AFRICA’S CITY OF STARS INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK MOLEFE SHAI - ACTOR EXTRODINAIRE
We chat to Patrick Molefe Shai, an actor extraordinaire famous for hit role as Nkwesheng, in the popular local series drama, Bophelo ke Semphekgo. Where were you born? I was conceived inborn in Sophiatown, raised in Meadowland, but my ancestral origins are in Tzaneen, Rita How often do you come back home to Limpopo? And where did you go to school? Lower and high education in Soweto What does it mean to you to be a citizen of Limpopo? Where did your passion for acting begin? I was a singer in our high school quartet and in 1976 during the uprising; I was introduced to Joe Mafela who was doing a traditional dance musical called, Mzomba. That’s where it all started for me. I fell in love with acting and dancing it felt like I was born again! I met with one of the SABC producers back then, I don’t remember his name and he asked if I was interested in being on television, I asked him why, and he just said no, just because you are talented and I decided hey, why not. I was then introduced to Angus Gibson to do a one hour drama, ‘Jason Modjadji’. I played a Pedi guy who was ﬁxing soccer matches and acted alongside one of the greatest old time soccer players, Thomas Hlungwani aka ‘who’s fooling who’, that was in 1985 when I really developed the passion for acting. Thereafter, I worked at Haynes Films with the likes of the late Ndaba Mhlongo, Simon Sabela and I was tutored on production by the late Morel Msimanga in 1986 when we did, ‘Leshoka la Bofula Tau’, where I was the lead actor and that was then followed by ‘Bophelo ke Semphekgo’. I went to do an international Zimbabwean ﬁlm, the then Southern Rhodesia, about the revolt in the country called, ‘Hold my Hand I’m Dying’. I got into stage theatre when I came back and took part in a production called, ‘Soﬁa Town Musical’ that portrayed the forceful removals of the residents to Meadowland. Basically, the list goes on and we will not be able to cover them all, but in the 80’s that’s where my career began. I did close to 15 feature ﬁlms, 6 television series, 4 mini-series and 10 theatre productions. What or who motivated you? All the actors and producers, Joe Mafela being one of them, I was privileged to rub shoulders with them all and each played a role in motivating me to continue with what I was doing. Growing up without tertiary education and from a poor family background, I realised that the arts provided all the training I needed to educate myself and use to become who I am now. I was raised by a single parent and had to take on a father role at a very young age to be able to help my mother and my siblings to survive, was my major motivation. Above all that, my mother is my inspiration. She is the one who compelled me day in day out to get out there and do something. She convinced me to join Joe Mafela’s traditional dance Mzomba and I’m so grateful that I listened to her and took her advice. Any awards that you received and achievements? I have a few. Four Old Mutual AA Vita Awards for theatre production. Six Vita Awards in ﬁlm and television and two directing ﬁlm and television awards for Soul City and Stray Bullet How do you feel about the City of Polokwane being one of the Host Cities for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™? I am excited by this opportunity to host an event of such magnitude, even though there are challenges, I am convinced that we up to the task. There are multiple opportunities for everyone in the province, business people big and small, artists of all kinds...I’m excited that the City of Polokwane will be such an attraction bringing all people from different countries to Africa’s City of Stars. What is your message for the young and upcoming artists or entertainers who have the ambition to make it in the industry? The youth must go to school and take advantage of the opportunities presented to them by the new democracy. They must be brave enough to express themselves in whatever they choose to do in their lives. The sky is the limit with the abundance of opportunities. They must also seek to know their cultural origins in this contemporary world of today.
Patrick Molefe Shai
Do you have any favourite food? I love lamb chops and pap and your occasional photo with milk What are your Hobbies? Playing pool, chess, listening to music and developing concepts
I’m in Limpopo almost every month; I have family around here that I must check on from time to time.
I am a proud son of Limpopo, with a whole river of Limpopo blood ﬂowing in me. I am proud to be in the involvement of the diversity in the province. I carry my head high and there’s no person who doesn’t know that I’m from Limpopo. Growing up in Johannesburg, we were laughed at as kids for speaking Pedi and that made me want to be Pedi more than anything and in the cosmopolitan city of Johannesburg, I made sure I spoke Pedi and if anyone laughed or could not understand it did not matter to me. What are you currently involved in? I contributed in the development of the arts in Limpopo by writing concepts for the Mapungubwe Arts Festival this year. I am part of the provincial Arts and Crafts Board, representing the province at National Arts Council. I was also part of the creative team that was responsible for launching the new city logo. We did a play around the development and unveiling of the corporate identity. What is your wish for the province? I wish that the province could create an attractive environment for artists outside the province to want to come to the city; facilities such as recording studios, ﬁlm production houses and cultural facilities, so that the city and the province as a whole become a true destination for cultural experiences. My dream is to see the province build a provincial theatre. We are the only province that does not have a theatre and I believe that all of us realise this. I am grateful for the gratitude the people of Limpopo have shown me and their appreciation for my talent. They have given me the opportunity to express this talent and I will forever be grateful to you all.
