Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Help Adds4trees remedy the destruction of our trees

We don't need to tell you that the world is at the point of no return and evidence of climate change is everywhere. All hope is not lost though, as nature has gifted us with the most versatile and important of natural assets... trees.

One of the greatest contributors to the excess carbon we have in the atmosphere is deforestation: the destruction of our rainforests. Trees serve a critically important function in nature by removing carbon from the atmosphere and storing it as cellulose in their trunk, branches, leaves and roots while releasing oxygen back into the air. The more trees we plant, the less carbon in our atmosphere and the less global warming will take place...it's a simple formula.

Kids planting

Ads4Trees.com is a service aimed at helping remedy the destruction of our trees by creating a socially beneficial, meaningful, valuable service that facilitates and aids reforestation on a global scale while creating employment and opportunities for myriad entrepreneurs. While the online search and pay-per-click industry is dominated by Google, we believe that the value proposition of Ads4Trees and the quality of our service is compelling enough to allow us to achieve our goals...to plant 50 million trees within 5 years.

So what is Ads4Trees.com? Well, Ads4Trees.com is a fully-featured, web and mobile enabled, search engine and pay-per-click ad network with a number of very unique and important differences which set it apart from everything else in the market.

Not only are you assured of the very best search results (our search results are powered by both Google and Bing) but, our servers are also run on 100% green, renewable energy.

More importantly, for every 500 searches which you conduct on our search engine, we will plant 1 tree on your behalf as part of our unwaivering commitment to global reforestation.

Ads4Trees.com is aiming to plant 50 million trees within the next 5 years, while at the same time creating at least 5000 sustainable jobs and empowering thousands of entrepreneurs and business owners the world over.

Our mission is to create a happy place where business imperatives like profit and marketing can comfortably co-exist with sustainability and environmental responsibility.

Trees are being destroyed

For every R1000 (+- $USD120) which an advertiser spends in our pay-per-click ad network, we will plant 16 trees on that business' behalf. Ads4Trees uses over 70% of its revenue to benefit the environment, educate the various markets in which we operate and to drive change in market behaviour. To achieve success, we need YOUR HELP.

Barren land
If you care about the environment and believe that the world is worth saving, please could you help us by doing the following:
  • Make Ads4trees.com your default search engine and use it regularly (click the "Search Plugin" link at the top of the page and follow the instructions).
  • Make Ads4trees.com your browser's homepage.
  • Like the Ads4trees.com page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  • Tweet about us, blog about us, tell somebody about us, talk about us and help us get as much public exposure as you possibly can.
  • Bookmark http://m.ads4trees.com on your mobile phone for easy mobile access.
  • Add Ads4Trees.com search to your site.
  • Publish Ads4Trees.com ads on your blog/website and make money while helping save the environment.
  • Advertise on Ads4Trees.com
-- Ads4trees.com 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's the final countdown for the Class of 2011

Ntombikayise Tshabangu
More than 600 000 matric pupils across South Africa are presently buried in their books studying for their final examinations. For some, who started studying at the last minute, it is a very stressful time, but for those who started preparing well in advance, it is much easier.

One learner who did her homework well, is 18-year old Pretoria matriculant, Ntombikayise Tshabangu. For her, it is an honour to be in matric after all the years of hard work and studying late into the night. She said sitting for examinations is an indication that she has finally reached a major milestone in her life. 

It’s an honour

"It's amazing how time flies. Not so long ago I was in pre-school, but today this is me sitting for my matric examinations, so there's nothing more I can say other than that I am indeed honoured," she said.

"It has been a fun year even though it was difficult, but I managed to overcome the challenges and learned from them. I really enjoyed it as this is my very last year in high school."

Like Ntombikayise, most other matrics have had hurdles to overcome during their final school year. These included having too much to do and too little time, which was stressful, she said.

Leisure activities

However, Ntombikayise believes that it's important to make time for leisure activities and develop other talents such as sport.

"I managed to balance my school work and netball and still passed. Playing for the school's first netball team really made me proud; getting a bronze medal for being one of the best players just added the cherry on top," she said. Eyeing a dream career as an Information Technology (IT) specialist, Ntombikayise plans to further her studies in this field.

