Rosa Blaauw

Born and raised in the friendly city known as Port Elizabeth, Rosa completed high school at Gelvandale Senior Secondary in 1999. Always an avid performer, she did ballet, high school drama, and had roles in Volkswagen Musicactive musical productions in 1996 and 1997.

Rosa first completed a Diploma in Hotel Management in 2000, then completed a BA degree at Rhodes University in 2005, where she also dabbled in campus radio.

Presentations to both local and international audiences have fine-tuned her voice skills. Her love of the arts was met in road show promotions, extras work in local and international television ads, and a course in Television Presenting from the City Varsity School of Media & Creative Arts. Now based in the Nelson Mandela Bay area, Rosa has worked in PR, completed a Grade 8 Intermediary Intermediate Performance Certificate with Merit at Stage world, and was a radio presenter for Kingfisher FM from 2010 to 2011. 

In 2009 she was voted to be the ‘Reporter’ for the Tropika Island of Treasure 2 Competition in Zanzibar, a reality TV show. Rosa beat out 4 other finalists, and joined 9 other Public Contestants and 10 South African celebrities on the island of Zanzibar. The TV show ran on etv from 18th October to 6th December 2009.

References (n.d.). Rosa Blaauw. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Jun. 2018].

Last Updated:  1 June 2018 Incorrect information? Or want to add more?  email:

Michael Barry

Michael Barry was born in 1954 in Port ElizabethEastern Province (now Eastern Cape).

After receiving his schooling in Port Elizabeth, Barry worked as a computer operator.

In 1976, he moved to Cape Town, Western Province, to work as a sailor for a merchant shipping company, Safmarine. In 1978, Barry enrolled as a student at the Michaelis School of Fine Arts at the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he studied until 1981. In 1985, he completed his Higher Diploma in Education at UCT.

While studying at Michaelis, Barry worked part time as shelter supervisor at the Haven Night Shelter in the dock area of Cape Town for a year. During the 1980s, Barry continued to pursue his passion for painting and photography and taught art in a state high school in Port Elizabeth. Barry was a member of Vukalisa (isiXhosa for enlighten) an artists’ collective that worked in communities to encourage cultural activities. His photographs were included in numerous group shows in the Cape Peninsula including an exhibition organised by The South African National Gallery in 1981 entitled “Young South African Photographers.” Barry’s photographic essay published in South Africa: The Cordoned Heart in 1986 includes some of the work he had done while working at the Haven Night Shelter in Cape Town. These images speak to the conditions of the lives of homeless people living in and around the city.


Badsha, O. (ed). (1986)South Africa: The Cordoned Heart, Essays by Twenty South African Photographers. Cape Town: Gallery Press


South African History Online. (n.d.). Michael Barry.


Available at: [Accessed 12 Jul. 2018].

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Last Updated:  12 July 2018 Incorrect information? Or want to add more?  email:

Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina- SA Hip-Hop Artist

Mzayifani Mzondeleli Boltina, better known as iFani, is a South African Hip-Hop/Rap artist, MC and television presenter. His first single was ‘Hola Hater’, followed by ‘Ewe’, ‘Shake’, ‘Milli’ and the ‘I Believes in Me’ (1st and 2nd Quadrant) albums, the latter of which attained Gold Status’ on the day of its release. He debuted on television as a presenter, hosting a sponsored reality series, on SABC 1 called, ‘Stumbo Stomp Amapantsula’, which was a platform for challengers to battle out their pantsula moves. He was later replaced by Busiswa Gqulu in the 2nd Season. He has also appeared on and hosted the reality television series ‘Clash of the Choirs’, which aired on the channel ‘Mzanzi Magic’.

Boltina was born in Mthatha, the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa and was raised in the Port Elizabeth locales of New Brighton and Motherwell. He was a student at the Gelvandale High School, then went on to study for a BSc (Hons) Computer Science and BSc (Computer Engineering) at the University of Cape Town. Following his graduation, iFani worked as a process control engineer at SABMiller, during which time, he also worked in different styles of music and became involved in a number of hip-hop battles and cyphers as an underground rapper after work. His stage name ‘iFani’ was inspired from a name he adopted from his grandfather, ‘Mzayifani’.

