an hour. His video was also viewed more than 6.3 million times within the same time period.

The United Kingdom (UK) has been hit hard by the virus with more than 1,500 confirmed cases and 55 deaths so far.

Globally, more than 169,000 cases have been confirmed and the pandemic has claimed over 7,000 lives so far.

In South Africa, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize confirmed a total of 62 cases during a press briefing on Monday.

On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a raft of extraordinary measures to curb the spread of the virus, including travel bans to several European countries and the United States.

Newzroom Afrika lifts suspension on JJ Tabane’s show after ‘sincere’ apology

TV news channel Newzroom Afrika has lifted its suspension on the popular talk show Your View, which is hosted by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane.

Newzroom Afrika made the announcement in a statement on Monday. The show will resume as from Monday night.

The channel suspended it last week citing Tabane’s “disparaging” comments about the people of Limpopo.

‘Sincere apology’

During the show on Thursday, Tabane seemingly said the people of Limpopo are “witchcraft specialists.”

He made the comment while criticising the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in the Peter Mokaba region for opposing the government’s choice of Limpopo as the site of its coronavirus quarantine centre.

The channel said Tabane’s comments were “offensive and disrespectful.” He later apologised on his personal Twitter account as well as on air.

In its statement on Monday, Newzroom Afrika‘s head of marketing and communications Zamahlasela Gabela said, “While his comments were not in keeping with the values of the channel, the editorial subcommittee found his apology to be sincere and authentic.”

All programming to resume

Gabela added, “Importantly, he expressed his regret over the remark in his personal capacity before a formal complaint had been lodged.

“In light of this, and in consultation with the channel’s senior management, the decision has been taken to lift the suspension of Your View and all programming will resume as normal as from Monday, 16 March.”

Many fans of the show expressed opposition to the suspension in the first place, noting that Tabane had apologised and they had accepted his apology.

One of them, former ANCYL leader Magasela Mzobe, tweeted at the time, “You guys are dramatic. Why investigate when he has acknowledged his mistake and apologised? What are you investigating? Bring back the show and @JJTabane.”

The fans have also welcomed the lifting of the suspension. Twitter user @Modidi_WaMatepe tweeted, “Next time stop with emotional decisions based on preempted public reaction. I won’t welcome you back @JJTabane because you never went anywhere.”

“There was no need to suspend in the first place. But understandably you had to take action. @JJTabane Welcome back… Can you believe it!!!!!” added @MmuiWabatho.

Newzroom Afrika suspends JJ Tabane’s show for Limpopo ‘witchcraft’ comment

Newzroom Afrika TV news channel has suspended the popular late night show Your View, which is hosted by Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, for making “disparaging” comments about the people of Limpopo.

During the show on Thursday night, Tabane seemingly said the people of Limpopo are “witchcraft specialists.”

He made the comment while criticising the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) in the Peter Mokaba region for opposing the government’s choice of Limpopo as the site of its coronavirus quarantine centre.

‘Not the views of Newzroom Afrika

In a statement on Friday afternoon, Newzroom Afrika said Tabane’s comments are not aligned with its values.

It said, “Respect for the cultures of all South Africans is at the core of these values and Tabane’s comments violated them.

“They were offensive and disrespectful and he has acknowledged this and apologised on his personal Twitter account.”

The channel added that Tabane would also be making an apology on News@Prime on Friday night.

Matter under editorial review

Newzroom Afrika said despite Tabane’s apology, the matter is under review by its editorial sub-committee led by veteran journalist Dr Joe Thloloe.

“Pending the outcome of the investigation, Your View will be suspended until further notice,” it added.

Clayson Monyela, the spokesperson of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), was among those who reacted to Tabane’s comments.

He tweeted, “My brother and friend @JJTabane, I’m assuming the statement that the people of Limpopo are witchcraft specialists was said in jest. It’s still offensive…considering that your show deals with news/current affairs. You may want to consider apologising.”

In response, Tabane wrote, “Yes indeed my brother. But I am sorry about it nonetheless. Truly sorry.”

Several social media users accepted Tabane’s apology, but argued that the suspension of the show was a step too far.

One of them, former ANCYL leader Magasela Mzobe, wrote, “You guys are dramatic. Why investigate when he has acknowledged his mistake and apologised? What are you investigating? Bring back the show and @JJTabane.”

Masechaba Ndlovu lands plum job as Nathi Mthethwa’s spokesperson

TV and radio personality Masechaba Ndlovu has landed a plum job as Sports, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa’s spokesperson.

Mthethwa made the announcement via Twitter on Thursday morning and said Ndlovu “will play an integral part in executing our motto of ‘laying the foundation for greatness.'”

He described Ndlovu as “a Pan-African brand and a seasoned media practitioner who has played a significant role in the arts fraternity.”

‘Dynamic trailblazer’

The Minister added, “My newly-appointed spokesperson is a dynamic trailblazer who has made an immense contribution towards the African media landscape.

“[She] is one of the most influential women on the continent. The Department looks forward to working with an eminent and diligent leader.”

In response, Ndlovu quoted Mthethwa’s tweet and wrote, “It is an honour and a privilege. I am ready to serve indeed.”

The popular media personality has hosted various TV shows such as eTV‘s The Big Debate and SABC2 talk show Mose Waka.

Masechaba Ndlovu the entrepreneur

She has also co-hosted Metro FM‘s popular daytime show The Drive with Mo Flava and Masechaba.

Ndlovu has dabbled in entrepreneurship as well. On her website, she describes herself as a speaker, facilitator and media trainer through her company Masechaba Media.

She recently launched an app called MyPersonal Lifeline, which enables users to get help quickly should they be victims of crime.

Social media has been abuzz with news of Ndlovu’s appointment, with many users congratulating her for it.