"I am extremely lucky because I come from a very supportive family. They put my education first and understand that I need to be focused and dedicated. I urge other families to do same."


Asked what advice she would give future matriculants, Ntombikayise said those writing examinations must not try to study everything in one night.

"Your brain cannot take in all the information at once; rather study a little bit each and every day. You can study with a friend, or join an after-school homework club for help from a teacher or a friend from the same class."

"Many young people think studying is 'lame' or 'boring'. But it can be fun. You can make up a board game to make studying fun and easy, or you can just type up your notes if it makes it easier to read. Do as much as possible to make sure you know the material, but make time to relax in-between," Ntombikayise said.

Time management

"Matric is not as difficult as one would think; it just requires a lot of studying, concentrating in class and good time management," quips Ntombikayise.

The final exams started on 17 October and the last papers will be written on 1 December. The results will be made public on 7 January 2012.

It's the holidays again!

Take a break, Take a Sho't Left 
It’s that time of the year again. If you are planning that well deserved and probably long overdue holiday, do not look too far – South Africa has everything that one needs this holiday season.

This is where the South African Tourism’s Sho’t Left Campaign comes in.

Sho’t Left, a streetwise term coined by mini bus taxi passengers and drivers, has been adopted by South African Tourism. It was launched as our domestic travel campaign in 2004. Six years later, the term has come to mean a short trip or quick getaway.

The South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for marketing South Africa as a destination internationally and domestically.
Regional Director of South Africa Tourism, Mr Phumi Dlomo says:  “While our job as South African Tourism is to market the country to South Africans, it is still important that they ensure that our people are able to easily book an affordable holiday in the country,” he says.
“There is interest from South Africans in travelling their country and they are already travelling in one form or another. South Africans realise the fun to be had travelling Mzansi and they want in on the action. Sho’t Left helps in making it more affordable and accessible,” he continues. “What we also try to do and is what South Africans need is to provide them with information on where to go and what activities are enjoyable. They also really appreciate the travel deals as they ensure they travel the country with-out having to spend the same amount of money as international travellers.
The Tourism Growth Strategy aims to make tourism the leading economic sector in South Africa, and so promote sustainable economic and social empowerment of all South Africans. South Africa is marketed as an integral part of Africa and particularly the subcontinent of southern Africa.

To accomplish these goals, South African Tourism commits to meaningfully contribute to the government’s objectives of increased gross domestic product growth, sustainable job creation and redistribution and transformation through: increasing tourist volume; increasing the geographic spread, length of stay and tourist spend of all visitors; improving seasonality arrivals patterns; and working to transform the industry so that historically disadvantaged South Africans may benefit from the sector.

The long-term objective of South African Tourism’s domestic strategy, through the Sho’t Left campaign, is to create a culture of travel amongst South africans. Short-term object is to get South Africans to take shorter breaks in Mzansi more often,” he says. 

When you travel in South Africa, you create jobs for fellow South Africans, invest in our economy and nationally growth, as well as support a vibrant South African industry that’s rapidly becoming a benchmark for international excellence.
Mr Phumi Dlomo admits that there have been challenges.The market is still emerging and there is a huge opportunity to grow holiday travel. Getting South Africans to spend on a holiday versus purchasing a new accessory, be it a TV, a new mobile phone is the biggest challenge.
“Another challenge is ensuring that South Africans understand that when travelling to a different province to see friends and family they need to engage in tourist behaviour (i.e. participating in lesiure activities and visiting leisure attractions,” he says. 
South African Tourism celebrated the Tourism Month, September with a focus being on the Freestate – “the heart of Mzansi”.

The Sho’t Left experiences include: bus retreats, coastal getaways, city breaks, mountain escapes, countryside meanders, day trips, cultural discoveries as well as sport, adventure and events.

When calling the Sho’t Left call centre, a lady explained that; “Travel packages are broken down into nine provinces. The Backpacking Package is suitable for youngsters who usually travel with their packs on their backs, not looking for luxury accommodation and usually staying in chalets.

