In the busy everyday hustle and bustle many people often take for granted how much they rely on their bodies on a daily basis and the importance of good health. It is important to realise that without good health, life loses its quality and it becomes difficult to cope with existing health issues.  Graham Anderson, CEO and Principal Officer of Profmed says making your health a priority means taking the next step in ensuring you lead a positive and rewarding lifestyle.

April marks Health Awareness Month in South Africa. This month brings to the forefront the importance of knowing your health status and being proactive in ensuring good health. Illnesses such as autism, haemophilia, malaria and the importance of vaccinations are highlighted during this month and recognised on separate days. These days signify opportunities to encourage, support and create awareness and education around these conditions.

Anderson suggests “Visiting your General Practitioner (GP) once or twice a year is crucial in ensuring your body is performing at its peak. Regular health check-ups and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help detect illnesses during early stages, when your chances of treatment and recovery are high. These tests involve blood pressure, heart activity, cholesterol, diabetes and other extensive screenings for cancers.”

“While some factors may be attributed to genetics, others depend on age – a large part depends on lifestyle choices. For example, what you eat, how active you are and whether you smoke or consume alcohol excessively, is crucial. These important factors impact what and how often you need healthcare. It is vital to acknowledge that prevention is better than cure and everything is good within limits,” adds Anderson.

Not only in this month, but all year round everyone should prioritise getting the right care, screenings, and treatments and taking the steps that help your chances of living a longer, healthier life. “Use this month to educate yourself on the several common illnesses people suffer from in SA and get yourself cleared by seeing your doctor,” concludes Anderson.


Online betting payouts: Where does all the money come from?

The fixed-odds betting industry continues to grow both physically and online, and has remained a popular pastime for many who enjoy the thrill and anticipation of wagering against probability-based odds offered by a bookmaker. This form of entertainment sees consumers win payouts anywhere from tens of rands into the hundreds of millions. These often large sums of money are guaranteed if won through legal channels – so how do bookmakers afford to payout such significant sums on a regular basis?

Tasoulla Hadjigeorgiou, CEO of says, “Over the past year, has paid out close to R83 million. We continue to offer massive payout opportunities to over 57 000 registered users – for example, the current potential payout of half a billion rand on offer on the 19 December 2015,” she explains. “By law, bookmakers have to provide guarantees against their ability to payout those agreed funds, to protect both the consumer and their own business.”

“In order for us as a bookmaker to guarantee that we are able to pay these winnings to players, we have a number of financial provisions in place internally, which are audited and verified by the governing provincial gambling board – in our case, with the Mpumalanga gambling board.” In addition, larger potential payouts require insurance guarantees through major international insurance providers.’s payouts are not shared, meaning it is only possible for one winner to receive the payout amount. “For this reason, our payouts are only guaranteed if someone wins. Therefore, we insure the payout money with an upfront deposit to our insurers, as a bet is placed insurance is taken on that bet automatically.

“About 60% to 70% of any bookmakers’ business is generated through number betting, which has become a targeted niche market in South Africa. When dealing with such large payout offerings, it is imperative to be able to guarantee these promised amounts without compromising our business, as well as to ensure commitments made to customers are met,” Hadjigeorgiou concludes

[VIDEO]: What does South Africa’s Constitution mean to the nation brand?

Property of Brand South Africa and was first published on

Co-filmed and edited by Prelene Singh

On Wednesday 10 December 2014 South Africa celebrated the 18th year of its groundbreaking Constitution, the highest law of the land that is lauded across the world for its progressive protection of liberties and human rights.

Dr Petrus de Kock, General manager Research at Brand South Africa, reflects on the deep impact the Constitution has had not only on the development of South Africa’s democracy, but on other countries across the globe seeking best practice for reform and reconciliation.

[WITH GALLERY] : Brand SA’s Nation Brand Master Class set the tone for how South Africa is positioned

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Johannesburg, Tuesday 30 September 2014 – Brand South Africa today, in partnership with the Marketing Association of South Africa (MASA), Institute of Marketing Management (IMM) and Vega School, launched a South African first in nation brand studies – a Master Class on Nation Brand.

