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Page 8 THE INDEPENDENT on Saturday 2 February 2013

Dome design safe for events Meditating on women in reggae SIHLE MTHEMBU THE DISTINCT sound of closely-knit electronic guitar riffs, the linear strumming of a drum still in the early stages of its life and vocals wailing and chanting about peace and unity. In an old car repair shop that has been converted into a studio on the outskirts of Jacobs, Durban, The Meditators are discreetly plucking away at their craft. Durban’s seminal, sevenpiece roots reggae collective are preparing for a one-of-a kind celebration of Bob Marley Day on February 10 – with a twist. This year the celebration is focused on celebrating women in reggae. Speaking about the idea behind the festival to be held at uShaka Marine World, lead vocalist and band founder Shante Bekwa says that the event is aimed at merging people from diverse social backgrounds under the banner of an eclectic sound. “In South Africa there are a lot of platforms for music but unfortunately there are not many platforms for reggae,” he says. “What we want to do with this festival and with our music is increase the visibility of the genre.” And indeed they are doing just that. Already in its fifth year, the celebration has become known as a meeting point for reggae musicians not only from South Africa but the wider Diaspora. As part of

this year’s women in reggae line-up, Nkulee Dube who is one of Lucky Dube’s children, will be among the headline acts along with The Meditators. Commenting on why its important to give female musicians a platform, drummer Bunny Mkhize notes that it’s important to have a diversity of voices if a musical art form is going to survive and that reggae as an art form needs to spread its lineage. “Reggae is not just a masculine music or a music just for men,” he says. “It’s an art form that is diverse and by bringing in the likes of awardwinning musicians like Nkulee Dube for this festival we are showcasing that diversity.” One of the band’s major concerns is that people have misunderstood the message of the music and that far too often the genre is associated with negative stereotypes. Bekwa says that the main priority of reggae is to help build an awareness of the social issues that affect the daily lives of South Africa. “Music like this should be used to build awareness and not just to dance and booze aimlessly,” he says. “There are many negative stereotypes about what we do, but the important thing is that when people see us perform they realise that those are unfounded and they are able to connect with what we do.”

ARTHI SANPATH HE POTENTIAL hazards of staging an outdoor function are enough to put many people off the idea. Heavy winds, an impending storm or lightning make such events dicey. This was clearly seen in August last year, when six people, including a home affairs official, were seriously injured when a marquee collapsed at the funeral of seven schoolchildren who were killed in a road accident in Bulwer. But a new design on the South African market – the MegaDome – might be the type of structure needed on the events market. Events organiser Wally Pelser, of Durban, said the

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MegaDome – a structure, similar to that of a marquee, but more technical – would reduce the worry of rain, fire and even lightning strikes. “It is a dome, held together with steel poles and covered with a special material, and all are locally made.” After finding few venues in Durban that catered for large numbers of people (more than 300), and needing an outside venue that was better than marquees, Pelser began researching and found that the domes were already being used in America for concerts. “However, to import the materials here was too costly, so I decided to undertake the manufacture of all the parts of the dome locally.” The MegaDome is fully mo-

REDUCES WORRY: Wally Pelser, of TVG Eduventures, said the MegaDome structure would help reduce the worry of flooding, lightning strikes and fires at major outdoor events. PICTURES: DOCTOR NGCOBO bile, takes about two days to construct by trained staff, allows for uninterrupted space with no centre poles, can have light and images projected on to the “walls”, can withstand bad weather, and the triangular metal cage-like structure is safe during lightning, according to Faraday’s principle. As the dome is an enclosed hollow shell made of electrically conductive material, the charges will move around and finally be conducted to the ground. “This structural design is the strongest known structure to man, and a scientific equation is used to put the structure together,” Pelser said. The largest dome seats up to 700 people at round tables, and 1 000 people in rows.

My ex is just a vulture, says Gina Lollobrigida HANNAH ROBERTS GINA Lollobrigida pledged yesterday to have her former fiancé jailed for the “fake” marriage he is said to have orchestrated. In an exclusive interview the legendary actress described Spaniard Javier Rigua as a “vulture” out to get his hands on her £35 million (R495m) fortune. Lollobrigida, 85, made headlines this week after it emerged she had complained to Italian police that Rigua, 51, had used

fake documents to carry out a wedding ceremony “by proxy”. He has insisted the marriage was completely bona fide. The actress once dubbed “the most beautiful woman in the world” claimed Rigua was waiting for her “to die”. She said: “He is not guilty of just one fraud but of many. He is not a nice person. He will pay for what he has done. “He invented a false document to carry out this wedding and now he will pay. I will not rest until he has been brought to justice. He is nothing but a

AT WAR: Spanish businessman Javier Rigau claims his wedding to Hollywood legend Gina Lollobrigida is legitimate. vulture, circling me, sniffing my blood. He married me and was waiting for me to die so he could inherit my possessions.”

