Alan Committie is a South African comic actor and qualified high school teacher. Committie has performed on stage, television, radio and the Internet. In addition to his own, self-written shows, Committie has performed a number of other stage productions including Rob Becker’s Defending the Caveman. He is particularly well known for his character ‘Johan van der Walt’, a highly officious, disturbingly pedantic, offensive security officer and part-time film critic.
He freelances around South Africa and has also performed in the UK and the USA. He is best known for his comic one-man shows: This talented stand-up comedian was also part of all the Smirnoff International Comedy Festivals (Cape Town, Durban and Jo’burg) between 1997 and 2003! And, subsequently has MC’d 10 of the 15 Jive Cape Town Funny Festival events between 2004 and 2019.
Alan Committie is renowned for his 8 year stint as the star of the Broadway hit Defending the Caveman and racked up 963 performances around South Africa. He has subsequently written a hugely successful sequel to this show called Love Factually (already over 240 performances) which he continues to present at corporate and charity events
Thomas Kevin Curran is a South African-born English cricketer who represents England in Test matches and One Day Internationals. He plays for Surrey County Cricket Club in English domestic cricket. In the 2018/19 season he played for the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League. He is a right-arm fast-medium bowler who bats right-handed.
He won the Cricket Writers’ Club Young Cricketer of the Year award for his performances in 2015. Curran was part of the England squad that won the 2019 Cricket World Cup; however he did not play in any matches during the tournament.
He is the son of former Zimbabwe international cricketer Kevin Curran, and the brother of both Northamptonshire batsman Ben Curran and England and Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran.
Born in Cape Town, Curran attended Springvale House, a preparatory school in Zimbabwe before moving on to the prestigious St George’s College in Harare (Zimbabwe). His excellence in cricket allowed him to move onto Hilton College and finally Wellington College in England.
He was announced as the replacement for Mitchell Starc by Kolkata Knight Riders for the 2018 Indian Premier League,] where he played 5 matches and took 6 wickets.
In April 2019, he was named in England’s squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. He was one of two players, along with Liam Dawson, who was unused as England won the tournament.
In September 2019, he was named in the squad for the Tshwane Spartans team for the 2019 Mzansi Super League tournament.
It all started with several thousands of dreams. And nine months later, it has all boiled down to one dream that has come true for one contestant – Luyolo Yiba, SA Idols winner for 2019.
In a tightly-contested competition, Yiba was named the winner of the 15TH season of SA Idols at the Idols finale at the Big Top Arena at Carnival City in Ekurhuleni, with KwaZulu-Natal’s Sneziey Msomi the runner-up.
The 24-year-old software developer from King William’s Town auditioned in Cape Town, and week after week captured the imagination of Idols fans as the dark horse who progressed to be a true contender for the Idols title, ultimately emerging victorious.
The Idols finale was a spectacular affair that pulled out all the stops to showcase this year’s talent, and the exceptional star quality of 2019’s Top 2 in particular. The Top 2 performed reminded us once again why they had made it this far, with Yiba performing Legend’s Green Light, accompanied by the Mzansi Gay Choir, while Msomi performed Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse’s Burnout.
For Yiba, who’s encore for the Idols Season 15 finale was his first single Sunshine Through the Rain, this is the start of a brave new journey as 2019’s SA Idol.
Daryl Impey is a South African professional road cyclist, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam Mitchelton–Scott. Impey is an all-rounder; he generally comes to the fore on tough uphill sprints, His biggest wins to date have been the 2018 and 2019 Tour Down Under in Australia being the first ever person to win back to back titles 2019 Tour Down Under. He is also 8 x SA ITT Champion and has just won his 2nd national SA Road championship title, being the first ever person to do the double SA Road Race and ITT in his country. After riding for the South African team Barloworld in 2008 and 2009, in 2010 Impey joined Team RadioShack. Impey had originally signed for 2011 with the Australian team called Pegasus, but was forced to seek employment elsewhere after that team failed to secure a UCI license. After riding for MTN–Qhubeka and Team NetApp in 2011, Impey joined GreenEDGE for the squad’s inaugural season in 2012. He won a stage of the Tour of the Basque Country in April of that year, before making his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia in May. In 2013, he became the first South African ever to lead the Tour de France.
In 2015, Impey had to abandon the Tour de France after being involved in a massive crash on the third stage. He was named in the start list for the 2015 Vuelta a España
PIETER-STEPH DU TOIT
Pieter-Steph du Toit. is a South African rugby union player. Du Toit plays as a lock or a flanker for the South Africa national team and the Stormers in Super Rugby. After winning the 2019 Rugby World Cup with South Africa, he was awarded the 2019 Men’s World Rugby Player of the Year.
Du Toit went to school at Hoërskool Swartland where he played mostly in the back row.
He made his Springbok Test debut versus Wales in Cardiff on 9 November 2013 at age 21. Du Toit has since become a regular for the Springboks and was a part of the South African team for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Du Toit came off the bench in the quarter final, where South Africa beat Wales, 23-19, at Twickenham Stadium. The following season saw Du Toit become a regular starter for South Africa, under new Head Coach, Allister Coetzee.
Du Toit is the grandson of former Springbok prop, Piet “Spiere” du Toit and is the older brother of Johan, also a professional rugby player. The two brothers were contracted to the Sharks at the same time (in 2014 and 2015) before reuniting at the Stormers from 2017 onwards.
Rosko Specman is a South African rugby union player for the Bulls in Super Rugby, the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup and the Blue Bulls XV in the Rugby Challenge. He played rugby sevens for the South Africa national rugby sevens team between 2014 and 2018 and also played Currie Cup rugby with the Sharks from 2010 to 2012, the Pumas from 2013 to 2015 and the Free State Cheetahs in 2017. His usual position is winger.