In just under eighteen months City of Polokwane will be bustling with activity brought on by the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ soccer. As a host city for this prestigious international event, we are certainly breaking new ground and our preparations are well on course.
The unique characteristics of Polokwane are a reﬂection of how a city so rich with natural magniﬁcence and people-power can rise above the challenge of hosting an event of such magn e mag itude as the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. It is our magnitude aim to c aim i cr create a better, sustainable quality of life for our peop especially our youth, who are the future people, e decision de decision-makers. Those national leaders who have n risen o of Limpopo to be icons will not only n out m ivat motiva and inspire more ambition for our youth, motivate b wil but wi instil hope in the people of the province as but will a whole whole. Our call upon all citizens is to unite in support of our call vision to p n to position our city nationally and internationally as a safe and attractive place to visit with a vibrant saf safe and dyn d dyn dynamic cultural life and a great place to live, work and invest in. We are convinced that each k an every one of us will help realize this vision and n and therefore work hard towards building economic growth and sustained livelihoods,
VOLUME 3 - DECEMBER 2008
building community resilience and self-reliance as well as promoting service excellence. We have worked even harder to improve efﬁciency, coordination and quality of service delivery towards an integrated approach to rural development and urban renewal programmes that would leave an everlasting legacy for our people. As we come to the end of 2008 and usher in 2009, we believe this will be the year to realize hopes and dreams. In the New Year we are looking forward to meeting the challenges ahead and fulﬁlling the needs of our people meticulously. The City also appeals to all motorists and pedestrians to adhere to rules of the road. Our law enforcement agents will be working around the clock to ensure your safety at all times. Municipal ofﬁcials performing essential services will be on duty throughout the festive season to ensure uninterrupted service to all. We wish all residents of Polokwane a time that is rich in peace, joy and tranquillity.
Happy Festive Season!
Thabo Makunyane Executive Mayor
BEDAZZLING FESTIVE LIGHTS CEREMONY
The always-impressive annual festive lights switching-on ceremony began with an entourage led by a ﬂeet of municipal trafﬁc cars boasting their all-new look, accompanied by an army band and drum majorettes, parading through the streets of the City of Polokwane to the Flora Park Dam Park.
Polokwane residents from all the ﬁve clusters of the municipality packed into at the park, where they were enchanted by the moves of traditional dancers and entertained throughout the day by a variety of popular musicians. The Executive Mayor, Mr. Thabo Makunyane, warmly welcomed all and spoke about the new developments taking place within the city in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup TM soccer and the number of exciting activities that will be held around the city during the 2010 event - such as fan parks which will be abuzz with entertainment. The Mayor emphasised that it was the day that all people of Polokwane, mark the beginning of the festive season and the 2010 FIFA World Cup TM soccer event, but above all it’s a time that we celebrate a spirit of unity and togetherness this festive season, and a time when we share goodwill with all as we head together towards the New Year. He then ofﬁcially switched on the lights and the ﬁreworks lit up the night City sky, dazzling all with their magniﬁcence, closing the occasion with ﬂair and style.
The atmosphere at Soccerex 2008 hosted by Gauteng and held at the Sandton Convention Centre just north of Johannesburg last week was just a taste of the excitement to come when South Africa hosts the FIFA 2010 World Cup™. Host City, Polokwane, Limpopo Tourism and Parks and Limpopo Department of Arts and Culture partnered to share a display stand to promote what Africa’s City of Stars - and the province have to offer. With 4 000 delegates, 300 exhibitors and thousands of visitors from more than 95 countries, it was abuzz with international activity – and the place to be.
Many visited the stand to ﬁnd out about the progress of Polokwane’s preparations for the World Cup and to ﬁnd out what province has to offer regarding tourism and business/investment. Not only is Polokwane Africa’s City of Stars – but it was one of the stars of Soccerex! Polokwane’s 2010 Director Mr. Ndavhe Ramakuela and other representatives from the city and province were there to answer any questions. Ramakuela gave interviews to international and local media, which included SABC Sports, Radio 2000, BBC Sports and many others.
