Mega crowds at Megafest

first_imgBishop TD Jakes on the cover of Time Magazine, which once voted him America’s Best preacher. (Image:Time.com)Khanyi MagubaneIn early October over 100 000 Christians descended on the Nasrec expo centre in Johannesburg for the MegaFest International festival, a two-day extravaganza of faith hosted by world-renowned preacher and bestselling author Bishop TD Jakes, once named the top preacher in the US by Time magazine.Held from Saturday 11 to Sunday 12 October, the event is believed to have cost Jakes’s Potter’s House Church some (R65-million) US$7-million to host. Featuring top local and international gospel artists and a number of respected preachers, it was the first MegaFest to be staged outside the US.“We can no longer live in corners and just care about ourselves,” Jakes said at a news conference before the event. “Americans are becoming increasingly global-minded. If there were anything positive that came out of 9-11, it’s the realisation that we are our brothers’ keepers.”Attending the event were some of South Africa’s top business people, including Patrice Motsepe, mining magnate and the country’s first black dollar billionaire. Motsepe said the event would bring much-needed spiritual rejuvenation to South Africa. “There is a unique role that religion plays in South Africa,” he said. According to the 2001 census, 35.8-million South Africans are Christians – 79.8% of the population. Religious leaders such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu played an important role in the end of apartheid.Motsepe, who is a devout Catholic, welcomed the US preacher’s presence in South Africa. “We have always felt there is something special and emotional about the connection between Africans and African-Americans,” he said.More than a thousand African-Americans attended the festival. For many, the trip marked a “journey back to the motherland”.At a press briefing during the festival, Jakes said he had no idea what to expect, as MegaFest had been the first time his church had undertaken so massive a project. But it was clearly a success.“I had problems getting to the venue myself, there were so many people coming in on the opening day,” he said.People from all walks of life endured the hot sun to listen to Jakes and the other preachers deliver powerful messages.Local gospel musicians Hlengiwe Mhlaba, Joyous Celebration, Ntokozo Mbambo, Benjamin Dube, and Lionel Petersen joined international acts Mary Mary, Israel Houghton and New Breed, Yolanda Adams as well as the Potter’s house church choir to thrill the audience with their performance.Operating under the theme Change, over the two days speaker after speaker encouraged the crowd to use their faith to live a quality life emotionally, spiritually and physically.Jakes said change is a universal phenomenon affecting every area of society.“A change is coming. Everyone is talking change. Barack Obama is talking about change. Now John McCain is talking about change.”He said change would not come from the government or the White House, but from the church.Fellowship, rejuvenation and personal growthFirst held in 2004, MegaFest is now one of the largest religious gatherings in the US, attended by more than 700 000 people to date.Created by Jakes as a festival for fellowship, spiritual rejuvenation and personal growth, it includes youth events, live concerts and activities for the entire family.Last year the event took a hiatus, with Jakes announcing that for the first time the event would be moved out of the US, to South Africa.It took over a year to plan MegaFest International, with about 150 South Africa-based staff from the Potter’s House Church working on the logistics.“I believe that the true purpose of the ministry is to go beyond the traditional wall and minister to the world,” Jakes said. “MegaFest International provides us with that platform.”Caring for the communityMegaFest brought with it more than a two-day church event, but also a number of philanthropic initiatives. One of these is MegaCare, a comprehensive health and educational campaign.As part of the Megafest programme, MegaCare intends on providing healthcare and educational opportunities in South Africa and Swaziland. Some of the health initiatives took place during the two-day festival, while others will continue for a week in South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia.The campaign provided comprehensive medical services to the general public, including health screenings, HIV counseling and testing, and dental and ophthalmic care. Counselors offered advice and guidance on gender-based violence, couple matters and spiritual health.Other Potter’s House projects run during Megafest included the construction of 12 houses for low-income families in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, allowing them to move out of shacks into real homes.In Swaziland, the Potter’s House for Children orphanage provides care to children aged six and younger who have lost one or both parents to Aids. The children receive an education, medical care and meals. The centre will also be provided with safe and clean water from a new well.A community in Zambia was also provided with fresh water, with the MegaCare campaign rehabilitating two wells.An astonishing riseBishop Thomas Dexter Jakes started the Potter’s House ministry in Dallas, Texas, in 1996.Since then his rise in the Christian fraternity has been astonishing. He is an award-winning and best-selling author, and a sought-after conference speaker.In 2001 Jakes appeared on the cover of Time magazine, which named him America’s best preacher. In 2005 the magazine listed him as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in the US, and in 1999 the New York Times identified him as one of the five top evangelists most frequently cited by scholars, theologians and evangelical leaders.This acclaim comes partly from Jakes’s bestselling books, which deal in particular with issues of particular interest to women. His most popular book, Woman, thou art Loosed, published in 1993, has sold millions of copies around the world.What started out as a simple Sunday-school curriculum, the Woman thou art Loosed theme grew into a book, was later adapted into a stage-play, a conference and a full-length feature film.In 2002 Jakes’s book God’s Leading Lady hit the fourth spot in the New York Times bestseller list for self-help titles.In addition to his 30 or so books, Jakes is also an accomplished musician with his Potter’s House Choir, which has recorded a number of award-winning CDs.On the pulpit, Jakes is known for hosting powerful conferences. In 1993 Jakes created a conference for men called ManPower, which helps men of all races and background address specific needs, hurts and struggles from a biblical perspective. Ten years later, in 2003, the conference was attended by a record-breaking 44 000 men.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected] articlesSouth Africa’s populationThe Arch turns 77Motsepe joins billionaires’ clubUseful linksBishop TD JakesMegaFest International Potter’s House Church MegaCarelast_img read more