Twitter user @tsholanangp wrote, “Thank you Minister. You have outdone yourself. She is brilliant and very intelligent to do the job. A great communicator of note. She is sharp and well versed. She is gonna sparkle up that department.”

“Well-deserved. Masechaba is articulately knowledgeable, smart, journalistic instincts are aboveboard, confident, an A Plus+ astute African,” added @ICE_TALI.

Somizi and Mohale drop Italy for their 3rd wedding over coronavirus fears

Celebrity couple Somizi Mhlongo and Mohale Motaung have dropped Italy as the location of their third wedding amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Somizi confirmed the cancellation in a short tweet on Thursday. In an Instagram post on Friday, he said they will choose another destination.

He wrote, “We have decided to cancel our wedding in Italy due to the coronavirus epidemic. However, we gonna look for another destination, but the dress code will include @louisvuitton masks. Just like the red bottoms were compulsory at our white wedding, so is the LV mask.”

SA man with coronavirus had travelled to Italy

Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhizi, confirmed on Thursday that a 38-year-old male in KwaZulu-Natal was South Africa’s first confirmed case of coronavirus.

In a statement, he said the man had travelled to Italy with his wife. They were part of a group of 10 people who jetted back to South Africa on 1 March, 2020.”

According to a Sky News report, Italy is the second-hardest hit country after China, with more than 3,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 107 deaths.

On Wednesday, the Italian government announced the closure of schools and universities until 15 March. It has also suspended football games and other events.

Wedding to coincide with Mohale’s birthday

Somizi said during an interview with Metro FM in February that they had scheduled their third wedding for July to coincide with Mohale’s birthday.

Somizi and Mohale had their star-studded and glitzy traditional wedding in Kibler Park, Johannesburg, in September last year.

They subsequently held their white wedding in Muldersdrift in January this year. Several celebrities graced it, including radio presenter Thando Thabethe, entrepreneur and former Miss SA Basetsana Khumalo, singer Vusi Nova, entertainer Khanyi Mbau, and TV presenter Minnie Dlamini, amongst others.

The star couple struck an exclusive deal with Showmax to air both weddings on the online streaming service from 24 February.

The four-part wedding special, dubbed Somizi & Mohale: The Union, has proved absolutely popular with fans.

It had the most views ever on its first day on Showmax, breaking the streaming service’s viewing records.

All the feels: ‘Fanned out’ Gabrielle Union touts Pearl Thusi as her #WCW

A totally “fanned out” Gabrielle Union has named none other than South Africa’s very own superstar actress Pearl Thusi as her “Woman crush Wednesday.”

The legendary American actress shared a heartfelt tribute to Thusi on Instagram on Wednesday, referring to her as “talented and captivating.”

She wrote, “I met Pearl randomly in a bar in Barcelona while watching the World Cup, right after watching her Netflix movie, Catching Feelings… and I completely fanned out!”

‘Superstar for all the right reasons’

Union, who was until recently an America’s Got Talent judge, praised Thusi as a “superstar for all the right reasons” as well as an entrepreneur, friend, mother, and philanthropist.

She cited Thusi’s successes, including having her own hair line called Black Pearl Hair and her work on HIV and gender-based violence issues.

View this post on Instagram

Today’s #WCW is the talented and captivating Pearl Thusi (@pearlthusi). I met Pearl randomly in a bar in Barcelona while watching the World Cup, right after watching her Netflix movie, Catching Feelings… and I completely fanned out! She is the kind of woman that's a superstar for all the right reasons. She is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, friend, mother and more. She has her own hair care line called Black Pearl Hair… and launched the first ever MAC Collaboration in Africa EVER. Her project Queen Sono is Netflix’s first African original… before her they had never done anything script to screen on the continent! And her movie Catch Feelings was their first African movie ever licensed. Her passion for education, women, kids, and fighting HIV has lead her to some incredible work…. helping Global Citizen, many other organizations, and starting her own, Black halo, to focus on helping rape victims. To continue her philanthropic efforts, she just started working with Nkosi’s Haven – a foundation run in  honor of Nkosi Johnson, the longest surviving child born with HIV at his time of passing. There aren’t even enough characters available for me to describe everything this woman has done for the world and accomplished!  She’s the kind of woman to pop up at my birthday dinner at my favorite Mexican spot when I thought she was out of the country. I'm so inspired by all the work she does. From her immense talent to her groundbreaking roles to her hairline to raising her 2 daughters. Just, WOW. Let us lift her up in the light of goodness and hold her there.

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on

Union added, “Her project Queen Sono is Netflix’s first African original; before her they had never done anything script to screen on the continent! And her movie Catch Feelings was their first African movie ever licensed.”

Queen Sono, in which Thusi stars as a spy caught in a web of business and political intrigues, is currently getting rave reviews since it began showing on Netflix at the end of February.

Pearl Thusi, South Africans react

Union went on to say, “There aren’t even enough characters available for me to describe everything this woman has done for the world and accomplished! 

“I’m so inspired by all the work she does. From her immense talent to her groundbreaking roles to her hairline to raising her two daughters. Just, WOW. Let us lift her up in the light of goodness and hold her there.”

Pearl Thusi was among the first to react to Union’s glowing tribute. Commenting on the Instagram post, she simply said, “Gab… thank you… I really don’t know what else to say. Thank you.”

South Africans on social media also couldn’t help but get all the feels from Union’s post and in no time, both she and Thusi were trending.

Twitter user @Telekoadam joked, “Let’s give Gabrielle Union an African name. She is one of us.” Another user immediately suggested the name “Gabisile.”

Others said the tribute was a case of queens recognising each other, while @robzinterris replied, “Thanks for the recognition Gabrielle… Our continent has so much beauty and talent.”

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