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Emerald reopens leisure adventure!

As South Africa moves into Lockdown Level 2, Emerald Resort & Casino is pleased to announce that numerous leisure activities have now reopened to the public. Here’s what visitors to the Resort can expect under Lockdown Level 2 conditions!

“It’s amazing how we took leisure activities for granted before the onset of the pandemic, especially here in South Africa, where we are so used to an outdoors lifestyle,” says Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino. “We understand and have keenly felt the impact that lockdown has had on the tourism industry and are exceptionally grateful as we seem to be getting over the peak of the pandemic and can now move into a less restrictive regime.”

Besides the casino, all of Emerald Resort & Casino’s various accommodation offerings are open for leisure stays to anyone within South Africa. This includes the Hotel, Bush Lodges and River Resort Chalets. For those staying over and feeling hungry, breakfast buffets will be manned by a Chef while the Hotel room service is available.

Leisure activities include:

  • Game Drives, already open, operating over weekends and Public Holidays
  • Animal World Zoo reopening on 28 August 2020. Operating times 09:00 and 16:00 Thursday to Sunday.
  • Pins Bowling reopening on Friday the 21st August. Operating times 11:00 and 21:00 daily.
  • Wall climbing and putt-putt reopening on Friday the 21st August. Operating times 10:00 to 17:00 Friday to Sunday

Restaurant and fast food options include High Stakes, Cappello, Wimpy and Sausage Saloon.

Kidzone, Izone, Thunder Alley and Aquadome however, remains closed for the foreseeable future and the Resort does not yet have a firm date as to when this popular indoor waterpark and kids activities will reopen.

All information and rates can be found at Emerald Resort & Casino’s “Resort Experiences” webpage.

For those that have missed great food at the Resort, High Stakes, Emerald Resort & Casino’s premier restaurant has also reopened its doors over weekends only for now, serving up popular and mouth-watering dishes on Friday and Saturday from 11:00 to 21:00 and Sunday 11:00 to 18:00. Popular Vanderbijlpark grill and pub, Gas Monkey, will open their doors towards the end of September, taking over the space previously occupied by Breeze and Sports Bar.

“While we are able to open more leisure activities, our safety protocols are still in full force to protect our guests and team members,” concludes Tanuja. “Welcome back to Emerald Resort & Casino where adventure awaits more than ever!”

View all of the Health and Safety regulations* on the Emerald Resort & Casino website at

For all other up to date information visitors are encouraged to stay close to their Facebook and Twitter pages, or guests can visit for more information on any of the events mentioned here.


Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000





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Womandla: The Revolution shall be Tweeted

Sinenhlanhla Jalibane Digital Campaign Manager at The MediaShop

Strength, resilience, freedom, risk, power and intelligence are some of the words that describe the power and force of women.

History has shown that women united brings about change. Throughout history, women have taken to the streets to protest for their rights and equality

In our own country of South Africa, the 1956 Women’s March played a vital role in women becoming more visible participants in not only the anti-apartheid struggle but in proving their worth and influence as vehicles of change. The march also made several female leaders visible in the struggle against apartheid, particularly Lilian Ngoyi and Helen Joseph. These women showed that there cannot be change and reconstruction without leaders who are willing to take risks and have a lasting effect on their citizen’s lives, regardless of gender!

The pressure for upcoming generations has always been how do we follow from these great women who have passed the baton onto to us? The women who dared to fight against gender norms and pay equality. Well, it seems that these great revolutions have now moved from the streets to the hashtags…

The next generation has carried on the legacy of these women and brought about change through social media. Movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, founded by women and for women, offer a greater voice to tackling issues related to Gender Based Violence, Gender Inequality, anti-Black racism and many more.

Women defy adversity and precarity and they have proven this by springing back from any crisis or challenge they are forced to confront. The women of 1956 set a good example of resilience which the female founders of movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo would have faced head-on. The globe has shaken and these movements not only show resilience, but strength and power in a world still dominated by men. They ensure women’s voices are heard and that today everyone knows about it.

With all the current movements and causes taking place around the world, governments are starting to recognise and prove that they stand with women to eradicate inequality, Gender Based Violence, and many more issues. Our President, Cyril Ramaphosa has asked everyone to play their part in the Women Empowerment campaign, with the goal of achieving new behaviours by 2030. Part of this campaign will be to achieve gender equality and busting stereotypes of women in the workplace. Equality goes beyond just women being in managerial positions or fair treatment at work and equal pay.