“It was an excellent opportunity for us not only to inform the public via media and our presence here of our progress, but also to learn from other host cities. I am pleased with the interaction and I believe we have made valuable contacts here,” said an elated Ramakuela.
TRANSPORT AND TOURISM PREPARATIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP™ SOCCER
The city is going to be involved in the construction of 15 dedicated roads projects to facilitate ease of movement between various venues, says Mr. Ndavhe Ramakuela, 2010 Director. The tourism entity, Limpopo Tourism and Parks, pointed out that Transport is not only one of the key enablers of the tourism industry, but the nucleus of tourism – as transport enables people to move from one place to the other quickly and conveniently. It is the window to a country with the ability to make or break tourism – and the two industries compliment each other tremendously. With 45 000 spectators expected for each of the four matches and eight teams staying in and around the city of Polokwane there is a lot of pressure for local transport systems, domestic airlines and charter landing, trafﬁc control, informative signage and roads systems. Developments are also well underway for tourist attractions – which also demand transport facilities, such as to and from entertainment hubs; restaurants, game shows, fan parks, public viewing places, music shows and the match venues. Transport from the airport, bus stations to the accommodation and special transport to medical facilities will also play a major role. Opportunities Limpopo as a whole will have to use logistical ingenuity in order to best utilize all three airports (Polokwane, Phalaborwa and Vhembe) effectively. Amongst the many opportunities to consider include warehousing and freight logistics, training on all support services, specialized tourism transportation (luxury buses, limo services and inner city taxis) and devising unique transportation that will differentiate Limpopo from any other Province – such as branded inner city taxis and/or fun donkey carts. Fleet requirements Limpopo has allocated 66 Inter-City Buses for General Spectators and 136 drivers. FIFA requires coaches that are no older than one year, while MATCH requires their ﬂeet to be uniformly branded. Here, the opportunity for the industry is to handle the excess capacity available allocated to General Spectators. The Lower Volume Inter City Corridors identiﬁed are: • • • • • • • • • • • Thohoyandou to Makhado Musina to Makhado Makhado to Polokwane Lebowakgomo to Polokwane Tubatse to Polokwane Phalaborwa to Tzaneen Bolobedu to Tzaneen Tzaneen to Polokwane Mankweng to Polokwane Giyani to Polokwane Bela-Bela to Mokopane • • Mookgopong to Mokopane Mokopane to Polokwane
With Soccerex now over, Polokwane and the province of Limpopo anticipate more visitors to the province and an increased awareness about what Polokwane has to offer. So perhaps it’s no coincidence that this past weekend following the presence at Soccerex, all accommodation in Polokwane was fully booked!
Intra-City Bus Speciﬁc Opportunities • • • • Opportunity to tender for speciﬁc routes to stadium, Fan Parks and Transport Hubs, Contract top-up services on routes that are currently poorly serviced by public transport, Existing bus corridors will have enhanced services subject to a full demand analysis, and There will be event speciﬁc training to enhance customer satisfaction
Intra-City taxis Possible intra-city roles for intra-city mini-bus taxi operations (Host City TOPs): • Transport from stations and airports to stadia, accommodation nodes, transport hubs and Fan Fests • • • • • • Between park-and-rides and stadiums Smaller accommodation nodes and transport hubs Transport to Public Viewing Sites for locals (match and non-match days to mainly non-FIFA sites) Transport to local Fan Fests/Parks for local (match and non-match days) Services from transport hubs to tourism attractions and shopping nodes Dial-and-ride services for people with disabilities
Intra-City metered taxis Possible opportunities for intra-city metered taxi operations: • • • • • Linking transport hubs with lower density accommodation nodes Linking all accommodation nodes with non-world cup related attractions Meeting low volume 24-hour demands at world cup related venues Respond to ad-hoc customized demand Dial-&-ride services for people with disabilities
Opportunities • Inter City bus service requirement has been ﬁnalized- to be provided by Autopax 2010 • • • • • Intra City bus service requirement to be quantiﬁed - opportunities through negotiations with incumbent operators and tendering Industry must provide additional services without jeopardizing existing public transport services Host City TOP will provide more detail on opportunities for bus, taxi and metered taxi industry PTOP is also ﬁnalized and tenders for Provincial TOP 2010 to be advertised soon Accreditation criteria for operators, drivers and vehicles, must be an integral part of applying for event speciﬁc operating licenses
For more information contact: The Department of Roads and Transport, Ms. Polly Boshielo, General Manger: Public Transport, Tel. 015 295 1030