6 reasons why millennials should care about the MTN Bushfire Festival

Source: Instagram/ mtnbushfire

It’s all systems go for the annual pilgrimage to the mountainous neighbouring kingdom of Swaziland, known as the last bastion of African culture and traditions, as thousands of revellers from around the world attend the three-day MTN Bushfire festival, from May 25th – 27th 2018.

The official MTN Bushfire campsite opens from May 24th, to allow merrymakers’ festival weekend even longer.

Salif Keita, the world-renowned musician and activist from Mali; Ladysmith Black Mambazo, South Africa’s multiple award-winning pride and one of the world’s greatest and most distinctive acapella groups; and Sandz, Swaziland’s sensational star of the catchy ‘Tigi’ anthem, are some of the big attractions of this year’s festival.

This year also sees a performance from Stacey Ann Chin, a Jamaican born multiple award-winning poet and performer.

The diverse line-up reflects the festival’s identity as a uniquely African, and yet globally infused festival experience. With additional stages including the House on Fire Amphitheatre and The Barn, DJ focused dance floors and a range of other activities, MTN Bushfire caters for a diverse and eclectic audience of over 29,000 annually.

Jiggs Thorne, the founder and director of MTN Bushfire told The Young Independents that profits from the event go towards supporting local charities.

6 reasons why millennials should care about the MTN Bushfire Festival:

1. Winner of the African Best Responsible Event Award in 2017, MTN Bushfire has also been hailed in by CNN as one of the “7 African music festivals you really have to see” and listed by BBC as a “Top African Festival.”

2. The carnival celebrates creative expression whilst promoting important global issues including environmental sustainability, education, cultural development, human rights, equality for LGBTI people, gender issues, as well as sexual and reproductive health and freedom.

3. Following a rise in incidents of discrimination and hostility towards the LGBTI community, The MTN Bushfire Rainbow Fire Stall Activation will promote inclusion, acceptance and tolerance.

4. A vibrant handcraft market, family-friendly performances and children zone as well as the recently introduced interactive art and dialogue space – aptly called The Barn – all combine to create a magically diverse entertainment ‘bucket list’.

5. Another feature is the Global Food Village which celebrates a wide variety of the world’s cultures through the art of food.

6. In 2015 the MTN Bushfire Festival generated $2,5 million (R33 Million) to the country’s economy in just three days. What visitors spend when they are here contributes to job creation and economy growth.

Top 100 of SADC 2018 | Nominate a Young African Leader

Nominate NOW | https://www.tyi.co.za/mzansi-100-2018-nominations/

Own 2018 and make it YOUR year of black excellence and youth leadership!

The Young Independents (TYI) is looking for 100 young and inspiring African leaders.

What does it take to inspire change within Africa? It takes 100% EVERY day.

It requires a vision, resolve and persistence. It takes challenging the status quo. It involves 100 young minds inspiring thousands more.

We’re looking for 100 inspiring youth from Southern Africa (SADC) who fall within these five leadership categories:

As a South African youth, we’re quite aware of the difficulties that face us. . . . However, amidst these challenges, we’re inspired by millennials who have risen above their circumstance. . . . We scour the country every year for the top 100 South African changemakers. . . . Our aim with The Young Independents Top 100 awards is to validate and support the efforts made by South African youth in playing their part towards the upliftment of our communities. . . . Who will you nominate this year as a leading trailblazer, influencer, healer, innovator or disruptor? . . . Follow us on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter📱 @theyoungindy and stay tuned to www.tyi.co.za 🖱 for updates. . . . [ – Saajida Francis, Editor of TYI ] . . . #leadership #video #inspiration #leadershipquotes #competition #southafrica #nominate #trailblazer #Top100 #healer #influencer #innovater #disruptor #changemaker #BeABoss #TYILeader #MzansiTop100#leadership#inspirationalquotes #inspiration #fridayfun #femaleleadership

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Youth inventing new products, business ideas or services that are changing the way we live, work and play. Innovation is the ability to re-imagine things that already are.


Youth who are influencing the actions and behaviours of brands, policies and people. An influencer is an individual who has the power to affect decisions of others because of his/her authority, knowledge, position or relationship with his/her audience.