He was a member of the South African Sevens team that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
At youth level, he played at the 2007 U18 Academy Week for Eastern Province Country Districts and then for the Mighty Elephants (now Eastern Province Kings) U19 team in the 2008 U19 Currie Cup competition.
On 10 October 2018, it was announced that Specman would join the Bulls in Super Rugby and the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup from 2019, following the completion of his commitments with the South Africa national rugby sevens team.
Cindy Swanepoel is a South African actress best known for her role as Annelize Roux in the kykNET soapie Binnelanders, joining the cast in 2015. She was promoted to starring cast for Season 12, in 2016.
She is also known for her role as Buula Botha, the troublemaker sister of Boeps, in the fourth season of the kykNET drama series Getroud Met Rugby, in 2015.
Born in Krugersdorp, Cindy grew up in Pretoria. She spent her high school years in Cape Town, where she matriculated from Durbanville High School.
Having graduated with a BA Drama (Hons.) from the University of Stellenbosch in 2003, Cindy made her professional acting debut in the theatre production of Kringe in ‘n Bos, directed by Marinda Engelbrecht for Artscape (and later the KKNK festival) in 2004.Cindy originally played the role of Chrystal in the 2010 feature film Getroud Met Rugby, upon which the subsequent drama-turned-soapie was based. Other films she has acted in include Natie’s Garage, Die Staat se Bul, Ballade Vir ‘n Enkeling and Eenrigting.
In 2011 she and two partners started Pôkô Events and Productions, initially specialising in shadow and children’s theatre. She has worked on numerous corporate theatre and films for clients including Shoprite, Firebrand, Eskom, Siyaphila and Mindset.
Chris Dry is a South African rugby union player, currently playing with the South African Sevens team in the Sevens World Series. His regular position is a flanker.
Dry played rugby for his school, Grey College in Bloemfontein, earning a call-up to Free State’s Under-18 side that played at the Academy Week tournament in 2006. The following year, he became involved in the youth structures at the Free State Cheetahs; he played for the Free State U19 side in the 2007 Under-19 Provincial Championship and for the Free State U21 side in the Under-21 Provincial Championships in both 2008 and 2009.
In 2010, Dry joined the South African Sevens setup. He made his debut at the 2010 Adelaide Sevens tournament and participated in four tournaments in the 2009–10 IRB Sevens World Series and quickly established himself as a regular in the side.
He made six tournament appearances in the 2010–11 IRB Sevens World Series and played in all nine events of the 2011–12 IRB Sevens World Series. He played in the first eight events during the 2012–13 IRB Sevens World Series, but missed out on the 2013 London Sevens. He was also a member of the Blitzbokke that played at the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens, but disappointingly got knocked out at the quarter-final stage by Fiji.
He once again played in all nine events of the 2013–14 IRB Sevens World Series before participating at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, helping his side all the way to the final, where they got a 17–12 victory over a New Zealand that won the previous four tournaments.
Herschel Jerome Jantjies is a South African rugby union player for the South Africa national team and the Stormers in Super Rugby. His regular position is scrum-half.
Jantjies was born in Stellenbosch, where he attended Paul Roos Gymnasium. He represented Western Province at Under-16 level in 2012 and at the Craven Week tournaments in 2013 in 2014. He progressed to their Under-19 and Under-21 sides, and made his first class debut in Western Province’s match against the Leopards in the 2016 Currie Cup qualification series.
He made four appearances as a replacement for Western Province in the 2017 Rugby Challenge, a competition they would go on to win, before reverting to the Western Province U21 team for the latter half of the season. At the end of 2017, Jantjies was drafted into the squad of Welsh side Scarlets on their visit to South Africa during the 2017–18 Pro14 season, and came on as a replacement in their match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.
Jantjies was named in South Africa’s squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. South Africa went on to win the tournament, defeating England in the final.
Randall began his professional career at Good Hope FM in Cape Town where he was station manager during the mid-90s. He then moved to Johannesburg and was part of the team that set up youth radio station Yfm. Randall moved back to the SABC in 2002 as GM: Commercial Radio heading up 5fm, Metro FM and Good Hope FM until 2006. He consulted on various radio and entertainment projects from mid-2006 and was CEO of the MTN SAMAs in 2011/12. He joined Universal Music in June 2012 as MD and left the company in early 2016 to pursue his personal business interests.
Randall’s television appearances include South African Idols and SA’s Got Talent.
SUPERSPORT PUNDIT , COMMENTATOR & ANALYST – After an illustrious career as a professional South African rugby player, Gcobani Bobo has undoubtedly earned his reputation as being one of South Africa’s credible sports legends. He played in various top international and local teams namely, Golden Lions , Cats , Sharks , Western province, Stormers, Newcastle Falcons (UK ), South Africa 7s ( Blitz Bokke) captained, South Africa (Springboks) and The Barbarians. His passion for the sport has offered him the opportunity to travel around the world, which exposed him to new experiences and cultures. All the while cultivating his knowledge and developing his skills as a talented player. It came at no surprise when he started to impart his knowledge, both on and off the field, and geared his energies into coaching. Post his retirement as a professional player, Gcobani Bobo joined the panel of legendary and credible ex rugby players at SuperSport, where he currently works as a sports presenter, commentator and analyst. He is also the Director of High Performance Coaching for a company called Shadowball, which is a Rugby Skills Project sponsored by Nashua that trains and develops rugby in schools in South Afrian, Botswana and Nambia. When he is not on-screen and coaching rugby enthusiasts, Gcobani Bobo graces various corporate and social events by conducting motivational speaking.
