“Inspired by a flavour combination that evokes the joy of Cadbury Dairy Milk and the childlike wonder of Oreo biscuits, we embarked on a quest to find out if there were more untold stories of times when joy and wonder collided and what the colliding result delivered,” says Simone van Zyl, Brand Manager for Cadbury Dairy Milk.
To unwrap this mystery, the Cadbury Dairy Milk Bubbly team asked some of South Africa’s favourite celebrities to share their stories, which were then showcased in The Museum of Joy and Wonder – a one-night-only, pop-up gallery, with authentic stories and personal mementos.
ProVerb – Musician:
One of the joy evoking items displayed was from SA entertainer, ProVerb who shared the story behind his ‘Hustler of the Year’ award at the 2015 SA Hip Hop Awards. “This award gives me joy because it proves that for as long as you work and do your best, the accolades will follow. I love the fact that it was not my music, TV or radio, but for ‘hustler of the year’ which in my mind, reads as an award for everything I do.”
Another moment of joy and wonder was expressed through a letter written to P.J Powers by Nelson Mandela. Power’s said: “The letter I received from Nelson Mandela was one of the most significant moment’s in my career. To hear that Mr. Madiba felt I had made a ‘tremendous impact’ on bringing hope to the youth, during such a turbulent time, was one of the most wonderful things for me to hear.
Derek Watts shared two pictures that brought him Joy and Wonder, the first from his climb up Mount Kilimanjaro and the second was the opportunity to meet and interview Cathy O’Dowd, the first South African woman to conquer the epic climb in 1996. Watts said “I was ecstatic to fly to Kathmandu to interview her. It was such an emotional moment for Cathy and standing on crackling ice at the foot of Everest in a thin Adidas track suit was a memory that stays with me.
“But so often joy can be tinged or overshadowed with tragedy. Fellow climber Bruce Herrod had died on those slopes under controversial circumstances and eight other climbers, including the legends Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, who perished in a blizzard during the South African mission. And maybe it’s the fragility of life that adds to the euphoria of joy.”
Martin Rocka shared quite an unbelievable story, about a special guitar. “I bought a guitar in 1991 from a second-hand pawn shop in Wakefield Yorkshire England.
“This Hurricane Guitar was the only guitar I owned while I was studying music at the Barnsley College of Technology in the UK, so you can imagine how much it was used. The beginnings of Wonderboom’s song ‘She Cries’ was written on this guitar. I sold it somewhere during my travels, probably to fund another instrumental venture.”
“In later years, I started buying, selling and trading musical equipment more seriously. In 2007, as luck would have it, a guy walked into my studio with my ‘old lady!’ Needless to say, I would never sell her again, the nostalgia and story is too great.”
Sophie shared two items with the Museum of Joy and Wonder – her bracelet and necklace she wore to her very first casting. The casting was for a Lemon Twist commercial when she was 18 years old.
“I was a young model living with my family in Soweto. The bracelet and the necklace belonged to my mom. I was extremely nervous for the audition, so I brought my bible with me in my handbag. From then on, I always carried my bible in my handbag to auditions. These items still fill my heart with great joy as they are a reminder of how far I have come in my career and they stand as symbols of my tenacity and optimism when I was young.”
Louise contributed an old pink notebook she purchased before her trip to London, which she used to hunt for record deals. “I was 21 years old and had with me my debut album titled: “Mirrors and Windows.” Cellphones were not smart phones yet and I wanted to write down all the contacts I made on my travels, which I captured dutifully in this little book”.
“This notebook reminds me of how tenacious I am and my ‘just go for it’ philosophy. I had very little money and knocked on many record label doors to try and get something going.”
“One of the names in this book is Kenny Hawkes who I went on to work with and that was the start of my international dance career. We released the track, ‘Play the Game’ and it went to no. 1 in Europe. This album is the reason I got signed into Sony and many special moments in my career history can be traced back to this little notebook.”
Way back, when Anele Mdoda was still a teenager, she had her sights set on 947. “The foundation for my future endeavours was always going to be radio specifically - 947. But to get on air, radio station producers want to hear a demo to consider you as a DJ. So, I made this demo in the hope that they’d like me. This was 15 years ago when I thought I was sh*t hot, but now you’ll hear, I was just sh*t :-)”
“In the beginning, you imitate other people – your favourite people. Then you start being a bit of them and a bit of you. Then, the more you do it, it just becomes you. Today, it brings me joy to listen to it again and to see how far I’ve come!”
Danny K’s moment of Joy and Wonder was when Oprah invited him to Chicago to join her to film her 50th birthday episode on 29 January 2004. “On the show that day was Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, Tina Turner and John Travolta. I really wanted to wear something that said South Africa on it and luckily, I found a t-shirt made by South African designer Craig Native which said, ‘Product of South Africa’.”
“I didn’t know that I was the first SA artist on the show at the time and it was something I was only told afterwards. I share that position with Ladysmith Black Mambazo who performed with me on the show. Of course, in typical Oprah fashion everyone was sent home with a gift. But this time, with a pair of commemorative pyjamas from Oprah herself. Looking back, it certainly stands out as one of the most joyous moments of my career.”
Nomuzi Mabena item of Joy and Wonder was an outfit, created for her by herself and Shaunice Maluleka from Smith Factory and inspired by an iconic Paco Rabanne outfit.
“I have always loved and admired fashion and as a young girl, I would page through fashion magazines and dream of wearing amazing outfits like the ones I would see. I always tried to replicate my favourite looks with items from my sister and mom’s closets. Recreating looks is something I’ve continued to do throughout the years.”
“I wore this outfit at the 2017 Back to the City’ Hip-Hop Festival, the biggest gathering of Hip-Hop lovers on the continent, where I interviewed artists backstage for Vuzu and performed with Ms. Cosmo and Rouge.
Jeremy Mansfield purchased a t-shirt with the word ‘Prieska’ on the front and a post code on the sleeve - because a teacher who influenced his life at Kingswood College in Grahamstown came from the town.
“Godfrey Meintjes was one of many wonderful and remarkable teachers at our school. He taught Afrikaans, but his engagement with us as pupils made us want to over-deliver and discover new things.”
“Always the first thing to be packed, my Prieska t-shirt has witnessed a wonderfilled journey, from 4x4 trips to experience the wonders of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique; to orcas in the Antarctic; hearing wolves in the wild in Alaska; and to tracking snow leopards in the Himalayas. It is tatty and now needs to be turfed, but it has seen many things that made my heart soar and my soul content. Dankie Meneer Meintjes and thank you Prieska.”