His first single, ‘Hola Haters’ opened to a tepid response in 2009, and gained wider reception once it was picked by the Gauteng Radio Station, YFM and featured as one among the ‘Hot 9’ songs on the ‘Hot 9’ chart. His second single ‘Ewe’ defined his feelings about the South African music industry and the reception for his music. The song, released in 2010, gained significant airplay on pop music stations and charts and was one of his most commercially successful singles till date. The TV channel SABC1 picked ‘Ewe’ as one of the ‘Best Music Videos’ for 2011. iFani signed a contract with Sony Music Africa in 2012 after the release of his single ‘See Live’.[12]Through the next couple of years, he released a series of successful singles including ‘Shake’ and ‘Milli’, and has collaborated with the artist Blaksuga, with whom he released the track, ‘Chocolate and Vanilla featuring Blaksuga’. ‘Shake’ debuted on Club 808’s Chart at the number 1 position in September 2012. In 2013 he released his first album ‘I Believes in Me’ (1st Quadrant), with thirteen tracks and collaborations with the artists Blacksuga, Nomsa and Bongani Fassie. The second album, ‘I Believes in Me’ (2nd Quadrant) released on April 29, 2015 and achieved ‘Gold’ status on the same day of its release.[13][14] The 2nd Quadrant album also features thirteen tracks, and was released under the Columbia/Epic Label Group. His single ‘Settle Down’ entered the ‘Top 100’ charts and coincided with the first physical pre-order for an album and a digital pre-order via iTunes

iFani was one of the three celebrities in the reality series show ‘Reality Check’, where he along with Chomee and Kelly Khumalo had to work and do good deeds for charity. In 2015 he was the ‘Kasi Host’ of the SABC1 documentary-series, ‘Mi Kasi Su Kasi’, and has appeared on ‘Late Night News with Loyiso Gola’, ‘Jam Sandwich’, ‘Idols-Season 10’, ‘I Love South Africa – Season 1’, ‘The Man Cave- Season 3’, ‘Top Billing’, and ‘Zaziwa’


Wikipedia, 2018. Wikipedia. [Online]  Available at:
[Accessed 31 July 2018].

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Last Updated:  31 July 2018 Incorrect information? Or want to add more?

Belinda Davids

Born and raised in Gelvandale Belinda started performing professionally at 14, often singing at the now-closed Razzmatazz Club in dingy Govan Mbeki Avenue.

Her mother, Dorothy, was her hairstylist, she recalls, and her grandmother, Elizabeth, her protector. “I was granny’s baby.” They supported her when she moved to Cape Town as a young woman looking to make her mark. I was there she won the hearts of judges when she was chosen among 15 000 hopefuls as the show’s star in 2013. According to its website, the show management company spend more than a year perfecting the production and finding their lead singer. They visited 12 countries and chose Belinda as the best candidate to bring Whitney back to life. She travelled the world and worked with international music stars Keyshia Cole, Keri Hilson and Monica, but Belinda doesn’t consider herself a celebrity. She loves living her dream, but as soon as she steps of stage she removes the hair, lashes and make-up and becomes Belinda Davids- a regular single mother to Blake (21) and Joshua (5), who also happen to like music.

References (n.d.). – Connecting People Through News. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2018].

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Melissa Allison

Triple Threat Melissa Allison has been on stage since the age of 6 and since been discovering her talent and passion for music.

After dancing for various artists, she then broke into the world of performing arts by entering Mnet’s High School Musical Spotlight South Africa reality TV series where she made it to the top 14 and landed her first role as the understudy for the lead, ‘Gabriella Montez’ in the SA & Asian tour of Disney’s High School Musical Live on Stage

Whilst performing as a guest artist and backing vocalist for Loyiso Bala, The Bala Brothers, Danny K and The South African Music Award’s, she has also performed alongside Mango Groove, Lira, Jamali, Lloy’d Cele and Neo Muyanga.
As the runner up in South Africa’s Idols season 8, Melissa is now working on her solo project and has recently collaborated with with the likes of Liquid Deep, Zubs, Chad Saaiman and Greg Borowsky just to name a few.

One of Melissa’s highlight’s so far this year was being featured in the Marie Claire 2013 Naked Campaign for Organ Donation. Able to pull off many genre’s of music, Melissa specializes in Pop, Dance, House, Soul, R&B & Elements of Jazz.


Respect Music. (n.d.). Melissa Allison – Respect Music.


Available at: [Accessed 30 May 2018].

StarNow. (n.d.). Melissa Allison is an Actor, Extra and Model based in Gauteng, South Africa.. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 May 2018].

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Last Updated: 30 May 2018 Incorrect information? Or want to add more?  email:

Milwa Mnyaluza “George” Pemba-Artist

Mnyaluza Pemba was born on 2 April 1912 in Korsten at the Hill’s Kraal, Port Elizabeth. Although art classes were not at the Van der Kemp Mission Primary School where he was educated, Pemba developed an early love for art which his father encouraged by buying him pencils and crayons. The young Pemba became notorious for escaping from the drudgery of schoolwork into his private world of drawing. In 1924, Pemba won a Grey Scholarship to Paterson High School, where he denvoured the art books in the school library. As a 16 year old pupil, he entered and won an art competition at a local agricultural show. Pemba began to expand his repertoire to include drawing portraits based on photographs, for which he earned pocket-money.