“The Master Class is aimed at developing a more formal framework to train and equip marketers and communicators, from the public as well as the private sector with the necessary skills to profile the unique features of the South Africa Nation Brand,” says Brand South Africa CEO, Mr Miller Matola.

As custodians of the nation brand, Brand South Africa has in the past done several training session with provinces and metros. The Nation Brand Master Class has been designed to take this training to a new level – a structured approach to impart knowledge and empower other marketers when profiling the nation brand.

The Nation Brand Master Class modules were developed by Brand South Africa, MASA, and IMM. “Brand South Africa is in the process of lobbying the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT Seta) to have the module enlisted with targeted Institutions of Higher learning and for the accreditation of this newly developed module,” explains Matola.

Modules include: Marketing Principles and Nation Brand, Introduction to Nation Brand, Country Positioning and National Identity, Image, Reputation and Competitiveness , Nation Brand Performance Measures and more.

A pilot programme in the Nation Brand Master Class was rolled out to 50 Vega and select IMM final year students. The training will, in due course, also be offered to trade and investment, tourism marketers and communicators nationally.

Ms Wendy Tlou, Chief Marketing Officer of Brand South Africa added that, “It is important to educate and guide key stakeholders in the nuances of communicating a nation brand on multiple platforms. The Master Class on positioning the Nation Brand will demonstrate that all South Africans have a role to play, and are equally part of building our nation brand. We as South Africans deliver the Brand South Africa experience! Let us play our part in delivering that experience.”

Join in the conversation: @Brand_SA #BSAMasterclass and @PlayYourPartSA #BSAMasterclass.

About Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.

About Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of our nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing – because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone.

Play Your Part is aimed at all South Africans – from corporates to individuals, NGOs to government, churches to schools, young to not so young. It aims to encourage South Africans to use some of their time, money, skills or goods to contribute to a better future for all.

There are numerous opportunities, big and small, for each and every South African to make a positive difference in the communities in which they live and operate. Play Your Part encourages them to act on these opportunities. The campaign is driven by the Brand South Africa.

Further resources from Brand South Africa

Media are invited to visit for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement. Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.

And we cross the finish line

Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorspruit. Photo: Prelene Singh

Buddhist Temple in Bronkhorspruit. Photo: Prelene Singh

Finally, my in-depth project is complete. The Chinese-Johannesburg topic was great and I definitely learnt a lot of the Chinese and their culture. Our website will be launching tomorrow so please feel free to visit to see all #teamvuvu’s work. I will also be hyper linking my feature and all my multimedia to the site in the coming days.

I wrote a reflective piece on my in-depth experience below. Enjoy!

How the seed was planted

Not knowing what I was getting myself into when I embarked on researching my in-depth project, I was filled with excitement and the thought of the unknown was somehow enticing. It was a Monday morning in the newsroom when #teamvuvu was told that our topic is Chinese-Johannesburg.

The first thing I thought was: this is going to be easy, simply because I had already known that Joburg had a large Chinese presence, so it would not be too difficult to research. Then we were given our group topics. I will admit I wished I was in the group that had family and tradition because that is what always interests me.

However, I was placed in the group who had to research history and the future of the Chinese in Joburg. At first I was blank, thinking what I could possibly produce that would be interesting to my readers, I came up with very little. This however, only lasted a few minutes. After meeting with Kenichi Serino, our group mentor, I felt better and I felt I had direction and focus. In my group was Pheladi Sethusa, Ray Mahlaka and Emelia Motsai.

I decided I wanted to make my project personal, I wanted to write about the Chinese in Joburg in such as way that the average non-Chinese reader would be interested and would be able to relate to the story I was telling. I remembered meeting Mr King Pon at the firework shop in Commissioner Street. I remembered being so fascinated by the story about his grandfather’s polygamous ways.

The task was trying to incorporate what I found interesting into my topic. I decided I would use the Pon family as the foundation of my bigger story, which was the journey of the Chinese to South Africa and their presence here since the 1800’s. This would be the historical relationship the Chinese has with South Africa and more specifically Joburg.

The journey

The Chinese in Joburg are very guarded community, they are withdrawn from mainstream society and also fearful of non-Chinese. Bearing this in mind, it seemed quite a task to find a family, like the Pon’s to let me in their personal space with notes, cameras and recorders.