COOL INTERIOR: The domes can be decorated to suit the event. The largest dome seats up to 700 people at round tables, and 1 000 people in rows. The smaller domes are used largely for exhibitions. “It will be very useful for official functions – there will be no concerns about having func-

tions in bad weather.” Pelser said municipalities and conference organisers had shown an interest in the new structures. Officials from local

authorities, on inspecting one of the structures on the grounds of the Durban Light Infantry, said it would be useful for events in rural areas.

Lollobrigida revealed that she went to the police with her manager after inviting Rigua to Rome to discuss the situation. She said: “I didn’t go into the full details otherwise he would never have flown over from Spain. I refused to meet him when he arrived and instead my manager went to a police station with him. “The matter is now an international investigation and I want justice,” she said. In her statement to Italian police, Lollobrigida said her former boyfriend had carried out the 2010 fake ceremony in a Barcelona register office with a woman named Teresa standing in for her. She said he was able to carry out the wedding because he had obtained the legal right to act on her behalf. However, she claims she was tricked

because all the documents were in Spanish. Lollobrigida said: “I found all this out completely by chance. To think when I first met him I thought he was polite and educated, I even defended him from gossips, but now I see that all his good manners were simply superficial. “He would escort me to parties and we would be seen at all sorts of events together. At the time I was very depressed as I had been the victim of two other frauds, so it wasn’t a very pleasant time for me. Javier helped cheer me up and I eventually decided to marry him. “But then I travelled to New York to see some friends and after talking with them I changed my mind and told him I had decided that I didn’t want to get married anymore.

“But he obviously went ahead with it.” The mystery deepened further last night after Rigau’s lawyers disputed her claims Teresa Bueyes said it was “impossible” the actress did not realise she was married to the Spaniard and claimed Lollobrigida had travelled to Barcelona in August 2010 to sign a legal document agreeing to marry Rigau by proxy, adding that it was signed in front of a notary. She said the marriage, celebrated without the actress present on November 29, 2010, was “completely legitimate” and “took place with the full knowledge of both participants”. She also insisted that Rigau had signed a document rejecting any inheritance from her on her death. – Daily Mail

Tearful starlet shaves head to save image A JAPANESE starlet who shaved her head and issued a tearful YouTube apology after spending the night with a man was scrambling to redeem the girl-next-door image of all-female group AKB48. Pictures of the roughly-shorn head of Minami Minegishi, 20, were emblazoned on national newspapers and Japan’s Twitter scene was abuzz yesterday over news that the pop princess had broken the band’s cardinal rule: no dating. A sobbing Minegishi told fans she had decided to shave her head as an act of contrition after a popular weekly magazine published claims of a night of passion with a 19-year-old boy band member. “I don’t believe just doing this means I can be forgiven for what I did,

but the first thing I thought was that I don’t want to quit AKB48,” she says in the video, which had been viewed on YouTube more than three million times. Minegishi, who had long, silky hair at the time, was snapped leaving the flat of Alan Shirahama, a dancer in an off-shoot of the popular boy band Exile. Tabloid magazine Shukan Bunshun published its article on Thursday, and hours later Minegishi was pleading to be allowed to remain with AKB48, one of the world’s most successful acts by revenue. The tryst was “thoughtless and immature” she told fans. “If it is possible, I wish from the bottom of my heart to stay in the band. Everything I did is my fault, I am so sorry.”

CLEAN SLATE? Pop star Minami Minegishi, 20, shaved her head after a night of passion with a boy band member, which broke the band’s no dating rule. AKB48, a 90-strong pool of girls in their teens and early 20s, is a moneyprinting juggernaut that makes much of the accessibility, and the implied availability, of its idols. Fans have op-

portunities to meet their favourites, who are rotated in and out of the public eye, according to popularity. In return for their chance to grace television screens, subway adverts and the covers of Japan’s countless celebrity magazines, members of the collective must adhere to strict rules. They are allowed to have “onesided romantic feelings” for a boy, but can never progress beyond hinting at their crush – and must never disabuse their male fans that they might one day be with their fantasy woman. In June last year, another AKB48 member, Rino Sashihara, 20, made a pained apology after a magazine article revealed her free-wheeling history with a boy. She was demoted to a regional sub-group as a punishment. – Sapa-AFP

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GREAT SOUNDS: The Meditators, led by vocalist Shante Bekwa, performed at the recent Spogweni Music Festival held at By-The-Way Country Pub, inland from Ballito. PICTURE: SHELLEY KJONSTAD

New structure can withstand lightning and bad weather


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