He has been blind since birth…Despite this Hein Wagner has many accomplishments to his name. He has completed the Absa Cape Epic, ran the Antarctica Marathon, the Two Oceans and New York Marathons, completed full Ironman, competed in the World Triathlon Series in Cape Town, finished several Cape Town Cycle Tours, tackled the white waters of the Zambezi River, climbed the ten highest mountains in the Western Cape, completed the Cape to Rio Yacht Race, holds the World Blind Land Speed Record at 322.52 km/h, and more. In August 2014, Hein received an honorary Golden Key award from the University of Stellenbosch for his ongoing commitment to social upliftment. He is also the inspirational brand ambassador for SAP in the EMeA South region in Europe. Hein is well-known both locally and abroad and has received extensive media coverage. He is married to Monica and they have a little daughter called India. The family divide their time between Sweden and South Africa. Hein Wagner is living proof that despite the challenges that come our way, anything is possible. He does not allow his blindness to stand in the way of his dreams and people often refer to him as the blind man with exceptional vision.
JOHN-LAFFNIE DE JAGER
John-Laffnie is a South African former tour professional tennis player. A doubles specialist, de Jager reached the semi-finals for three different grand slam tournaments three times in three different years partnering three different fellow South African players. de Jager is the current non-playing captain of the South Africa Davis Cup team. De Jager has .Played professional tennis for 13 years and was ranked no 4 in the world in doubles at one stage. John-Laffnie made the semi-finals of Wimbledon, the Australian Open, the US Open and finals of the French Open and played Davis Cup for South Africa with a 4th at the 2000 Olympic Games.
He is the only coached in the World that has coached in all the big team competitions around the world, Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympics’, World Team Tennis and International Premier Tennis League and was the captain of the Davis Cup for South Africa for 10 years. He Coached the SA Olympic Team 2008 and was named World Team Tennis coach of the year 2007,2009 & 2010.
De Jager went on to win the World Team Tennis Title back to back as the coach of the Springfield Lasers 2018, 2019 with both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic having played in teams he has coached.
John-Laffnie is the founder of the Matchpoint Foundation, and organisation that help young South African tennis players reach their dreams. He is also the founder of #TheHandshakeChallenge
John-Laffnie de Jager’s company “No Boundaries” will host the Federer/Nadal Match In Africa 6 tennis match in the Cape Town stadium.
Zakeeya Patel is a South African actor, presenter and producer best known for her roles as Samantha Sharma on SABC 3’s award winning flagship soapie, Isidingo; Riaad Moosa’s little sister in the movie ‘Material’; the saucy and fiery, Amita Kahn in the award winning South African series ‘The Wild’; and the quirky and peculiar Dhanapriya, in the award winning South African series ‘High Rollers’. She is the champion of the sixth season of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and has appeared on shows such as ‘Scandal’, ‘The Docket, ‘Skwizas’, ‘7de Laan’, ‘Mzansi Love’ and ‘Sokhulu and Partners’.
In 2014, Zakeeya was hand picked by American activist and writer Eve Ensler to star in her play ‘Emotional Creature’. In 2015, she was back on the silver screen in ‘The Jakes are Missing’ and played the villainous lead Jasmine, in her first Afrikaans role in the movie ‘Die Pro”. Also in 2015, she was invited to join the cast of one of South Africa’s favourite soapies: ‘Isidingo’ as the gutsy and hot-blooded Samantha Sharma.
In 2016 she left the popular show to produce her first ever show, ‘Mnandi Me’, a health and lifestyle show for SABC Education. 2017 saw Zakeeya in a string of diverse roles including a nightmare bride in ’Broken Vows’; a self-obsessed Sandton poppie in ‘Thula’s Vine’; a kidnapped young illustrator in ‘Shadow’ and then she got shipped off to the Seychelles to compete for a million rand in the popular reality show ‘Tropika Island of Treasure’.
2019 started off with a bang for Zakeeya and she shows no sign of slowing down. She is the host of SABC’s most popular magazine show, ‘Mela’; she is on the crime thriller, ‘The Docket’ as the razor sharp journalist Lexi Patel; she appeared on the big screen as Candice, a wild child teen mother in ‘3 Days To Go’; in the dark Showmax drama ‘The Girl from St Agnes’ where she plays the school’s virtuous matron, Sharon McMahon and you can see her as a damsel in distress in South Africa’s first Netflix offering- ‘Shadow’.
Jesse Clegg is a South African Singer-Songwriter whose three studio albums – When I Wake Up, his follow-up Life On Mars, and his 2016 release Things Unseen – have made the young artist a platinum-selling success in his home country. In 2014, Jesse brought his music to the International stage. He embarked on a seven-week tour across North America, which comprised of 32 shows in 31 cities, as well as a main stage performance at Isle of Wight Festival in the UK. 2015 saw Jesse returning to studio to record new material for his 3rd studio release, entitled Things Unseen. The first single, “Use Me”, was released in July, and immediately started charting on national radio, reaching the No. 1 spot on several stations. It remained in the iTunes Top 40 for 3 months.Let It Burn, released in July 2019, marked the first new original music since I’ve Been Looking. The single is a product of his time spent in LA and is about exploring the things that you fear. Jesse also returned to LA in October where he spent a month working on new material for the upcoming album. Jesse has released eight Top 10 singles and has been nominated for five South African Music Awards. As an official ambassador for the Nelson Mandela 46664 foundation, Jesse was invited to play at Radio City Music Hall in New York for the annual Mandela Day Concert.
Schalk Bezuidenhout was born in Gauteng in the wonderful city of Johannesburg. Even though this sounds very contemporary, he grew up in a very Afrikaans, ‘bring-terug-Apartheid’ town right next to the airport.
