Celebrities just love Mzansi

2010-07-11 09:41

South Africa proved to be the new St Tropez this winter as the rich and famous came out to play on our shores.

They included Hollywood A-listers, world leaders, musicians, sports stars and British royalty. The main attraction was the Soccer World Cup.

First to arrive were musicians John Legend, R Kelly, Shakira, Alicia Keys and the Black Eyed Peas, who were here to perform at the World Cup opening ceremony, among others.

They basked in the African winter sun and toured the country, visiting tourist hotspots like the Pretoria Lion Park, Sun City and Soweto.

Just as the locals were starting to get used to having them around, ­another entourage clogged up our air space with their private jets.

Naomi Campbell, John Travolta and his pregnant wife, Kelly Preston, jetted in to “support” (paid to do so) their favourite teams.

Then local paparazzi turned OR Tambo and Lanseria airports into permanent homes as more celebs poured into Mzansi.

Joe Jonas – of the famous pop band the Jonas Brothers – was spotted out and about in Sandton City, while ­some ­locals got a chance to snap away as David Beckham sipped tea at Sandton’s DaVinci Hotel.

It was not all about soccer as stars Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard flew in to shoot the movie, Winnie.

Cape Town came to a standstill as fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons launched her Baby Phat store at Canal Walk shopping centre. She was with her husband, Blood Diamond star Djimon Hounsou.

Frequent South Africa visitor Akon took advantage of the tourney and staged a concert in the Mother City.

Italian fashion design duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana also jetted into Cape Town this week.

Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Idris Elba, NBA star Kobe Bryant, musician Mick Jagger, socialite Paris Hilton and her sister Nicky, as well as American football star Reggie Bush, all came down and took pictures of our breathtaking views.

They spread the word over social networking service Twitter about our fabulous country and its warm people.

Our most glamorous export, Charlize Theron, also graced us with her presence.

E! Entertainment’s Sal Masekela stayed in the country for more than two months, shooting a new show.

US Vice-President Jo Biden and former president Bill Clinton also came through to support the impressive American squad.

Britain’s Princes William and Harry were also in the country, much to the delight of many young women. They did not stay long though, thanks to their home team’s disappointing performance.

While many cited soccer as their main reason for coming, we hope SA’s beauty and warmth will make more people come to our shores.

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