He continued to pursue his art successfully over the next six decades. His exquisite paintings and drawings slowly began
Milwa Mnyaluza “George” Pemba

to attract a wider audience and led to his exhibition more widely. After his work were excepted for an exhibition of “Negro and Bantu Art” in Port Elizabeth in the late 1930’s, Pemba exhibited regularly (until shortly before his death in 2001). Pemba turned professional in the late 1940s, and entirely against the tide of the growing threat of overt racism engulfing South African society, held his first solo exhibition in East London in 1948. Pemba’s successful exhibition and the sale of his paintings, at the Eastern Province Art Association’s annual exhibition in 1965, provoked undisguised racial hostility. 

Despite indifference from the mainstream art world which regarded his work at best as colloquial, and antipathy from the apartheid government which, given the pre-ordained prescriptions of the Apartheid ideology, saw his profession as inappropriate for a ‘native’, Pemba persevered with his work thanks to the support of a few patrons, and his wife Eunice who helped to supplement his income by running a ‘house shop’.

Pemba, was also a writer of note, and penned at least two plays known to have been staged. He was later awarded with an honorary Masters’ Degree from University of Fort Hare in 1979 for his contribution to South African art.The South African Government bestowed George Pemba with the Order of Ikhamanga in Gold at the National Orders awards on 19 October 2004, for his pioneering and exceptional contribution to the development of the art of painting and literature.


South African History Online. (2018). Milwa Mnyaluza “George” Pemba. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 May 2018].

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Last Updated:  28 May 2018 Incorrect information? Or want to add more?  email:

Esther Miller

Esther Miller is a jazz singer of the classic school, possessing an outstanding technique, sensitive interpretation and an eclectic repertoire.
She was born and raised in Port Elizabeth,  where she sang in church and school choirs and raided the family Nat King Cole albums for early inspiration.
She studied medicine in Cape Town, but soon gave in  to the lure of jazz. 
In a wonderfully back-handed compliment, her alma mater, the University of Cape Town, reflected: “Giving up medicine in favour of Jazz was clearly a wise move.”
She started off as the vocalist with Gerry Spencer’s “Jazz Cyclone” – one of the leading bands on the South African jazz circuit at the time. 
During this early apprentice she worked with some excellent players, including guitarists Herb Ellis, Johnny Fourie, Errol and Alvin Dyers – saxophonists Winston Mankunku and Ezra Ngkukana, Bassist Basil Moses, to name but a few
Esther has honed her technique with classical singing lessons and delved into jazz history to take her inspiration from Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Shirley Horn and Blossom Dearie as well as the jazz/pop of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole.
Esther’s South African performances include numerous Jazz festivals, (The Grahams town Arts Festival/ Standard Bank Jazzathon/ etc.…) concert halls (The PE Opera House/ the Baxter Theatre/…) and jazz clubs 
but now she’s settled in the UK.

She now performs in many different settings most recently, appearances at the 2008 Cleethorpes Jazz Festival; 2008 Burton Agnes Jazz Festival, the 2007 Cape Town Jazz Festival with trumpet star, Jeremy Pelt; the 2007 Jazz Divas Festival on the Isle of Wight; the Cheltenham Jazz festival with her quintet.

Other festival appearances include the 1st Lockerbie Jazz Festival, with Jim Mullen and Alan Barnes; the 2006 Swanage Jazz Festival; 2006 Swindon Jazz Festival; 2005 Silda Jazz Festival, Norway, the 2005 Jazz Divas Festival on the Isle of Wight, 2004 Cork Jazz Festival, Ireland, The 2005, 2004, 2002 & 2001 Birmingham International Jazz festivals where she won universal critical acclaim with sell-out performances. 
Esther is also a regular performer at various venues around the UK. 
Recorded works include her 2006 album “Dream Dancing” – “Invitation” in 2002 – “Say Hello to Esther” in 1999 – and numerous television appearances in SA. 
The latest addition to her discography is the album “A Place in the Sunlight” which was recorded in September last year. The project is in collaboration with Pianist/Composer, Steve Melling who has been working very closely with Esther over the last year. The album also features Trumpeter, Steve Waterman; Bassist, Zoltan Dekany and Drummer, John Perry. Peter King performs a guest spot on alto saxophone. A Place in the Sunlight will be


Steuer, C. (n.d.). Esther Miller biography. [online] Available at: [Accessed 24 Jul. 2018].

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Last Updated:  24 July 2018 Incorrect information? Or want to add more?  email:

Garth Erasmus