“The budget package is for those looking to stay for affordable two to three star accommodation within their means.  The family package is family-friendly, tailor-made for families with children. Then we have luxury, which are you five-star and boutique hotels, self catering and affordable packages – which are usually anything between one to three stars accommodation,” said the lady, who was reluctant to be named.

The new Sho't Left campaign – Tell us More – launched in March this year features a selection of seven of Mzansi’s hottest and most relevant trendsetters. The main aim of this new campaign is to show South Africans that travelling the country is quite fun. It is then the job of Sho't Left and the tourism industry as a whole to ensure that travelling the country is in fact accessible and affordable. This campaign has gotten Sho't Lefters excited, evidenced by the increase in social media activity on Sho’t Left platforms.
Mr Phumi concludes that it is enriching, surprising, delightful, fun and easy to travel locally. “It also introduces you to new ideas, new people and new places.” He says.

For more information on domestic travel and tours, more packages and experiences that one can have right here at home, visit: www.southafrica.net/shotleft.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Love for no Reason

Love for No Reason by Marci Shimoff

Rating: 5/5

Reviewer: Refilwe Thobega

If there’s one thing that can cure the world of hate, racism, poverty, sickness, crime, violence, abuse, greed and corruption, the list is endless. That one cure would not be music or sport, it would be “love”.

In her book Love for no Reason, Marci Shimoff – a celebrated transformational leader and a number one New York Times bestselling author – shares the Seven Steps to Creating a Life of Unconditional Love.
As living beings, we are created to receive and give love.

 I once heard that there are only two forces in life: fear and love. We do something because we either love it or we are afraid (of something) – if we don’t do it. A student studies because she either loves her subject or she is afraid that if he/she doesn’t, she will fail. We go to work every day because we either love what we do or that we are afraid if we don’t, we will starve.

Whatever that one does, let the force behind be “love” and not “fear”.  Because as I imagine, the reward will be greater as it will have a lasting effect.

Love for No Reason is “dedicated to those who hear the call of their heart to live in unconditional love”.  Loving oneself is something that we take for granted. And what the author “prescribes” for that is love, sweet love – which usually comes from within. 

With this book, may you be reminded of what the love and its ripple effect can bring into your life. This book is a love guru that comes in a form of a book. It is very well crafted. I definitely give it a “yes”.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Memories of a Hostage Drama back at the 'News

I don’t know what just reminded me of the hostage drama that I was a victim of while working for Independent Newspapers in 2007. 

Here goes:

I never knew that so many people cared about me. I didn’t know I had so many friends. My phone was ringing non-stop, I’m surprised my battery didn’t fail me, as if it knew what was going on.

It seemed like a prank at first when someone shouted that there was a man holding a gun in the building. “We are used to this”, I thought, “people come in here all the time and tune us shit”, and I continued with my work.

The noise gained momentum and there was commotion in the office but as I looked at my colleague who was a lot calmer.  I convinced myself that this was going to end in no time. There was a gunman in our building, the Pretoria news on Vermeulen street, Pretoria CBD! He was holding the lady from the Advertising Unit – on the first floor – hostage. I was on the second floor, in Editorial, just a few steps from where all the hard- core drama unfolded.

Someone called the police. I heard the sirens. Everyone was on their cellphones. Then we lined up on the window to see what was happening down there. The crowds on the streets were increasing. They were gesturing up at us. Then I started to get really scared. I wanted to call my mom but I stopped myself because I didn’t want to worry her.

I shortly changed my mind. I called. My little sister answered, and my eyes just filled with tears. My voice trembled. She didn’t say much but I could hear that she was taking me seriously and she feared for me. Time seemed to pass by so slowly, more and more police vans came through. The gunman was still in our building. We heard a loud bang.

Then he fired a shot. “That is a gun. He definitely fired,” a male colleague said. He firstly shot at the ceiling; then he shot a policeman on the leg.

Drama! We were all petrified but still one guy managed to ask “How’s the cricket score going”. You see, a journalist must never leave his/her sense of humour behind.) Australia was playing against South Africa.

Radios stations started calling in. ,Phones rang off the hook. The fear grew bigger and stronger. I thought “God I don’t want to die like this”. The gunman released a pregnant woman, then the second two followed, then the rest.

