Being lost in a foreign country can be very intimidating and most all embarrassing because you don’t even know who to ask and which language to use.The launch of the new generation of the Isuzu D-MAX in South Africa’s Nelspruit, Mpumalanga was nothing but a success story befitting for an outstanding unique new model.
For a long time the Isuzu KB has been a household name in the commercial and leisure vehicle markets in South Africa over the past 40 years and six generations, with a proud heritage built on an outstanding character of reliability, capability, durability and trust.Now, the much- loved Isuzu bakkie range is creating an exciting new chapter as its name changes from KB to D-MAX, bringing it in line with global markets while retaining the proven qualities that have underlined its success – matched to an extensive range, enhanced styling and fantastic new features.
How I got lost
Isuzu invited more than twenty journalists from across Southern Africa to its launch in Nelspruit. On Monday afternoon we all jumped into the cars from Nelspruit to Hazyview an hour drive in a D-MAX experience. As the journey began, everyone was cruising at high speed and enjoying the experience. However, I missed a turn-off at Sabbi and this was the beginning of my encounter with the D-MAX drawing into my emotions driving in no man’s land. I had my GPS set to a wrong destination and my woes continued even further into Phalaborwa.
At this point I was left with no choice but to pull off at the next fuel station and ask for help. A gentleman offered to help and re- set my GPS, I was about 80 km from my destination. I arrived at Casa Do Sol an hour after everyone arrived and everyone was excited to see me arrived after being a spell anxiety. I had the most experience than everyone since I had extended my trip. The following day we took obstacles at Kruger National Park where the D-MAX took it with ease.
“The Isuzu Motors South Africa operation is now fully integrated within the broader Isuzu Motors organisation and, as such, we are aligning our brand and product portfolio with the company’s global product strategy and naming conventions. The adoption of the D-MAX name is a natural next step for us as we launch the enhanced and expanded range for the South African market,” says Craig Uren, Executive Officer – Sales, Service and Marketing.
He says although the name has changed, the same trusted qualities that made the Isuzu bakkie a South African favourite over four decades continue with the wider and even better D-MAX range. “It’s exciting that this happens in the same year that Isuzu Motors Ltd acquired the company’s local operations, and also celebrates 40 years of Isuzu bakkie production in South Africa,” Uren adds.
The D-MAX name originated in Thailand, with the ‘D’ originally referring to the 2000 model year Isuzu bakkie which boasted the flush “Dragon Eyes” headlamp design. It also represents Isuzu’s proud legacy in the production of diesel engines, the use of industry-defining direct injection, as well as ground-breaking design and durability. ‘Max’ signifies Isuzu’s maximum approach to design, size, comfort, technology, performance, safety, durability and line-up.
These qualities are reflected in the latest Isuzu D-MAX range, which boasts an expanded line-up of 30 models for South Africa and 13 models for export markets, all of which are assembled at the Struandale Assembly Plant in Port Elizabeth for the South African market, as well as for export to Sub-Saharan Africa where the D-MAX name has been in use since 2013.
Along with subtle styling changes and an upgraded, more premium interior with enhanced infotainment features, the Isuzu D-MAX 3.0 LX now also incorporates significant drivetrain enhancements with the adoption of a six-speed transmission in both its automatic and manual models, that first debuted in the Isuzu mu-X SUV launched earlier this year.“Although it looks, feels and drives better than ever, the revered Isuzu bakkie range hasn’t changed its stripes in terms of its renowned reliability, durability, capability and overall outstanding comfort which customers have come to trust,” Uren states.
“We believe the new D-MAX range will continue building momentum for the Isuzu brand in the South African market following Isuzu Motors Limited acquisition of the South African manufacturing and distribution operation.Already, Isuzu bakkie sales are up over 8-percent compared to the same period last year, and we expect the launch of the expanded and enhanced D-MAX range to drive our growth even further,” Uren concludes.Isuzu has also refreshed its bakkie range, giving it a new name along with higher levels of specification, quality and efficiency to make its popular light commercial vehicle (LCV) more appealing than ever.