During the first week I thought I would not jump straight into reporting and interviewing the family and scare them away. I went to the Sui Hing Hong firework shop the first day with the intention of just talking to King Pon. I wanted to build some kind of relationship and common ground with him so that he would trust me enough to let me into his family. From the start he did say that they were a traditional and conservative family, of which I had to make sure I respected and make sure he knew that I respected that.

At the shop I spoke to his wife Louis, she is from China and not fluent in English, but as much I could, I tried to start some sort of conversation with her. I spoke to the accountant at the shop, the salesman and King himself. I stayed for a while just talking to them and also offering some similarities my family had with his family. For example: the size of Indian and Chinese families.

Before I left the shop I told King what I was doing and what I needed from him. He seemed keen to help and he said I should email him a breakdown of what exactly I am doing, why I am doing this, what I need to find out and who I wanted to speak to.

I did so, and waited a week for King to get back to me because he is a very busy man running the Sui Hing Hong family business. During this week I visited Cyrildene to try and talk to people about how they came to South Africa but sadly got nowhere because of the solid language barrier between us.

Ther second week I went to the firework shop again to follow-up with King to see if his family agreed to speak to speak to me.  To my surprise, they agreed and I was able to meet all four generations of Pon’s in Johannesburg.

The turning point

On Wednesday of the second week I met many members of the family for a traditional lunch at a Chinese restaurant. I met Shue Chee, King’s 99 year-old mother, his brother Bonnie and his sister Gloria, his niece Theresa and Carla and his granddaughter Gabriella. All four generations. This was perfect and just what I needed to tell my story of Chinese in Joburg and how they came here.

I met everyone and they were willing to talk to me and tell me stories of their family. This was great and for once after a very long week and a half, I finally felt like I was getting somewhere with my personal topic. The other days before this was spent learning about the Chinese, visiting China Malls, speaking to people but nothing that would help me. I ended up blogging about the information I did not use in my feature.

After lunch with the Pon’s is when the real work began. The following week it was production, but before production I had to hand a second draft of my feature to Kenichi. The challenge here was to write a story people would understand, enjoy and relate to. Incorporating the human interest aspect of my story needed work.

The following week I went to King’s firework shop again because I needed to ask him if he had any old photographs of the family I could use for my multimedia to enhance my story and put faces to all the names I speak about.

I thought he would maybe give me five photos because that’s very personal and treasured by the family. When I went back to the shop to fetch the photos, King gave me close to 50 old photos of the family and an architectural project his niece did for Wits as part of her degree, to look at and maybe help.

 Leaving with my extended family

My project was done. Heading into production week I learnt that building a relationship with your sources really helps in your research.

King gifted me with two porcelain antique presents from China and when I returned his photos I gave him a gift too, to say thank you. I feel like he looks at me like one of his nieces and I feel like I have gained an additional family from this project. If not family then good friends for a long while.

This project taught me that the Chinese culture is very diverse and broad. I learnt to be tolerant of other people who are different from me and I learnt that appealing to people on a human level first works best.

Also, researching the Chinese history in South Africa was educational and I have learnt things that I would have never learnt if it weren’t for this project.




For everyone who has been following my blog, you will have noticed that much of my posts involved sexual harassment at Wits University. These were stories my team and I wrote about which helped created awareness about this issue but to also promote change in institutional policy at the university.

A few minutes ago we received an email notifying us that  #teamvuvu 2013 has just been awarded the Vice Chancellor‘s team award for transformation.

We are a team of 17 student journalists who run the campus newspaper as well as studying journalism theory as part of our honours course. It is a great honour to have won this award and moreover right in the beginning of our careers as up and coming journalists.

We will be presented with our award on Friday night at the annual Council dinner. Thanks to all our lecturers’ and all the people who supported our ideas and judgement’s during the coverage of sexual harassment this year.  It was a fabulous and exciting year in the Wits Vuvuzela newsroom.

It is the most rewarding feeling when you receive recognition for the work you have done and just to know that we created a change in institutional policy by our investigative journalism, the feeling is untouchable.