A policeman came to our floor and said we could also evacuate the building. Damn finally, I grabbed everything on my desk and ran. Flip, my keys fell. Something told me to forget them and run for my life, then I wondered how I would get into my flat. I ran back, grabbed them and followed the rest of the staffers down the stairs.

Outside, on-lookers were all over the place. It felt like in the movies. People were crying. I just wanted to go home and forget about it all.

This man was apparently angry about the crime.  It seemed he had been a victim of crime numerous times and he was just fed up. Apparently he said that he came to our offices knowing that we would listen. He said he wanted to make us feel how it felt like to be a victim of crime, as if crime is the fault of the media. We simply report of the matter. We are not responsible for it. We are as concerned as him. He asked what the Government would do if he cracked.

We were all out, but the man was still roaming around in the building. As I left, I kept on looking back, just in case a bomb exploded. I felt relieve overwhelm me. I could not believe I was walking away from all of it.

I was scared to go to my flat, afraid of being by myself, incase the whole drama re-played itself in my head. So I went to a reliable music warehouse store, I wanted an Enya CD to calm my nerves. They didn’t have it. I didn’t want to leave the store without any CD, so I bought the Skwatta Kamp’s latest offering at the time.

Then I got home. My phone ringing off the hook. One call after the other. The news made headlines. Every station was talking about us.

The following morning, a day after the ordeal, as I was looking out the window, everything was back to normal. It was business as usual. No one would really believe that that was the place that was crowded with police vans and people the previous day. All was just well. Indeed, Life goes on!  


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sin Sushi & Survival

A memoir by Erla-Mari Deidericks

If Sin, sushi and survival was a film, the age restriction would definitely be  18 years and above. I feel that even the book should have a little notice somewhere on the bottom -corner of the cover, just to warn sensitive readers: vulgar language, nudity, sex, more sex, violence and suicide by a gun – in no specific order.

If you can read past all that…  

This lady’s true-life story will either inspire, owe or make you feel better about your own life’s mess.
Erla-Mari Deidericks finally finds the guts to leave her husband after years of abuse.  She has to find a place for her son and herself to stay.

Dating again after years of marriage can’s be easy – she tries internet dating, which makes her end up with the most interesting and dodgy characters.

As if her life is not-so-kosher enough, her best friend, make that her only friend, dies. She shoots herself. I’m not sure if I should mention that she was lesbian.

A journalist by profession, Erla-Mari is not new to the written word, and it shows in her writing. She has it all right, the flow, pace and structure.  She brings her unique voice and style to the party. Her unique voice and style come through. She knows when to make you read faster and when to relax, -- vividly “seeing” all the details and graphics.

Most female readers will definitely relate and identify with the writer, who just likes most of us, is not perfect, but tries to make perfect sense of her own confusion by starting over.
She survived.

Bottom line? Life goes on. And all that matters is what you make of it.
This memoir will make for a great film, I reckon.  The pages turn as Erla-Mari she “cuts” from scene to scene – I don’t know if that’s a good thing for a novel though.

A definite must read.
 Adults only. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Inspire someone. Tell your real story, in your own language.

Refilwe Thobega asks Who are you?
ka Setswana ba re O mang?
My grandfather was born in 24 January 1919, five months after Nelson mandela's birthday: July 1918. He, my oupa, was a Chief at a small farm-village in die Noord Kaap -- Kikahela. He was recently hit by a stroke. He lives. His half-sister, Oumama Rabeka, is the current Kgosana.

Abraham Mochware had many children. About 12 or more, but less than 15. He had one wife, Mitjie Motshidisi Os. I am one of his grand-children (he also has dikokomana) -- I am the first daughter of Olaotse Virginia (Mochware) Thobega and Kagiso Alban Thobega.

My father’s father, Abel Thobega, just like my mother’s father was a moruti at his church (Anglican). My oupa was a mogogi at his church (London Missionary Society, later called UCCSA [United Congregational Church of Southern Africa]). I hear that Abel Thobega, was about to be given the chieftaincy by his forefathers (Boo rra Thobega ko Mmankgodi) when he decided to “rather” be a priest. So I hear he fled to a nearby village called Molepolole – a village I once stayed at, as well as Maung, Lobatse and Gaborone.