#tuesdayvibes | “I know that I’m not going to fail and I’m not going to lose.” | . . . Siyabonga “Slikour” Metane speaks with the confidence of a rapper but at this stage of his career, he is so much more. . . . . . . . As a musician and businessman, Metane has wielded a huge influence on the South African music industry, especially hip-hop. He’s a founding member of the SAMA and Channel O award-winning rap collective Skwatta Kamp. . . . Read full article >>> www.tyi.co.za . . . . . . #TYILeader #MzansiTop100#leadership#inspirationalquotes #inspiration #business #portrait #wear #people #tie #fashionable #confidence #outfit #formal #quotes #SAMA #channelO #skwattakamp #hiphop #gallo #music

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Youth leading within their respective field. A trailblazer is most alive and challenged when engaged in acts of discovery or creation.

From the age of 13, Asnath Mahapa, a dreamer from Limpopo, imagined herself flying ✈ across the sky. She felt she belonged up there. . . . Her school holidays were spent with her aunt in Midrand, Gauteng, where she was captivated by the planes flying to and from OR Tambo International Airport. . . . Her father, however, insisted that she study engineering at the University of Cape Town. She did but dropped out after one year to pursue her dream. It was daunting. . . . But Mahapa’s mantra, “I can do this”, kept her going, and she became the first black female pilot in South Africa. . . . Read full article >>> www.tyi.co.za 🖱 . . . #TYILeader #MzansiTop100#leadership#inspirationalquotes #inspiration #southafrican #fly #pilot #editor #femaleleader #mondaymotivation #hardwork #dream #clouds

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Youth who are driven to heal our planet and society with their hands and heads. This is a young leader who participates in the global shift in consciousness and acknowledges that Africa has a lot more healing to do to reverse our painful political history of discrimination and oppression.


Youth challenging the status quo with unconventional ideas. Disruptive leadership isn’t about change for the sake of change. It’s about integrating change into the modus operandi.

NOMINATE NOW | Access application form to nominate someone or yourself | CLICK HERE

Who is eligible?

Any inspiring young leader aged 18 – 35.

All SADC residents – Angola, Botswana, Congo (DR), Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The Top 100 Young Independents of SADC 2018 will each win:

A profile in The Young Independents special edition across Independent Media newspapers in 2018.

A profile on youth & leadership platform www.tyi.co.za

Exposure on our social media platforms.

The chance to win in one of five categories.

Exclusive invitation to the launch event in JHB in 2018.

Invitations to relevant youth seminars and networks.


TYI is a platform created by the youth, for the youth. This platform is for young, inspiring South Africans that are challenging and changing the game, one action at a time.

Our audience is at the top of their field or poised to become just that. They are our leading entrepreneurs, award-winning creatives, key business drivers, all under 36 years old.

Launched in 2015, by the Independent Media Group, our team captures exciting youth-driven initiatives locally and across the continent.

We encourage youth dialogues to inspire the youth to connect and build a common vision, whilst seeking to address the many challenges we face.


How the ‘full-beat face’ took over the internet

Source: Instagram/ patrickstarrr

Watching the YouTube influencer known as Patrick Starrr smack white powder onto the slight hollows under his eyes, it might occur to you that you are witnessing a kind of modern Kabuki. In one 15-minute makeup video, he transforms his pleasant brown, freckled face into a brightened blank slate that’s slimmer, radiant, spellbinding to look at.

Starrr – who in the real world is a 28-year-old Los Angeles makeup artist named Patrick Simondac – gestures triumphantly at his work. “Now,” he announces, “this is what you call snatched.” In other words, perfect.

Simondac is one of the internet’s many, many makeup gurus, although, with 3.9 million Instagram followers and 3.3 million YouTube subscribers, he’s among the most recognizable. What he’s known for, besides his woke understanding of gender politics and his sassy humour, is what he calls “the full-beat face.”

The full-beat face has become the ubiquitous face of the internet, a strange mirror of Kim Kardashian’s visage but also somehow just like internet influencer Huda Kattan’s and Kylie Jenner’s, too.