There is a long history of gender imbalance but the tide is slowly turning and it’s good to note that a change over the years has been made and seen. The MediaShop has also risen to the challenge, ensuring that change within the organisation happens. The company has shown the change women have been longing for, of not only having women in leadership and management positions but of women taking part in everything the organisation does. Our Park Advertising Umsebenzi on Friday, 14th Aug showed this growth and change.

Women across industries, backgrounds and the world, have one thing in common and that is challenging power structures and creating long-lasting impact. Many names come to mind when thinking about women who’ve created long-lasting impact, including Serena Williams, Oprah Winfrey, Harriet Tubman and Winnie Mandela.

Social media is a platform that is aiding the rising awareness of social change and bringing about justice for women as they continue to challenge stereotypes. There is still a lot to done but the fist is raised towards this struggle and thumbs are vehicles of carrying this message for all women, ensuring that across all spheres, our voices are being heard.

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South Africans are challenging their leadership while supporting each other more

We’re almost into the last quarter of 2020 and it looks like South Africans are feeling a light at the end of the tunnel, according to South Africa’s Good Things Guy Brent Lindeque.

 “Yes, South Africans remain angry at the situation we’re in, they’re displaying their frustration and disgust at local and national government’s seemingly endless blatant corruption more vocally. We’re seeing a lot more online active citizenry these past few months from ordinary South Africans calling our politicians to account.

As individuals, I’m seeing more and more South Africans calling on each other to support local small businesses in their area, a charity or even just to visit a restaurant for a meal and now a beer (yay!)”

Since lockdown began in South Africa, the Good Things Guy’s various platforms have received hundreds of emails, SMS’s WhatsApps and direct messages on a daily basis from South Africans of all walks of life and in varying forms of distress seeking financial aid or emotional support. “Since we entered Level 2 Lockdown those requests have slowed slightly which tells me that South African’s personal circumstances have either slightly stabilized or marginally improved from two or three months ago. We of course still have an insurmountable unemployment and poverty issue in this country which is going to take a very long time to alleviate.”

Mental health has been another massive concern of South Africans with offline and online therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists being completely overwhelmed as we try and navigate the many emotional rollercoasters we’re experiencing on a daily basis. “The positive out of this is that mental health is no longer a taboo subject,” says Brent. “South Africans as a collective are talking about their depression and anxiety more openly and are dealing with it more directly.

Maybe it’s the declining number of cases, or that more areas of the economy are breathing a little easier or maybe it’s even the promise of Spring and warmer weather around the corner but I’m certain that for the remainder of 2020, we’ll be seeing growing economic activity, increasing local tourism and more of the incredible Ubuntu we know that only South Africans can bring.

Let’s get this country started again, emotionally and economically, by supporting local and each other as much as possible!”

The Good Things Guy can be found at, on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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Self-care Sundays and how brands can get involved

Tsholofelo Mmusi, Junior Media Planner at The MediaShop

We often think of self-care as that well-deserved two-week holiday once a year or perhaps twice a year if you’re lucky. We often live for the ‘next holiday’ or ‘hold on for leave’ without realising that we need to rest regularly, because our minds and bodies do not postpone stress that is built up from our daily lives. The mind cannot wait for a two-week holiday that is six months away! And with the new setup of working from home (which has blurred the lines between work and home time), self-care is an essential – now more than ever!

Over the past few months, self-care or self-love Sundays (#SelfcareSunday) has been trending on social media, with different personal care brands leveraging on the hashtag by having social media influencers use their products to pamper themselves and show the brand as purposeful, in aid of personal wellbeing.

One particular partnership that worked well is @artofsuperwoman and MSLONDON Cosmetics, where different products were featured on Instagram with a short write up of each and an option to purchase the product right from the post. While there is great potential for various brands to use #SelfcareSundays to drive awareness and trial use by audiences, #SelfcareSundays has proven that it’s not just what a product can do, but rather what emotional experience it brings to an individual.

There are many other brands that can leverage from the hashtag, as people do different things to unwind and feel good about themselves. Other brands or products that could showcase under the hashtag are:

Musicians – Artists can push their music as a tool for relaxation and dancing which is a great form of self-care.

Hiking trails – Some people prefer to being outdoors in order to feel calm and peaceful, so this is a great opportunity for the likes of Hennops Hiking Trail and others to be showcased as self-care tools, of course within compliance of the current COVID-19 restrictions.