Owai! It was too late for monna mogolo... Royalty was already in his blood. You can’t run away from what you already are old man.

Mind you, these two men (both my oupatjies) were not friends. They did not even know each other, let alone, like each other. And one thing for sure, my mother’s marriage to my father was not initially blessed by either one of them. That’s why it made it difficult for us to leave Botswana (my father’s home) and come to South Africa (my mother’s home) in 1989. 

So my mother sent me to SA first. I stayed with my late aunty, Onkaetse Mochware (mother of Mpho Akinleye and Ontibetse Mochware). She is one of the strong black women who raised me at a time when my mother was mourning the murder and death of her husband, while at the same time fighting for her bed, sofas, fridge and TV.  So mmangwane Onkaetse became my mother for about 18 months. I was five or six years old. I was ready for preschool – a Roman Catholic pre-school at Batlharos Village (Kuruman). My sister, Botshelo Thobega, who was two-years-old at the time, remained in Botswana with my mother while she, with the help of her father, Abraham Mochware, fought for her belongings.

I think Abraham was more brave. My mother’s father. He took the throne. I think although he was too modest and a coward to accept what was rightfully his, my father’s father was powerful! His sperm created my father and my father’s sperm was one of the ingredients that led to my birth. One oupa was brave, another was powerful. Guess what I am: A cocktail. I’m cosmopolitan. I also love the taste of it! I make a killer cosmo.

My name is Refilwe Thobega, born in 25 December 1983. I have a long story ... so, I will cut it off here. Let’s wait for my memoir.

I know who I am and where I came from. I challenge you to do the same. Find yourself and tell us who you are. Connect the dots. I did.  Inspire someone, tell your story. In your own language!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Being Afrikan" by Mandivamba Rukuni

Being Afrikan is a must read for all Africans and anybody who is proud of what and who they are. Back to roots. My take: the sun rises in Africa baby. We are such a loved nation.

I made myself a promise a long time ago – that I will be a fair critic – they are rare. I think people are so full of low-self esteem that they believe that giving true credit where and when it is due is a sign of weakness.

Not me.

Being Afrikan by Mandivamba Rukuni is the most inspiring, enlightening, educating piece of information I have ever read in a long time.

The blurb says: this “is a book that will change your view of what of what it is going to take for us to co-create the Afrika we want. It will take a higher level of consciousness in individual human beings to achieve transformation at family, community and national levels. This higher level of consciousness will take us beyond independence to the celebration of our interdependence as human beings. I am, because we are!”

The author is of African origin – a Zimbabwean who has lived all over the world. Google him. In his latest offering, he tells you what he has seen and heard all over the world. He acknowledges the uniqueness of different cultures, traditions, races, religions, practises, believes names, places and origins. His motto is: if you are an African, do not westernise, but, modernise. I am making this my mantra.

He encourages people, to stay true to who they are, irrespective of modern society expectations, all that jazz and drama that comes with every-day-living. At the end of the day, we all worship the same “higher-power” ­­-- whatever that means for you --  who cares? He specifically encourages children of the African soil to remain true to the dust, herbs and “powers” that saw their ancestors through turmoil.

I share the same worry as him, Europeans and others, come here and “expect” Africans to change into certain things that they are not. He advices “us” to borrow from the Indians (meditation), Chinese (technology), Europeans (English language) and others, only to better what we already are (soil; flora and fauna; African healing; uBuntu, and the list is endless). Let us not lose ourselves. Great Africans, among many others, such as: Credo Mutwa, Alemseged Tesfai, Barolong Sebon (he is one of my "forefathers" -- google him), Bessie Head and Nelson Mandela, have paved the way. Let’s follow.  

A much chopped-up version of this review is also published in The Citizen and http://www.facebook.com/thebluestockingreview on Facebook

Monday, July 11, 2011

In true Ubuntu-style, we give birth to our children. All of them. In true Afrikanism, there are no orphans. Vicky and David Beckham just had an extra child. Salute!

I've just read on Yahoo news that Victoria and her husband, David Beckham, have just welcomed their latest bundle of joy. A girl-child. I don't know, in total, how many children they have. Google it.