Instagram is awash in full-beat glory. The indie makeup brand ColourPop regularly shares gauzy selfies of young women wearing their popular matte lipsticks, fingers seductively held up to their mouths. Save for variations in skin colour and precise shade of shimmering eyeshadow, the women all look uncannily the same.

It’s the “Instagram look,” says Christen Irias, another Los Angeles-based makeup artist and YouTube star better known to her fans as Christen Dominique. “When you take a picture, you lose the dimension on your face. The light will wash it away.” Over time, savvy ‘Grammers realized that with a small mountain of makeup – a Patrick Starrr or NikkieTutorials video will regularly feature as many as 20 products – you could replace the shadows and the light and then some.

Dominique, who refers to the face as “full-glam,” ticks off what it requires: “An elongated eye, lashes, contouring, bronzing, highlighting, and sculpting,” she says. A theatrical set of drawn-on brows. And finally, it almost always features a matte lip so overdrawn that it can look like an allergic reaction, if not a syringe full of Juvederm.

Dominique, Simondac and other YouTube makeup artists have made minor fortunes posting makeup tutorials. Just one of Dominique’s “full-glam” lessons has 11 million views.

“It’s extreme in person,” admits Dominique. “But it looks great in pictures.”

And the pictures, of course, are what so much of modern life is about.

We all know that the internet has engendered strange subcultures. Peddlers and readers of made-up news and inspirational memes. Women recording themselves “unboxing” new Chanel handbags. Highly paid comedy bros such as Logan Paul and the Fat Jew. A 6-year-old who reportedly made $11 million from videos showing him playing with toys.

But it’s hard to find a sect more curiously influential than the makeup gurus. Some do nothing but review cosmetics, “swatching” shades of the latest Urban Decay eyeshadow palette on their wrists, while others specialize in the YouTube tutorial, chatting amiably as they demonstrate how to etch the perfect inky-black cat-eye.

Vloggers, as they’re called, emerged almost in tandem with YouTube. Michelle Phan, one of the genre’s first stars, started posting tutorials to the then-budding video service in 2007. Her first was a lesson in natural-looking makeup: She pats concealer below her eyes with her fingertips and traces her lips with a tube of rosy Revlon lipstick. It has been viewed 10 million times.

By today’s standards, this fledgeling tutorial – the blurry footage, the natural look, her homespun technique – is quaint. Now, such videos are full-scale productions, with lighting, editing and a litany of products, each costing several times the price of that drugstore lipstick.

Asked about the rise of the made-up face, Phan laughs. “I’m seeing 5-year-olds doing better smoky eyes than me,” she says. “Makeup has changed – even the behaviour, how people consume makeup and learn about makeup – because of digital. It transformed the market.”

Simondac, who got his start as a makeup artist doing seasonal work at Orlando MAC stores, remembers those old days when makeup’s purpose was largely “to hide,” he says. “Hide a little bit of this, a little bit of that. You wanted to make it look like you had nothing on.”

Now, the goal is to give yourself features you don’t actually possess: Brighter, bigger eyes, a narrower, daintier nose, eyes so fringed in false lashes that they look as if they can’t possibly bear the weight. “We’re a walking painting,” Simondac says.

But don’t expect to see any of this strutting down the red carpet at the Oscars, much less when you’re out to dinner. The full-beat face was born of the Internet and remains largely for the Internet.

It’s like runway fashion, says David Razzano, a New York-based makeup artist for cosmetics retailer Sephora. “How many people walk down the street in a couture gown?” he asks. “Not many.”

– – –

With its dozens of micro-manoeuvres and new niche products, from highlighting powders to mattifying primers, the face has been a game-changer for the cosmetics business.

The current looks are “dramatic,” confirms Catherine Dougherty, senior vice president for communications for MAC Cosmetics. “It’s something we hadn’t seen the everyday consumer wear. But now we’re seeing it. And that’s because it’s great for photography.”

“I don’t think anyone can say they don’t see the effect that social media is having on the beauty industry,” adds Razzano. “It’s changing the clientele.” When a customer comes in searching for the perfect brow powder, they now bring along “images of YouTube influencers and beauty bloggers, rather than celebrities.”

