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Amelia Thiart, Paving the way for women in content and VR Development

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How has Amelia paved the way and introduced something new to the digital world?

Well, the South African ICT sector is one of the largest and most advanced in Africa and is characterised by technology leadership. Amelia knew South Africa would be missing out if we didn’t branch into AR, VR and 360. By Amelia focusing her team and driving them to the creation of VR apps and AR, VR and 360 content she is pushing  her staff, clients as well as her competitors to accept and engage with these new technologies that very soon will be the commonplace. Technology changes rapidly and grows daily. It’s ever evolving. By championing the rise of these technologies and helping customers, who are more educated regarding technology than ever before, communicate and train in an innovative way, Amelia is paving the path that these technologies will become more accepted. Ensuring South Africa won’t be left behind by the rest of the world.

These awards however aren’t just looking at innovation or accomplishments within the ICT sector. They were created to reward women and their role in the growth and development of the Information Communication Technology sector.

When asked what she believes Women’s roles to be in this new sphere within ICT, Amelia said “As technology is normally “a man’s world” it is important that women get involved in all new technologies and services as well as the creation and development of the content. With VR and 360 videos, it’s an experience and women are more adept, have more Emotional Intelligence and so can ensure the content is more personal and evocative. These new technologies need a new kind of developer, creative, animator etc it needs someone who understands peoples’ need for connection and how technology can create this shared experience and for that I truly believe women are the drivers behind this new personal technology.”   

Going forward VR, AR and 360 degree content will soon be combined into one new reality called Mixed reality which is an amalgam of all these technologies working together to change people’s experience of places, things and ideas. If the ICT sector doesn’t explore and adapt to these new technologies, just like VHS tapes after DVD’s, our industry will gather dust. These new technologies are attracting a lot of new minds, both male and female. But according to Women In Gaming “VR isn’t just ushering in a technological change. It may also stir social change, bringing new opportunities to female developers, whose scarce representation in the industry nowhere near reflects the true number of female gamers. What we’re seeing in the VR space, the spark of excitement around this particular type of technology that has suddenly become cost-effective and also added creative potential,” Tracy Fullerton, director of USC Games, told International Business Times at the Games for Change festival in New York this year. “I think there’s a tremendous energy and interest. That’s always good because there will be opportunities there, and a broad range of them.” Amelia and Global Access agree wholeheartedly that this change in tech is also a space for change for women and we are excited to see what the future holds.

We are so proud of Amelia and wish her the best of luck on Wednesday the 31st of August 2016.

Metrosmag,sa ( inspired by Mzansi Lifestyle ) Mzansi is rich in Lifestyle, a nation diverse in race and culture. Mzansi Magazine explores the rich heritage , versitile culture and the celebrations of Life in Mzansi. Metros Magazine, SA is South Africa's informative Metropolitan lifestlye magazine with all the fresh and important news in Mzansi.

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A mix of marriages

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So many ways to say ‘I do”

Weddings are one of the most universal traditions on the planet yet they are celebrated differently by everyone. Tying the knot in any culture comes with a list of different rituals and traditions and, family dynamics aside, there are many more things to consider and prepare for, especially here in South Africa – with our eleven official languages, chiefs, dominees and gogos to consider, it can be tough task marrying two cultures without offending Aunty Mabel.

Despite the umpteen different cultures or religions you may have to incorporate into your ceremony, it is important not to forget to showcase your own personalities – after all, it is ‘your’ day and it is exactly your differences, and similarities, that brought you together that should now be celebrated – for instance, playing your favourite song and teaching Chief Nkomu how to do the shuffle, or giving personalized chocolates as wedding favours instead of the traditional bag of sugar-coated almonds.

And you don’t have to do it all at the ceremony and reception – after an open, honest chat with the family, consider spreading the different traditions. You could plan the ceremony around the bride’s heritage and turn the reception into a celebration of the groom’s.   Or, host the bachelor or bachelorette party incorporating an element from each other’s customs.  It’s the perfect occasion to try umqombothi (beer), used to celebrate the home-coming of young men in Xhosa culture, or the Lebanese tradition of zaffe, a rowdy escort of music, dancing and shouting by the groom’s friends and family.  For the bride there is the Japanese ritual of pouring saki to reaffirm friendships or the time-honoured tradition of giving “something borrowed, something blue”.

Catering: A little more challenging is serving a traditional meal, because in many cases the menu is limited by the venue, so if a customized menu is not possible try incorporating signature drinks like saki for a Japanese reception or chai instead of coffee for an Indian wedding.

The cake: Traditional Norwegian wedding cakes are made with bread and cheese, and Russian couples share a wedding sweetbread called karavaya which is decorated with wheat for prosperity and interlocking rings for faithfulness, or you could just go with what’s currently on trend.

Wedding invitations: Another way to respect a different culture – for example, the Jewish tradition – is to send a two-sided invitation, with one side written in Hebrew and the other in English.  Couples are favoring digital invites these days where guests can rsvp on line.