It read:
The couple's rep Jo Milloy tells Us Weekly the "happy and healthy" little girl weighed 7 lbs. 5 oz. "David and Victoria Beckham are delighted," Milloy said. "Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz are excited to welcome their new baby sister to the family."

With a testosterone-filled household, it's no wonder why Beckham longed for baby girl. "When we first found out, we went for the scan and they said, 'Oh, it's a boy,'" David told Jimmy Kimmel in March. "I was like, 'Great,' and Victoria was like, 'Ugh. Another penis in the house.' She thinks there's too many in the house already. So then we went back for the next scan and they said, 'Oh, we think it's a girl.'"
I'm happy for them. A healthy child, in this day and age, is nothing but a pure blessing. 
Now this reminded me of what Gareth Cliff said recently when he found out that Lauren Hill recently gave birth to another child. He threw a fit on his breakfast show. He was disgusted. He insulted sis Lauren for popping out babies like they are going out of fashion. 
I am personally disgusted by the likes of bo Gareth, who know nothing about Afrikanism. Black people give birth to their children. All of them. You know why? In Afrikanism, in true Ubuntu-style, no child is an orphan. When one's parents die, aunts and relatives step in to raise orphans and to help widows and widowers. 
Where I come from, dogs and cats (animals) stay outside the house. Let them bite and play with each other out there. We adopt children by choice. Not because we want to save the world (as Angelina is doing, and I applaud her. She and Brad have big hearts. God bless them).
Now, bo Gareth Cliff came yesterday, from no where, he comes here and talks rubbish in the radio about a fellow sister. Shame on him! 
People like bo Gareth Cliff abuse their privileges and power. He has been blessed with a fancy job, to entertain, educate and inform. And what does he do? Annoys the likes of bo Refilwe by talking misinformed and uneducated nonsense on the radio!
Who made him judge? Ke mang ene?
So flabbergasted! No respect. Totally. 
Now, raise your glasses, will the real DJ please stand up. 
My name is Refilwe Thobega... 'till next time, stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I know what I wanna do, but ...

What pains me is that I don’t need coaching. I know what I’m passionate about. I know what I’m supposed to be doing. I know what I want to do. I already know what I like and enjoy doing. I know what it is that I’d like to do every morning when I wake up. I know what it is, that thing, that I would not mind waking up at 4am for. I don’t need to do a test to know what my strong points are. I don’t need to do a survey via a link on some career coaching website to know what I’m good at. I already know. But still, I do nothing about it. 
 I know what tickles my fancy. I know the flavour of my favourite cup ‘o tea. I know what my cherry on top would be. I know the path I want to take. I know where I want to go. I know where the bus station is, how much the bus costs. But still, I stand motionless.
 I know what I would not mind doing all day long. And I know I would do it over and over and over again. In the morning, motshegare, le ka nako ya bosigo.  Tirelessly. Effortlessly. Passionately. But still, I sit. Nothing. 
I know what sets the fire in my belly alight. I know what’s music to my ears. I know what tune sets me in motion. I know what gets me in the mood.  I know what I’m looking for and where to get it. But still, I remain crippled, flat on my behind.
I know what inspires me. I know what I applaud. I know what turns me on. I know what makes me take my hat off. I know what I love and respect. But still, I don’t make my move. 

 What is it that keeps me apart, away, far away from my God-given calling? What prevents me from finding my north star?

Is it fear?
Of what? 
The unknown? Change? 
Is it stupidity? 
Am I stubborn?
Am I timid?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Need a great escapism? Just go with it

I’m not a greatest fan of comedy (except when it is stand-up comedy, gimme that any day). I’m the serious and analytical type. I love mystery and suspense. I’m a sucker for an intelligently woven story line. But, times are rough and tough and we all need a good laugh from time to time. Just go with it gives just that – a really good laugh.

If the cast is anything to go by, the movie stars the funny Adam Sandler and the American sweetheart, Jennifer Aniston and, of course, Nicole Kidman – who adds the much needed thrill to the whole mixture. You must be a fan of Adam to understand his humour.

