The Durban City Hall


The Durban City Hall is an impressive and historic site that is a must see when visiting Durban, it’s in the middle of the city centre and exudes an allegorical character.
The Durban City Hall is a great classical historical site that has stood the test of time. This marvelous structure originally erected as a town hall, stands gracefully as the epitome of the Durban city centre. This flamboyant neo-Baroque style architecture houses the city’s municipal chambers, the city’s public library, auditorium, the Durban Art Gallery and the Natural Science Museum.

This robust Durban City Hall was the second built, the first town hall having been utilised as the Durban Post office. The rapid expansion of Durban in the late 1800’s warranted a bigger city hall to be built necessitating a move from the small town hall.

In the year 1903 the then town council invited architects to submit designs for the new town hall. Stanley G. Hudson submitted the winning design which was inspired by or rather a replica of the city of Belfast’s City Hall in Northern Ireland.

Mayor Ellis Brown played a great role in convincing leaders that building the city hall was the right thing to do. Construction of the Durban City Hall took a period of five consecutive progressive years and a budget of £300 000. In april 12, 1910 the colonial structure was complete and would stand as one of Durban’s great landmarks and heritage.

“One of the finest things in South Africa” was how mayor Ellis Brown described the town hall about six months before construction began. The Durban City Hall has certainly proved itself to be a fine structure with its bold designs and sculptors.
The Durban City Hall is but one of many great landmarks that can be found in and around the Durban CBD. A tour of the Durban city is one that is rich in sites, culture, heritage and history.


South African Traditional Healers

In life there are some things that happen that one cannot explain or find answers to in science and research. Beliefs and tradition play a great role in explaining some of these mysterious occurrences and at times spiritual healing is the only solace one can find.
The African continent is rich in mineral resources, wild life, culture, heritage and deep roots in spiritual beliefs.  South Africa like the rest of Africa has strong ties to culture and tradition, as a result a majority of South Africans tend to resort to using both traditional and modern means of healing.

Sangomas and inyanga are shamans who attempt to heal, establishing balance and a harmless relationship between the afflicted person and the spirits that are causing the illness or problem that one might be experiencing. The healer intercedes between the world of the living and that of the dead in order to bring about a resolve and peace.

Sangomas and inyanga differ in a sense that the sangoma relies heavily on divination for healing purposes and might also be considered a type of fortune-teller. While the inyanga is concerned mainly with medicine, particularly made from plants and animals. The plants are usually of an exotic nature as the inyanga is directed towards the type and location of the medicine by ancestors.
The inyanga and sangoma are revered and respected in society because of tradition and culture as well as for their ability to speak to ancestors and heal. A majority of people consult both doctors and traditional healers and use both forms of medicine to heal their ailment. Modernisation has caused a blurring of the two practices where the sangoma and the inyanga tend to practice both arts.

Some people feel that their ailment comes not from the physical but from the spiritual form and in this regard solely seek the help of traditional healers. Spiritual healing includes divination, healing the physical, emotional, and spiritual illness which can also be due to witchcraft, performing protection spells, narrating history and reading the cosmology.

The sangoma may burn incense impepho, and snuff can also be used to communicate with ones ancestors through prayer, humming and ululating. Sangomas are able to access advice through ancestors amadlozi by allowing amadlozi to take over. Sangomas go into a trance through the sound of the beating drum, dancing and chanting and the burning incense, during this the sangoma spiritually leaves their body and allows the amadlozi to take possession of the body.

It is the idlozi or ancestor that is believed to communicate with the afflicted directly and narrate the patients life story and source of ailment, providing specific information on the patients problem.
An animal sacrifice is usually requested by amadlozi to appease the spirits along with a ritual that is performed by the sangoma. this act is believed to bring about restitution for both the afflicted and the spirit world.

There exists many different forms of physical and spiritual healing that different cultures associate with in the world which vary in practice, but all share a common goal which is to heal. Culture and tradition ensures an identity and the preservation of history. This has been a brief look at South African history, particularly Zulu history, although traditional healing is widely practiced it is not adopted by all.


The La Bri Winery a French Legacy


World wide the French are known for their exceptional winemaking style and flair for romance. What better way to celebrate South African heritage than to enjoy a glass full of French legacy from our very own La Bri winery.
La Bri is part of South Africa’s best kept secrets, it is a vineyard covering 15.5 hectares in the Cape winelands. It is part of more than 40 Franschhoek vignerons, which is known to produce some of the world’s finest wines.

La Bri was originally granted to Jacob de Villiers, it was the first of nine farms granted to the main group of the Huguenots back in 1694. But, it was Jacobs’ son Jacques who settled on the farm, later buying Boschendal from his brother Abraham’s estate, over time the farm was split into three. In 1744 after several owners have come and gone Pieter Eduard Hauman bought the farm that today is ‘La Bri’ which is a French name for ‘refuge/shelter’. The French exquisite style of winemaking has been handed down for generations.

La Bri boasts a state of the art modern 120 ton cellar on the estate, with its unique design and gravity fed processes. It’s tailored to produce wine of the highest quality and embodies all that is unique about La Bri’s vineyard and terrain. La Bri uses modern and traditional wine making style and minimises the use of pumps by applying gravity to its grapes and wine.
Irene Waller the winemaker, is a passionate viticulturalist whose exceptional wine making style exubarates and diffuses into a fine selection of wines, that is sure to entice and tantalise your taste buds. The wines exude the audacious nature of Irene Waller.