George airport goes solar

first_img2 March 2016George Airport is only the second in the world that uses solar energy, following Cochin International Airport in India.The first phase of the George solar project, officially opened by the Department of Transport and the Airports Company South Africa (Acsa), is part of a R16-million plant that converts solar energy into direct current electricity using solar panels. The operation produces 680 kilowatts a day and powers 41% of the airport, with the aim to convert to 100% function by the end of the year.Acsa describes the new project as the best way to reduce energy demand from the national grid and harness solar power to power smaller airports around the country. The initiative is part of the company’s Vision 2030. It plans to open two more solar plants to serve Kimberley and Upington over the next two years.Acsa launches R16m solar power plant at George Airport https://t.co/lOHa1tWmM1 News via @EngNewsZA pic.twitter.com/dpkNgzj4Di— African Construction (@AfriConstruct) February 29, 2016The project falls under Acsa’s strategic environmental objectives which, in addition to reducing energy consumption, include minimising water consumption, increasing waste recycling, eradicating noise pollution and using energy efficient materials in all airports.“Sustainability, in terms of our environment, means that we need to over time be very careful about how we use any form of energy and then also other natural resources, like water,” says Acsa group executive, Andre Vermeulen. “As a company, we have got a plan in terms of our footprint, in terms of how we are going to consume electricity and water – especially electricity. It is about reducing our carbon footprint and becoming a carbon neutral company.”George Airport manager Brenda Vorster welcomed the project, which currently powers the airport’s car rental area, cargo warehousing, flight schools and airline offices, adding that “our second phase will be starting within the next year”.Transport Minister opens George Airport Solar Plant https://t.co/NU4cyI5WWx @DipuoPeters @WCGovTPW @Airports_ZA pic.twitter.com/lhttcDtMOv— Arrive Alive (@_ArriveAlive) February 26, 2016Minister Peters calls the project an enhancement for not only the airport industry, but also for the people of the area. “This is a way of contributing jobs. There were people who worked here during construction and we now know there are about 16 permanent jobs that have been created by this plant at the airport. We are also happy to indicate that the other regional airports will also be looking at how they’ll be able to introduce renewable energy.”Energy and transport were two crucial government portfolios in fulfilling the goals of the National Development Plan’s own Vision 2030 for the development of the country as a whole, she added.Source: News24last_img read more