Banqueting manager at BON Hotel Riviera on Vaal, Dumisane Zondo, says they have hosted several multi-cultural weddings specifically between Christian and Zulu faiths and culture, and the dynamic has resulted in some of the most creative and special occasions.  A lovely add-on in the Zulu tradition is when the bride gives out blankets to her new family after the wedding, in a ceremony that is known as ukwaba.  Zondo adds, “My favourite part is the dance-off between the families of the bride and groom.”

Some interesting wedding traditions –

As well as exchanging rings, African tradition sees the couple have their wrists tied together by grass or material.

In China, brides pick not one wedding dress, but three!

Before an Indian bride gets married, her family and friends decorate her hands with elaborate designs called menhdi.

Bridesmaids were originally used as decoy brides – through having their dresses similar and standing next to the bride, the spirits who they believed would sabotage the newly-weds’ happiness would be confused.

During the entire wedding day, Congolese brides and grooms are not allowed to smile.

In the Phillipines, the bride and groom release a pair of white doves.

Some sort of leap over a broom is also popular in a number of cultures.

But, when it comes to love and weddings, there are no borders, so enjoy the preparation leading up to your ‘I do’, ‘Ngiyavuma’, ‘Je fais’ or ‘Main karata hoon’ and remember to have fun!

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Small Business Indaba to focus on manufacturing sector

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SMMEs are a driving force in South Africa’s social and economic transition and have attracted increasing attention because of their labour-absorptive capacity and potential to grow and stimulate the economy.

More than a third of young South Africans in the labour force are unemployed. This statistic creates a significant gap that can be filled by the development of small business professionals and entrepreneurs in the manufacturing sector. SMMEs are reported to resolve the persistent problems of insufficient employment growth while being highly efficient in flexibly serving increasingly segmented consumer markets.

Understanding the small manufacturer’s point of view on manufacturing issues requires an understanding of the markets for their products, along with many common issues of interest to small manufacturers that need to be addressed. The Small Business Indaba provides a platform for SMME’s to connect with the big players in South Africa’s manufacturing industries as well as an opportunity to learn how to grow and manage their businesses.

Leveraging on the success and partnership of the National Manufacturing Indaba, the Small Business Indaba – complete with nationally recognised manufacturing experts, government policymakers and innovators – provides the small business owner with informative keynotes, interactive panels, one-on-one brainstorming and hands-on networking – everything that the manufacturing entrepreneur needs to address their changing business landscapes.

The Small Business Indaba will take place on the 26th June 2017 at Emperors Palace, Ekurhuleni alongside the Manufacturing Indaba with the main objective being to provide manufacturing entrepreneurs and SMMEs with the tools, networking opportunities and an unparalleled platform to establish their businesses for success and grow their manufacturing operations to the next level of innovation and job creation.

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Race Recovery Tips with Caroline Wöstmann

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Powerade’s ‘Power to Beat Your Best’ aims to provide athletes with the tools to achieve a personal best time and will be working with a number of South Africa’s foremost running, cycling and training experts to challenge athletes to beat their best in 2017.

Multiple Two Oceans Marathon and Comrades Marathon champion Caroline Wöstmann shares her tips on race recovery:

Like all things in life, finding the balance between training and recovery is incredibly important for a runner. When you lose that balance, you often end up injured. You will often find yourself looking at your training load and thinking “well, it is the same as it was last year, so I should manage it again”. But you do not take into account what is going on in the rest of your life and the effect that has on your body and you forget about rest and recovery. Training is only part of the formula.

If you are having a stressful week, rather back off on training – do less mileage or no high intensity speed work because your body can only deal with so much. Physical training is physical stress – if you have emotional stress as well, your body will not recover properly. If you are struggling to fall asleep at night or are waking up during the night, it is a sign you have too much stress. Listen to your body.

The scope of your recovery depends on how much your training load is. You do not have to do as intensive recovery if you are not training as intensely. Making sure you get enough sleep is important. If you are training 200km a week, you should ideally have a nap during the day, after getting a solid 8 hours at night. I take a 1-hour nap in the day between my morning and evening sessions.

The second most important thing after sleep, is nutrition. If you are expending huge amounts of energy and missing a meal, your body does not have anything to rebuild with. You need to replace what you are expending, being careful not to eat too much, which can mean you put on weight. I find it is important that I eat something immediately after my session – ideally within 15-45 minutes.

In an ideal world, you will be able to take some time off work to focus on training and recovery. If you have big goals, taking a couple of weeks off after your heaviest training load means you will have more time to recover – and the time away should lower all the other stresses in your life, too.

Having an ice bath after a quality session really helps recovery, but I would only recommend doing that after a hard race or a long run, because it is not fun for anyone. It is only for when you are pushing your body to extremes. The optimal time seems to be immersing yourself for 10 minutes, at 8-12 degrees. Sports massage works well too – a 30-60 min massage every week loosens up the muscles.

Tapering is important to the recovery process too. Once you’ve done all the training, tapering reduces the load and gives the body more time to recover – and recovery makes you stronger.

For more information on ‘Power to Beat Your Best’ visit www.powerade.co.za , the official hydration partner of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon and the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

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