The vloggers interviewed for this story have several business ventures: Dominique launched her own makeup line in January, while MAC has plastered Simondac’s face onto in-store posters and an ad campaign to sell its Patrick Starrr line of lipsticks, eyeshadows and setting powder. Phan is a co-founder of Ipsy, a subscription service that boasted more than 2 million subscribers last year; now, she has launched her own line, Em Cosmetics. Meanwhile, retailers such as Sephora and Ulta are soaring.

“We make these companies a lot of money. That’s without question,” says Simondac.

But the welcome disruption comes with uncertainty about the future.

Before, Brands such as MAC, says Dougherty, “were the ones dictating what products to use and what trends to look for.” Now, it’s as likely to be a young man shooting a tutorial from his Orlando bedroom.

None of this accounts for why makeup, and simply watching it being applied, has become the favourite pastime of a generation of young women and men. What does explain it is our increasing obsession with representations of ourselves in the online world.

#KRISKOLLECTION just dropped on KylieCosmetics.com @kyliecosmetics #HappyMothersDay

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“I see young Norwegian girls posting the same photo of themselves. So it is an international phenomenon,” says Jill Walker Rettberg, a professor of digital culture at the University of Bergen in Norway who has become a leading researcher in self-representation in social media, including selfie culture.

The selfie, particularly the glamorous, pouty-lipped full-beat face, she says, is “becoming more like a mask. It’s becoming ‘Who do I want to be?’ There’s a sense of figuring out ‘Who am I?’ as a sort of cultural expression.”

The face doesn’t need to be worn out in public to work its magic. It’s almost as if it’s enough, Rettberg says, to simply know you could look like Kim Kardashian if you wanted to.

She pauses. “You couldn’t do that before the Internet, could you?”

7 reasons not to compliment someone on weight loss

Source: Luis Ruiz

It’s a compliment that rolls easily off the tongue: “You look great…You’ve lost weight!” While some people welcome such observations, there are a number of reasons it’s better to take a different approach when you’re tempted to praise someone’s weight loss.

1. They may be ill or experiencing a crisis.

Because thinness is valued in our society, when someone loses weight, the assumption is that it’s intentional and healthful – but that’s not always the case. Recent research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and published in the British Journal of General Practice, found that unintended weight loss is an early sign of several forms of cancer, including prostate, ovarian, lung, pancreatic and colorectal.

Also, while many people respond to intense stress and anxiety by eating, others have the opposite reaction, because part of the body’s normal “fight, flight or freeze” response is to shut down digestion.

That noticeably thinner co-worker could be coping with a personal crisis – a painful divorce, a serious illness in the family – and losing weight unintentionally. If you are not privy to that information and offer what seems like an innocent compliment, you may add to their pain.

2. They may have an eating disorder.

In her 2015 book “Body of Truth,” author Harriet Brown writes about how women would approach her then-14-year-old, praise her thin body and ask for diet tips. That’s really not appropriate in any circumstance, but it was especially unfortunate in this case: The teenager was grappling with anorexia nervosa, which severely threatened her health.

For someone who is working on recovering from anorexia or bulimia nervosa – another life-threatening eating disorder characterized by binging and compensatory behaviours like self-induced vomiting – weight loss compliments can be problematic in several ways.

Although anorexia, like other eating disorders, is complex and multifaceted, one factor that can encourage the progression of the disease is positive reinforcement. By praising someone for losing weight when – unknown to you – they have anorexia, you are rewarding them for a behaviour that could eventually kill them.

And you can’t tell who has an eating disorder by looking at them. People of all body sizes can have anorexia – the term “atypical anorexia” refers to people who engage in severe food restriction but are not low-weight.

3. They may have a history of trauma.

There are many ways in which women – and men – are made to feel that their bodies are not their own, or worse, are to blame for bad things that have happened to them. People who suffer childhood sexual or physical abuse, or unwelcome attention to their changing bodies during puberty, may feel shame and guilt and may avoid calling attention to their bodies for decades to come.

I have had several adult patients who after losing weight because of better self-care – improving sleep, reducing stress, eating on a regular schedule and moving more – dropped their new habits when they receive a well-meaning comment because they were so uncomfortable about the focus on their bodies.

