A while back, I had been to the first Salsa restaurant, in Fourways, with some friends and had a fabulous time. So, when I heard they were opening up two franchises (the first in Parkhurst, and the second in Bedfordview later this year), I was thrilled. Nachos should never be too far away. Not these nachos, anyway.

When Salsa Mexican Grill Parkhurst opened its doors at the end of May, I hadn’t seen so many people as excited about a restaurant before. I guess it’s because it’s different – Mexican cuisine is notoriously hard to come by in Jozi, but maybe this means restaurants are starting a new trend?

Get Your Party On At Salsa Mexican Grill

Not to say we didn't love our choices of Joburg dining before, but it can get a little boring at times when you find yourself choosing between pasta, steak and seafood at almost every restaurant.

Salsa, on the other hand, promises to keep your taste buds screaming for more, your tummy satisfied, and your social life in check… and perhaps your contract with Uber extended until further notice. Two words: margarita jugs. Ay carumba!

With a variety of delicious food from tacos and burritos to their craft tequila (yes, ladies and gentlemen, craft beer can step to the side now), there really is no reason for you not to pay them a visit. And what’s a meal without dessert, right? For this, there’s nothing better than a plate of churros (squiggly, fried dough pastry with chocolate drizzled over) to go down with a jug or two (dare I say three?) of Margarita. Share the jug, not the churros. Never the churros. Wear a sombrero if it will keep your mates at arm's length and away from your plate.

Get Your Party On At Salsa Mexican Grill

Brothers Yianni and Savva Raftopoulos, the owners, are there to make sure your every need is attended too… and trust me this place is a total mood booster. From the menu, to the vibe, there’s no reason not to book yourself a table for this weekend. And perhaps for the next few – I heard they get fully booked pretty quick!

Say hi to Salsa Mexican Grill on Facebook. For more information, click here.

She Comes In Peace

So, we went on a date and had a heart to heart with Lady Nam, as some would call her, and we were freaking out, to be honest... In the end, though, we handled it pretty well.

Lady Nam

Remember her from international productions like Madiba and Black Mirror, to mention just a few? Yep, that was our date! So, we are the new qualified "kool kids" on the block. Apart from being a big-name superstar and a beautiful woman, we got to know about the exciting things she has been up to.

 #LadyNamBlanketDrive

Apart from being an actress Nambitha expressed with a twinkle in her eye how much she enjoys helping those around her, and how much of a change there is still to make in the world. She said that sometimes people may think you are being naive when you say you want to change the world, but they tend to forget that the world is just outside your doorstep, and that if you can help someone outside your doorstep – whether be it from making someone smile or giving where you can – that is the superpower we possess. With that alone you can help change the world.

Lady Nam Blanket Drive

She also opened up about things that are sensitive and close to her heart, dwelling on how she finds her passion in being the light to kids and them being a light in her life as well, which is why she became involved with News Cafe's CSI #NewsForChange and together they started the blanket drives. And that she's learning how to use her own brand and platform to reach out to people and educate those who follow her all with the help of News Cafe.

#SheSpeaks

One of Lady Nam's passions is helping women and especially young girls find their voice, and having a 'sister' to talk to. With the rise of depression in our society, just being an ear and sharing one's experiences with other people has a great impact. She says being regarded as a celebrity may be confused with not being affected by what happens out there, but insists that is not true. So, she uses her platform to communicate the notion that she is affected in the same way as other young people, especially women. This is why #SheSpeaks was birthed.

Watch the video below to find out more about the beautiful Lady Nam and her journey in pursuing what makes her happy and how she's changing other people's lives through the initiatives she is involved in.

For More Information

Be sure to follow her on all her social platforms, on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

What does Women's Month or Women's Day mean to you?

A couple of years ago, Women's Month for me was largely about the celebration of women with the spotlight being on women. But I think with certain events that have taken place over the years, when you look at issues of gender-based violence in our societies, looking at the fact that we are still struggling in the workplace to have adequate representation to the point where it starts to feel like lip service... The question is: Do you want to celebrate us? Do you want to pamper us?

Then, when September comes, we are back to where we were, so you start to wonder how much does actually change. There has to come a point where we see a huge percentage of women in parliament and ensure that women's needs and children's needs are met. To be honest it seems like we are far from that reality at the moment. So, it comes with mixed meaning, because there is a lot to celebrate about women. We are phenomenal; we are the driving force of society but then, at the same time, there is a lot to lament.

How do women today view Women's Month? 

I think they celebrate the day a lot like me. On the one end you go enjoy the spa days that are provided by your organisation, but then you realise that your voice in the workplace is silenced or not heard, and when you start to raise those issues, you are in a way punished, and there are consequences for it. As much as you are pampered on the one day you still come back to that reality, so one would simply say it comes with mixed emotions. As much as you read all these great things about how much women are appreciated we still, in this day and age, feel unsafe to walk down the streets because harm might befall you.

How will you be spending Women's Day?

Wow, well, I'd have to consult my diary, because, to be honest, I don't know whether I am coming or going sometimes, but I will be celebrating the day and doing something for sure. It's a big month for work as well, so we will be covering that too.

