HELLO WEEKEND | From SA's bright opera star to our blue blood wine dynasty

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Hello Weekend

Hello, Weekend.

It's News24's annual Good News Day and this edition of Hello Weekend continues on the feel-good theme. Bashiera Parker talks to South Africa's talented opera star, Pretty Yende, and Daléne Fourie tells us more about the wine dynasty in our midst. Andrew Thompson reveals the magic of gorilla trekking in Rwanda, while Bonolo Sekudu learns about resilience from Lerato Kganyago. I hope you enjoy this weekend's edition.

Happy reading. Herman.

The little girl from Piet Retief now making history: SA's Pretty Yende on performing at Charles' coronation 

By Bashiera Parker

I can see it now. The year is 2001. A teenage Pretty Yende is hauled up on the couch at home, perhaps by the fireplace, as the family spends time together, like they usually do after dinner every night. Isidingo, or is it Generations – the local soap she's watching – cuts to a British Airways ad, and that's it – that's the moment she hears Lakmé for the very first time. Her high school music teacher tells her it's called opera – and yes, it is "humanly possible" to mimic those sounds. And so begins her journey – her "Hashtag Pretty Journey", as she calls it.

Creation Wines: Home to winemaking dynasty 

By Daléne Fourie

Meet JC and Carolyn Martin of Creation Wines in the Hemel-en-Aarde Ridge. Their six-course tasting menu has become a powerful tool in introducing fine wine to novice audiences. Both hail from winemaking families, JC from Switzerland, and Carolyn from the Finlaysons of Hartenberg, Blaauwklippen, Glen Carlou, Edgebaston, Bouchard Finlayson, Gabriëlskloof, and Crystallum.

Lerato Kganyago on standing up to bullies, healing, and the 'block' option

By Bonolo Sekudu

Social media can be toxic. Although its purpose for many is entertainment, there tends to be a crossed line when trending topics become cyberbullying. Proximity and engagement have desensitised our society from the reality that words break people. Radio host and DJ, Lerato Kganyago, know this too well. In recent months and weeks, we have seen her cry or seethe with rage online, calling out people who she says have bullied her. 

bullying, celebrity, social media
Lerato Kganyago

Gorilla trekking may never be more affordable for South Africans - where, when, and how to plan a trip 

By Andrew Thompson

Visiting Africa's gorillas has been a consistent bucket list item for intrepid travellers since pioneering primatologists first started visiting Rwanda and reporting back. Those who've had the fortune of more recently clambering up muddy hillsides in dense jungles to hopefully spend time with gorillas almost universally speak of the experience in superlatives and reflect on it as an otherworldly encounter. If you've ever been tempted to embark on a gorilla trekking trip, there may never be a better or cheaper time.

'I really didn't sleep for about three years' - Simon Sebag Montefiore on writing The World: A Family History 

By Shaun de Waal

Popular historian and novelist Simon Sebag Montefiore’s new book is a vast global history, The World: A Family History (Weidenfeld & Nicholson). Touring South Africa and speaking about his work, he talked to Shaun de Waal about this massive tome and how he sees the role of families in history.


Noni Jabavu
Noni Jabavu at Willow Cottage, Jamaica 1962, Amazwi Museum Collection.

REVIEW | Noni Jabavu’s curious gaze and delightful wit revealed in new collection: The British poet Robert Graves once said to Noni Jabavu: "Noni, you are no poet. You are an observer. I am not insulting you. An observer is an artist too. You belong in the club of artists, of which there is no high species in the human race!"

REVIEW | Coco Mellors delivers a calculated balance of depth and buoyancy in Cleopatra and Frankenstein: Coco Mellors’ debut novel Cleopatra and Frankenstein is a new-romantic nod to Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, and not as flippant or formulaic as it first appears. 

67-million-year-old T-Rex gets red-carpet treatment: Yolanda Schicker-Siber gingerly fastens a pointy claw bone with a thin metal wire, putting the finishing touches on a giant Tyrannosaurus-Rex skeleton before a rare auction in Switzerland next month.

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(Photo: Stephane de Sakutin/AFP. Cover design: Herman Eloff)

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