4. Body comments may be inappropriate or unappreciated.

In the age of #MeToo one shouldn’t have to explain that unsolicited comments about anyone’s looks are a bad idea, especially in the workplace. And this goes no matter who is making them.

A female colleague related a story about a fellow (female) employee, whom she had never spoken to, passing by her desk and saying, “You look great. Have you lost a ton of weight?” As my colleague had not lost weight, this was probably a case of mistaken identity. Still, she felt it was deeply inappropriate for someone to comment on her body in the workplace.

5. It’s a backhanded compliment.

The implication of “You look great. . . . Have you lost weight?” – no matter the intention – is that you didn’t look good before. Given that most person who lose weight gain at least some of it back, how are they going to feel when that happens? Along those lines…

6. It might not be true.

Complimenting someone on nonexistent weight loss may cause them to start questioning their appearance, wondering if their clothing choices have been unflattering, their posture that bad, their demeanour downtrodden.

7. They are a full-fledged human being – not just a body.

I don’t know who coined the phrase, but we are more than just our Earth suits. Bodies – especially women’s bodies – are too often treated as being fair game for discussion and commentary. Comments like “Have you lost weight?” are not much different from catcalls on the street or a stranger feeling they have license to touch a women’s stomach just because she’s visibly pregnant. Each person deserves body autonomy, and that includes not having their body be a topic of discussion unless they indicate such a discussion is welcome.

What to say instead

Fortunately, there are many ways to be kind, pay a compliment or initiate a conversation. Tell a friend how nice it is to see them. Compliment a co-worker or acquaintance on their style (“Great scarf!”). Or, pair a “How are you?” with a “You look really happy” or “You seem super energetic today!”

Tips on how to quit your job gracefully

Source: startupstockphotos.com

Q: After years with my company, I’ve finally had it. Our executives divert resources and change priorities without consulting project managers. Our micromanaging CEO insists on personally approving all project decisions and expense reports. I’ve been traded to another department under the worst boss I’ve ever had. I’m also underpaid for this industry.

I’ve stuck around this long out of loyalty to my team, but now I’m at a point with my finances and my projects where I can walk away. I have nothing else lined up just yet, but I’ve been interviewing.

How do I do this gracefully and without burning bridges? Is there an etiquette for submitting your resignation?

A: While you might be understandably tempted to sashay out the door with a finger snap and a “See ya, suckers,” you’re right to consider a more diplomatic departure.


It’s not about protocol, but pragmatism: You need referrals and have a reputation to protect.

Timing: Two weeks’ notice is customary, but not mandatory. Longer is generous, especially if the employer needs help training your replacement – but if you’ve stayed well past your mental health “best by” date, tie off your projects as best you can and make a clean break.

Honesty: Unless you’re asked for an honest appraisal by someone who wants to join your ex-employer or who is in a position to fix what’s wrong, keep the grittiest truths to yourself. The fact that you’re leaving without a new job lined up speaks volumes.

Closing the door: Even bad employers hate to lose workers. Anticipate a counteroffer and resolve to shut it down firmly but politely.

And if there’s a going-away party with booze, stick to soda until you get home.

TIP: In job interviews, turn your complaints inside out: not “I’m sick of being a micromanaged cog,” but “I’m seeking an innovative workplace that welcomes initiative and autonomy at all levels.”

10 things you didn’t know about the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or

Source: Instagram/ laraleito

The Cannes Film Festival’s iconic Palme d’Or for best picture has helped place unknown directors on the global cinema stage, driven forward the movie careers of established film-makers and transformed films into classics.

10 things you didn’t know about the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or:

1. US director Delbert Mann won the first Palme d’Or in 1955 for his romantic drama “Marty.” The prize replaced the festival’s Grand Prix, which had been awarded each year between 1939 and 1954.

2. The Grand Prix was reintroduced for 10 years in 1964 before the Palme d’Or returned in 1975.

3. Since then, some of the world’s most famous films have been honoured with the Palme d’Or, among them Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver,” Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” Andrzej Wajda’s “Man of Iron,” Steven Soderbergh’s “Sex, Lies and Videotape” and Luchino Visconti’s “The Leopard”.