Authors- “Reading gives us some place to go, when we have to stay where we are” according to Mason Coley. A good book is sometimes all that one needs to escape in a healthy way.

The lockdown has exposed us to a new normal, and with the number of COVID-19 positive cases increasing on a daily basis, we are certainly all affected even if we’re not infected. We need to take care of our minds and our bodies right now. The lockdown has also given us new roles – I personally have become a trusted cook and a baker, (please don’t ask me what I ate before this lol). Others have become cleaners, teachers, and even principals in their own right.

In an industry that is nothing short of pressurised, I realised the importance of being intentional about taking time to care for myself and do what I love; giving my mind and body the rest it needs. We all know that you cannot give from an empty vessel. We need to refill and refuel in order to be able to give ourselves and our creativity to the world again.

With more people realising the importance of being intentional about taking time to take care of themselves and do what they love, more brands are finding ways to sell not just the product, but their brand’s emotional attachment and experience too.

Sundays are the perfect days to self-care as it allows us to wrap up a week and start the new week on a fresh clean slate.

 Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you: Anne Lamott

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Emerald hosts first ever virtual Casino draw

For the first time ever, over a period of two evenings, Emerald Resort & Casino hosted their very first virtual winners draw that saw the culmination of the Revved Up casino promotion.

Over the two evenings, excited guests logged onto Facebook and YouTube, watched and experienced the thrill of winning, as Emerald Resort & Casino gave away a VW T-Cross 1.0 TSI Highline, Polo Vivo 1.4 Trendline and over R165 000 in cash and FreePlay to their Green, Gold and Diamond Rewards Cardholders.

“During these turbulent times, safety remains our priority, but we have really missed all of our visitors and guests at the Resort. With this in mind we decided that the best way to celebrate the reopening of the Casino would be to host our first virtual draw,” says Tanuja Gangabishun, Marketing Executive at Emerald Resort & Casino.

“The Casino Promotion, “Revved Up” where gamers earned points into the draw and the opportunity to participate in exciting Slots and Table action, gave us the perfect opportunity as the promotion had already ended and it was time to celebrate our Rewards cardholders.

The Casino is open every day from 08:00 to 21:30 and I’m pleased to announce the launch of our newest casino promotion, Mega Points Chase, where R250 000 in cash and Freeplay are up for grabs. The final draw will once again be livestreamed on Saturday, 12 September,” says Tanuja.

With the Hotel and Bush Lodges now open for leisure travel within the province, Emerald Resort & Casino takes pride in delivering a great guest experience. The company has been working hard behind the scenes to create environments where guests and team members feel safe, comfortable and are still able to enjoy themselves.

“Congratulations to all the winners! We look forward to welcoming everyone back to the Resort as the lockdown restrictions ease and even more activities are opened,” concludes Tanuja.

View all of the Health and Safety regulations* on the Emerald Resort & Casino website at

For all other up to date information visitors are encouraged to stay close to their Facebook and Twitter pages, or guests can visit for more information on any of the events mentioned here.


Emerald Resort & Casino is a licensed gambling venue. Winners know when to stop. Only persons over 18 are permitted to gamble. National Problem Gambling Counselling Toll Free Helpline 0800 006 008.

Emerald Resort & Casino.

Tel:                              016 982 8000





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The Monkey Bread Tree

Jedd Cokayne, Business Unit Director at The MediaShop

Jedd Cokayne says not all brands are created equal and that a distinctive brand will be the most successful during 2020.

As we move into the latter part of the year, we reflect more and more on the events that have taken place that determine how we live our lives, do business, how we conduct ourselves when leaving the house and consider safety procedures we have to follow in order to stay safe and healthy. The virtual watercooler chat is all about social distancing, sanitising, modulated education and the main topic of course is what the remainder of 2020 will look like. For me, the biggest changes are around the inability to interact with my friends and family, work colleagues and clients and not having the opportunity to go to the bush. Cabin Fever is truly setting in.

While I ponder over when I will ever get to the bush again and the fond memories I have of my travels, I think of one of the most iconic silhouettes on the African landscape – the Baobab tree, also known as the Tabaldi, Bottle tree, Upside Down Tree or the Monkey Bread Tree. The Baobab can grow up to heights of 20m and carbon dating indicates that it may live to be a staggering 3000 years old.