La Bri winery has an array of wines made from the picturesque La Bri vineyard, where care and timing of the vines seems to be an artform Irene is determined to perfect with each harvest. La Bri produces six wines from its vineyard the Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Affinity, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. The Cabernet was given an incredible 5 star rating and awarded first place by the Christian Eedes Cabernet Report 2013 and the Syrah has just been listed in the Top 12 wines in the Shiraz SA Challenge. The bottle of each wine is embellished with an indigenous flower with the exception of Syrah which has a herb, giving each wine an identity and a tale.

La Bri wines is made for enjoyment with a splicing of flavours that is sure to give one a sense of explosive indulgence to savour. “My aim is to produce handcrafted wine, created with passion. My ideal would be for all my wines to be enjoyed with food. I believe that the right combination allows both the food and wine to express themselves fully. One should not overpower the other. A marriage of flavours where subtle nuances are enhanced, for example that saltiness of capes that ties in with the saltiness of our Cab and make the wines explode on the palate” said Irene Waller. It is no secrete that La Bri wine has personality.

To fully enjoy La Bri wines, we thought it best that Irene shares with you some of her favourite pairings, that you are sure to enjoy.

La Bri Chardonnay – be extravagant – enjoy crayfish tails on a lemon risotto with roasted almonds
La Bri Merlot – stay away from anything sweet – A Fillet with Merlot jus
La Bri Syrah – perfect with spice and liquorice – either a chocolate ganache with liquorice icecream,
La Bri Affinity – vension with smoked bonemarrow and wild mushroom jus
La Bri Cabernet sauvignon – Hearty lentil soup with capers and cinnamon crème
La Bri Viognier – Spicy Thai prawn curry

A visit to the La Bri vineyard will leave you breathless. You will hear the clapping of trees leaves, the flutter of birds wings and the whistling of the wind.A sea of breeze comes over you like a wave and lifts your spirit high up into the sky, where the stars turn into ripe, sweet, juicy vines that gush and burst in your mouth. Teasing your taste buds, and exploding like confetti into a million hues and tones. Swirls you and slowly subsides you as if in a hot air balloon that sways you into a landing on your feet, leaving you feeling as if you are in a dream.

La Bri is set on not only being one of South Africa’s best wineries but a great international contender, and with the likes of Irene Waller the South African art of winemaking is set to get the world peeping south.

Posted By kelly mthethwa to PEEPSOUTH on 6/23/2013 02:51:00 am

Beauty Personified

Elegance is a sense of style and art that is symbolic of a class and seamless simple yet dynamic features. It is a visual pattern or form that resembles grace and style.
Beauty lies all around us but I dare not say we see the beauty that surrounds us everyday. There comes a time in all our lives when we experience an epiphany, at that moment everything falls into place and voila we see beauty all around us.
Elegance on the other hand is a rare find, it exists in a world of its own where beauty surrounds it and serenades its opulence, elegance exhibits refined grace and dignified propriety.
The question that comes to mind is how can one measure or determine elegance in style and art. That my dear reader I leave to the individual to decifer.
Time tells all, from sunrise to dawn our lives unveil; with each minute the past falls behind us like rain falls from the sky. What is time if not a measure of our accomplishments and growth. Time encapsulates the essence of being, whether we like what we see depends on how well our time was spent.

Three Cities – Jozini Tiger Lodge

The African sunrise can be such a superb splendour to witness, imagine enjoying a weekend away with loved ones at one of Kwa-Zulu Natals wonderfully nestled lodges basking in one of natures best sites in the small town of Jozini located in the uMkhanyakude municipality.

Jozini is a settlement with a rich heritage and natural beauty located in the northern part of Kwa-Zulu Natal. It has an array of tourist attractions and accommodation packages to suite just about any sceptic
Jozini Tiger Lodge took my fancy, it’s nestled right above the Jozini dam making its positioning and sites a must see for one and all.
The meandering drive down to the entrance of the lodge is very inviting as it moves down towards the Jozini dam and back. As you enter the reception area you are greeted by a warm staff welcome and a grand view of the dam. Tiger lodge is just what one needs for a relaxing getaway from the hustling and bustling city life. The lodge presents itself as a great escape with so many activities offered, not to mention the surrounding reserves one could visit and that ever so needed massage at the end of your thrilling day.
The rooms are a good size with a touch of luxury and comfort that makes one feel relaxed and settled without being imposing. The style is subtle yet with a statement.
Guests seem to keep themselves very busy with activities to the extent that one might feel deserted at the lodge, only to find the place come to life during breakfast time as guest congregate for a feasting. The food at Jozini Tiger Lodge is average maybe it’s done that way to cater to a variety of tastes, I don’t know. It is certainly not one of my highlights.
Tiger lodge is a great cross of luxury and nature its architecture recedes and puts nature in the forefront allowing the guest to enjoy the beautiful scenery. I especially enjoyed the view of the Jozini dam at night with the cool cascading breeze whistling by, that moment right there was the epitomy of my trip.
One thing I regret not having done was to engage with the locals and take in the culture of Jozini. So, next time I will be sure to explore the very essence of Jozini through interacting with the locals and finding out what they recommend one to not miss while in Jozini.
Whether your next drive or trip is in Kwa-Zulu Natal or in any of the other province be sure to take in the scenery and engage with the locals who knows you might just find interesting places you wont get off your tour guide.
For Prices of the various accommodation packages visit
Follow mw on twitter: @kellymthethwa
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