It started as a simple list. Tourists wanted to know what was on during their stay in Cape Town and I wanted to help.
It grew. Tourists liked it, guest houses liked it, and it appeared locals liked it most of all.
What’s on in Cape Town developed into a ‘proper’ website, and I took on my first intern and appropriated a small damp room in my house as an office. A steady stream of interns flowed through. Thrown in the deep end they honed their writing and analytical skills, learned how to navigate WordPress, helped to create a presence on social media, let the cat in, let the cat out again, and gained an insight into the running of a small business. They also had the option to write reviews, and in so doing to experience theatre and opera, shark diving and Kirstenbosch concerts, wine tastings and Simons Town – often for the very first time. Many of them made great contacts, and many went on to get great jobs.
Eight years on and over 70 interns later, What’s on in Cape Town now employs 4 former interns full time, and works with a number of contributors. The website reaches as many as 55 000 readers per month or more, the app has had nearly 16 000 downloads already, and we’ve set up a Joburg site and have our eyes on Durban.
All this was based on what was essentially a skills development programme – something we are now looking to formalise and to extend, in order to maximise our potential not only to provide skills and knowledge, but the backbone and initiative required to enable young South Africans to forge ahead in the media and communications market.
One day we might even move out of my house.
What’s on in Cape Town & What’s on in Joburg
BEE Level 4
“I recommend without reservation the services of What’s on in Cape Town.”
Lesley Liddle, Cape Town Opera
“Being on your website is transforming my business. I’m getting sales from overseas visitors and also corporate bookings, both firsts!”
Kate Crane Briggs, CultureConnectSA
“The show was most enjoyable, something which I might not normally have attended, but that is what is so great about your site and newsletter: it opens up new experiences.”
Neil McLagan, Competition winner
“It’s really been fab working with What’s on in Cape Town. Your support has been invaluable, thank you!”
Ingrid Sinclair, Two Oceans Aquarium
“Thank you for everything you’ve done, the response has been phenomenal.”
Luke de Kock, Norval Foundation
“You palpably understand what our mission is about. To be understood in this confusing world is of value beyond expression. Thank you for the valuable work you do.”
Bill Knight, Cottage Club
“Daisy’s innovative, creative and focused approach has seen her grow a business from an idea into a masterclass – many newbie writers have honed their skills under her generous guidance. One of her biggest strengths is creating and taking advantage of opportunity – not only for herself, but for the benefit of others.”
Anne Taylor, Media Content Specialist
“What’s on in Cape Town is ideally placed to provide the training needed, as well as the access to virtually every arts and tourist event in this city. This is exactly what Cape Town has been waiting for, both as a tourist destination and a world-class arts centre, boasting superb opera and dance companies and an orchestra that compares with the best in the world.”
Prof Elizabeth Triegaardt, Cape Town City Ballet
“As the country’s oldest symphony orchestra (established in 1914), the Cape Town Philharmonic is delighted to support What’s on in Cape Town’s commitment to skills development. The demanding field of arts management will soon welcome a generation of young people with the skills and professionalism to enable an orchestra such as ours to complete the next step in the next century successfully.”
Shirley de Kock Gueller, Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra
“Daisy Ions and her team at What’s on in Cape Town are always on top of the latest happenings on the Western Cape events front. They are resourceful, creative and consistent in their media field. Led by Daisy, a skills learning programme almost feels like a natural development that stems from her leadership that has produced such excellent and dedicated teamwork in the arts and entertainment field.”
Liny Kruger, LK Mediabook PR
WHO WE ARE
|DAISY IONS |
The fact that people tend to assume she is clever just because she is English has stood Daisy in good stead over the many years she has lived in Africa. And in What's on in Cape Town she has established the perfect outlet for her love of the arts, her need to know what's going on, and her pestilential urge to edit other people's writing. A former TV, film and newspaper intern in the dark days before internet, she has also worked in hotels, on a yacht, as a teacher and as a concierge, always apparently landing jobs by accident rather than design. A mother to two boys, she is still constantly surprised to find herself considered a grown up.
|KRISTAN WOOD |
A 20-something Journalism graduate, Kristan is a former What's on in Cape Town intern who is now Editor of What's on in Joburg, and sub-Editor of What's on in Cape Town. Significant amounts of her time are spent gawking at mountain views, asking strangers if she can pet their dogs, performing audience-less solos in the shower, and devouring Nutella straight from the jar.
Follow Kristan on Instagram: @kristanwood, or visit her blog www.publicspirit.co.za.
Idealist. Aspiring Author. Geek Extraordinaire. Lee-Anne completed her degree in Journalism
The self-proclaimed "rock star" of What's on in Cape Town interns, Kirsten recently graduated from the University of Cape Town with a degree in Film and Media before coming to work for us. Her hobbies include eating too many chicken nuggets at McDonald's, researching nonsensical alien conspiracy theories and lecturing anyone who will listen on the genius behind Quentin Tarantino's films.
|BENN VAN DER WESTHUIZEN|
Namibian-born Benn is one of our theatre and film enthusiasts, and is in the process of completing a Journalism course at City Varsity. A former Arts intern at the Cape Times, he now works part time manning the books for a small Architectural Lighting firm. Benn occasionally contributes to Capetonian lifestyle blog www.outandabout.co.za and spends most of his free time juggling a myriad of interests ranging from endurance running, fencing, vintage photography, architecture and his most recent addiction, scuba diving.
|BRIONY CHISHOLM - CONTRIBUTOR|
Briony has been a contributor to WOICT going on four years. She is a lover of the arts, especially anything off-the-wall. Small gigs in a basement? Experimental food pairings involving cheese and things you can find in your garden? She’s in. She’s also a lover of travel, food and adventuring, and thinks back roads are the bee’s knees. With this in mind, she recently decided to take a break from being an Information Pharmacist at the National HIV & TB Hotline and is forging a path into travel writing. You can follow her on Instagram at brionyetc or read her blog www.navelgazer101.wordpress.com
|CHRISTINE HOGG - CONTRIBUTOR|
After completing a degree in Film and Media Production at UCT, Christine’s first real-world career experiences started with an internship at What’s on in Cape Town. She was able to explore her passion for anything to do with music by writing reviews about local gigs, and soon went on to interview many musicians and artists at One Small Seed. Five years on, she’s edited a digital magazine, worded scripts for location-aware audio tours for VoiceMap, and is learning to play the violin as an adult. She also loves photography. Visit her website www.christinehogg.co.za or follow her on Twitter: @christinebeme.