With an entire ecosystem within it from birds nesting in the branches to baboons devouring the fruits, Bush Babies drinking the nectar from the flowers and elephants eating the bark, this is one of the most distinctive trees in Africa easily recognisable by travellers around the world.

This distinctiveness leads me to the content of this article and the upward battle all brands are facing in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have read so much about marketing in a recession, how brands are reacting to new consumer behaviours and potentially what the new norm is, but what many brands are forgetting is the one thing that makes them stand head and shoulders above their competitors – that which creates their distinctiveness and potentially further develops brand loyalty.

All brands like to think they are unlike any other, but that’s usually not the case. What does make a brand unique are its distinctive brand assets. These act as an invaluable shorthand for a brand, it’s a cue for consumers to bring all their previous experiences and associated meaning of a brand to the fore and influence that purchase decision.

Now more than ever, distinctiveness is key to helping a brand stay afloat in very tough economic conditions. We forget how important various brand assets are in keeping the brand alive in the eyes of the consumer whether it is a name, a slogan, unique value proposition, visual characteristic or a logo, all of these things make a brand unique.

But how do we determine what a brand asset actually is from the various brand elements within a company? Each brand element needs to be unique, authentically associated and well known to consumers while representing the brand. Assets seek to reinforce the brand’s core values and convey the benefits it promises to deliver.

While brands are trying to develop new ways of working because of the pandemic, this is an ideal time for them to consolidate and identify those distinctive assets that will not only help them survive the current situation but also reinforce it and become competitive again in the future.

  1. Ruthlessly audit your existing brand elements or what you perceive to be distinctive. Remember to include historical icons etc that may still ring true for the brand.
  2. Your consumers are a great gauge of what is distinct about your brand, get feedback from them and collect data that can help in the future.
  3. The faster people make the association between individual brand assets and a brand, the more likely your market share will grow and not just your category awareness.

The below table is from the Ehrenberg Bass Institute (EBI) for Marketing Science and a great way of assessing brand assets and determining if they are worthy of highlighting or casting aside.

Once those brand assets have been identified and developed, leverage them and reap the rewards.

  1. Use them consistently across all marketing campaigns, channels and touchpoints available.
  2. Evaluate them often and rely on real feedback from your target market.
  3. Keep an eye on competitors and ensure you are agile. They are happy to hijack your ideas especially if they aren’t protected.
  4. Be smart when you introduce a new brand asset and ensure you run it with the brand name until you can measure the brand association.
  5. Take ownership of the brand.

Within a short space of time the marketing rule book has changed and what worked yesterday may not necessarily work today or tomorrow. The key to success is adaptability and the reliance on your brand’s distinctiveness to influence the buyer’s journey.

We previously mentioned that consumer behaviour has dramatically changed over the past four months but by utilising brand assets correctly with nurtured messaging at a decision-making juncture, will help consumer’s link the benefits and value propositions of your brand at the point of purchase and help protect your brand through the turbulent waters of 2020.

So, as we face this one day at a time spare a thought for the Monkey Bread Tree and all the changes they have had to endure and adapted accordingly over the thousands of years they have been around.

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Good Things Guy offers free news, no walls. Forever.

South Africa’s Good Things Guy, Brent Lindeque, has announced that readers of will always enjoy its content free of charge, in perpetuity.

 “That includes breaking news and ‘premium’ content like our podcasts, in-depth articles and investigative opinions,” says Brent. “We wholeheartedly believe that good news should always, and will always, remain free for consumption.”

“We understand that budgets are incredibly tight and that every single media owner is struggling to survive right now but we also know that a little ingenuity goes a long way. believes in partnering with its advertisers beyond just a pay and play relationship,” he says.

“Take into account the fact that Google and Facebook dominate digital advertising spend, it’s clear that online news sites have to adapt to how they operate. For example, we nurture real partnerships with our advertisers, our readers and our community at large both online and offline. We also believe in giving back and being approachable. As an example, has for the longest time offered free banner advertising to one chosen charity per month and will continue to do so. We also work closely with one of our retail advertisers to encourage various calls to action from our local communities.”

The good news site also vows to never allow any intrusive and completely irrelevant pop up advertising. “We are intimately conscious of what our readers want and engage with them directly, in a personal way, on a daily basis,” says Brent. “South Africans want good news, they want connection and they want it readily available – we offer our continued commitment to do just that – without a paywall.”

The Good Things Guy can be found at, on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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