In Kempton Park young Schalk grew up in a very traditional way. He went to an Afrikaans pre-primary, primary, and high school. The traditional Afrikaans way of living was a good life.
His family and friends stood back as they watched Schalk evolve from an Afrikaans conservative caterpillar into a beautiful drama queen butterfly, complete with a moustache and furry afro. At first it was just doing cartwheels on the rugby field. It was thus obvious to Schalk’s parents that he would study drama, and to help numb the pain they sent him away to study at the University of Cape Town.
While studying in Cape Town Schalk slowly began to realise that there was so much more to life than boerewors and rugby. He quickly became conscious of the fact that he could still be a proud Afrikaans boy, whilst wearing skinny jeans. Schalk did not make it into the Theatre and Performance course at UCT and was forced to do a general BA with drama as a major. During this ‘gap year’ of his all he had was a witty brain and a dream, so he did what any person in his situation would do. That’s right, he went into comedy, in April 2011.
Schalk is not afraid to say it like it is and talks about how he perceives things through his De la Rey spectacles. On stage he is fun and energetic and appeals to people of all kinds and colours.
Schalk has come a far way in the short amount of time that he has been doing comedy. He has had the privilege to perform at some great venues, alongside some even greater comedians.
Deon Godfrey Meyer is a South African thriller novelist. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages. He has also written numerous scripts for television and film. Meyer was born on 4 July 1958 in Paarl. He matriculated in 1976 at the Schoonspruit High School in Klerksdorp. He studied at Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education where he studied for a BA with English and History as majors. He later obtained an honours degree at the University of the Free State. He was a long-time resident of historical coastal resort of Melkbosstrand where he wrote most of his novels.
In the 1980s he worked as a journalist at Die Volksblad, at the public relations office of the University of the Free State, and began work as advertising copy writer at Sanlam. In 1991 he was appointed manager of Internal Communication and creative director of Sanlam’s Publicity department. After Sanlam he started his own business specialising in the creation and management of virtual communities on the internet, and thereafter he was manager of special projects at BMW motorcycles. He currently writes full-time.
Deon Meyer’s novel-writing career started when the Afrikaans magazine, Huisgenoot, published a short story he had submitted. His novels reflect current social issues in South Africa. Deon has published thirteen novels and two short story collections. His books have been published in more than 40 countries world-wide, and one (Dead Before Dying) was turned into the international TV series.
He has also written two series for television, and four screenplays for feature films, and has produced and directed movies in his native Afrikaans.
He lives in Stellenbosch, and is passionate about South Africa, Mozart, mountain biking, cooking, photography, and Free State Cheetahs and Springbok rugby.
Patrick Lambie is a retired South African rugby union player who last played for Racing 92 in the French Top 14. Lambie attended school at Clifton Preparatory in Durban before attending Michaelhouse from 2004 to 2008. He played SA schools rugby in both grade 11 and matric (grade 12). He was head boy and captained both the rugby and cricket team in his final year at Michaelhouse. Lambie is capable of playing flyhalf, centre and fullback, and was the leading points scorer in the 2009 ABSA U21 Currie Cup despite only turning 19 later that year. He represented South Africa at the under-20 level when he was selected for the squad, and was utilized extensively as the first choice fullback during the 2010 U20 World Cup in Argentina. Lambie was called up to represent South Africa during their 2010 tour to Ireland and the United Kingdom. He made his début against Ireland on 6 November 2010, at flyhalf after Morné Steyn was substituted in the second half. He converted a try on his debut. Lambie’s all round play and his position of fifth on the super rugby point scorer’s table got him selected for the Springbok squad for the 2012 England tour of South Africa. He took the pitch at half time with the score at 6-6 and helped the Springboks to a 22-17 victory over England. This was his twelfth cap. On 4 October 2014 Lambie scored the winning penalty against The All Blacks which ended their 22 match unbeaten run.
Lambie was recognised for his consistent and exceptional play in the 2012 season by being nominated for SARU Player of the year.
Lambie announced his retirement in January 2019 due to multiple concussions.
JULES – LEAD SINGER OF GOODLUCK
Officially launched in 2012, GoodLuck is an award-winning, chart-topping live electronic band from Cape Town, South Africa. While their genre-bending sound is rooted in their homeland, with the rhythms of Afrobeat, Afro house, tribal music and African drums lining their songs, GoodLuck’s sonic style is defined by a modern electronic edge with international crossover appeal and subtle influences from genres as varied as electronica, jazz and beyond. GoodLuck could be South Africa’s best kept secret. GoodLuck’s high-energy live shows are redefining the possibilities of live electronics and reviving the lost art of songwriting and storytelling in electronic music. Their pioneering tech setup, which features drum machines, synthesizers, electronic percussions, saxophone and vocals, allows them radical improvisation and flexible instrumentation in each unique performance. Since first hitting the scene, GoodLuck have come to dominate the national and international charts. Collectively, the band has amassed: nine #1 radio hits in South Africa; certified iTunes hits in Europe (with “Taking It Easy”); more than 500 performances around the world; and massive streaming numbers, including +15 million Spotify plays and +12 million YouTube views.
The band’s first international release, “Back in the Day” (Armada Music), exploded on Spotify, while their breakout track “I’ve Been Thinking About You” (Ultra Music) became an international hit, with the latter reaching #1 on radio charts across South Africa and becoming the most played song across all Top 40 stations in the country for the month of June 2016. Their recent single “Be Yourself” released on the band’s own Get Lucky Records imprint, has received massive radio support across Europe. Their newest track, “Dear Future Me”, is a sonic dreamscape and a perfect fusion of afrobeat, pop and electronica. The lyrics of this latest single are powerful and have been crafted to remind us just how disconnected we have become from one another. How frantic our lives are, and just how little time we give to being present with each other and perhaps most importantly, ourselves.