4. A Palme d’Or winner “contains everything,” said this year’s Cannes jury president, Australian actress Cate Blanchett.


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5. You’re awarding the performances, the direction, the cinematography, the script, the entire crew that made the film possible, the mise-en-scene according to Blanchett.

6. As one of the most prestigious prizes in the world of cinema, the Palme d’Or in general tends to be awarded for a film-maker’s body of work, or for a movie opening up new vistas in cinema.

7. Winning a Palme d’Or might not be a guarantee of box office success. But it can represent a step towards a nomination for another great cinema honour: the Academy Awards in Hollywood, as directors such as Terrence Mallick, Michael Haneke and Jane Campion have found out.

8. New Zealand-born Campion occupies a unique place in Cannes history: She is the only female director to win the festival’s top prize for her film.

Not much else to say, but “Amen!” #janecampion #womendirectors #fiercewomen

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9. Only nine film-makers are members of another exclusive Cannes club: those who have been awarded the Palme d’Or twice.

10. In 2017, Ruben Ostlund became the first Swedish director to win the Palme d’Or since the prize was introduced in 1955.

This year 21 films competed for the Palme d’Or, with the Cannes jury, headed by Blanchett, handing out the prize at a gala ceremony in the Mediterranean resort town.

Why is it becoming so difficult to concentrate?

Source: Bruce Mars

Most of us expect to find it harder to concentrate as we get older.

Now scientists believe they have uncovered the reason why – and it lies in the way our brains develop as we age.

They say it gets harder to focus without being distracted past the age of 55, particularly when under stress, because of the way our brains change over time.

A study has found stress has much less of an effect on young people, who are able to focus on the task at hand and block out unnecessary distractions. By contrast, scans showed that older individuals lose these skills.

A study, led by the University of South Carolina, put participants aged 55 to 75 in a stressful situation then asked them to pick the clearest of two black and white photographs.

When the results were compared to those of a group aged 18 to 34, the older group was worse at focusing, taking longer to find the answer.

MRI scans found older adults under stress showed less activity in the part of the brain which enables us to pay attention and ignore competing thoughts and distractions. Younger adults, by contrast, saw no difference.

Professor Mara Mather, a co-author of the study, said: ‘Trying hard to complete a task increases emotional arousal, so when younger adults try hard, this should increase their ability to ignore distracting information.

‘But for older adults, trying hard may make both what they are trying to focus on and other information stand out more.’

The experiment enlisted 24 participants in the older group and 28 in the younger group. Their task, repeated 160 times, was to identify the clearest image out of two pictures of a building and an object. The correct answer flashed up for just a tenth of a second. To place extra pressure on them, participants were threatened with electric shocks.

The results, published in Nature Human Behaviour, found younger people answered an average of 143 milliseconds faster. Authors think this is because part of the brain which controls the ability to focus under pressure appears to weaken with age.

The pathways between this area and the parts of the brain involved in looking at images of places and controlling what we pay attention to and what we ignore showed less activity in the older adults. These areas are also linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

Professor Mather said: ‘Deciphering exactly how these changes in the brain occur as we age could one day help us uncover how to protect the brain from cognitive decline.’

© Daily Mail

Dejan Lovren: “People would mock me at school.”

Premier League - Liverpool vs Brighton & Hove Albion

This is a moment when an interview could end abruptly. Dejan Lovren’s eyes have narrowed and his gaze is fixed on his inquisitor, as the topic of dealing with criticism is introduced.

Lovren was once an emblem of Liverpool’s unpredictability, an expensive recruit who looked the part but would lapse when it mattered. To give an idea of where his reputation was 12 months ago, manager Jurgen Klopp had to defend publicly the club’s reason for handing him a new contract.

He heads into Saturday’s Champions League final, though, as a defensive totem.

Lovren’s partnership with Virgil van Dijk is flourishing and his form helped Liverpool finish the domestic campaign with 17 clean sheets, the best return since 2009-10.

Nobody is criticising the Croatia international any more. So how did he cope during the difficult times? The question is met with a pause, just long enough to leave you wondering what might happen next. Then comes the response. ‘Your words,’ he says, specifying the media rather than an individual. ‘Your words. When people say I am not good enough, I will just show you I am good enough. It is as simple as that.