Adobe Prelude: Ingesting and Converting DSLR Footage to ProRes

first_imgAfter you finish ingesting and transcoding the video off a card, input another one or go straight to Adobe Premiere and start editing your footage! Speed up your tapeless workflow using Prelude to Ingest and Transcode at the same time.Adobe has added a new tool to the Creative Cloud / Master Collection / Production Premium for video producers/editors called Prelude.  Use Prelude to ingest and transcode tapeless media from cameras recording to cards, as well as a basic video editing tool for producers (Premiere Pro can read timelines created in Adobe Prelude).Transcoding your DSLR footage to Pro Res in Adobe Prelude gives you a 10 bit, edit friendly codec that FCP, AVID, & Premiere can all handle.  This is a great file choice when you work with a variety of nonlinear apps (it’s a popular intermediate codec for FCP).  ProRes is also a solid option if you  plan on color correcting in Apple Color or Black Magic Resolve.  Trancoding changes the codec – footage off the cards is H.264 8bit and Pro Res is 10 bit.First, to work with ProRes you need to have Final Cut Pro 7, FCPX , Motion, or Compressor installed on your system.Then, download the ProRes presets from Adobe.Once you install the presets into Media Encoder, ProRes will be available in Adobe Prelude. (same applies If you want to create your own custom presets).After you download and install the ProRes presets, launch Adobe Prelude.Click the Ingest button, and the Ingest window opens.Select your card that has the video footage on it.Check Transfer Clips to Destination.Check the Transcode button and pick the ProRes setting that matches your footage.Click the Ingest button and your footage will be ingested and encoded to ProRes.last_img read more

Technology and Education Ministries to Sign MOU to Boost Animation Industry

first_imgThe Ministries of Education and Science, Technology, Energy and Mining are to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to facilitate the identification of talent within local high schools that will support the development of the local Animation industry.The announcement was made by Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, held on June 6.[RELATED: Submit Entries by June 16 for Animation Competition]He said both Ministries are collaborating to further develop the business of animation among high school graduates, and enhance their skill level in the industry. “We are going to be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) soon, because the business process outsources have informed us that persons coming out of the high school system are not at the required level, so more needs to be done to boost their creativeness,” Mr. Robinson said.He pointed out that the Ministry will be providing the appropriate training and expertise, so that such persons can tap into the animation industry, effectively. The Minister said that Jamaica is poised to develop a lucrative animation industry, which will present significant opportunities for job creation and foreign exchange earnings, but there are some hurdles or gaps in the development process, which require support from the Ministry to resolve.“We have an abundance of talent here, but there are gaps preventing us from converting them into businesses that can generate income. That we are seeking to change,” he said.One of the biggest challenges facing the industry, the State Minister said, is that persons have brilliant ideas, but cannot afford to leave their day jobs to invest the time and effort to translate their ideas into realities.“In essence, we have to provide the money, the business support and mentorship for such persons, so that their ideas can come to fruition,” he stressed.The State Minister said that the development of the animation industry is a general thrust by the Government to drive entrepreneurship in Jamaica, and expose talents, so that Jamaicans can be more marketable worldwide. He added that Jamaicans are talented in all respects, including animation, application, and software development, which can move the country in a positive direction.“We are going to build on the creativity that exists here in Jamaica, because our primary responsibility as an administration is to find ways to stimulate economic growth,” Mr. Robinson said.He noted that the industry is labour intensive, and requires a lot of work, but is confident that Jamaicans will capitalise on it if the right structures are put in place.The Kingston Animation Festival will be held from June 20 to 21 at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies, Mona campus.The festival, which is an initiative of the Technology Ministry, is being staged in partnership with the World Bank and the Government of Canada.Contact: Jeneva Gordonlast_img read more

Breaking Another Fire on Maersk Boxship Crew Safe

first_imgzoom A fire has been reported on board the Maersk Kensington while the 6,188 TEU containership was en route from Salalah, Oman, towards Suez, Maersk Line said.As informed, the fire erupted in one of the containers in a cargo hold of the ship on March 16.All 26 crew members are safe and accounted for and the fire is reported to be contained.“Safety measures were taken immediately. The crew reacted swiftly and as per procedure, by releasing CO2 into the cargo hold to contain the fire,” Maersk Line said.The company added that the cause of the fire is unknown, however, based on the initial investigation there seems to be no link between this fire and the one that broke out in the cargo hold of Maersk Honam on March 6, claiming five lives.A full investigation into the matter is expected to ensue.The containership is owned by Maersk Line’s U.S. subsidiary Maersk Line, Limited (MLL).The U.S.-flagged Maersk Kensington is currently at anchor outside the port of Salalah and is getting assistance from shore.The 2007-built vessel is carrying 3518 containers corresponding to 5,616 TEU, Maersk Line added.last_img read more