Over the past 40 years of local production spanning six generations, the Isuzu bakkie has been a key player in creating and fostering South Africa’s love affair with the versatile bakkie – both as a workhorse and, increasingly, as an all-encompassing everyday leisure and lifestyle vehicle.Now known as the Isuzu D-MAX, in line with international markets, the Isuzu bakkie range spans an extensive portfolio comprising of 30 models for South Africa and 13 models for export markets, with the top-spec derivatives gaining a more luxurious execution that reflects the more sophisticated requirements of top-end buyers in this segment.
The line-up has been revised and enhanced to make the D-MAX more appealing and competitive than ever, and the high-spec models raise the bar for Isuzu in terms of luxury and quality.“We are also delighted to introduce the all-new six-speed manual and automatic transmissions on the 3.0-Litre LX models that improve overall performance, efficiency and refinement when compared to the previous five-speed units, while building on Isuzu’s proven reputation for reliability and durability,” says Dominic Rimmer, Executive Technical Services.
After its initial outbreak with a cluster of pneumonia cases at a seafood, poultry and live wildlife market in Wuhan City, China, Covid-19 has spread rapidly across the globe. The virus has hammered economies worldwide and brought devastation to many.
On 16 September Shincheonji Church of Jesus, a church with thousands of members in various countries, held a global online prayer service to pray for the victims of the coronavirus and their families, healthcare workers, government officials and for the complete eradication of and cure for Covid-19.
The virtual prayer service was live-streamed to the entire congregation with more than 200,000 members in countries all over the world participating, including the USA, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
In keeping with social distancing, health protocols and protecting its members from possible exposure to the coronavirus, Shincheonji arranged the virtual gathering for members to pray together in safety and set an example for others.
Prayers were mainly for the healing of those infected with the virus, for overworked healthcare workers who are struggling to fight Covid-19, and for people in economic distress in the wake of the pandemic. The overwhelming online participation from its members worldwide showed the desire and urgency to end this virus and for healing and restoration in communities.
The Chairman of Shincheonji Church Mr Manhee Lee suggested this online virtual gathering and said that all believers will continue to pray at the church’s worship services until the complete eradication of the coronavirus.
At least 1,700 of the church’s South Korean-based congregation have donated their blood plasma for research around an effective treatment. Convalescent plasma has also showed promise as therapy for Covid-19 and is believed to have reduced the severity of symptoms in critical patients.
“In order to defeat Covid-19, we need to embrace, love, and unite,” as global citizens, the church said. “We wanted to do all we can as believers by praying for the people working to prevent the spread of the virus and healthcare workers who are working at the frontlines of this battle against Covid-19 and we believe that God will answer our earnest prayers.”
The annual prestigious music awards, African Muzik Magazine Awards and Music Festival (AFRIMMA), has resumed this year. But this time around with a virtual version of it.
The awards that celebrate the originality of African music has unveiled their seventh edition. The awards seek to promote the African talent by bringing together on the same stage African legendary artists to celebrate African culture.
The event was established by the International Committee of AFRIMMA, in collaboration with African Union to reward and celebrate musical works, talents and creativity around the African continent while promoting the African cultural heritage amongst African countries.
However after the Covid-19 global pandemic, the event will not be hosted on a live global stage, but it will be hosted virtually and nominees are expected to deliver their performances virtually. The AFRIMMA Virtual Awards 2020 is set to be the first of its kind in the African music world with performances coming from different artists around the world and audience catching the performances, speeches and award presentations on multiple streaming devices.
Amongst the many who are nominated by the AFRIMMAs is local sensation Vee Mampeezy who has been nominated in the category for Best Male Southern African alongside music giants, Black Coffee- South Africa, Slap Dee – Zambia, Cassper Nyovest- South Africa, Master KG- South Africa, Jah Prayzah – Zimbabwe, Vee Mampeezy – Botswana, Shyn – Madagascar, Tshego- South Africa, Tha Dogg – Namibia and Yanga Chief – South Africa.