‘I like when people talk bad about me. When I have the confidence of the manager, I don’t need anything to reassure me any more. Of course, you have one or two situations where you don’t play well, but which defender doesn’t make mistakes? Sometimes people make it bigger than it is. But it is how it is with me.

‘I struggled a lot in my life from day one and, you know, there is belief within me. It will never go.

‘People would mock me at school. As a teenager, they said, “You cannot play like a defender”.

‘People said I didn’t have a left foot, that I wasn’t quick enough.

‘You know what? All these small things, they push me. I don’t have a left foot? I will hit better today with my left foot than my right. I always work on these situations.

‘It helps me to be honest. And criticism, even if I don’t like it, I like to hear it — I know what to improve at the end.’

There is no question Lovren has improved and there is something symbolic about the fact he will square up to Cristiano Ronaldo and Co on Saturday for there is a score to settle that dates back to October 2014.

When Liverpool returned to the Champions League four years ago, they were paired in the same group as Madrid. The draw was greeted by Liverpudlians with glee, a sign that a five-year break from the best competition was over.

The reality, though, would prove horribly different.

Liverpool were outclassed at Anfield, losing 3-0. The return in the Bernabeu, meanwhile, was a farce, with Brendan Rodgers selecting a skeleton team, having prioritised a Premier League game against Chelsea. Liverpool lost 1-0, but the scoreline did not reflect the gulf in class.

What is to say the same won’t happen in Kiev? Lovren pauses again. He played in that game and experienced the full power of Madrid. Now, though, he expects a completely different outcome.

‘The only thing that is similar to that night is the name — Liverpool,’ says Lovren. ‘When you look at the players and everything we have changed a lot.

‘Me and Jordan Henderson are the only players left who played against them. I am so much more confident in the team now than I was then. I feel the team is ready to battle against every team in the world. We showed that against Manchester City (in the quarter-finals). City showed all throughout this season that they are one of the best teams in the world but they came up against Liverpool. Nobody has played a team like us.

‘Real Madrid didn’t play against us (in 2014) like we play today.

‘We are totally different now. If you ask every player what they want to achieve in life the answer is to win the Champions League.

‘We want to make history and lift the trophy with Klopp. People talk about us winning five times, five times. There is always something you can change.’

© Daily Mail

IRR: SA education system in a crisis

Sparks Estate Secondary school pupils marched to head offices in Umbilo to voice out their grievances. Picture: DOCTOR NGCOBO

The South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said on Tuesday that a report of theirs exposed the extent to which the State-run school system was stunting the development of South Africa’s children, especially black pupils.

The IRR said the report, titled “Parents, not politicians, must run South Africa’s schools” was the first edition of FreeFACTS that they complied.

“The report argues that the bulk of our state schools ‘are not in the main inferior because of a shortage of money. Many emerging markets spend less on education than South Africa, but produce much better results,” the IRR said.

“In South Africa’s case, however, ‘corruption, destructive trade unions, ideological dogma, and incompetent bureaucrats and politicians are responsible for the fact that only a small majority of children will be well educated’.”

The institute said their research showed that ‘when communities control schools, results improve’, they said the report marked the case for a constructive alternative, suggesting that ‘a shortcut to much better education is to get bureaucrats out and let parents take over’.

“The data in this report shows, among other things, that only 33 percent of matric candidates ‘passed’ maths with a grade of 40 percent or higher, that just 29.2 percent of schools have a library, that only 18.3 percent of government schools have a science laboratory, and that only 13 percent of the 2006 grade-1 class managed a university entry qualification when they wrote matric in 2017,” author of the report, IRR Campaign Manager Marius Roodt said.

“This may be the future of your child if you don’t find an alternative outside of the government school system – but few people can afford private schools.”

The report noted, however, that alternative approaches capable of achieving the ‘short cut’ to better education outcomes were feasible.

The IRR said schools should be sold to community groups, churches, non-profit organisations, and private education providers for a nominal fee and let them run such schools within agreed guidelines.

“We estimate that these vouchers will be sufficient to finance high-quality education for every child in the country. Parents can redeem these vouchers at any school of their choosing and top up the voucher with their own funds in the event that the school charges higher fees,” Roodt said.

