A night to remember

2011-06-25 14:48

Tuesday nights are meant to be spent in front of the telly, not party-hopping. But hey, you do what you have to do.

This week, party lovers gathered at the ­Killarney Country Club in ­Johannesburg to celebrate one of South Africa’s icons, Nelson Mandela, and other public ­figures who have made an ­impact in the country.

FNB Premier Banking was the host of the event, which ­celebrated 21 years since the world watched Nelson Mandela walk out of prison.

The venue was also where the former president cast his vote in 1994.

Other local icons mentioned were Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Charlize Theron, Tokyo Sexwale, Lucas Radebe, Ryk Neethling, Patrice Motsepe, Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) and Raymond Ackerman.

Upon arrival, guests took a walk down a ridiculously long red carpet (210m to be exact), which represented “the long walk to freedom” with portraits of local milestones on the sides.

Yvonne Chaka Chaka, who was there with her husband Dr Mandlalele Mhinga, performed and so did All Stars-clad PJ Powers, who got the crowd ­tapping their feet and singing along.

Dr Phillip Tobias (86), a three-time Nobel prize­ nominated palaeoanthropologist and professor emeritus at the University of Johannesburg, enjoyed himself while sitting on a couch. Other guests included John Kani, who made a brief speech, and former Miss SA Amy Kleinhans.

The pièce de résistance, the painting Ndiwelimilambo Enamagama, commissioned by the bank and developed by ­artist Andy Robertson, was ­unveiled. The painting shows a monumental landscape that ­depicts a personal portrait of the elderly statesman.

Another highlight for the guests was a heartfelt speech by one of the icon’s grandsons, Ndaba Mandela, who accepted the painting on Mandela’s behalf.

Might he perhaps have ­ambitions to follow his grandfather’s political career? After all, instead of a simple thank you, he ended his speech with the words “one Africa, one people, one destiny”.

The evening was rounded off by a little girl called Yoliswa Mzwakali (she’s that adorable child in the bank’s recent television advert), who sang the ­national anthem, and made ­everyone say “awww”.

Later on that night, it was off to Rhapsody’s in Sunnyside, Pretoria, to celebrate Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Itumeleng Khune’s, wait for it, 24th birthday party. Who would’ve thought he’s so young?

He’s a shareholder in this new restaurant chain.

The event drew recognisable faces such as Kaizer Chiefs ­captain Jimmy Tau, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and SABC’s Live music show presenter, Minenhle Dlamini, who was dressed like the Ms Party that she is.

She and Khune kissed and cuddled throughout the night. Must be the worst kept secret if it’s ­supposed to be one. Welcome to WAGhood, Minnie!

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