Mampeezy has established with WeekendLife that prior to that, he had received an email from AFRIMMA confirming his nomination. They wished for him to perform which he said he will confirm the performance first with his manager, but as for now he is not sure if he will be performing.
“We have accepted the nomination. It is such an honour to be nominated alongside music giants like Black Coffee. I am very excited, others I am not as excited to be nominated alongside them because I have been nominated before with them. I do not mean to say they are not great, they are great in their respective right,” he said.
“We should be excited as a country that Botswana has been nominated as well. Before anything else, the fact that we are there as nominees makes us winners. It is such an honour to be recognised more so that Botswana is a small country with a very small population.”
Famous and most decorated artists the likes of Diamond Platnumz, Mr Flavour, Harmonize, Davido and Jah Prayzah are also amongst the nominees. However, South African based artist affectionately known as Master KG has been nominated six times for Video of the year, Best Male Southern Africa, Artist of the year, Best Collaboration as well as song of the year.
Master KG’s song ‘Jerusalem’ has been making waves internationally, and it was used mostly during the pandemic to shake off the Covid-19 anxiety. The song was nominated after South African Music Awards (SAMA) failed to nominate the young talented artist.
The Queen does this through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fairs, storytelling programs to children, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities.
Even though this auspicious year has been faulted by the COVID-19 crisis, Miss Earth Botswana 2020 Seneo Perry has seen this as a chance to fix her crown, and get dirty in conserving the environment. This is highly impressive as it expresses how dedicated she is not only in wearing the crown, but putting in some work to create a better greener world.
Perry is a Botswana based environmentalist, equipped with a degree in Entrepreneurial Business Leadership from Sheffield Hallam University (BAC) and a top 5 finalist in Miss Earth Botswana 2019. As an eco-warrior at heart, she has dedicated her time and energy towards educating and empowering the next generation on the importance of preservation and careful management of the environment and natural resources (a clean and safe environment.)
Miss Earth Botswana will be hosting SOS Children for a film documentary dubbed “Into the Okavango” on Saturday 19th September, in Tlokweng. This initiative is influenced by National Vision 2036 Pillar of National Values which is our identity, our unique natural and cultural resources, tolerance of diversity as well as national values constitute a value preposition that makes Botswana a place to live, work and do business.
In an exclusive interview with WeekendLife, Perry’s Manager, Shimah Keakopa, said the purpose of this event is to encourage the children to open up their minds a bit more to think outside the box as they are about to choose their career paths and what more they can offer to their country as upcoming young leaders.
“This event is held under the theme ‘‘Botswana will have healthy ecosystems that support the economy, livelihoods and our cultural heritage as well as enhance resilience to climate change’’. We strive to help young children grow up knowing their purpose in life and what they actually do in achieving their ambitions.”
For her part, the queen said since 2013, conservation topics have always attracted her interests towards achieving a clean and safe environment for the benefit of humanity. She said “Botswana relies heavily on the tourism industry as it contributes 7 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Our tourism industry has been characterized as more of a fauna and flora type, which is the great attraction to local and international tourists.”
“Therefore it is imperative that we conserve and continuously engage in environmental issues, to preserve our untouchable pristine wilderness. Furthermore people who live closest to natural resources generally absorb the greatest cost associated with conservation,” she said.
Perry told WeekendLife that a lot still needs to be done to ensure everybody is of one mind in an effort dedicated towards environmental conservation, which not only benefits the flora and fauna but the economy as well through activities such as agriculture and tourism.
“In Botswana, there still not enough policies (some outdated) and public awareness towards environmental conservation, especially the collective effort that should exist between government, private sector and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Whereas members of the general public do not have adequate access to the information on the importance of environmental conservation and this results in them being unaware of the best practices and standards in environmental conservation,” she said.
When she is not impressing at beauty pageants, Perry is a Managing Director of “Restoring the Prime Colour of the Earth” a charitable organization established in 2019 with the objective to educate both young and old people the importance of keeping a clean and safe environment and to restore the breath-taking landmarks in Botswana.