The first South African captain to win a World Cup, albeit at age-group level, Aiden Markram announced himself as champion material early. He led South Africa’s Under-19s to World Cup glory in 2014 and was also their leading run-scorer and third overall. Despite that success, Markram had to bide his time before earning a professional contract. He returned home to play for the University of Pretoria and Northerns, and in the 2016-17 season was part of the Titans squad.
In June 2017, he was named in South Africa’s Test squad for their series against England, but did not play. In August 2017, he was named as captain of the South Africa A cricket team for their two four-day matches against India A.In September 2017, he was named in South Africa’s Test squad for their series against Bangladesh. He made his Test debut for South Africa against Bangladesh on 28 September 2017.
After narrowly missing out on a maiden Test century on debut, Markram completed the feat in the second Test against Bangladesh on 6 October 2017 scoring 143 off 186 balls before being bowled by Rubel Hossain.
In October 2017, he was added to South Africa’s One Day International (ODI) squad ahead of the third match against Bangladesh, replacing Hashim Amla. He made his ODI debut for South Africa against Bangladesh on 22 October 2017, scored 66 runs and took 2 wickets.
In December 2017, he scored his second Test hundred and became the first South Africa player to score two centuries in his first three Tests.
Phillip Paul Lloyd is a South African professional wrestler. He is best known for his time in WWE, under the ring name Justin Gabriel. He is currently signed to Ring of Honor (ROH) and Lucha Underground under the ring name PJ Black.
A second-generation wrestler, Lloyd was initially trained by his father, a promoter and wrestler in South Africa, who was also known by his ring name The Pink Panther. His grandfather was a professional boxer and amateur wrestler. Lloyd grew up watching his father wrestle and in the early part of his training he used to practice in the backyard of his home, in which two rings were positioned. He made his professional wrestling debut in 1997 at the age of 16. Using the ring name “PJ Black”, he formed a regular tag team with Ray Leppan called Pure Juice.
In 2008, Lloyd signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment, and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE’s developmental territory, where he won the FCW Florida Tag Team Championship, with Kris Logan, and the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship. In February 2010, he competed in the first season of NXT, finishing third, before being called to the main roster in June 2010 joining The Nexus. He joined The Corre in 2011. Teaming regularly with Heath Slater, the duo won the WWE Tag Team Championship three times in 2010 and 2011, which was the apex of Gabriel’s success with WWE. He also won the TNA King of the Mountain Championship during his brief GFW crossover appearances with TNA in 2015.
Mark Andrews was born in Elliot, Eastern Cape (then Cape Province), South Africa)
He achieved his Junior Springbok colours in waterpolo while still at school. He switched to rugby union as his main sport and achieved honours while at school and university. He played for Natal’s winning Currie Cup team in 1995 and 1996.
Andrews made his international test debut for South Africa on 11 June 1994 against England in Cape Town. He went on to play 77 test and 13 mid-week games for South Africa. During his test career he scored 12 tries for a tally of 60 test points. Andrews was the 1st Springbok to reach 50 test caps winning himself 94 matches in total for the Springboks and 154 for the Natal Sharks.
He was part of the 1995 Rugby World Cup and Tri-Nations winning team alongside another native of Elliot, prop Os du Randt. He played in all 17 unbeaten test games.
SuperSport United striker Bradley Grobler has been in the headlines of late, scoring the only goal in the MTN Cup Final win over Highlands Park, and being linked to a January move to Orlando Pirates. The Bafana Bafana player also has international commitments ahead, as part of the current South African squad, and is the leading scorer in the PSL. With spells at Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars, as well as Turkish side Götzepe, Bradley is a well-travelled player enjoying the best spell of his career.
Grobler attended Benoni High School and plied his trade as a junior at both Boksburg FC and BK Callies just outside Johannesburg. Bradley started his professional football career at Platinum Stars. After a four-year stint at Stars, he moved to Turkish second division side Göztepe A.Ş. on 26 August 2011. He was then Göztepe’s most expensive signing ever.
On 26 June 2012, Grobler joined Premier Soccer League side Ajax Cape Town on a four-year deal.
Grobler scored on his international debut against Zimbabwe on 15 November 2011.
SHANRAY VAN WYK
One of South Africa’s most exciting young comedians, Shanray van Wyk recently performed his first one-man show to great acclaim, with sold out audiences and strong reviews. Having grown up in the Eastern Cape and worked as a boilermaker before finding his feet on stage, Shanray’s honest, endearing brand of comedy has seen his fan base grow steadily, and his comedy stock has risen considerably since his debut on the Savanna Comedy Showcase in 2016.
Kirsten Landman is a professional offroad & hard enduro rider from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. She has been riding since the age of 8 & launched her professional career at the age of 22.
Growing up on dirt bikes, which started off as just fun with her cousin and uncle, has now turned into Kirsten Landman making history and a name for herself worldwide in the hard enduro racing scene. Competing in major international events, Kirsten has become the first female to finish races such as Redbull Romaniacs, Redbull Sea to Sky, Redbull Megawatt 111, Redbull Braveman & the Roof of Africa. Since then Kirsten has achieved her South African Springbok colours whilst competing at the top level of her sport all over the world & most times being the only lady to do so.
Kirsten Landman, is taking on the ultimate challenge in 2020 – the Dakar Rally. Following in the footsteps of some of her illustrious compatriots like Alfie Cox and Giniel de Villiers, Landman will be the first African woman to take to the start line. Next year’s Dakar Rally will be held in Saudi Arabia from January 5-17.