Women are woke and aware and seem to be finding their sweet spot in everything right now. Do you think it's still 'A Man's World'?

Well, if you look at it from a media perspective, this is one of the few industries, in my opinion, where women are at the forefront quite a lot, when you look at our dramas and brand ambassadors. Women have massive buying power – that is the reason why brands would consider appointing a woman. So, one would say that there is a place for women in the industry, and they are occupying all the spaces. I mean, Bonang Matheba, who is the biggest celebrity in the country, is a woman. Now the question is, when it comes to paying the cheque, are women getting their due in the entertainment industry? In some areas definitely! In front of the camera, on the magazine covers and so on, we are winning in that sense. But then behind the scenes there is still an element of inequality.

It is saddening to know that inequity and sexual harassment issues still linger in corporate South Africa and in the entertainment industry. So, behind the scenes there is still a lot of injustice and because the industry is largely "informal," so to speak, people get away with a lot. We also have the #MeToo Movement that is taking place and still bubbling up in South Africa, which encourages women to speak up because we find that on numerous occasions when you speak up you are seen as a diva or someone not to work with, so your career is at stake. And because we do not have unions, people are out for their own bread, and they might not stand with you. You think twice before speaking up about certain things that happen in the workplace.

When is the right time to educate young girls about their worth, their place in the world and their rights?

We do not do it enough. We do not do it early enough. We should do it as early as possible because what is coming at our children now is the message that you are not enough, you are inadequate, you do not have enough likes. They end up with anxiety of not having approval, especially through social media. So, as parents we should always aim to reinforce those messages of, "You are enough, you are loved, and you are important," because as parents we think these things are known by our children. We assume a lot of things. We assume that this person knows that they are loved and worthy, and we take the chance to tell them these things for granted.

If you were to change one aspect of our society now through your work, what would it be?

I go into work with that hope, but I don't know what it would be specifically. My internal prayer is for God to allow me to be a vessel, and that I, in turn, be a blessing in someone's life through the conversations we have here on Real Talk. That's all I ask for. I am optimistic, yes, but I try to inspire. I don't go into work with the hope of changing the world all at once, but hope to reach out to one person at a time.

Would you have conquered all that you have without the women in your life?

Definitely not. I mean, I have my mother who had to take care of my daughter when I started working for the radio and so forth, and I had night shifts. I was just chasing the dream and to see that they believed in me even back then warms my heart to this day. The people I leaned on were my mom, my help, my sister and many other women who understood that I had set these goals for myself. I own a business with two other women – single moms, mind you – so that relationship also plays a huge role in my life, because we get each other's demands and support each other. The nature of being a single parent is also demanding, so having to run a business with them has been an absolute honour.

Who else plays a significant role in your life?

I live a very small life; I keep to myself a lot. At the moment, however, I am discovering my son in a different way. He is 12 years old and seeing him grow into his own skin is a beautiful thing to witness. My daughter is becoming this bold person, so she is important in that sense because she reminds me to live with courage. And then I have my boyfriend, who is my counsellor, my guide, my adviser, my friend, my lover. He is just this person who is indispensable in the role that he plays. And then, of course, my mother; she is my rock. If I could be as woman as she is, I'd say I've lived.

What would be your personal soundtrack, and why that specific song?

Being a music fanatic I really find it hard to choose one song, because my whole playlist is my favourite, but if I had to choose one I'd have to lean on Thandiswa Mazwai's Nizalwa Ngobani. That song for me is so complete in a sense that it serves as a reminder to never forget who you are, who you walk with.

If we were to trade places, tell me one thing I need to know about you that most people don't know.

If you are to step into Azania's shoes for a day, you definitely have to be a confident driver on the road and know what you are doing. And you have to know your way around the city too. This is because I have ambitions of becoming a race car driver!

You are an inspiration to a lot of women, myself included. What would you say to the ladies finding their feet and trying to climb the ladder to success?

It's important to trust your voice, own your voice and believe in your voice. And always know that your story matters. The authenticity of trusting in your gut feeling and believing that your story matters and, of course, work hard towards your dreams.

Catch inspiring conversations with Azania Mosaka every weekday at 18:00–19:00 on SABC 3.

BEAUTY

OPI

The renowned nail brand that is OPI has two exciting new products on offer; the Colour at the Speed of Light GelColor that cures in 30 seconds and lasts for weeks, as well as the Infinite Shine Gel Effects Lacquer System that provides gel shine without the light and lasts for up to 10 days.

Epi-max

Thanks to Epi-max, an all-purpose emollient moisturiser, you can kiss dry skin goodbye! A handbag essential this chilly season, this efficient and effective products is super-affordable and conveniently available at Dis-Chem pharmacies across the country.

Go here to find your nearest store.

Dermalogica

The latest addition to Dermalogica's list of concept stores is Dermalogica Mall of Africa, which offers all of the Dermalogica core concepts (Face Mapping, Skin Bar and MicroZone treatments) as well as the full skincare range and core treatments.

Mall of Africa, Waterfall City, Magwa Crescent, Midrand, Johannesburg.