“By giving parents the choice and buying power to decide on the education of their children they then have the power to control the curriculum, language policy, and ethos of the school they send their children to… It is not for the government and politicians to decide how to raise your child. That is for you to decide.”

The IRR said this edition of FreeFACTS coincided with the launch of the IRR’s Education Charter, which was an initiative to give South Africans the opportunity to endorse greater parental involvement in schools as a first step to rescuing the education system from the grave crisis it was in.

“It will urge them all to heed growing public anxiety about the state of education in South Africa and to implement policies that give parents the greater control and influence over schools which, universally, have led to better results in the classroom,” the institute said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

How to leverage social media to land your dream job

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In a crowded marketplace, with thousands of applicants vying for a limited number of vacancies, candidates should do more than simply submit their CVs in response to advertised positions.


Instead, they should proactively use social media to make them stand out from the crowd and to catch the eyes of potential employers, experts say.

“No matter what your vocation, you can use social media to boost your profile in your chosen industry,” says Elbie Liebenberg, Principal at Oxbridge Academy, a brand of ADvTECH, Africa’s largest private education provider.

Liebenberg says employers now, as a matter of course, look up social media profiles of candidates, which is why these platforms are so brilliant as tools to profile experience, competence and creative thinking.

“It is no longer enough to make sure that there is nothing damaging on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn feeds. While it is important to reflect your professionalism on these platforms, and get rid of anything that may harm your candidacy, you also need to use these platforms in a proactive way to position you favourably,” she says.


Erika Theron, Academic Dean at The Private Hotel School, ADvTECH’s hospitality institution, agrees.

“Entry-level positions are highly contested and scarce, yet almost all of them call for experience. Social media provides an opportunity to gain experience, showcase creativity and initiative, and serve as a platform for demonstrating your personality and capabilities,” she says.

Theron says someone who completed a Diploma in Event Management, for example, can do the following to firstly gain experience, and secondly, leverage that experience on social media:

“What you want to do is demonstrate that you can apply what you have learned. Few students have the budget to throw a massive event simply to demonstrate that they can. So therefore you need to find existing opportunities, for instance a community fair, a charity ball or auction, or a local market.

“Approach the organisers and volunteer your services to help make the event a success. Refer back to what you learned at your college and apply these principles, carefully documenting what you are doing and why. On the day of the event, use your phone to take and edit great pics, and post them to your social media accounts with clear captions and industry-related hashtags. Include any testimonials from the organisers or guests as well.”

Renee Hill, MD of Capsicum Culinary School, says the same approach can be followed in the food industry.

For instance, someone who holds a Diploma in Food Preparation and Cooking, will have learned how to prepare, cook and finish foods by frying, braising and stewing, boiling, poaching and steaming, baking, roasting and grilling, and the non-thermal cooking method.

“So next time you have, for instance, a family event where food will be prepared, step in and help develop the menu so that it can showcase your skills in these methods. Have a family member or friend take awesome pics and video, and apply filters to make the images look exciting and professional.

“Again, add detailed captions and hashtags, and create your cooking album on Facebook or Instagram. Prospective employers will then be able to see your passion and ability if they dig through your online presence.”

As a final example, Theron provides a strategy for those who studied Tourism Management.

“Create a fun local itinerary for your friends or family – something that will take into account everything you’ve learned on your course, such as timing, transport, and access fees. If budget is tight, put together a day of activities that are not yet on the tourism map and for which you won’t have to pay entry fees, such as a downtown tour or public park tour.

“Make sure someone takes video of you leading the tour on the day, as well as great images. Post the itinerary, video and pics to your social media profiles,” she says.

“Entry level positions are highly coveted, and candidates must bring something extra to the proverbial table,” notes Hill.


“Social media provides the ideal tool to not only connect with people in your industry and be aware of vacancies or opportunities before they arise, but also to demonstrate that you are a candidate to take note of. Practising your craft ensures you are always growing and learning, while documenting what you’ve done provides the perfect opportunity to raise your profile.

“Practice makes perfect and using social media to your benefit shows that you have a self-starter attitude, while also giving a confidence boost when you next find yourself in the interview room.”

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