On a weekend trip to Hawaii, a plastic surgeon (Sandler) convinces his loyal assistant (Aniston) to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife in order to cover up a careless lie he told to his much-younger girlfriend (Brooklyn Decker). And, this is putting it mildly. It is much more dramatic than that. The trip to Hawaii actually came as a result of blackmail. I won’t give away too much.

Just go with it starts in an almost not-so-great way, the pace and the events pick up as it just goes. I love and respect the fact that the funny story unfolds in unexpected ways. They keep throwing a bomb after a bomb and before you know it, there is an explosion. This is one good movie where I actually saw the beginning, the middle, the build-up, the climax and the end. A happy ending. Very well done.

I’ve never laughed so much from just one movie. For it’s genre, I give Just go with it a four out of five. It comes out on 18 March in Cinema Nouveau.

Friday, February 25, 2011

When I grow up, I wanna be a Karate Kid

It had been a long week. I was still sick with flu. I wasn’t keen to go out. A perfect time to catch up on some “me time”, I thought. So I passed by Mr Video to grab some DVDs to watch. I got there and their “new arrivals” section was full of old movies. How ironic! I’d seen most of them. Yes, I’m a film fanatic.

I wanted to get the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, but they were all out. Usually when I don’t find my first choice, I quit. But lately I’ve been daring myself to do things that I don’t usually do, such as patience, Plan B, and getting out of my comfort zone. Operation Change. So I decided to look around for something else.
It’s Complicated? No, I have it at home.
Jennifer’s Body? ... No thank you. I hadn’t seen it; I’ve seen the trailer and read the reviews. It’s time will come, maybe not. If it was Trey’s Body or something like that I’d definitely give it a try.
Move on.
Karate Kid? Who wants to watch Karate Kid on a Friday night? I wanted something that’s action packed, something graphically appealing to the eye and unapologetically dramatic. I wanted to laugh a bit, cry a bit, get shocked, suspended, and yet entertained.
Fifteen minutes later I got home. Prepared the popcorn, coach, pillows and my favourite blanket – it used to belong to my mom.
Guess what I got?
Karate Kid  – starring Jaden Smith as Dre Parker and Jackie Chan as Mr Han. Yep. Now, this, is what I call Plan C.
The movie is about an American boy who moves to China with his mother. She’s transferred to work there. His dad passed away when he was nine. He is now 12. The boy hates it there. To make matters worse, he is bullied and beaten up by a group of Chinese boys. Fed up and determined to “kick their a**es “, he gets himself a trainer – Mr Han.

I’ve seen other versions of Karate Kid when I was younger. I loved karate movies. Maybe it was because I also did karate in my junior years. Pretty predictable stuff, one would think.   The good guy always wins at the end, right?   
There are aspects that I look for in a film. I scrutinise. I study the whole piece. And did I get impressed by this one? Well, I was moved beyond my limited expectations. There are some important life lessons woven in the action and the dialogue. The movie is more that just an American boy who moves to and learns Karate in China. It’s about adapting, change, standing up to fear and earning respect.
We can all see the same picture but see very different images.

Here is what I took out from Karate Kid:
·         No matter how badly life beats you up, you always have a choice to get back up or stay down.
·         True friendships survive all.
·         People will always find a reason (even the slightest thing) to hate you or make your life miserable, but no matter what, stay true because the real problem here lies with them.
·         Don’t take any task for granted, some of the greatest lessons in life are learnt from the things you really hate to do.
·         Whatever you do, do it cheerfully, with a smile, attitude matters. You don’t know when the camera is going to snap. You won’t like to see your frowning face on a picture.
·         Focus, focus focus.
·         Fear is part of human nature. Face it until you don’t feel the fear anymore.
·         Everyone has battles of their own. Reach out, go ahead and make someone’s day.
·         A certain skill does not belong to people of a certain calibre. You too can own it if you work hard at it.
No matter who you are, where you are or what you do,  at one point in life fear creeps in and a phenomenon called change threatens to pull the carpet you’re standing on. A comfort zone suddenly becomes a danger zone. The clock ticks and something has got to give.
Well, I didn’t expect it, but Karate Kid gave me everything I wanted and more. Now that, is what I call a movie with “a moral of the story”.