Matt is a rugby union player who plays for Toulon in France’s Top 14 and won 39 caps for England between 2004 and 2012. Born in Durban, South Africa, to English parents, he can play in both prop positions, and most of his England appearances were at tighthead. Stevens was born on 1 October 1982 in Durban, South Africa. He was educated at Kearsney College in KwaZulu-Natal and played his youth rugby in South Africa. He earned representative honours for Western Province, South African Universities and the Junior Springboks at Under 18 and Under 19 level, before deciding to move to England to pursue his university studies. In 2003, Stevens, who qualified for England by virtue of his English parents, played for England U21s in the IRB Under 21 World Cup, which was held in Oxfordshire. He soon drew the attention of the England senior team selectors and was selected for the 2004 summer tour to New Zealand and Australia. He won his first two caps as a substitute in the Tests against the All Blacks but a knee injury meant he was unavailable for the test against Australia in Brisbane.
He was in the England team for the 2005 Six Nations, and was one of the better performers in England’s disappointing campaign. He was selected for the 2005 British and Irish Lions tour and featured in six games, though he did not play in any of the Test matches.
During the 2006 Six Nations Championship he suffered a shoulder injury that required two operations and kept him out of the game for nearly a year; he did not return to international duty until England’s mid-year tour to South Africa in June 2007.
Nominated in the Blackberry Breakthrough category 2013 and as Best Newcomer in the 2012 Comics Choice Awards this Comedian, MC, Actor and Facilitator has featured as the lead in a number of large Ad Campaigns : DSTV Box Office, Castle Lager, First For Women, Tiger Wheel and Tyre, CTM, Mobicell, Sasol, Bar One and Wimpy to name a few. Jason plays Gatiep in the SAFTA Nominated SABC 1 Sitcom Ses’ Top La.
Jason Goliath is a larger than life comedian who literally is larger than life (it’s because all this personality won’t fit into a smaller body ok!) With a commanding stage presence, ridiculous amounts of energy and a character based set focused on making audiences laugh at life’s uncomfortable truths; he has performed successfully at numerous corporate events and leading comedy rooms/events: Blacks Only, Proudly Coloured Comedy Festival, Parkers, Melville Underground, Kings and Queens of Comedy, AWEdnesday Comedy Jam, LOL at Gold Reef City Comics Choice Awards Winners Lap, The Box and many many more.
With more than 10 years professional MC experience Jason also takes on Facilitation and Motivational roles and has done so for Standard Bank, FNB, Deloitte and SAA to mention a few.
South African Ron Rutland is no stranger to adventure and adversity. The former rugby player and entrepreneur has embarked on not one but two extreme expeditions in his life – a world-first unsupported solo bicycle journey through the entire continent of Africa followed by world-record-breaking hole of golf across the immense, untouched landscapes of Mongolia.On June 30, 2013, fatter and un-fitter than ever before, having sold his life’s possessions, and having not spent more than a handful of nights in a tent before, Ron pedalled down Table Mountain and out of Cape Town to begin a remarkable trek by bike through every country on mainland Africa and parts of Europe on his way to Rugby World Cup 2015 in London. His goal: “to support the Springboks and celebrate health, vitality, mobility, adventure and a special life” – his friend, Lettie, who was fighting cancer and sadly passed away during the trip. Some 27 months, 75 countries and 42,000 km later, a 25-kg lighter Rutland road into London with a passport full of stamps and a lifetime’s worth of stories. Despite a recent hip replacement, there was a certain sense of inevitability that Ron would find a way to pull it all together again and plot another fun(d)raising expedition. After Mongolia, the Hong Kong Rugby Union appointed Ron as General Manager for Business Development, which exposed the adventurer to more sport for development and the work of so many inspiring rugby projects in Asia.
James Owens is passionate about using sport as a tool for social change. In 2015, he joined ChildFund Pass It Back, inspired by the program’s commitment to utilizing sport to help children and youth in disadvantaged communities build resilience and face the significant challenges associated with poverty and inequality. He is currently a Regional Operations Officer at ChildFund Pass It Back.
Born and raised in Hong Kong, James has both played and coached rugby. He considers himself fortunate to be a part of ChildFund Pass It Back, where he can combine his love of the game with a passion for development and making a difference. James’ role focusses on ensuring program quality, overseeing new country start-ups and managing the program’s monitoring and evaluation processes. His work both contributes to the quality and effectiveness of the program on the ground and generates key information to continuously improve it and demonstrate impact. With Rugby World Cup 2019 taking place for the first time in Asia, James was highly motivated to leverage this opportunity and further boost his organization. A big fan of adventure (and the unknown), the lure of a challenge and the potential to explore and experience new countries and cultures made the chance to join Ron’s Race to RWC too much to resist.
Sir John Kirwan is a New Zealand rugby union coach and former player of both rugby union and rugby league.
He scored 35 tries in 63 tests for New Zealand, making him one of the highest try scorers in international rugby union history, and was part of the New Zealand team that won the first Rugby World Cup in 1987. He also played rugby league for the Auckland Warriors in their first two seasons. He is the former head coach of the Blues in Super Rugby, and the Japan and Italy national teams.
Kirwan played 63 test matches for New Zealand from 1984 until 1994. Kirwan played a major role in the All Blacks’ 23 test unbeaten run from 1987 to 1990, including winning the 1987 World Cup. He scored 10 tries in five tests against Wales and Australia during 1988. In all he scored 35 test tries for New Zealand. He also scored 67 tries in all appearances with the All Blacks which is still the national record. His total of 199 first class tries remains a New Zealand record.