Bodyography

Bodyography speaks the language of beauty! Some of their latest products include the A Kiss To The Classics Collection lipsticks, Mini Lip Slides lip glosses, and Ready, Set, Go setting spray. Trust us when we say that you'll want these amazing products in your make-up bag this season.

Cresta Shopping Centre, corner of Weltevreden Road & Beyers Naude Drive, Cresta, Johannesburg.

**Bodyography is also available at selected Placecol, Dream Nails and Perfect 10 salons countrywide.

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FASHION

The Kooples

French fashion brand, The Kooples has hit our shores (finally, we know!). Situated in the Mall of Africa, you can expect an uber-chic men's, women's and sports line that's focused on reworking tailored menswear into urban clothing.

Mall of Africa, Waterfall City, Magwa Crescent, Midrand, Johannesburg.

Converse

The fourth Converse Inc. specialty retail is now open at the Mall of Africa! You can expect a broad range of limited edition collection, premium footwear, apparel and accessories. The highly sought-after Chuck II sneakers will also be available at this new store.

Mall of Africa, Waterfall City, Magwa Crescent, Midrand, Johannesburg.

Rage

The latest Wear It Your Way Winter 2016 range by Rage includes some must-have winter wardrobe garments, from buckled ankle boots and pointed-toe lace-ups, to a bevy of suede skirts.

Go here to find your nearest store.

By Candice May

Which of these fabulous launches are you most excited about?

Exercise Outdoors

You may be disinclined to go outside because it’s chilly, but by all means, don’t hunker down by the fire. Get yourself some cute workout gear and take it out for a spin! Whether it’s running, cycling or oh-so-festive ice skating (which burns 450 calories an hour and tones your butt and thighs, by the way), being active in nature is simply more fun than battling crowds at the gym. Research also shows that the refreshing burst of air will keep you coming back!

Stock Up On Superfoods

It’s true that some foods can actually help you lose weight, not to mention reduce the risk of disease. The greatest part is that many superfoods are also winter staples, so you probably have some on your menu already! Kale is not only the trendiest leafy green, but it’s also the most nutritious. Serve it at your winter dinners and friends and family will be thankful for the new tradition.

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Lighten Up Seasonal Favourites

Nothing hits the spot quite like a hearty scoop of macaroni and cheese. You don’t have to deny yourself this comforting favourite thanks to some cal-cutting research from SELF. Red Rooster Harlem chef and owner Marcus Samuelsson threw veggies like kale, mushrooms and onions into his dish and used turkey bacon in place of the fattier stuff. Mac & Cheese, Please! author Laura Werlin incorporated butternut squash into her sauce, which adds to its creamy texture and gives a nice dose of vitamins A and C. Perhaps the easiest swap of all when it comes to mac and cheese though is the cheese. Try Parmesan instead of cheddar, for example — since the flavour is stronger, you’ll be able to use less and be just as satisfied.

Have An Eating Plan

People can freak out about overeating and set themselves up for disaster in the winter. All those choices at the table aren’t a bad thing, though. If you love mom’s cookies, you can have them! To make sure you don’t overdo it by the end of the day, be prepared:

meal plan

Manage Stress

From a busy work schedule and jam-packed social calendar, there’s no doubt this busy time of year can be super-stressful and take a physical toll on us. Stressing makes cortisol levels rise, which forces your body to hold onto fat. In turn, hunger hormone levels rise, and then we end up doing things like “eating our feelings.” To fight severe stress this season, be sure to have your healthy eating goals set out, to put a financial plan in place, and to get enough sleep each night.

How do you avoid picking up unwanted kilos during the winter? Share your secrets in the comments below!

By Candice May

Taste-Buds

To chef Angela, of Taste-Buds, cooking is a form of therapy and a source of never-ending joy. The kitchen is situated in Sundowner, a stone's throw away from Northgate Shopping Centre. Courses include cupcake making and authentic Chinese and Moroccan cuisine, to name a few. Chef Angela will teach you all the tricks of the trade from best practices to new and refreshing recipes ideas.

Susan Graig

In the heart of Sandton lies one of the city's best kept secrets. Susan Greig offers once-a-month inspirational courses, with a new theme every month. These courses have been designed to cater to people with a basic knowledge of food, who would like to improve their skills in the kitchen.

Miya's Sushi

What list of food courses would be complete without the inclusion of a specialist programme? For the past 30 years, chef Katsuhiko Miyamoto, or Miya, has been cooking up authentic Japanese recipes in restaurants all over the city. His vision is to share his skill and knowledge with all who care to listen. Besides, sushi is huge in Jozi and is a great way to impress friends and family. So why not sign up for a fun class or course today?

Best Places To Take Cooking Classes

Capsicum Culinary Studio

This studio is all about getting behind the science and design of food. With over six branches nationwide, Capsicum is fast becoming the go-to food school in the country. Fortunately, for the rest of us who can't cook like the experts, the institution offers professional courses. If you want to whip up dishes in the same fashion that Heston Blumenthal does, then Capsicum is worth a visit.

Best Places To Take Cooking Classes

Have you been here? Rate and review your experience below!

Remember that our “Top Picks” are not paid for and are compiled at the discretion of the journalist. We only write about what we love.

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