JEAN DE VILLIERS
Jean de Villiers is a former South African rugby union player. He started his career at wing, but played most of his career as an inside centre. De Villiers previously played for Western Province in the Currie Cup, the Stormers in Super Rugby, Leicester Tigers in Premiership Rugby and internationally for South Africa, for whom he was named captain in June 2012.
A product of Paarl Gimnasium, the nursery of many a future South African star player, De Villiers made his first impact at international level in the South African Sevens team, playing in ten of the eleven legs of the 2001–02 World Sevens Series, helping his country finish in second spot. He was also a member of the squad that finished third in the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Also in 2002, he made his first international impact in the 15-man game at the U-21 Rugby World Cup, scoring four tries in the tournament for the victorious Junior Springboks.
De Villiers announced his retirement from test rugby on 27 September 2015 following a jaw fracture he sustained at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.In response, he exclaimed that “Injuries are part of rugby and I’ve had my fair share, so by now I know how to cope with them. It’s very sad, but life goes on – I need to take it all in and move forward”. South Africa head coach Heyneke Meyer paid tribute to De Villiers, saying: “Rugby will be poorer without him [De Villiers]” and adding that “He is a true ambassador for South Africa”
Shotaro Onishi is a former Japanese Rugby Union player. Shotaro played 33 tests games for Japan from 2000 – 2008, his debut match was against Fiji in 2000. Shotaro retired in 2008 with his last match played against Samoa. At The Rugby World Cup 2019 hosted in Japan, Shotaro Onishi will be joined by Welsh rugby legend Shane Williams to discuss the cultural impact of the global tournament on the Kansai cities of Osaka and Kobe as well as wider Japan, and what exciting experiences await travelling fans later this year.
Williams will call upon his experiences in Japan, where he lived from 2012 until 2015 whilst playing for the Mitsubishi Dynaboars, as well as his expertise as an international rugby sensation; Osaka native Onishi will also reflect on an equally impressive and extensive career in Japanese club and international rugby. Together they’ll discuss how Osaka and Kobe can best welcome crowds of international rugby fans, and in turn how rugby fans can learn and understand the culture and customs of Japan.
SIR STEVEN REDGRAVE
Sir Steve Redgrave is a retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000. He has also won three Commonwealth Games gold medals and nine World Rowing Championships golds.
He is the most successful male rower in Olympic history, and the only man to have won gold medals at five Olympic Games in an endurance sport.
Redgrave is regarded as one of Britain’s greatest-ever Olympians. As of 2016 he was the fourth-most decorated British Olympian, after cyclists Sir Chris Hoy, Jason Kenny and Sir Bradley Wiggins. He has carried the British flag at the opening of the Olympic Games on two occasions. In 2002, he was ranked number 36 in the BBC poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He received the BBC Sports Personality of the Year – Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
Allan Lamb is a former England cricketer and captain who played for the first-class teams of Western Province and Northamptonshire.
He joined Northamptonshire so he could enhance his career and eventually play Test cricket for England, as his native country South Africa were to be banned from International cricket due to the apartheid régime. He retired in 1995 at the age of 41 and currently works for Sky Sports and other TV cricketing broadcasts as an analyst.
David Farrell is an American musician, best known as the bassist and backing vocalist of the rock band Linkin Park. He was also a member of Tasty Snax, a Christian rock and ska band.
Jamie Redknapp is an English retired professional footballer who was active from 1989 until 2005. He is now a pundit at Sky Sports and an editorial sports columnist at the Daily Mail.
A technically skilful and creative midfielder, who was also an accurate and powerful free-kick taker, Redknapp played for Bournemouth, Southampton, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur, captaining the latter two. He also gained 17 England caps between 1995 and 1999. His 11 years at Liverpool were the most prolific, playing more than 237 league games for the club and being involved in winning the 1995 Football League Cup Final.
Grant Hepburn has been the head coach of The South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) for many years as the National coach and as such was responsible for the training of some 70 coaches. Over the past 18 years, Grant has coached players on all the major tours around the world.
In 2013 his effort and expertise was recognized and he was appointed CEO of the SAGDB. IN addition to all of the above he is also the CEO of Golf RSA. Grant is an assessor and presenter for the Apprentice programme of the PGA. He is the founder and owner of The Southern African Golf Institute based in the Rover Club, Cape Town. He is also head coach and project manager of the SA Golf Olympic Committee.
Gary trained at The Connaught and Le Souffle in London before moving to Melbourne in 1991. He has headed the kitchen in some of Melbourne’s most prominent restaurants including Browns, Burnham Beeches Country House and Hotel Sofitel before opening the award-winning Fenix in 2000 and later selling it to the Leonda By The Yarra group in 2013. He currently co-owns The Boathouse, in Melbourne.
Mehigan was one of the judges on Network 10’s MasterChef Australia.
Mehigan also co-hosts two shows on Australia’s LifeStyle Food channel, Good Chef, Bad Chef and Boy’s Weekend and appeared at the 2011 Good Food & Wine Show.
In July 2015, Mehigan began a new TV series called ‘Far Flung with Gary Mehigan’ where he travelled to various countries in Asia such as India, Vietnam, Laos, China and South Korea to learn local cooking techniques and recipes, which he uses as inspiration for a recipe he demonstrates at the end of each episode.
George is an Australian chef and restaurateur of Greek heritage. Calombaris was one of the judges of the Network 10 series MasterChef Australia. Prior to his role on MasterChef Australia, Calombaris appeared regularly on the daytime Network Ten cooking show Ready Steady Cook.
He owns several restaurants in Melbourne. His flagship restaurant, The Press Club, was awarded The Age Good Food Guide “Best New Restaurant 2008″ with Calombaris named “Chef of the Year 2008″. Calombaris draws on his Greek, Cypriot and Italian heritage for inspiration.
He also entered the Bocuse d’Or culinary grand prix in Lyon, France, when he was 23-years-old, and finished in 16th position.
He spent two years working at Reserve, in Melbourne’s Federation Square where, at the age of 24, he won Young Chef of the Year, Best New Restaurant and two chef’s hats in The Age Good Food Guide. In 2004, the Global Food and Wine Magazine voted him as one of the Top 40 chefs of influence in the world. In 2006, Calombaris opened his own restaurant in Melbourne, The Press Club designed by renowned restaurant architects Mills Gorman. In 2008, he opened two other restaurants in Melbourne, Maha Bar and Grill (with chef Shane Delia) and Hellenic
Matt is an English-born food critic, food journalist, recipe writer, and television personality. He is best known for his role as a judge on Network Ten’s MasterChef Australia and his weekly national food column appears in NewsCorp’s metro newspapers, with a combined reach of over 2.9 million Australians each week.
It runs in Stellar magazine every Sunday and in The Adelaide Advertiser. He is also a senior editor for Delicious and Taste magazines.
Matt is also well known in Australia as a judge and co-host of MasterChef Australia as well as on Celebrity MasterChef, Junior MasterChef, MasterChef Allstars and MasterChef: The Professionals. He is also the author of four best-selling cookbooks.
Soli Philander is one of South Africa’s top and most versatile performers. This seasoned broadcaster is also an award-winning actor, television presenter, director, comedian, playwright, columnist and motivational speaker. Born and bred in Elsies River, Soli’s roots are firmly planted in the Cape. After matriculating from John Ramsay Secondary School in Bishop Lavis, he says he “fell into acting” after accompanying a friend to an audition. Since then he has performed around South Africa in all the key theatres. He has also performed internationally in Sweden, The Netherlands, America, the UK, Swaziland and Namibia.
This versatile performer is undoubtedly one of our countries top entertainers, more often than not using his distinctly unique brand of Cape Coloured humour.
Multi-award winning performer, Soli Philander has featured in South Africa’s entertainment and media industry for more than 20 years.
World Cup winning Springbok and Cell C Sharks wing/centre, Jon-Paul Pietersen was born on the 12th July 1986 in Stellenbosch.
He made his debut for The Sharks in 2005 and his Springbok debut in 2006. JP is a Super Rugby centurion for The Sharks and has 70 Test Caps for South Africa to his name.
In 2007, at 21 years of age, he represented South Africa at the Rugby World Cup in France and played an integral role in the Super Rugby Final.
With his calm nature and wonderful personality he remains a legend of South African Rugby and a wonderful role-model for young players and kids.
CHEF BERTUS BASSON
Celebrated South African Chef, Bertus Basson, has a food philosophy rooted in traditional South African food culture with a modern outlook.
As a chef extraordinaire, Bertus advocates believing in what you do, as well as having faith and confidence in your produce. His commitment to great food made with fresh, local ingredients, and an acute attention to detail is the key to the culinary success for which he is highly regarded.
His love for local produce is compelling and inspiring to say the least.
Bertus is famed for the remarkable success of Overture, which he established as chef and owner in 2007.
The picturesque wine lands restaurant has been awarded prestigious accolades from the Eat Out guide and Rossouw’s Restaurant guide . With his indefatigable entrepreneurial personality Bertus has expanded his food empire which now includes Spek & Bone, De Vrije Burger and Eike in Stellenbosch.
His emergence into media and television as a host and judge on The Ultimate Braai Master, Brood and Botter and Goed, Beter, Bertus has made him a popular television personality and recognisable throughout South Africa.
Schalk Burger, a South African rugby union player. He plays as a flanker for Saracens in the English Premiership and has won 86 caps for South Africa.
After playing for the under 21 Springbok side that won the U21 Rugby World Cup in 2002 and then captaining it in 2003, Burger was selected for the senior Springbok squad.
He made his debut against Georgia in 2003 at the Rugby World Cup and has since carved out a name as one of the best flankers in the world with solid performances in the Super 12, Tri-Nations and Currie Cup
Schalk was a member of the 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning team, has twice been named South African Rugby Player of the Year (in 2004 and 2011), and was named IRB Player of the Year in 2004, among other accolades. He also holds the record for the most appearances (84) and most tries scored (13) by a Springbok flanker.
Former host of Game stores, Beat That Price on e.tv. Qualified MC. 6 Years of facilitation, MC and Comedy for: Vodacom, FNB, Standard Bank, Toyota, The Sunflower Fund and more. Founder of the award-winning entertainment brand, GOLIATH AND GOLIATH and part owner of the Melville Comedy Club in Melville.
Performed at The State Theatre, Comedy Central Africa International Comedy Festival, The Goliath Comedy Club, Parker’s and various theatres across the country. Former co-presenter on Jason Goliath’s late-night talk show on SABC 3, Larger Than Life. Performed his live stand-up for numerous TV specials.
It’s been two years since Kass Naidoo made her international television commentary debut when South Africa took on the Black Caps from New Zealand on home soil. Since then, her success has increased considerably. She has become the new face of cricket for many South Africans and the first ever women in South Africa to pick up a microphone and provide insight into the ‘gentlemen’s game’.
Kass Naidoo is South Africa’s first female cricket commentator, and is recognized internationally for her dynamic post-match cricket presentations. In August 2006, Kass launched Gsport…for Girls! – an initiative aimed at raising the profile of women in sport, and showcasing outstanding South African women who serve as role models. Kass was also appointed recently to the International Cricket Council’s voting academy to choose the International Women’s Cricketer of the Year. Kass also carries her natural and confident style into her role as a Master of Ceremonies and has had great success hosting top sport and business events.